Chokes and strangulations

Shime waza (chokes and strangulations) focuses on pain compliance techniques, methods of pressing nerves and restriction of blood & air passage way. Chokes and strangulations, when used correctly, cause intense pain and can restrain or incapacitate an opponent.

To be able to protect oneself from being choked or strangled, it’s important to understand what makes the technique work, allowing you to take evasive action. These techniques are typically used in the most threatening situations. It’s not uncommon to use a person’s garment against them (eg. jacket), to apply a choke or strangulation.

These are precise techniques that need to be worked through to understand the mechanics of a given technique. Chokes and strangulations are dangerous moves hence the need to practice them in a safe, controlled environment under close supervision.

What is the difference between choking and strangling?

Choking refers to constriction or blockages of the windpipe, preventing oxygen getting to the brain.

Strangulations refers to compression of the carotid arteries in the neck, restricting blood flow from reaching the brain.

Blood flow restriction takes effect 6 times faster than a choke. Our brains need oxygen to function and receive oxygen from our blood stream. Each time we breathe in air, oxygen enters our blood stream. Applying a choke prevents new oxygen from entering our bodies, but the oxygen which is already in our blood continues to be delivered to the brain (think of holding your breath under water, most of us can do this for a minute or so). With a strangulation, blood flow to the brain is restricted resulting in the brain being deprived of oxygen instantly.

Due to the effectiveness and severity of these techniques, many of them are not taught to children, rather only to mature students.

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