More “Street Chokes”


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Ryron “street choking” Rener from the below video.


Here we go again. More instructors with white belts in use of force law, liability, and procedures – let alone actual street alterations – offering up “street chokes” for folks wearing street clothes. They do so probably because of the knowledge they have due to their black belts in jiujitsu. The videos they show are almost always completely devoid of context.

And Context is King when it comes to self defense and “choking” people on the street…

The Jiujitsu Community should address this before instructors find themselves being deposed or called as witnesses in a felony assault, or even murder trial of a student because something was irresponsibly taught.

You can’t just “street choke” people. You must have a REASONABLE context for choosing that tactic. Especially as some states call any kind of strangulation a felony crime. I can tell you that in police training,  all sorts of biased and questionable “research” is being used to establish just how dreadful and deadly strangles are, mainly because of domestic violence, and independent of any differentiation with trained martial arts techniques. They are even saying that practicing strangulation (like in police carotid restraint classes) is so highly dangerous that it increases risk of stroke, and will result in needless deaths of officers “down the road.” I’m told one “expert” already tried to blame two police training deaths on this practice.

And this is exactly the kind of thing that will be used against you, the jiujitsu instructor, when facing those arrayed against you (or your student) on the prosecutor’s side. Or the plaintiff attorney’s.

And what videos do you think will be entered in evidence on behalf of their clients? Or their client’s heirs?

First off – some primary considerations when contemplating anything like a “street choke:”

Do you know the difference between a choke and a strangle? And which one you are doing? Why do you call one by the other name? How many times will it be referred to using the wrong term by the prosecutor or plaintiff, getting into the heads of the Jury, and do you know how to correct the misunderstanding?

Do your teachers?

Can you reasonably articulate why a strangulation technique would be necessary in self defense? What if you are on top of the assailant and in a dominant position?m (Never mind the practical tactical considerations – how ’bout this: train your hoody chokes – but allow the training partner “attacker” to punch you full power. Then give the attacker a training knife. See how that might change some things…)

Can you articulate when a choking technique would be reasonable?

Have you addressed post strangulation care? And what are you training for post strangulation care? When would it be reasonable to NOT provide such care? When could it come back on you that you didn’t provide such care?

Real world questions and decision making, people, not the “Self Defense” or “Combatives” games that FAR too many instructors, including black belts, are willing to indulge in pursuing profit, or simply the image making created through vicarious danger.

Know why you are doing what you are doing, not just how to do it.



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