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At the base of the skull is a target area of very limited use. Consisting of the first cervical vertebra and the second cervical vertebra, it is not practical for smaller

individuals against a larger assailant as shown in photo 15. It is also a high-risk-of -injury target if used against a frail or small person by a powerful individual.

+ Equal adversary: A moderate blow causes pain and possible headache. A sufficiently forceful blow could be fatal for one of two reasons: An extremely forceful blow directed upward against the target could refer fatal

shock to the brain. Directed straight in at the target, a powerful blow could dislodge the first vertebra (the atlas) or fracture the second vertebra (the axis), either of which might result in permanent paralysis or fatality because of injury to the spinal cord.

+ Against a smaller person: The probability of paralysis or fatality is increased if a power blow is directed against someone small or frail.

+ Against a larger assailant: A moderate blow is ineffec- tive. A forceful blow could cause pain or headache.


A cliche of movie and television fight scenes is the judo chop, karate chop or rabbit punch to the base of the neck (seventh cervical vertebra). In films, the adversary goes down, no matter how big he is. In real life this does not happen.

For street defense this is not an appropriate target.

A smaller person cannot use it effectively; if a larger individual strikes a power blow against a smaller person there is a high risk of injury.

To locate the target on your own self, drop your head forward and you can feel the prominent bone at the base of the back of your neck which is the seventh cervical vertebra.


t Equal adversary: A moderate blow jars the body and causes pain. A forceful blow causes considerable pain and if it is sufficiently forceful there is a possibility of serious injury, paralysis or fatality.

t Against a smaller person: There is higher probability

of serious injury, paralysis or fatality when a power blow is struck against a small or frail individual. Because of the angle at which a larger person is likely to strike at

a smaller person, referral shock to the aortic arch is a possibility. The aortic arch is the major pathway for blood supply to the upper and lower parts of the body. If there is injury to the aortic arch, internal bleeding results and death is highly probable.

+ Against a larger adversary: A moderate blow is ineffec- tive. A forceful blow could cause pain.


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