Scientific Study Reveals Which Chokes Put People To Sleep The Fastest

If you have a BJJ choke that you swear works better than the rest, it’s time to see if science agrees with you.

The results of a study by Samuel J. Stellpflug et al. titled “Time to unconsciousness from sportive chokes in fully resisting highly trained combatants,” which was published in 2020 in the International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, have resurfaced after being shared by Mike Piekarski.

Piekarski — who is an MMA veteran, BJJ black belt, Doctor of Physical Therapy, and Orthopedic Clinical Specialist — is appropriately known as “Doctor Kickass” on social media. He posted the results of the study on Instagram, adding photos to illustrate examples of the chokes used in the study.

The abstract of the study notes that while time to loss of consciousness had previously been measured in “compliant volunteers,” this was the first time it had been established in “trained resisting opponents.” Interestingly, the study found that there was no significant difference between chokes involving only the neck and chokes involving the arm and the neck. Chokes requiring the gi weren’t included for this particular study.

Here are the findings noting the type of choke and time to loss of consciousness:

  • Bulldog choke – 6.2 seconds
  • Arm triangle – 7.2 seconds
  • D’arce choke – 8.6 seconds
  • Headlock – 8.8 seconds
  • Guillotine – 8.9 seconds
  • Rear naked choke – 8.9 seconds
  • North-south choke – 9.4 seconds
  • Anaconda choke – 9.5 seconds
  • Triangle choke – 9.5 seconds
  • Arm-in guillotine – 10.2 seconds
  • Von Flue choke – 10.5 seconds

You can check out the study yourself here.


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