Front Choke #1 – Slap Technique

Developed by Grandmaster Joe Hess and sometimes called the Slap Technique, this Ippon Kumite Kata is a defense against a Front Choke Attack with arms extended. Here is a move by move breakdown of the technique:

1 - Suck, Tuck, and Duck

2 - Palm Heel Strike

1 – Suck, Tuck and Duck. Anytime your airway is threatened, immediately Suck in some air, Tuck your chin to protect your larnyx, and Duck by dropping your bodyweight in preparation for the next move.

3 - Palm Heel Strike

4 - Backhand Block

5 - Trap

5 - Eagle Claw Grip

6 - Palm Heel Strike to Chin

6 - Eye Gouge

6 - Foot Placement

7 - Outside Leg Sweep

7 - Outside Leg Sweep

7 - Outside Leg Sweep

8 - Hyperextend Elbow

8 - Stomp Kick to Brachial Plexus

9 - Arm Bar Rollover

9 - Arm Bar Rollover

2 –  Palm Heel Strike with the right hand to the attacker’s right wrist to begin the process of breaking the hold. Be sure to strike near the wrist, not the arm or forearm, as this will provide more leverage. And just move the attacker’s hand far enough to break contact with your neck. This strike is very much like #6 of the Soft Blocking System.

3 – Palm Heel Strike with your  left hand. This is the same technique as #2 on the opposite side and equates to #5 of the Soft Blocking System.

4 – Backhand Block with your right hand to “check” attacker’s left hand. This momentarily protects against a strike or attempt to reapply the choke. Movements 3 and 4 are similar to the movement of Soft Block #10. Note: Movements 2-4 should be done in rapid succession generating power from the hips.

5 – Trap. After breaking the chokehold, circle your left arm over the attacker’s right and trap with an eagle claw grip right above the elbow.

6 – Palm Heel Strike to the chin, driving the attacker’s head back and off-setting his balance to the rear. The strike is followed by an eye gouge. During the Palm Heel Strike, step up with your left foot so that it is approximately even with the attacker’s right foot. This sets him up for the sweep in the next move.

7 – Outside Leg Sweep with your right leg to the attacker’s right. Be sure to raise your knee and kick the leg out aggressively while maintaining control of his right arm on the way down.








8 – Stomp Kick. Slide your left hand up to grip the attacker’s right hand in a basic wrist lock, hyper-extend his elbow, and Stomp Kick to stun the brachial plexus.




9 – Arm Bar Rollover. Place your right palm against the attacker’s elbow and apply pressure to effect the rollover. Be sure to walk around the attacker’s head as you roll him over.

10 - Shoulder Pin

10 - Shoulder Pin

11 - Bar Hammer Lock (be careful with partner's elbow)

11 - Bar Hammer Lock





10 – Shoulder Pin. After placing the attacker into a prone position, try to attain a 90-degree angle with his arm in relation to his body and in relation to the ground. His range of motion in the shoulder joint will determine the angle. Then apply pressure on his wrist by pressing his fingers toward the back of his head. This is a good point to check your back for other attackers. If all is clear, finish the shoulder pin by placing your right knee diagonally across the attacker’s shoulder blade and use your left leg to maintain the arm bar.

12 - Cervical Crank

11 – Bar Hammer Lock. To convert the Shoulder Pin into a Bar Hammer Lock, bend the attacker’s arm and pivot on your feet so that your left knee is across the attacker’s lower back. [Be careful to use your right hand to assist your partner with this movement during training. Failure to do so can result in serious injury to his elbow.] Maintain the wrist lock and adjust your right foot so that it locks against the attacker’s triceps to prevent him from pulling out of the hold.

12 - Cervical Crank

12 – Cervical Crank. Hyperextend the attacker’s cervical vertebrae by grasping the bridge above his eyes (with an optional eye gouge), or his hair (unless he doesn’t have any hair, like Bernie), and pulling back.

13 - Head Smash

13 – Head Smash. After the Cervical Crank, finish the technique by smashing the attacker’s head into the ground.

14 - Shoulder Roll

14 – Shoulder Roll Escape.

Bernie having WAY too much fun...



The uke in this series is Bernie Stone, one of my students at the US Embassy in Kabul.


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