One Punch, One Kill
This saying is used in many styles of martial arts, but it seldom happens in the real world. In the world of firearms, they speak of "one shot, one kill" or of "one-shot stops" where an attacker is stopped or killed by one shot. Even with a firearm, this seldom occurs. Sometimes an attacker may take numerous shots and keep attacking, even while slowly dying. Are one-shot stops possible with knives? There are three types of one-shot stops:
- Physiological stop. Occurs when the central nervous system is shut down (such as bullet to the brain), or where either the heart or thoracic aorta is instantly and catastrophically damaged.
- Psychological stop. Occurs when the person believes he or she is supposed to react a certain way to an injury.
- Surrender stop. Occurs when the person believes that any further hostilities may lead to more pain, injury or death, so the person gives up.
In self-defense, the primary concern is not killing the attacker, but stopping the attacker from continuing the attack. A cut or stab may cause a psychological or surrender stop. However, even a stab to the heart may not instantly kill or stop an attacker. For a knife attack to be fatal relatively quickly, the injury must be to the heart of a major artery or vein, and either:
- the blood must not clot, or
- pressure from surrounding tissues must not stop the flow of blood, or
- direct pressure is not applied to stop the flow of blood.