Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Knockouts are, above all else, quick. But what happens when someone gets knocked out?

Your brain is sitting in cerebrospinal fluid with the skull forming a protective outer shell. When a blow lands the skull recoils, moving in the direction the punch/kick has forced the skull, and then back again. The skull does not move much more than this. The brain, however, is like a boat in a turbulent ocean at this point - constantly moving back and forth in the fluid. Every time the brain makes contact with one side of the skull, trauma ensues. Newton's 2nd law says force = (mass) X (acceleration). Therefore, the larger the force (i.e. the heavier and/or faster the blow) the more severe the trauma. When the trauma is severe, the brain sends misfiring electric signals throughout the body which essentially overload the nervous system and the body shuts down - i.e. you collapse.

The blow itself also offers a lesson in physics. When a punch or kick is delivered, a transfer of kinetic energy occurs. If, for example, you throw a punch, you gather energy from your base, and while swinging your torso and then your arm, transmit that energy from your feet through your hand and into the opponent.

This principle is found in all knockouts, delivered with a punch or kick.

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