Self Defense Book--Waking The Tiger Within

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Defense Against A Choke From Behind


Most Common Attack: Out of all possible attacks, you are most likely going to have to defend yourself from an attack from behind. The obvious reason for this is that attackers are opportunistic cowards who rely on the element of surprise. They want it easy. They don't want a victim who will see their attack and be able to confront them.

The most likely attack from behind is a choke. All large predators instinctively attack the neck first. The simple reason for this is that hurting the neck is the quickest way to incapacitate their prey. (This is also true with human predators).

So, if an attack is going to happen, the most common attack that you must prepare for is a choke from behind.

A choke from behind is extremely dangerous and must be neutralized in the first few seconds. A strong man with both hands wrapped around your neck can cause terminal damage to you in one second.

It only takes as little as five pounds of pressure per square inch to collapse your windpipe which would stop all airflow to your lungs resulting three minutes later in brain-death Only twenty-five pounds of pressure per square inch directed at the carotid arteries causes instant unconsciousness.

So, a strong squeeze to the throat area can result in you passing out instantly, with a crushed windpipe you would never regain consciousness because no air could reach your lungs. It only takes one second for a crazed attacker to kill you by choking you from behind.

Will the attacker have the strength to Crush your neck?

The answer is a definite yes. An attacker who is willing to choke you from behind is telling you through body-language that he wants you dead. He hates you so much that he wants to kill you. (This of course is the most intense form of hatred).

If you've ever noticed when you become very angry you get a surge of power due to the release of adrenaline throughout your body. Some people report feeling up to six times their normal strength under these conditions.

Your attacker is certainly trying to kill you. With that level of hatred he will be incredibly strong. Strong enough to kill you in one second if you allow it.

How to escape from the rear choke:

Getting free of a choke from behind is relatively easy if you keep the following in mind:

1.) You must act instantly. Remember, if your attacker is determined he can cause lethal damage to you in one second. The only way you can condition your sub-conscious to be able to act quickly enough is by rehearsing the scenario of the attack in your mind many times. You must imagine the attacker viciously grabbing your neck, and you fighting back with all your strength.

2.) Allow the thought of such an attack to make you very angry. Think how upset you get when some jerk points his middle-finger in your direction. That gesture is him saying he doesn't like you. A psycho who wraps his hands around your neck is saying he hates you. He hates you so much that he wants to kill you. He is trying to take away your most prized possession, your life. Let that thought make your blood boil, and have that response every time you think of the attack. By doing these repetitions you will condition your sub-conscious to be able to react quickly to the attack. It will keep you from freezing-up.

3.) Your body is far stronger than even the fiercest attacker's hands. By using the following technique you will be able to survive this horrible, potentially deadly attack. The following is a self-defense technique that has been part of the martial arts for thousands of years. It is scientifically developed using the principles of physics and body-dynamics to break free of a choke in one second. I have had a few of my students use this technique in self-defense with very good results (they lived to tell me about it).

No technique regardless of how well put together it is, works by itself. This technique will only work in conjunction with your willingness to fight for your life. You must strike with all your might and with extreme hatred for what your attacker is trying to do to you.

The Attack: A vicious grab from behind around your neck

You must immediately do three things at the same time:

1.) Step with your left foot behind your right toward a diagonal (45 degrees) and bend your knees.

2.) Bend your body forward like you are bowing all the way until your upper body is at a right angle to your legs.

3.) Look back toward your attacker over your left shoulder as you fire a quick left chop (using the side of your open left hand) to your opponent's groin. This should cause enough pain to loosen up your attacker's grip. By stepping to an angle you are able to open up many of your attacker's targets. Bending at a 90 degree angle makes it very difficult for your attacker to maintain a strong grip. Your vulnerable neck is replaced by your strong body armor, your shoulders.

This is the step that saves your life. It must be done correctly or you'll end up in a worse condition than the original attack.

You must keep your head bowed down as you pivot toward your left turning 180 degrees and now facing your attacker. By keeping your head bowed down as you turn you will be able to break the attacker's grip on your neck going underneath his hands.

No matter how strong he is, he will not be able to keep his grip. Remember, the key to making this work is to keep your head low as you turn. His hands are no match for the powerful muscles of your back and legs. It's also important to keep your knees bent for stability.

At the finish of your turn drive the side of your right hand into the groin. Try to make contact with your hand open using the side of your right index finger at the point where it connects to you hand. This will be a very powerful strike as it's powered by your body turning in behind the strike.

Two heavy consecutive strikes to the groin should be enough to double your attacker over and make him forget about what he was trying to do. You must anticipate that you are fighting an assailant who doesn't feel much pain, so you will need to strike a few more times to really take him out.

Your next step takes advantage of his body reaction to the strikes you delivered to the groin. As his body comes forward from the groin strikes, you will next attack his mid-section.

Step Three

Your attack to the mid-section is delivered with a closed left fist hitting him in his exposed ribs or Solar plexus. This should further cause a loss of control over breathing and even a greater level of shock to your assailant.

As you fire the left punch to his body, pull your right hand back in a cocked position on your right side. If you time the delivery of your left punch with the strong return of your right hand you will find an almost doubling of power in your left punch. Remember, to keep your knees bent for greater stability.

In step four you finish off your assailant with a head shot.

Since the head is the control center of your attacker, it must be struck with the greatest power and determination.

While keeping your legs flexed drive your right fist in a straight line directly to the attacker's head. Your best bet in a head shot is to hit the nose, temple, or jaw. Try to avoid the forehead and teeth as these can severely damage your fist.

Remember to forcefully return your left and at the same time you fire your right.

You can greatly increase your striking power by exhaling as you make contact with his head. 

Step five is designed to get you away from the threat while giving you the chance to attack again if needed.

After firing your right punch to the head, simply step back with your right foot turning your left side to the assailant. Keep your legs flexed a little wider than shoulder width. Keep both hands between you and the assailant.

If he looks like he can still get up and attack, beat him to it by striking before he gets to his feet. A quick right kick to his head will prove to be very effective.

When you are sure he is going to stay down, get out of there. Studies show that you are more likely to be attacked by a small group than you are a single attacker. If you stay in the area you may soon find his comrades coming in for their attack. Always assume the worst and get out of there as soon as you can.

If you practice this simple technique with the correct mind-set you may find one day that it will save your life. I know it has already saved two of my students.

To learn other great Self-Defense Techniques get your copy of Waking The Tiger Within.

Best Wishes,
Scott Flint, Senior Chief Instructor
West-Wind Self-Defense Schools
Berkeley, California (510) 841-1427

Waking the Tiger Within: How to Be Safe from Crime on the Street, at Home, on Trips, at Work, and at School with New Fighting Terrorism Chapter
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Parthenon Press * El Sobrante * US * 94803