Skip to content
mobile-alt icon


map-marker-alt icon

1845 N. Farwell Ave. Milwaukee 53202

Vistelar Blog

Building Safe And Respectful Workplaces

Schedule Discovery Call
Train With Us

Don't Lose When You Are on The Ground

Don't Lose When You Are on The Ground


In Healthcare the areas you work in are closed and confined spaces. Getting tripped, pushed, or tackled to the ground, or grabbed in the front or behind and pushed into furniture or equipment, or grabbed from any direction, thereby  limiting your ability to escape can end badly. 

Being on the ground is both emotionally and physically exhausting.  Your force options are limited and so is your movement.  Struggles very often end up om the ground, when you become exhausted, unbalanced, and trip, slip. o fall. p, You can also very quickly become exhausted, lose balance, trip and/or fall.  You end up on the ground. Then if the attacker sits on top of you, this places you in a very difficult situation.


Even if you should end up on the ground, the Peekaboo tactic is to avoid getting choked or “choked-out”,  and all the disastrous consequences that might follow. Whenever our body is denied the amount of oxygen it needs to sustain life, it creates a level of panic. A “choke-out” is a hand-to-hand combat tactic involving the use of a chokehold to cause a temporary loss of consciousness, at which point the choke is released. The types of chokes discussed in this section are not martial arts terms, but attacks used to kill a person by prohibiting oxygen into the lungs and airway. Even if you aren't killed by the choking attack, a "choke-out" makes you vulnerable to a secondary attack.


Here we are addressing the common rear choke, when the attacker is positioned behind you and  places their arm around your neck, as they grab their other arm in an attempt to compress your neck. Before you defend against the choke, you will need to remember to protect your airway first (Turtle Shell Defense), before actually defending against the attack. You could be standing or sitting at the moment of attack, so practice from both positions. When sitting, the attack may even be more of a surprise, so quick action is necessary. 


Combine the Turtle Shell Defense, with the Peekaboo, to protect the airway and create an avenue of escape.

  1. When ready, apply the Turtle Shell and Peekaboo Defense
  2. Turn your head towards the imagined attacker’s fingers, placing the back of your opposite hand underneath the attacker’s arm and to the side of your face to protect your airway, and then lift your elbow
  3. Focus on your breathing, do not hold your breath
  4. Then “look under” and defend the choke by slipping out of the attacker’s grasp
  5. Begin to move away from the attacker. 
  6. Sound Alert | Create Alarm and assess the situation
  7. Escape the area

Watch this video to see Ground Front Choke Defense in action:

HubSpot Video



Dave Young

Dave Young / About Author

Dave served as law enforcement officer in Florida and in the Marines as a gate sentry, patrol officer, watch commander, investigator, Special Reaction Team (SRT) member, leader and commander. He now serves as a defensive tactics consultant for numerous police and correctional agencies. Dave also is an industry leader in testing public safety equipment and non-lethal weaponry. He applied all of this expertise as host of “Crash Test Human,” a TV series for National Geographic in which he tested emergency scenarios such as being trapped inside a water-submerged car.