Punching yourself in the face is a good way to make your head go a little numb before a fight/sparring session I suppose.
But doing it to help what someone like Lesnar has won't work, because you don't feel out of control or attacked like you would if someone else was punching you. Bas Rutten has an excellent drill that was posted in a recent video to help with that, but you need a partner for sure.
To chime in on the Spoken/Iron Man debate, let's get some constants down:
- can't increase, only decrease the nerves behind your mandible's resistance
- actual integrity of jawbone plays no part in defending the nerve behind it, webbing and calcifying therefor ineffective
- knockout due to jaw hitting nerves is not the same as knockout due to cranial trauma (much more likely to cause concussion)
- knockout doesn't always cause concussion
- concussions don't always result in unconsciousness
These are the three nerves of the jawbone:
From this I think we can deduce that you can technically increase the strength (or thickness) of the skull, like you can with any bone. Doing so in traditional means however could actual cause concussions.
You can't increase your resistance to concussions, and you can't strengthen the nerves behind your jaw, and calcifying/webbing of the jaw would not increase resistance of said nerves.
You can increase your ability to take a shot and stay mentally collected, which could lead you to block or evade more effectively.
A description of concussions from WebMD:
The brain is made of soft tissue. It's cushioned by spinal fluid and encased in the protective shell of the skull. When you sustain a concussion, the impact can jolt your brain. Sometimes, it literally causes it to slosh around in your head. Traumatic brain injuries can cause bruising, damage to the blood vessels, and injury to the nerves.
And a further description
Your brain has the consistency of gelatin. It's cushioned from everyday jolts and bumps by the cerebrospinal fluid that it floats in, inside your skull. A violent blow to your head can cause your brain to slide forcefully against the inner wall of your skull. Even the sudden stop of a car crash can bounce your brain off the inside of your skull. This can result in bleeding in or around your brain and the tearing of nerve fibers.
Something to note is that a "concussion" style knockout is usually one where the victim is still conscious, but heavily dazed.
In MMA an opponent is commonly knocked down
with a hit that causes head trauma ("concussion" style hit), and knocked out
by shots to the chin and subsequently the jaw nerves.
Examples of this:
- Shogun vs Lyoto II
- Junior dos Santos vs Gonzaga
However, some fights are stopped after the initial "concussion" type blow, opponent is down and disabled but not unconscious.
Example of this:
And then of course, some opponents knocked unconscious with only shot/s to jaw and the nerves behind it. We usually consider this a "clean" knockout. Less likely to cause a concussion, except when opponents head hits mat and causes subsequent head trauma. Unless that is the case, opponents appear to be fully unconscious and then fully conscious much quicker.
Examples of this:
- Fedor vs. Arlovski
- Franklin vs. Liddell
The former being a jaw/nerve knockout where the head hitting the mat caused further damage, the latter being a "clean" jaw/nerve knockout where the victim was conscious again almost immediately.
The last example I can think of is the combination of the two styles of knockouts, the ones which affect the nerves and the one from head trauma. This is usually from a straight punch that both jars the head and lands flush on the jaw.
Examples of this:
That's one of the only examples I can think of, and perhaps the reason for the unique devastation of this knockout. Gonzaga was both instantly unconscious but also dazed for a long period of time, a result possibly from the jaw nerves shutting the fighter down instantly and the head trauma keeping him out longer.
Other notable links:
Repetitive Head Injury Syndrome
Sports Related Concussions
I hopes this helps guys and I know I at least learned a little bit while researching and posting.