Professor LawDog’s School of Survival and Mayhem

Good morning, class. Today’s lesson is particularly geared towards the distaff side of the species, it is specifically: Appropriate Countermeasures to the Front Chokehold.

The Front Chokehold is, of course, when you are facing your assailant and he places both of his hands around your neck and squeezes.

I say ‘he’ because, quite frankly, I don’t see a lot of women attempting this really stupid maneuver.

I am, however, seeing an annoying uptick in the number of feral boyfriends, lovers, spouses and others utilizing said stupid maneuver — not so much to cause death by strangulation, but to induce fear and panic before using the grip on the neck to throw the victim across the room — and, quite frankly, it’s pissing me off.


To begin, understand that we here at LawDog Institute are not particularly concerned with the well-being of your attacker. Matter-of-fact, we believe that if your feral boyfriend is dead or brain-damaged, the odds of him being able to con you into believing “it won’t happen again” and have you go back to him drop sharply.

With this in mind, however, do not practice this at full speed with a sparring partner.

Do not practice this at half-speed with a sparring partner.

There is a very real risk of death or serious bodily injury here, and I do not want to hear that you accidentally paralyzed your Pookie during training — so practice this in super-slow motion anytime you are training with a partner.

Now. Visualize your own personal critter with both hands around your throat, squeezing. If you are a woman, and a man is squeezing your throat — it is deadly force. Even if he “didn’t mean to do it”, it is far too easy to damage the airway, damage the blood vessels in the neck, crush the larynx or fracture the delicate bones in your neck. Getting you by the throat just elevated this jackass from ‘Critter’ to ‘Personal Chew-Toy’.

Notice, do, that it is impossible for your attacker to bring his elbows together — his shoulders prevent it. In addition, 99% of your assailants are going to bend their elbows out at a forty to ninety degree angle to get better leverage to kill you.

It is this space between his elbows that we are going to play with.

First, I want you to spot your chew-toy’s chin. Eying his chin, I want you to drive your right elbow straight up between his arms and upwards through his chin to his forehead.

Let me repeat that — drive through his chin and past his forehead. If you are left-handed, do this with your left elbow.

If his chin is too far away — doubtful, but possible — drive the palm of the proper hand through his chin and past his forehead.

Our purpose here is two-fold. One, we want our upper arm/shoulder between chew-toy’s hands. Two, we want to slam the Brain Housing Group back on the pivot of the spine.

Several things may happen at this point. Your personal chew-toy may bite his tongue, lose teeth, break his jaw, and/or damage the delicate joint between the Atlas vertebrae (the first cervical vertebrae) and the skull. What we’re really going for, though, is the wet squelch when the inside of his forehead slams into his grey matter.

So, you now have your elbow up around your forehead. At this point, I want you to whip your elbow out and down so that your elbow ends up somewhere behind the proper side kidney. If you have the presence of mind, feel free to step back with the right foot as you do this, to provide extra power.

Again, if you are doing this with your left hand, switch the above instructions as required.

Observe that this forces the lever of your upper arm and shoulder against the fingers, and brings the power of your shoulder and upper back muscles to bear against the chew-toy’s forearm muscles. You will rip that particular hand away from your neck — there is nothing he can do with that hand to prevent this.

As your elbow comes back, spot your chew-toy’s jaw. On the side towards your elbow, I want you to fix your attention to the spot midway between the point of his chin and the hinge of the jaw. Keeping your gaze on that spot, I want you to pivot your hips counter-clockwise (clockwise, if you’re a southpaw). If you stepped back with your foot earlier — now step forward. As you pivot your hips, crank your waist hard counter-clockwise (or clockwise) and throw your left shoulder back and your right one forward.

Using this whiplash motion, slam your right elbow into that spot on his jaw you are focused upon. Force your elbow through his mouth, continuing pivotting counter-clockwise — and you are facing to your left (or right).

Again, several things may happen at this point. Any teeth that escaped breakage earlier are probably now gone. The jaw may be broken (again), and you may have damaged the delicate joint between the Atlas and Axis (C1 and C2) vertebrae at the top of his spine. Again, though, what we’re going for is a thorough beat-down of his cerebral tissue using the inside of his skull.

Hey, look. You ended the exercise facing left (or right). Time to run like hell for safety and call 911.

Always, always, always call 911, because the first person to talk to the cops has an incredible advantage — and you don’t want your chew toy to get his story in first.

Three simple, albeit brutal, moves: 1)Up; 2)Down/out; and 3)Across. Practice it slowly ten times a day, and let adrenaline add the speed and force should you ever (Goddess forfend) need to use it for real.

Class dismissed.


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54 thoughts on “Professor LawDog’s School of Survival and Mayhem”

  1. At the TKD school I help teach at, we teach 5 year olds the “rocket release” to a front choke. Put both hands together. Bring the arms up though the space between the chokers arms like a rocket to break the choke. Then bring them to the outside to trap the arms, knee to groin, then split. (Yes, we tell them in practice to “don’t actually knee the other student you are working with in the groin”)


  2. Back in the early seventies, a young lady I knew at a kwoon I worked out at had someone try to force her into a car by grabbing her throat like that. Her solution was a lot simpler; both his hands were busy, and both hers were free, so she just reached up with her right hand and hooked out his eyeball. This had the effect of making him release the pressure on her throat. She followed through (we were always taught to follow through until the attacker hits the ground) by stepping in and repeatedly kneeing him in the groin until he went down, and then went and called the police. Not only did he lose an eye, but he had suffered so much damage from her knee that one of his testicles had to be removed at the hospital. Just another way of dealing with an attacker that should be considered.

  3. There are so many little points of pressure that do amazing things. I showed my mother how to “remove someone’s grasp from her shoulder” by placing her right thumb on the top of the hand and the fingers on the meaty part of the attacker’s palm and twisting.

    My 100 pound mother tried it on me and my feet came out from under me. She hit it perfect.

    I also told her (and my wife) about the eyes, about the good ‘ol “Grab, Twist, Pull” on the testicle trick, how a finger snapped backwards and held onto acts like a joystick, and the neat thing where an ear comes off with about 7 pounds of pressure.

    It’s also important to just don’t give up. Punch, kick, scratch, claw, bite, and kill the SOB. Never get in the car, never go with them, ever.

  4. I like LawDog’s approach… going for the jaw, teeth, axis/atlas joint… would-be victim puts enough sudden force into it and the perp’s in for a big surprise.

    I’m one of the honest guys who advocates that women should fight back. I have a sister who’s married to a guy (ex-cop) who also wouldn’t want her to be a victim. But thinking of eye injuries just generally sucks.

  5. Perfressor I just love your classes.

    notes taken,

    relayed and stashed.

    Hope she never has to use them.


  6. We’ve seen a big reduction in domestics here. If there are visible injuries it’s a mandatory arrest and it is a “No Bond” offense. They have to go before the judge. This means that if they beat the girlfriend/wife up on Friday night they sit in jail until Monday sometime when they can see the judge at the minimum. This is followed by a 72 hour “No Contact Order”. It’s police enforced and if we see him at the residence or anywhere near her within 72 hours he goes back to jail whether she wants him there or not. An Emergency Order of Protection can extend that indefinitely if she files for one.

  7. At least one of the women I know would point out that, if both of her assailant’s ahnds were busy trying to apply a chokehold, there’d be not a thing in the world he could do to prevent her from drawing her Colt and going for slide lock…

  8. Many moons ago while living in Asia with some Aussie friends I ended up sharing a dinner table with Mark Read (AKA Chopper), a ‘standover’ man in a past life.

    The subject of choke holds came up and he proscribed a similar but simpler solution. His take was to raise whichever of your arms is dominant straight in the air, and then to bring it down and across your body, utilizing the power of your core/lats as the largest muscle group in your body. That releases the hold immediately as you are forcing arms down rapidly, then when fully twisted to drive your elbow back into the face. Then run.

  9. Lawdog, I love reading your self-defense strategies, it is so refreshing to be told to actually defend myself for a change. The prevailing attitude at my southern ontario university is that 911 on a cell phone is the best and only thing to do. That always rubbed me the wrong way – I don’t think I’d ever be able to not fight back. Great tips.

  10. “At least one of the women I know would point out that, if both of her assailant’s ahnds were busy trying to apply a chokehold, there’d be not a thing in the world he could do to prevent her from drawing her Colt and going for slide lock…”

    I’d say she’s smart too. Deadly force met swiftly and surely with overwhelming deadly force. I wonder though did she study gunfighting according to Col.s Applegate and Fairburn.

    “His take was to raise whichever of your arms is dominant straight in the air, and then to bring it down and across your body, utilizing the power of your core/lats as the largest muscle group in your body. That releases the hold immediately as you are forcing arms down rapidly, then when fully twisted to drive your elbow back into the face. Then run.”

    The sound of this one… sure it’ll probably break the hold, but it don’t seem so devastating as LawDog’s method of smashing the perp’s jaw and neck. Seems to me the “then run” part is kinda premature given that not putting the attacker down in his tracks will probably result in a footrace. The reason we have “stand your ground” laws now is because trying to run away from an un-neutralized threat is a good way to get killed.

  11. I enjoy these impromptu seminars so much,LD. They are a refresher course for the things I learned back in ’78.

    Mustanger, I enjoy your comments here as elsewhere. You always bring something interesting to the table.

  12. Dang it, Dog, I got lost on that one. I guess my powers of spatial observation are just shot.

  13. Dr. Edwin Leap posted today about how we don’t teach our girls a healthy fear. I’m guilty, and am suffering through an immortal 21 yo daughter. I wish, I had taught her better, I hope I don’t have to go and identify her at a morgue some day. she won’t listen and won’t learn. Our two younger daughters know better, and the world better just watch out.

  14. I remember how my sister used to get mad and accuse me of “making stuff up”. That one time she was moving into an apartment away at college, she was trying out her .38 at indoor defensive distance… 21′ and making fist-size groups. I was trying to bring up a point or two about what would happen if she had to deal with a housebreaker. She just kept getting madder and madder at me. Then she got mad at Daddy because he backed me up saying “those people *are* out there”. She wanted the gun, but she didn’t want to deal with the what-if of when she’d have to use it. Thankfully, that hasn’t happened. She calmed down and listened when ex-cop BIL told her about his experiences.

    “Dr. Edwin Leap posted today about how we don’t teach our girls a healthy fear.”

    I don’t tend to think of it as fear so much as having the situational awareness and presence of mind to know when to walk away, when to run, and when to stand and fight. Show fear and the badguys are one up.

    Oh, and I’m remembering LawDog’s post on “I Can’t Believe He/She Hit Me”. With the suddenness of the maneuver… and the perp’s counting on the victim not believing he’s doing that front chokehold… he probably won’t believe his victim just canned him.

  15. I just wish I had read this about 15 years ago. Sooo much I would have done different.

    As Mustanger98 and LawDog said, the “I can’t believe he hit me” (or “he’s strangling me”) had me frozen. My uncle saved my life and that was my wake up call that the marriage was indeed over.

    I didn’t call 911. I didn’t file any report. I fully admit I was REALLY stupid, but I believe this was the point where I decided I would no longer be a victim.

    (Speaking of, I have to remember to call about getting my CCP renewed.)

    Thank you LawDog and the rest of you “guys”. I read and file away, then discuss with my daughters, what you say. I guess next lesson up will be the finer points of eye removal. 😉

  16. I’ll try that, if my new Wilson Combat AR15 that doesn’t quite fit in my purse concealed. . doesn’t make them think twice.

  17. I’ll try that, if my new Wilson Combat AR15 that doesn’t quite fit in my purse concealed. . doesn’t make them think twice.

  18. Red, get the hell OUT of Canada and don’t look back. Come to the States where you are allowed to defend yourself if need be. And if you need surgery to get fixed back up after your ordeal with a critter, our docs will see you immediately instead of making you wait 6 weeks. Yeah, you’ll get a bill, but I’d rather be alive and in debt than dead waiting on a hospital bed to open up. You can always file for bankruptcy if need be. Besides, that is what insurance is for.

  19. Thanks, Rorschach, but I love my country, I’m staying put! 😉

    The only experience I’ve had with our health care system was a good one – I got my surgery the day after the injury – and on a holiday monday, no less. No waiting, and no bill.

  20. trigimper,
    another problem with the technique you mention, is hitting with the back of the elbow may impact on the “funny bone” nerve, leaving that hand/arm nearly useless for an extended time. Disabling yourself with a less than lethal strike against your opponent is a bad trade.

  21. I perhaps didn’t describe the second part of the defense very well. In the driving back push everything you have, in descriptive terms similar to lawdogs original description with the same effect, where you choose to aim your elbow/arm is up to you, maximum force is the only option, as our good lord and master here explained and illustrated much better than I can. But when you pull your elbow back any target is also exposed, just pick one.

    Of course, any defense involving a slide will be much more effective.

    But of course I’m British and therefore would have been stupid and just gone for a head butt in the first place.

  22. It isn’t that Trigimper’s advice won’t work, it’s just LawDog’s (and others) get in multiple debilitating strikes while releasing the hold instead of just one. More is better.

    The front choke is a stupid move. If you don’t panic, they have poor defenses from whatever you want to do. So do it to them in spades.

  23. Thanks for this. And good for you for posting it.

    When I was a freshman in high school, one of the oxygen thieves who was in a choir with me decided, one night, that he would try this. I expect he was Just Joking, but he brought me almost to the point of passing out.

    In elementary school, I’d been perfectly willing to mix it up with bullies, but numerous beatings by the principal and grief from my parents had tended to depress this survival response. So when Oxygen Thief had his hands around my neck, I went blank. I’d been VERY forcefully taught not to defend myself, and then I couldn’t.

    And to this day, even my husband has to be VERY careful how he puts a necklace around my neck; because once I processed that experience, NOBODY could touch my neck safely.

    If I could make one change in all school systems, it would be that children would be taught TO fight back, taught HOW to fight back, and taught that they will not be punished if they are not the instigator.

    Thanks, anyway, for another tool in my tool box.

  24. I’m only 5′ 2″ so unless a critter really has his arms bent, my arms will be too short for an elbow blow. When striking with an open palm, should my hand be back at a 90 degree angle to my arm?


  25. Dear “M”,

    45 to 60 degrees is better – that way you have a little “flex” so that you don’t injure your wrist.

    Don’t forget “knees to the ‘knads” – a quick left-right after the hand WILL put the critter on the ground, moaning, where you can kick him in the ribs if you’re feeling vindictive.

    I’ve taught my three daughters, my son, and my two sisters, and my wife a variation on Law Dog’s technique. That variation has only been used once – to devastating effect. There was actually some noise about indictment, until the critter’s record was examined.

    In addition, I’d MUCH rather pay a high-priced lawyer than pay a high-priced doctor.

    And no, the critter in question was not a “significant other”, “husband/wife”, or “date” – just a random critter who was an acquaintance.

    One of the things to remember about these “critters” is that they are not “brave”, and a vigorous defense as outlined by Law Dog and in the comments WILL reduce the critter in question to a blubbering mass of suet.

  26. “When striking with an open palm, should my hand be back at a 90 degree angle to my arm?”

    That sounds to me like a real good way to break your wrist.

    I was watching Personal Defense TV last night… Massad Ayoob addressed the front chokehold and I thought it interesting in the timing of his segment and LawDog’s post.

    Mr. Ayoob’s method of releasing from the chokehold won’t require that much reach… you simply cross both your “chew toy’s” hands. (Great… now LawDog’s got me considering the difference between a “critter” and a “chew toy”.) If you’re right-handed, reach across the top and grab your attacker’s right hand with your thumb between the bones behind the index and middle fingers. Then pull up and across to your right. Your assailant turns as you do and winds up off balance and bent over with your left elbow over his right arm. You can break his elbow there if you must.

  27. I’m not sure what happened, but the previous comment referencing Personal Defense TV and Massad Ayoob… this post is mine.

  28. One more. I offer a possible defence from rugby football, which is a bit like American football. but without the protective clothing and helmets.

    It is derived from a form of the “hand-off”, a way of keeping at bay a player trying to fell you at speed. This form of hand-off has, I believe, been banned from rugby since I was young as being too dangerous, which is what you want to hear.

    For the right handed, fix your gaze on the under part of the attacker’s nose. Shift your right hand to the centre of your chest, palm upward.

    Drive from your left foot, upwards, so that the part of your palm on the end of your forearm goes through your critter’s nose on its way to his forehead.

    This is a variation on Dawg’s move, and useful if there isn’t enough room to deploy your elbow at first.

    This might be a one-shot stop, in that if you hit the underside of the nose just so, you may drive the nasal bone back into Chummie’s brain.

    However just in case, continue with Lawdog’s advice to bring your elbow down on his head, and so on.

    Greetings from Scotland everyone, and a Happy New Year.

  29. “For the right handed, fix your gaze on the under part of the attacker’s nose. Shift your right hand to the centre of your chest, palm upward.

    Drive from your left foot, upwards, so that the part of your palm on the end of your forearm goes through your critter’s nose on its way to his forehead.”

    This is the method that the Drill Seargents taught us is Basic Training. Since I am only 5’1″, this would allow me the reach that I would NOT have with the elbow method. It could easily be modified to aim for the chin instead of the nose, though.

    Good lesson, though, LawDog. I printed out TWO copies, and gave one to a co-worker, who still occasionally has to deal with a nasty Ex. She was most appreciative. Keep those lessons coming!

  30. “If I could make one change in all school systems, it would be that children would be taught TO fight back, taught HOW to fight back, and taught that they will not be punished if they are not the instigator.”

    I ran into that “don’t fight” and “it takes too to fight” kind of crap all the time when I was in school. The bullies were bullies because they knew everybody else would follow the rules… the bullies themselves told me I had to take it because the rules said so. When I tell about that school, I generally say “that place was so rough the alma mater song was ‘High Noon'”. If we’d been taught to fight, things would’a been a lot different.

  31. “Always, always, always call 911, because the first person to talk to the cops has an incredible advantage — and you don’t want your chew toy to get his story in first.”

    Thank you for saying this. I don’t know why so many police officers try to pretend that this isn’t true. Granted, these are the same officers that generally claim that they can tell the guilty party just by looking at them.

  32. Another one. He is facing you with both hands on your neck. Drive a finger or fingers into the base of his neck, that little u notch were the collar bones meet is a good guide. You drive for the back of his neck at the same time you start turning 90 degrees as his hands lossen, this lengthens your reach. He should start choking and gagging. If you hit him hard enough he’ll strangle. If not it should give you the room and time to do the Law Dog’s elbow strike or a knee to the groin or whatever.

  33. Or pop out your folder and cut his arm to the bone inside the elbow. Or other places.
    The main thing is time. You have only a few seconds before lack of blood flow to the brain causes you to pass out. Pesonally, I like all these ideas. Maybe they could be appled sequentially!

  34. Wonderful!

    Thanks for posting this, and making more people aware of the power of fighting back and hurting the attacker.


  35. If, like is sometimes the case, he drives you into a wall for more effect, the elbow twist* is a useful one. Not only does it get you free from his grip, but by adding a bit of force, you can drive his head into the wall.

    If you’re not backed against a wall, you can do the same reach across grab, put the other hand on his elbow(same arm as the hand you grabbed) and push while you pull his hand, and pivot your opposite foot backwards for extra effect. Should end with you holding his arm in front of you with him bent over, from there you can do pretty much what you want with him(slam his head in a wall, or pull him in a circle until he’s face down on the ground and put your nearest knee on his arm and your other foot against his hip for example, good control, feel free to grind your knee forward on his arm to get at his nerve cluster for much added pain, doesn’t matter how much stronger he is, he’s not going anywhere, and you have one hand free, the one not holding his hand, to reach for your cellphone and dial 911).

    Described earlier in the comments, but anyway: take one of your hands, reach above both his hands and grab the same of his hands as you use to grab, grab his other hand from below, and pull with both hands while taking a step sideways. The grabs should be with your thumbs on the back of his hands and the fingers on his palms.

  36. Forgot to add an asterix at the start of the description of the elbow twist at the end… (“Described earlier…”)

  37. “Or pop out your folder and cut his arm to the bone inside the elbow. Or other places.”

    You better be sure that folder’s one-handed or assisted opening. But in some jurisdictions, there’s no law against carrying a K-Bar or Bowie.

    “The main thing is time. You have only a few seconds before lack of blood flow to the brain causes you to pass out. Pesonally, I like all these ideas. Maybe they could be appled sequentially!”

    Can you use that knife in a hurry without cutting yourself up?

  38. “Personal Chew Toy.” I like it!

    Thanks for the lesson, LawDog. It’s nice to actually hear some recommendations for fighting back, instead of the typical “yell fire” advice. (A very difficult thing to do, of course, if one is being choked…)

  39. elbow strikes are great but for women (generally smaller then men) they might not be the best way to go. For a woman in that situation (aside from not getting into that situation) I suggest taking your dominant hand, extending and flexing their fingers and burying said fingers into the front of the mans throat, repeat as needed but it shouldn’t take more then one. Weaker people want to apply all the power they possibly can via the smallest surface area to the weakest point possible. A good old kick to the balls is not a bad move either.

  40. If you’re carrying a knife and you’re going for the arm cutting routine, knowing where the brachial artery is makes for a quick end to the creep, doesn’t take long to bleed out if you cut that.

    Use any of the other techniques to get loose if he doesn’t let go out of shock, or losing his strength fast enough. Or even the simplest anti-choke technique of all: Just extend one arm in front of you and twist your upper body so the shoulder extends towards him, pushing him in the chest.

  41. I think one of the side effects of the multiple strikes to the jaw will be a reduction in his ability to converse with the police, which may be helpful. 🙂

  42. Lotsa good stuff here, a few iffy things, too. One thing I didn’t see mentioned, though ( and forgive me if I missed it ). If you go for the palm-heel strike to the chin and miss, you can end up raking over the Meat Sack’s teeth. You’re asking for one hell of an infection if you cut yourself up on someone else’s mouth.

    A technique I like is to swing your right arm ( left if you’re keft-handed ) up and over his hands, then down fast and hard across your body, trapping his hands under your armpit. Even if his arms are longer than yours, you’ve got him pulled in. Then recoil with all your might, using your fist against his temple, schnoz, throat, whatever target is there. He’s probably gonna help you out by pulling when you trap his hands.

  43. I appreciate this section, but wouldn’t it be easier just to kick him in the balls and run like hell and call 911?

  44. tomboy, It’s harder to kick crotch-high if you’re being pushed off balance as you probably would be in such a situation.

  45. A video of this would be great.

    Back in the 80s, my sister-in-law ran across a flasher who tried to assault her. She reached out, squeezed, and sent the SOB to the hospital, bleeding profusely from a part of his anatomy he probably *never* exposed again.

    Also, don’t forget to make *lots* of noise (scream, holler, shout, and grunt when you’re hitting/kicking). Attackers don’t usually want attention and the more noise you make, the more of a fight you put up, the more likely it is they’ll give up because you make yourself a difficult target and attract potential witnesses.

  46. Just like shooting, all of this requires regular practice.
    So pick a discipline, JuJitsu, Aikido, Karate, Eskrima, whatever, but pick one, find a school, attend regularly, and practice.

    I would always recommend fighting back, and Lawdog’s advice is good, but please don’t think you can read it on his website and be prepared to use it when some critter grabs you. Train like your life has value.

  47. Four points of note, esepcially for the more gently raised readers. . .

    1. Pick some kind of “aggressive” physical hobby. Whether it’s karate, or just rugby, pick something where pain, and the inflicting thereof, is an accepted an normal part of the hobby. Getting over the subconscious indoctrination that “Only monsters hurt people,” is the fastest way to shorten your decision loop and actually DO something constructive before Chew Toy damages you and thus reduces your ABILITY to resist and destroy him. (“Destroy? I just want to survive!” — more on that later.) Once it goes rodeo, Go Ugly Early. (You’re already speeding towards that destination with Chew Toy driving, might as take over the wheel and choose your own route straightaway.)

    2. If you choose to carry a knife for defense, just make sure you know what your local and state laws are concerning knives. Sometimes, it’s easier to carry a gun — and guns have ANOTHER advantage not often considered. . . if your bullet hits a rib, you won’t slash your hand to the bone, severing tendons with your OWN knife, because it doesn’t have a good guard on it. (No, that crossguard thingie isn’t there on a “fighting” knife to protect you from HIS blade if you parry — it’s there to protect you from your knife. If it ain’t at least a foot and a half long, your opponant doesn’t also have a big cutty-stabby thing, and you aren’t trained in parries, you don’t generally parry. Block the ARM, deflect the AMR, and gut him like a trout — save parries with 4″ knives for martial artists doing films.)

    3. The procedure for a knife is either Slash, Repeat or Stab, CUT, Draw, Repeat. Stab into your opponant, cut HARD ACROSS the axis of the target, withdrawing the knife as you go. Continue going until the target is down hard, you stop breathing, or your knife runs out of ammo.

    4. The finishing move I learned at my father’s knee, and had reinforced by the US Army, is the “Fred Astaire Tapdance”. When the Chew Toy becomes the Throw Rug, kick and stomp (one leg at a time — you wouldn’t want to lose your balance and strain something) him until you feel you can nonchalantly stroll away without fear. Collarbone, joints, pelvis (if you’re big enough), cheekbone and nose are your preferred targets. That “firewood breaking” noise is a GOOD THING.

    Mental states (and “surrender” is a mental state) in a fight are notoriously unreliable, especially if the assailant is chemically enhanced — but you can ALWAYS count on “mechanical incapacitation”.

  48. Hmmph, I forgot to cover one point. . .

    If you end up in a Serious Social Encounter at Garlic Breathe range, your mindset should NOT be “I am going to survive,” it should be “I am destroying my enemy.”

    Just as we teach kids to hit the baseball bat THROUGH teh ball, mental followthrough is critical, to — when Critter becomes Chew Toy, you don’t a mental line in place. Simply becuase you will menatlly be glancing at that line to make sure you don’t cross it — this distracts your attention and leaves you vulnerable.

    You punch THROUGH targets. You go in prepared to DESTROY your opponant, not just “Hurt him until he stops.” The aggressor already picked the time, place, participants, and half the tools — he emphatetically DOES NOT get to pick the House Rules as well. If he wants to dance, he can plays by YOUR rules, or he can go find another partner.

    This advice is only for the private citizen who is taking Mayhem 101 to fulfill their Humanities & Health rquirements in the College of Life.

    If you’re Majoring (or working) in Applied Mayhem, the rules are different.

    For PROFESSIONAL “Break Things and Hurt People” type people (at least those working FOR civilization), they MUST keep the line intact in their mind. But that’s why they do (or at least, should do) so much training on various situations.

  49. For those still reading, Rick makes an excellent point when he recommends gentler readers to get used to physical contact. Even those of us who once played rugby can get out of touch, as it were.

    Please accept an introduction to British Bulldog, which whiled away many a cold dark Sunday afternoon at my school.

    This game is suitable for both sexes, but should be played on grass or mats, or perhaps sprung floors, because you are going to hit the deck a lot. Clear away the furniture.

    Two opponents, of similar size and weight, start about six feet apart hopping on one foot, turning a shoulder to each other.

    Still hopping, charge, and meet your opponent’s shoulder with your own. The winner is the one who stays upright after the impact. If both go flying, the round is drawn.

    Best of 3 rounds per game, then make room for another couple.

    Alternate games, swich from strong foot to weak foot, just for variation.

    Children love this. So do men (think of bulls or goats locking horns). Women should have a go at men just for the practice – the men should be gentlemen, hold back and take their lumps.

    I have organised this game in a bar, where the male customers formed a circle to catch the players before they hit anything, and to await their turn. Even with strong adults, there were few bruises, there was much laughter, and the bar did great trade as thirsts built up. Enjoy!

  50. Apologies. I forgot to add that the contestants must keep their arms folded throughout.

  51. This calls for more dots with permanent marker…

    It might sound strange at first, but it works. The way my husband teaches me to aim for certain parts of anatomy for self defense is to make a dot with marker on his body somewhere. Then we go through slow motions of how I am supposed to hit that dot. It’s kind of like using focus mits for boxing. There’s a color order too if I am to target multiple places.

    Oh and every combination of hits we practice ends with,” and then run like blazes and call 911.”

    It’s a good system all things considered. Stupid non-CC state.

  52. LawDog, this is FANTASTIC. The elbow can indeed inflict a ton of damage. Your commenters have also brought some wonderful suggestions to the table. Here’s an approach in maneuvering out of a choke hold if a woman has a to-be rapist looming over her.

  53. Thanks for the advice, sir. I'm currently writing a mystery novel where the main character is a female PI…and the chances of her getting into a situation like what you describe are fairly good. Nice to have an effective countermeasure I can describe in detail.

    As to the real world…people, if anyone tries to choke you out, go for the throat. Or the nuts, or whatever squishy bit they happen to present. You only get one life, and if someone wants to try and take it from you they deserve whatever you decide to give them.

    I hope I can live to a ripe old age and die peaceably in my sleep without ever killing anyone. However, if someone shambles out of the proverbial darkness and says "hey, it's you or me" I'll do my best to make sure it's not me.

    After all, jail is temporary. Death is a somewhat more permanent condition I'd rather avoid.

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