Thread: Anatomy of a choke Pt. 1
7/05/2007 11:58am, #1
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Anatomy of a choke Pt. 1
I always like breaking down the anatomy to understand why I'm choking my opponent.
Here I've paraphrased an article about Lethal use of chokes versus the use of chokes in Judo as pertaining to law enforcement.
Read full article here:
"Anatomically, the anterior cervical triangle of the neck contains the superior carotid triangle. The pressure can be applied to either side. The anterior cervical triangle is a triangle bordered by the sternocleidomastoid muscle (large neck strap muscle) laterally, the mandible jaw bone above, and medially by the cervical midline, a line drawn from the tip of the jaw to the sternal notch. Within the anterior cervical triangle, there are three smaller triangles:
• submandibular (submaxillary or digastric)
• superior carotid
• inferior carotid (muscular)
In the technique of choking, the most important triangle is the superior carotid which contains important structures. This triangle is bordered by the stylohyoid and the posterior belly of the digastric muscle above, the anterior border of the sternocleidomastoid muscle medially. Within the superior carotid triangle are the common carotid artery and branches, the carotid bodies, internal jugular vein, vagus nerve and branches, superior laryngeal nerve, and cervical sympathetic trunk.
Overlying this superior carotid triangle is only skin, superficial fascia which usually are thin although there may be an appreciable amount of subcutaneous fat. Within the superficial fascia is an exceedingly thin (paper-thin) muscle, platysma muscle, which begins in the tela subcutaneous over the upper part of the thorax, passes over the clavicle (collar bone), and runs upward and somewhat medially in the neck and across the mandible to blend with superficially located facial muscles. The platysma muscle has no very important action, but will wrinkle transversely the skin of the neck and help to open the mouth. 'This muscle does not protect the underlying vital structures.
Consequently, the amount of pressure directed to the superior carotid trianile needs to be no more than 300 mm Hg to cause unconsciousness in an adult. A female can, if the choke is properly performed, without great strength "choke out" a male twice her size.
The state of unconsciousness, according to the investigators of the Society for Scientific Study in Judo, Kodokan, is caused by a temporary hypoxic condition of the cerebral cortex. In judo, the player holds the opponent's neck by his hands (forearm) or judogi, the bloodflow of the common carotid artery is obstructed, but the vertebral artery is not obstructed. It has been confirmed that complete obstruction of blood flow to the brain or asphyxia by complete closure of the trachea will result in irreversible damage to the body which often results in death. While unconsciousness (ochi) caused by choking (shime) in judo is a temporary reaction which incapacitates the opponent for a short while, its execution is quite harniless.
Experiments with human subjects and animals show the following effects from "choking":
1.Unconsciousness is due to lack of oxygen and by the metabolites created in the brain as a result of:
A) Acute cerebral anemia by pressure on:
• common carotid artery
• occipital artery
• jugular vein
B) Shock, reflex action initiated on the receptor organ in the carotid sinus.
C) The appearance of flushing of the face because of the disturbances in pressure in the carotid arteries and jugular veins.
- Decrease blood flow of the face shown by ultrasonic and laser-Doppler blood flow monitoring devices. The mean value is 89.4% with the lowest point in 6 seconds; after release return normal in 13.7 seconds.
- Decrease oxygen saturation in blood in the helix of the ear by using an ear oximeter. Down from 95 to 86% and reach a minimum of 82% in 2-4 seconds. After regaining consciousness return to 90 to 92%. Sixty percent oxygen saturation in the brain causes unconsciousness
E.In some cases bradycardia and hypotension occur while other cases show tachycardia and hypertension depending on the hypersensitivity of the carotid sinus and where the pressure was applied.
F.Cardiac volume decreases but the volume recovers in 10 seconds after awakening.
G.The peripheral blood vessels are also involved: dilatation of muscle vessels and constriction of skin vessels. In shock, accompanied by unconsciousness, bradycardia and hypotension are observed with dilation of muscle vessels.
H.Choking acts as a stressor on the circulatory and hypophysio-adrenocortical system:
- Decreased blood volume and increased plasma proteins as a result of increased permeability of blood vessels. This is similar to unconscious state following electric shock.
- No change in the hematocrit value or albumin/globulin.
- A temporary increase in eosinophiles, then after awakening, there is a decrease in number after 4 hours.
- The 17-ketosteroids in the urine: 2 hours after recovery, the amount is very much increased then gradually decreased (lasts 6-8 hours).
It's pretty amazing how little force needs to be applied and how much researching anatomy has changed my chokes. I definately take more time to ensure angle and even pressure is being applied nowadays moreso than forcing the choke.
7/05/2007 11:53pm, #2
Uh-oh, I have heart problems. Perhpas I should be seeing a doctor before getting myself choked out.
7/06/2007 1:22am, #3
Founder of College Park Mixed Martial Arts
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Last edited by Cassius; 7/06/2007 7:19pm at .
7/08/2007 9:20pm, #4
Originally Posted by franz_grinder
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7/08/2007 10:29pm, #5
AS long as there is no cell death, the damage is comparatively minimal.
7/08/2007 10:42pm, #6
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now, in a correctly applied choke how long does it take for someone to go out?
7/08/2007 11:53pm, #7
interesting article on safety of chokes, and their efficacy by a doctor/judoka.
he claims approximately 10 seconds, but i've heard conflicting reports. I've personally seen someone go limp and lose the ability to struggle against a good RNC in less.
7/09/2007 10:41am, #8
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if the blood choke is on firmly, it wont take much more than 4-5 seconds for someone to pass out.
Originally Posted by roly
edit: also, a trachea choke will take much longer for them to pass out. it basically equates to holding your breath, while a blood choke will knock you out quickly regardless of your lung capacity or currently held oxygen. some raging muscleman will probably be able to ignore a trachea choke for quite some time and just continue pummelling you, but a blood choke will put him out in seconds.
Last edited by mijuil; 7/09/2007 10:46am at .
7/09/2007 11:50pm, #9
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- Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
Reducing the flow of blood TO the brain is only part of the picture. As noted above, pressure on the jugular veins also plays a part. This is because the body can shunt sufficient blood through the vertebral arteries, but it still needs a place to drain out. Closing the veins alters blood pressure within the skull and incoming blood essentially is essentially dammed up. This contributes to the changes in blood pressure noted above, and to loss of consciousness.
Yes, anyone with heart/circulatory conditions should be VERY cautious about blood chokes.
I have put people out with blood chokes in about 4 seconds. I have seen faster.
It is VERY important that you NOT allow yourself to be choked out on a regular basis. Tapping out always preferable in practice. I have heard of idiots that refused to tap, and so were choked out frequently. After a few months of this, they would pass out very rapidly when any choke was applied (even halfassed), and it became dangerous for them to continue training. In those cases, they were dismissed from the school.
That said, I feel that anyone who wants to learn blood chokes should experience being choked out first.
7/10/2007 12:56am, #10Reducing the flow of blood TO the brain is only part of the picture. As noted above, pressure on the jugular veins also plays a part. This is because the body can shunt sufficient blood through the vertebral arteries, but it still needs a place to drain out. Closing the veins alters blood pressure within the skull and incoming blood essentially is essentially dammed up. This contributes to the changes in blood pressure noted above, and to loss of consciousness.