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Chokes

Chokes—which also are called chokeholds or strangleholds—are grappling holds applied to an opponent or attacker’s neck that can cause unconsciousness or death. They are commonly used in combative sports, close-quarters and hand-to-hand combat, law enforcement, martial arts and self-defense.

In classic films, the villain or monster wraps his powerful hands around his victim’s neck and squeezes the life out of him. In reality, chokes require less physical power and use either leverage or an opponent’s clothing to making breathing difficult, cut blood flow to the brain or both.

There are two main categories of chokes. Air chokes (also called tracheal chokes) compress the upper-airway passages, causing a powerful gag response, pain and suffocation. Blood chokes (sleeper holds) pinch the carotid arteries and jugular veins (main brain blood vessels), cutting off blood circulation to the brain and quickly rendering a person unconscious.

Commonly used chokes in close-quarters combat and combat sports are the anaconda choke, arm triangle, gogoplata, guillotine choke, rear-naked choke, triangle choke and the Peruvian necktie. Losing a UFC fight with a sub-par performance also could be considered a choke.

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  1. New Jean Jacques Machado Grappling DVDs Coming Soon! Set Will Feature Submission Grappling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed-Martial Arts Techniques!

    New Jean Jacques Machado Grappling DVDs Coming Soon! Set Will Feature Submission Grappling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Mixed-Martial Arts Techniques!

    Based on their acclaimed best-selling book of the same name, Jean Jacques Machado and Jay Zeballos’ highly anticipated three-DVD set, The Grappler’s Handbook: Gi and No-Gi Techniques, serves as a martial arts multimedia companion wherein the two Brazilian jiu-jitsu masters demonstrate takedowns, chokes, holds and submissions in living color and
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  2. Get Close-Quarters Combat Training With Seven Krav Maga and Kapap DVDs From International Self-Defense Experts!

    Get Close-Quarters Combat Training With Seven Krav Maga and Kapap DVDs From International Self-Defense Experts!

    Are you into the close-quarters combat training styles of Avi Nardia, Albert Timen, Alain Cohen, Mike Lee Kanarek, Richard Ryan and the like? Are you interested in realistically depicted street-fighting scenarios and step-by-step breakdowns thereof? Then Black Belt has a new group of krav maga and kapap DVDs that might
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  3. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Champion Jean Jacques Machado Shows You Two Finishes From the Mount in New BJJ Video!

    Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Champion Jean Jacques Machado Shows You Two Finishes From the Mount in New BJJ Video!

    In this exclusive martial arts video filmed at Black Belt, former national and international grappling tournament champion and author of the best-selling The Grappler’s Handbook Vol. 1: Gi and No-Gi Techniques and The Grappler’s Handbook Vol. 2: Tactics for Defense shows you two effective finishes from the mount.

    Jean Jacques Machado’s
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  4. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Master Jean Jacques Machado Shows You Two Escapes From Side Control

    Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Master Jean Jacques Machado Shows You Two Escapes From Side Control

    Jean Jacques Machado is a former national and international grappling tournament competitor whose legendary skills in Brazilian jiu-jitsu recently garnered him a coveted red-and-black-striped belt from BJJ icon Rickson Gracie, not to mention an induction into the Black Belt Hall of Fame as its 2011 Instructor of the Year. In
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  5. Reverse the Flow of Any BJJ Match With Jean Jacques Machado’s Defensive Tactics

    Reverse the Flow of Any BJJ Match With Jean Jacques Machado’s Defensive Tactics

    Jean Jacques Machado has won every major Brazilian jiu-jitsu title in Brazil. Renowned for his grappling skills, the world-champion BJJ instructor shares his winning strategies with you in his new book, The Grappler’s Handbook Vol. 2: Tactics for Defense, available today!

    The Grappler’s Handbook Vol. 2 teaches you how to defend
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  6. Richard Bustillo’s JKD Techniques: Clinch Counter

    Richard Bustillo’s JKD Techniques: Clinch Counter

    Whether it’s a flat tire on the freeway or a bully in the hallway, we all find ourselves in dangerous situations from time to time. Even if you’re the world’s greatest striker, you may end up getting caught in your opponent’s clinch. Fortunately, we’ve got jeet kune do master Richard
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  7. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Escape From a Triangle

    Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Escape From a Triangle

    Brazilian jiu-jitsu’s adaptability is epitomized by the accomplishments of this amazing master of the art and legend in his own time, Jean Jacques Machado. In this instructional video, Jean Jacques Machado demonstrates a technique featured in the November 2008 issue of Black Belt: escaping from a triangle.


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  8. NICK DIAZ – Takedown Counter to Choke

    NICK DIAZ – Takedown Counter to Choke

    Fans might think Nick Diaz is just another mixed-martial-arts brawler, but he has more than 20 years of experience in the traditional arts, including aikido, karate, escrima and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. In this exclusive in-studio video, he demonstrates how to counter an opponent’s takedown attempt and get him into a choke.


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  9. Extreme Judo Chokes Demonstrated by Gary Goltz

    Extreme Judo Chokes Demonstrated by Gary Goltz

    Gary Goltz is the founder of Goltz Judo Club and the Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Judo Association. In this video shot at Black Belt, he demonstrates the elements of a powerful choke from the judo repertoire on his student Gavin Purdy before applying it to Black Belt’s executive
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  10. Ken Harte Takes Down Black Belt Editor!

    Ken Harte Takes Down Black Belt Editor!

    Ken Harte began his martial arts training 32 years ago–more than 27 of them with Black Belt Hall of Fame member George Kirby. Ken Harte holds the rank of rokyudan (sixth degree) in jujutsu and is the senior judo/jujutsu instructor at the Santa Clarita Karate Academy in Santa Clarita, California.
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