US Army Combatives

3-3 Choking Techniques


There are several choking techniques that a soldier can use to defeat his opponent in hand-to-hand combat.

a. Cross-Collar Choke. With crossed hands, the fighter reaches as far as possible around his opponent’s neck and grabs his collar (Figure 3-6, Step 1). The backs of his hands should be against the neck.

The fighter keeps his elbows bent and close to the body (as in opening a tightly sealed jar), pulls outward with both hands, and chokes the sides of the opponent’s neck by rotating the knuckles into the neck (Figure 3-6, Step 2). The forearm can also be used.

  • b. Collar Grab Choke. The fighter grabs his opponent’s collar with both hands straight-on (Figure 3-7). He then rotates the knuckles inward against the neck to quickly produce a good choke. He also keeps the elbows in front and close to the body where the greatest strength is maintained.
  • c. Carotid Choke. The fighter grabs the sides of the opponent’s throat by the muscle and sticks his thumbs into the carotids, closing them off (Figure 3-8). This is a fast and painful choke.
  • d. Trachea Choke. The fighter grabs the opponent’s trachea (Figure 3-9) by sticking three fingers behind the voice box on one side and the thumb behind the other. He then crushes the fingers together and twists, applying pressure until the opponent is disabled.

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