Someone punched me twice unexpectedly very hard on the upper lip. The first punch kind of stunned me and the second one actually knocked me over. I was able to get up but was then put into a full Nelson by someone who then checked my eyes and nose. There was bit of blood but nothing too dramatic and nothing got broken. I am not a fighter and have no experience whatsoever in these matters, which probably explains why I was an easy target for this guy.

Would what happened to me be considered a TKO?

Also, would you consider me to have gotten lucky insofar as I came away with nothing more than a fat upper lip?

  • Welcome to the site. I slightly edited your question to make it more readable. Also, in this case, the medidal-advice tag is appropriate. Aug 28, 2016 at 16:03
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    It's unclear to me what you are asking. To have a technical knockout, you need a rule set and a referee, which will vary depending on the sport, for which you also have consenting competitors. Also what does it mean for someone to check your eyes and nose? How are they doing this when they are behind you and both their hands are occupied on the back of your head from the full Nelson?
    – mattm
    Aug 28, 2016 at 17:06
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    Thanks for your reply. This was just on the street. Just to clarify, after I stood up someone came rushing over and before I knew it, he had me in the Nelson hold, which, I think he did just to descalate the situation. Once I had calmed down a bit ( I was understandably agitated...), he release me from the hold and then asked me to follow his finger with his eyes, which I was able to do without any problem. He then pressed on the sides of my nose and asked if it hurt, which it didn't. I'm just surpsised that I could be knocked down without being knocked out or have at least a broken nose.
    – James
    Aug 29, 2016 at 22:39

3 Answers 3


A Technical Knockout (TKO) only really exists in the context of sport, and refers to a set of circumstances which are considered equivalent to a knockout in the context of a match. It is not a medical term, but then again, neither is knockout.

There is a common misconception that being knocked out is like going into a deep sleep, and that almost never happens IRL (when it does it is a very dangerous situation). Under most circumstances a knockout causes momentary loss of consciousness followed by a longer period of stunned confusion. The loss of consciousness can happen so quickly that the individual suffering the knockout may remain standing, and just appear dazed and confused. Such are the circumstances for what is deemed a "standing knockout".

Depending on the exact circumstance, the mechanism causing a loss of consciousness can vary, but are usually related to asphyxiation and/or concussion.

  • Thanks for clearing that up for me. I guess I wasn't knocked out then, as I did not feel stunned for more than a few seconds. Naturally, I was rather baffled that someone would do something like that but that's something else, I think.
    – James
    Aug 29, 2016 at 22:41

Technical Knockouts(TKO) does not imply the person is actually knocked out. It just means they are unable to continue.


A knock out is a knock out, usually respectively most people feel a sort of electricity through the body and loose the stability in the legs. In some cases they fall down and/or loose consciousness. If knocked out you certainly don't necessarily realize that you are dizzy or stumbling afterwards.

You asked if you were lucky not to have a broken nose... I think you weren't lucky because you were in a fight! The outcome of such a situation varies depending on different circumstances and capabilities of both opponents ... so not realy answerable.

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