Knockout punch to the jaw

From a couple of different sources I have heard that there is a spot on the jaw that once hit is likely to result in unconsciousness in the victim. One person even said that not much force is necessary. The trouble is they didn’t say where on the jaw. The side? The front? Anyone know more about this?

I’ve seen a blow to the tip of the chin that wasn’t full force knock somebody out. It was an uppercut elbow smash from a beginning martial artist to someone who wasn’t expecting them to make contact. I understand a sharp blow to the jawline can cause the same thing.

When I was in college I was sparring with a man in the boxing ring and he caught me with an upper cut square on the front of the jaw. It didn’t put me down, but it sure rang my bell and I think a follow up would have knocked me out.

I would think that any blow to the head, which causes the brain to bounce off the opposite side of the skull that was hit…a concussion…can knock you out.

I don’t think there are any magic KO points, but certainly, there are places where one would hit a nerve and the effect would be disasterous (such as the temple). IIRC, most of the damage from a hit to the jaw is caused when the jaw slams into the upper teeth and the force is transferred to the brain causing a concussion.

That said, I almost KOed a guy with a jab once, but that was one-in-a-million.

There is a nerve under the ear just above the jaw that hurts like hell to have it pushed, but it’d be quite difficult to punch someone there.

On a lighter note: there are some incredibly advanced people at my dojo and I’ve never heard of such a point. Given my skill at sparring, I think I would have found it by now (or more correctly, my opponent would have).

I’d presume that outside of boxing regulations, it’s more likely that a chin-jab will knock someone off balance and send them falling onto concrete, in which case Lady Luck takes over.

The point you might be thinking about is called “the button” in boxing. It is the point on either side of the chin, close to the point of the chin.

It has nothing to do with exposed nerves in the jaw.

A knock-out is a concussion of the brain. This is produced when the brain strikes up against the inside of the skull. Normally, the brain floats in a bath of cerebro-spinal fluid. A sudden blow to the head can overcome this protective system, and the inertia of a sudden blow will cause the brain to bounce around inside the skull. When the brain hits, many neurons fire, and others are bruised and damaged. The sudden firing of many neurons at once causes the knock-out. Those neurons that only fired recover. Those that are bruised recover partially. Those that are destroyed never come back, and are never replaced. This is what causes punch-drunkenness. It is generally believed to be the cause of Muhammed Ali’s Parkinsonian syndrome.

Hitting the “button” is more likely to produce a knock-out because it is the point furthest from the rotation point of the head, which is the spinal column. Thus the leverage of hitting the “button” produces the greatest acceleration, because the lever (the jawbone, in this situation) is longest at the point of the chin.


Yes, the Button. Personal experiance here. Me and a buddy got into a drunken brawl one night and he me in the button. Didn’t knock me out, but made me the stereo typical “punch drunk” for about five seconds. He made it quite clear that in those five seconds he could have inflicted any type of damage he wanted to. My guard was totally down. Luckily he knew that there were limitations when sparing with a friend . . .

Thanks for the replies! So what kind of blow would set off this “button”? Or would any do such as an uppercut, jab or haymaker?

I think Shodan is generally right, but check out Xenopus’ reply in this similar thread.

In Sting Like a Bee, a terrific early Ali biography, by former light heavyweight champion Jose Tores knockouts are explained. Tores says that people are rarely knocked out by punches that they see coming because the body adjusts to absorb them. This is why people are often knocked out by one sucker punch but not by several punches in a fight. The idea of combination punching is to position the opponent’s head so that a relatively light puch can effect a knockout.

Last month when Sharmba Mitchell lost to Kostya Tszyu for the junior welterweight world title he said after the fight that the first time Tszyu knocked him down he didn’t see Tszyu throw the punch. The first he knew about it was looking up at Tszyu from the canvas. He got up but the fight was over.

The idea that you are knocked out by punches you don’t see coming is probably true - if you don’t see it coming, you don’t tense up your neck and thus it is easier to impart momentum to your head - but I believe there is another part as well.

One of the symptoms of concussion is short-term memory loss. You don’t remember what happened just before you were knocked out, in other words. Thus it is possible that someone could see a punch coming, get hit, get knocked out, and then forget that he saw the punch coming. When Marion Starling, a welterweight champion in the 80s was knocked out by a shot after the bell, HBO played the tape of him being kayoed, then an interview just after he was revived in which he denied ever being knocked down.


That makes sense. The only time I have been concussed was during a rugby game - I can recall getting the ball, putting in a chip kick and starting to chase it and then the next thing I knew was that the ground was rushing at my face. I had apparently run into th elbow of another player but that bit I don’t recall. Presumably I was unconcious for less time than it took to fall to the ground.

As mentioned, the ‘button’ is essentially the furthest point out from the neck on the side of the chin. Essentially you are using the mandible as a lever to impart more force to the head

The easiest/most common attack to this point is a simple hook or a corkscrew punch. You will also see other attacks like elbows aimed at this point quite often.

As mentioned already the best way to knock someone out is to let gravity and a hard floor do their bit.