The Karate chop sounds like a fun move, but can a Karate chop to the neck kill someone?
You can kill an opponent with a Karate chop, especially if it lands on the neck. Under the neck are vital nerves and organs such as the Jugular vein, Carotid artery, Trachea, and spine. Damaging these can cause unconsciousness and even death.
You’re probably eager to learn how to perform this move, but you should first understand if it’s safe to do or not. Read below.
Where the idea of a Karate chop comes from
The idea of Karate chop is first seen in Karate exhibition performances where Karate martial artists with different belts will break wood and concrete with one hand chop.
After seeing these live performances, people, especially kids, will try this at home. This made the Karate chop move famous.
There’s a similar move from Judo called ‘Judo chop.’ A Judo chop is a vertical chop to the shoulder near the neck. Judo specialists do this while shouting at the top of their lungs.
As the move became more famous worldwide, movies started adapting it to their fight scenes. The move is used in many James Bond movies to knock out opponents.
James Bond usually sneaks up to his opponent’s back, and Karate chops their neck to put them to sleep.
Even Batman uses Karate chop to fight his evil foes.
James bond also uses this move during one vs. all fights and makes it look like he killed his enemy with a Karate chop.
Is a Karate chop to the neck lethal?
A Karate chop to the neck is lethal if done with enough power. When the chop directly hits the neck, it can damage your Trachea, Jugular vein, and Carotid artery, stopping your breathing. It might also damage your spine, which can paralyze you.
What does it do to your Jugular vein?
The Jugular vein’s main job is to regulate the blood from your brain. If you’re unfortunate enough to get your Jugular vein Karate-chopped, you might suffer from a blocked Jugular vein.
A blocked Jugular vein will cause a sudden backflow of blood to your brain. This occurrence will increase intracranial pressure if untreated, leading to lethal brain damage.
What does it do to your Cervical spine?
Your Cervical spine is also in danger. The Cervical spine is located on your nape and is connected to your entire spinal column.
If the chop damaged this section of your spine, you would automatically lose control of your arms, hands, trunk, and legs. It will also remove your ability to breathe, cough, and control bowel movements independently.
Suppose you’re lucky not to die of spinal damage. In that case, you may have to live with paralysis.
What does it do to your Trachea?
A Karate chop with enough force might shatter your Trachea. It’s the organ that connects your voice box and lungs. You also use this for breathing correctly.
Getting your Trachea damaged is extremely painful. It will stop you from breathing correctly using your nose and mouth.
If not treated immediately, you might die due to the lack of oxygen inside your body.
What does it do to your Carotid artery?
The Carotid artery helps the Jugular vein to regulate blood flow and oxygen to the entire head and brain. If it’s damaged, you might not get enough oxygen and blood intake to your head.
This will cause you to lose consciousness. If untreated, your brain will malfunction and might lead to a coma and, eventually, death.
Is a Karate chop effective for self-defense?
Karate chop is effective for self-defense. It’s a fast, unpredictable move. Usually, your enemy will guard their jaw and face because they’re anticipating a punch. This will leave their neck and shoulder open for the chop.
A quick chop to the Trachea area will leave your opponent off-guard for a second or two. This opening is enough for you to follow up a punch, try to grapple, or run for safety.
What other body parts can you Karate chop for self-defense?
Aside from the neck area, you can also Karate chop the shoulder like the one they do on the Judo chop.
You can also do a horizontal chop on the eyes or a vertical chop right on the center of the skull if the guy is smaller than you.
If you find yourself having a height disadvantage, you can choose to Karate chop the stomach or chest section. It’s like getting a gut shot.
Can a Karate chop to the neck knockout someone?
A Karate chop to the neck that’s strong enough can knock someone out. The neck has the Trachea, Jugular vein, Cervical spine, and Carotid artery. These body parts have blood and oxygen circulation tasks to keep your brain working.
If your Jugular vein and Carotid are damaged, it will cause your brain’s air and blood supply will decrease, making you lose consciousness.
If someone Karate chopped you at your nape where your Cervical spine is located, you might get instantly knocked out.
Have you seen a slam knockout in a Mixed Martial Arts bout where the fighter lands on their nape? Getting Karate chopped on the Cervical spine area has the same result.
Former UFC strawweight queen Rose Namajunas suffered from being slammed head first. She landed on her Cervical spine, which removed her consciousness almost instantly.
What is the Carotid punch?
A Carotid punch is also called a Carotid slap or Okinawan slap. This is a strike intended to land on the Carotid artery. A powerful and precise Carotid strike will cause a sudden brain oxygen loss.
When you’re unfortunate enough to find yourself at the receiving end of a Carotid punch, you will likely immediately lose consciousness. This is because your body will stop functioning without oxygen.
Is Carotid punch lethal?
A Carotid punch is highly lethal if it’s done correctly. If the damage was kept untreated, you might not get your oxygen flow on your back to normal. If this happens, you’ll go into a state of comatose or die due to brain malfunctioning.
As we all know, without our brain, every organ in our body, especially our heart, will stop working.
Final thoughts on Karate chopping
Karate chop is an iconic martial art move that will never be eradicated by time. It must be continuously practiced by true martial artists but with extra caution and in a responsible dojo setting.
If you’re still wondering if a karate chop to the neck can kill, yes, it could kill. This move shouldn’t be a joke because it imposes serious health consequences when misused.
Joe Bloom is the lead author and editor of MMA Hive. Joe has been a passionate mixed martial artist in training since 2019, having studied Boxing and Muay Thai at BaliMMA and Soma Fight Club, as well as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with RitualsJJ.