Like Ask the Street Fighter on Facebook  Follow Ask the Street Fighter on Twitter  Find Ask the Street Fighter on LinkedIn
Menu Button

Ask the Street Fighter

Self Defense Law

Dangers of Striking the Carotid Arteries

Aiming strikes and blows to carotid arteries carry some risks with possible fatal results. It is always the heart and the brain that is put in the danger and unless you know how to provide help, I suggest you use these strikes to carotids as the last resort techniques.

There is no question about effectiveness of strikes aimed to carotids. It’s a very sensitive area and you can shut a person out for a while with just a single hit. And it doesn’t even needs to be a much powerful one.

This could make carotid arteries quite useful and favorite target. What we have to have in mind though – especially if you want to try it during your training – is that it carries certain dangers that may have even fatal endings.

Lets go through the results your strikes may cause when successfully delivered to the carotid neck area.

Cardiac arrest

Cardiac arrest can be caused by bradycardia and heart attack.

It is caused by insufficient oxygen supply to your heart. A like would say, that your heart has stopped, because it wasn’t fed properly with the oxygen, which is the basic supply for your organ’s function.

Cardiac arrest usually results in fainting (because your brain blacks out due to the lack of oxygen carried by the blood) and can lead to death if not treated immediately by resuscitation (CPR).

Cardiac arrest can occur quite shortly after hitting the artery!

Artherosclerotic plaque

Artherosclerotic plaque is a swelling of cholesterol cells on certain places in your arteries. As the foam cells, with cholesterol within, are dying, they are attracting the white blood cells.

Your white blood cells bodyguards then are taking care of the mess and as they accumulate in the carotid membrane, they harden. That creates the plaque in your artery.

Sadly, even though the whole thing begins with the cholesterol and fatty cells, this appears normally among all the people. Especially among the older ones since their arteries are hardening and the creation of plaques in arteries is inevitable.

If you hit the artery and make damage to the membranes there, the plaques will create, later putting the opponent in danger of heart attack, stroke and many other cardiac diseases.

On the other hand, when you hit the artery, you can also loosen to the blood circle a plaque that has already been created.


Heart attack

Heart attack is caused by blocking an artery (a vessel with oxygenated blood). The blood flow to the heart is then interrupted and the heart cells start to die.

This results in irreversible damage to the heart (as the cells die) and if not treated fast, it may cause death.

When you release the plaque by hitting the artery, heart attack is one of the most common heart diseases you can cause.

TAKE CARE - especially when training or fighting with older people!

Common symptoms of a heart attack are the chest pain, narrowness, vomiting, aspiration problems, nausea and heartbeat irregularity.

The heart attack won’t probably show immediately in the fight since it can take quite a long time before the plaque blocks the artery, but if you are training these combat moves, pay big attention to these symptoms.


Stroke is caused by the increasing damage to the brain; in other words by loss of brain cells.

This is usually caused by the blockage of oxygenated blood supply or dramatic loss of blood.

The common symptoms are tunnel vision, inability to formulate a sentence and to think clear and also having problems with moving limbs.

Since this concerns brain, the damage can result in debility and even death.

Do not hit anybody in the arteries (easily accessible on sides of the neck) just for fun or during training as many nut head show-senseis like to do.

If you train techniques aimed on the vital points such as carotid arteries, always wear a proper protection preventing possible inner damage.

Oh, and if you are fighting older people, try avoiding these parts at all – unless really necessary.

Now you know that mashing the bad guy in his neck can really do the job done. But you have to know that there is a chance your deeds will have fatal circumstances.

This though shouldn’t prevent you from training and using this stuff.

I advise you to use these types of techniques in a fight only as the last resort and especially, if you are legally allowed to execute such strikes considering the possible damage outcome.

As long as it can save your life – go for it.

But if you are just calming down a drunken uncle, don’t be a show off. Show some reason instead. BE SMART!

TAGS: hit to the neck carotid arteries


advertisement advertisement


MORE ON carotid arteries: