Choking techniques must be taught and supervised by a qualified instructor. Since Judo has always taught choking techniques and they are used in tournaments, Judo instructors have experience in the proper application of chokes. But other martial arts are now teaching choke holds without the wealth of background and experience most Judo experts have. As taught in Judo, they are a temporary incapacitating techniques of short duration whose proper execution should is harmless, but without proper instruction, chokes can be potentially fatal and should be treated seriously.
- Be familiar with the anatomical structures of the neck and where the pressure is to be applied (carotid triangle).
- Know the physiology of choking, that only a small amount of pressure is needed to cause unconsciousness.
- Be able to recognize immediately the state of unconsciousness and to immediately release the pressure.
- Know proper resuscitation methods if unconsciousness is prolonged.
Care should be taken when teaching chokes to children whose physiology is different and naturally less developed than adults. In Judo tournaments in the United States, chokes are not permitted for children under 13 years old although children approaching this age may be prepared for chokes by learning basic chokes with escapes and defenses. The emphasis should be on recognizing the effect of chokes and protecting yourself while always avoiding extreme pressure and unconsciousness in practice.
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