Pressure points? Nonsense or Real?

Discussion in 'Newbie Questions' started by Ryan-T, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    so again pretty much anywhere....

    Why not simply call it "targets"?
  2. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Again...I've literally never heard those things called pressure points (although the carotid sinus comes pretty close).
    Generally a pressure point is not easily recognisable from the outside and the supposed amount of force is very disproportionate to the effect (if you go along with that kind of thing).
    I don't think eyes, groin or solar plexus qualify (although they are great things to hit of course).
    Pressure points are called triple warmer and lung five and all that hookum.
  3. Dunc

    Dunc Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    Atemi waza isn’t really a term that’s used in the TJMA that I’ve encountered - nor is kyusho jutsu

    Kyusho is really targets & they change according to the technique & weapon being used. So certain places are good for thumping, others for gripping and pressing in, others for weapons etc

    So the concept is a part of the overall technique, rather than a stand alone thing

    Probably I could find a better explanation- sorry
  4. Thomas

    Thomas Combat Hapkido/Taekwondo

    In Hapkido, we do study pressure points. For us they generally represent the weak areas or 'targets' that we hit to make techniques work better.

    However, I've always looked at them as "gravy"... the techniques that I count on should work whether or not the 'pressure point' reacts. If they do react, then it makes it easier (for me) and the pain compliance is better. If they don't react, then proper technique and footwork (and etc) should make the technique work in the desired manner anyways. I have found that pressure points tend to function much better at the lower levels of force and also that about 1 in 10 partners won't react to some (or any) pressure points. In essence, they are part of a redundancy spiral... you never rely on "just" the pressure point: there are movements that all go together to make sure your technique works, even if you have to switch gears because one part fell through.
    SCA and Mitch like this.
  5. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    The main gripe I have with pressure points and the way they are demonstrated is that they make fighting and self defence look easy.
    Like tapping a cheat code into a computer game.
    Do A, B and C and down they go.
    I think it plays into the "small asian man beats 10 people at once" myth.
    It encourages the fallacy that you can get good at fighting without putting the work in basically.
  6. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    This is a great description. I teach basic arm bars that take advantage of the tricep tendon as a potential tender spot. But if you don't get compliance from the initial pain of the tendon (and some people just don't have the same pain response) then the movement of the joint will cause reaction.

    I don't teach pressure points beyond that sort of pain compliance. My basic motto remains, "Why is what you are doing better than punching your opponent in the face?"

    Thomas likes this.
  7. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

    I was at a push hands seminar years ago given my Yang Jwing Ming. I was doing push hands with him, he slid his hand up to my elbow and touched both sides with little force and it hurt like heck.

    I went back to my taiji shifu (who was a student of Tun Ying Chieh) and I told him about it he said "Was it here" as he grabbed the same spot...that too hurt alot.

    Then I meant a woman who would become my wife. She is a Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor from China, who practiced for many years in a hospital in China. I told here about this incident...she then said "Oh, you mean here" and grabbed the same spot. My response was "OW!!!! Why do Chinese people keep hurting me"

    It took 3 times, but I have learned to NOT tell any Chinese people I know about this
    Thomas likes this.
  8. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Quite honestly I'm not a fan of trying to hit anything that you couldn't hit on a dark, wet Saturday night, outside the chippy, after a few pints and having already had your bell rung.
    That's why I tend to favour the "pressure points" of "head/neck", "body" and "legs". I know I have a much better chance of hitting targets that large, under the circumstances above, compared to something the size of a coin located on a fast moving arm covered in clothing.
    Also not a fan of hitting anything that only really produces pain. I want something that will affect eye sight, breathing, gross mechanical function or consciousness.
    Pain is far too unreliable as an indicator of effectiveness under realistic conditions (drink, drugs, adrenalin, emotional extremes, etc).

    That's not to say we shouldn't learn to target specific areas or learn about the weak spots of the body but just recognising it's hard enough hitting a non compliant person AT ALL let alone a 2cm x 2cm point on that person.
  9. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    Entirely in agreement. In the way we practice in our club pain is, to all intents and purposes, irrelevant. So much so that in effect we do not recognise that pain compliance is a thing. Compliance comes from mechanical control gained through weakening the opponents body and though mechanical advantage.

    This is also why our working definition of pressure points is - point that affect the autonomic systems of the body (with knock on effects on either/and/or the senses, breathing, gross mechanical function or consciousness.) This is why the the groin is a pressure point. Not because getting struck in the groin can hurt but because it can interfere with breathing.

    Entirely in agreement. In application the majority of pressure points are not struck from a distance. Most pressure points are actually indexed via touch first. Hence the whole thing about "maps" to points. Anatomical features such as the end of bones are used to devise the location of the point.

    Again entirely in agreement and a very good point. It takes time and effort to learn how to actually apply pressure points. This time might well be spent to better practical advantage in other ways such as practising grappling or striking. Pressure points are just one tool in the tool kit.
  10. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    In our club we make a distinction between places that are naturally vulnerable due to fragility that allow you to cause greater injury for a given force (e.g any joint taken beyond its normal range of movement, organs such as the kidneys or bladder) and any point that creates an effect within the bodies autonomic regulation systems that impacts on the functioning of the body through those systems.

    It can be useful to make this distinction in theory so that people can better understand how a particular strike affects an individual in practice.

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