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Rabbit punch

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Title: Rabbit punch  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Boxing, Looney Tunes Golden Collection, Luis Santana, Yoel Judah, Bunny Hugged
Collection: Boxing Terminology, Kickboxing Terminology, Punches (Combat), Violence in Sports
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Rabbit punch

A rabbit punch is a blow to the neck or to the base of the skull.[1] It is considered especially dangerous because it can damage the cervical vertebrae and subsequently the spinal cord, which may lead to serious and irreparable spinal cord injury. A rabbit punch can also detach the victim's brain from the brain stem, which can kill instantly.

The punch's name is derived from the use of the technique by hunters to kill rabbits with a quick, sharp strike to the back of the head.[2]

Combat sports

The rabbit punch is illegal in boxing,[3] MMA,[4] and other combat sports[5] that involve striking. The only exceptions are no-holds-barred events such as the International Vale Tudo Championship (prior to rule changes in mid-2012).[6]

Amateur sports

On June 29, 2014, soccer referee John Bieniewicz was punched in the neck by Baseel Abdul Amir Saad, an upset player in an amateur match he was officiating in Livonia, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. Bieniewicz died two days later of his injuries, and Saad was charged with second-degree murder.[7] Bieniewicz’s autopsy showed that force of the impact on the left side of his neck just below the base of his skull had resulted in a rare injury with twisted and torn arteries around the base of his skull, knocking him out before he hit the ground. [8]


  1. ^ Lee, Matthew. "What Is Rabbit Punching in Boxing?". AZCentral. 
  2. ^ Langer, Richard. """Extract from "Grow it!. Archived from the original on 2004-05-01. 
  3. ^ Brown, Clifton (November 15, 2004). "Lots of Fighting, but Little Resolution for Boxing's Heavyweights". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ "NJ State Athletic Control Board – Proposed Rules – Rules Governing Boxing, Extreme Wrestling and Sparring Exhibitions and Performance Bond Procedure". Retrieved 2013-07-21. 
  5. ^ "USMTA Briefing on Muay Thai Rules for Competitive Fighters, 2006 – 2010 Edition" (pdf). 
  6. ^ "Sergio Batarelli's IVC to return – Mixed Martial Arts News". Retrieved 2013-07-21. 
  7. ^ "Man accused of fatally punching Mich. referee due in court".  
  8. ^ "Judge: Man should've known punch could kill soccer ref".  
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