“Pressure Points are they a myth or reality?’’
Pressure points or nerve strikes as I prefer to call them have been in fashion for the last 20 years or so, mainly brought to the forefront by Seiyu Oyata, Master Bando of Shorinji Kempo (way of the warrior) but of course there were many other instructors also using them.
For me there is a lot of confusion about pressure points what they are and do and can you make them work, how can you activate them and make them functional in a self defence scenario?
Please let me explain.
Pressure points are not little dots that you have to hit on the exact spot; it is not acupuncture where they use needles that are tiny.
The area of activation is much larger this is because you have pain receptors which monitor the area or commonly known as a nociceptor which is a type of sensory receptor at the end of a sensory axon that responds to damaging or potentially damaging stimuli by sending signals of pain to the spinal cord and brain. This process is called nociception.
I don’t want to get too technical now all you really need to know are you hit target areas to stimulate certain nerves.
Now this is the important part you need to know the angle and direction and the correct energy to make nerve striking effective as most of the nerves do not respond to a straight strike with a bouncing energy. It should always be a stretching motion with a heavy hand method. So that is to say that if you stretch the nerves and strike through the target area you will get a better response.
Angle and direction is very important when activating pressure points if you don’t understand this basic concept you will not get the desired effect and I think that’s why a lot of people give up the first time they try it. When people cannot do something or it is out of their comfort zone it is easier to dismiss it and call it rubbish instead of taking the time, work and effort to achieve it.
Pressure points are not a quick fix solution to your self defence program but by following some simple guide lines you can greatly enhance the strikes you make.
To make the striking of pressure points work you have to know what the point needs to activate or stimulate it, we rarely strike the points straight in they are nearly always struck at angles for example, when punching depending on what point you are trying to activate you will strike in and down, in and up, 45 degrees towards the centre or from back to front on a 45 degree angle and so on. To make it more simple when you strike one point you will be at the correct angle to hit the next point anyway that’s why we study kata, forms or patterns in martial arts it gives you the angle and direction and the next point to hit.
There are 361 pressure points spread over 14 meridians or energy channels on the human body and another 391 extraordinary points. Don’t worry about learning all of them not all of them are practical to use in self defence situations, a good working knowledge of a 30 most common points with the correct angle and direction will be more than enough to use for a self defence program.
When the subject of you can’t use pressure points in a fight comes up it makes me laugh these same people may as well say you can’t punch someone on the nose in a fight, pressure points are a target just like the nose. A mistake that is often made is they are like pin pricks and so hard to hit especially when your opponent has thick clothes on or a coat. When an acupuncturist treats a patient they use small needles to either increase the flow or decrease the flow in order to restore the balance in the body.
When we use the pressure points in fighting or kyusho the area of activation is much larger than this roughly the size of your eye socket. So you mean to say we can’t hit any of the hundreds all over some one’s body at the size of eye sockets as trained martial artists if you can’t do that you should be doing ballet, knitting or something else, now to the wearing of thick clothes so pressure points don’t work this is again a myth because you are transferring energy into that point it goes through any clothes you are wearing and you can still see the points even if you put a coat on the arm is still in the same place at the side of your body!!!!
So to recap learn the angle and direction and the correct energy when striking the points this is the key then you just have to study and practice them.
Pressure points are an addition to your art and will go a long way to making what you do now more effective. For more information please check out the DVDs on this site.
“Martial arts training is like watching a movie. You have to go through the title…the storyline…the plot…then the credits. Unfortunately, there are people who only want the TITLE and the CREDITS. They sleep through the movie and wake up understanding NOTHING. ‘’ by GM Angelo