Last night I rewatched TNG episode Starship Mine (Season 6, Ep. 18).

When Picard is having a fight with the first of the technicians (it's Tuvok everyone, hey look it's Tuvok!), he seems to win the fight by using a Vulcan neck pinch to knock out the technician.

Picard has had Sarek in his head a couple of times, so there's every reason he would know the technique. Data also performed the neck pinch in Reunification, so we know a non-Vulcan can do it.

The fight goes that Picard hits the other guy with his saddle, they tussle for a bit, then Picard has his hand on the other's neck, in classic neck-pinch position, as the other guy falls into unconsciousness.

Is there any information, in canon or other, showing that Picard did indeed use the neck-pinch in this episode?

I've searched Google, and can't find anything to confirm. Wikipedia says Picard used his saddle to knock out the other guy, but after watching the episode last night this is definitely wrong.

  • Found a video with the fight: youtube.com/watch?v=4A6u_SkBTvc. He's got Tuvok's arm pinned behind his back with one hand, and the other on his neck, as you say. Seems to just pass out.
    – DCShannon
    Commented Oct 7, 2016 at 0:48
  • It could never have worked this way, but not even Sir Patrick is perfect... Commented Oct 7, 2016 at 10:15
  • Found a shorter video with the fight, and without music added to the scene (like what is shown by the video that got mentioned in an earlier comment): youtube.com/watch?v=1aim7zX-lL8
    – TOOGAM
    Commented Aug 29, 2023 at 0:58

2 Answers 2


The episode's original screenplay is pretty conclusive. It wasn't a Vulcan nerve-pinch

DEVOR: Wait a minute --

As Picard turns, Devor raises the laser-welder, but Picard has anticipated him. He slams Devor with the saddle, sending him back hard into the wall. The welder DISCHARGES into the air.

Devor springs back into a combat stance... but Picard is ready for him. He dodges, yanks him around in a hammer lock and wedges the side of his hand into Devor's carotid. Devor struggles for a second, then slumps.

And confirmed in the Star Trek:TNG Companion

Picard’s interest in horses was nothing new (“Pen Pals”/141, “The Loss”/184, Generations), but his apparent use of a Vulcan neck pinch is really supposed to be just a carotid-artery block

  • Thank you - good to have it confirmed by the original source.
    – Tim
    Commented Oct 8, 2016 at 4:58

According to this link, it was just a carotid artery block http://www.trekbbs.com/threads/picards-vulcan-neck-pinch.153166/

No. According to the ST:TNG Companion, it was meant to be a carotid-artery block. This is a real-life thing, a form ofchokehold that cuts off blood flow to the brain and results in unconsciousness. According to Wikipedia, it's also called a blood choke or a sleeper hold.

This is apparently a real thing http://www.turtlepress.com/training/5-vital-point-knockout-strikes

A sudden blow to the carotid artery dramatically changes the blood flow dynamics, causing a knockout or even death due to a sudden, precipitous drop in blood pressure in the brain.

In movies it's typically a karate chop. I bet they made it more Vulcan-esque for the show

  • In the 5 Vital Points article, the karate chop would be Knifehand Strike to the Carotid Artery, whereas Picard's was probably closer to Brachial Plexus-Carotid Choke. He did have his arm pulled, though not in the same way as in the picture.
    – DCShannon
    Commented Oct 7, 2016 at 1:02

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