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Old 04-08-2014, 02:49 PM
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possible to kill a person with a bear hug?

The Wikipedia page for constrictor snakes mentions that they may squeeze hard enough to cause cardiac arrest of their prey:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
...some prey items seem to die faster than would be possible through asphyxia, so it has also been suggested that the pressure of constriction causes a rise in the pressure in the prey's body cavity greater than the heart can counter, resulting in immediate cardiac arrest.
Question: is it possible for a human being to kill another human being this way, i.e. by constricting the chest so tightly as to induce cardiac arrest? If not with the arms, might it be possible with the legs (e.g. by hooking the toes of one foot behind the opposite heel and squeezing the victim's chest with your thighs)?
Old 04-08-2014, 03:24 PM
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I'm pretty sure that even at their advanced ages that Hulk Hogan or Arnold could squeeze me to death without much effort. Would it be by cardiac arrest or asphyxia? What does it matter your dead. But I could see either outcome as a possibility. Hell I might just have a heart attack if one seriously approached me and demanded that I be his bitch.

Last edited by Si Amigo; 04-08-2014 at 03:26 PM.
Old 04-08-2014, 06:16 PM
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As it happens, my great aunt's here visiting from Arizona. Let me check...















...yep, works!

Last edited by buddha_david; 04-08-2014 at 06:17 PM.
Old 04-08-2014, 08:44 PM
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If you can bear hug somebody so long and so tightly that they can't expand their chest cavity and hold it so long that they asphyxiate they'll die, but the question is why you'd want to - there are wrestling and martial arts holds that could kill somebody more reliably and with less effort than a bear hug. There's a reason you don't see people trying to win judo, grappling and MMA competitions by submitting opponents with bear hugs and scissor holds across the chest; there are more efficient holds to use with a higher percentage of success.

A bear hug is usually used by somebody with a lot of upper body strength as a takedown to get a better position on the ground, but simply holding onto somebody so long that they asphyxiate would be tough. The other person will be struggling for dear life, and keeping the hold that long would require a lot of strength and stamina. Brock Lesnar could probably do it to Stephen Hawking, but between two equally matched adults in size and strength would be very difficult. Moreover, if the holdee knows anything at all about wrestling, he will be constantly working to make enough space to breathe and/or break the hold. If the person had their arms inside the hug they have a good chance of making enough space to breathe, and if arms are outside of the hug they have a good chance to break the hold (or clap your ear and break your eardrum, gouge your eye out, etc.). The bear hugger would be far better off to use a hold that requires much less brute strength, like a rear naked choke/hakada jime that uses the arms to clamp off the carotid artery of the neck. Once the hold is tightly in place, or "sunk in," it requires much less effort than a bear hug and is much harder to break. Similarly, you could do as the OP suggests and hook your toes of one foot behind the opposite heel and squeeze the opponent's chest with your thighs, but the tighter hold would be to hook your instep behind the opposite knee. If you were going to do that, however, the far smarter tactic would be to throw one of the opponents arms under your leg so that you have his head and one arm in a triangle choke with your thigh cutting off his carotid artery, which uses far less effort and is far more likely to work.
Old 04-08-2014, 08:58 PM
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Too late to ETA: speaking more specifically about inducing cardiac arrest as opposed to generally causing asphyxiation, I doubt many studies have been done. If we're talking about literally crushing the opponent's heart through the ribcage so that it can't beat, I suppose Brock Lesnar might be able to do it to Hawking, or on somebody with osteogenesis imperfecta.
Old 04-08-2014, 10:29 PM
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this reminds me of so many movies where the guy in a bear hug headbutts the hugger in the nose to escape

so the answer is yes, excluding headbutts
Old 04-08-2014, 10:37 PM
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I suppose if you were a very large person and you bear-hugged a small person you could do it.
Seems inefficient though.
Old 04-09-2014, 01:21 AM
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The problem is that the short/strong squeezing muscles get very week the smaller the target. A lot of the muscle behind the bear hug is in the back. Those muscles are strong but have a short range of motion and the smaller the target the weaker they are. The more interesting idea is the figure 4 leg lock (Tow behind the knee). In high school wrestling the figure 4 is illegal on the chest but legal on the neck, while the scissor is illegal on the neck but legal on the chest. I assume this is because the scissor has a twist and pull action on the neck and the figure 4 could seriously crush the chest.
Old 04-09-2014, 02:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pravnik View Post
There's a reason you don't see people trying to win judo, grappling and MMA competitions by submitting opponents with bear hugs and scissor holds across the chest; there are more efficient holds to use with a higher percentage of success.
In Judo, the answer to why you don't see scissor holds across the body is that they are so dangerous to be illegal. You can easily kill someone with one without intending to with a scissor lock. Not so much that you will asphyxiate them, but that you can deliver enough pressure that you can rupture organs. As a lock, they are indeed not as effective as other moves, but as a seriously dangerous to life technique they are hard to beat.
Old 04-09-2014, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Francis Vaughan View Post
In Judo, the answer to why you don't see scissor holds across the body is that they are so dangerous to be illegal. You can easily kill someone with one without intending to with a scissor lock. Not so much that you will asphyxiate them, but that you can deliver enough pressure that you can rupture organs. As a lock, they are indeed not as effective as other moves, but as a seriously dangerous to life technique they are hard to beat.
That's true; I was thinking more specifically about MMA but I could have been more clear. I'm of two minds as to exactly how dangerous the body scissors/do jime actually is, though, and have heard it argued both ways. Kano banned it from judo back when there were no weight classes and it's still banned today, but it's legal in MMA and some submission grappling and BJJ. It hasn't led to any fatalities in those sports, and is rarely used. I think part of the reason is that it's similar to knee locks in that whatever damage it does isn't felt until later; the recipient won't feel enough to tap out during the match but may have badly bruised ribs and kidneys the next day. Kano may have banned it because of the danger of rupturing organs or breaking a floating rib and driving it into a lung, or maybe just because it didn't cause opponents to submit and caused them non-lethal injury that wasn't felt until the next day. Possibly both.
Old 04-09-2014, 10:56 AM
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Modern MMA assumes the people are properly trained, and a match will be stopped quickly if needed. It doesn't seem like banning a scissors hold yet. It wasn't always that way, Royce Gracie told a story about his grandfather who faced a judo master. The judo master wouldn't even fight him unless grandpa agreed to submit when a headlock was applied. He didn't give up even when blood was coming out of his ears. Truly unlimited competition in the martial arts can be very dangerous.
Old 04-09-2014, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machine Elf View Post
Question: is it possible for a human being to kill another human being this way, i.e. by constricting the chest so tightly as to induce cardiac arrest? If not with the arms, might it be possible with the legs (e.g. by hooking the toes of one foot behind the opposite heel and squeezing the victim's chest with your thighs)?
I think there is no doubt that a strong person could kill a much weaker person in that manner. However, in real life, the attacker would probably choose to grab his victim by the neck and strangle it.
Old 04-09-2014, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by TriPolar View Post
Modern MMA assumes the people are properly trained, and a match will be stopped quickly if needed. .... Truly unlimited competition in the martial arts can be very dangerous.
Some people are just bloody minded. I have seen an elbow dislocated because someone simply would not tap out of an arm-lock. Nuts. At least failing to tap out of a strangle results in a quick finish to the match with no injury. But sometimes people take things altogether too seriously. (It is supposed to be fun.)

Of course the obvious problem is partly that these sports are derived from arts where killing or disabling the opponent was the entire point.
Old 04-09-2014, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pravnik View Post
....Moreover, [ .... ] if the person had their arms [ ... ] outside of the hug they have a good chance to break the hold (or clap your ear and break your eardrum, gouge your eye out, etc.)...
FWIW, I was trained (Krav Maga), for one thing, to slap at the hugger's testicles.
Old 04-09-2014, 12:13 PM
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Cx: Curl, Slap at balls particularly when arms in hug. Otherwise, can't hurt either, so to speak.

Last edited by Leo Bloom; 04-09-2014 at 12:14 PM.
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