There has been quite a lot of flak in the news lately about the use of illegal police chokes since the death of a New Yorker Eric Garner who died while being arrested in July. It was later found in the autopsy that Garner’s CAUSE OF DEATH was from the choke hold and “overt compression on his neck” and not any other medical conditions as previously speculated.
Before we begin, let me speak plainly: CHOKES ARE DANGEROUS and INHERENTLY RISKY TO USE in a fight. The CO has to understand that when chokes are taught to Law Enforcement or Military, they are taught in conjunction with the Force Continuum. Simply put, most chokes are designed so the CO can take it to whatever level they need too, depending on the situation.
The CO has also got to remember that attempting to put somebody in a choke hold can be interpreted as LETHAL FORCE by the other party, since the aim of a choke is to put the person unconscious, and an unconscious person is 100% vulnerable.
There are basically 2 types of chokes: Air and Blood.
The Side choke is a blood choke and in my experience can be one of the most useful and practical chokes for the civilian.
I am using the USMC CLOSE COMBAT (MCRP 3-02B) Field Manual for illustration, 6-2 thru 6-3. This really is a handy little manual to learn some very useful street wise Combatives, so please read the whole thing, not just this section.
This choke is executed while FACING your opponent. It is particularly effective while deflecting a punch, which is why I like to teach it. In essence, it really is a COUNTER for the CO to de-escalate violence, which a majority of the time, puts the CO on the right side of the law as far as self-defense statutes go.
Lower Right Picture. The CO deflects the punch with his left hand, parrying the opponents punch INBOARD.
Top Left Picture: CO brings his right arm UNDERNEATH the opponent arm and up around the front of his neck. It is very important to carry some momentum into this move by stepping “into” the opponent, as the opponent will most likely have begun to back up. While extending your fingers, place the back of your forearm against the opponents neck, just below the ear, and press on the CAROTID ARTERY.
Bottom Left Picture: Reach with the left hand around the back of the opponents neck and clasp hand together TIGHTLY. Pull the opponent toward you by PULLING clasp hands toward your chest.
Top Right Picture: Exert pressure on the side of the opponents neck with forearm. Typically, you can expect the average opponent to either get COMPLIANT or ASLEEP in under 8-10 seconds if done correctly.
For those of you who like vids (like me) here is the simplest, no bullshit, no frills vid I could find on You-Tube. Pay attention to the movement instructions, as this is key to get good position for both leverage and force for the choke.