T Nation

Knockout: Avoid It!


I organized all the information contained in the thread "Against Knockout" that has a big and valuable amount of information about Knockouts and how to avoid it. Hopefully this will help.


What is a knockout?

Is when the head rotates sharply causing the brain to bounce inside the skull. This trauma to the brain stimulates a big number of neurotransmitters to fire at the same time, overloading the Central Nervous System and sending it into a temporary state of paralysis.

There are three degrees manifestations of this trauma:

  • The typical knockout that results in loss of consciousness, and no memory about what just happened.

  • The "flash", which is a rapid loss of consciousness.

  • The Stunning, when consciousness is maintained despite distorted proprioception, visual fields and auditory processing.

Other ways of getting Knockedout?

Getting hit in the Carotid Sinus (or Carotid Bulb), a Pressure Valve located on the side of the neck which senses blood pressure. When you get hit there the body thinks that the blood pressure is critically high and shuts down.

What are the most vulnerable points?

The sides of the Chin and where the Jaw is attached to the skull are the most vulnerable points.

What to do.

  1. You cant strengthen your chin. You are born with Steel Jaws or you are f*ckd, and better have good defense skills to compensate.

  2. Always keep your
    -Chin Down
    -Jaw Clenched
    -Hands Up
    -Eyes on the Opponent
    -Feet Moving

  3. Watch the blows. Never get caught unaware. Most knockout punches are the ones you dont see coming.

  4. Strengthening the Neck muscles can be of some help but should not be a priority.

  5. Improve your footwork.

  6. Work your Upper body movements.

  7. Lack of hydration when cutting weight can be an aggravating factor. With less fluids inside the skull the brain hits the wall harder.

  8. Avoid having extremely low body fat because it is not only prejudicial to the brain but also to all internal organs since fat has a cushioning effect.

  9. Have good conditioning. This can be decisive.

  10. You can train your jaw by chewing thick Gum or using a device that uses weights to force you keep your jaws clenched.

  11. Dont be punch shy. If you freak out and freeze when receiving blows you are f*cked. Having a sparring partner can really help with this one.

As you can see once again the ultimate factor is genetics but there is plenty you can do.

Thanks to everyone who contributed in the original thread + wikipedia.


Right click & save... thanks!


Yes, I like this. Good summary of the previous thread.


Sticky worthy.

Feel like consolidating all the other threads?


Sarcasm? :wink:



Great post. Should definitely be sticky!




Playboy Let me check that chin...damn look at dem titaaaays. Woo I love this forum.


Player64, that is the best avatar I have seen in a long time.


I hope James Thompson is reading this LOL


At first #8's wording looks like 'extremely low body fat' is 'what to do', until you read the description.


Fixed :wink:


Off topic, but I have to say ... Mancador and Player64 have two of the greatest avatar animations I've seen on this site, and that's saying something. Smiling ear to ear.

Impressing upon new guys the importance of hands up/chins down is hard, until they start getting hit in the jaw and chin. Sparring partners that shy away from giving their partners some good chins music every now and then are really doing them a disservice. With the less experienced guys, I will let them get cocky and allow them to get some punches on my face until I see their hands go down. Then I will swat them with a hook to the chin or jaw. This tends to get their hands up, albeit for a short time. I know I learned the hard way, which is always the best way.

Mancador, is that the "Not everything in Florida is flat" girl?


Interesting, thank you.


are you more likely to get knocked out if you get struck on a particular area of the head?

obviously theres the chin but i've also noticed in ufc fights etc ppl get punched in the temple region or more to the back of the head resulting in knockouts


Getting punched in the temple does have a high chance of knocking you out.
I would love to find out why.(and I am)


No particular answer to the temple question, except that in general it seems the brain is much less resistant to side-to-side motion than front-to-back motion, and that the temple is a relatively soft area of the skull which allows greater penetration of force.


Until we get new info I'll have to trust you.


Best way I know to train against knockout: roll up a pair of boot socks. Hold it under your chin while doing bag work or sparring. If the socks fall to the ground, pick your least favorite painful workout punishment.


I always used to hear this as a tennis ball, too. Either way, does what it's gotta do.