Tendons, ligaments, and the gangr.

Recently I received the following question in the comments section, and thought it deserved wider attention:

“when someone enters the gangr and try to lift a very heavy weight that would normaly is to much for his tendons en joints to handle, will the enforced healing capability fix this problem? I mean when his tendons begin to slowly rip apart will this be healed so that he still can lift the weight?”

The answer is, unfortunately, no. Berserkers heal fast, but not that fast. One of the hard upper limits on enhanced strength is the tendons and ligaments. A berserker enhances his or her strength in a few ways. The primary source of it is adrenaline, combined with burning whatever fuel reserves the body is holding by for an emergency. Lowering the activity in the antagonist muscles is another, permitting more of the body’s inherent strength to be exercised. A reduction of the brain’s natural inhibitions, a lack of ability to feel fear, and an insensitivity to pain can also allow you to exert more of your strength than you normally would, because you aren’t thinking about the consequences. Finally, one of the odder effects of the berserker unitary state is the ability to very rapidly un-knot cramped muscles, which also ups the amount of strength you can effectively use by a bit.

None of that has any effect on the tendons. Let me relate an amusing story that should serve you all as a cautionary tale. I am a big man. 6’2”, large frame, decently muscled. Most fights I have been in, both in and out of the ring, have been against fighters who were, at most, as large as me, and often smaller. Several years ago, I was in my amped-up training phase to prepare for that year’s Shieldbiter’s Cup berserker tournament when I learned about another amateur MMA tournament in my area, not specifically a berserker thing. So I thought I would enter it as a warmup.

It was a decent warmup. I went through my first few bouts undefeated. Then I was confronted by an opponent who was significantly bigger than me, and who had far superior training in classic martial arts to me. This pushed me to my limits when fighting him. I was deeply berserk. In that state, well, you revert to instinctive behavior, not a lot of human level thinking going on. One of my fight-ending techniques, that had often served me well, was to bull-rush my opponent, drop low, and use my berserker strength to lift him over my head and throw him. I did that with this guy, though he was over 300 pounds. My wolfish self assessed that I had the strength, when berserk, to do it. I did, in fact, manage to lift him completely overhead.

Then my MCL tore. That’s one of the tendons in the knee. My muscle output was amplified. Tendon strength was the same as ever. I fell. My larger opponent fell on top of me, of course. I spent a year on crutches and walking with a cane. I am only recently getting something like my old shape back.

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7 thoughts on “Tendons, ligaments, and the gangr.

  1. Something comes to mind… A whole time ago I saw on TV a documentary about a Indonesian tribe that held a somaferan practice.. they would get posessed by a spirit and then would be unvernable against knifes.. they would stab full force in their own bellies and try to cut their skin with this sharp knives… but they did not bleed and their skin would be intact, now I know berserkers talk about the upgraded healing ability and the closing of the veins, but then the skin will still be damaged.. now by this tribe the knife couldnt simply go through the skin as if it was temporaly much tougher to cut.. well if you ask me if they can “harden” their skin this much, maybe this is also possible with tendons?

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    • Such things are rumored in many somafera and other physiological alteration practices. It was said of ancient berserkers that they could not be harmed by blades. I suspect that this is largely myth and story, but with a grain of truth. I have seen, in several berserkers, a tendency for blood to clot extremely quickly when in a gangr. This could provide a modicum of protection, in battle, as long as the wound did not sever large muscles or puncture organs, and give the impression to the opponent that the berserker was impervious to his blade.

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  2. Its called the trance dance of Bali, there are a lot more videos about this dance, also people stabbing on softer places like the belly without damage (as far I can tell)…

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