Monday, September 14, 2009

Top Technique: Brachial Stun

Discussions of target areas, like “pressure points,” can sometimes be a subject of controversy regarding effectiveness, as in the case of secret or hidden techniques. Some, on the other hand, are indisputably effective. Such is the “Brachial Stun” or a strike to the side of the neck.
Let’s look at a couple of good examples.

Example #1: Highlights of Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic, a former kickboxer, and currently an MMA fighter, known for his knockout prowess. Notice that the Thai kick applied to the temple or the side of the neck, when landed flush, almost always results in a knockdown. Ironically, Cro Cop himself was defeated in the UFC via the same technique.

Example #2: The Famous “Pimp Smackdown” video. In this case, the attacker is hit cleanly to the side of the neck by the “Karate expert” with a forearm or knifehand strike to obvious effect. Also notice that the Karate man was not planted to deliver maximum power, but snapped the technique while also penetrating through the target. If he were "planted” or had a stronger base, I doubt the pimp would have been able to stumble away at all.

So what is the Brachial Stun? An older version of the Army Field Manual on combatives (FM 21-150) describes it this way,
A sharp blow to the side of the neck causes unconsciousness by shock to the carotid artery, jugular vein, and vagus nerve. For maximum effect, the blow should be focused below and slightly in front of the ear. A less powerful blow causes involuntary muscle spasms and intense pain. The side of the neck is one of the best targets to use to drop an opponent immediately or to disable him temporarily to finish him later.
Clearly, the goal in FM 21-150 was to put an opponent down quickly, and this technique does. That’s why it’s become a staple of police defensive tactics and almost all combatives (military hand-to-hand use or based) systems.

CAUTION: This is for informational purposes only. Any strike that can drop or disable an opponent may result in unconsciousness or death, even by a secondary impact (the floor or another object).

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Adam @ Low Tech Combat said...

You know what? Thats actually a great way to use 'pressure points' effectively. Strike them with power. And that area u highlight is a great way to do this.

Anonymous said...

Good return post! hopefully you bring us more soon.

You are right. If the karate instructor did strike with a firm base, it could have been much worse.

John W. Zimmer said...

Hi Nathan,

I saw the Pimp video before but did not realize tht Cro Cop using a pressure point. Good application of a pressure point.

Nathan at TDA Training said...

Adam -quite true. My goal in the post was to highlight techniques which are "high percentage." Striking some points fits the bill as illustrated. Thanks.

Marks- Thanks for the welcome back. I intend to post about once a week. Expecting anything more will be unrealistic, I'm learning. Even that maybe optimistic.

John- I had a guy that did something similar at one of my schools. He was a relatively inexperienced, unschooled black belt, but he could time the back leg round kick. Cro Cop has the lead leg Thai kick down, which is hard to see because of the guard hands, and sneaky.

Jesse Crouch said...

This is definitely a legit technique. I learned this while doing pressure point martial arts. The technical point he is hitting is ST-9 (stomach 9):

The way it was explained to me is that hitting the point / area / artery causes a reaction in the brain that basically makes you think you're having a heart attack or something severely wrong with your blood flow so the brain shuts down.

Check out Kyusho on youtube:

I've also got a post about martial arts pressure points in general here:

TheMartialArtsReporter said...

I enjoyed the video with the very decisive karate instructor. Very effective. No blood.
The perp must have been under the influence
big time.
Thanks for sharing the video. I enjoy your blog.

wagli01 said...

Great article. Very informative and helpful. I will use this in my own school. Graf's ATA Martial Arts

Anonymous said...

How come nobody mentioned that the pimp wasn't doing anything but walking towards the karate expert ?

I believe this consistutes an assault..

Anonymous said...

Are you serious? That's very clearly not an assault.

State law varies, but no jury in the country would convict a man who 1.) was approached 2.) by a pimp 3.) by a pimp who threatened him and displayed violence prior to approach.

Not to mention the instructor assumed a clear defensive stance and the man continued his approach. An approach that involved ripping his shirt to pieces and throwing a prostitute off him...

Come on now.

LSDIllinger said...

I've personally ended an attempt at my wallet with a solid neck strike. He thought his lil pen knife was scary lol.

Too bad the videos got pulled, I love how information isn't free anymore.

Anonymous said...

If you watch the whole video it shows that the pimp had been beating up the woman. He came down from his martial arts studio to stop him from beating her and to help the woman.