1. marlon

    marlon Master Black Belt

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    Hello Doc,
    which pressure points does SL4 consider the most important to learn? Are they in your forms? Do you teach them outside of techniques? What sources would you recommend outside of SL4, as a good source to learn these well with type and angles of activation?
    I know i am now up to 10 questions ... sorry
    Respectfully
    Marlon
     
  2. Doc

    Doc Senior Master

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    None
    Yes.
    No.
    None
     
  3. IWishToLearn

    IWishToLearn 3rd Black Belt

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    WOW. This might be the shortest post on record for Doc.
     
  4. Doc

    Doc Senior Master

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    Nope!
     
  5. marlon

    marlon Master Black Belt

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    Doc, do you recommend learning them?

    Respectfully,
    marlon
     
  6. Doc

    Doc Senior Master

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    In my opinion sir, there is entirely too much time spent "intellectualizing" the arts, coupled with an insatiable appetite to know the "why" of every thing you do. Studying human anatomy, acupuncture, etc is a waste of time for most.

    To use a sports analogy, that is the job of "master coaches." You have coaches and you have players. It has always been that way in the arts as well. You had your warriors who "did" the fighting, and you had the scholars who taught them "how" to fight. The scholars had the experience of time, and acquired the knowledge gradually fueled by their experiences and augmented by his own scholar coach, which allowed their experiences and knowledge to merge and be validated, so they ultimately take ownership of the material.

    Everyone wants a short-cut. It's human nature. Everyone thinks you can go find a book or a video somewhere that will help you learn "how." That's what they've been sold. But, they don't exist on any level no matter what anyone tells you. A noted martial arts junkie and medical doctor is constantly asked similar questions, with similar responses.

    "There has never ever been a contextual codification of the myriad of sciences, and physical biomechanical functions associated with any combat methodologies." (My paraphrase) If you examine a book on the sport of western boxing, (the most simplistic of all combat), it is essentially a picture book and only a shell of the nuances of what it takes to be successful in its applications. (After all boxing only has four strikes and footwork. Should be simple, right? Until you get in the ring.)

    Many have been led to believe by the American Martial Arts environment it's just a matter of a simplistic study of "motion," and a repetition of ideas associated with combat scenarios, and sparring interactions. While these are not bad things, they do not impart significant knowledge and only limited skills.

    Not only is there no reason to learn "points," but there isn't a way to learn them the way martial artists need to use them for many reasons. The most in-depth examination of acupuncture points and nerve cavities is not even designed martial use.

    The science of acupuncture is a healing science, that many don't even believe, (although western medicine has definitively proved its effectiveness for that purpose and has accepted it), and you can't even learn that aspect without a knowledgeable teacher, over time and experience. This healing aspect compared to martial applications is simple.

    When you lay a person down and begin acupuncture therapy, you can be reasonably sure of the general locations of the cavity or pressure points you need to access. Then (from a physical perspective), you need to know the angles, amount of pressure, depth of penetration, etc to achieve the desire effect.

    What you have never heard and what martial proponents who "sell" nerve strikes don't know, is that nerve cavities open, close, move, and change sensitivity predicated on subtle, and not so subtle changes in neuromuscular and sub-skeletal postures and alignment. Even if you had all the other information, a simple change in an attackers weight distribution could make the knowledge invalid for the circumstances presented.

    I see these multi-striped, bricked-out keyboard warriors all over the forums discussing complex theories and concepts of motion and combat. Then you look at them and discover they can't even move in a neutral bow properly, if they have one.

    They have all the plays of an American Football game memorized, know the offense and can discuss defenses strategies all day long, but don't have the physical skills to play. They sit in front of their play station, (computers), and are men among men.

    My students move mechanically sound, efficient, have the ability to defend themselves, and will hurt you significantly. Ask them about nerves points, and they can name a few they've picked up during their training.

    I don't emphasize them but we use them. I don't teach them but they know where they are. I don't teach postures, but they know what postures present what they need. None of them are experts in nerve strike, but if you throw a punch at them, they will hit every one that is exposed at the right angle and sequence, because they have the biomechanical skills to do so.

    So the information is more complex than being an acupuncturist, and it changes from one jiffy-second to the next in a combat scenario. It would be like a medical doctor performing heart surgery on a runner, while he's running the 100 meter dash. Find me a book or video that can teach that, and I'll buy it myself.

    Am I trying to discourage you? No. But then, I'm not selling anything either so I can tell you the truth. Pick up any school brochure or peek at a website and they sell you how "easy" it is to learn self-defense. On one level they are telling you the truth, but they shouldn't tell you that you can be a "scholar" one day doing what they teach. But if they told you that, then you'd have to ask how they got there.

    Work on your mechanics. Unfortunately, there's no book or video for that either, just a bunch of "false prophets."

    "Keep the change." :)
     
  7. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm going to offer a little different tack than Doc did...

    To me, there are two different sorts of pressure points. One sort is the acupuncture type, which I agree have questionable functional combative use. I've never seen a convincing "pressure point" knockout of this sort; you hear things like the infamous statement by Dillman about it not working on someone because they were pressing with their big toe (or something along those lines). I don't see much use in something that can be negated by someone not trying, or that requires me to remember what time of day (does daylight savings effect it?), time of month, and more to know what I can use.

    But the other sort of pressure point is very useful. It's the sort that takes advantage of physiological principles and nerves. This sort of pressure point training doesn't make extravagant claims, and even admits that it won't always work on everyone! You see them in things like pain compliance holds and locks, some release techniques, and several are commonly used in law enforcement for dealing with passive resistance. These pressure points can work, can be combatively functional, and some are worth independent study and focus, but many get absorbed through diligent training anyway. There's no mystery or magic; the sciatic nerve generally runs along the outside thigh, right about where the hands hand naturally, and if you kick or strike it hard enough, there's a really good chance that the use of the leg is going to be impaired. If you strike someone laterally on the point of the chin, or on the back of the head a little below the ear line... you'll have a pretty good chance to knock 'em out. And so on. These are physiologic, not mystic.

    But they don't really need specific training; many styles have built these sorts of targets into their techniques. Some are "hidden" in kata, others are there for anyone who looks.
     
  8. Doc

    Doc Senior Master

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    I have, and have used as well as demonstrated a few myself. I just don't think that is the way you teach it.
    Well Dillman speaks for himself.
    Well the question was about point training. While I agree with part of what you say, kicking him in the leg doesn't require pressure point training, but body mechanical training as I stated. So, to use the blunt force trauma method of "smack him in the back of the head," wouldn't come under the heading up "point" training in answering the question.

    I often talk about the skilled and knowledgeable versus the non. You could probably stop some kid on the play ground and ask him what would happen if you kicked somebody in the back of the leg, or punched someone in the back of the head, and they could give a decent answer, so while that perspective is absolutely valid, that really wasn't the question that was directed to me sir.
     
  9. marlon

    marlon Master Black Belt

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    always with the well written and knowledgeable answers, sir. Thank you and while i began to really focus on them before i ever encountered you, all my interactions with you( and taiji, and Shihan and trying to answer the why of how things work) have really solidified my drive to work on my mechanics...and so i shall continue. Many thanks

    Respectfully,
    Marlon
     
  10. Doc

    Doc Senior Master

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    That's what I do with my own students. We constantly stress mechanics over everything else, (like traditional arts have always done), and strive to perfect that. Along the way, the other information becomes available in context sir.123
     

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