It’s absolutely amazing how persistent the myth of “drive a man’s nose cartilage up into his brain to kill him” myth is!
Almost EVERYONE has heard this story at some point, even people who don’t practise martial arts.
Belief in this ‘technique’ has been fostered by Hollywood, with both Bruce Willis in The Last Boy Scout and Nicolas Cage in Con Air lethally driving a man’s nose into his brain when they had no other choice
Well it’s complete and utter B.S!
How do we know this? Well, the experiment has already been run for us. Hundreds of thousands of times. In combat sports.
If we combine boxing, kickboxing, MMA, Muay Thai and other forms of full contact fighting then thousands upon thousands of people have been hit in the nose at every conceivable angle and with every available body part.
People have died from these blows, but never from their brain exploding due to piece of cartilage somehow magically flying through bone, sinuses, and layers of tissue…
Some proponents of the deadly killing power of Karate will argue that you can’t judge the efficacy of empty handed strikes with data from boxing because in boxing they wear gloves…
But what about the elbows, knees and shins flying into people’s heads in Thai Boxing and the UFC? That’s unpadded bone flying into people’s noses.
Upward strikes, downward strikes, curving blows, straight shots… Fists, palms, elbows, knees, shins, headbutts… 16 oz gloves, 12 oz gloves, 5 oz gloves, bare fists…. It’s all been tried before!
Now, getting hit in the head isn’t a good thing. Fighters have died in the ring from hard shots to the head, especially if they had a pre-existing concussion they hadn’t recovered from yet.
Taking powerful blows to the head can lead to concussions and CTE. It can fracture your skull, either with the initial shot or the second hit when you fall to the ground. It can result in bleeding within the skull (a ‘subdural hematoma’) or swelling of the brain (‘cerebral edema’), both of which are a very serious, potentially life threatening condition.
But fighters are NOT dying from an epidemic of traumatic nasal cartilage brain injections!
In fact if you get hit HARD in the head your nose actually functions a little bit like a crumple zone in a car – it absorbs some of the energy and provides some padding.
Taking a shin kick to the nose by a shin is going to hurt like hell. You’re going to bleed, and you might need surgery to get your modelling career back on track, but it’s not like taking a shot to the temple where the brain is right behind a relatively thin layer of bone with almost zero padding.
It’s time to put this nasal-cartilage-into-the-brain idea into the graveyard of debunked martial arts myths!
Here’s a video on the Self Defense Tutorials Youtube channel that I filmed just about this cartilage topic. Be warned: I really had a TON of fun filming and it shows…