In martial arts which permit submissions, a distinction is sometimes made between "chokes" and "strangles", however in my experience these terms are not used consistently.
What is the difference between these?
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The three main mechanisms of choking technique are:
|"blood" choke||compresses the sides of the neck, restricting blood flow to head||sleeper hold, carotid restraint, vascular neck restraint|
|"air" choke||compresses the throat (trachea), restricting breathing||tracheal choke, throttle|
|body constriction||compresses the chest and/or abdomen, restricting breathing||body crush, body compression, body scissors, positional asphyxiation|
However the terminology for the first two mechanisms is inconsistent and often ambiguous, differing between dialects (e.g. British vs American English) and contexts (different martial arts, forensics, law enforcement etc). As such, various terms refer to techniques using either or both mechanism:
This ambiguity is perhaps due to the nature of strangulation techniques - given resistance from the defender, different angles of application, and the variant sizes of people's forearms and necks, any particular technique may constrict either or both the carotids and trachea.