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Self Defense Law

Effects of Hitting Carotid Arteries

Strike to carotid arteries is not only very effective, but also very dangerous way to get rid of an assailant. Each hit has paralyzing effect but some circumstances can even lead to death of the one hit. Better learn what you can cause before you go for carotids.

Carotid arteries are one of the spots mentioned in the well known concept of Dim Mak (death touch or poison touch).

Some “gurus” show their abilities in knocking tough guys out by just one blow. They hit their apprentices to the neck and put them to sleep in front of dozens of people, waiting for the theatrical “Wow!” expression of acknowledgement.

If you are one of those nut-heads, let me tell you sumtin. Striking carotid arteries is freaking dangerous and shouldn’t be taken lightly!

There are parts of human body that are much more vulnerable to damage than others and hitting them, even in self defense, may have even fatal consequences.

For example - you have to acknowledge that a man, hit in his carotids, is in danger of the stroke, heart attack and cardiac arrest!

Decide for your self, whether you want to include them in your arsenal and therefore train and may be even apply them in real life situations.

Carotid arteries and neck it self is one of these parts. It is so vulnerable, that you should develop a primary defense reflex to cover your neck up.

Learn how to protect your vulnerable spots, so you won’t fall a victim to your own ignorance.

In language of reality based self defense – If you hit someone in his/her neck, it will cause a big shock to the body (at least), which will paralyze the opponent for a while, giving you space to continue with more complex technique or run away.

Basically, if you are going for the most effective strike to the carotid side of the neck, you should aim to the carotid sinus. This is the most vulnerable place, which is responsible for all the magic fainting knockout stuff.

Let’s do a little bit of human anatomy here shall we, so you will understand what happens in the body when you attack the arteries (carotid sinus).

Carotid sinus

Every one of us has two carotid arteries processing on sides of the neck. Each carotid artery is called common until it bifurcates in two branches – internal and external carotid artery.

Internal goes deep under the skull, bringing blood to the brain, eyes and larynx. External carotid artery processes on the surface and quickly diminishes in many thin branches, supporting muscles of your neck and face.

The point where the common carotid artery is being divided in to the two sisters we just described is called the carotid sinus.

It is approximately in the same height as the notch of your thyroid cartilage (Addam’s apple).

In this carotid sinus, there are little cells called baroreceptors. These little fellows are checking the pressure of blood flowing though the carotids and send the information to your brain.

When you hit someone to his carotids (carotid sinus), you confuse the baroreceptors, so they think the blood pressure raised and through the glossopharyngeal nerve, they send this information to the brain.

The brain is connected with the heart by the vagus nerve. Through this nerve, the brain orders the heart to slow down and lower the blood pressure.

The heart will then lower its blood output and your heart rate goes down, what can result in bradycardia.



Bradycardia implicates, that your actual heart rate is lower than your normal resting value.

When less oxygenated blood flows to your organs like the heart it self, they will lack the oxygen, which is needed for their proper function.

Low oxygen in your heart and brain can result in fainting or even death!

Now you know why people faint when you strike their carotids. It is all just because the brain and heart react to the manually caused image of raised blood pressure in your neck blood vessels.

It is a rapid reaction (0,2 ms if your body has normal temperature), so don’t be surprised if the right guy faints immediately after you happen to strike the right place.

You have to keep in mind, that the sensibility of each person is different and some may faint immediately, some may stand even after couple of shots.

Basically – if you take the guy down on the first strike (may not be even a strike) there is a chance that your opponent is suffering from carotid sinus hypersensitivity.

Carotid sinus hypersensitivity

Carotid sinus hypersensitivity occurs mainly among the older men and is the overreaction of baroreceptors stimulation in the carotid sinus.

This hypersensitivity of carotid sinus baroreceprots can result in sudden bradycardia and consequent drop in blood pressure even after slight manual neck stimulation.

That means people with carotid sinus hypersensitivity will hit the floor even after a little scratch to their sinus.

Every time you are unconscious, your brain cells start to die rapidly and if you won’t wake up until 4-5 minutes, there is a great danger of sustaining irreversibly big BRAIN DAMAGE.

If the brain is not supported sufficiently, its primary defense from possible damage is that it blacks out.

Low oxygen supply for your heart can cause the cardiac arrest. Low blood supply to the brain may cause the stroke.

Carotid arteries are an excellent target to deliver really great amount of damage. They are vulnerable, sensitive and the neck plays a big role in the whole body function mechanism.

However, I recommend using attacks aiming to carotid arteries only in case of fighting assailants with obvious intentions – to kill you, rape you, beat you till you can walk and alike.

Do not strike the neck unless you really have to, because the damage you might inflict may be bigger than you can imagine.

Train smart – ‘coz jail is NOT a nice place to spend much time at.

TAGS: hit to the neck carotid arteries knockout


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