Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Liver Punches

In my humble opinion, one most under-appreciated strikes is one to the liver. It will absolutely bring down an opponent and, if hard enough, will cause them to lose consciousness. Granted, a hard blow to just about any organ can do that as the sudden trauma causes a cascade of bad events effecting heart rate and blood vessel dilation. 

The liver, however, is especially vulnerable. It's the largest internal organ, about 3 pounds, sits in the abdomen, facing an opponent, and is slightly exposed under the ribs. Strangely, it takes a second or two, but when the liver is struck hard enough the body WILL go down and not simply from the debilitating pain. It simply can't help itself. Here's why:

The reason for the (body) collapse is, when your blood pressure’s going down, your body tries to instinctively control the blood pressure, and if it can’t raise the heart rate or restrict the blood vessels, it puts the body in a supine position so that it can maintain some blood flow to the brain. Because if you lose blood pressure to the brain, obviously it’s not compatible with life.


If you have a great disparity in size between characters, a blow to the right side of the abdomen will bring the larger opponent down 100% of the time. However, be certain the severity of the strike matches the size of the opponent. Larger bodies have more muscle and fat. You have to be certain you account for the greater mass. Also, if you make that larger fighter a lefty the scenario will be more plausible as a fighter who engages with his right shoulder forward puts the liver front and center. (Remember, the power hand is always back.)

I've attached three videos. The first is Bas Rutten's liver shot (punch). Bas is a legend in MMA, a member of the UFC Hall of Fame and a warrior for Christ. If you love fighting and you don't know Bas, you should. Bas isn't the one teaching in the video for some reason, but know the technique is his! And, you do need to know how to do it because it is not simply a strike to the side. Most of that is protected by the ribs. You have to make contact with the abs just below the ribs which is pretty darn tricky.  

The second is a kick to the liver known as the Bas Rutten Special! The third is a heavy weight taking a liver shot that I added just to prove to you that heavy weights will hit the mat as well. Notice that in each the fighter not only goes down but curls into a fetal position. This isn't just due to pain but also the body's natural response to protect itself. In other words, a liver punch generally doesn't make somebody fall flat on his back. Don't make that mistake.  

So, go back and take another look at that fight scene. Be sure the liver is available and not covered by armor, mail or the ilk. Get in close, strike fast, strike hard, and upwardly precise. Give the recipient a moment or two, then let the debilitating pain hit and drop them to the ground in a crescent shaped heap. Rest assured, the giver of said present will have time to escape, dispatch or simply stand back and enjoy the moment like a "Bas". (I LOVE that guy!)


 Until the next round at FightWrite.net, get blood on your pages!


  1. Hey, I have a series of questions on the liver shot info you put out. First I want to point out that the liver goes all the way across the body and isn't just on the right side. Bas Rutten said that incorrectly, but it IS true that the liver is larger on the right side and is no doubt a better tempting target there. (Also on the right side are the stomach and appendix, but both lower down.)

    Also the kick you showed in the second video actually hit the bottom of the ribs, which makes sense to me because the liver partly hides behind the rib cage. But since I am not a trained martial artist, I'm unclear if the best liver shot is to hit the lower ribs as hard as you can or to hit BELOW the ribs.

    Also I know that the nerve cluster called the solar plexus is just below the sternum, therefore below the rib cage. Would a solar plexus shot ALSO hit the liver? Does that have anything to do with why that spot is worth hitting?

    Thanks for the info you've been sharing. I appreciate it.

  2. First, the Bas is never wrong. How dare you, good sir! If the Bas says, the liver is in your sinuses, you say, here, here!

    Yeah, the liver goes all the way across. Science and all. BUT, it's that fatty right side that we're going for. I don't know why hitting it in other places doesn't get the same effect, but it doesn't. I've been hit pretty hard in the solar plexus. It made me want to vomit and it took my air. But, really, it didn't hurt. It stunk big time but didn't hurt and I would venture my liver took a bit of the blow. I've also done medicine ball drops on my stomach that made food come up. My liver seemed none the wiser.

    That kick does hit the mark. It's kind of a weird place that you have to go for, kinda half way down between your sternum and the bottom of your ribs on that smooth curve. Part of the foot caught the right spot with an upward trajectory and it does have to go upward. I don't think a body shot does it. I've had body shots that left my ribs looking like a bruised banana. But, as hard as that kick came around, just the impact may have irked the liver enough.

    Thank you for your questions, Travis. You really read my posts. You dig through them and I like that. If you catch me in an error I NEED to know because writers are depending on me to be right. So, thank you. Also, you know a ton. If you're reading this craziness, I must be doing something right. I will definitely lean on you for a post some time.

    Saludos a tu esposa bella. Miles felicidades.


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