This guy in a video seemed to be unaffected by his partner's chokehold. Is it possible to be immune to chokeholds?
The video is of a lame, contrived demo. The "choke" in it is not performed effectively. It's a farce of a choke. The reason this strutting bodybuilder is "immune" to the choke is that it's not a legitimate choke in the first place.
If you know someone who thinks they can't be choked, I think Marcelo Garcia would be interested in testing that hypothesis:
Stephan Kesting: Have you ever come across someone whose neck is too big?
Note, by the context of the conversation, Stephan means "big or strong".
SK: Not so far?
MG: Until someone proves, like, oh, you can squeeze my neck and I won't tap, this is working for me.
Everyone can be choked.
So far, everyone who competes has shown themselves to be chokeable. Jon Fitch was notoriously resistant to being choked out...until he was guillotined into unconsciousness by Josh Burkman.
Strong necks can resist poorly-applied chokeholds and can, to a minor degree, prevent the attacker from getting into position for a good choke. But so far, everyone has proved to be chokeable. People can have good choke defense just like they can have a good guard, but so far no one has shown themselves to be "immune".
No, you cannot be immune. IMHO even training to "resist" it is stupid, completely stupid. If someone is choking you out, he WILL succeed, even if you resist for 5 seconds longer.
Air choking is easier to notice ( ... you can't breathe) and fighting against your opponent's hold is a lot easier. It will help endure it, allow you to take little bit of air in, etc.
A choke that prevents blood to get to your brain is seriously hard to even notice. My coach did it to me as a "welcome" to the elite class ... I thought I was resisting, and didn't even realise I fell unconscious. I stayed down only half a second. I "woke" up, not knowing where I was or what had happened. I didn't even realise he choked me out until someone else told me.
Depending on your definition of "immunity", some people do indeed appear to be more resistant to chokeholds than others.
In the study Mechanism of loss of consciousness during vascular neck restraint, Journal of Applied Physiology (2012), a rear-naked choke hold was applied to 24 participants until they passed out, submitted, or 23 seconds had passed:
- 16/24 participants passed out
- 4/24 participants tapped out
- 4/24 participants did not pass out or tap out after ~23 seconds of applied chokehold
Those that passed out had roughly 80% reduction in arterial flow in both sides, whilst those 4 that did not pass out (or tap out) had on average 74% reduction in right-hand side flow and only 40% reduction in left-hand side flow:
In our study, 16 subjects (Ocular Fixation Group) were rendered unconscious with an 83% and 80% reduction in R and L MCAVmean, respectively. The four subjects who did not lose consciousness (Instructor Stop Group), had a 74% reduction of R MCAVmean, but only a 40% reduction in L MCAVmean. Thus our data support the findings of Njemanze (13) in that the critical lower limit of MCAVmean of 50% below baseline must be met bilaterally to induce unconsciousness.
As such, it appears that physiological differences may account for the same style and strength of chokehold compressing both arteries substantially in most people, but less than 50% compression in one side in a minority (the hypothesized threshold required to induce unconsciousness).
Such persons may still be vulnerable to a much stronger applied chokehold than required to induce unconsciousness in most people, however this was not tested in the study.
Yes...if you do not need air/blood supply to your brain.
On a more serious note, depending on your and your opponent's body shapes you can be immune to some chokeholds. For example, I have broad shoulders and a guy I trained with had short legs. He found some triangle chokes impossible on me...
A choke hold basically is used to
- Cut bloodsupply to the brain and causes one to blackout
- Subdue a person by making it painful or hard to breath, thus refrain from struggling.
As far as I know, there should not be anyway to be immune to the effects of a chokehold, but there are ways to increase your tolerance level to the attacks.
If you have a training partner, it would be good to practise your resistance to chokeholds everyday and time yourself.
Certain Shaolin schools teach "Iron neck" as one of the 72 methods of conditioning in Qi Gong, where one appears to effectively hang oneself by the neck for several minutes.
This is purported to strengthen the neck as well as increasing tolerance level towards choking.
-WARNING - In no way whatsoever should you imitate this.