Welcome to part four of the if submission moves were real series. Remember the focus of this series is to see what would happen to the body if the moves we see in pro wrestling were applied with full force. We are not looking at how hard or easy it would be to apply the hold or to escape from it.
Today, the move will be the bear-hug.
The bear-hug is a classic wrestling move that we rarely see today.
In the past, a wrestler would apply the bear-hug to his opponent. After some time had elapsed, the person trapped in the hold would begin to go limp. The ref would raise the person's arm and see if it dropped to his side three times. If it did the match was over.
Normally, what we would see is the lifeless wrestler begin to get strength back, and power out of the hold.
So what would happen to the body if the bear-hug we see in wrestling was applied with maximum effort?
The move begins when the applier of the hold, wraps his arms around his opponent. The two wrestlers are face to face.
The arms of the applier are positioned so that the arms contact the bottom portion of the opponent's rib-cage. As the arms continue around the body, they contact the lower back of the opponent. The arms of the applier are at approximately 45 degrees.
Once the applier locks his hands together, he can begin to apply the pressure to his opponent.
With inward pressure being applied to the opponent's rib-cage, it becomes harder to breath.
Every time we inhale, the ribs expand due to the increase in volume of oxygen gas. With constant inward pressure on the ribs, it becomes harder to take a full breath. The oxygen supply to the person becomes less and less. Eventually there would not be enough oxygen brought into the body to feed the brain. Once the brain becomes oxygen deprived, unconsciousness will occur.
In the previous slide, breathing was discussed. This slide will focus on the bones.
The ribs are attached to the spine and wrap around the body attaching to the sternum. They are attached to the sternum by cartilage. This cartilage is very delicate and can break rather easily. During the first compression of CPR, you can actually feel the cartilage of the ribs break away from the sternum.
The ribs are not as strong as you would think. The ribs are designed to protect the vital organs of the body, so you would think they would not be easily broken, but they are.
A large man squeezing a person around the ribs would be able to break some ribs. Broken ribs, like other bones, leave jagged edges. Once a rib is broken it can puncture organs that are vital for survival.
In the case of the bear-hug, the lower part of the rib-cage is the part where breaks will occur. The organs most likely to be punctured would be the lungs, stomach, and liver. Depending on exactly where the arms are located on the ribs when they break, the bottom of the heart could be hit by a piece of broken rib. Other injuries could be major veins and arteries. If any of these organs are ruptured, immediate medical attention would be needed.
Other articles by Louie Babcock that may interest you:
15 of the worst injuries to happen in the ring, available here.
How R-Truth avoided serious injure on Raw Feb. 6, available here
Four wrestlers who had their career cut short due to injuries, available here.
Louie Babcock has over five years experience in emergency medicine, and is studying biology and health science at the University of Minnesota.
Follow me on Twitter@Medic_Louie