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Why can’t your body handle a punch to the liver? – Human Anatomy | Kenhub

August 22, 2019

This is the liver, and this is what happens
when someone punches you in the liver. A well-placed shot to the liver even one that’s
not particularly hard can put you in excruciating pain. If you’ve yet to experience this sensation
in your life, well, consider yourself fortunate. A blow to the liver whether a punch, a knee
or a swift kick will likely leave you incapacitated. In addition to the agonizing pain, you’ll
feel breathless, fatigued. Your legs may give out from under you. It’s not a matter of willpower or how big
or tough you are. A swift shot to the liver will shut your body
down. So why does this happen? Why is your liver so vulnerable? If we compare the liver shot to, say, the
head shot, you can see that they’re both extremely devastating. They both target a vulnerable part of the
body yet the effects of these strikes are actually quite different. When you see professional tough guys like
Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone take a multitude of shots to the head without blinking only to
collapse when they’re struck by a single blow to the body, it seems kind of strange. However, the thing is when it comes to head
shots, well, they don’t really hurt – at least not in the moment. When you get knocked in the head, you become
disoriented, but you don’t necessarily process the pain. This is the opposite of a liver shot where
your mind is actually clear but your body has completely shut down. Now let’s take a closer look at the liver
to really understand what’s going on. This reddish-brown wedge-shaped organ is the
liver. It’s located on the right side of the body
below the diaphragm and overlying the gallbladder. It’s the largest and heaviest internal organ
in the human body weighing about one point five kilograms. This is about two point five percent of an
adult human’s body weight. The liver is responsible for many important
functions including the detoxification of harmful substances, protein synthesis, nutrient
storage and the production of biochemicals necessary for digestion. It’s one of the most vital organs in the body. If your liver fails and you don’t get a liver
transplant, you die. According to a two thousand thirteen study
on blunt liver injuries, if a healthy adult male were to take a direct liver punch to
the side of the abdomen with a minimum punch speed of five meters per second, it would
be enough to cause liver injury. To put this in perspective, the average adult
male is likely capable of punching at a speed of six meters per second with estimates of
pro boxers or MMA fighters punching over twice that. Here you can see the extent of liver damage
caused by a six meter-per-second liver punch. A comparison of the simulated result on the
right with the victim on the left shows the severity of such an injury. A perfectly placed liver shot with even moderate
power and speed could rupture a liver. This is a fight between former UFC heavyweight
champion Bas Rutten – and expert in liver shots – and Jason DeLucia. This shot right here is the famous shot that
ruptured DeLucia’s liver. Okay, injury or not, the liver shot is still
going to take you out – at least temporarily – and the cause of this sudden paralysis
isn’t just due to extreme pain. Physiologically, there’s actually more going
on. When a punch initially lands on the liver,
there are dynamic pressure changes in the organ itself. The liver is flexible. It’s pliable, so if one side of the liver
gets compressed with a punch, the other side will get stretched. There are a lot of nerve fibers in the capsule
around the liver linking it directly to the autonomic nervous system. So, as the liver gets compressed and stretched
from the impact, you get nerve signals that move along this pathway. The part of the nervous system that controls
involuntary actions is the autonomic nervous system or ANS. Now, the longest nerve of the ANS is the vagus
nerve, and when this gets stimulated, a series of events start to unfold. First, there’s a sudden dilation or widening
of blood vessels all over your body with the exception of the brain. Normally when this happens, your heart rate
increases to maintain blood pressure to the cardiovascular system but in this case, the
stimulation of the vagal nerve network causes a decrease in heart rate. This happens at the same time as the dilation
of blood vessels so the blood pressure drops dramatically. In a last ditch effort to control the blood
pressure and maintain blood flow to the brain – since the functioning brain is vital for
life – the body tries to force itself into a horizontal or supine position. This survival tactic is the reason for the
collapse, and if the liver shot is severe enough, you could also lose consciousness. In a professional fight setting, all of this
is amplified due to the additional elements of pain, stress and dehydration from the weight
cut. Now you may be asking yourself, why this doesn’t
seem to happen with other internal organs? But the truth is, it does. Many organs are susceptible in the same way. It’s just that with the liver being the largest
organ in the abdomen and situated in a relatively precarious position that is protruding slightly
from under the rib cage, it becomes a larger and more exposed target. The kidneys, in comparison, are a lot less
vulnerable due to the surrounding muscle mass as well as being hidden well within the rib
cage. As we’ve evolved over time, the role of the
liver has increased in importance leading to an increase in size. Why the rib cage didn’t expand to fully protect
the liver, a vital organ, remains unclear. But as we all know, the human body isn’t a
perfect system. At the end of the day, if you get punched
in the liver, you will go down. But, as defenseless as you may feel, perhaps
there’s still a chance that you’re the one who will deliver the final blow. Thanks for watching. We hope you enjoyed this topic and if you’ve
ever been punched or kicked in the liver, tell us about it in the comments below. Give this video a thumbs up, share it, and
if you want to learn more about the fascinating liver, you can go ahead and check out the
Kenhub website. Alright, guys, until next time.


  • Reply Kenhub - Learn Human Anatomy June 5, 2018 at 4:28 pm

    Hi everyone! Thanks for all the comments and thumbs up on this video. What part of the video was an aha moment for you? You might now be able to handle a quiz on the anatomy of the liver. It might be easier than a shot to the liver. Check it out here: Good luck!

  • Reply SabalastroBoy July 29, 2019 at 3:48 pm

    we need a rib cage for the nuts as well

  • Reply Fetinhayi Arroba July 29, 2019 at 11:37 pm


    if someone tries to attack you just punch him in the liver

  • Reply Mistakes July 30, 2019 at 1:33 am

    3:47 FBI OPEN UP

  • Reply Dylan Schell Blazkowikz July 30, 2019 at 2:31 am

    Haha a penis

  • Reply Jeremy Backman July 30, 2019 at 8:00 am

    Bas was gnarly as fuck with those flat palms back then.

  • Reply Tow Stuff July 30, 2019 at 8:55 am

    Who's here from Mici Animation's Champion?

  • Reply Sama Rific July 30, 2019 at 4:36 pm

    Insert windows shutdown music

  • Reply Jamikorn Meeraket July 30, 2019 at 7:56 pm

    I hit my liver with alcohol daily, no problem 👌

  • Reply polo 92 July 30, 2019 at 10:48 pm

    That last punch was SO nice ! A smart man !

  • Reply naseeb mann July 31, 2019 at 2:39 am

    Did u just break my liver

  • Reply Fruit y pebbles July 31, 2019 at 2:56 am

    Oh fuck off with that pun XD

  • Reply OrvoBx July 31, 2019 at 3:44 am

    Yea i got hit in the liver for the first time yesterday in boxing and man was that an experience

  • Reply Hareesh Devendran July 31, 2019 at 3:35 pm

    blow to any organ cause similar pain , btw testes is more exposed than liver without any bone even partly covering it

  • Reply Randel El July 31, 2019 at 4:23 pm

    I’ve seen liver shots absolutely drop people before

  • Reply Max July 31, 2019 at 5:29 pm

    Uuuuh, it hurts just to watch this video.😬

  • Reply Atheists Anonymous July 31, 2019 at 10:05 pm

    I punched someone in the liver to show them how painful it was.

  • Reply afrax buqus August 1, 2019 at 12:24 am

    To use a persons weak spot to your advantage in a fight ain't honorable/manly tbh.
    But if you're getting assaulted, go for it. I guess.

  • Reply TheGhostKnight August 1, 2019 at 3:12 am

    I got punched in the liver by a gurl who was a bully. I could not breath and it hurt. (She was a big gurl also)

  • Reply Luigi Master August 1, 2019 at 7:19 am

    Once while riding a bike I ran over a rock, got flung off, then the handlebar struck my side. I felt immense pain and was unable to stand up for a solid minute, now I know why.

  • Reply Truth Spreader Leader of NHK August 1, 2019 at 9:19 am

    Why the hell would this be in recommend. So your just teaching people to shut down other people’s bodies after one punch.

  • Reply Logan Rust August 2, 2019 at 12:06 am

    hehe i saw a pp

  • Reply Historia Sona August 2, 2019 at 2:27 am

    It's a lie. The skin is the heaviest organ. 🙂

  • Reply o donuts dude August 2, 2019 at 6:16 am

    I've got punched there as a joke. They did it on accident when I was play fighting someone. Although they didn't do it hard, I could hardly breathe for a few seconds and had trouble standing too.

  • Reply Skrood Skroody August 2, 2019 at 8:49 am

    Is this KentoBento narrating?

  • Reply HyperNinjaKid 10 August 2, 2019 at 9:26 am

    So that’s why I am in pain all the time

  • Reply rogialine Deo August 2, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    What am I doing watching Liver punches 4 am in the morning?

  • Reply LakesideHog August 3, 2019 at 8:38 am

    Your liver is your fuel injection control module……it controls everything……bam and time for a reset…..

  • Reply bigbrain457 August 3, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    Opponent: omae wa moshindiru
    Liver: NANIII!!!

  • Reply Nyan :3 August 3, 2019 at 10:45 pm

    This video pop-up when watching thurman got a body shot in 10th round against pacquiao.

  • Reply Enize CA August 4, 2019 at 12:49 am

    It was sò vsaucy

  • Reply Speedwagon August 4, 2019 at 7:08 am

    I remember getting hit in the liver when i started boxing when i was 11. It fucking hurt. Probably 2nd to worst pain ive felt.

  • Reply Silveryo August 4, 2019 at 8:52 am


  • Reply Antonio Vlassa August 4, 2019 at 8:17 pm

    Skip to 1:40

  • Reply IIXTemperzz August 5, 2019 at 3:40 am

    Should've Aimed For The Liver – Word from Thanos

  • Reply Joshua Burton August 6, 2019 at 4:51 am

    One time I got punched in the liver and thought I was gonna die. It hurt so………

  • Reply akira tsubaki August 7, 2019 at 1:08 am

    I tapped my liver lightly,

    I think I ruptured it.

  • Reply A H August 7, 2019 at 7:12 pm

    really you gotta make me look at a peen at 1:30…

  • Reply Demon Gaming August 7, 2019 at 10:14 pm

    My sister punches and kicks my liver accessionally

  • Reply Thiago dos santos August 8, 2019 at 12:08 am

    You should have gone for the liver

  • Reply Marauder Shields August 8, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    For those who are wondering how it feel, try this.
    Take your index finger and simply push it into your abdomen just where your right rib cage starts to come up to your sternum. under your rib cage while sitting down. You'll start to feel a tight pressure. If you dont keep trying till it feel a little bit like a pressure point. When you notice it, then try to imagine you've tensed up really hard from blocking shots from a man as strong as Bas Rutten and then he let's go a fully wound up shot to that liver. Anybody who's had this happen knows it's the most painful thing you can feel from one punch on the body.

  • Reply Casual Kairy August 8, 2019 at 9:33 pm

    I've been hitted by knee shot in the liver, absolutly painfull

  • Reply craiggy_tha_stona-boi {swagg God/finess king} August 8, 2019 at 10:00 pm

    Bet so if I Get in a fight I'm going for the liver

  • Reply ajcook7777 August 9, 2019 at 1:12 am

    Gotta love the guy at 0:32 holding his left side while the liver is on the right lol

  • Reply Daygostylz August 9, 2019 at 2:50 am

    So if you get punched in the liver it stimulates the ANS…

  • Reply ¡A Random Cool Guy¡ August 9, 2019 at 11:22 am

    0:16 what fight scene was this?

  • Reply Takayuki Fujinaga August 9, 2019 at 1:17 pm

    ok when theres a ass hole looking for a fight we know where to hit hit it good to fucking disable that ass hole

  • Reply Ian Viñas August 9, 2019 at 2:29 pm

    Why i was trying to punch my liver while watching this video??

  • Reply Hakiro Akabane August 10, 2019 at 11:08 am

    This video recommend to me after pacquiao vs thurman

  • Reply Edu Cabrera August 10, 2019 at 10:35 pm

    Now I can watch hajime no ippo in peace

  • Reply Joseph Seraile August 11, 2019 at 12:16 am

    I was an amateur boxer ,I got hit with a liver punch while sparing with a pro in the gym. All I could do was fall down and cry.

  • Reply Handsome Devil August 11, 2019 at 1:32 pm

    I'm about to beat someone up. Wish me luck.

  • Reply Tai Chi Tube August 12, 2019 at 2:43 am

    Big respect to that guy at the end there who delivered a knockdown even when near finished himself

  • Reply Abbevangel Manlegro August 13, 2019 at 7:59 am


  • Reply Bischarch 1111 August 13, 2019 at 6:45 pm

    Who's here for pacman vs thurman fight?

  • Reply gerardo attianese August 13, 2019 at 9:31 pm

    I practice kickboxing and I can conferme that it’s the second strongest pain I have ever tried…the first is the kick down

  • Reply Alex Bueno August 15, 2019 at 2:50 am

    I ran my liver into something while it was dark when I was a pre teen and I went down like the video.

  • Reply Bleach August 15, 2019 at 4:15 am

    Lol a penis

  • Reply Anthony Hicks August 16, 2019 at 4:31 am

    Why yall show da peepee? No homo

  • Reply christopher optimus prime August 16, 2019 at 7:26 am

    When you have the ability to throw this shot after three years of excruciating practice on a punching bag making sure that you throw a perfect punch every time trust me it floors you first time you get hit with it

  • Reply christopher optimus prime August 16, 2019 at 7:27 am

    2 * I P net worth it the few times I was hit with it it literally knocked me out

  • Reply christopher optimus prime August 16, 2019 at 7:29 am

    Does that mean it's good to be left handed in a fight

  • Reply christopher optimus prime August 16, 2019 at 7:32 am

    Good pun at the end yes I've been hit a few times in the liver and it hurts like a son of a bitch definitely worse than getting kicked in the nuts

  • Reply TheLegend August 16, 2019 at 11:27 am

    Ah yes. What's a liver injury video without bas rutten.

  • Reply TheLegend August 16, 2019 at 11:40 am

    "I'm gonna implant a bullet in his MF head"

    MIKE tyson

  • Reply matt moots August 17, 2019 at 2:53 am

    Ill always love that spinning body kick from dennis siver

  • Reply AceMakesContent August 17, 2019 at 12:05 pm

    its called a liver smh

  • Reply Adam Overkill August 17, 2019 at 3:26 pm

    you're die.. okay i'm done.

  • Reply Reyan Lapitan August 18, 2019 at 3:55 am

    You forgot the balls.

  • Reply Leon Courtney August 18, 2019 at 7:29 am

    Some cock on that model 🍆

  • Reply John Lopez August 18, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    Here's the reason why.
    Genesis 2:21-22
    So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

  • Reply Master Jet August 18, 2019 at 2:15 pm

    And thurman still survive in this.

  • Reply Laurensius William August 18, 2019 at 2:57 pm

    Here after DC vs Stipe 2. What a fight!

  • Reply da'King of Mines August 18, 2019 at 8:37 pm

    It's funny how this video just popped up after I witnessed DC get destroyed by liver shots from Stipe.

  • Reply HazeTechs August 19, 2019 at 1:24 am

    Daniel Cormier vs Stipe LMAOO

  • Reply Vitor Ibañez August 19, 2019 at 1:32 am

    this video showed me how brutal mike tyson was, his most famous combo was a right hook to the body and then a right upper cut to the head.

  • Reply Greg Austin August 19, 2019 at 4:27 am

    Yep! The only time I lost to a KO was getting hit by a liver shot. It was alive death! I told the ref to quit counting because it’s over I can’t breathe!

  • Reply gumby August 19, 2019 at 4:58 am

    Who's here after Stipe Miocic kept punching DC in the liver 🤣

  • Reply Jay Bee August 19, 2019 at 9:01 am

    Amputation will solve this problem

  • Reply Ikato yeps August 19, 2019 at 12:25 pm

    Thanks for teaching me how to smash big boys.

  • Reply Daunte Inferno August 19, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    Damn homie in the diagram packin heat doe 😳😳

  • Reply This is Sparta D August 19, 2019 at 7:34 pm

    Stipe Miocic 😀

  • Reply sweet Siguaro August 19, 2019 at 11:52 pm

    So that's why doomfist does so much damage

  • Reply Omicron9999 August 20, 2019 at 3:28 am

    My liver feels weird now. I watched that fat dude get blasted in the liver two dozen times or so til I stopped laughing, now I just really don't want to take a liver shot.

  • Reply JustCallMeCloudz August 20, 2019 at 5:20 am

    Did U really have to leave his dick in there

  • Reply Scott Falcon August 20, 2019 at 9:01 am

    My liver hurts just watching this

  • Reply Dmitry Kostylev August 20, 2019 at 12:25 pm

    De-Liver heheuheueuehuehuhe smooth af bra

  • Reply West coast Dre August 20, 2019 at 9:28 pm

    Punk ass kids that get bullied watching this vid:
    death note piano music plays

  • Reply Diksaca Yehovah August 21, 2019 at 2:27 am

    Who's here after the Stipe Miocic liver clinic on DC

  • Reply Aaliyah Head August 21, 2019 at 3:07 am

    My boyfriend punched me in the side before where the liver is and I can’t remember back then but it was one of the worst pains in my life. I remembered falling down against a wall. The next few weeks or week I can’t remember because the relationship was so toxic I blur out the bad memories but anyways I had a horrible horrible pain under my rib it felt like he broke my rib. The worst memory I remember was when he wouldn’t believe it was that bad. I kept telling him you broke it it’s broke like I need to go to the hospital and I didn’t. I could barely lie and sit down without horrible pain and I couldn’t lie like I always did on my side.. I remember waking up in my moms when I used to live with her before things got worse like now, and I just remembered the pain and what happened the day before and that this pain I have to deal with because of him . I had to hid it from my mom that day and he came and picked me up on snow mobile. I remember the bumps like I remember the pain I felt that morning waking up. To such a nightmare . That was the first time I ever got hit and it took the life out of me.. it felt like my insides me shook. I remember being a bit younger and more spontaneous, i jumped off some random persons 6ft fence when me and my friends were sketching about the fire we made in the woods ahaha but I swear I felt my organs inside shake when I jumped and I just had to lie there for a second in shock and my whole insides literally shook. That’s how it felt when he punched me and it’s a feeling I’ll never forget.

  • Reply Juan Gonzalez August 21, 2019 at 4:32 am

    Strange this was recommended after I saw daniel Cormier get hit in the liver lol

  • Reply lunx BaSick August 21, 2019 at 5:25 am

    0:50 Damn that was clean

  • Reply edit11 August 21, 2019 at 7:38 am

    he starts at 2:27, you're welcome

  • Reply SIMPLE VIEW CLAN kansai August 21, 2019 at 8:48 am

    This video shows a video about turorial how to punch

    Saitama:hold my sins'sbald

  • Reply LiamIsDumb August 21, 2019 at 9:03 am

    My brother gave me like 15 liver punches just in 2018

  • Reply ReeTeeD August 21, 2019 at 11:28 am

    Damn is that the size of white dick😂😂😂

  • Reply Danijel Hrup August 21, 2019 at 2:48 pm

    How can you talk about liver shoots and not mention Cro Cop – the guy invented liver shot and liver kick

  • Reply Alfredo Rivas Vera August 21, 2019 at 6:45 pm

    I does hurt. A lot. Keep your right elbow low and tight. Or better. Don't get into contact sports or fights.

  • Reply Alejandro Morales August 21, 2019 at 10:05 pm

    Dam, I feel bad for all those fighters who damage their perfect body.

  • Reply Harsh Patel August 22, 2019 at 12:43 am

    Who else is here after the Daniel Cormier vs. Stipe fight

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