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Krav Maga: A guide to escaping chokes and bear hugs

Krav Maga can trace its origins to the streets of Eastern Europe as well as the struggles of Israel as a nation. This martial art was created by Imrich "Imi" Lichtenfeld, a Hungarian born in 1910. The son of a former detective and circus performer, Lichtenfeld began developing a style of fighting in 1948 that incorporated boxing, wrestling, military and wrestling training - techniques which he himself taught to Israeli soldiers. In 1972, Krav Maga began to be taught to civilians, and continues to be taught and practised today.

How to escape from a choke - As your opponent attempts to choke you, bring up your hands to the outside of your opponent’s hands. Keep your hands hooked, with your fingers pressed tightly against one another as if they represent one unit. - Place your thumbs on top of your opponent's hands, curling your fingers around them, with your fingers pointed toward the centre of your chest. - Bend your opponent's wrists outward, exploiting the wrist's inherent weakness, and pull your opponent’s hands away from your neck. This will allow you to escape from the choke hold. Try to do this as explosively as possible while keeping your opponent’s hands pinned on top of your shoulders. - Kick your opponent’s groin and escape from the choke hold. - Retain the hold on one of your opponent’s hands. - Bring up your other elbows and strike your opponent’s head as you force him to bend toward you. While retaining the hold on your opponent's hand, straighten your arm to strike your opponent in the neck with your forearm. - Kick your opponent in the groin or strike him with your knees. Continue striking until your opponent surrenders. If you want to escape from the choke hold, you must be able to turn your opponent's attack against him. How to escape from bear hugs

- As your opponent attempts to grasp you in a bear hug, quickly turn around, presenting him with your back. This is the first step in escaping from a bear hug. - Bend your knees and lean forward, making yourself as heavy as possible by shifting your centre of gravity downward. - Swing back your elbow and strike your opponent in the head as he bends forward in an attempt to control you. - As your opponent's hold loosens, spin around and kick your opponent in the groin.

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