US Army Combatives

3-2 Strangulation


Strangulation is a most effective method of disabling an opponent. The throat’s vulnerability is widely known and should be a primary target in close-range fighting. Your goal may be to break the opponent’s neck, to crush his trachea, to block the air supply to his lungs, or to block the blood supply to his brain.

  • a. Strangulation by Crushing. Crushing the trachea just below the voice box is probably one of the fastest, easiest, most lethal means of strangulation. The trachea is crushed between the thumb and first two or three fingers.
  • b. Respiratory Strangulation. Compressing the windpipe to obstruct air flow to the lungs is most effectively applied by pressure on the cartilage of the windpipe. Unconsciousness can take place within one to two minutes. However, the technique is not always effective on a strong opponent or an opponent with a large neck. It is better to block the blood supply to weaken the opponent first.
  • c. Sanguineous Strangulation. Cutting off the blood supply to the brain by applying pressure to the carotid arteries results in rapid unconsciousness of the victim. The victim can be rendered unconscious within 3 to 8 seconds, and death can result within 30 to 40 seconds.

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!