Title: Deadly Karate Blows - The Medical Implications
Publisher's site: Unique Publications
Amazon link: Deadly Karate Blows - The Medical Implications
Price £12.93 paperback
ISBN #: 978-0865680777
Date: 1985
Author/s Brian Adams

Photo of book cover showing various strikes impacting
As a martial artist, you spend hundreds of hours practicing how to hurt people, and we often talk in terms of the damage that we are doing, but do you ever wonder EXACTLY what happens when you punch somebody in the jaw, or the temple, or if you kick someone in the solar plexus or the groin, or elbow them in the nose or stamp on a foot? This book provides the answers.

The book is written by Brian Adams, a martial artist with 25 years teaching experience. He is also considered to be an expert in the field of martial arts injuries, and has served as an expert witness and has taught courses on it at University. In addition to his personal experience, the book has been written in consultation with physicians and emergency room specialists. Now I don't usually both with the qualifications of authors, but in this case, it was necessary to demonstrate that this is not just some guy sharing his pet theories, but it is based upon observed incidents and sound medical expertise.

Deadly Karate Blows pretty much works through the body from top to bottom, devoting a couple of pages or more to each type of injury, detailing the most common type of strike, and its likely repercussions. Each strike is accompanied with a sample photograph showing the technique being delivered, with text describing the situation, the attacker's actions, the defender's response, the weapon used by the defender, and the time taken to deliver the technique (which is a bit gimmicky and superfluous).

In many cases, there are a range of possible medical outcomes, often dependent upon the force used, or down to simple random chance. These are all listed, and the injuries are illustrated with line drawings.

The book explains the immediate physiological damage, which is useful in determining the viability of a particular strike in a fight, but it also talks about longer term outcomes, which more ethical karateka may also wish to consider.

Although this book was quite extensive in its coverage, bear in mind that it only covers striking techniques, not any kind of joint manipulations, gouges, or pressure points. Nevertheless, that does cover 95% of what we do.

That minor limitation aside, this is an excellent and highly accessible read for any karateka wishing to gain a deeper understanding of the consequences of his actions, and their effectiveness from a medical point of view.


Writing quality
Illustration quality
Overall score