If you ask martial artists about the effectiveness of pressure points you inherently recieve a mix set of results. Some think they are essential, some think they are a secret skill passed down through the ages - while others think of it as a con. I belong to a different group, I believe they are a useful add on skill that will enhance technique. Before I begin looking at techniques I would like to start of by giving my explanation of how pressure points work. The human body is a physical structure, and like all other physical structures, it can be damaged by external force. Some parts of the structure require very little force to cause damage. If you don't believe me, try this little experiment: Take your finger and stab it into your knee. Now do the same to your eye. Big difference! Essentially, I believe that PP is the study of locating and damaging these vulnerable areas. Its nothing mystical, all MA's use them to a lesser or greater degree. A good example are blows to the nose. Most MA's from Aikido to Muay Thai are aware of the potential damage that can be caused. The better one understands the PP, the more effective techniques become. Again, to illustrate I will look at a 3 types of pressure points. Type one are 'reflex' PP's. These are used to induce a specific response. For instance a blow to the groin will cause most people to pull the hip back and jut their head forward. Many PP users then use this reflex to open up the head area to deliver a KO blow (hook etc). However, these reflexs can be trained out of a person, so they are unlikely to work against a well trained person, as they will have devloped an alternative set of reflexes. Another classic example of a type 1 PP is used by Boxers. Namely, the KO. Essentially a blow to the head at the right area and angle can result in unconsciousness, itself the result of a protective reflex of the brain. Type two are pain compliance PP. Here pain is used to stop an action by the attacker. A classic example is a short sharp strike to the back of the hand to break a grip. Again, like Type one, training can dissipitate their usage. Increased pain tolerance will also do this. Type three involves causing major and sustained trauma to an area. A well placed angled strike to the nose will break it. Likewise a solid strike to the ribs can have a similar effect. It goes without mention what an eye gouge can do, or a solid blow to the ribs. Do you need to know about PP? No, but it will enhance your techniques. Knowing exactly what angle etc to knock someone out will greatly inprove the effictiveness of a hook or a right cross. Essentially PP are commonsense, not some mysterious con.