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Recurrent Concussions

Head conditioning in the martial arts requires repeated strikes to the head with objects of various sizes, weights and densities. Students of this discipline start with relatively soft objects and progress to using objects of higher density and strength, all with the desire to "condition" their heads to be able to absorb strikes of varying intensity. Conditioning can result in the increased deposition of calcium and bone in the forehead, however, there are no capabilities for the soft tissues of the brain to increase their capacity for trauma. Repeated blows to the head take their toll on the neural tissue underneath the skulll.

The pathophysiology behind the "knockout punch", though generally thought to be a simple concept of shutting down the brain because of a suddent impact of energy, is in reality, a complicated one. Knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the brain, though helpful in understanding this, is way beyond the scope and ambition of this article. But one quote, from a neurologist experienced with post traumatic brain injuries, puts the overall concept of the brain into perspective. FYI, axons are the nerve cells that, by numbers of millions and millions, all interact and interconnect to form the almost gelatinous mass of the brain. The brainstem is the area between the brain, which lies in the skull, and the spinal cord, which transmits the information down to the rest of the body.

Biomechanics and Pathophysiology

    Concussions occur as a result of imparted linear and rotational accelerations to the brain.

    Because of modifying factors (e.g., concussion history, neck strength, anticipatory reaction and varying magnitudes, frequency, and locations of impact), there is currently no known threshold for concussive injury.

A 16-year-old baseball player from northern New Jersey died after being hit in the chest by a pitch during practice, reported.

Xxxxx xxxxxs, who was a sophomore at Garfield High School, went into cardiac arrest following the incident on Friday night. He was pronounced dead about an hour later at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center in Paterson.

At the time of the accident, Adams, a catcher, was practicing with a pitcher. He was wearing a chest protector, and the teen’s father said his son was in good health and had no known medical conditions.

Xxxxs was practicing with a Paterson-based traveling team that was preparing for a tournament in Florida later this month. His teammates have decided to play in the tournament, deciding it was the best way to honor his memory.

What does this have to do with the concept of Dim Mak, an ancient Chinese method, known only to certain highly skilled masters who can properly perform this "death touch"? Or, more accurately translated from the Chinese as "press artery"? Well, as we'll see, probably more than has been discussed.


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