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#684 - 12/04/01 08:55 AM Neck Break
P Carney Offline

Registered: 04/10/01
Posts: 100
So in the movies, the hero reaches up, twists the villain's neck (usually some hapless sentry) and the villain falls, stone dead. Now, of course, it's not as easy as this. But what I'm wondering is, would a neck break kill you? I know one guy who broke his neck diving off a dock (hit a rock- ugh). He was paralyzed, but not dead. If you broke someones neck, wouldn't you end up with a screaming, writhing mess?
Kinda a ghastly question, but appropriate.


#685 - 12/04/01 10:44 AM Re: Neck Break
Shadowfax Offline

Registered: 10/08/01
Posts: 296
Loc: Mason City, IA
it might not kill you, but you sure aren't gonna be going anywhere under your own power any time soon. Breaking the neck is kind of a misnomer- - you don't actually break any bones. . .the neck is part of the spine and has the same structure- - roughly circular bones sandwiched between layers of cartiledge, all surrounding the spinal cord. This tunnel of bone and cartiledge gives support so that the spinal cord doesn't get injured. Breaking the neck just means that a link -- either cart or bone, is severed giving greater range of motion to that area. Problem is that if you move outside of the normal range of motion, you're probably gonna pinch, tear, or break your spinal cord. Depending on where the spinal cord breaks determines what happens to you. If you break it above the nerve pathways for the heart/lungs/etc, you die. If you break it below, you paralyze something.

#686 - 12/14/01 08:49 PM Re: Neck Break
MrVigerous Offline
Former Administrator

Registered: 04/17/01
Posts: 2498
Loc: UK
Exactly right. The smooth two handed "spin" of the head followed by a deft catch as the victim falls to the ground are the stuff of movies and as Shadofax suggests, its the damage to the spinal cord that potentialy kills. I have been taught a particular method of breaking necks but that really applied to downed opponents on their fronts.Not being able to practice the technique for obvious reasons is a bit of a problem for testing how effective the method is, but im assured it's not easy to do. I won't go into details as its not ethical to post that kind of information publicly and is not really the kind of thing people should need to know. In any case, an interesting topic - I await your next post on throat cutting LOL!!!

#687 - 01/05/02 03:57 AM Re: Neck Break
arnie Offline

Registered: 01/04/01
Posts: 30
Loc: Finland
Interesting topic!
I agree you won't break necks with twisting alone, but a motion that resembles that from "hanging" could break the dens of axis (incidently, that is what hanging does to the poor guys neck), in which case you could talk about breaking necks.
This will damage the spinal cord on a level that is lethal, so even in this case it's not the breaking in itself that kills.
I will, for obvious reasons, not be any more specific or describe actual techniques.
These can be trained, as in kata application drills or so, but shouldn't be used in sparring, except in very controlled versions, is what I think.
Exploring your martial art on this level widens your view and is in that way awarding, but it could hardly be called "self defence"!
As to wether it really works or not; I say we'd better believe it works and handle it with care, rather than finding out for sure!
Keep training and posting!

#688 - 01/05/02 05:16 PM Re: Neck Break
judderman Offline

Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 1400
Loc: UK
I thought the technique was a side twist rather than the movie head spin?

So really you are dislocating the head, or individual vertebrae, rather than breaking the neck.

Or have I missed the point??


#689 - 01/06/02 05:21 AM Re: Neck Break
arnie Offline

Registered: 01/04/01
Posts: 30
Loc: Finland
there are more ways than one to... let's says "skin a cat".
If you look very carefully you'll see the thread is named "neck break", so why would it be inappropriate to discuss that, if that's what you are implying.
Also the diving accidents probably don't do a whole lot of twisting to the heads/necks.
But, if we only discuss the twisting way of dealing with the bad guy's head, I guess you do have a point there, in that the result probably would be more dislocating than breaking (although I guess strong ligaments could rip off bony parts at their attatchment points, provided the force was great enough?).
Now I will spin off into pure speculation:
in that case to one could expect lethal outcome, due to the fact that the neck allows so much rotation between the first and second wertebrae (atlas and axis: about 90 deg total) and therefore one might imagine that's where the dislocating would occure?!? (thus damaging the spinal cord on a very dangerous level indeed)
Well... those were my thoughts, for now anyways,

#690 - 01/07/02 04:16 PM Re: Neck Break
martinnitram Offline

Registered: 11/27/01
Posts: 108
Loc: england

neck brakes or dislocations can obviously not be practised in the dojo, unless with great control and caution, but my sensie used to be a certified chiropractor and i often have trouble with my spine and neck. He often does diferent stretches or drops to put my back into place. Often he stretches the spine so that discs can slot back in, usually with a nice crunch sound especially when hes fixing my neck. He has shown me lots of different ways in which the neck can be dislocated and even broke.

It isnt just in the movies it can be done actually with some ease in real life. Especially when you drop the person by a sweep etc so that their body drops in the opposite direction to the one in which the neck is being twisted to. I wont go into detail of techniques for obvious reasons.

Going back to P Carneys question can a neck break kill?

leaving uke paralyzed could be done with out much effort at all and yes neck brakes can be lethal and lead to a fatality if the right technique is applied. Their are also several main muscle and nerve groups that would be destroyed also leading to death. All the bodys nerves connect to the spinal cord, and there are 31 pairs of peripheral nerves that extend out between each vertebrae.

When exploring your katas their are several applications of neck breaks along with droping them by your lead stance leg, have a look.

[This message has been edited by martinnitram (edited 01-20-2002).]

#691 - 01/08/02 01:37 PM Re: Neck Break
arnie Offline

Registered: 01/04/01
Posts: 30
Loc: Finland
you wrote that your chiropractor/sensei would stretch your spine "so that discs can slot back in".
I sure hope those are your words, not his, otherwise my advice would be never to let him come anyplace near your neck ever again!
With a martial artist who speaks of "discs slotting back in" I have no problem, but with a chiropractor it's a totally different matter.
This is probably a needless post, as I am sure the phrasing was your own, but I will post it anyway, just in case!
I wish you a lot of interesting hours in the dojo this year,

#692 - 01/08/02 03:08 PM Re: Neck Break
martinnitram Offline

Registered: 11/27/01
Posts: 108
Loc: england
yes you can relax, they are my words im no expert on spines i merely ment that this is how it feels when he is doing the stretches.
Although he does stretch the spine in different ways and when my back is really bad he goes down my back from the top and pushes on the vertabrates as i breath out as often one or two need to be straightened, and it does make a crunch noise when he does it. Although i do fully trust him otherwise i wouldnt let him do it. Sometimes i find that a lump comes up on my back were my spine isnt properably aligned and after he has finished it is always gone and i am able to move freely again.

My doctor knows of what he does and confirms the OK

[This message has been edited by martinnitram (edited 01-08-2002).]

#693 - 01/09/02 02:24 PM Re: Neck Break
arnie Offline

Registered: 01/04/01
Posts: 30
Loc: Finland
I think you are in good hands :-)


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