Can a Karate Chop to the neck knockout? [Explained]

We talk here not only about jiu jitsu but also about karate and other martial arts. And now the time has come to bring light onto the chops – the karate chops. Can a karate chop to the neck knockout and are karate chops a real thing at all?

First of all, we will explore not just what does a karate chop do but discover what is a neck chop and where else it appears.

Are karate chops a real thing?

And can you knock someone out with a chop?

The short answer is, yes, a karate chop to the neck can knockout. But from a real fighting perspective, it’s hard to implement because the opponent will not give you to reach him so close.

And also, it will be needed a combination of high-level precision and enough impact force to achieve the result of TKO from a neck chop.

Here are a more deep talk and thoughts on the subject of how effective is a karate chop to the neck by an MMA coach in Shanghai Ramsey Dewey on his channel.

Knifehand strike aka Karate chop

In fact, the karate neck chop or knife hand strike effectiveness as a striking technique belongs not only to the karate secret treasury of knowledge.

Knifehand strike or shuto uchi (from Japanese) is all the same martial art technique best known and familiar as a karate chop.

How does karate chop work?

And what is the point of a karate chop?

The final target of the knifehand strike is the carotid sinus – the area on the neck that plays the role of blood pressure regulation as it has a system of nerves. A certain physical impact – a pressure spike on the carotid sinus – can lead to unconsciousness.

Knifehand strike is used not only in Japanese martial arts styles but also in Chinese. The knife hand strike in Korean styles is also presented, for instance, in taekwondo.

Shuto uchi

Knife hand strike karate

Are karate chops legal in MMA?

Can you karate chop in UFC and in MMA in general? Well, despite MMA looking like it’s a brutal free fight but it isn’t. MMA, so UFC has rules to fight. And the rules are saying that “No directed throat strikes are allowed”. But what about the neck strikes?

Here is what is stated in the Official Unified Rules of MMA (pdf file):

  1. FOULS: Strikes to the spine or the back of the head;
    a. The back of the head starts at the Crown of the head with a one (1) inch variance
    to either side, running down the back of the head to the occipital junction.
    b. This area stretches out at the occipital junction (nape of the neck) to cover the
    entire width of the neck. It then travels down the spine with a one (1) inch
    variance from the spine’s centerline, including the tailbone.
  2. Throat strikes of any kind and/or grabbing the trachea;
    a. No directed throat strikes are allowed. A directed attack would include a fighter
    pulling his opponents head in a way to open the neck area for a striking attack. A
    fighter may not gouge their fingers or thumb into their opponent’s neck or trachea
    in an attempt to submit their opponent. If during stand-up action of a fight a strike
    is thrown and the strike lands in the throat area of the fighter, this shall be viewed
    as a clean and legal blow

So, throat chop in MMA is illegal. But what if it is a neck chop? The rules don’t point it clearly.

What about in reality?

In reality, we don’t see that fighters utilize the knife hand strike technique here and there. On the MMA subreddit and other martial arts forums people mostly rate the knife hand strike in the fight as not effective and not worth spending effort on and lose the bout as a result of the attempt.

Do they chop in judo?

We have a very short answer to this question by Marti Malloy of the US Olympic judo team.


There are striking techniques in Judo, or Judo atemi waza, where hand chops are also used.

how does a judo chop work
Judo chop in Judo atemi waza

The other question is – are striking techniques allowed in Olympic judo sport?

And the answer is no, according to the judo rule at the Olympics punching, kicks, or with other words “intentionally trying to injure the opponent” are not allowed.

Judo striking techniques

The judy chop guy Diemon Dave

The judy chop video was one of the most popular karate-judo-chop memes in the internet.

“First, you got the Judy Chop. Then ye got the Karate Chop”

Judy chop Youtube video

Judo Chop Flintstones

Despite the fact that there is no judo chop, it went to travel among mass society.

Do you remember The Flintstones?

And the “judo a chop chop” there?

Judo chop James Bond

Is it a judo chop or a karate chop?

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