Sunday, March 9, 2008

Pressure Points - In A Real Fight

You are out in public ... maybe at an outdoor concert, or shopping downtown. All of a sudden, you are attacked. You have to defend yourself. If your mind isn't frozen in fear, then you may have time for a few brief thoughts as you respond (and react) to the attack.

Hits, strikes, kicks, wrist locks, and maybe even pressure points. But would a pressure point work in a fight with punches flying?

And that's a key criterion -- would pressure on a nerve work while punches are being thrown at you and by you?

Well ...

Pressure Point Timing
Will you have a time with the flurry of punches to press on someone's sensitive spot, close to a nerve? Remember, all the action happens very fast.

We aren't talking about nerve strikes, but rather pressure points. You apply pressure to a spot, say an inch or two above the elbow, on the triceps, in order to cause pain.

In the middle of punches, you won't have time to slowly find the exact spot and then apply pressure. I am not saying pressure points are useless. Just better to link a pressure point to the "control" phase of a fight, rather than trying to find a pressure-sensitive spot in the middle of speed hits.

Pressure Point Precision in the Fight
Pressure points really do require some precision. You have to press the right spot, with the right amount of pressure, in the right manner.

Could you do this in the middle of a fight? While dealing with a barrage of punches and kicks?

While nervous beyond belief ... with adrenaline coursing through your body?

It may be more prudent for you to hit and kick, until you already have the control.

Do Pressure Points Work On a Berserker?
Let's forget about your adrenaline -- what about the adrenaline racing through your attacker's body? Will he (or she) even feel a pressure point?

My answer is that it depends on which pressure point you are talking about, and also how much "red" your attacker is seeing.

For example, the nose control from Wrist Locks: From Protecting Yourself to Becoming an Expert will work no matter how mad your attacker is. Your opponent will feel the pain -- it's a sensitive and controlling spot.

On the other hand, the wrist-bending pressure point on the inside of the wrist never seems to work "for me," when I "really" have to use it.

Pressure points are great, when they are used appropriately. I worry when a novice thinks that it's easy to shut down an attack of punches with a little pressure to one point.

If you like efficient martial-arts strikes and counters, then read my new, Free ebooklet:

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For an article on martial arts solo training, read Training By Yourself.

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Keith Pascal is a martial-arts writer and has taught martial arts for 25 years.

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