If Submission Moves Were Real Part 3: Breaking Down the Cross-Face
Welcome to part three of the series, "If Submission Moves Were Real." Remember, the focus of this series is to see how the body is affected if these moves were applied with full force. The presentation of this article will take place as a slideshow.
This article is going to focus on the cross-face.
The cross-face is going to be the first submission move that has been covered in this series that can be fatal.
The Execution of the Move
The cross-face starts by taking the opponent down to the ground, which is normally done with the use of a straight armbar.
Once the opponent is on the ground, the person performing the move traps one of the arms of the opponent and wraps both hands around the opponent's face or chin. The performer then begins to pull back on the head of the opponent.
The reason behind trapping the arm is that by doing this, the performer does not allow the opponent a chance to pry the performer’s hands off his face. When you try to use one hand to move the hands of the performer, the opponent will quickly realize that the free hand is no longer helping to brace the body on the ground. This creates more pain and pressure in the neck.
Anatomy of the Neck
The neck is made up of seven vertebrae. Each vertebra has nerves that connect to it. These nerves each serve different functions in the body. The spinal cord also runs through these bones.
The neck is designed to be able to be flexed to the back and to the front, but there is a point where your body stops how far your neck can go. The neck also has a natural curve in it. The curve of the neck bulges toward the front of the body.
The main protection the body has for the neck is the muscles that surround it. There are more than a dozen muscles in the neck. The muscles will not be listed here.
The functions of the muscles are to provide stability to the neck.
When the cross-face is applied, the muscles of the neck work together to help stop the backward movement of your head.
Anatomy of the Neck Continued / Conclusion
The muscles in your neck will never be stronger than someone else's upper body. Eventually, these muscles would tear if you were in the cross-face for an extended period of time.
The performer can pull the neck back farther than what is normally allowed by your own body.
If full pressure is applied, the opponent could experience herniated discs, broken vertebra, nerve damage and potentially death.
The vertebrae in the neck are the smallest on the spine. The nerves coming off these vertebrae control functions of our body that we cannot live without. Depending on which vertebra breaks determines where in the body the damage occurs.
Example: If the vertebra C-3 is broken, and the nerves running off of it are severed, you will lose control over your diaphragm. The broken vertebra can also cause the spinal cord to become severed. If this occurs, the body will be paralyzed.
Anytime injury to the neck is involved, careers and lives can be altered or ended. The cross-face is a move that can cause massive damage. It is important to know that this move should not be used for fun. This is one of the moves that WWE thinks about when they tell you, "Don't try this at home."
Next week the topic will be the bear hug.
Please leave comments below if you liked the slideshow format for future parts of this series.
Part one of this series, Breaking Down the Walls of Jericho, is available here.
Part two of this series, Breaking Down the Figure Four Leg Lock, is available here.
Other articles by Louie Babcock that may interest you:
15 of the worst injuries to happen in the ring, is available here.
4 wrestlers who had their career cut short due to injury, is available here.
Wade Barrett: Understanding Elbow Surgery and Recovery, is available here.
Louie Babcock has over five years experience working in emergency medicine and is studying biology and health science at the University of Minnesota.
Follow me on Twitter@Medic_Louie
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