Thoughts on center mass target area

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by allenr, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. allenr

    allenr Member

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    My view of center mass targeting is formed by the location of absolutely vital organs. These lie below and around the sternum.

    The location and size of the sternum

    The sternum is at the center of the rib cage beginning at the collar bones and extending downward. The average dimensions of the human sternum are stated below. Males have larger sternum than females, but for the purposes of this article the differences are insignificant.

    Length: 7 inches
    Thickness: 0.4 inch
    Breadth: tapering top to bottom - 2.75 inches to 1.25 inches

    The sternum is attached to the ribs by cartilage. Cartilage is significantly softer than bone. The ribs are significantly thinner than the sternum and vary in thickness and shape depending upon their placement in the rib cage.

    The rib cage protects vital organs. The most vital organs other than the brain are behind the rib cage, which is intended to provide protection for those organs. In the image below we see that the heart, lungs, and major artery idea and veins are all in the rib cage connected by the sternum. To the rear of the sternum is the thoracic spinal column. The main arteries and veins that carry blood to and from the heart to the brain and lungs are all encased in the sternum's rib cage area. That can be seen in the image.

    [​IMG]


    The relationship of accuracy to incapacitation is an accepted fact that a well placed shot that disrupts the central nervous system, or causes massive bleeding, or injures a vital organ will incapacitate or kill an attacker in quick order. While the brain is an ideal target, the area of the head is smaller than the thoracic cavity. The head can move much faster than the upper torso. That makes the upper torso a better target in self defense. While the upper torso is often thought of anything above the waist, in fact it is anything from the relative position of the lungs to the neck. Tghe body portion below that is the mid section until the hips where the lower body begins.

    What is center mass?

    The recommendation of most deaf defense trainers is to shoot for center mass, but what does that mean? For me it aim at the sternum. Below is the new target I am going to use.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  2. Tommycourt

    Tommycourt Tommycourt

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    Allen,

    What you have described there is where I was trained to shoot. Disrupting the sternum, even from a hard punch can incapacitate an individual enough so you could escape if need be. A hand over straight punch to the sternum can cause the heart to stop or disrupt the heart beat, but you drive your hand THROUGH the body and not deliver a blow just to the body. The hand needs to be turned so the knuckles are up.That is the reason I practice for accuracy and speed although at my age, the speed has slowed due to physical conditions. I was at the range one day and a young man had a Glock out and was firing at 10 feet burning through the rounds as fast as he could. We have targets that represent the human torso and he was all over the target and some off. I tried to explain to him that 1 accurate shot will incapacitate rather than a barrage that might hit a vital area. I showed him the sternum area and explained that is the point you need to concentrate on. I think it went over his head as he went back to rapid fire with no real stopping hits.

    Albert Einstein once stated that the 2 things that are infinite is space and the stupidity of man.

    Tommy
     

  3. allenr

    allenr Member

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    Exactly right Tommy. My hand to hand combat training stressed the sternum punch and the notion that you always strike at an imaginary point beyond the actual point of impact. Sorry to say, Imleaned from experience that it works.
     
  4. buster40c

    buster40c Well-Known Member

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    I wonder would a hit right below bottom of sternum where it meets the ribs could very possibly hit the spine easier? I have heard that a thumb jabbed into that spot can double over someone. I heard that from a marine that used that when he had enough of some punk that thought he was going to open a can of whoop on him..

    For all the credit Einstein got it seemed there still were many that didn't listen to him. Einstein said it is easier to fool a person than to convince a person they had been fooled. I just wonder by todays standards would he have been accused of wearing a tin foil hat? To funny.

    Good post Allen.
     
  5. allenr

    allenr Member

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    Interesting point of question. What you heard about striking just below the asr of the rib cage is true. That spot is the location of the solar plexus nerve center. We learned to use a two knuckle strike to that spot to stop an attacker. When you strike the spot dead on it just sends shock waves through the upper body. It will not incapacitate but it will disrupt long enough that other action can be taken before the attacker recovers. A knife wound there will incapacitate, so a Nguni shot would too. A gun shot might reach the spine but it would have to pass through the stomach (as I recall). However, if you aimed for center sternum and hit at that spot, I am certain your attacker would be at the very minimum out of it for enough time for you to finish the job.
     
  6. MagBlackhawk

    MagBlackhawk Patriot

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    ^^ True that... I was Way Off into Karate back when my body was able.
    The two knuckle punch (first and second knuckles) provide sort of a column stiffness all the way to the elbow and makes for a solid hit concentrated in a small area, it works.
    The solar plexus is a venerable area and a very effective point to strike.
    Even bare handed a solid punch there should give you enough time to 'finish up'.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2017
  7. VThillman

    VThillman Active Member

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    Einstein was 'exaggerating for effect' of course. Neither space nor stupidity are infinite; It just seems that way.

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    There is (or maybe used to be) a sometime practice in law enforcement to 'shoot to incapacitate' rather than to kill - or so I have read. This would, I assume, be a different desired outcome than the military one. I have seen the pelvic girdle mentioned. I am wondering if this attention to that 'shalt not' is often a part of armed self defense training for civilians.
     
  8. allenr

    allenr Member

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    I have never had any civilian training so I have no idea what they teach. I can tell I did learn about the pelvis target. A hit in the center will generally not be as effective as a hit on either side. That hit position will almost assuredly stop the target form being ambulatory, and will most likely to make them fall to the ground. The problem is they are only incapacitated in therms of being ambulatory. That means they can still shoot and kill you. There is no substitute for incapacitating by a hit on a vital organ or a large vein or artery.
     
  9. allenr

    allenr Member

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    I have never had any civilian training so I have no idea what they teach. I can tell I did learn about the pelvis target. A hit in the center will generally not be as effective as a hit on either side. That hit position will almost assuredly stop the target form being ambulatory, and will most likely to make them fall to the ground. The problem is they are only incapacitated in therms of being ambulatory. That means they can still shoot and kill you. There is no substitute for incapacitating by a hit on a vital organ or a large vein or artery or to the central nervous system.
     
  10. VThillman

    VThillman Active Member

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    If there was such training, and its impetus and design were, um, bureaucratic, it's pointless to guess about details; still, I'm wondering if the LEO was expected to determine - quickly - whether or not the BG had the means to kill at a distance.

    :eek:
     
  11. Tommycourt

    Tommycourt Tommycourt

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    About 5 years ago I had an incident where a man about half my age and a hundred pounds heavier than myself approached me and was almost chest to chest. Now I am only 5'10" tall and weigh 155lbs. He was pushing me to my limit and becoming very aggressive. My mistake was to let him get that close. I stepped back with my right foot, shoved his shoulder back with my left hand enough to get a punch in. Now this guy is about 6' 2" tall and is bulky. I delivered a blow to the sternum but with the heel of my right hand. I tried to drive my hand through his chest, so it was a solid hit. I did NOT want to severely injure him, I wanted to warn him that I would not tolerate his aggressiveness. The heel of the hand is strong enough to hit a larger area and still get effective results. After striking, he staggered back and then fell to his knees. He had lost his breath and was incapacitated. He then admitted he had enough and I warned him not to try to do it again, as I could become more aggressive. The incident was over and I told him that to just go about his way and forget it. He was a bully prior to others way before my confrontation. I was working at a swimming pool where the residents are mostly older. He was not expecting this. Had I used my fist or fingers that damage could have been much worse however the situation did not dictate that. My point was put across and it's nothing I took pride in doing however there are times when force has to be engaged. You can be effective and still not cause severe injury and only when there is no other alternative. I take no pride in hurting anyone but only use force as a last resort. There are other places in the body that is vulnerable but only through training should it be used. My intention was to just stop a situation that had gotten out of control. A couple of weeks later I had met the same gentleman and told him that I was sorry that it went that far and felt no animosity towards him and told him that as far as I am concerned it never happened. I am only saying this to let others know that regardless of our age and sometimes fragility, you can protect yourself if the need arises. I am sure Allen is very capable and can teach much more than I can.

    Tommy
     
  12. buster40c

    buster40c Well-Known Member

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    I never understood punching someone in the face. I want to end it rather than cause pain to my hand probably worse than his face felt it. Hand to bone doesn't feel good at all. LOL I don't want him hurting his hand on me either. Just like I don't want a bad guy to get a shot off at me after I shot him.
     
  13. Tommycourt

    Tommycourt Tommycourt

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    ^^^^^ Makes sense to me!!!

    Tommy
     
  14. allenr

    allenr Member

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    Tommy's use of a sternum strike with the heel of the is a classic aggression stopper. Another one is to use two knuckles and hit the throat just below the Adam's apple. No hard bones there, and while the person is trying to stop chocking Ou are in command. If you push on that spot with a finger it is not hard to imagine what a two knuckle jab would feel like. Not pleasant.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2017
  15. VThillman

    VThillman Active Member

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    Any sharp blow to the Adam's Apple area could be unintentionally fatal though; a permanent stopper.
     
  16. buster40c

    buster40c Well-Known Member

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    Yep VT that would take the fight away from you for sure.
     
  17. Tommycourt

    Tommycourt Tommycourt

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    My intent in that situation was not to harm or permanently disable that gentleman. My intention was to stop the aggressive behavior he was exhibiting. Force should only be used and at a minimum if at a possible. I just wanted to defuse the situation with the least amount of force possible. I detest fighting and try to avoid at all costs any confrontations however when pushed into a situation, only the amount of force needed is what you would use. I am not proud of what happened and don't really like to talk about passed situations, however what I was trying to say is that although we are a little older doesn't mean we have to be intimidated. In most cases I will walk away and let them say what ever they wish, however when a "bully" appears, then if needed, take the steps to protect yourself and loved ones. Even though you are older or may have some disability, does not mean you are helpless. I would encourage anyone who reads this to attend a few self defense classes just to get some ideas of how to help yourself. You don't need a "black belt" in some form of self defense but just a basic understanding on how you can defend should the need arise. I harshly critisize the movie industry for all the Kung Fu junk that they show. All you want to do is the minimum amount of force to deter a potentially bad situation.

    Tommy