The fine art of the blood choke
So I received this message in a PM. I figured that I would post my answer here so that if I get anything wrong the more qualified of you to answer can correct me minimizing any damage I have done. Also it is a good question to address in the open.
So onto my answer
Hey goodlun, I have a quick question. How do you know when you apply a RNC or triangle correctly? Or how to do them correctly? (Basically, bloodchokes)
Sometimes I end up accidentally knocking a person out in a few seconds if they don't tap after applying the choke and others I don't do much but cut off their airflow/make them uncomfortable in which they keep struggling for maybe 10 whole seconds and sometimes even escape.
Thank you (:
The key to a good blood flow choke is placement.
Now most of us know what we are trying to do is block the blood flow of the External Carotid Artery.
The thing is though I have rolled with people that have a hard time finding even there own let alone someone elses.
So step one get good at being able to instantly take your pulse form both sides of your neck.
Now that you know where you are choking you know need to know what part/s are doing the choking.
You typically are looking to stick an edge of your body into the artery typically a bone.
It doesn't take a lot of pressure to block the artery. What you do have to do though is immobilize your opponent so that they cannot relieve the pressure. In my opinion this is more difficult than getting into the right place to begin with.
So lets look at the RNC first.
Step one, get good solid back control - be in control not just hanging off their back.
Step two, work on getting the side that you are sliding your hand to free of blocking arms/hands.
Step three, take your other arm and swim it on through. Make sure you push it across the throat under the chin. Keep constant contact from one side of the throat to the other side to make sure your lined up on the arteries and so that it is tight. Think of it like you are dragging a knife across the throat but instead you are going the other way.
Step four, now that your across the throat, under the chin, make sure you dig the knife edge of your wrist/forearm right into that artery.
Step Five, use your other arm to to tighten everything down and to keep them from being able to move their head and neck.
Step one, make sure you are in a good strong position to do the triangle and you can take them off of their base then get the triangle.
Step two, make sure you have the outside arm controlled so that it can't sneak back in and to keep their shoulder down.
Step three, pop that hip up the side that is going to shoot across the back.
Step four, as you are coming up pivot on the other side of your hip to really shoot that leg across their body.
Step Five, lock it up using your leg.
Step Six, just like RNC you are looking to make sure you are on the artery.
Step Seven, immobilise them, angle yourself by further pivoting on your hip, and pull down on their head to take any left over slack out.
Originally Posted by goodlun
The correct answer is way more complicated and is a combination of circulatory as well as nervous system responses. In other words it is holistic (systemic) response brought about by the body's own regulatory apparatus.
For any given successful choke, you won't really know which mechanism is making it "work" in that instance. The fastest are typically vasovagal, since that is also one of the fastest ways to achieve unconsciousness as a result of blood pressure state (5-10 seconds).
This is the best "blood choke" thread on BS, imo.
Last edited by W. Rabbit; 4/21/2013 5:04pm at .
Reason: snip snip
To save you some time you can refer your friend to Vladimir Putin's book on Judo which has an excellent and short breakdown of why blood chokes "work"
This is in part why I made the choice of answering the PM here instead of private. I am still waiting for some of our grappling experts to help clean up my answer some.
Originally Posted by W. Rabbit
Coach Josh's thread isn't good enough for you?
My only contribution is that you emphasize that it's the edge of the bone. Arteries tend to roll a bit if you try to use the pointed edge of a bone, like an elbow. Slabs of muscle, such as the bicep, can also compress the carotids effectively. Consider that while you use the edge of your radius with the lower part of your arm in a RNC, you use your bicep on the other side. The trick is to apply the "meat" side properly.
Originally Posted by goodlun
I would appreciate it if you left the Mr. Bossypants stuff to me in the technique forums.
Originally Posted by W. Rabbit
I don't have a problem with goodlun starting this thread for more than one reason. One, we have a few different posters here now than we did then, and two, you never know when someone might have some fresh insight. I realize that this is in marked contrast to the old, "Search function, noob!" policy, but this new directive does come from up on admin hill.
Just skimming through that old thread there is at least one logical error - assuming that 3 minutes without breathable oxygen is the same as cutting off the blood supply to the brain.
Goodlun - knowing the exact location of the artery isn't that useful as you are not targeting it so localized. It's more important to get some sort of edge onto the general area.
The easiest way is to find a competent instructor who can teach you personally. That way you can dispense with all the detailed anatomy lessons and drill/practice which means a hell of a lot more to getting competent...as well as a lot of randori or "rolling".
Everybody focuses on the neck. But you have to control uke body and position yourself accurately to put the maximum pressure in the correct place. Anatomy is variable from person to person, so it's the general area you are targeting.
Sometimes a shift of a fraction of an inch or part of a degree of angle matters. Only experience will teach you that kind of stuff.
Falling for Judo since 1980
"You are wrong. Why? Because you move like a pregnant yak and talk like a spazzing 'I train UFC' noob." -DCS
What BKR said,
There are a ton of different chokes and there are tiny little twists to each and every one of them that will make you just THAT much more effective.
One more thing, that seems to help me at least with getting a tight RNC is to get use the forehead as a lever to get the chin out of the way. Most of the time when I find I am not getting an easy tap with the RNC the chin is in the way.
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