Pressure point striking verses physical striking

Pressure point striking verses physical striking

This is a subject that can be hard to get your head around, we all know when you punch someone you are making a physical effect but in most cases we are only using mass x speed x acceleration = power, but in Kyusho or pressure point fighting what is also important is the way we deliver the strike.  What we must understand that in pressure point/kyusho fighting it is the way the strike makes contact with any give point.  Your fist must also be relaxed and stay relaxed on contact for maximum energy injection.

If the fist is held tight then the energy is trapped in the hand and will be less effective in activating the nerves and pain receptors.  Why is this so? Well if we look at the most basic instinct of humans, its survival.  This means that if you strike an opponent in a self defence scenario, the person will usually do two things.

1 – They may tense up in preparation for the blow, hiding all the nerves as they receive a surge of adrenaline and various chemicals to lessen the effect of the strike, the blood will then be redirected to the parts of the body or limbs etc that will deal with the situation.

2 – The person could remove themselves from the situation and try to get away.  This is a reflex action to remove you from the danger or what we call Fight or Flight syndrome. Hence when we hear a loud bang we tend to stop and work out our best option to either run or duck for cover.

So how do we override these natural body reactions to enable use to use the Kyusho/pressure points for maximum effect?

We have to trick the body to all intents and purposes to believe that the Kyusho/pressure point strike is not going to be perceived as harmful to the body, so the body doesn’t go into that fight or flight state as mentioned above.

So let’s use an example of what the body does in two situations and you can use a training partner to test the results.

Firstly, in your mind think that you really want to do damage to your partner.  Walk over to them with an aggressive face and pull your arm back as though you are going to hit them, don’t really hit them (unless you want to) and you will see that their body will tense or flinch in preparation for the perceived threat.  Now go back to your normal state of mind then go over to your training partner again, this time have a relaxed face and even smile. Then with a relaxed fist (very loose) hit your partner (Lightly), you will find that your blow will penetrate and they will not be able to engage the body’s safety mechanisms.



Another thing we must consider in order to get the best from our Kyusho is that we must confuse the body.  That is to say we must vary the types of strikes and hits, the timing of the strikes and the weight of the strikes.

An example of this would be a brushing action with one hand going down the arm or body then a quick punch to another nerve, say at Liv-13, and then a heavy blow to the side of the neck at LI-18.  This should be done with a one, two, pause and then three timing.  This will then stop the body from applying its natural defences and making the blows ineffective.  That’s why you should never engage in a barrage of constant same energy or just heavy blows. So this is to say we must do a light blow followed by a heavy one or vice versa with different timing. Never hit two points at the same time they should always be staggered.

If we look at the movements from our Katas/patterns/forms all the clues are there with all different types of movements. There are many brushing motions, circular, different types of angles, staggered strikes and so on.


Pressure point striking needs to be studied in more depth this goes without saying but I hope that this blog has given you a little more information on your journey.

Best Wishes and stay safe and well.

(I feel we are getting like volkans with the live long and prosper sayings Ha Ha)

GM Angelo