Defense against garrote

Garrote is a string, cord, or a thin rope, or scarf about three feet (one meter) long that may or may not have handles on its ends (handle can be as simple as a knot, or fixed loop, or two inches long stick). It’s a favorite covered assault weapon of Special Forces and gangsters alike ( garrote is a Spanish word and it was used as means of execution). It’s easy to conceal – who would be concern with you having a shoe leash or a scarf or a name tag on a long thin silver neck chain or multicolor cord? Until it’s ready for ‘use’, it looks like innocent dress or fashion or packing item (as it indeed can be).

When confronted with garrote armed assailant, first thing to understand is that we’re in serious business – this guy is cold blooded killer that came for your life and he’s intended to take it! When assault with a handgun or a knife can be result of momentary agitation and assailant may not really wants to kill you, using of garrote means you’re indeed in the fight of your life.

Assault with garrote intend to be covered, but if you facing attacker, you need to disable his garrote first. Giving that it is not flash-cutting wire, you can do it by entrapping you wrist (preferably – non primary) in it. Then, by rapping your wrist into rope even more, you can get to grab his holding hand and go to the wrist lock. But at this point you already disabled his garrote and in hand-to-hand fight where your judo skills should equate you or bring you on top of the situation. Abstraction to the blood flow to the hand, in the few seconds that this ordeal will take, will not affect your hand functionality (you can test your body reaction by tightly rapping your wrist, but remember that whole episode shouldn’t take longer then single seconds, or you’re lost it and your swelling hand will be your last concern).

Use any weapons and tools that you have at your disposal to decisively win the fight as attacker clear show you that he’s here to kill you and it’s nothing to negotiate about.

Frontal garrote attack is not a favorable scenario for your assailant and more likely result of his mistake or your good luck. The common plan for such attack is covered from the behind. The only defense in such case (as with any un-seen surprise attack) is vigilance.

If you’re feel you may be attached, keep your chin down to your chest and one your arm (preferably non-primary) bended in a way that you hand touches your chick or nose. This way thrown over rope will not get strait onto your neck but on your chin and/or hand and you’ll have chance to wrestle it out. Standard Special Forces technique in using garrote when tacking down watch gauds is to throw it over the guard head from behind then turn around back-to-back, with to-be-strangled, and pull him up like a bag cared over shoulder and walk in a circles until he’ll stop moving. When you pulled over on the attacker back with rope on your neck, it is pretty much nothing you can do. If you think you can do back-flip in this position, try it even without rope on your neck – it will be excellent if you can.

One common civilian self-defense scenario when you coming under garrote attack from behind, is when you’re driving a car and recklessly, due to your Good-Samaritan nature, picking hitchhikers on some empty road (or you’re just cab driver without screen-separated driver compartment as in New-York or London taxicabs).

…It was about 30 years ago. One of my summer student camp chancellors, middle aged Greek-Roman Wrestling coach, drove back from the nearby town alone in his car. He gave a lift to three youngsters, two girls and a boy in late teens. He let them in onto the back seat and got the road and next thing he felt was rope on his neck.

As he told us, my coach and a few senior teammates as we discussed the situation, he slammed the breaks as he felt the rope on his neck and grab head of his would-be-killer that flied from the back seat toward windshield. Then he pulled the guy out of the car and stomped him until any movement stopped as two girls fled to the woods. He drove to the nearby village and talked to the resident law enforcement officer. When they came back together, they didn’t find the would-be-killer or his body or any sign of it. As in the next few days nothing happened and no missing person report has been filed, no criminal investigation has been started.

As for my camp chancellor... He said he didn’t expected the foil play as it was two girls with the boy and all three were neatly dressed, and he credited his survival to his good luck and to his habit to accelerate quickly and to good reaction – skills he developed in car rallies, he took part in as a professional driver.


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