In my hometown, a young man was killed this way after his friends lured him out to dinner. On the way back, the killer and the kid were in the backseat. The killer ended up getting the kid into a reverse figure 4 headscissor, and the victim's face and neck were being pressed so hard against the killer's rear end that the victim choked / asphyxiated and died.

Is there any feasible way of getting out of a reverse figure 4 headscissor if the intent is to kill and it's locked in tight?

Illustration of the reverse figure 4 headscissor


3 Answers 3


If someone has put your head in a figure-4, usually your head and an arm in what is called a triangle (BJJ) or sankaku (judo) hold, there is very little you can do. The arm in the hold is mostly useless, and the holder has their two arms free to deal with your one. You will not be able to separate the legs with your arms. If you can stand, you can lift them and drive their head into the ground, which may cause them to release the hold. If not, then you suffocate.




When you start spitting chunks of the other guy on the ground, he lets you go. In my personal opinion, this is the biggest weakness inherent in many purely grappling martial arts. Things like armbars, triangle chokes, etc, leave the legs very vulnerable to bites. Worse yet, many of them put the femoral artery very close to the opponents mouth, which can result in exsanguination in just a few minutes.

Most people don’t train with this in mind, because it’s obviously against the rules in any competition that has any rules at all. However, in my personal experience, any lock or submission that gives the opponent the opportunity to bite you is very risky business.

To summarize; bite, scratch, go for the soft spots, cheat. When your life depends on victory, there are no rules.


I don't think so.

But it can be even easier. Just sit on their face. Knees on the hands if possible. Deliver a couple of punches to the celiac plexus to make them sleep. Done.

It is referred as North-South in wrestling.

Hide the body as this is not self-defense.

  • Are you suggesting how to kill people even better than this figure four? Commented Aug 4, 2021 at 14:43
  • 1
    @MacacoBranco nah, that would be guns, or even better - nuclear ICBMs. What I am suggesting is how to win a wrestling competition. And acknowledging wrestling is a proper martial art, thus useful for war.
    – Vorac
    Commented Aug 5, 2021 at 8:08

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