My women’s jiu-jitsu teacher Amy and I were talking yesterday about self defense, and she mentioned that in the heat of battle a person often feels little or no pain, so a lot of techniques may not be as effective. She is a law enforcement officer and she’s dealt with a variety of resistant people in many frames of mind, and sometimes on various substances. One technique that she recommends is the brachial stun.
This is a strike to the brachial plexus origin, the nerve motor center on either side of the neck. It short-circuits your brain and causes it to temporarily shut down. A powerful and well-placed brachial strike can take out even the biggest, strongest, craziest person, and render them unconscious for a short period of time. I have personally seen it drop people to the ground from standing. I’ve had it done to me at about 40% and it’s almost like being shocked.
It is a non-lethal technique with no lasting injuries, but I believe most law enforcers are only allowed to strike with the palm or the back of the hand for safety reasons. In self defense you can strike it with any body part, and in karate we are commonly taught to hit it with a ridge hand (palm down, striking with thumb side). This makes it impact over a smaller area and increases the power. However it’s a more difficult strike because you have to be more accurate.
Amy also pointed out that in Daitoryu Aikijujitsu (which she has also trained) they always perform a percussive technique before attempting an armbar, wristlock, choke, etc. It’s a lot easier to control someone if you knock them a little silly first. A great way to accomplish that is by stunning them.