It is interesting to watch the USA media as the law agencies arrest a 24 your old ex marine for choking and killing a homeless man on the New York subway. He has been charged with second degree manslaughter. The marine claims it was self defence but just how far should we go? I was with some of my senior Black Belts recently and the topic came up. What is the most effective self defence move? We all quickly agreed that it is a choke hold.
The choke hold is a deadly weapon. For those of you that do not know what a choke hold is, it is a martial arts move where by you can easily position your self into a position of strength, either standing, sitting or lying down and wrap your arms around the neck of your opponent either using the lapel, shirt front or collar or just the positioning of your arms to apply pressure to the neck, wind pipe and/or carotid artery and depending on the experience of the person applying the choke, very quickly render the other person unconscious and if the choke hold is kept on you will quickly kill the other person.
As I have said, the choke hold is a deadly weapon and should not be taught to beginners. But it is great for self defence I hear you saying. For the normal law abiding citizen, that lives with in the rules of society, the chance of you having to defend yourself is once in your lifetime, twice if you are really unlucky. So, you simply do not have the experience to understand when to apply, how much force and when to release a deadly choke hold. In Judo that teaches chokes very early on in their training, your opponent can submit and ‘tap out’, and the person the choke will, or should release the choke allowing you to go free.
But, the chances are that your opponent will not understand the concept of a tap out. So the choke will remain on and will get tighter and tighter stopping all blood flow to the brain. Chokes are not safe and should not be taught. At Northstar Ju Jitsu I do not teach chokes until black belt. By that stage, the student will understand that there needs to be a non violent solution to every potential violent interaction. So even if they apply a choke hold in a self defence scenario, it is only to create a gap so they can remove themselves from the situation.
Northstar Ju Jitsu is also taught by senior Black Belts at their own studios'.
These are independently run from the Headquarters .Andy Dickinson Sensei is the head of and founder of Northstar Ju Jitsu and oversees the teaching of his program.
All Black Belts are graded by Andy Dickinson Sensei.