Vulnerable Points of the Body
A strangle such as works on the
principle of cutting off the blood supply to the brain by applying pressure
against the carotid artery in the side of the neck. Cutting off the blood
supply to the brain deprives it of oxygen and so causes unconsciousness; it is
normally quite painless.
In contrast, a choke is effected by applying pressure with
the bony inside edge of the wrist against the windpipe or trachea and then
squeezing, which has the effect of cutting off the air supply to the lungs.
This, too, will cause unconsciousness, but is normally accompanied by frenzied
resistance because of reflex panic and struggling brought about by the
attendant choking or drowning sensation. Alternatively, unconsciousness can be
almost instantaneous. Chokes are distinctly more dangerous since there is a
risk of unintentionally crushing the trachea which is likely to cause death.
The other joints of the body are more easily attacked by
locking techniques than strikes, especially when fighting on the ground and
techniques exist to sprain, dislocate and break. The knees, elbows, ankles and
shoulders are all vulnerable to such techniques. The knee is also a particularly
suitable target for kicking techniques and, despite being very strong in
certain positions, if struck with a blow of only forty or so pounds of
pressure, laterally, it will normally dislocate. Stamping kicks are usually
employed for attacking the knee from the front or the side and have the
advantage that they can be used at long range before an attacker gets close
enough to land a punch or grab hold of his intended victim. The knee can also
be stamped on from behind. If this method is chosen it will cause the leg to
bend and assist in forcing an attacker to the floor.
Other target areas which can be hit to knock an assailant to
the ground include the liver, spleen, floating ribs and the occipital (back of
the head). The pit of the stomach (the area below the belt in boxing parlance)
is not as well protected by muscles as the upper abdomen, and vital, vulnerable
organs are located there.
It can therefore be effectively hit with kicks or punches.
Just beneath the heart is a vulnerable spot and the armpit, although generally
difficult to attack is a major nerve centre which can be exposed when making
certain punching or stabbing attacks. Even the thigh contains vulnerable nerve
centers as anyone who has ever been given a 'dead leg' will agree. The nerve
centers of the thighs are in fact major target areas for kicking attacks in
both Kyokushinkai karate and Muay Thai kickboxing and if trained to kick in the
techniques of either of these fighting systems it is a surprisingly simple
matter to 'drop' an untrained attacker with a leg kick.
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