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#202032 - 11/08/05 09:22 AM Why should you learn Pressure Points???
Gavin Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
Hokay, why study PP’s? Lets for the sake of argument start at the beginning, from a clean slate and from the point of view of not knowing anything about PP’s. To do this, forget about Chi, forget about the 5 Element theory and in fact forget TCM even exists. To make use of PP’s you do not need to know diddle squat about them. Before some of you think about ignoring the rest of this post and jumping on me for saying that, read this whole post first! But, to start off with, you DO NOT need to know any of these things. Forgetting these things will hopefully make the following a lot more palatable for the non-believers and separate us from the NTKO and Chi ball throwing crowd. So, just to make sure you know where we are currently, Chi doesn’t exist, the 5 element theory is something that weird hippies talk about and TCM is three letters that the weird hippies also talk about! Cool with that? Now we can move on….

If you study MA’s your studying how to attack the human body. Many of us spend entire life times studying our arts, continually refining how to attack the body. However, many of us spend all of our time developing and sharpening the weapons we use to attack the body, but spend little time studying what we are actually attacking. I’ve met many many martial artists whose knowledge of the human body is abysmal, completely and utterly awful. Ask them where a punch to the face should be aimed, and they’ll reply “To the face, stupid!”….Hokay then. Suppose a punch to the body, should be aimed at the body then? Cool, thanks for clearing that one up. I might be over generalising, but you get my drift.

Studying PP striking is, at its most basic, a study of the vulnerability of the human structure and how to bypass its strengths to exploit its weakness’s. Sound like something you’d like to explore? Does to me. If you, in your syllabus, practice striking the human body, you’ve got space to include PP study in your syllabus. No ifs, no buts, if you’re striking the body you’ve got space to look at PP striking. In its purest form PP striking is just utilising more precise targets to more efficiently attack the human structure and bypass its natural defences. Once you look at it from that point of view, I can’t see how anyone with a true interest in learning martial arts for combat wouldn’t want to look into PP’s. As I said forget Chi and all that crap, let’s look at how the body works and how we can mess it up!

So you’ve listened me ranting for a bit, now a little reward. This isn’t technically using PP’s, just illustrates how natural functions of the body can be exploited to our advantage. You can do the following little test with anyone, it doesn’t hurt and is funny to do at parties. I’ve had a 6 year old boy do this on a 15 stone man at a party, much to the amusement of the onlookers. I first saw this done on a George Dillman video. Here goes for the first one:

1) Have someone stand in front of you, standing naturally feet shoulder width apart, head facing towards you.
2) Have them hold out their right arm out to their side at a 90 degree angle (basically out to the side at shoulder level)
3) Now tell them your going to push their arm down to the side and that the are to resist. Make sure they are looking directly at you.

Using muscle, you should eventually be able to pull their arm down, but it’ll be hard work. Now try this:

1) Have someone stand in front of you, standing naturally feet shoulder width apart, head facing towards you.
2) Have them hold out their right arm out to their side at a 90 degree angle (basically out to the side at shoulder level)
3) Now tell them your going to push their arm down to the side and that the are to resist. This time though tell them to look to the left away from the arm before you start pulling down on the arm!

Cool huh? You should have found that you could easily have pulled their arm down. Now try this:

1) Have someone stand in front of you, standing naturally feet shoulder width apart, head facing towards you.
2) Have them hold out their right arm out to their side at a 90 degree angle (basically out to the side at shoulder level). Get them to hold their left arm out directly in front of them at shoulder level.
3) Tell them to let you move there left arm freely, but still resist you pushing down on the right arm. Tell them to keep looking directly at you. Push down on their right arm.

Anything happen? I hope not, it should be like the first experiment. Now try this:

1) Have someone stand in front of you, standing naturally feet shoulder width apart, head facing towards you.
2) Have them hold out their right arm out to their side at a 90 degree angle (basically out to the side at shoulder level). Get them to hold their left arm out directly in front of them at shoulder level.
3) Tell them to let you move there left arm freely, but still resist you pushing down on the right arm. Tell them to keep looking directly at you. Push down on their right arm.
4) Whilst they are resisting on the right arm, push the outstretched left arm over towards their right arm. Tell them to keep looking forwards at you. Once their left arm passes over to the right side of body, things should get interesting!

Even cooler huh? As you move the left arm over to the right side of the body you should find that the right arm looses all of its strength. Right a detailed explanation of how this works is beyond the scope of this post, but its all down to the way the two different sides of the brain control the left and right side of the body. The application of this knowledge? When applying a lock, if you twist the opponents head away from the lock it will go on more easily. Pushing a punch across the body to the other side steals the strength from the other arm, thus making it weaker when used to attack!

So hopefully you’re beginning to see how the little subtleties can make a wealth of difference to your effectiveness. Let’s put this into a practical striking sense. I used this one in my CV14 point of the week post. Do the following:

1) Lightly push a partner into the abs, straight in at a 90 degree angle. If they can take this, give them a few little digs.

What you should find is that they are able to take this quite easily. Now try this:

1) Lightly push in at a 45 degree angle in and down towards the base of the spine. Try lightly giving them a few little digs.

You should notice a dramatic effect in the response from the body. Again, pretty cool? Without going into too much detail, this is to do with the way in which the body has evolved to protect itself from the most common plane of attack. The application of this knowledge….a lot of systems punch either straight in or up at a 45 degree angle when punching into the body, exactly in the directions the body has evolved to protect itself. So if your studying to inflict damage do you want to attack at an angle that the body is structurally designed to defend against or at an angle it is vulnerable too? A subtle, but powerful difference. This is covered by George Dillman on some of his tapes, on Russell Stutely’s “Players to the Game” DVD and also in Rand Cardwell’s book “The Western Bubushi” (this isn’t a book for beginners!).

The last little experiment is very cool, but gives you a lovely jolt….so be careful who you try it on. It’s nicked directly from Russell Stutely’s excellent “Players to the Game” DVD.

1) Place your index finger on your partners chin, so that it is resting on the bit that pokes out between the chin and the lip.
2) Now make a loose fist like you’d use to knock on a door.
3) Start off very lightly, and tap your index finger as if you were knocking on a door. Keep a loose wrist and tap towards the shoulder blades. Slowly increase the intensity of the tap until you get the desired effect (trust me you’ll know when that is)!

You beginning to like this stuff yet? What you should have found is that with an extremely low amount of force you can deliver a fairly hefty jolt into the body. Application of this knowledge? Most systems teach you to strike the chin in either a direct fashion or from up and under (like an upper cut), when in fact you can a better result attacking down on it. Again going against its natural protection.

So from these simple tests you should start to see that all we are doing with the PP’s is attacking the body in a manner to exploit its structural weakness. Many people subscribe to the notion that if you can destroy the body using less effort, you shouldn’t use as much effort. My personal theory is that attacking the body in this fashion gets me more bang for my buck! If I hit someone hard, they hit the ground harder. That’s why I study PP’s, I’m as tight as a ducks behind, and I demand value for money! Hopefully, I’ve explained this in way that you’ll be able to see how this stuff will fit perfectly into what your already doing….it’ll just take a bit of effort and time to figure out how. After all, don’t you want to become the most efficient martial artist you can become? If so, it just requires you to devote a bit of time to it.

The next level to this is to start looking at the TCM side of things, that’s when things start really getting painful, but the PP’s in themselves, don’t require you to know anything about TCM.

EDIT: I've taken out the links to other sites as I think your missing the point of this post. Forget TCM, first look at how to attack the body properly. All this information is contained within the Point of the week posts. Don't get hung up on the TCM stuff, then there is nothnig to be skeptical about! Once we get you guys looking at this stuff MY way, YOU will UndeRstAND damn it! I promise you! I will convert the WORLD if it kills me! Seriously, try the experiments they are fun! Post your results!


Edited by Gavin (11/08/05 01:21 PM)
_________________________
Gavin King
www.SHIKON.COM
Follow me on twitter @taichigav

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#202033 - 11/08/05 11:53 AM Re: Why should you learn Pressure Points??? [Re: Gavin]
butterfly Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 3012
Loc: Torrance, CA
OK, Gav, I will take a look at these sites. Again, even if I become somewhat more aware of these things, it still begs the question of training and utility.

But thanks for the primer!

-B

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#202034 - 11/08/05 11:59 AM Re: Why should you learn Pressure Points??? [Re: butterfly]
Gavin Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
Try the experiments out mate! They're great fun!

Gav
_________________________
Gavin King
www.SHIKON.COM
Follow me on twitter @taichigav

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#202035 - 11/08/05 12:58 PM Re: Why should you learn Pressure Points??? [Re: Gavin]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Thanks for putting up the info, Gav. I am pretty negative on PP's as a rule, but I will check out the links you have provided.
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#202036 - 11/08/05 01:13 PM Re: Why should you learn Pressure Points??? [Re: MattJ]
Gavin Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
Try the experiments dude! You'll appreciate the results! I'm editing out the links....I think they're drawing you away from the point I was trying to make.

Gav
_________________________
Gavin King
www.SHIKON.COM
Follow me on twitter @taichigav

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#202037 - 11/08/05 09:18 PM Re: Why should you learn Pressure Points??? [Re: Gavin]
McSensei Offline
Veteran

Registered: 06/15/05
Posts: 1068
Loc: Kent, England
Just thought I'd lend some support to Gavins point here.
I've trained with Gavin a few times now and can honestly say that I'm impressed with the work we've done regarding PPs.
I was always a little sceptical of PP striking thinking that in the heat of a real fight you'd never be able to hit with pinpoint accuracy a particular spot. I'm fairly sure that this is the thing that sticks in most peoples minds. However, this is not Gavins and James approach. As Gav has pointed out dozens of times, these are advanced targets for advanced MA, but some are quite easily accessible for even the inexperienced. The other thing to bear in mind is that a lot of the targets are in areas that you would look to target anyway, so why not attempt that little bit of extra accuracy and go for the hotspot. It makes sense to me and to make sense to some others, here's an analogy.
You're in a darts match with 100 left to score and your opponent has the same. It is your go. Do you play safe and just aim for 3 single 20s leaving yourself 3 darts at the double on your next go or do you go for the treble and finish with the next dart. It's a little trickier to try the latter, but if you don't you are effectively, voluntarily, giving your opponent control of the game. You could miss the first dart and still go on to finish without handing over control but if you take the easier route you can not win on that turn.
Would you hand control over to your opponent in a fight?
No, didn't think so.
So why not learn the PPs, use them as targets and if you miss, well, there's always another one to aim for.

Another thing I've learned (am in the process of learning) is that PPs are a lot easier to use when grappling rather than striking.
In my last session with Gavin we were on the mat with me in the mount position. My aim was a light GnP.
Now I'm not the best grappler in the world but I do out weigh Gavin by a couple of stone. His method to try and remove me was to dig elbows, knees, single knuckles and thumbs into various PPs. I won't go into too many details but one of the most effective was knuckles being dug into the ribs right where it tickles. The reason I say this was effective is because although it didn't hurt, it did cause an involuntary shift to the side. As you can imagine by this movement I was alredy half way off. It didn't take a lot from there to roll me completely. So the advantage of using them while grappling is not to cause pain but to facilitate a certain movement. A predictable movement just like you learn in kata. Therefore, if you know beforehand where your opponent is going to go, you have control.
Control is Karate.
_________________________
http://www.semtexgym.co.uk/

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#202038 - 11/08/05 09:57 PM Re: Why should you learn Pressure Points??? [Re: McSensei]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Good posts Gav and McSensei, excellent analogy.

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#202039 - 11/16/05 05:28 PM Re: Why should you learn Pressure Points??? [Re: McSensei]
cks_cropper Offline
Member

Registered: 03/04/05
Posts: 63
Quote:

A predictable movement




That is one good thing about learning the pressure points. You KNOW what is going to happen. It is just like playing a piano, you press one key and get one noise, you press a different key and get a different noise. Its that simple. This is the same when using pressure points. If you do try something and you dont get the desired results, move on and dont get too hung up on why it hasnt worked. Figure that one out when they are lying on the floor uncontious. Pressure points do have some disadvantages when being striked on certain people due to the 5 element theory, although if you have done enough research into body types and meridians you can get to see which meridians would be best to attack with certain people in a situation.

PP's are just like when you go out on the pull. The more women you chat up, the more likely you are going to take one home with you Bear that one in mind (when using PP's)

thanx
CKS

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#202040 - 11/19/05 11:04 AM Re: Why should you learn Pressure Points??? [Re: Gavin]
White Lotus Offline
Member

Registered: 09/23/04
Posts: 61
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
Excellent post Gavin, and i agree with you.
Very many martial artists don't know what they are attacking, just like you said, and it is very important part of the whole thing.
Myself i don't believe that there is any "Supernatural Chi",
that lets you strike harder etc.

Gotta try those things you said,
and once again, great post.
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We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.

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