Being held in an attacker’s choke hold is a very scary situation. An attacker’s pressure on the victim’s neck will eventually lead to loss of consciousness, since air will be unable to get to the brain. While being held in a choke hold is scary, it is seldom fatal; however, if the victim’s windpipe is crushed, it may lead to death by asphyxiation.
Luckily, a choke hold is one of the easiest attacks to thwart because it places the attacker in a highly vulnerable position. In order to apply a choke hold, an attacker must be behind the victim. The attacker’s arm is then placed around the victim’s neck, and pressure is applied to the victim’s neck. Fortunately for the victim, this places the attacker’s head in very close proximity to the the head of the victim, and this may present an opportunity to escape if the victim is able to head-butt the attacker in the face.
A head-butt to the attacker’s face is the first move a victim should attempt because it will cause much more pain to the recipient than to the person being choked. The skull is one of the hardest parts of the human body, and in many situations it will be easy to butt the attacker in the face with using the back of the head. Once a powerful and well-placed head-butt is delivered, the attacker will more than likely release the choke hold.
If this technique does not work, the next best self-defense method is to dupe the attacker by “playing dead”. Once an attacker is convinced that the victim is unconscious, he or she will inevitably release the choke hold. Why not attempt this technique first? Well, in order to make this ploy convincing, the victim needs to convince the attacker that he or she really is unconscious, and by putting up a struggle the victim can create a very convincing ploy. It is also wise to attempt this technique after trying the reverse head-butt because it takes a surprisingly long time to render a victim unconscious by using a choke hold. If the victim “plays dead” too soon, the attacker may not be convinced and may suspect that it is a trick.
In order to make this passive technique convincing, the victim should appear to gradually lose strength before completely going limp. Putting up a fight and then immediately feigning unconsciousness is not realistic. At the moment of “unconsciousness” the victim must make it appear as though he or she has lost all physical and muscular ability, and this means forcing the body to feign lifelessness. This can be tricky, because it goes against the body’s natural impulse to put up a fight.
Once the attacker releases the choke hold, it will be necessary to continue the charade a few moments longer by falling to the ground. This will make the ploy more convincing, but more importantly it sets the attacker up for the victim’s counter-attack. After the victim falls to the ground, the attacker will either flee voluntarily, or move in closer to continue the assault. If the attacker flees, then the scenario is over. However, if the attacker draws close in order to continue the assault, the victim is in position to deliver a sharp blow to the attacker’s genitals. At this point, the victim should get up and make an escape, as the attacker will be need a few moments to recover from the blow to the genital area.