In other articles and videos I’ve talked about the best ways to knock somebody out.
And there’s an old tough guy saying that goes something like this…
“If we fight there are only going to be three hits: I hit you, you hit the ground, and the ambulance hits 60.”
While that’s a funny thing to growl out in a droll John Wayne accent it also brings up a deadly serious topic. Something that could very easily land you in jail for manslaughter.
There’s a super-dangerous aspect to the knockout, and it has to do with the second hit – the uncontrolled “hitting the ground” part.
Not many people punch hard enough to cave a man’s skull in, but what’s not often appreciated is that dropping a man’s head onto the pavement from 6 feet up can have some very serious consequences.
It’s analagous to dropping a cinderblock on someone’s head from a second story window – LOTS of damage is going to happen!
We’re talking about damage that looks like the fractured skull, uncontrollable bleeding in the brain, and going to jail for manslaughter kind of damage.
If you knock someone out then they’re going to fall down. And if they’re falling then there’s a good chance their head is going to hit the pavement HARD.
In the collision between skull and pavement the skull never wins, so anytime you knock someone out on a hard floor you’re risking a ‘pavement coup de grace’.
If you follow the news it’s a sadly common occurrence: people getting killed after they get knocked out because their skulls got fractured from hitting the ground. And increasingly their assailants are going to jail for it.
Let’s take a look at a few sad stories that should serve as warnings to us all…
“It wasn’t the punch, but the impact of his head striking the ground that caused his death” said the deputy state medical examiner.
His 50 year old assailant ended up getting charged with second degree manslaughter.
In a separate incident the following year, 2013, 51 year old Bary J Franklin was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison after knocking out 59 year old Steven Glenn Young in front of a tavern in Portland, Oregon. Once again the impact of the head on the ground after the knockout was implicated in his death.
And in yet another incident, in 2014 Dalton Clarke was sentenced to 15 years for sucker punching a man who then fell and hit his head on the ground outside of a Charleston, SC bar. The victim spent two days in a coma and then died.
Very similar cases happen all the time, and in countries all over the world (interestingly, based on my research it seems like the media in Australia and the UK are more aware about this type of injury than the US media at the moment).
You even see similar things in sports…
In a 2004 hockey game between the Vancouver Canucks and the Colorado Avalanche Todd Bertuzzi punched Steve Moore in the back of the head which knocked him out. That was bad enough, but then Bertuzzi followed Moore down, driving his head forward into the hard ice, fracturing 3 cervical vertebra and giving him a very serious concussion.
This high velocity collision with the ice ended Moore’s hockey career and triggered a series of lawsuits which presumably cost Bertuzzi a great deal of money.
Hopefully these examples have made the point that punching someone in the head with the intent to knock them out is always super-serious business.
You can decide to escalate the fight and punch your opponent in the jaw, temple or side of the neck, but you can’t necessarily control what happens next.
Your punch may land square but they shrug it off and hit you back… Or they may decide they’ve had enough and run away… Or they could collapse to the ground and smash their head on the sidewalk… You just never know!
So think long and hard before you go to Defcon 1 and start swinging. And maybe consider different techniques rather than going straight for the knockout punch as your first option.
When you consider all the legal ramifications of pavement-induced skull fractures then relatively safer but no less effective moves like the arm drag to rear naked choke start looking like much better options, don’t they?