The Brachial Plexus Origin


Not only is the Brachial Plexus Origin one of my favorite pressure points, it is also statistically the number one most effective pressure point in the human body.

Some time ago while doing security for a downtown hotel I was walking the floors and came across an individual that had just broke into a room on the 5th floor, when he saw me the chase was on! We went down 5 flights of stairs and at the very last flight entering the lobby I was able to catch up to him. I grabbed his wrist and the back of his neck at which point I was able to apply touch pressure to his brachial plexus origin (pressure point) taking him to the ground and giving me the ability to put him in a shoulder pin and facilitate the application of handcuffs.

A very successful arrest with the use of a pressure point takedown!


The Brachial Plexus Origin is a complex set, group or plexus (branching network) of intersecting nerves that controls the muscles of the chest, shoulders, arms, hands and fingers. The nerves originate at the spinal cord and are formed in 3 trunks located in the upper shoulder/side of neck area: the upper trunk from spinal cord segments C5 and C6, the middle trunk from segment C7, and the lower trunk from segments C8 and T1.

This plexus of nerves branch out to the suprascapula, Brachial plexus Clavical notch, brachial plexus tie in, radial, median and ulna nerve pressure points.


The brachial plexus origin can be applied by Touch pressure, repeated touch pressure or by stunning/striking, each application having a different effect.

Watch the video below to see how one man applied the brachial plexus origin stun correctly in order to defend himself.

As you saw, using the brachial plexus origin stun can instantly subdue an aggressive attacker in order to keep yourself and others safe.

As you can see in this video accuracy is key and far more important than strength when applying pressure points.

In the On Guard system we do not advocate using a knife hand chop, rigid hand or fist as there is a potential to more easily damage the subject’s neck vertebrae. Instead when preforming a brachial plexus origin stun, we teach to use the wide flat portion of the inside or back side of the forearm with the hand well past and behind the subject’s head. This allows for safer placement and increased accuracy.

Duty of Care

Duty of Care is a common law concept that has grown throughout the 20th century. Now it is recognized as a coherent and valid judicial test. Basically, Duty of Care is a requirement that a person act toward others and the public with watchfulness, attention, caution and prudence to ensure that they do not suffer unreasonable harm or loss. If a person’s actions do not meet this standard of care, then the acts are considered negligent and the individual may be held accountable in civil court and required to compensate the victim for any losses they incur.

As you can see in the “Marine neck chop knockout” video there was no duty of care utilized. Statistically 70% of people are rendered unconscious when receiving a brachial plexus stun and the remaining percentage are usually still stunned on some level. Therefore when using this technique on a subject it is imperative that you grab a hold of the subject somehow, be it their arm, elbow or shirt in order to guide them to the ground safely.

Train Often & Stay Safe!

M. Dubé