What is a brachial stun?
A brachial stun is a strike to an opponent’s neck which shocks the underlying nerve cluster and, to a degree the carotid artery, which can cause temporary disorientation. If done with sufficient force it can render a person unconscious.
What is the Brachial Plexus?
The brachial plexus is a tight network of nerves that branch out from each side of the spinal cord in the neck and travels under the clavicle bone and down into each of your arms. These nerves are responsible for enabling your arms and hands to move, as well as providing sensory feedback to the brain.
They are like a bundle of cables that flow over the top of the rib cage, under the clavicle bone, before descending down into the arms.
It’s the position of these nerves that makes them a vulnerable paert of the human body as they are very close to the surface and not protected by any significant muscle.
How does a brachial stun work?
The bundle of nerves that make up the brachial complex are very susceptible and a point of vulnerability in the body. When the nerves are struck with a sharp blow it causes an intense amount of pain.
Also at the side of the neck is the vegus nerve and the carotid artery – the major blood vessels in the neck that supply blood to the brain, neck, and face.
At attack on this region can at a minimum disorientate and shock you, effect your balance, and at the extreme cause a brief but instant knock out.
Brachial Stun Technique
The brachial plexus can be struck in a number of ways but perhaps one of the most common techniques is to use the heel of the hand to deliver the stunning strike.
This has the advantage that if you miss your target, you’re still able to deliver a significant blow: if it lands on the jaw or the side of the face, it’s still going to hurt. In a fast moving confrontation, missing your intended target is quite likely.
In contrast, a strike like a Karate chop won’t have the same impact if you mishit and end up hitting the opponent with your fingers rather than the side of your palm.
The area to aim for is an imaginary line from just under the ear to the middle of the base of the neck.
Not a huge amount of force is required to execute this technique effectively.
Needless to say that this technique should never be practised on a live opponent. Use a sparring dummy such as a Century BOB (link to Amazon). It’s a very dangerous move with the potential to result in long term damage.
It really should only be used in a life and death self-defense situation.
Is the brachial stun real?
The brachial stun is most definitely real and is performed by striking the side of your opponent’s neck usually with a palm heel strike. It can disorientate and off balance an attacker and, if done with sufficient force, can induce unconsciousness.
Do the police use the brachial stun?
The brachial stun is taught to some law enforcement officers as part of their combative training the following clip shows. I think extreme care needs to be taken otherwise they could be accused of using excessive force to make an arrest as this strike can result in injury. It really only should be used in a life and death situation.
Is a brachial stun used in MMA?
Strikes to the throat are illegal in MMA fighting but if a strike happens to land on the neck (as per a brachial stun) whilst the fighters are stood sparring, it won’t be called out as a foul.
From the rule book:
“No directed throat strikes are allowed. A directed attack would include a fighter pulling his opponents head in a way to open the neck area for a striking attack. A fighter may not gouge their fingers or thumb into their opponent’s neck or trachea in an attempt to submit their opponent. If during stand up action of a fight a punch is thrown and the punch lands in the throat area of the fighter, this shall be viewed as a clean and legal blow.”
So if a strike lands on the brachial plexus incidentally when the two fighters are stood up sparring, it won’t be called as a foul.
It would have to be a very obvious and deliberate attack on the brachial plexus for a foul to be called.