nooseSeemingly a twisted post.. but there is a point.... really.

A short description first (and as follow up to the sealing the breath article):

There are four ways of performing a judicial hanging: suspension hanging, the short drop, the standard drop, and the long drop. A mechanized form of hanging, the upright jerker, was also experimented with in the 18th century, with a variant of it used today in Iran.

Extrajudicial hangings, such as by a mob, are called lynchings, but the techniques are generally similar.


Suspension, like the short drop, causes death by using the weight of the body to tighten the trachea with the noose. Prisoners are often reported to have little or no struggle before they go limp, because their jugular vein and carotid arteries are blocked and blood flow to the brain is reduced. The person slowly dies of strangulation, which typically takes between ten and twenty minutes, resulting in a considerably more protracted, grisly and painful death as compared to the standard or long drop hanging.  Note this is with the knot of the noose placed behind the head.

Short drop

The short drop is performed by placing the condemned prisoner on the back of a cart, horse, or other vehicle, with the noose around the neck. The object is then moved away, leaving the person dangling from the rope. A ladder was also commonly used with the condemned being forced to ascend, after which the noose was tied and the ladder pulled away or turned (hence the colloquial slang for hanging "to be turned off"), leaving the condemned hanging. Another method involves using a stool, which the condemned is required to stand on, being kicked away.

As with suspension hanging, the condemned prisoner slowly dies of strangulation, which typically takes between ten and twenty minutes, resulting in a considerably more protracted, grisly and painful death as compared to the standard or long drop hanging, which is intended to kill by using the shock of the initial drop to fracture the spinal column at the neck. Before 1850, the short drop was the standard method for hanging, and is still common in suicides and extrajudicial hangings (such as lynchings and summary executions) which do not benefit from the specialized equipment and drop-length calculation tables used by the newer methods.

A short drop variant is the Austro-Hungarian "pole" method, in which the following steps take place:

The condemned is made to stand before a specialized vertical pole or pillar, approximately 10 feet (3.0 m) in height
A rope is attached around the condemned's feet and routed through a pulley at the base of the pole
The condemned is hoisted to the top of pole by means of a sling running across the chest and under the armpits
A narrow diameter noose is looped around the prisoner's neck, then secured to a hook mounted at the top of the pole
The chest sling is released, and the prisoner is rapidly jerked downward by the assistant executioners via the foot rope.
The executioner stands on a stepped platform approximately 4 feet (1.2 m) high beside the condemned, and guides the head downward with his hand simultaneous to the efforts of his assistants.
Nazi war criminal Karl Hermann Frank was executed in this manner in 1946 in Prague.

Standard drop

The standard drop, which arrived as calculated in English units, involves a drop of between 4 and 6 feet (1.2 and 1.8 m) and came into use from 1866, when the scientific details were published by an Irish doctor, Samuel Haughton. Immediately its use spread to English-speaking countries and those where judicial systems had an English origin. It was considered a humane improvement on the short drop because it was intended to be enough to break the person's neck, causing immediate paralysis and immobilization (and probable immediate unconsciousness). This method was used to execute condemned Nazis under United States jurisdiction after the Nuremberg Trials including Joachim von Ribbentrop and Ernst Kaltenbrunner. In the execution of Ribbentrop, historian Giles MacDonogh records that: "The hangman botched the execution and the rope throttled the former foreign minister for twenty minutes before he expired." An article in LIFE Magazine dated 28 October 1946, merely says of Ribbentrop's execution: "The trap fell open and with a sound midway between a rumble and a crash, Ribbentrop disappeared. The rope quivered for a time, then stood tautly straight."

Long drop

Sepia-tone photo from a contemporary 1901 postcard showing Tom Ketchum's decapitated body. Caption reads "Body of Black Jack after the hanging showing head snapped off."

This process, also known as the measured drop, was introduced to Britain in 1872 by William Marwood as a scientific advance on the standard drop. Instead of everyone falling the same standard distance, the person's height and weight were used to determine how much slack would be provided in the rope so that the distance dropped would be enough to ensure that the neck was broken, but not so much that the person was decapitated. The careful placement of the eye or knot of the noose (so that the head was jerked back as the rope tightened) contributed to breaking the neck .

Prior to 1892, the drop was between four and ten feet (about one to three metres), depending on the weight of the body, and was calculated to deliver a force of 1,260 lbf (5,600 newtons or 572 kgf), which fractured the neck at either the 2nd and 3rd or 4th and 5th cervical vertebrae. However, this force resulted in some decapitations, such as the infamous case of Black Jack in New Mexico Territory in 1901. Between 1892 and 1913, the length of the drop was shortened to avoid decapitation. After 1913, other factors were also taken into account, and the force delivered was reduced to about 1,000 lbf (4,400 N or 450 kgf). The decapitation of Eva Dugan during a botched hanging in 1930 led the state of Arizona to switch to the gas chamber as its primary execution method, on the grounds that it was believed more humane. One of the more recent decapitations as a result of the long drop occurred when Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti was hanged in Iraq in 2007. Accidental decapitation also occurred during the 1962 hanging of Arthur Lucas, one of the last two people to be put to death in Canada.

Nazis executed under British jurisdiction, including Josef Kramer, Fritz Klein, Irma Grese and Elisabeth Volkenrath, were hanged by Albert Pierrepoint using the variable drop method devised by Marwood.

OK now to Kyusho:

The long process of the Suspension and Short drops can be compared to a blood and wind choke used in many styles of Jujutsu... it is also used in Kyusho, however much more efficiently (via the nerve interaction as well).  These are more like pressure (Like most Martial Styles know... when they say "we do pressure points") or in Martial Sense rear naked choke method.  This was typically accomplished with the noose knot behind the head.  (Knowing a target is not enough, to become a true Kyusho proponent, you must know the underlying structures to maximize effect)

By shifting the knot to the side of the neck the paralysis and suffocation occurred much quicker due to the nerve damage at the C-3, 4 or 5 vertebrae and loss of diaphragmatic function.  The shock now is more like a pulse or compression... faster, more powerful and instant.  The Kyusho parallel is by fully knowing the target and way to generate instant torque (see 6 Ji Hands, Power ) not just where the target is.

The Long drop is more like a very sharp, strong correctly angled and landed strike.  The effect is overwhelming and damaging (in certain vital areas... and this is what the Kyusho or Dim Mak of old was to simulate).

Kyusho has changed as has society... hanging used to be to kill as was Kyusho, now capital punishment has been made more "humane" as has the delivery of Kyusho.  Kyusho can inflict the same damage (except of course decapitation), used in stages against the circulatory, respiratory and nervous systems.  This is accomplished by first knowing the targets, using a specific tool and power differential.  This study although seemingly macabre is fascinating in it's abundant lessons, through reverse engineering.

What are your comments?



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