6 - Chokes and Holds

CHAPTER 6

CHOKES AND HOLDS

This chapter describes all techniques for a right-handed person. However, all techniques can be executed from either side.

The Marine is depicted in camouflage utilities. The opponent is depicted without camouflage.
WARNING
During training, never execute a choke at full force or full speed and never hold a choke for more than 5 seconds.

When Marines correctly perform a choke, they render an opponent unconscious in as little as 8 to 13 seconds. Chokes are easily performed regardless of size or gender. Marines must know how to apply chokes and how to counter a choke or a hold executed by an opponent.

1. Types of Chokes

There are two types of chokes: an air choke and a blood choke. An air choke closes off the airway to the lungs, thereby preventing oxygen from reaching the heart. A blood choke cuts off the blood flow to the brain. Both types can result in unconsciousness and eventual death for an opponent.

Air Choke

An air choke is performed on the opponent’s windpipe (or trachea), cutting off the air to the lungs and heart. If Marines execute the air choke properly, the opponent loses consciousness within 2 to 3 minutes. Due to the length of time it takes to immobilize the opponent, air chokes are not recommended.

Blood Choke

A blood choke is performed on the opponent’s carotid artery, which carries oxygen-enriched blood from the heart to the brain. The carotid artery is located on both sides of the neck. If Marines execute a blood choke properly, the opponent will lose consciousness within 8 to 13 seconds. The blood choke is the preferred choke because its intended effect (i.e., the opponent losing consciousness) can be executed quickly, ending the fight.

2. Chokes

Front Choke

Marines execute a front choke when they are facing the opponent. Marines use the opponent’s lapels or collar to execute a front choke. To execute the front choke, Marines—

Grab the opponent’s right lapel with the right hand, making certain that the knuckles or the back of the hand are against the opponent’s carotid artery on the right side of his neck.


Keep the right hand against the opponent’s neck, reach under the opponent’s right arm with the left hand, grab the opponent’s left lapel, and form an X with the wrists.


Press the right hand against the opponent’s carotid artery.

Pull his lapel to the left with the left hand.

Side Choke

Marines execute a side choke when they are facing the opponent. The side choke is particularly effective when deflecting a punch thrown by an opponent. To execute the side choke, Marines—

Use the left hand to parry the opponent’s arm inboard (to the inside of the opponent’s reach).


Bring the right arm underneath the opponent’s Exert pressure on the side of the opponent’s neck arm and up around the front of his neck. with the forearm.


Extend the fingers, place the back of the forearm against the opponent’s neck just below his ear, and press the carotid artery on his neck.

Note: If Marines are unable to place their fingers against the opponent’s neck, they may use the back of the thumb or wrist.

Reach, with the left hand, around the back of the opponent’s neck and clasp the hands together.


Rear Choke

Marines execute a rear choke when they are behind the opponent, the opponent is on the ground, or when they are taking the opponent to the ground. To execute the rear choke, Marines—

Reach, with the right arm, over the opponent’s right shoulder and hook the bend of the arm around his neck.


Clasp both hands together.


Exert pressure with the biceps and forearms on both sides of the opponent’s neck on his carotid arteries.

Maintain pressure with the biceps and forearms on both sides of the neck and draw the opponent closer by drawing the right arm in.


Figure-Four Choke

A variation of the rear choke is the figure-four choke. The figure-four choke allows Marines to gain more leverage than the rear choke. If the rear choke cannot be secured, the figure-four variation is employed to increase the pressure of the choke on the opponent. To execute the figure-four variation of the rear choke, Marines—

Apply a rear choke. The Marine’s body should be against the opponent’s body.


Grasp the left biceps with the right hand and place the left hand against the back of the opponent’s head.


Push the opponent’s head forward and down with the left hand.


Draw the right arm in, maintaining pressure with the bicep and forearm on both sides of the opponent’s neck.

3. Counters to Chokes and Holds

During a close combat situation, an opponent may apply a choke or hold on a Marine. If the opponent correctly applies a choke, a Marine quickly loses consciousness. If a choke is not executed properly, it often results in a hold, typically a bear hug or a headlock. A hold allows the opponent to control a Marine and removes the Marine’s ability to attack. It is important for Marines to extract themselves from chokes and holds, regain the tactical advantage, and counter with strikes.

Although a choke causes unconsciousness in 8 to 13 seconds for a blood choke and 2 to 3 minutes for an air choke, the first movement in any counter to a choke is to clear the airway. Marines use softening techniques to loosen an opponent’s grip and to clear their airway. Softening techniques are particularly effective if Marines lack the physical strength of their opponent. These techniques include groin strikes, eye gouges, foot stomps, etc. Softening techniques are not offensive; rather, they are used to loosen an opponent’s hold.


The second movement is to tuck the chin. Once the airway is clear, Marines tuck their chins to prevent the opponent from reapplying the choke.

Counter to a Front Choke

Marines use a counter to a front choke when the opponent approaches from the front and uses both hands to choke a Marine around the throat. To execute the counter to the front choke, Marines—

Grasp the opponent’s right forearm (where the elbow bends) with the left hand and apply downward pressure on the opponent’s radial nerve with the fingers.


his right arm around a Marine’s throat. To execute the counter to the rear choke, Marines—

Grasp the opponent’s forearm (at the radial nerve) and bicep with both hands and pull down just enough to clear the airway. Once the airway is clear, tuck the chin to protect the airway and to prevent the opponent from reapplying the choke.


Step behind the opponent’s right leg with the left foot, keeping both legs bent (almost in a squatting position).


Counter to a Rear Choke

Marines execute a counter to a rear choke when the opponent approaches from the rear and puts Strike and drive the left elbow into the opponent’s torso while rotating the hips and pivoting to the left, throwing the opponent back and to the ground.


Counter to a Front Headlock

Marines use a counter to a front headlock when the opponent approaches from the front and puts his right arm around the Marine’s neck, bends the Marine forward, and locks the Marine’s head against his hip. To execute the counter to a front headlock, Marines—

Grasp the opponent’s wrist and forearm with bothhands and pull down to clear the airway. Maintaincontrol of the opponent’s wrist throughout themove. Once the airway is clear, tuck the chin toprotect the airway and to prevent the opponentfrom reapplying the choke.


Move the right hand and arm across the opponent’s torso.

Step forward and to the left with the left foot at a 45-degree angle.


Execute a sweep with the right foot against the opponent’s right leg. At the same time, push against the opponent’s chest with the right arm and shoulder to generate power in the sweep.


Counter to a Rear Headlock

Marines use a counter to a rear headlock when the opponent approaches from the rear and puts his right arm around the Marine’s neck, bends the Marine forward, and locks the Marine’s head against his hip. To execute the counter to the rear headlock, Marines—

Grasp the opponent’s wrist and forearm with the right hand and pull down to clear the airway. Once the airway is clear, tuck the chin to protect the airway and to prevent the opponent from reapplying the choke.


Reach over the opponent’s right shoulder with the left arm.

Grab any part of the opponent’s face (chin, nose, eyes) and pull back while rising to a standing position.

Execute, with the right hand, a hammer fist strike to the opponent’s exposed throat.


Counter to a Front Bear Hug

Marines execute a counter to a front bear hug when the opponent approaches from the front and puts both of his arms around the Marine’s body, trapping the Marine’s arms to the sides. To execute the counter to a front bear hug, Marines—

Step forward and to the left with the left foot at a 45-degree angle to the outside of the opponent’s right leg, keeping the left leg bent.


Grasp the opponent’s torso or arms to gain balance and to assist in throwing the opponent. It may be helpful to hook the opponent’s right arm with the left arm.


Drive the right arm and shoulder forward and, at the same time, bring the right leg forward and sweep the opponent’s right leg, bringing him to the ground.

the Marine’s arms to the sides. To execute the counter to a rear bear hug, Marines—

Step behind the opponent’s right leg with the left foot, keeping both legs bent (almost in a squatting position). The left side of the body should be against the opponent’s.


Pivot the hip, turning the body to the left and throwing the opponent back over the bent leg.


Counter to a Rear Bear Hug

Marines use a counter to a rear bear hug when the opponent approaches from the rear and puts both of his arms around the Marine’s body, trapping