meridians

The Principles of Kyusho Jitsu

 

When you're talking about karate and the topic of "pressure points" comes up, it often evokes thoughts of the Five Point Exploding Heart technique or people hitting each other REALLY hard trying to do a pressure point knockout. Often times the topic is met with pure skepticism and comments about how "that stuff doesn't work!" What this reveals is that pressure points, as they are used in the martial art, are highly misunderstood.

 

Pressure points, or vital points, are an integral part of the martial arts, and understanding them is essential to developing a well rounded, effective and complete art. Pressure points are usually addressed in dojos in one of two ways. First, and most often, pressure points are mentioned only in passing and in the most generic of terms. For example, a sensei might instruct their student to "hit here on the arm. This is a vital point that will make the arm numb." While this may be technically true, this kind of teaching provides no insight into how these points affect the body as a whole, and thus the true combative advantage this knowledge can bring is lost.

 

On the opposite end of the spectrum are those who utilize knowledge of pressure points in a very esoteric way. They will demonstrate highly complex knockouts utilizing obscure points on far extremities of the body, hitting with a feather-light touch. While these knockouts are often cool and entertaining, they are also impossible to execute in combat, which makes them valuable only as an academic pursuit.

 

The philosophy of Koryu Dojo is that a technique must work, even if it doesn't work. In other words, we start first with a basic technique that is effective utilizing sound mechanical principles, and then we add pressure points to it to make it more effective. In other words, the points make the technique work better, but the technique will still work if we miss the points (which can and likely will happen in a fight). We have little interest in practicing techniques that will only work in the dojo.

 

Principles of Mechanics

Principles of Tuite Jitsu