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Self Defense Law

How to Knockout

Become even more fight-efficient by learning the principles of a knockout. Improve your striking game and make putting people fast to sleep your dominance. Become a hard target to deal with.

The best and the safest way for you, how to end a fight or just to gain a position of advantage is to knock your adversary out. Switch his lights off, and run some place safe (if you can).

Knockout can be achieved by several ways.

The quickest and most common way how to do it, is just to hit someone hard to his/her head. To add some juice, I would take the words from mouth of coach Lee Morrison:

Just hit fucking HARD, FIRST! - Lee Morisson

But rest assured, the fact someone will hit you in the head doesn’t mean you would go down right away. Not every spot on the head is worth hitting as it may cause bigger injury to your hand than to the one hit.

Before we name out the sweet spots, let’s remind our selves what actually causes people to fall down unconsciously after someone stroke their head with a fist or two.

Knockout caused by striking the head

If you want to send someone to sleep, head would be your target. You have to hit the right spot and you have to have enough force to shake the cerebrum.

That is why you need to hit just the spot that gives your opponent’s brain a proper bumping sensation.

Such spots would be:

Other knockout targets near the head

You know - everybody's brain is not placed firmly in the scull. It is in a liquid fluid and it literally swims in the head, being connected to the body only through the spinal cord and some other limbic connections and blood vessels.

When you go for a knockout, what you are trying to accomplish is to basically create a concussion. As big as you possibly can, or as many as needed to make the threat you are facing unable to keep attacking (i.e. is stunned). Let me explain.

There are more knockout types that we distinguish.

  1. Flash knockout
    A second lasting switch off. Really a flashy loss of consciousness with immediate wake up.

    People who come back from being knocked out like this usually act impetuously as they don’t remember what happened and get confused a bit.

    Could be caused for example by a hit to the carotid sinus (confusing the baroreceptors) or slamming the back of the neck (stimuli the medulla oblongata).

  2. Clean knockout
    Lights out, nighty night, shop’s closed.

    A result of one serious or number of consecutive smaller concussions causing damage to the brain, which in order to save some energy to be able to later heal it self (at least a bit), shuts off and leaves only the necessary functions alive.

    The knockout can last minutes, even more, depending on the damage that has been done to the brain.

    Good tools to cause this type of knockout are the ones with serious power of impact like: hooks, hammer fists, elbows, kicks etc.

If someone suffers more clean knockouts in shorter period of time, or the brain is so damaged during and excessive head exposure to being hit over longer time period, it may result in coma and even death.

Head area is by all means the best part of the body to knock someone out. Use this knowledge not only to support your offense, but also to improve your defense. Keep it well covered.

As the head gets smacked, the brain will hit the walls of the skull and as the trauma is being done, brain cells start to die.

A good practice could be also to use the environment and smack your opponent’s head in to something if you have a chance. A strong hit into a wall or a table could be a great way how to knockout people.

You have to remember that not everybody is the same and it may take different effort to take a person down.

Practice your striking and improve your power and explosiveness. Learn to hit real f*cking hard …and first!

One of the most important strikes in all fighting industry is the JAB. It is important not only to learn how to execute it fast and without telegraphing, but also how to read it and evade it, because it is to most usual strike people start their attack combos with. Use this knowledge well and implement it in your training of the Jab punch. Make it precise, explosive and powerful. Knowing how to knockout a person with the first strike is a very useful skill to have.



Another great and quite reliable way to shut someone’s lights out is by choking. In reality based self defense, when you want to take someone down, without much damage done to him or her, choking is probably your best option.

If done right, you can take a man down in matter of seconds.

You can interrupt the blood-flow to the brain by aiming the choke on the arteries, or squeeze the windpipe and don’t let any air to go to the body.

In both ways the person choked first falls asleep. I find the arteries more humane, because unless you choke someone for more than approx. 4 minutes straight, he won’t die and will suffer no brain injury.

Yes, they will faint, but it takes way more effort to kill a person with choking. If it is less than 4 minutes, they can be brought back to life without serious harm done (If the choke on arteries is being applied. One of the outcomes of applying the windpipe choke can be a crushed throat and broken hyoid bone, which can later result in death.)

Practice your chokes and also your defenses. If you’ll get in the hands of someone who knows what he is doing, two seconds could be all he’ll give you to fight back.

Be very aware when training this. Choking someone is no fun (to him at least) and is very dangerous if overdone. Practice slowly and communicate.

When you go for a choke, the person must feel like being choked them as soon as you lay your hand on their neck, before you actually start choking. Many people think they can do it properly but many can’t.

Next time you are with your partner, try how effective your chokes are and how long it takes you to really make the person feel like losing consciousness. Be very cautious and have a safety guy present, who would tell you to stop if the person choked fails to do so. It is a different story when you try to apply a choke to a compliant and non compliant person. Once you are confident with your chokes, try to apply it to a partner, who fights back.

Don’t let all the talking about brain injuries and death scare you. Rest assured that if someone threatens the health and/or freedom of me or my family, I will not hesitate to give him the beating of his life – and I’ll very gladly smash his head worse than a potato.

Use that knowledge mainly to be safe during your training sessions.

You might know many techniques and may be even other ways how to knock someone out, but from my own experience, striking someone to the head or choke them out is the way that works in REALITY… and which worked for me.

Knowing how to knock someone out is a great skill to have as it might save you a lot of trouble, for example when dealing with multiple attackers.

When training with partner, DO NOT go to extremes. Practice strikes on BOB and wear protectors. Techniques that may cause serious injury should never be trained with intention to hurt and must be trained with caution!

TAGS: knockout heavy damage


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