A friend of mine ,who was a police officer in Philly for 30 years, once told me he hated guns and I asked why. His response was, "because they have no loyalty, they serve whoever holds them. My gun taken from my hand can be used to kill me. At least with martial arts my skill cannot be used against me; it's mine alone." So there hasn't been an easy technique that almost anyone could use and have it be effective, that is, until the ubiquitous use of the rear naked choke hold. It is easy to learn and fairly easy to apply against the uninitiated. But without the proper knowledge of its usage it is deadly. Because it cuts off oxygen to the brain it should only be applied for a few seconds but in today's undisciplined world of training many people don't realize or care how deadly this technique can be. A sheriff's deputy was just found guilty of murder in Texas because he applied it for a full three minutes and killed a man. How could anybody think that you could possibly not kill the person doing this? Where did he learn this technique and how was he so woefully ignorant of its effect? Where was any discipline displayed in the execution of this hold? Would you hold a person's head under water for three minutes and not expect them to die? It shows a total lack of knowledge or a complete disregard for human life to do this. Over and over this is happening in the public arena. A young woman was recently arrested and faces 7 years in jailed because she choked out a bouncer in a bar because she thought he smacked her butt. He didn't, her girlfriend did, now she faces the consequences. It's a deadly weapon in the hands of the unskilled. I could easily see high school kids doing this to one another in a fight and then being destroyed by the consequences. Bryant Gumbel's Real Sports on HBO did a show on the misuse of this in abusive relationships by UFC fighters. It's terrible how this hold has become so common place in American culture. Gene LeBell, one of the gods of real wrestling and grappling, will not perform this technique in demonstration on people over 50 citing that the consequences are too dangerous.
The lack of skilled training and discipline in today's martial arts is creating an environment where we are bound to have tragic events occurring regularly. This lack of knowledge is no excuse for taking someone's life and the devastating effects it has on their families. Unfortunately you can't legislate intelligence. I fear for the future regarding this.
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