I wrote a post a few days ago about the reality of fighting in the street versus how they happen to be portrayed on film or even in the context of a class or gym. Following that, I had some people ask for clarification regarding the comment I made about how getting struck in the head is likely to put you down.
Just to be clear, I’m not a medical practitioner. I’ve mentioned that a number of times, but you’d be surprised how often people tend to call me on the information I share, despite making it clear from the get-go that I’m not a freakin’ doctor! So keep this in mind as you read the information I’m about to share…
First of all, if you get punched or kicked in the head by another person, it causes your brain to bounce around. Seriously! Although it isn’t all that cartoony, it will suffer some movement. And because there isn’t a great deal of space in the brain pan, the brain will likely bounce and rebound once or twice.
Unlike the romanticized image that Hollywood has created, no one has the genuine ability to receive multiple blows to the head and keep on fighting with little more than a split lip or bloody nose. Even after only one punch, the receiving person is likely to experience dizziness, nausea and loss of consciousness. This is one of the reasons why real fights barely last a minute.
That’s at the low end of the spectrum. On a more serious level, getting struck in the head, even once, can result in skull fractures, concussions and damage to the brain stem.
According to an article posted by Queensland Health, a person with a concussion may or may not have lost consciousness. They may suffer from headaches, memory loss, nausea, dizziness and ringing in the ears. Since many of those symptoms can also occur WITHOUT a concussion, it’s important to get yourself checked by a doctor if you experience any of these symptoms after being struck.
The article also goes on to describe other conditions such as damage to the brain stem, brain hemorrhage or hematoma and swelling of the brain. The article can be read here: https://www.health.qld.gov.au/news-alerts/news/one-punch-medical-effects-can-kill
And yes, one of the myths that has at least touch of truth to it includes the fact that a person CAN actually die from one strike to the head. Ultimately, the martial artist and Buddhist in me feels compelled to say that one should avoid physical confrontations at all costs. But should it happen and you get struck in the head, the next step (once you’ve explained your actions to law enforcement) should be to consult a doctor. ☯