Re: Slapping in Combatives
I'm fine with the balance of your post -- you can certainly set someone back with a hard and unexpected slap the face and it's a great way to get a second or so's worth of pause out of someone as an opening strike -- but your physiology is off.
Originally Posted by mercop
The blink is going to happen with any facial strike. You're not "disrupting" the CNS -- the brain and spinal cord -- you're getting the most sensible evolved reaction to a potentially harmful stimulus. It's not that the slap is disrupting everything, it's creating a reaction the evolved to evade/minimize damage. The target's eyes are going to shut if he perceives the strike is imminent.
You're also not causing substantial movement of the brain within the skull -- the meninges are incredibly effective as anchors. The dura mater and arachnoid membrane together can keep your brain from moving relative to the skull under all but the most substantial decelerative force (a quick 60-0 car crash, would give you a nice little concussion just from brain deceleration alone, your head doesn't need to contact a thing).
The optic nerves (I assume by ocular nerve you mean the second cranial nerve) are also way too deep within the brain to upset with the kind of contact you're talking about. If you mean the oculomotor nerves (the ones that control your blink), it'll trigger once the target believes he's going to get hit in the face but, again, it's buried too deep to physically upset with a slap.
Basically, by the above I mean that you're not violently moving or disrupting the brain or any deep nerves, you're triggering a defense mechanism.
If you mean disruption by setting someone off balance for a second, sure, that happens with any decent head strike -- but you're not causing any real disruption, just the pause that comes from having mass (the head of the target) moved off center. And that's going to depend what kind of stance the target is in, anyway. If he's balanced against the direction of the slap, you're not going to do anything. Ditto if he's starts to step back as you hit.
Structural System disruption is being achieved by the cervical vertebrae being instantly squeezed together. As the head moves back and to the side, the body is taken off center and your attackers base is destroyed, if only for a second. Using your hands large surface area to the target rich area of the face/neck increases the likely hood of either striking the Vegus Nerve, which provides information about the state of the body's organs to the Central Nervous System, or the Baroreceptor which serves as your body's thermostat.
Regarding the vagus nerve (I assume that's what you meant by vegus): you're not going to hit it with a slap -- too deep again. And the larger the contact patch, the less likely you are to go deep. You're probably not even going to hit it unless you get a perfect (and hard) shot in with a knuckle strike. And even then, most of the function of the vagus is conveying information to the brain, not from it.
I suppose I have two points to the above rambling: First, you're going to get the physical reaction you're talking about. The target is going to blink, flinch, pause for a moment if you get in a good slap. Possibly even more than a punch of equivalent force, if for no reason other than that a slap is much more of a surprise than a punch, and because of the surface area you're likely to get more of an instinct to protect the eyes. Second, the above isn't happening because if disruption, shock, or even potential damage -- you're activating a defensive mechanism.
Ok, I lied, two more points. You reference making contact with the baroreceptor. There isn't "a" baroreceptor -- they're disperse sensors throughout the blood vessels in the body. There's not one to hit in particular or that could be targeted. I suppose you could, theoretically, trigger the baroreflex and cause the heart to skip a beat or momentarily change the targets blood pressure with a hard enough shot somewhere on the body, but you couldn't target it.
Anyway, nice post, and definitely something to think about adding to the bag of tricks.
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