There are many reasons why you should learn the vital points of the body and you never know when you have to use this knowledge to get out of a nasty situation. Your gun will not always be at hand and you need to know how to protect yourself. You will make use of your hands or improvised weapons to stop your attacker and this information will come in handy when you least expect it. This is the type of information that someday may save your life.
Although many of the vital points listed in this article would be effective when attacked by anyone, there are some that require a powerful blow and only people who are trained and have participated in a self-defense course can use. Of course, these vital points can be exploited rather easily by people who are trained in martial arts or any similar sport. If you cannot deliver such attacks you should concentrate on the vital points which require less power or learn to use handheld weapons. Another decisive factor in self-defense is the speed of blows and a trained fighter can deliver six punches per second.
You have to keep in mind that the goal of attacking a vital point is to stop your opponent. The scope is to stop him from whatever he is doing to you and there are three ways to do it:
- Make him lose his concentration. A disoriented attacker will stop hitting you and he will rethink his option. During this time you have the opportunity to apply additional blows and incapacitate him or get away from the attacker.
- Interfere with his control over his body. If he has a damaged nerve in his arm he will not be able to use that arm and hit you.
- Destroy the integrity of his body. If his forearm is broken or he can’t see he won’t try to hit you and he will concentrate on defending himself.
There are also methods of stopping your attacker for good, but it is not the point of this article.
In the figure below you can see the vital head points:
This is the point near the top of the skull where the frontal and parietal bones meet. A powerful blow from a fist or a hard object dislocates the frontal bone, causing severe damage to the motor areas of the brains.
b. Vital head points – Coronal suture
The posterior edge of the frontal bone, passing from the temples diagonally up to the bregma; the joint between the frontal bone and each parietal bone. The mechanism of injury is much the same as for the bregma, except that the lateral aspects of the coronal suture are vulnerable to a blow from the side
c. Vital head points – Temporal bone (the large bone above it is the parietal bone)
This is the side of the skull above and around the ear. This is a thick spot and you need a good amount of force. It is not a good target for untrained people. You instinctively go for this area, but your chances of stopping the target are higher if you use a club or something similar.
d. Vital head points – Sphenoid bone
It is a small patch of bone on the side of the head about an inch back from the eye. It is a thin bone of the brain, which is concave inward, making it a vulnerable spot. This spot can become lethal and it can be attacked by a variety of blows. You’ve probably seen in movies when the main actor uses a screwdriver, knife or ice pick to apply a deadly blow to the sphenoid bone.
e. Vital head points – Orbital bones (the entire area around the eye)
This is the circular ridge of bone around the eye socket. If you apply a strong punch to these bones the force will be conducted to the frontal lobes of the brain. It will cause a tremendous pain and the attacker may lose his consciousness.
f. Vital head points – Glabella
This is not the bridge of the nose as it is commonly misidentified. This lethal striking point is located half an inch above the bridge of the nose, between the eyebrows. A blow here will deliver the force to the frontal lobes of the brain. It may cause a concussion, loss of consciousness and even death. It is recommended to deliver a blow here with your fist only if you have some training and you know you can do it, otherwise use a blunt object. Soldiers use the back of the rifle to deliver a blow to this spot.
g. Vital head points – Nasal bones
More commonly known as the bridge of the nose, these are the thin bones located between the eyes and can be easily shattered by a punch. Although it is not a serious injury, it can be very painful and comes with large amounts of blood flowing from the nose. The blood will interfere with breathing and it will give you the time to apply additional blows while the target is disorientated. A blow here will produce a permanent mutilation.
h. Vital head points – Nose
This is an area packed with nerves, due to its sensory function. It is a good target even for beginners as it can be struck well from all five directions. Being located on the center of the face, makes it a good target for a blow delivered with the back of the head when you are attacked from behind. A good blow to the nose will cause a stunning pain and temporary blindness due to watering of the eyes.
i. Vital head points – Philtrum (or intermaxillary suture)
This is the upper lip just above the gum line, below the nose. Applying a blow here can result in broken upper teeth and concussion of the brain, since the maxilla is firmly attached to the brain case. There are known cases in which powerful blows caused a fracture in the dens, a bone, which helps keeping the skull in place on top of the vertebral column, caused the death of the attacker.
j. Vital head points – Mouth (just below the lower gum line)
A blow half an inch below the lower lip will cut the lip against the teeth or break off the lower teeth altogether and the shock of impact will be carried to the balancing organs in the inner ear through the mandible itself. The shock to the inner ear will disrupt balance and cause disorientation, dizziness or unconsciousness.
k. Vital head points – Mandible
Is the lower edge of the jaw, two inches from the point of the chin. Depending on the angle of the blow and the force it carries, the jaw may dislocate or fracture. It may also transfer the shock upwards through the teeth to the brain. The shape and size of the jaw make it one of the most resistant bones in the body and most of the times a punch to the jaw will cause an injury to the attacker’s fist.
l. Vital head points – Point of chin
The point of chin is ideal for a palm-heel attack or a raising elbow blow, both powerful enough to cause whiplash injury to the neck. If the blow is too strong you can dislocate the skull from the top of the spinal column and cause instant death.
m. Vital head points – Occipital bone
It is an attack point located in the center of the back of the head, at the point where the trapezius muscles attach to the occipital bone. A blow to this area will cause concussion to the cerebellum, which is the portion of the brain concerned with the coordination of muscular movements and posture.
n. Vital head points – Vertebral artery (note rings of bone)
The vertebral artery, an important supplier of the brain, runs up the side of the neck through rings of bone attached to the cervical vertebrae. If struck in exactly the right way, this artery can be severed where it passes through a bone ring. The result is immediate unconsciousness followed by certain death
o. Vital head points – Carotid sinus (in the carotid artery. The vagus nerve and the jugular vein run parallel to this artery, between it and the skin.)
Even a light blow to this area can have a direct and certain effect on the entire body. A blow here will cause an increase in blood pressure and the body will try to decrease blood pressure by slowing down the heart rate, the arteriolar smooth muscle will relax and will draw blood away from the head, the venous dilation process will decrease the amount of blood which can get to the heart. The drastic drop of blood pressure and cutting the blood supply to the brain will cause immediate and unavoidable fainting. This is probably why the side of the neck is a preferred striking point and it is used by many martial artists.
p. Vital head points – Thyroid cartilage
The thyroid cartilage can be crushed by a strong grip or by any variety of blows. Light pressure is extremely painful, and heavier pressure is extremely dangerous. The blow to the thyroid cartilage affects also the vagus nerve and causes a disruption of the lungs, heart, esophagus, stomach, intestines and kidneys. If the thyroid cartilage is crushed, the soft tissue of the throat swells and the victim dies of suffocation. Only immediate medical aid can prevent the death of the attacker.
q. Vital head points – Trachea
The trachea is exposed to the attack, being covered only by the skin, with no protective bones or muscles. Poking someone in the trachea will result in pain and a more powerful blow can crush the tracheal cartilages and result in death by strangulation.
r. Vital head points – 3rd intervertebral space
The striking point is in the center of the back of the neck where the column of vertebrae is least supported by surrounding tissues. It will cause severe trauma to the spinal cord, resulting in unconsciousness or even death. You’ve seen heroes in movies apply a blow to this point to knock out bad guys, but in reality it is never harmless and is frequently fatal.
I hope you never have to use the knowledge provided here, but in case you find yourself in a situation in which your life is threatened, you have the right information to save yourself.
A word of advice: The information provided here is extremely dangerous and could result in serious injury or death. The knowledge regarding the vital head points should not be abused. Use it at your own risk.
Stay Safe and God Bless!
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