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Why exactly do we aim for the chin when striking?

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    Why exactly do we aim for the chin when striking?

    I'm not contesting the use of aiming stikes at a person's chin (rather than, say, their nose or forehead etc.), but what is the biological or mechanical reason that blows to the chin produce so much more KO power? Having been on the receiving end I can say that there is a significant difference between a good cross or hook to the point of the chin as compared to one that hits the nose or cheek.

    But how do you explain why the chin is a good target? My old kickboxing instructor claimed that it was the "nerves" which run through the chin, which sounds implausible to say the least. I try to explain it as leverage - your chin is the longest lever you can get to torque the head with sudden force. I don't know if that is correct or not.

    Furthermore, how do you explain why it is important to keep your mouth tightly shut while fighting so as to reduce the damage of incoming strikes?

    Anyone with a more informed scientific perspective is greatly appreciated.

    And to reiterate: This is not a thread questioning that the chin is a good target. I am convinced of that. What I need is an explanation to provide to non-fighters.
    "[Fighting for Points] is doubtless very pretty, and invariably draws applause, but preferences should always be given to blows that do some business, to good straight hits that do something toward finishing the fight.
    A man who has carefully trained for brilliant tapping play, will find himself considerably out of it in case he is called upon to do any real work."
    -A.J. Newton, Boxing.

    #2
    it will generally cause a shift in the head which will result in either:
    1) loss of eqiulibrium from the inner ear balance mechanisms shift
    2) shifting of neck which can cause temporary restriction of carotid artery blood flow
    3) shifting of brain causing minor contusion to brain stem

    from my understanding of course

    Comment


      #3
      Most of a persons Chi is held there.... in that spot on the chin known as the "butoon" some pronounce it Button. Its an ancient location for chakra and Chi. When struck, the nerve clusters holding this energy become enraged and release said energy on to the world in a frenzy. Monks 2,000 years ago realized the power of this most secret of secret area's. And Taekwondo masters have brought it to the publics attention.


      That.... or the fact that it creates (as you stated) torque on the neck which whips the head around. Two things happen... the whip lash created is usually enough to stun or knock out the opponent..... OR the brain is slightly bounced around in the skull, causing a knock out. I think its more about torque than anything. That and the whipping motion it creates.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Epicurus
        But how do you explain why the chin is a good target? My old kickboxing instructor claimed that it was the "nerves" which run through the chin, which sounds implausible to say the least. I try to explain it as leverage - your chin is the longest lever you can get to torque the head with sudden force. I don't know if that is correct or not.
        That's what I've always assumed, as well. It's easier to move the head at the chin than closer in on the neck. Additionally, it is the closest target on the head for the fist to reach.

        Furthermore, how do you explain why it is important to keep your mouth tightly shut while fighting so as to reduce the damage of incoming strikes?
        If you don't keep your mouth tightly shut, the strike will move your jaw independently of the rest of your head. This will put stress on the mandibular joints, which are much easier to break or dislocate than is the neck. By keeping the jaw tightly closed, the shock is spread and absorbed through the head and neck, rather than being concentrated in a single bone.

        --Joe

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          #5
          I remember reading that when someone is punched on the chin, the jaw is pushed backwards and compresses a bunch of nerves located behind it. These nerves are located somewhere near the ear. So, based on that information, I would assume that when someone is hit directly on the chin, the jaw is pushed backwards, causing the condyloid process to compress the nerves behind it.

          Comment


            #6
            It forces the mandible (jaw bone) back up and it put pressure on the TMJ (temporal mandibular joint) -which is right by the temples. Lots of nerves and major blood vessles in that area( temporal mandibular nerve/artery)- and there is a lot less skull in the way(skull is thin there). In addition to the "coup contra coup" action on snapping or whipping the neck like you already said, which also jars the brain. Meaning it sloshes around hits the front of the skull, then the back like a pinball. You see it in car accidnets all the time.
            (i was a paramedic)

            edit- man you all type fasterthan me lol
            Last edited by praetorian01; 11/18/2007 6:11am, .

            Comment


              #7
              Suddenly, my desire to compete in MMA and what not is reduced 10 fold.

              Comment


                #8
                There are two major never exist points by the chin on the mandible, (the mental nerve through the mental foramen) both that plays only a minor role in why strokes to the chin are more effective at causing knockouts then strikes to other parts of the head.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Cause its easier to reach than punching them in the foot?
                  Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
                  and remember what peace there may be in silence.
                  As far as possible, without surrender,
                  be on good terms with all persons.
                  Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
                  and listen to others,
                  even to the dull and ignorant;
                  they too have their story.

                  -excerpt of the poem called "Desiderata," by Max Ehrman, 1927.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by JP
                    Cause its easier to reach than punching them in the foot?
                    And you know this because you've tried it right?
                    "I'm reluctant to sound like a total fa66ot as well, but my background in sculpture gave me an edge in understanding how we're expected to move thru space." - The Other Other Serge

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                      #11
                      besides the other, more realistic, explanations in this lovely thread, I have one more to add:

                      for those of you who believe in Chi and/or chi meridians and pressure point striking, there are rather powerful points below, and above the chin, which could probably be hit with a punch.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        There is NO cheese running through your chin.... the are logical, scientific spots that do scientifically provable things.... nothing mystical about it.... I was joking in my first answer.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Okay. Let's see if being a doctors son gave me any of the knowledge. Like some other people said before, it can cause some damage to the brain stem. Also, if you keep your mouth close, I believe that when you get hit in the chin, this will prevent the teeth from suddenly hitting each other and causing some to break or become cracked.

                          Of course, I might be wrong.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Epicurus
                            Furthermore, how do you explain why it is important to keep your mouth tightly shut while fighting so as to reduce the damage of incoming strikes?
                            There are two ways in which hitting the chin can cause a KO.

                            The first is when the chin is hit sideways, causing the head to violently turn, producing the "whiplash" effect off your brain moving violently around within your skull. In this case, keeping your mouth tightly shut tenses your neck and jaw muscles, giving your head a more stable base and causing it to move less.

                            The second is when the chin is hit straight on, driving the "hinge" of your jaw back into your temporal mandibular nerve. This causes a sudden spike in blood pressure and a "brain overload" effect. This is the cause of many knockouts where it doesn't look like the person has been hit hard, but they're suddenly out. In this case, keeping your mouth tightly shut, especially around a mouthpiece, makes it harder for your jaw to move backwards and create pressure on the nerve.
                            Undisputed KING OF ASSHOLES.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by fatherdog
                              There are two ways in which hitting the chin can cause a KO.

                              The first is when the chin is hit sideways, causing the head to violently turn, producing the "whiplash" effect off your brain moving violently around within your skull. In this case, keeping your mouth tightly shut tenses your neck and jaw muscles, giving your head a more stable base and causing it to move less.

                              The second is when the chin is hit straight on, driving the "hinge" of your jaw back into your temporal mandibular nerve. This causes a sudden spike in blood pressure and a "brain overload" effect. This is the cause of many knockouts where it doesn't look like the person has been hit hard, but they're suddenly out. In this case, keeping your mouth tightly shut, especially around a mouthpiece, makes it harder for your jaw to move backwards and create pressure on the nerve.
                              This was my understanding as well.

                              Comment

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