What Is A Rabbit Punch?

Are you curious to know what is a rabbit punch? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about a rabbit punch in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is a rabbit punch?

The sport of boxing is known for its precise techniques and strategies, each designed to maximize an athlete’s ability to score points or, in some cases, secure a knockout victory. Among these techniques, the term “rabbit punch” stands out as both a point of curiosity and controversy. In this blog, we will delve into what a rabbit punch is, its history, why it’s controversial, and its place in the world of combat sports.

What Is A Rabbit Punch?

A rabbit punch is a term used in boxing and other combat sports to describe a punch or strike delivered to the back of an opponent’s head or the base of the skull, near the top of the spinal column. It is an illegal and dangerous maneuver due to the significant risk of injury it poses.

Key Characteristics Of A Rabbit Punch:

  1. Target Area: The target area for a rabbit punch is the cervical vertebrae, which are located at the base of the skull and the upper part of the neck.
  2. Force and Technique: A rabbit punch typically involves a quick and forceful strike, often executed with a clenched fist or the knuckles, targeting the vulnerable area mentioned above.
  3. Illegal: In most combat sports, including professional and amateur boxing, mixed martial arts (MMA), and wrestling, rabbit punches are explicitly prohibited, and fighters can face penalties or disqualification for using this technique.

Why Is It Controversial?

The rabbit punch is considered controversial and dangerous for several reasons:

  1. Risk of Injury: Striking the back of the head or neck can result in severe injuries, including damage to the cervical spine, spinal cord, and brainstem. These injuries can have long-lasting and life-altering consequences.
  2. Invisible Damage: In some cases, the damage caused by a rabbit punch may not be immediately apparent, making it challenging for referees and medical professionals to assess the extent of injury during a match.
  3. Violation of Rules: The rabbit punch is strictly against the rules in virtually all combat sports due to the associated risks. Fighters who employ this technique intentionally are subject to penalties or disqualification.
  4. Safety Concerns: Combat sports prioritize the safety of the participants, and allowing rabbit punches would compromise that safety.

History And Evolution

The term “rabbit punch” likely originated from the idea of striking the back of an opponent’s head in a way similar to how hunters used to deliver a swift blow to the back of a rabbit’s head to dispatch it quickly. Over the years, as safety measures and rules in combat sports have evolved, rabbit punches have become universally prohibited to protect the well-being of fighters.


The rabbit punch, though often shrouded in controversy, is a clear example of how combat sports have adapted to prioritize athlete safety. While boxing and other combat sports are renowned for their intense physicality and strategy, certain techniques, such as the rabbit punch, have been deemed too dangerous and are now strictly prohibited. In the ever-evolving world of combat sports, the safety and well-being of athletes remain paramount, and the prohibition of the rabbit punch is a testament to the sport’s commitment to safeguarding its participants.

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Can A Rabbit Punch Knock Someone Out?

Throughout the world of boxing and other striking arts, there’s a range of powerful punches that can down an opponent. One of the controversial punches is known as a rabbit punch – a powerful blow that can easily knock out an opponent and do far worse damage.

What Is The Definition Of Rabbit Punch?

: a short chopping blow delivered to the back of the neck or the base of the skull.

What Is The Rabbit Punch Technique?

The rabbit punch is a dangerous technique banned by almost all martial arts tournaments and schools. The rabbit punch is a punch to the back of the head, near the neck. For information on other punches and hand strikes (i.e. spinning back fist), please visit Black Belt Wiki’s main Punches & Strikes section.

Why Do Rabbits Punch?

Boxing and lunging are aggressive behaviors. A rabbit will stand on their hind legs and punch with their front legs as if to “box” you or lunge at you. A rabbit may exhibit this behavior if they are frightened or uncomfortable with you entering their territory and touching their belongings.

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