Choking is Deemed Safe (ish)

Discussion in 'Brazilian Jiu Jitsu' started by Pretty In Pink, Apr 10, 2020.

  1. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    In the latest addition to the Combat Sports Law Blog’s archived posts documenting safety issues in combative sports, a study was published today in the journal of The Physician and Sports Medicine analyzing the safety of chokeholds.

    In the recent article, titled The Safety of Sportive Chokes: A Cross Sectional Survey Base Study, the authors analyzed surveys from 4,307 participants with experience in grappling arts. Most participants were had experience being choked to near-syncome. Over 27% had been choked unconscious. Only 0.05% of the participants (2 out of 4,307) reported ongoing symptoms they attributed to being choked.

    Based on the data collected the authors concluded that “sportive choking appears to be safe.

    The full abstract reads as follows:


    Objectives: Sportive choking or strangling, known as a “choke” in the combat sports community, is the practice of compressing the jugular veins and carotid arteries to threaten unconsciousness by lowering cerebral perfusion pressure. This is commonly practiced within combat sports and police/military combatives. The safety profile of sportive choking is underrepresented in the literature. The authors sought to explore the safety of sportive chokes.

    Methods: A convenience sample of visitors to two combat sports internet forums completed an anonymous web-based survey on choking experience and related symptoms. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the obtained data. Bivariate analysis were perfomed to elaborate on relationships between grappling experience and the number of times choked, between the number of times choked with pre-syncope/syncope, and between the duration of symptoms and the number of times choked with pre-syncope/syncope.

    Results: Overall, 4421 individuals completed the survey. 114 were excluded,leaving 4307 analyzed respondents. 94% were male, 89.2% were ages 18-44 years. 78.7% had > 1 year of grappling experience and 30% had > 5 years. Of the 4307, 1443 (33.5%) reported being choked > 500 times, 3257 (75.7%) have been choked to near-syncope, and 1198 (27.8%) have been choked unconscious. 2 of the 4307 (0.05%) reported ongoing symptoms from chokes. Of the respondents, 94.3% felt applying a choke would be a safe and effective way to control a street fight; 83.6% felt that vascular neck restraint, the police combatives equivalent of sportive choking, would be appropriate as an alternative escalation of force option.Conclusion: Based on a convenience sample of 4307 respondents’ self-reported data, sportive choking appears to be safe. Only 0.05% experienced ongoing symptoms, which were likely not related to brain ischemia.
    axelb likes this.
  2. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    There are a couple of problems with that:

    1) There is not the budget or will in police forces/departments to provide sufficient training. AFAIK, most deaths occur when the hold becomes an asphyxiating choke, either through a lack of training or because the subject is struggling and the officer won't let the choke go. It's a different dynamic when there are no tap-outs and if you let go of a choke the person might kill you.

    2) I believe vascular restraints result in less deaths than tasers, but police would still be more reluctant to deploy choking as a tactic because a police officer is less likely to be found guilty of wrongdoing if the use of a taser resulted in the death of a citizen than if the use of a vascular restraint did. It's harder to explain to a jury how vascular restraints can result in death than for them to blame a piece of technology that an officer used in good faith.
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  3. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    I reckon a vascular choke is hard to teach properly and consistently over such a large group.

    I still feel that a garrot and a pair of snips (in case of entanglement) is the easiest way to go. I get that they look bad but if I fought a meth head who was uncontrollable I'd want nothing more than to put them out quickly and get them in cuffs.
    axelb likes this.
  4. Mushroom

    Mushroom De-powered to come back better than before.

    Its all about how it looks.

    As you said, the Meth head you fight, If a Police Officer got the person in a RNC, made it safe to then cuff. And everyone is all ok. People will scream and shout about brutality.

    Now same situation but say....a squaddie or even a Taxi driver did the exact same thing, same result. Theyll be labelled as heroes.

    Theres also a lot of focus on "positional asphyxia" in Police training.... the focus of recognising the position, taking that person off that position asap, keeping that person alive. As what they dont want is someone cuffed to the ground, left face first and not realising someone is dying slowly.
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  5. Shmook

    Shmook Valued Member

    To echo what mushroom says, it's how it's perceived.

    I doubt any UK force would train for choke holds. Too much scope for error, but overall it looks bad. I've used them myself in the past, but I wouldn't suggest it if you can help it.

    Positional asphyxia is a thing too, as said. I recall a case of someone dieing because 2 people were either sat on or restraining a suspect face down. They didn't know, but cops are trained to look for it.
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  6. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Methodology, hey you guys that like choking.... Do you think the thing you like to do is safe?

    What do you think about it in a completely different environment?

    That doesn't prove anything.

    Apart from BJJ guys are very very bored at the moment.

    At least their not spreading dumb conspiracy theories......
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  7. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Garrottes are made of wire and are for killing people, do you mean a soft version?
  8. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    A long thin strip of leather perhaps? Much higher chance of incapacitating someone quickly because it requires a lot less skill. It looks bad, but it's fairly safe and risk free if you have a pair of snips.

    Personally I think tasing people until they vomit and convulse looks bad but w/e.
  9. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    Didn't someone die in Brazil from "hitman chokes"?
  10. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    I don't see how it is safer than manual chokes. With an RNC you have the gap in the elbow so you don't put too much pressure on the windpipe, but a garrotte will apply pressure equally across the arteries and windpipe.

    I'm not convinced it is easier either. Deploying a weapon and using it, especially a little fiddly thing like a garrotte, seems like it would be more likely to fail under pressure than an RNC. Also, if you're fighting for position to apply the choke, you're one hand short and you need both hands free to even begin it, whereas unarmed you can get one arm in position and work the other one in.
  11. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    A classical garrot is fickle for sure but it can be streamlined. A loop and carabiner that goes over the head and is pulled to be tightened. Rather than two unconnected pieces. One hand at a time for control and then once it's in place, pull and their out.

    The problem with a classically RNC is that if you do it slightly wrong they won't go out.

    With a garrot people will instinctually grab the part attacking their windpipe. But as it gets tighter it will attack the blood vessels.

    Honestly I think other than the fact that it probably looks awful, it would be safer than a taser and could also be done from a distance if needed, much like dog handlers catching strays use, except you can make the loop shorter by pulling.
  12. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    If your putting people out regularly, you'll need a lot more police surgeons on duty.

    Plus a lot more police to cover the ones suspended whilst they investigate each occasion of use of force.

    Plus the use of hitman chokes, is more risky then the usual sort....

    It doesn't feel like you've this through thoroughly yet.

    Shmook, Mushroom and axelb like this.
  13. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Surgeons just to wake people up? Basic first aid would cover that surely.

    I would imagine it's only used in circumstances that would be reviewed anyway.

    Risky how? You need to elaborate.

    I honestly feel like you're just saying no because it's an easy default position.
  14. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    The medic on duty, will have to assess all injuries, if you've choked someone unconsciousness, then they'll need a once over before you lock them up for the night.

    The report you've linked doesn't include chokes via a soft garrotte, theyre even banned by the IBJJF due to a death in Brazil.

    So if it's banned in training, and hasn't got the support of the report you posted, why would you think it's a good idea?
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2020
  15. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Then it will be the same surgeon that would check you after you'd been taser instead.

    It doesn't but we have chokes that are very similar. The choke is banned because it's unaesthetic and involves removing your belt (which is supposed to stay tied at all times).
  16. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    It's banned because someone got dead with it, after it was tied around they're neck and noone had any scissors to cut the knot in time.

    It's been referenced numerous times on the UK BJJ underground, and on Reddit by people who were there.

    Let me see if I can find a link.

    Side note, I use a variation of this with the far lower Gi lapels, so I know it can work, but it's also low percentage compared to a decent bow and arrow etc.

    It's in nobodies go to list.
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  17. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    The belt can be removed, but not used as a weapon, you have to retie the belt afterwards, but having a loose belt and untucking your gi is Keenan 101.
  18. Mushroom

    Mushroom De-powered to come back better than before.

    Cops with a noose...again. Probably not a good look. :p

    There is something called leg restraints...which js basically what you describe... a long strip of velcro, that you wrap around the knees of a kicking/resisting subject.

    In London, any injuries/suspected injuries are looked at by the Ambulances. There is a Police Nurse (as it were) but only inside the custody to look after the prisoners inside the Police station.

    Theyre very big on not restricting airway. Mostly because of underlying health issues one wont know about (asthma, copd, heart problems etc) so chokes are more or less banned.
    Its also why you see a "bundle", 5 guys restraining 1 is safest for the 1.
    1:1 punches and kicks are being thrown.
    2:1 less strikes but still happens.

    5:1 no strikes. Essentially hold the guy down (in an ideal world)

    Altho unless someone like you PiP, who can literally easily handle someone on your own without any help and both come out unscathed...
  19. Mushroom

    Mushroom De-powered to come back better than before.

    Heres a pre famous Brian Ortega vs 2 Officers

  20. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    I so sort of wonder what it would be like if more than one police officer tried to arrest me.

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