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How to Learn Martial Arts "Pressure


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12 Parts:Understanding pressure
pointsHeadNeckShoulderThroatJaw
zoneForearm/creviceHandsTorso regionFeetPossible therapeutic
usesPracticing the pressure points
The traditional definition of a pressure point is a point that, when
pressure is applied, produces crippling pain. This is learnt in a
chinese martial art called Dim Mak based on acupuncture pressure
points,but this art is very restricted and needs and understanding of
Chinese acupuncture points.Because of this I can only provide
information on on fragile areas that we'll call vulnerable points.
This is used to exploit a weakness or vulnerability in the human
body to gain an advantage over an opponent. When using these
pressure points one must be particularly careful as it is easy to kill
someone accidentally, such as a friend or even an enemy. At that
point, you enter the legal system, which generally does not know if
you were really defending yourself or were actually the aggressor,
and in some cases, that may not even matter. This leads to the point
that, more important than the technique, is the mindset that you use

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in training, which is, of course a personal philosophical decision, but


one which requires much thought and consideration of when what
you practice must be put to use.
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Part 1 of 12: Understanding pressure points

1.
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Learn about the body's very vulnerable areas: These are
commonly known as pressure points. The points include the
eyes, the groin, the shins, etc. In general, things to consider
include:
Use kicks that use the wide of your foot for the shins (if you
know them) as they will make it harder to miss.
Pull your foot back quickly when kicking to the groin so your

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foot won't be caught. The nose is easily broken with any


strike.
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Part 2 of 12: Head

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Striking the flat of the forehead forces the head back with
little resistance and will actually rock the brain within the
skull, causing a concussion, or worse. Beginners should use
the heel of their palm, rather than a fist. The same holds true to
the back of the skull, just below the horizontal ridge. (The front
has one too, above the flat.) The ridges are strong enough to be

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used as weapons in their own right, so avoid them.

2.
2
Temples: The temples are the thinnest part of the cranium, so a
good blow here (one-knuckle punch is ideal) can cause
concussion, hemorrhaging, or even death. Do not actually strike
a training partner with this move.

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3.
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Temple 2: When this area is hit, the victim may be rendered
unconscious, in some cases dead. This can be achieved using a
"phoenix eye" punch which involves extending the index finger
(search online for an image). Do not attempt to use this punch
unless you are in genuine danger.
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Part 3 of 12: Neck

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1.
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Neck/sleeper: This is another more obvious pressure point but
is very complicated in application. Get behind your assailant and
wrap one arm around his neck, using your radius (forearm bone),
apply pressure to the external carotid artery (just to the side of
the throat where you feel your pulse beating), slowly lowering
them to the ground as you do so. You can increase the pressure
by pulling your arm toward you with the other arm, and breathing
in as you do, puffing up your chest. You can also place the hand
of the squeezing arm in the elbow of the other arm and push the
head/neck forward with that other arm. If they show no signs of
weakening a sharp blow to the back of the head will disorientate
them giving you a chance to run.
To counter: Turn your head toward the elbow. The crevice will
not press on your throat, and you will be able to breath.
Circulation will still be a problem, so you must be quick. Grab

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the elbow with the closest hand and use the pressure point
there. This will loosen their grip, but they will likely not give
up. Combine pulling down with biting, foot-stomping,
head-butting, eye-gouging, bringing your heel to their groin,
shin-kicking, rib-elbowing (turn your hips), hair-pulling, and
anything else you can come up with.
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Part 4 of 12: Shoulder

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Look for the collar bone. Once located, jab your fingers behind
bone and force to the ground (this needs to be performed within
about 1/4 second in an actual assault).

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Part 5 of 12: Throat

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The easiest way to strike is probably with a knife hand
(karate chop) turned up side down. A fist will have trouble
fitting between the jaw and collarbone. You can also grab and
squeeze the throat, and even give it a good yank to dislocate it
and make breathing impossible. That is, of course, quite lethal
and should be used only as a last resort when there is no other
alternative.
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Part 6 of 12: Jaw zone

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Under the jaw: Grab the neck on the front and reach under the
jaw. Squeeze while pressing upward.

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2.
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TMJ: Support the head with one hand. With the other, follow the
jawline to the highest point, just under the ear, where it meets the
bump in your skull. Apply pressure inward and upward towards
your ear. This is painful and makes speaking very difficult. If
possible, a person will try to move away from it, hence the
supporting hand. A single-knuckle punch (the second middle
finger knuckle) to this spot could dislocate the jaw.
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Part 7 of 12: Forearm/crevice

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Forearm/crevice: The crevice of your forearm is made entirely of
muscles and tendons, so there's lots to work with. Grab the
elbow with your thumb on top. Place your fingers on the back of
the elbow for a good grip. squeeze the tip of your thumb toward
the tips of your index or middle finger. You have to reinforce the
thumb with your fingers, or you'll lose leverage. Press the thumb
into the middle of the crevice, into either side of the crevice, or
into the lump on the outer forearm formed when you make a fist
(the brachioradialis). Experiment with this one. It can be rather
tricky.
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Part 8 of 12: Hands

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1.
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Back of the hand: If you are grabbed, look directly at the hand
of your assailant, and with either a regular or single-knuckle
punch, strike the bones in the back of the hand. When practicing
with a partner, give it one good shot, so you're not doing it all
day. It only hurts for a minute.

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Pinch the fingers for a simple defense. When punches are
thrown, catch one in your armpit and lock down tight. Grab the
upper inner part of the elbow jointthis needs to be done fast.
Pinch down hard one finger on each side. This causes
excruciating pain and will make your opponent's arm feel like it's
breaking.
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Part 9 of 12: Torso region

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Sternum: Strike with a single-knuckle to the bone in the middle
of the chest. It has no muscle and never much fat, so it is very
vulnerable, and if struck properly can break in two down the
middle. You can also strike the pectorals like this. EDIT: Breaking
the sternum can cause a punctured lung or worse. Be very
careful with this and do not practice on friends.

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2.
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Solar plexus: This is a bundle of nerves deep within the center of
the abdomen, thought to be responsible for the physical feelings
of deep emotions. By striking the area just below the sternum,
where the ribs join on the front of the abdomen, you affect this
bundle of nerves and cause the diaphragm (breathing muscle) to
contract violently. This is "knocking the wind out" of someone. It's
a very easy target. This can be countered by flexing the abs
quickly at the time of impact, which is accomplished by breathing
out or yelling (kiai).

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3.
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Love handles: Place your hand flat on the side of the abdomen,
between the ribs and hips. Roll your fingers in toward your
palms. Do not pinch. Pinching does next to nothing. This will
work on any body type.

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4.
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Ribs: The ribs have very little covering, regardless of the body
type, and only thin muscle between them. To break them, raise
the arm to extend them, reducing their ability to reinforce each
other, and step towards them when you strike. A palm-down knife
hand works very well for this. Uppercuts also work for this as
they seem to be designed to get right up under the arm, which is
what you're aiming for. The rib areas protected by the muscles of
the chest or back will not be easily broken, if at all. The lowest
ribs connect only to the spine and so are especially vulnerable to
breaking.
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Part 10 of 12: Feet

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Feet: Look down at the foot, and using your heel, raise your knee
as high as you can, and stomp on the arch of the foot as hard as
you can. Because of its structure, it can easily be broken. Do not
strike the toes. It will hurt, but you certainly won't break
anything. Try each with light pressure and see which hurts more.
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Part 11 of 12: Possible therapeutic uses

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If feeling drowsy or can't concentrate using both pointer
fingers, apply pressure. Apply this pressure to temples, the
flanks of the bridge of your nose and the corners of your eyes
about 5mm from the bridge of your nose.

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2.
2
Headaches are a pain. Temporary relief or dulling of pain can
be achieved by using the appropriate pressure point.
Front of head: Massage both temples
Middle/top of head: Apply pressure to point just above ears.
Back of head: Place both thumbs just behind ears and trace
backwards until you find the point where your skull ends.
Move another mm inwards and apply pressure.
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Part 12 of 12: Practicing the pressure points

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Bear in mind that speed is key in a fight. If you're stuck
fumbling with a pressure point, you're going to get knocked in
the head. Practice often, practice safely. Practice as if you were
in a real fight. Start slow, and get the placement down. Then, use
all the intensity and speed that you can. You fight how you
practice, so if you're practicing slow or sloppy, that's how you'll
fight, and you probably won't last long.
If your focus is on speed, breathe normally (Bak Mei Kung
Fu). Your arms can move faster than your lungs. While
controlled breathing etc. may provide power, it sacrifices the
speed of your arms.

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2.
2
Practice on yourself and with a friend. Everybody is different
and has different levels of pain tolerance. Where one point may
be on you could be an inch to the left on someone else. Some
don't feel it at all. The more people you can practice with, the
better you can be at approximating where a point should be and
finding it when it's not there.
Tap out. When practicing with a friend, have them tap their
thigh loudly to show that you are doing it properly and need to
stop. However, they should only tap if it hurts. False
confidence doesn't work in a fight.

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Practice your focus. Always look directly at your target. If your
eyes aren't there, your focus isn't.

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4.
4
Hone your techniques. Key things to bear in mind when
practicing include:
Use the tips of your fingers and thumbs for techniques using
either. This works like a needle, focusing all the force into the
very tip of your finger/thumb, multiplying the pressure per
square inch (psi). You wouldn't sew with the side of a needle,
would you?
Keep your knees bent, at least a little, at all times. More so
when doing techniques. This gives you stability and power.
Locked knees must be unlocked for you to move, increasing
your reaction time. If you're standing straight up, you're like
an upright piece of wood, ready to be pushed right over.

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5.
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Move your weight toward the direction you're putting
pressure. If you're pressing down, bend your knees. If you're
pushing forward, step that way or turn your hips towards it.
For greater force when punching, vision the target spot to be
slightly further than the real one. (not recommended for
training except with the use of a punch pad).
When striking, twist your hips with it. This is a building
block of martial arts. It starts your weight moving and is more
often than not the source of power in techniques.

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Practice the recoil. When striking, once you've made contact,
pull back quickly. It's almost like bouncing off of what you hit,
except you want to recoil quickly enough to prevent the energy
you're putting into the target from coming back into your body
part. This keeps the energy in the target and causes more
damage, especially in bones. This will increase the chance of
breaking bones and reduce the chance of the enemy simply
grabbing your foot or hand.

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Yell. In martial arts (Japanese, anyway), this is known as a kiai. It
must come from your diaphragm, truly releasing your inner
power. It gives you confidence and startles your attacker. By
flexing your abs for it, it also protects your solar plexus. This kiai
can be the difference between pressure points working or not.
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Tips
Using pain pressure points is basically squeezing muscles. Feel
around your own body and you can find lots more.
Research. If you don't understand something here, look for more
information, especially from a teacher. Wikipedia is

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recommended.
You can't win a fight with pressure points. Learn punches and
kicks.
These are martial arts techniques, so the best advice is to find a
real teacher. Be careful not to join a McDojo, however. See How
to: Choose a Martial Arts School for help on that.
Always use this for self defense only.
Fighting is about speed but also strategy. When fighting a bigger
opponent you must look at their eyes, footwork, stance,etc. You
must ask look for weak spots. Like if they have had a past injury
and they favor a certain limb.

Warnings
Be careful. Mistakes result in injury, death, or an upset friend, so
always have a partner's permission. When striking in real world
scenario, only resort to pressure points when everything else has
failed and your life is in immediate threat (for example, the
opponent has gun/knife). Hitting grandma on throat and killing
her just because she spanked you won't stand in court as "selfdefense". That is why it is better to learn martial art like Aikido
rather than relying solely on "pressure points".
Beware of your opponent trying to counter you in certain moves
such as the sleeper. Their hands and legs are all free and can be
used as weapons or for grabbing you back. These techniques

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are used in many different martial arts. Such as taijustu (quick


hand too hand contact).
When using striking points, it should be obvious, but do not
actually strike your partner, and do not aim directly at your
partner. Go to the side of their body to minimize the chance of
an accident. The back of the hand and the sternum should be
okay, but head, groin, legs, and feet are off limits. Even experts
make mistakes.
Beware of any pressure point advice that seems "magical". It is
most certainly not. Though often based on acupuncture and it's
effects, which seem to be gaining some respect in the medical
community, they are certainly not effective or quick enough for a
fight. The goal of using pressure points in self defence is an
immediate result, and it's a simple fact of anatomic physiology
that striking someone's arm in a certain way will not stop their
heart.

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