View Full Version : what do you think of pressure points

Scott Rogers
19th February 2004, 23:04
Lets start this topic off by finding out what you think of pressure points(for them or against them) and why.

Gene Williams
20th February 2004, 00:23
I think that everyone should know the major ones, get proficient at applying two or three of the most practical ones, and remember that in combat they are very difficult to apply properly. I use the ulnar nerve, the carotid sinus, and the insides of the knees, plus a couple of chokes and strangles. That's it. All that Dillman stuff is nonsense. I am not counting joint locks as pressure points, although they do work on them.

Old Dragon
20th February 2004, 07:19
To a certain extent I agree with you Gene. I remember learning all the little points on a body and while we were standing there the insturctor could certainly make the pain..........

Now reality........... find a pressure point...... and punch the crap outta it. hahahhaha

I also like the inside of the knees....... the inside of the thigh is a good one also....

an example of "punch the crap outta it" would be the outside of the thigh, it has a point where if you use your knuckle and search its like a funny bone effect... throws you a moment....... my solution to the real life crisis of .."excuse me, would you stand still while I find your pressure point" is to round house kick with the shin.. just hit the whole area.......... they still buckle... hehehehhehehehehehehhehe

Mike O'Leary.

20th February 2004, 07:22
I haven't had any experience in practical application of pressure points, however, in training i've found the pressure points to have incredible stopping power on me, when done by people with experience.

Doing punching drills, where I punch left right left right, while walking forward, and recieving blocks to pressure points around the bottom of the elbow area, after a few of those from someone good at it, I can barely lift my arms.. I don't know how they would actually work in a real situation though, but I thought I'd just add that the stopping power of them can be very, very good.

-Grant Williams

20th February 2004, 08:06
Personally, I have not have much, if any, experience on pressure points.

So far, the other ebudo members have suggested various points to attack. Is there a diagram available with some of the major pressure points?

If I knew where they were, I may try and incorporate them into my own practice.

20th February 2004, 12:01
It is imprecise at best, and not easily used to good effect on many people. Nerve bundles, or ganglia, are like popcorn, they differ at least as much as do people with regard to something as disimilar as a person's height or weight, to some who just do not react at all, and everything inbetween.

It doesn't mean it is useless to know, but I would agree with Gene, in that only obvious places they exist should be the basis of learning. If one has a decent knowledge of physiology, some can perform the effects, whether by a strike or pressure or pressure by lock, on a few other areas, but generally, it is limited in scope.


20th February 2004, 12:47
I've had limited exposure, mostly through a Godan who I respect very much. He will take the time to do some two step drills, ending them with a 'free' technique. He has demonstrated a number of amazing results with a simple tap on various parts. Usually he will demonstrate one point with each of our sessions, (five minutes here and there between activities). One session lasted all of five seconds, he simple walked up and looked at me and then reached out with his big toe and tapped me. The pain was immediate, gone in seconds, but greatly increased my understanding.

You know you are a Martial Artist when someone executes a technique on you, causes pain, and your immediate reaction is not 'Ow!' but "How'd you do that?"

Budoka 34
20th February 2004, 13:03
I've been exposed to two different types of "pressure points".
The ones that correspond with anatomical structures such as nerve bundles, tendon or ligament roots etc, and the non-anatomical Ki/Chi (Meridian based) points.

From my experience they both have merit.

My instructor focuses on the anatomical "pain" points and they seem to be very effective on most people even during high adrenal responses(fighting).

The true kyusho points like GB20, tripleburners, etc, seem to take more practice and understanding. I've been put on the ground by Troy Price several times with just a few taps to the correct points.

I've felt and seen some of the Danzan Ryu guys do some amazing knockdowns with sticky hands point strikes so I believe there is something to it.

IMHO, for the Japanese/Okinawan arts Vince Morris Sensei has some of the best open source materials I've seen.


20th February 2004, 15:45
Hello, "pressure points" are quite dangerous and need to be used with caution. Being involved in chinese medicine, I have found that reactions to these strikes can be very subtle initially, but the effects may have serious consequences down the line. If one is to strike at the carotid sinus, be aware that death can be the result, perhaps not immediately (if struck lightly), but later, the cumulative cycles of qi through this area may cause i.e. stroke, cardiac arhymthmia, or other such problems. If you do this for fun, then make sure you are not on the receiving end! Just my opinion. Leslie M. Graham, D.C., L.Ac.

Scott Rogers
20th February 2004, 20:01
Everyone brings up excellent points. I will try to address some of them. One pressure points can be quite dangerous and should never be used without an experienced instructor nearby. The points on the arms and legs can be struck with moderate force in practice but, the head and neck points should only be indicated. Yes I have done many K.O.s in demonstration, but in my school and during training they are very infrequent. It usually just takes a light tap to show the effectiveness of the technique, you do not need to always be picking people up off the floor. The taps are much lighter than the contact received during regular sparring and while there is always some chance of injury, martial arts is still a contact related activity where proper leanring and safety must be balanced. To say that Dillmans stuff is crap is just untrue and sounds like more of a personal attack. I agree that they way in which he applies and demonstrates his techniques is unrealistic but the effects are real. It is our job as martial artists to take the skill whcih we can use and apply them as realistically as possible. As far as accuracy, I have an article coming out in the march issue of TKD times which addreses this question. Alot of pressure point enthusiasts try to find these small and remote points and hit them in training, I agree that this is next to impossible. On the other hand there are several spots in the body where there are point clusters that contain as many as 3 or 4 active (sensitive) points in very close proximity. These are the areas that we should be learning to attack. With a little proper training most individuals willfind that they can access these points. Another way to improve your accuracy is to hold the target still by mens of a joint lock or manipulation. If your oppponent is in a position that he cannot move or block your technique, than you should easily be able to dispatch him on a well placed pressure point strike.

Scott Rogers
20th February 2004, 20:05
Another point is that there are many pressure points that only work on certain individuals. There are also many more such as cv22 at the base of the throat that work on everybody. My philosophy is to work only with the points that work on everyone I come in contact with as in a ral fight you will not know beforehand which points your opponent will feel. I also believe in giving myself room for error in my strikin. By this I mean that instead of apllying a shuto chop to the stomach 9 carotid oint, I would use my whole forearm increasing the chances that I will hit it effectively.

Scott Rogers
20th February 2004, 22:03
Arm destructions should be a key element to anybody invovled with pressure points. In an attack whether it is a grab, push, or a punch the attackers arms are the first thing coming at you. Striking the closest target makes the most sense. Also a well placed arm strike deadening the arm serves two purposes. One it may end the altercation on the spot, and two, many of the arm points if struck correctly will weaken the more sensitive points of the head and neck for a K.O.
Bone pressure to a rib while painful would not be considered a presssure point strike unless it was on a specific point. The definition of a kyushojutus pressure point is: A place where pain can be entered directly into the nerve. If you are just causing pain, what if the person is trained to ignore pain or just plain intoxicated. Pressure points done properly will act on the nervous system and pain is not the reason for the effect. If I hit your forearm on a point called Large Intesinte 10 (radial nerve) which is the muscular bulge below the elbow, you may scream in pain and your arm would go numb. If I struck a drug adict on this point he may not feel the pain, but his arm woud still cease to function

John Lindsey
20th February 2004, 22:12
Just to note to everyone here: you have a whole forum to use. If you have a question, please post it as a new message.

20th February 2004, 22:32
And besides from all of the other fun things you can do w/ preasure points, you can always have fun showing them off to your friends. (expesialy the ones who have no experience in the MA's):D

Gene Williams
20th February 2004, 23:00
Again, it is my view (from some experience) that pressure points are a bit overrated as a street combat weapon. They work as come-alongs and to an extent in grappling, however, they are difficult to apply against a resisting opponent or against one who is trying to knock your head off or tackle you. Dillman has been mentioned yet again ( there are several threads on here that discuss Dillman, but to save yourself time, look up charlatan in the dictionary).

Scott Rogers
20th February 2004, 23:05
Not to argue with anyone as they are of course entitled to their own opinion but do you practice any self defense techniques, or do you just wing it? My point is that whatever technique you practice it would only be enhanced by focusing on the more sensitive areas of the body. In a self defense situation I am going to hit you as hard as I can, on pressure points, and as many times as it takes to put you down. Pressure points are just another weapon among many in your arsenal.

Scott Rogers
20th February 2004, 23:13
Gene I have been in several fights and I do not understand the nasty tone you are taking. My only point was that even in boxing they are trained to aim their punches at the tip of the jaw for a ko and to aim for the eyebrows to cause cuts. Why then in martial arts when aiming and targeting is brought up do people take such a strong opposition? Also bear in mind that the more you practice something the better you get at it. As a beginner I could not hit any of these pressure points effectively, if I judged them based on my limited training time with them i probably would have had the same opinionas you.

Gene Williams
20th February 2004, 23:38
I would wager that I have employed pressure points more than you have, I just wouldn't rely on them as my primary focus. You are right about striking, but atemi points involve nerves anyway. All pain involves nerves, Scott, so your statement about "putting the pain directly into the nerve" doesn't make any sense. You are talking about finding a point where the nerve runs along a bone near the surface and then trying to be pinpoint accurate. That is fine, but the hydrostatic shock of a well directed punch or kick will accomplish the same thing.

Old Dragon
21st February 2004, 00:01
I have to agree with "mean Gene" on this one.

First let me explain why I think gene's theory holds water. I have no knowledge of Gene's background or his occupation. I do however have some experience with "rasslin arragoosies" as my sensei would say. Gene's thoughts mirror my own experiences.

I think Gene's point is.. (correct me if I'm wrong big guy) during a fight its pretty tough to accurately pin point a target. There is no doubt that a trained combatant will come across one of those situations where he dances circles around some clown and perhaps in that case its applicable. In a real situation though if I throw a punch I am really not going to waste time punching his arms to bring them down. I'm going to do like all good karateka and "create an opening" by one of several feints, distractions or movements and then with as few strikes as necessary I want to "take the sucker down"

I agree that you can pick a general area (the anterior triangle is a classic) it has 7 or 8 points in a very small area......... so back to an earlier post I made....... so punch the crap outta that area... the thing is that area is vulnerable for many reasons..... not just because of the pressure points..... so it is one of those... "Hit it hard enough and its nite nite sweet charlote"

Mike O'Leary

Scott Rogers
21st February 2004, 00:26
I think in a sense we are in agreement. I would never rely on pressure point striking exclusively. Nor would I attempt a single knuckle punch to one tiny point. My idea of pressure points is to strike the side of the neck(target rich) with a forearm strike(broad weapon) to ensure accuracy. My whole point is that it is another aspect to the martial arts that can be of use if learned and employed properly. it is no substitute for sparring, target work or self defense drills.

Scott Rogers
21st February 2004, 00:33
I always felt forums were for a place of learning. Not discussing whose more of a tough guy. You don't know me and I don't know you so don't presume about my experiences and I will extend you the same courtesy

Old Dragon
21st February 2004, 04:51
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Scott Rogers
I think in a sense we are in agreement. I would never rely on pressure point striking exclusively. Nor would I attempt a single knuckle punch to one tiny point. My idea of pressure points is to strike the side of the neck(target rich) with a forearm strike(broad weapon) to ensure accuracy.

YUP>>>> Dats What dis ole dragon is talkin about.... by the way.. the neck is what I was refering to as the anterior triangle.. (hope I got that right, i'm not an avid fan of the terms and sayings but I beleive I heard Pat McArthy refer to that area once as the anterior triangle.... )

As a good friend of mine always says... back to basics and good ole rock and roll.

Mike O'Leary