I was once in a situation where a guy walked up behind me, wrapped one of his arms around my throat, and used the other to apply a simultaneous hammerlock on my arm opposite of his choking arm. In other words, I was receiving a rear-naked-choke/hammerlock combo. To be fair, I was not being choked out; the guy was just restraining me (also, a one arm choke has slightly less power), but I was still petrified with fear.
Ever since then, I have been experiencing fear and shame over my inability to do anything about the situation. I was hoping you could share with me some different techniques possible to break free of this situation.
I am aware that once the lock is in place, it’s near-impossible to break free “fair-and-honorably”. I also know that the best method is obviously not to let the attack happen, but that didn’t apply to this situation.
Other sources have recommended tactics to me such as biting, shin stomping, back-head-butting, and using a sharp object to stab the person’s arm. While I do not enjoy the idea of fighting dirty (especially since I hate fighting at all), I have no objection to such measures when necessary. (Frankly, the biting and sharp object seem like the most likely to work.)
Even if you just tell me to do the same thing that I mentioned above, that will be fine because now I know a professional is recommending it. If this is the case, are there any other “somewhat questionable” methods I could use? The more options, the better.
Anytime something similar to this happens to us, we rehash the incident over and over, thinking about what we should have done. In this situation, since you are okay, you must have done the right thing. However, in a different situation, doing nothing may not work. In any situation, you have to rely on your gut feeling as to what is occurring and what your response should be. The correct response will vary depending on whether the attack is just to scare you, to intimidate you, to harm you, or to kidnap or kill you. If you think the attack is to harm you in any way, then your response should be quick and nasty. Younever know how much harm the attacker intends to cause, and neither does the attacker. No matter how little harm the attacker originally intended, the amount of harm done may increase dramatically, either unintentionally, accidently, or intentionally.
When grabbed, I like to use throws. Throws can be deadly, especially if you concentrate on ensuring the attacker’s head hits the ground. To throw a person, you must grab them and get them off balance. If they grab you, half the problem is solved, and, since most attackers are not aware of their balance and are not thinking about being thrown, you have the advantage. Judo training is highly useful in teaching how to use throws in self-defense.
In a mugger’s choke, two-man attack teams walk up behind a person or a couple. One suddenly grabs a person in a rear naked choke, pushes the person’s opposite elbow forward so the person cannot jab it backward, and then quickly starts pulling the person backward so the person is leaning backward and off balance. From behind, the other attacker quickly goes though the person’s pockets, taking anything valuable. Then, the first attacker drops the person on his or her butt and runs. It is all done very quickly and smoothly from behind. The victim is not injured and he or she never sees the attacker. Many times the person’s partner or bystanders do not even see the attack happen, yet alone see the attackers.
Your case of being held in a rear naked choke and hammerlock is similar to the mugger’s choke. Some defenses to use are to turn your head into the crook of the choking arm and pull down on the forearm to release pressure, bite the arm, and stomp the attacker’s toes or kick the shins. A backward head butt is possible, but if the assailant's head is too close, the butt may be ineffective. If you are falling backward, launch yourself backward explosively with your legs to knock the assailant off balance. You may land atop the assailant and injure him or her. If not, you are at least prepared for the fall and the assailant will be caught unprepared. If you are falling forward, pull forward, and tuck and roll, dragging the attacker with you.
Another defense is suddenly drop your body straight downward while thrusting the leg that is opposite to the choking arm straight backward while turning your body downward and toward the opposite direction. The object of the movements is to throw the person over your shoulder opposite to the choking arm and to fall atop the person.
When you are fighting for your life, bite off anything within range, concentrate both your hands on pulling back and breaking one finger at a time, and gouge eyes. Punches, releases, locks, etc. may not work, but even the strongest attacker will ease up when in excruciating pain.
Keep training and keep thinking about what you might do in attack situations. If you have thought about a self-defense situation before it occurs, you will react quicker when it does occur. The good thing about martial arts training is that it is there if it is needed, but if it is never needed, you will still benefit from the other aspects of the training, such as better health, better fitness, better coordination, and having fun.