Friday, 12 June 2009
Basic anatomy 'baffles Britons'
"Less than 50% of the more than 700 people surveyed could correctly place the heart, BMC Family Practice says.
Under one-third could place the lungs in their correct location, but more than 85% got the intestines right."
The above study shows that a large proportion of people just don't know where the major organs lie! Although I can't scoff too much- there's always room for improvement and I had to think long and hard about one of the items in that article (not the heart, ok!?).
Knowing anatomical features and weaknesses is important for the martial artist, not only to have maximum effect when we need it but also to know where we shouldn't strike or apply pressure. The human body seems, to me, a fairly weak structure and the news is often peppered with tragic stories of people being killed in an altercation where only one punch has been thrown. Most of these people, I'd guess, didn't enter the conflict with the idea of killing but ultimately somebody is laying on the floor with their life seeping out onto the pavement. (Det Sup Alan Betts said, "This tragic case is a powerful reminder to all that it can only take one punch to kill a person.")
Some martial artists may find this cautious approach alarming, after all the aim of martial technique is to inflict damage on the opponent (or points in tournament) and I'd be happy to hear from others on this. If you know positions of organs and vital points you are better placed to get out of that altercation by ruse rather than by staring down at a corpse. Of course it is rare to kill in a fight (safety in MMA) and these stories of one punch kills may be flukes; a guy hits his head on the pavement.... There's not much you can do about that once you've lamped the guy and he's heading floorward. The reality is that street or domestic violence doesn't happen in a padded ring: very often it's a bar or a pavement where falls can break you or your opponent.
"The punch was of sufficient force to fracture the jaw and it must have rendered Mr Trimmer unconscious as he went to the ground in a way that quite obviously meant he was unable to break his fall." (Eugene Warwood probably still in jail and Edward Trimmer still dead)
I'm not advocating entering a fight in a state of fear, but knowledge of anatomy, awareness of what's going on and confidence in your technique will help in a 'situation'.
So, I'm armed with anatomical knowledge and a respect for humans but how would I react if my family was in danger?