While doing a demonstrate at an Open House event my school, the Yost Wing Chun Kung Fu Academy, hosted in Terre Haute, Indiana, a young man approached me, inquiring about the pressure point training. He wanted to know if it was really necessary to train in pressure point strikes when, in his mind, many fights could be won without such “violent moves”. I asked him to demonstrate what he meant, which allowed me to show him some situations he had not considered – situations he and/or his family could find themselves that passive fighting measures would not be sufficient in handling.
I bring this up – not because I expect to be able to demonstrate to you over this blog – to illustrate something everyone (considering self-defense training) should understand: You want to learn a martial art system from a person equipped to empower you to life™ against the ugliest of situations; otherwise, if those situations arise you will not be able to express yourself effectively and efficiently enough to live through it. And, vulnerable and pressure point training is one aspect of that.
Jason, what’s the difference between vulnerable and pressure points?
For the purpose of this blog, I wanted to differentiate those pressure points (most extensively taught in acupuncture, internal medicine and kung fu) and those vulnerable points (i.e., those fragile points commonly identified by a fighting system as a weakness to be exploited in order to gain advantage over an opponent); because, in today’s fighting industry’s culture there’s a leniency toward vulnerable points without training students in pressure point striking and control. Some reasons for this include but are not necessarily limited to:
- Many schools believe that type of training is too violent;
- It takes too long to learn; and/or,
- The instructors aren’t taught in that science of fighting. (A growing number aren’t taught in that science of fighting.)
A common example of differences in vulnerable vs. pressure point training is simple:
Chin striking in boxing is a form of vulnerable point training. In all sports orientated competitions rules restrict the activities of the fighters in ways no one on the street (or during times of war-combat) will be. Those who train for these events will not focus on pressure point striking; because, they will not have the opportunity to utilize that training. However, those who may have to deal with something more serious – like a multiple attacker situation or war-combat – will want to come to some understanding of pressure points and utilize that training in efficient and effective means to end the risk upon their (and those they’re responsible for) life.
To use my later point to illustrate the difference…., a pressure point may include striking several places around the neck. Are these techniques seriously harmful if not deadly? Sure. Are there situations where such actions are necessary? Absolutely. Consider the following true story:
Jane Doe (we’ll call her for her privacy) was at an Indiana State University (ISU) homecoming event. After parking her car, she made began to make her way to the game when four men attacked her (wanting her purse and to rape her). . . .
Such situations, statistically, are on the risk in Vigo County (and, according to the FBI and State of Indiana, have been for the past five years), and emphasize the need for those defending themselves to be able to do more than trade punches. Such situations are candidates for pressure point striking – even if the outcome is permanent to one or more of the attackers.
You have every right to defend yourself!
But, being able to defend yourself isn’t based on physical training for limited applications. The more one limits one’s self, the more situations one finds they aren’t capable of being effective. And, when we’re talking about self-defense there’s too much on the line to assume anything; there’s too much on the line not to invest in empowering training.
Jane Doe did live to see another day, but she had limited training in pressure point self-defense, and used it. By doing so, her life was saved and her actions were justified by the legal system’s defense of her actions. (Don’t ask me to go into any more of her situation. I won’t. For the purpose of keeping her a confidential source, I won’t share any more than I have.)
But, Jason, doesn’t it take a long time to learn that kind of fighting?
There are things you can immediately learn to do, but to master it (the more you want to empower yourself) you must invest the appropriate amount of time and energy. . . . It’s like anything else in life: If it’s worth it to you, you’ll find a way to do it. But, you have to see the value. No one else can before you do. You must see the value for yourself before you will ever have the opportunity at this (or any other) type of self-defense training.
Empower yourself to life!™
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