How To Choke Out a Bad Guy (#71)
An often-overlooked form of self-defense, choking out a violent criminal requires neither brawn nor expertise in mixed martial arts. Best employed as a covert attack on an unsuspecting assailant who’s just entered a room, the move benefits from the element of surprise— or momentary inattention on the part of an aggressor who might be busy with other victims during a mass shooting scenario.
The goal of the technique is to cut off circulation from the carotid arteries to the brain, causing the aggressor to lose consciousness in a matter of seconds. Slipping an improvised garrote around an aggressor’s neck yields a much greater probability of success than a headlock, which requires a significant amount of pressure and some luck. An assailant may be able to hold his breath for several minutes, and a headlock sometimes only succeeds in cutting off airflow. Using an improvised garrote guarantees that, with enough pressure, you’ll be hitting both the respiratory tract and the arteries.
All you’ll need in order to execute the technique are two pens or pencils and a piece of improvised wire—a single shoelace (preferably Kevlar), the wire from a cell-phone charger, or the Kevlar lanyard from a retractable ID holder. Tying overhand loops into both ends of the wire and inserting pens into the loops yield a two-handled choking system with a grip. Without the handles, you won’t be able to exert the necessary amount of pressure.
Loop the wire over the assailant’s head, then pull your hands behind his neck to cinch the mechanism in place. Exert as much pressure as possible, and maintain pressure until your opponent collapses. Consciousness will return in under a minute, so quickly use the advantage to run to safety.
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