Jiu-Jitsu, often referred to as the “gentle art”, is renowned for its vast array of chokes and strangles. These techniques can be both beautiful in their execution and deadly in their efficiency. However, there’s often confusion between chokes, strangles, and holds. Let’s demystify this and delve deep into the captivating world of Jiu-Jitsu constrictions.
1. The Difference Between Chokes and Strangles
While the terms are often used interchangeably, there’s a distinction:
- Chokes: This refers to the constriction of the airway, typically the trachea, preventing air from entering the lungs.
- Strangles: Here, the constriction is applied to the blood vessels, primarily the carotid arteries, restricting blood flow to the brain. This can lead to unconsciousness much faster than a choke.
2. Understanding Holds
Holds, in contrast to chokes and strangles, are techniques employed to control or immobilize an opponent. While a hold can be applied to the neck, its primary goal is not to restrict air or blood flow, but rather to maintain positional control.
3. Examples of Jiu-Jitsu Chokes and Strangles
- Rear Naked Choke (RNC): A classic strangle. Using the arms, the attacker constricts the blood flow by applying pressure to the sides of the neck. The term “naked” indicates no gi or material is involved.
- Guillotine Choke: Applied when an attacker wraps their arm around the opponent’s neck from the front, usually snaring the head in the armpit, and applies pressure to the trachea.
- Triangle Choke: Executed from a guard position, the attacker uses their legs to form a triangle around the opponent’s neck and arm, constricting the blood flow.
- Bow and Arrow Choke: A gi-based strangle. From the back position, the attacker uses the lapel and their own leg to create a strangle on the neck.
- Ezekiel Choke: Unique in its application, this choke uses the sleeve of one’s own gi. It can be applied from various positions, including inside an opponent’s guard.
- Baseball Bat Choke: Using the lapels of the gi, the attacker grips in a manner similar to holding a baseball bat and rotates into the choke, constricting the carotid arteries.
- Loop Choke: Employing the opponent’s gi lapel, the attacker creates a loop around the opponent’s neck, then uses leverage to tighten the choke.
4. Important Safety Considerations
Both chokes and strangles, if held too long or applied with excessive force, can cause serious injury or even death. Proper training, respect for your training partner, and awareness of tapping (a sign to release the technique) are crucial in Jiu-Jitsu.
Jiu-Jitsu offers a myriad of ways to submit an opponent using chokes and strangles. While the techniques are varied and sophisticated, it’s the principles of leverage, timing, and precision that enable their effectiveness. Whether you’re a practitioner or an enthusiast, understanding the nuances and mechanics of these techniques enriches the appreciation of the art. Remember, always prioritize safety and respect when practicing or applying these techniques.