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LIVIN
04-22-2011, 11:47 PM
I'm at a point where I might need to knock someone out, whereby they loss consciousness for a bit. I know I've seen this done a ton, but I'm wondering how believable it is. So...

What are the chances someone gets knocked unconscious by one hard, unexpected punch to the face? (by a normal person)

And, same question with an object to the back of the head.

Thanks

AmsterdamAssassin
04-22-2011, 11:59 PM
The problem is that if it would be safe to render someone unconscious with a blow to the head, every anesthesiologist would have a hammer.

So, what would make one person dizzy, would kill another. Every time you get a blow to the head, you have a concussion, and the likelyhood of brain cells dying. Which is why punch drunk boxers often talk like retards - they're retarded from too many blows to the head.

Also, if someone comes to, they'll be sick as hell and not in any state to go investigating or jogging. Just to keep it realistic.

Steve Collins
04-23-2011, 12:05 AM
You can use a Brachial slap, or more commonly known as a Brachial Stun, it can be carried out with one hand, a kick or blow to the carotid artery. Check out the link below:
http://tdatraining.blogspot.com/2009/09/top-technique-brachial-stun.html

LIVIN
04-23-2011, 12:17 AM
You can use a Brachial slap, or more commonly known as a Brachial Stun, it can be carried out with one hand, a kick or blow to the carotid artery. Check out the link below:
http://tdatraining.blogspot.com/2009/09/top-technique-brachial-stun.html

How long would a person typically be knocked unconscious from that?

Graz
04-23-2011, 12:44 AM
Getting knocked out from a punch has something to do with your head snapping backwards. Weaker your neck, the greater chance you'll be knocked out.

Shakesbear
04-23-2011, 01:28 AM
um... I once knocked out my bro's best mate. He was irritating me and I had asked him many times to stop (none of us who were present can remember what he was doing!) and he didn't. I told him I'd clout him if he didn't stop - he didn't so I did. I don't remember hitting him - the impact. My bro told me, later, I'd given him a clout with an awesome left hook. I think I caught his chin. He just went down. It was a horrible moment as I thought I'd killed him. I am not sure how long he would have stayed out for - someone chucked a jug of cold water over him. He was a bit woozy when he came round.

dpaterso
04-23-2011, 01:49 AM
I'm willing to believe that any blow to the head could knock someone unconscious, and likewise any blow to the jaw, if we're talking normal people and not tough movie characters.

-Derek

blacbird
04-23-2011, 07:22 AM
What are the chances someone gets knocked unconscious by one hard, unexpected punch to the face? (by a normal person)

You ever watch a boxing or MMA match? The right punch, landed in the right place, will most definitely put a person out for a while.

AmsterdamAssassin
04-23-2011, 10:29 AM
I'm willing to believe that any blow to the head could knock someone unconscious, and likewise any blow to the jaw, if we're talking normal people and not tough movie characters.

-Derek

Could, yes. Will? No.

I'm not a tough movie character, but I was hit three times hard on the side of my head, just in front of my ear, by someone who had probably put someone down like that, because he was clearly amazed that I shook off the hits without any problem.

AmsterdamAssassin
04-23-2011, 10:32 AM
Getting knocked out from a punch has something to do with your head snapping backwards. Weaker your neck, the greater chance you'll be knocked out.

Could be, but losing consciousness most of the time has to do with the velocity of your head exceeding that of your brain and the sudden stop. If someone is turning his head and a blow to the head spins it the other way, the brain will bump against the inside of the skull and cause a concussion. A concussion can make someone woozy or even knock them out.

shaldna
04-23-2011, 10:33 AM
i think the question of 'could' you knock someone out is a yes. It's possible.

The real question here is 'will the reader believe that this person was knocked out from a punch' and the answer to that is yes.

dpaterso
04-23-2011, 11:36 AM
I'm not a tough movie character, but I was hit three times hard on the side of my head, just in front of my ear, by someone who had probably put someone down like that, because he was clearly amazed that I shook off the hits without any problem.
I don't doubt it's true, but that would trigger a big disbelief reaction if I read it in a story. The MC would appear to be impossibly tough if he weathered that assault.

-Derek

AmsterdamAssassin
04-23-2011, 11:56 AM
The MC would appear to be impossibly tough if he weathered that assault.

Or, like I did, move with each blow to lessen the impact.
I also have a strong neck and my opponent was slightly more inebriated than I was, although I'm susceptible to alcohol.

And I have a strong neck.

But I stress that I'm not a tough guy. I can just take a punch well.

DrZoidberg
04-23-2011, 12:42 PM
Then there's shock. I got kicked in the head once in a Thai-boxing match. A front kick square in my forehead. I was only out cold for a very short moment, but I had lost it for about ten minutes wondering who or what I was. It was very scary. When I came to (in the changing room) I found myself crying like a little girl and then I started laughing as in a delirium. People in shock do very strange things. Apart from a slight head-ache the rest of the day I was fine.

lastlittlebird
04-23-2011, 01:46 PM
Then there's shock. I got kicked in the head once in a Thai-boxing match. A front kick square in my forehead. I was only out cold for a very short moment, but I had lost it for about ten minutes wondering who or what I was. It was very scary. When I came to (in the changing room) I found myself crying like a little girl and then I started laughing as in a delirium. People in shock do very strange things. Apart from a slight head-ache the rest of the day I was fine.

Yes. A friend of mine once fell off her bike and hit her head on a rock. She had been cycling from her boyfriend's place to mine. She was knocked unconscious for maybe a few moments at the most, but she couldn't remember where she had been coming from or where she was going... she knew where she was, but she told me she basically decided to keep going to my house simply because she seemed to be pointed in that direction.
She didn't realize she was bleeding from several places until she got to my house 30 minutes later.
Luckily I was home!
And her memory did return before the end of the day.
She wasn't going fast, and basically fell because her pack was overloaded and she tried to take a sharp turn (she was trying to scare an annoying kid, but that's another story).
So, I don't imagine she hit her head much harder than a punch/object to the face could manage.

PinkAmy
04-23-2011, 02:12 PM
Pain can cause you to lose consciousness. I once passed out having a drain removed 5 days after surgery. I wasn't in pain before the nurse started to pull. Next thing I knew the doctor was waving smelling salts under my nose. I couldn't have been out for more than a minute or two. It had to be enough time for the nurse to get the doctor from another examination room into mine, for him to get the smelling salts, open them, and use them.
Maybe I'm just a weakling, but I'd probably pass out if someone punched me to the face :).

SinK
04-23-2011, 02:33 PM
The other things to note about losing consciousness from a blow is that the longer your out the more likely the chance of brain damage or death. I am not 100% on this but I think if you've been out for more than 30min you really need to be hospitalised definitely true if your out for an hour.

Of course this is rarely an issue in fiction, I think we've seen Bond hit over the head and wake up miles away hours later and still have the wherewithal to come up with one liners with his capturers enough times for it not to break our concentration one bit if the situation doesn't live up to the medical realities.

JayMan
04-23-2011, 05:23 PM
Could, yes. Will? No.

I'm not a tough movie character, but I was hit three times hard on the side of my head, just in front of my ear, by someone who had probably put someone down like that, because he was clearly amazed that I shook off the hits without any problem.
Agree with this. I was once caught totally by surprise by a punch to the head by a guy noticeably larger than me. I was "less than 100%" at the time, so it knocked me to the ground (but didn't knock me unconscious). While I was on the ground, I was kicked in the head 4 or 5 more times, though I'd curled my arms around the sides of my head and face for protection by then. I walked away with the back of my head bleeding pretty badly, but still completely conscious.

Nick Blaze
04-24-2011, 08:10 AM
From a martial arts perspective where we train to kill, knocking out is less likely than other things. However, there are many, many ways to render a person unconscious. Most that come from blows/strikes are not sure-fire ways to do so.

Generally, at the base of the skull where the medula oblongata is is a good way to knock a person out. You see it many times in movies with horrible karate chops. That would almost never work, from experience. It takes a nukite (thrust of the fingers) or a very accurate punch to the base of the skull at the back of the neck to come close.

The less prepared the body is for something, the more likely it will work. In its relaxed state, sudden impact whiplashes more. Your body is forced to move with the flow. However, in a fight situation generally the body is a bit more tense and able to resist foreseeable impact.

Most sure-fire ways to make something lose consciousness result from strangulation or choking techniques. I'm not sure which is which, honestly, but one we tend to define as "cutting off air flow" and the other as "cutting off blood flow" and there are about.... seven thousand to infinity ways to do this. Some attack the arteries, others attack the diaphragm, what have you. Generally, these holds are applied not to truly kill a person outright from choking, but to do one of a few things, such as: A) make them easier to tie up and transport as a prisoner, B) to weaken them so that you can kill them easier, C) to give you a brief rest (most chokes are applied from grappling, as most fights end up there, and side-mount is such a lazy-man's position).

I can't say I'm a normal person and I've been hit in the head with baseball bats, dense oaken staffs, fists, brass knuckles, and the like. I've never lost consciousness, but I have blacked out standing before. That came with a strike near my temple, I think.

Also note there's a huge different between a concussion and a contusion. Contusions can lead to comatose, but can essentially happen in similar fashions.

How do normal people react in fights, though? Per experience, most Americans tend to take a boxing approach with wide haymaker punches. Usually when that fails, they then go for a naive wrestling approach and then go for the legs to take you down. I saw a man go out after falling from such a thing onto pavement, but it was very brief.

plunderpuss
04-24-2011, 12:38 PM
I think Shaldna's response was perhaps the most useful, even though you got lots of good information.

The important thing isn't what happens--it's how you present it. So if the character robs a bank with her bare hands and then gets punched once in the chin, we might be less likely to believe she got knocked out than if she was a poet who collects stray cats and got knocked out from a punch to the chin.

I think the key is to adapt the information to the story.

LIVIN
04-25-2011, 06:38 PM
Thanks everyone for your thoughtful responses. :)

veinglory
04-25-2011, 06:43 PM
A knockout punch is unlikely to be to the face as collapse of facial structure will lessen the impact. I would say getting knocked out happens, but I would doubt that you could deliberately hit someone hard enough to knock them out without a significant risk of killing them or causing permanent damage.

AdamR85
04-29-2011, 07:54 PM
I'm at a point where I might need to knock someone out, whereby they loss consciousness for a bit. I know I've seen this done a ton, but I'm wondering how believable it is. So...

What are the chances someone gets knocked unconscious by one hard, unexpected punch to the face? (by a normal person)

And, same question with an object to the back of the head.

Thanks

I take Karate, and have been accidentally knocked out in sparing. My experience was fairly typical. I got caught in the face by a punch that wasn't intended to actually touch me. Essentially, my memory of the event was sparing, laughing, a fist careening towards my face, which doesn't actually land, and then I'm on the floor, groaning. The event itself, even the strike, I had no memory of. I was only out for a few seconds - the time between getting hit and landing on the floor.

Shallee
04-30-2011, 10:48 PM
My grandfather was a boxer. It's very difficult to knock someone out with one punch in an actual fight, because, they're tense and ready to be hit. However, if someone's not expecting it, a punch to the temple or the jaw can hit certain nerves and twist the neck in such a way that it can knock someone out.

I use a scenario like this in my novel-- but just once. My character tries to knock someone else out with one punch, it doesn't work. It really does depend, but I think if you execute it right, you could get away with it once in a novel.

KQ800
05-01-2011, 12:49 AM
I'm at a point where I might need to knock someone out, whereby they loss consciousness for a bit. I know I've seen this done a ton, but I'm wondering how believable it is. So...

What are the chances someone gets knocked unconscious by one hard, unexpected punch to the face? (by a normal person)

And, same question with an object to the back of the head.

Thanks

Having both knocked people out and gotten knocked out myself: If you get hit so your head twists or moves laterally fast enough, the brain takes a time-out.

If you get hit in a too painful place, like a left hook to the liver, same thing happens. I do not know why, but it looks like the strings on a mannequin is cut. you just go straight down. (This is most likely if you have not been hit a lot. After some fights the brain get used to the body whining and stops caring, I think)

Usually this lasts a fraction of a second so people notice that they are falling. It also shuts off short term memory storage so the last seconds, up to a couple of minutes are not stored.

When you get wake up, you are not fully awake. you are confused, out of balance, uncoordinated. If you have been hit very hard, or in a bad way like when you are not prepared, this confusion can last thirty to forty seconds during which you might stagger around and act like you are completely inebriated. Even after this it can take several minutes to get your bearings and up to speed with what is happening. Vomiting is common

If your protagonist is knocked out, he can be manhandled and blindfolded during the confusion phase and will probably not have a clue as to what happened.

If someone is hit in the head and unconscious for longer period of time, such as an hour, you are most likely talking about severe concussion with possible complications like subdural hematoma or progression into a comatose state.

the link below is pretty good:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concussion

Detri Redmond
05-01-2011, 01:15 AM
I've unintentionally knocked someone out. I assume it was an uppercut since I watched their chin raised as they fell backward with their eyes shut. During that time I thought they were humoring me because he looked so peaceful so I caught him with another.

I said unintentionally because the person spat on my forearm and after seeing it there glinting in the sunlight as it was I blacked out. Didn't even remember throwing the first punch.

He was pretty disoriented after, even when the ambulance arrived.