You’re being smothered! Either by design or through nothing more than dumb luck or massive girth your opponent has managed to cover your mouth and nose cutting off your ability to breath. It has happened to every practitioner at one time or another and it sucks. There are few things worse than having to tap out to a smother – getting caught in a technical choke and being forced to tap out is an acceptable fate but the smother is crude, undignified, and embarassing!

So what to do when you are caught in a smother and don’t wish to live out the remainder of your days at the academy having to wear a paper bag to hide your face? Here is a simple, effective, and surprisingly not commonly known technique to survive the smother.

When you begin to feel trapped and start to recognize that there isn’t enough fresh air coming into your mouth and nose open your mouth as wide as it can go! Is it pleasant? No. You are most likely going to have a mouthful of gi or worse – sweaty flesh. However, most of the time the increased surface area through which you can now intake air into your lungs will allow you to survive, escape, and exact retribution. Or tap – the choice is yours!