Place yourself in a position such as the static push up and have a partner walk toward you and away from you. Your job is to strike him in any way you can without creating discomfort for yourself in twisting or bending of the spine. Keep your eyes relaxed and remember to think of yourself first. This way you learn to strike from a point of comfort and avoid getting into an uncomfortable position just to hit.
If you are already in an uncomfortable position like being chocked from behind repeat the drill and avoid escalating your discomfort.
Even if you have a knife to your body you can lessen the injury. When you give up you are hurting yourself and that makes no sense. This does not mean you need to look hard and tough. Sometimes you can survive using your wits and communication. In fact most life is like that and it is a shame not to use skills you are honing each day. Consider though that we work on breathing and moving and when you add talking you need to first maintain your awareness of the former and add to this. This way you will not be completely out of the water and it is wise to work on this before it happens.