One of the most common questions I’m asked by friends and training partners is how to knock someone unconscious. This is valuable knowledge in any self-defense situation, as the goal in any fight is to stop your opponent from hurting you. The most surefire way to do this is to render the opponent unconscious. This can be difficult to do if you are unsure of how exactly a knockout occurs. Luckily there are a few techniques which may improve or even guarantee your chances of rendering a person unconscious.
The first technique is a strike to the head in a way that causes a quick turn or “snap” of the head either laterally (side to side) or vertically (up and down). The most common strikes which cause these motions are kicks, hooks, and uppercuts to the jaw. The goal of these strikes is to hit one’s opponent where he has the least strength to resist the strike – this area is known as the “button,” and is located on the jaw beneath the cheekbone.
Two other areas are also prone to causing a knockout on impact – the temple and behind the ear. These are both areas with less protection against impact by the skull, and are sensitive to blunt impact moreso than other areas. The temple is the soft spot next to the eye and above the cheekbone. It is one of the thinnest and least protected areas of the skull, and be targeted fairly easily by a right or left hook. The area behind and beneath the ear is especially sensitive to impact because many nerves run through this area. On top of this, the inner ear is the organ responsible for balance and coordination in the brain. A solid strike to one of these spots is a good way to knock an opponent out.
Although knocking an opponent out by striking him may be fast and exciting, it is not nearly as reliable as a chokehold at rendering an opponent unconscious. The benefit of a chokehold is that it does not rely on chance to stop someone – once the bloodflow to the brain is stopped, the victim’s conscious activity is halted, and he will go limp. One common choke hold is called the rear-naked choke. To apply this choke hold, you must be positioned behind your opponent’s back. From here, you will wrap one arm around the exposed neck and grab the opposite arm’s bicep. Then, you bring the second arm’s hand behind the opponent’s head to lock in the choke. From here, you simply squeeze your arms tight, applying pressure to the carotid arteries on either side of the neck, cutting off bloodflow to the brain. Within seconds, your opponent should be rendered unconscious, at which point you should release the choke to prevent any damage to the brain of your opponent.
These techniques, while powerful and impressive, can be dangerous to the health of your opponent, so you should only use them in self defense situations. If you would like to learn more techniques of similar value, a good start would be the martial art of Brazilian jiu jitsu. This is an art in which leverage and technique are used to apply chokes and joint locks in order to force one’s opponent to submit.
I have a passion for learning and teaching martial arts. I currently have a brown belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu and have been studying the art for 6 years. I’ve also been training boxing and muay thai for 3 years. Please visit my blog and feel free to leave comments or ask me any questions you might have.