Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Great Judo Chokes

Don't mess with old guys. These guys are practicing Kosen Judo - A form of Judo which was heavily practiced before WWII, and allowed for very hard ground work. These rules were later changed by Kano Sensei to allow for more standing work, but some Dojo still train and compete under these rules.

The chokes practiced here are actually not intended to crush the windpipes, but (in the best case scenario), to generate a spasm of the carotid artery bringing blood to the brain. This happens only if the choke is very accurately and quickly applied to a certain point of the neck (it can also be done through atemi). It is however not easy to do. Plan B is to simply squeeze that artery to mechanically restrain the flow of blood to the brain. 

When the choke is well applied, Uke has very little time to tap out. The Human brain uses 20 % of our oxygen, and really does not good at all without blood. When I was practicing Judo in the early 70's, I witnessed an incident during a competition. A guy chocked another one from a standing position, which did not seem to bother him at all; he looked perfectly normal and we were impressed by how well he was able to resist this choke. Disgusted by this the choker let go, and the guy collapsed, unconscious, and breathless. He did not even have the time to tap. Paramedics took care of him, he probably to this day does not remember what happened...

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