His head just popped right off!

Considering the amount of force needed to break the neck in cadavers, under “ideal” conditions, is in excess of 800 N (cite - pdf), and adding to that the further force required to shear the soft tissues and decapitate the subject, I would say that someone being able to bring off a bare-handed beheading is implausible in the extreme - especially unintentionally.

The British government put together a table to determine how far a hanging subject should be dropped in order to break the neck and kill, but without severing the head. Note that a 120-lb. subject needs to be dropped well over seven and a half feet in order to reliably break the neck. To actually sever the head, one would have to generate considerably more force over a considerably shorter distance, and is thus that much less likely.

I would say that Mr. O’Neil is telling a good story rather than being strictly accurate.

tl;dr version - BS.


I LOL’ed.

It’s not well known that heads are screwed on with a left hand thread. Most people would try to unscrew them anti-clockwise which would just tighten them more. I guess that this guy knew the secret.

My head is literally on a swivel, and there’s so much anatomy holding the spine together and surrounding it to make the idea of just popping a head off absurd.

One of the primary ligaments that holds the vertebrae together from the base of the skull to the pelvis is the anterial longitudinal ligament, and its mean breaking load is described as 600 Newtons. Tensile strength of the ligamentum flavum is 300 N, and the third end-to-end spinal ligament is the posterior longitudinal ligament, coming in at a relatively puny 67-138 N. (From: Sanford J. Larson & Dennis J. Maiman (1999) Surgery of the Lumbar Spine

And that’s not counting the resistance offered by the muscles such as the scalenes and trapezius, and the skin.

The A2s always were a bit twitchy

If the blurb is anything to go by, he’s telling a really awful story.

It’s hard enough to pull a piece of raw steak into pieces, and those are sliced across the grain usually… and aged… and drained, and the sinews detached. It’s hard enough to pull apart uncooked chickens.

I can’t imagine a head popping off - it seem at the very very least there’d be some stringy connections left, turning his maneuver into a game of bloody tetherball and getting the head back in his face. Plus, wouldn’t there be blood galore gushing all over the place, all over him? I mean he’s basically hugging this guy to his chest and letting loose many pints of blood, probably up into his own face. I would imagine blood gushing all over the place and splattered all over him would be as intimidating as a flying head, if not more, yet not a word about that aspect…

I’m reading the same book and I’ve gotten to the point of just skimming. Between his invention of ‘Rex Kwon Do’ and doing a fucking Sun Dance, to all of his ninja bullshit, I’ve pretty much just given up.

Sure but that is for a rope. This guy used his hands. Probably Wolverine hands.

You all have to post exerpts, like a straight dope serial of BS. It would be amazing

This write up is even better

Yeah. He was pretty old.

Okay, now I’m pissed. I mean, I have a fierce warrior spirit (it has stood me in good stead these many years on the Dope) but I don’t go around popping people’s heads off. That sort of thing is frowned upon among the Lenape.

I can’t think of any better way to “respect your enemy” than to rip their head off and throw it at somebody.

The closest thing I can think of is someone’s head coming off during a hanging. If the rope is too long, it can happen that they’re jerked to a halt so quickly that the head could come off.

So the necessary force is some multiple of body weight. That’s a lot of force to apply at short range by hand.

I’m not sure I’d say it’s totally impossible. There’s always those freak alignments of circumstance that might make it the one-in-a-million outcome.

The problem is that it sounds like this guy is a million one-in-a-million outcomes. After a certain number of these, I stop being willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

From the link:

“his lifelong commitment to training—mine, body and spirit—”

Maybe that explains the explosive force he generated with his hands.

I wonder if this guy is the real-life inspiration for the Red Rascal. Seriously, that sounds straight out of Doonesbury.

Wow. Good thing the Army stopped soldiers from bringing their wives and children along on special ops - his experience must have been the instigation for that policy. He can’t be blamed though, how could he have known the enemy would kill to keep that body in their country?

From the write-up:

Man, that’s nothing. I’ve developed my own school of fighting, the Empty Left Hand, and I’ve got a bajillionth-degree polka-dot tiara in my school! Booyah!

Seriously, there must be some easy way to check if the guy is who he says he is. I believe he was in the military, but what about the rest of it?