(Wed., February 8, 2017)– To excel at physical combat sports like boxing and mixed martial arts, athletes need to master a number of varied techniques. Whether an athlete is new to the sport or a veteran looking for a competitive edge, studying different techniques can help with finding new ways to win. After all, the right technique can take out an opponent quickly if utilized properly. One of the most devastating attacks that can be used is a liver punch. Read on to discover why the liver punch is so powerful.
A Liver Punch Can Result in a Quick Takedown
The liver punch, sometimes called the liver shot, can be a deadly maneuver when used correctly. Delivering a blow to the right side of the ribcage damages the liver and can quickly immobilize an opponent. Even the strongest fighters in professional combat sports can be taken out by one of these strikes.
Fighters who use a liver punch can expect to win by technical knockout in a range of physically demanding sports. People who have suffered one of these blows state a well placed punch will collapse a combatant’s legs, temporarily disabling their motor control.
Getting hit in the liver is similar to how a person may feel when the wind is knocked out of them, according to firsthand accounts. Many people who receive such an impact will collapse into a fetal position. However, the collapse isn’t just caused by the sudden and intense pain that is inflicted—it also carries with it a more serious physiological response.
How is a Liver Punch Devastating?
Receiving a blow to the liver is particularly devastating due to the surrounding nerve fibers: all of which are directly connected to the autonomic nervous system. A sudden impact to these nerves causes an abrupt dilation of blood vessels throughout a person’s body, which is referred to as vasodilation.
Heart rate and blood pressure also instantly decrease, causing the receiver to collapse. This is the body’s way of limiting the necessary blood flow throughout to ensure the brain still has enough to operate. While a liver punch is usually only powerful enough to force the receiver to collapse, a person can lose consciousness altogether if the hit is severe enough.
This protective process occurs whenever a vital organ takes a severe impact. As the largest gland organ in the body, the liver is the most susceptible to this effect. It also slightly protrudes from under the ribcage, making it even more vulnerable to outside trauma from a well placed punch or kick.
How to Protect Yourself from a Liver Punch
Despite how devastating a liver punch can be, there are a few tips athletes can keep in mind to minimize the chance of getting taken out. The area around the liver is typically one of the least guarded spots; many combat athletes focus on protecting the head, neck, and chest area believing them to be the most vulnerable.
During a match an athlete should keep focused on their opponent and drop their right arm to block an attack when anticipated. An athlete can also learn to roll with the punch or kick, thus preventing 100% of the force being felt and diminishing the overall pain that is felt.
During some matches it can be tough to anticipate where an opponent might try to land a blow. However, there are other ways an athlete can protect their liver. Spending time in the gym focusing on boxing fitness exercises, such as oblique training, can help beef up the muscles surrounding the liver and nearby organs. This shields the liver with extra padding that lessens the impact of blows from opponents. An athlete can also use equipment such as medicine balls or have a workout partner land blows to the area so they can get used to what the impact feels like. After all, it’s typically the shock of the impact that causes athletes to go down in the ring the most. That shock will be diminished for the professional who knows what to expect pain wise.
Integrating This Technique
Liver punch techniques are favored by southpaw boxers and MMA fighters, as it is easier for them to successfully land this style of blow. However, a devastating shot to the liver can be properly executed by anyone with training; whether the training is completed individually or as part as a training regimen.
Athletes who want to use this technique should try to mix it in with various feints to throw an opponent off-balance. Those who want to be able to guard against it should always have their right arm ready to block any potential blows. Only then will a combat sportsman successfully integrate this technique into their sparring range.
Jenna Thompson is a freelance writer and a fitness trainer from Seal Beach, California. With over 10 years of experience training clients in and out of the gym, she has learned to prioritize fitness and well-being in her life. When she is not busy training and exercising, she enjoys writing informative articles about her expertise.
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