Armpit Killing blow

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Armpit Killing blow

Postby Van Canna » Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:07 am

From an old thread.

Panther
The proper strike to the armpit can cause cardiac arrest. (Forget meridians, "chi", kyusho, whathaveyou...) I know this is true.


Response by Dr Ian
Long cardiology lecture: skip this paragraph if not interested.
The heart cycle is: rest while filling, then the top chambers contract (the atria). This event is recorded on an EKG strip as a round bump called the p wave. Then there is another pause and then the large ventricles fire, pumping blood to the lungs and body. This large chunk of muscle causes a large deflection called the QRS complex when it depolarizes, and starts contracting, then another flatline (ST segment) as it contracts, but its electrical state stays depolarized. As it repolarizes, finishing contraction, there's a final T wave deflection.

For most of the cycle if the heart is stimulated it cannot fire again because its busy contracting already. But as the ventricle is repolarizing, just at the end, there's a brief moment where a new stimulus (bump) can start a new contraction (R of the QRS complex) when the heart is not ready athe end of the T, triggering a fluttering wiggle (ventricular fibrillation) that pumps no blood and prevents the normal cycle from resuming.

Out cold in a couple seconds and dead in minutes; only a shock tends to restart the heart; CPR can keep the brain alive a short time while this is obtained.

A student died at uva from this after a lacross stick hit him over his heart, and I read a story in the paper where a student was killed by a karate instructor who kicked him in the left chest.

The thing is, its the tiniest of moments and not every potentially killing jolt gets the job done, or you'd have heard of it before. However, it and the sensation you had (and the GB meridian!) are the reasons we cover our chests in sanchin with the elbows in front and down, punch with the shoulder down, and retract quickly, and hit under the arm at foes in Kanshiwa bunkai.

Left armpit is much more of a risk. And its armpit into the heart rather than up into the arm that does it.
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hmmm.....

Postby KentuckyUechi » Wed Jan 26, 2011 7:29 pm

Very timely information. Just last night we practiced tenshin, with partners, blocking off of the rear leg, and striking to the armpit with shokens. 8O I had never heard that target/point explained in such detail. Of course we, try to avoid any real contact in such drills, and safety comes first. However, any additional understanding of such techniques is always beneficial.
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Postby Van Canna » Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:56 pm

8O


Always be weary of potentially dangerous techniques.

One simple mistake can change everyone's lives in a split second.
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Postby Bill Glasheen » Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:51 pm

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing here.

The phenomenon Ian speaks of above is called commotio cordis. It is a VERY RARE phenomenon. If you wanted to cause it, you couldn't. It is usually found with young boys playing sports who are hit either with a projectile or an elbow.

Below illustrates the narrow window of time in the electrocardiac cycle where commotio cordis is possible.

Image

That window there maybe is a twentieth of a second.

It isn't the armpit per se that's the target. It's any blow which sends a shock wave to the heart at an exact window in time. Naturally boys have thinner chest walls than adults, so are more prone to this in sports. Furthermore... the reason why people say armpit is because when you lift your arm up, there's an area in-between the pecs and the lats that isn't protected by muscle. The shock absorption capacity of those bare ribs isn't anywhere near as good as a shot right over the pecs. And while causing commotio cordis by intent would be dumb luck, it still hurts like hell to get hit where there's no muscle (like getting kicked on the shinbone). And a shot strong enough to break a rib there would definitely slow the bad guy down - to say the least.

True armpit strikes (like the thrusts before carry in Seisan) don't involve the heart at all - no matter how much some granola-eating chister wants to tell you. The target in the armpit is a nerve bundle distal to the brachial plexus. The picture below illustrates the anatomy.

Image

There's a reason why nature evolved to have that bundle under the armpit. That way you can't have it accidentally poked and damaged very easily. It wouldn't take much in the way of imagination to figure out how useful that arm would be if you shoved a blade in there.

Our femoral bundles were equally protected as well until one day some enterprising young hominid decided to go from all fours to standing just on the hind legs. Oh well... ;)

The picture above has the collar bone removed (see it cut off). Imagine the collar bone where it naturally is. Now you know what the target is with the crane strike in Sanseiryu. There's definitely a "secret sauce" to the application there, but... you at least get the fundamental concept.

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Postby Bill Glasheen » Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:30 am

True story...

Sue (a good friend of Vicki) was in my class at American Family Fitness in Glen Allen, Virginia. At some time I showed her (and other students) how the "thrust and carry" technique in Seisan could be applied to the armpit - particularly when you're tall OR the person is reaching for your neck. Sue takes note. Sometimes you never really know if your students are paying attention. And some rare day a student comes back from a life-threatening situation and makes something work that you always wondered about but never really had an opportunity to test.

So Sue's at a bar, and some drunk hears that Sue is taking kah-rah-tay. So the jerk goes up to Sue, grabs her by the throat, and asks her what she'd do. Without a second thought - and without putting her drink down - she executes a forward thrust with a nukite to the armpit, and subsequently grabs the edge of the pectoralis muscle (and some armpit hair) with a flexing shoken. JUST like I taught.

The man shrieked like a little girl. Sue was so proud...

I'm almost certain that throat grab is one of the 36 HAPVs. You gotta believe that any kata worth its choreography has these scenarios in mind.

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Postby f.Channell » Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:23 pm

How potentially dangerous is it testing the chest in Sanchin?
I'm sure most of us have had hard shots delivered there.
Should it be avoided?

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Postby Van Canna » Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:41 pm

As a soccer player, I would get hit in the chest by a soccer ball, either in trying to block a hard kicked ball or to absorb and redirect a soccer ball during a game.

The hits were hard enough so you could still feel the impact days later. Same with the heading of the ball.

The danger is always there...I don't test the students by punching them in the chest.
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just a thought.

Postby KentuckyUechi » Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:35 pm

Left armpit is much more of a risk.


I was thinking this over at work today. If indeed the heart is centrally located, as we learn in A&P, why would the Left be more at risk??

Question authority right?
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Postby Bill Glasheen » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:09 am

f.Channell wrote:
How potentially dangerous is it testing the chest in Sanchin?
I'm sure most of us have had hard shots delivered there.
Should it be avoided?

A bad event would be quite rare. However... it is possible. And the likelihood goes up dramatically with kids. Pound on enough chests over a long enough period of time and you're going to be getting a handful of shots right at the vulnerable temporal window. It's best not to tempt fate.

"Check" the chest, but don't pound on it.
KentuckyUechi wrote:
I was thinking this over at work today. If indeed the heart is centrally located, as we learn in A&P, why would the Left be more at risk??

I've never done open heart surgery on a human, but I've done several hundred on dogs. I used to create heart attacks in the lab for research.

There are two choices of entry to get at the heart surgically. One is a median thorachotomy, where you enter down the center of the breast bone or sternum. The other is to do a lateral thorachotomy - on the LEFT side. Moral of the story? The heart is on the left-center side of the chest.

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