Last column covered some counters to common holds. The idea of "KISS" was mentioned, (keep it simple stupid), which was the Israeli motto in their 6 day war. I'd like to emphasize again that this approach is very helpful. The more complicated a technique becomes, the less likely it is to succeed. There are just too many opportunities for mistakes. Your ability to quickly and simply end a threat depends upon your awareness of the situation, the surroundings, the attacker's intent and assets. Maybe all that is necessary is for you to yell loudly at him. Or as the young lady in the following story did: This young woman was walking through a park when she became aware of a man behind her. She also felt his intent which was not benign! She immediately dropped to her hands and knees growling and barking like a dog, and began biting at the grass. The attacker stopped in confusion, looked at her and said, "You're crazy!" He went away without harming her. The young woman found the police and the man was promptly arrested. When he saw the young woman he immediately told the police that she was crazy. His confusion from her behavior upset his mental balance. This proved to be a simple but effective technique. You must always know your assets. You have a brain and a strong desire to live unharmed, use your creative imagination! She did, and survived. 

The same principles apply regardless of what hold is used in the attempt to harm you. First if you can move before the hold is firmly applied you can probably stop its destructive result. Remember if you can prevent the movement your attacker must make to apply the hold, you can stop it. Also if you move from the position your attacker expects you to be in, you can stop his hold. The best counters use both principles simultaneously! If you permit the hold to be fully applied, your escape is much more difficult and doubtful.

A common attack is to reach out and encircle the neck with the hands, choking the victim. Many counters taught for this attack pit the victim's strength against the attackers. Never try to match his strength by trying to knock his hands away from your neck, or any of those other strength intensive moves. I would suggest a much simpler thing. Place your hand against his chest with the fingers reaching up to his Adam's apple. You may need to turn a bit sideways to do this. Plead while you're preparing, "Don't hurt me". When the hand is in place, curl the fingers in and down into the hollow formed by the end of the collar bones. You will take him directly to the floor.

Make certain that your attacker can neither continue his assault or chase you as you leave. Do not give your opponent a second chance to harm you. Much of your advantage will be lost if you permit him the chance to try again. For your own safety do whatever is needed to ensure his attack is terminated!