the people in our Aikido class shudder when they think I'm going to teach Yonkyo, and they start sitting on their hands to keep their wrists away from me. That being said, it's obviously one of my better and favorite techniques. Would I try to defend myself using it... not likely... although I might "enhance" my defensive technique using it for "punishment after the whistle blows". It's clearly one of the better pressure point techniques for painful application, but just absolutely sucks for picking a method of implementing it for self defense outside of the "standard attacks" of Aikido.
Some people seem to forget that fighting is a "preservation art", and the one who uses the least amount of energy, has to work the least, and whoever gets the most "bang for their buck" in their technique will win most of the time. That being said, it doesn't mean you abandon "fighting" to take the "short cuts" or enhancements of pressure point fighting to replace your fighting system... you simply employ them to make your system more efficient. I know you've said that a thousand times, but it just doesn't seem to sink in... it's not an "either or" situation, but a "this and" situation.
Where in karate I was taught to use a shuto (knife hand) strike to the forearm just before the elbow... in "pressure point" terms, I'm striking Lung 5 or Colon 10, and adding the "complimentary strikes" to make it more effective. What's the difference?... my method of striking... my "follow up" strikes... my ability to simply ignore their next movements because their arms don't work... and what caused it?... nerve damage... meridian points?... system shock?.. blocked ki? The answers change depending on who you ask, and actually how you perform the techniques.
I'm 63 now, and I don't look to "go the distance" with a boxer, or randori with a 25 year old. I'm looking to knock his lights out, and the pressure point techniques allow me to do that with relatively little effort. My jujutsu skills allow me to punish them for being stupid enough to touch me, but I don't look to replace any fighting skill with pressure point techniques... only to enhance the skills and make them more effective.
Like Aikido, where you have a "willing accomplice" in your demonstration of technique, kyusho is more easily accomplished with someone willing to be knocked out or made sick on their stomach by undergoing a pressure point strike... but that's only in the "teaching mode". In the fighting mode, it doesn't matter whether they're "willing" or not... hit them correctly, and they go down like a stone in water... just like in Aikido, when someone really gives you force, they pay for it dynamically.
Teaching is all about "controlling the technique"... fighting is about applying the technique "with force" or intent. Pressing on nerves makes the work less exhaustive... and striking to elevate someone's blood pressure to make them dizzy is simply an effective use of body dynamics to protect yourself from harm.
Lo, those many years ago when I was young, my "close contact fighting" was all knees and elbows... and it was easy to see that the damage it could cause was immense. As I refined my skills, I learned to do the same things using pressure points without all the injury time outs and bruises.
Novices only see the gross movements of fighting, and to them, "pressure points" sounds like an alternative fighting system. Regardless of how many times you tell them that they are merely enhancements, they will persist that "pressure points are the way to fight". While I don't disagree with that, I do disagree that it's a "fighting system" of itself.
Not too long ago, I had a discussion with a guy who was 7th dan in kempo, and he mentioned "star point" exercises. I found out through the course of discussion, he had no idea what the "star points" were, or what they did... so even "knowing pressure points" didn't give him "the" answer he was looking for because he didn't understand the information.
At camp a few years ago, my uke was a hard-training Okinawan stylist that had some ukemi (falling) skills, so I used him in my demonstrations. His buddies were poking at him about making faces when I did the techniques, and he told them "I don't know what this looks like to you, but he's lighting my a$$ up every time he touches me".
While I know the general demeanor of people being "masters" of anything on this forum, I've trained with some people who truly were. What I learned from them, was how to "accelerate" the techniques by using pressure points and kyusho methods, and how to use my karate skills to "get to the points". Neither skill is exclusive of the other.
Training without knowing what to expect from your uke is like driving a car without knowing if it has brakes or steering... it's easy to end up in the ditch, or in the wall. There will always be detractors who don't put any stock into pressure point training... and there will be those that think it is the "end all" of fighting. Somewhere in between is "mastery". It's a matter of knowing your art, how to enhance it, and what the limits of it's efficacy are.
When that fails, pick up your Smith and Wesson...