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?
The two* main mechanisms of choking technique are:
However the terminology for these techniques is inconsistent and often ambiguous, differing between dialects (e.g. British vs American English) and contexts (different martial arts, forensics, law enforcement etc), with various terms referring to either or both techniques (e.g. choke(hold), strangle(hold), neck hold).
This ambiguity is perhaps due to the nature of the techniques - given resistance from the defender, different angles of application, and the variant sizes of people's forearms and necks, any particular technique may induce either or both of these mechanisms.
* Note, in Judo and BJJ there is a third category of 'constriction' techniques (shime-waza):
3. body constrictions: compressing the chest and/or abdomen to restrict breathing.
• AKA: body crushes, body compressions