Sunday, February 11, 2007

Head Butts - recipe for disaster?

"The head butt is a weapon of the last resort, not a primary tool. It is too risky. The biggest proponents of head butts have knocked themselves out doing them for real.They cannot tell you this. The true stories of self stunning, self-induced, knock-outs are way too numerous to discount." - Hock Hochheim

So true. My comrades and I were experimenting with some of the techniques from the Army Combative (MACP) program ("Pass the guard with strikes (p4-57)"), and the tactic, after you immobilize the arm of the fighter who has you in his guard, you are supposed to deliver "a couple of head butts." [See photo below]. It struck me (haw!) that this was a stupid idea, unless the soldier inside the guard has a helmet on, and the soldier on the bottom does not.

Three points on this:

  1. Head butts can be effective. I have broken two and three concrete slabs at a time (see below) with my head. I have no doubt that if I were to use similar power and technique on an opponent, I'd knock him out or spread his nose all over his face.
  2. There is a very good chance that I'd be unable to continue the fight. I remember nearly stumbling after standing up from one of these breaks, and my girlfriend - now wife - forbid me from ever doing it again. I wised up after reading numerous articles on the damage that impact of that type can do. Read this post from last year for more good information.
  3. I hope the intent of the technique is to have a soldier wearing a helmet use this technique, but otherwise refrain from knocking himself out. I think we've all see NFL players ram their helmets into their opponents helmets after a good play to congratulate each other. But many of you may have also witnessed a Washington Redskins quarterback who had just scored a rushing touchdown ram his head (no helmet) into a retaining wall and knock himself out of the rest of a season! He did that because he was used to having a helmet on, and the way he reacted was the way he trained himself to react.

Conclusion, save your brain cells, and leave the head butts to the rams and goats!

1 comment:

la bete said...

I wouldn't go so far as to call headbutts a recipe for disaster. They can cause problems if done badly but, if done properly can be extremely effective, especially as a pre-emptive attack from the fence. See for an excellent example.
Geoff Thompson's 'Real Heads, Knees & Elbows' is an excellent resource as well.