View Full Version : Beating for MAXIMUM bruising

02-19-2012, 10:36 PM
I have a character who needs to be seriously bruised, but not permanently injured or made immobile. The idea is to make it LOOK like he's being terribly abused. The people who perform the beating don't care about him, and don't care if he feels pain, but he performs a valuable function and they want him still able to do so.

I've found lots of information on the reverse, on MINIMIZING bruising and other evidence of torture, but I haven't found much on maximizing it. Is this because there's no real need for special techniques? Like, if the bad guys want the injuries to look spectacular, would they just hit him with fists and feet? They've been instructed to leave his face alone, but to do as much visible damage to the rest of his body as they can.

If they're trying to avoid permanent damage, would they use any weapons/tools at all? I guess a whip of some sort could do damage to the skin... but they'd want to be sure it wouldn't scar.


02-19-2012, 11:00 PM
Punches and slaps can leave bruises. A sock with a tennis ball in it used as a whip, a Nerf bat, or anything else you can think of that is solid but padded. Football players have lots of bruises by end of a game.

It should also be noted that people who take aspirin on a regular basis bruise very easily.

02-19-2012, 11:18 PM
In the movie Grifters, one of the primary characters describes an insurance fraud scam that involves putting oranges into a towel. Hitting someone with that leaves spectacular bruises, goes the story, but does no deep-tissue damage. If done correctly, of course.

The seventh paragraph at this link (http://www.kamera.co.uk/features/the_grifters.php) mentions the scene.

02-19-2012, 11:29 PM
My first thought was to use a flat board or something like that that would bruise the surface over a large area.

02-19-2012, 11:37 PM
I think I understand your question... If I'm in error, I apologize.

Bruising is essentially visible evidence on the surface of the skin of underlying tissue damage or trauma; more specifically, the ruptured capillaries in or below the dermal layer, and subsequent bleeding into the dermis and subcutaneous tissue.
Some people bruise more easily than others.

There are techniques that would render significant bruising without doing serious or permanent damage, but it requires a good knowledge of anatomy and certain skill sets.

For example: someone well trained in the use of a sap/blackjack could leave considerable bruising without breaking bones or splitting the flesh. Conversely, broken bones and split-open impact wounds are easily attained if desired - or may be the hallmark of the untrained and/or unrestrained/undisciplined. The difference lies in the location and force of the strike. Generally speaking, the less tissue between the impact site and the underlying bone, the greater the propensity for bruising without significant applied force. However, too much force can compromise the integrity of the bone, thus exceeding the intention to only bruise.

In conclusion, a severe beating can be administered below the neck that does no permanent harm but looks terrible. However, it would take a skilled and dispassionate adversary to administer such punishment and thus produce the results you've described.

You'll have to decide precisely what your story needs.

Drachen Jager
02-19-2012, 11:56 PM
High velocity, low mass.

Paintballs on bare skin leave awful welts, but other than stinging like hell for an hour or so they don't impair function. I'd suggest something like that.

Most of the advice you got on minimizing bruising is the opposite I'm sure, the phone book to add mass for low-velocity, high-mass hits.

A rubber hose would be pretty effective too (remove the metal bits). Anything light that can be swung really fast will leave nasty surface bruising but not risk breaking bone or anything.

02-20-2012, 12:44 AM
Excellent ideas, guys - thanks!