How hard would you stomp on a man’s neck during personal self-defense if your life depended on it? Hard enough to break it, right? And how hard to you think that is? Probably with everything you’ve got. The human body is tougher than you’d think — it can take an awful lot of punishment before it breaks.
What about the eye? It’s far more fragile than the neck, and much easier to injure – if by “easy” we mean “requiring less effort.” Does this mean we can get away with striking the eye less hard than we would the neck?
Well, yes and no.
Yes, in an absolute sense. It’s possible to cause serious injury to the eye during personal self-defense with an almost trivial engagement of effort. If you lacerate his cornea with your pinkie nail, you’ll effectively blind the man. His eyes will squeeze shut and begin to water profusely. He’ll have trouble keeping them open.
While this injury is sufficient, it’s far from optimal.
So the answer is no in a real sense. While there’s a good chance we could get away with doing less to the eye than the neck and still end up with an injury, there’s also a chance, that we’re coming in at the weak end of the effort scale in personal self-defense and will come up short on delivering an injury.
If I believe I can “go light” on the eyes and still cause an injury, I might not go hard enough to actually get that injury. And then I’m screwed.
In terms of personal self-defense, it’s much smarter to go after his eyes the same way you’d break his neck: Put everything you’ve got into it. Not only are you guaranteed an injury (as long as you actually hit the target and follow all the way through, like a bullet would), but you also stand a good chance of getting additional injuries from the sudden motion of his head (concussion) and a knockdown if you successfully take his balance in the bargain. None of that can happen if you go easy just because it’s the eye.
That initial stomp to the neck with all your body weight over it, driven down and through as hard as you can is a great reference point for all striking to all possible targets.
No matter which important piece of anatomy you’re going for, from crushing the throat to crippling the arm via the radial nerve, you must strike them all as hard as you can. Same goes for joint breaks and throws.
“Getting away with something” means you were lucky that one time; crushing it beyond functioning takes all the luck out of it and gets you the desired result regardless of how the dice roll or the cards fall.
When you max out the laws of physics during personal self-defense you know you’re going to break that neck, rupture that eye, put that man down so he can’t get back up again.
Anything less is leaving injury to chance. Most of the time it won’t make any difference — until your life is at stake.