Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Back of the Head and Neck Strikes

     Cracking somebody on the back of the head or neck. We all, by some instinctual common sense know that smacking somebody with really hard blasts on that area has a stunning effect. I knew this. But many years ago, for some reason it came home to me more at a Tim Tackett JKD seminar, when Tim highlighted this strike, stopped and talked about how it was used in a Marine Corp fighting course, etc. Nicknamed the “Gerber Strike” (because you would be eating Gerber Baby Food for a week or two after being seriously hit there) it seemed to sink in for me at that moment as a serious tool to use. You know - those “aha” moments.



















      So, aside from the Austin Powers Judo Chop, the Napoleon Solo Judo Chop and the infamous internet "Ninjer Judy Chop," what of the power and the glory of the “Gerber Strike?”














      When I evaluate a move, I run it through two filters, and I am being very generic here and not splitting hairs.

Filter 1: Have I seen it in the UFC? This is important. These folks are going full bore, full bear, evolved to win (yeah, there are rules, more on that next) and if you see it done successfully several times, with full out hate and speed? That matters.

Filter 2: Should I even use the UFC to evaluate a move? Sometimes the UFC kinda doesn’t count in an evaluation.

      Which leads us to the old UFC rules thing, "legal/illegal" debate, which I do not want to tear that crap-storm open. I do not. Overall, I did find it interesting that the UFC grapples with the legality “back of the head” area strike. It is so serious that they worry about this strike, even just sneaking it in or doing it by accident. (see below link with some interesting definitions. Oh, and in boxing, striking the back of the head is also illegal and one definition of the term "rabbit punch" (see "protest" link below). But the MMA/UFC and self defense world, sans the bulbous boxing glove, have palms, topside hammer-fists and the top and bottom of forearms to consider.

      Then, check out this Bas Ritten’s video dissertation in the link below for use.

      I have decided that the back of the head and neck shot, the “Gerber Strike” is a major self defense tool, standing, kneeling and on the ground. More on those applications in the usual seminars I do. Years ago, I have put this strikes in the Hammerfist and forearm strike modules.
And, just as an aside, this part of the head often hits furniture and the ground, etc, when a person is knocked down. They may not be knocked out from the blow, but may be knocked out (or killed?) when their heads crashes into the next thing.


Check out these (rather subdued color, but really here!) links:

 To be or not to be, the UFC and the back of the head and neck strike, click here 

The Bas Rutten Favorite Hits Video Clip, click here

Boxer protests rabbit punch, click here


Michael Keller checks in: "It's a great strike and one I favor if you can get it. An instructor of mine years ago demonstrated it on me with probably 10% of his power and it brought me to my knees and caused a stunning effect. I can imagine a full power shot would be devastating. The target area was the base of the skull between the spinal cord and ear. I like it."




  
Sifu Tim Tackett at work












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