Judo chokes and strangulations are effective offensive
combat techniques of inducing brain damage (reversible, irreversible, or lethal)
through creation of oxygen deficit in the brain by restricting airflow (‘choke’; ‘air suffocation’) or blood flow (‘strangulation’; ‘blood
suffocation’), that burred in a lot of misconception.
First and most
important – chokes and strangulations are not
Second – chokes and
strangulations are lethal
techniques. Their lethality depends
on the duration of the application.
really surprising like, even otherwise reliable, sources defining Judo chokes as means of “subdue violent opponents
with temporary unconsciousness”. Let’s be clear – it can be temporarily in one of the only two cases:
you’re not completing the
application of the technique or/and you're applying a recovery technique. In the real combat
both aren’t an option.
of self-defense you don’t have the luxury to carefully calibrate power and duration of your application or to apply recuperation on your victim (if you do, it is not self-defense).
In offensive (military) combat you have other, more simple and secure, ways to induce unconsciousness when taking live prisoner without risk of killing him (for a recon team snatching an enemy soldier for interrogation just to find him dead before he’s able even to say his own name, is a devastating blow). In quiet taking out of enemy sentries, garrote
is preferred use instead of bare-hand Judo-style chokes.
reasons enough to leave this subject alone as we talking about Judo for self-defense.
However, chokes seen are as an integral part of Judo technical arsenal and this I would like to address.
Chokes are legal sport techniques of all Judo styles except for traditional SAMBO
(American SAMBO Federation’s
permits chokes). This fact contribute to the confusion about it
applicability in self-defense as in a popular view the danger/lethality of a technique based on the group, it belongs to, and progressing from sport
techniques to self-defense
techniques to military
combat techniques. This popular view place chokes
and strangulations into the “innocent” sport category.
However the applicability of an individual technique in self-defense is based not on its classification
group, but on the set of entirely different
The other question is why chokes aren’t permitted in traditional SAMBO
and if it makes this style less effective.
I don’t know what exact considerations Vasili Oschepkov had when he restricted chokes in his Judo style, but I think it was the same as behind common long term Judo practice to include choke study only into training of senior level adult students. In his tragically short life Oschepkov just had not enough students on this senior level to start introducing chokes.
Is absence of chokes in traditional SAMBO makes it less effective? I don’t think so as chokes are the narrow niche technical elements with limited
Should Judo chokes
be studied and used? Absolutely yes, as long as we understand their limitations, risks,
and applicability in sport Judo styles.
Should Judo chokes be studied in self-defense classes? Yes, as we need to study defense against them and it can’t be done without studying the proper and the most common (two different things!) choke attacks first.