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I play waterpolo and while it is not often that I am blatantly choked out it has happened enough that I was wondering if you guys had any ideas for escaping a rear naked choke while underwater. The issue is that the water slows down any strikes, like elbows, so that they are ineffective and any sort of rolling or flipping motion is useless.

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Welcome to the site! Nice question indeed. I suppose that chocking someone is not something a referee is going to stand for if they see it. Is that right? –  Sardathrion Apr 24 at 8:20
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Ya, if they see it they will stop the game and kick out the choker. The issue is that they can't physically intervene, so if a player really wants to choke someone there's not much the refs can do –  i5a1ah Apr 24 at 16:18

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I used to play water polo in high school, and some of the lifeguarding maneuvers (such as taking the person under the water with you) can lessen these things.

The other thing that worked well for me (especially once I established a reputation for it) is if they are willing to choke you, then they should be willing to suffer the consequences. I would grab fingers and bend them back, pull arm/leg hairs, grab and pinch the skin at the triceps area, and for one particularly determined guy, I grabbed and yanked on his scrotum.

I was nearly choked out in one game, and it convinced me that if they grabbed me like that, they were going to pay a price for it. After a couple incidents, the word got out and I got much less overt grabbing. I still had the normal waterpolo contact, but nothing more than that.

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+1 for mention of the pinch of triceps skin - make sure you pinch only a small amount of skin because it is actually more painful than doing a large amount. This is also a great self defence move for women - easy to apply and gives you that small amount of time you need to get out of a hold. Done properly it also leaves a massive bruise so you can tell who you had to pinch :) –  slugster Apr 27 at 0:01
    
I agree, my sister had her lifeguard license, and they teach you how to escape hold and grab by panicking "victims". I think you could try this way. –  Thierry Savard Saucier May 1 at 19:31

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