In some anime or manga, characters have powers like berserk or the exceptionally strong will to fight even after he or she fainted. For example, Rock Lee from anime Naruto can do it with his muscle memory. Is this possible in reality? And if yes, how can we train our muscle memory so well?

  • Not sure where you put the zen state on the "unconscious" scale, but aikido was said (at the time) to be "zen in motion".
    – Déjà vu
    Commented Jul 17, 2020 at 19:02
  • Scale of unconscious, i mean that fighter lost his mind, but still figth with help of instincts. Of course i do not wait that it Will be some exiting fight but perhaps on the dead door does it possible to use only instincts?
    – Dav Us
    Commented Jul 18, 2020 at 2:21
  • Consciousness is a notoriously difficult concept to define. What do you consider "lost his mind" to mean?
    – mattm
    Commented Jul 18, 2020 at 11:24
  • 3
    Not an answer, but anime IS NOT reality. I'd really like to see a master that has some kind of power, but you know... science.
    – LemmyX
    Commented Jul 18, 2020 at 21:22
  • 1
    Look up "mushin". Also, know that if you relax and sort of stop trying to think so hard, you find that sometimes you can make big breakthroughs, as your body just does the right thing seemingly all on its own. Oh, you're still conscious. But it's more like you're no longer suppressing your subconscious / gut feelings. Your subconscious is soaking everything up, and sometimes it's way ahead of your conscious. Sometimes you gotta give your subconscious the driver's seat for a little while. The key is relaxing and trying not to analyze and think into the future. Just be present. Commented Jul 19, 2020 at 14:21

3 Answers 3


I'm generally opposed to anime questions, but there are a significant handful of MMA fights where one fighter is known to be semi-conscious yet still fighting. Edgar/Maynard 2 is my go-to example: Edgar is clearly concussed early, and has said on the record that he has no memory of multiple rounds, but he fought to a split draw nevertheless. He picked Maynard up and slammed him while in some sense "he" was not present.

We see this to varying degrees in other fights. Several fighters have been knocked out, then sluggishly, blindly, wrestle the referee who saved them. It's akin to sleep-walking.

  • 3
    I didn't see that fight. I'm pretty shure his long-term memory didn't work, but his mind still worked in the fight. He wasn't capable of complex thoughts, but trained moves still could be called up. It is like the moves you can do in traing and fights, where you don't have to: If he does that, then I do this with my arm, folled by this with my leg. This is what makes new techniques slow when you learn them, untill you have this in muscle memory.
    – Bru
    Commented Jul 18, 2020 at 6:04
  • {nods} And one thing in common with most "fight while unconscious" moments is that there's very little actual reaction to what's going on in the arena. Rather, it's a static turtling up and blind lashing out. There's a similar thing where an ex-military guy trained himself to reflexively break the circuit of a taser when shot (although it does seem to require him knowing it's coming). Commented Jul 18, 2020 at 23:53
  • Basically said what I was going to write as an answer. People fighting while unconscious is nothing new and has happened tons of times. It is only quite recently that it has become more easily recognisable with the development of technology. Slow motion camera's and all that. You can see in the slowmo cam of that fight that he's clearly already unconscious. His facial expression says it all. He's not consciously fighting anymore. His instinct took over.
    – Sjana
    Commented Aug 9, 2020 at 10:34
  • Check out Chris Leben fights in the UFC. There are numerous examples of him being totally "out of it" but is able to KO his opponent.
    – Joe Beck
    Commented Aug 19, 2020 at 2:27

It happened to me this weekend... yes I trained when young (16years old now 51years old) with Robert and Danny Williams, Ti crane in High Point NC. I got sucker punched and was knocked out...I hit the concrete floor, back of my skull lumped up. When I got my sight and hearing back I was being tackled... When I asked why I was being punched and beat up by my close friends... They told me what had just happened in the last couple minutes. They said “you got knocked out, hit the floor, then got up and squared off and knocked out the person that sucker punched you! But you didn’t have to keep beating him because he was out cold, I proceeded to curb stop him while he and myself were both unconscious He now has a broken jaw.

  • That's impressive! But, it sounds like you woke up and therefore, weren't unconscious when you finished the fight. Commented Aug 29, 2020 at 0:05

It is absolutely possible to continue to fight while sober and rendered unconscious. You will be missing time.

If you maintained form and protected yourself, you are likely in an area to physically keep yourself close to your attacker. Fighting when you have too much room and no senses leads to wild sloppy embarrassing movements.

It is even more strange to slowly put together the clues from the moment you were attacked to when you stopped, usually due to a crowd gathering in a high enough density to have people intervene.

  1. I can hear
  2. I can see
  3. Where am I?
  4. Why are my arms in a fighting form?
  5. Why is my attacker silent and unusually passive?
  6. Where did this crowd come from?

Typically waking from a knockout is PAINFUL. If you behave more normally: You drop to the ground. Your heart's erratic. You may have see a few interesting visions, dreams, or memories. As those mildly entertaining affectations dissipate, your heart starts up. This isn't smooth. This makes the blood distribution uneven and you are flopping around like a fish out of water. This is assuming you are not having a seizure-like event.

As the nerves get blood and FLARE back to life in an irregular fashion causing the shaking. Once the nerves reset, the wave of pain screams through your body, announcing clearly to you that you hit the hard ground at speed.

However, if you are rendered unconscious and your reflexes take over on auto pilot, then a portion of the above will remain hoping your unnatural stance kick in. New martial arts students experience the slight terror of controlling fight reflexes. Just walking around. Until they learn more control. Until the students obsession With speed and power play against control precision and purpose It’s like fighting in your sleep but with full kinetic linkage.

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