How To Escape A Headlock

If you have had the misfortune of being in a headlock before, then you know that it is not a good place to be, and it is an even more difficult place to get out of.

Headlocks are powerful, and you will need to use maximum effort to escape one. 

How To Escape A Headlock

However, just using your own brute force is not enough, and you will need to use some tactics if you want to stand a chance of escaping the headlock. 

Luckily, we are here to help. In this article, we will tell you everything you need to know about escaping a headlock, so if this is something you need to know, then read on! 

How To Escape A Headlock

There are a few different ways you can escape a headlock. We will talk you through each of the methods to give you the best chance of evading your attacker.

Method 1 

This first method details how to escape from a side headlock.

Step 1

If you are in a headlock, the first thing you need to do is turn your head so you are facing your attacker.

You do this so your airways are not constricted, thereby allowing you to breathe to give you more of a chance of escaping the headlock. 

Step 2

The next thing you need to do to escape the headlock is stun your attacker.

Use your hand that is closest to the attacker’s body (front) to hit their testicles, if your attacker has them. 

For other attackers, you can try striking your opponent in the ribs or the gut using your elbow. This will work on any attacker. 

It is important to remember to keep your other hand free in case your attacker tries to attack you. Use it to protect your face. 

If the situation is life-or-death, then it is totally appropriate to bite your opponent and is a wonderful way to attack your attacker if they are not prepared. 

But, you do need to remember that if you are in a proper chokehold, where their elbow joint is lined up in a vertical position with your esophagus, while their choking-arm hand is on their bicep opposite, and their other hand is on your skull’s base, then biting your opponent is not a good idea.

This gives your opponent a good opportunity to render you unconscious by pulling your neck towards them. 

Step 3

Now, you need to use your outer arm to grab around and up to the face of your attacker.

If you are in a life-or-death situation, then use your fingers to gouge their eyes. 

You can reach underneath their nose to pull their head back. Alternatively, you can pull their head back by grabbing them under their chin.

Remember to keep your free hand holding down the arm that had you in a headlock previously. 

The reason you do this is simple: where the head goes, the body follows.

So, pulling your attacker’s head back will cause them to become unbalanced. 

Step 4

When you pull back your attacker’s head, the next thing you need to do is get up and attack them.

Stand up straight and disarm them. Now use the hand that you used to hold their head-locking arm to hit them in the groin or the ribs and then push them away from you. 

Now, you can try to escape by running away. 

How To Escape A Headlock (1)

Method 2 

The following method will provide steps for getting out of a rear headlock, where the attacker is standing behind you. 

Step 1

The most important thing to do here is to protect your airway.

To do this, you need to turn your head to the side where your attacker is choking you to make sure your airways do not become cut off.

Then, use your hands to hold your attacker’s arm. Place your fingers on the inside of their arm, close to your chin. 

Step 2

The next thing you need to do in this situation is to tuck your chin.

First, you need to make sure your shoulders are raised or shrugged, depending on whichever gives you the most space.

From here, you should use that space to tuck your chin onto your body and place your fingers into the space between your chin and their arm. 

Now, you need to tuck your chin so that it goes inside the crook of their elbow.

This will allow you the most wiggle room. Next, you need to bend your knees to sink down into their hold. 

This will make it challenging for your attacker to lock their arm to your neck. 

Step 3

The next thing you need to do is step back. On the same side that your attacker is using to choke you, you need to put your foot back behind their food to lock their leg in. 

It is important to note that you should not arch your back. What you need to do is make sure your back is curved in a forward position. If you lean back, you are making yourself defenseless. 

It is also important that you do not step to the side. Make sure you are stepping back so your calves are in line with theirs. 

Step 4

Now, you need to turn around and throw your attack down.

Make sure your knees are bent and turn at a 180-degree angle to your foot that is stepped. Your hands should not have moved out of the position they were in earlier. 

Once you are out of the headlock, you need to pull across your body diagonally to get your attacker on the ground.

Keep the foot that has not been in use so far strong to be able to trip your attacker as you get them on the ground. 

If you are not able to throw your attacker to the ground, then you should turn your hips and shoulders inwards multiple times to give yourself leverage.

This will give you space to get your head out of the headlock. 

Final Thoughts 

Headlocks are difficult attacks to get yourself out of, but by following the correct techniques you will be able to escape your attacker.

We hope this article tells you all you need to know about getting out of a headlock. 

Christopher Anderson
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