This article is about the illegal boxing move. For the 1948 cartoon, see Rabbit Punch
A rabbit punch is a blow to the neck or to the base of the skull. It is considered especially dangerous because it can damage the cervical vertebrae and subsequently the spinal cord, which may lead to serious and irreparable spinal cord injury. A rabbit punch can also detach the victim's brain from the brain stem , which can kill instantly.
The punch's name is derived from the use of the technique by hunters to kill rabbits with a quick, sharp strike to the back of the head.
The rabbit punch is illegal in boxing, MMA, and other combat sports that involve striking. The only exceptions are no-holds-barred events such as the International Vale Tudo Championship (prior to rule changes in mid-2012).