James LaFond studied 250 knife fights for his book The Logic of Steel.
When the FBI called him soon after 9/11, he assumed they’d found a copy of his book in some terrorist’s hotel room. Instead, they wanted him to research the Anatomy of a Knockout for them:
Apparently, after some fat crack-head died of heart failure while being choked, the DOJ basically told the FBI [and by extension the other law-enforcement agencies around the country] to go back to beating people until they submit. Tom requested an incapacitation study, and I did my best. [... ] Look, what follows is just a bunch of percentages.
LaFond studied 1675 acts of violence compiled between June 1996 and May 2000, and a third ended in incapacitation as a result of impact (not exhaustion or choke) — a KO.
A few points stand out. First, throwing and stomping are very effective, because street fights are on a hard street — and because those techniques only come into play when the victim’s overwhelmed. Second, sucker punches are really effective.