Pressure Point Controvsery

drop bear

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I did some pressure point stuff in wrestling.

Digging my knuckles into the top of the hand (opposite the palm) when they hands their hands locked helped break their grip.

Digging my chin into their biceps tendon at the shoulder helped me get their shoulder to the mat for a pin.

Pushing the curve of my forehead into their temple created enough space in a tie up for a duck-under.

Digging my knuckles into their ribs to create space for me to bridge and roll out when I was in my back.

They certainly weren’t moved in and of themselves, but they gave me that extra little bit to get me what I needed.

Then there’s stuff like kidney shots, liver shots, carotid sinus, kneeing the tailbone, charley horse to the outside of the thigh, squeezing the thigh right near the kneecap, etc. that cause more pain than they should for the amount of force applied.

Call them pressure points or whatever else you want. They work. Not all of them are fight enders, but they work.

And of course the famous fight ender.

 

Buka

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I am an instructor in PPCT (Pressure Point Control Tactics), of which pressure points are a big component. One of the things that I teach is that nothing in law enforcement is 100% effective 100% of the time. Second, there are certain points that are more effective in "pain compliance" when the person is sober and not actively fighting you (this is where most people complain the "system doesn't work" because they are using touch pressure to control a higher level of force it wasn't designed for. Lastly, in regards to your question specifically. Think of pressure points on a "bell curve"

2014-10-03-blogbellcurve.png

Pressure points will work fairly reliably for about 70% of the population. About 15% of the population, you are going to get a REALLY significant response to them (we have all met the person in class who is barely struck and they complain on how hard you are hitting them). Then, you will have the 15% of the population that will have little to no response to them. This would include people who are high on adrenaline, drunk/high on a controlled substance, or just have a higher pain tolerance and don't respond as much. So, about 85% of people you would use pressure/pain points on, you will get a good response. But, if we think about most of the people we are going to be dealing with in a self-defense situation, we are more likely to be dealing with that other 15% who might not respond.

I hope that answers it without sounding like I'm skirting the issue, but it's the best I have to explain it and try to put some numbers on it.

The other thing I would point out is that some people teach "dim mak" solely based on acupuncture points and meridian theory. Others use it and also include the other areas that the Chinese taught. You have nerve points, muscle points, organ shots, bone shots, etc. Basically, they were attacking all of the body's weak points and it was all inclusive.[/QUOTE)

I was a PPCT instructor, too.
Well said, brother.
 

punisher73

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Is that teaching people plus fighting people though? From my experience a pressure point works a lot better on a guy who doesn't want to beat you to death.

Yes. I agree though that "pain compliance" works better on lower levels of force. Certain motor points and nerve points still work whether they feel it or not and have been usually effective.

I still don't think that they are some "magical bullet' that you tap and put a guy out like some people teach though. It's another tool in your tool belt.
 

jobo

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An extrapolation of the scientific data that all measurable human qualities fall on that bell curve (height, weight, IQ, etc.) To my knowledge there wouldn't really be a way to measure it 100% accurately, but it gives you a baseline to work with when teaching pressure points.

From my 20+ years of experience teaching and using pressure points in law enforcement/corrections, it seems to be fairly representative of what I have encountered.

As they say in NLP, "the map is not the territory". I find that it is a useful way to represent the reason "why" you get the results that you do and an idea of some percentages, which while they may be off slightly, are still close enough to illustrate the point.
i don't think you can just assume that pain compliance from pressure points falls on a bell curve, all the thing's you have mentioned have been subject to studies . But even if it does, you would need to establish what the mean average pain reaction is and if this was effective at controlling people or not , and then accept that 49% of people have a lesser reaction than the mean. Assuming that pain compliance is still effective,upto one,standard deviation down the scale is a real jump of faith, as you have no idea what the average pain reaction is, to extrapolate from
 

punisher73

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i don't think you can just assume that pain compliance from pressure points falls on a bell curve, all the thing's you have mentioned have been subject to studies . But even if it does, you would need to establish what the mean average pain reaction is and if this was effective at controlling people or not , and then accept that 49% of people have a lesser reaction than the mean. Assuming that pain compliance is still effective,upto one,standard deviation down the scale is a real jump of faith, as you have no idea what the average pain reaction is, to extrapolate from

If you read through my posts, I have never said that it was scientific, nor 100% accurate. I said it is a useful tool to explain why pain points work on some people and not others and why some people have no response and some have an extreme response.

Pain sensitivity has been studied before though and it does fall on a normal bell curve.

The Science of Fibromyalgia
 

Buka

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I am an instructor in PPCT (Pressure Point Control Tactics), of which pressure points are a big component. One of the things that I teach is that nothing in law enforcement is 100% effective 100% of the time. Second, there are certain points that are more effective in "pain compliance" when the person is sober and not actively fighting you (this is where most people complain the "system doesn't work" because they are using touch pressure to control a higher level of force it wasn't designed for. Lastly, in regards to your question specifically. Think of pressure points on a "bell curve"

2014-10-03-blogbellcurve.png

Pressure points will work fairly reliably for about 70% of the population. About 15% of the population, you are going to get a REALLY significant response to them (we have all met the person in class who is barely struck and they complain on how hard you are hitting them). Then, you will have the 15% of the population that will have little to no response to them. This would include people who are high on adrenaline, drunk/high on a controlled substance, or just have a higher pain tolerance and don't respond as much. So, about 85% of people you would use pressure/pain points on, you will get a good response. But, if we think about most of the people we are going to be dealing with in a self-defense situation, we are more likely to be dealing with that other 15% who might not respond.

I hope that answers it without sounding like I'm skirting the issue, but it's the best I have to explain it and try to put some numbers on it.

The other thing I would point out is that some people teach "dim mak" solely based on acupuncture points and meridian theory. Others use it and also include the other areas that the Chinese taught. You have nerve points, muscle points, organ shots, bone shots, etc. Basically, they were attacking all of the body's weak points and it was all inclusive.

An extrapolation of the scientific data that all measurable human qualities fall on that bell curve (height, weight, IQ, etc.) To my knowledge there wouldn't really be a way to measure it 100% accurately, but it gives you a baseline to work with when teaching pressure points.

From my 20+ years of experience teaching and using pressure points in law enforcement/corrections, it seems to be fairly representative of what I have encountered.

As they say in NLP, "the map is not the territory". I find that it is a useful way to represent the reason "why" you get the results that you do and an idea of some percentages, which while they may be off slightly, are still close enough to illustrate the point.

Tried quoting this at work yesterday with my phone, didn't work too well.

Wanted to say that I was a PPCT instructor, too. And what you wrote was well said, bro.
 

jobo

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If you read through my posts, I have never said that it was scientific, nor 100% accurate. I said it is a useful tool to explain why pain points work on some people and not others and why some people have no response and some have an extreme response.

Pain sensitivity has been studied before though and it does fall on a normal bell curve.

The Science of Fibromyalgia

you introduced a) a graph and b) said you extrapolated the data to give the % on the graph. So the question is from WHAT have you extrapolated the data to give those %.?
 

punisher73

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you introduced a) a graph and b) said you extrapolated the data to give the % on the graph. So the question is from WHAT have you extrapolated the data to give those %.?

Sorry, it should have linked to a medical study that showed "pain sensitivity" in people and was used in a study on fibromyalgia. The medical study showed that pain sensitivity in people falls on the normal bell curve that we discussed. It would make sense to extrapolate the data in that study and assume that pain sensitivity to pressure points and pain compliance would also be on the bell curve in the same manner.
 

dvcochran

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In my experience, both in the Dojang and in application while a police officer, pressure points are real and effective. However, I think of them as more of a quick distraction used to get the person where you want them. Different from a joint lock. I know I have distracted and maybe even briefly disabled an assailant using pressure point. I would also call their effectiveness a very high level technique. Most joint local points are not as effective on a bigger person. Period, Especially when they are juiced up on adrenaline or worse. Knowing what to do after application is what makes them work for me.
 

oftheherd1

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I always find it interesting to see the remarks and beliefs of MA who tie themselves to their art as taught. That is understandable to an extent. Why keep practicing an art you have no confidence in? Or stay with a teacher you don't think teaches an art effectively? But sometimes you can buy in too far.

Why assume that if you like your own art, and study it to a good proficiency, that no one else can do so in a different art? Seemingly never considering that other people may be just as comfortable and proficient in their art. More, never considering that another art may apply attacks and techniques you are not used to, which will make them more difficult to defend. If you don't train against particular attacks, you may find yourself at a disadvantage when you encounter such an attack.

That said, what do I believe about pressure points? In the Hapkido I studied, we use pressure points for a lot of defense. Mostly we learned pressure points as a means to an end. Grab my wrist and I might use a pressure point in the elbow, with my other hand, which allows me to step behind you and manipulate your art into an arm lock, grabbing your clothing for more control, then pull your forehead backwards putting much pain on your neck.

I'm not going to stand there with my wrist being grabbed and wander around your elbow to see what I might find. I will suddenly apply that pain producing pressure point and continue my move to the arm bar and the neck pull. You, never having seen such a move, will have no defense. Even if I am somewhat clumsy and inefficient, I may still pull that off while you are wondering why your elbow has started hurting, a lot, and how did I get behind you and why is your neck hurting so much. I will have used a pressure point, but it is a means to an arm bar and attack on the neck, not an end in itself.

If I do that to you enough times, you may find a defense. You may even find a defense that allows you to counter attack and turn the tables on me. But if your art doesn't teach defending such an attack, how will you defend it the first few times it is used. Those are things that are often used in our defenses. Since we have more than one defense against different attacks, you will probably not see the same one all the time though.

If you don't see a particular defense to attack very often, don't be too quick to complain that it won't work against a resisting opponent. If you don't know it is coming, how will you resist? Safe within the security of your own martial art, you must find ways to justify your own art as being superior to every other martial art in the world? I have a very good idea how good my art is, but I don't assume no other art or artist can defeat me at some given time.

I have heard of a Japanese martial art that almost exclusively uses pressure points. I have never seen it. I know that one Okinawan karate teaches pressure points that incapacitate. Perhaps some of you here know more about that.

Sorry for the long post. But I hope I have provided some things to help understand how pressure points can indeed be useful in martial arts. Will they be effective on everyone every time? I think probably not. But I can tell you from personal experience, that a highly belted Hapkido person, especially a GM, can so effectively and efficiently put a hurt on you that you will start to believe.

Take it how you will. If you choose not to believe, so be it. It will not effect me or my beliefs, as mine will not have affected yours.
 

gpseymour

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If you don't see a particular defense to attack very often, don't be too quick to complain that it won't work against a resisting opponent. If you don't know it is coming, how will you resist? Safe within the security of your own martial art, you must find ways to justify your own art as being superior to every other martial art in the world? I have a very good idea how good my art is, but I don't assume no other art or artist can defeat me at some given time.
This is a good point, OTH. There are techniques I can easily pull off on a new student (even one with significant experience in other arts), which are far less available (easily defended) by those who are trained in that or a similar technique. It's like using simple takedowns - they are very easy against someone untrained on takedowns, and much harder on someone like a wrestler.
 

oftheherd1

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This is a good point, OTH. There are techniques I can easily pull off on a new student (even one with significant experience in other arts), which are far less available (easily defended) by those who are trained in that or a similar technique. It's like using simple takedowns - they are very easy against someone untrained on takedowns, and much harder on someone like a wrestler.

Quite so. Even as you say, if the student has trained another art to a high efficiency, grappling may be so alien that they simply can't defend, until they get some experience in it.
 

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