Combative Anatomy is the study of using our understanding of human anatomy to stop an aggressive person in the minimal amount of time. Many of the tenants are discussed metaphorically to show the similarities of humans and other things that run such as motor vehicles.
First we must look at human anatomy the same way a physician would, or at least as they would in references to COI (cause of injury/cause of death) in an emergency room.
- Central Nervous System, consisting of the brain and spinal cord, and the peripheral nervous system, consisting of the cranial, spinal, and peripheral nerves, together with their motor and sensory endings. The computer system of the body.
- Respiratory System, consisting of the of nose, mouth, throat, larynx, trachea, bronchi and lungs, the apparatus needed for breathing.
- Circulatory System - consisting of the vessels and the muscles that help and control the flow of the blood around the body.
- Skeletal System - consisting of the bones, ligaments, and tendons that create the framework of the body.
- Muscular System - consisting of muscles.
When discussing traumatic injuries, defined as those injuries not resulting from disease, there are two major mechanisms of injury that are the cause. They are blunt trauma, and penetrating trauma. In reference to interpersonal combat they can most easily be understood and crush and cut. All natural weapons, or parts of our body that we can strike with are crushing weapons. With the exception of our teeth, and in some cases our nails, we lack the ability to penetrate flesh. Once man discovered tools that all changed, we started hitting, stabbing, and cutting animals and each other. Keeping this in mind we recognize two basic types of weapons; edged and impact. Even a bullet from a firearm is a hybrid that causes increased trauma due to velocity.
Largely due to movies and television, when we think about humans being injured or killed during interpersonal combat, the first thing that comes to mind is people stop because of is being shot or stabbed. The truth is that death from the compromising of the hydraulic system known as the circulatory system can sometimes take an amazing amount of time, based on some of the following things-
- Location of injury
- Chemicals active in the body such as Adrenaline, alcohol, drugs (both illegal and prescription)
- Lack of realization by the person injured
- Automatic first aid such as the natural response of applying pressure to a wound
Excluding chokes, the interpersonal mechanism of injury to the circulatory system penetrating injury. This requires that the person defending themselves have a penetrating weapon. So it is easy to see how unlikely it is for someone to immediately "stop" in reaction to being shot or stabbed. The next concern is ambulation after death, which is the person's ability to carry out motor activity after they are clinically dead.
One does not have to look farther than professional sports to see what types of injuries are most likely to stop people in their tracks, hits to the head, and broken hinge joints, specifically the knees. The logical conclusion from this knowledge is that any blunt trauma injury to the head or joints can remove or diminish an attack's ability to continue the attack. Now we have laid the foundation of Combative Anatomy.
Drawing from the traditional definitions of the body's systems, we add the above knowledge and offer the following definitions-
- Central Nervous System - comprising the brain and spinal cord, the electricity of the body.
- Structural System- comprising the bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons. Needed for balance, and locomotion.
- Flow System- air flow and blood flow.
Think of the human body as a house. If you turn off the ventilation and plumbing, it may take a while before the people inside realize it. If you turn off the electric they will realize it right away. The same goes for driving a bulldozer into one of the corners. The electric is the brain and spinal cord, the corner of the house is the structural system, and the ventilation and plumbing is the Flow System. Knowing that the Central Nervous System and Structural System disruption is the key to stopping the attack, the emphasis is to attack them at the same time increasing effectiveness.
It should be noted that these methods do not rely on pain release, and decrease the likelihood of holding onto your attacker which leads to task fixation and tunnel vision
Gearing combatives towards the targeting of the head and hinge joints decreases reaction time based on Hick's Law.
The other part of Combative Anatomy is counter attacking in such a way as to minimize your exposure to injury. This means striking with your elbows, knees, and feet.