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Pressure points

The study of pressure points has long been used for healing and self-defense purposes. For centuries martial arts masters have kept the knowledge of pressure points secret, so as to not pass on the knowledge to outsiders.

Unlike most acupuncture systems, where meridians and naming become complex and confusing, Leicester Karate uses simple naming for the pressure points using basic western medical terminology.

As we grow older our abilities to grow massive muscles and flexibility decline. Our bodies cannot take the damage that they once could. Defending ourselves through striking and punching becomes more and more difficult. Leicester Karate pin points vital areas of the body to inflict the most damage in simplest manner possible. Therefore this makes Leicester Karate methodology premier martial arts system of pressure points for defending yourself at any age, sex, size or gender.

Many people will try krav magra or brazilian jujitusu as a means of defense. Both of these arts miss fundamental situations or are only practical if you are in a very particual situation. Once taught  pressure points on the body, they can be used in nearly any self-defense situation.

Karate can be literally translated as empty hand. The denotative meaning of this art focuses striking by the use of one’s hands only. "Kara" is translated as empty, and "te" is translated as hands. It uses the hands to attack and defend; it is an art of precision, timing and concentration. Karate became the foundation of modern martial arts like the defenses of Tae Kwon Do and striking of Aikido.

Karate is brought into the Japan by the Ryu kyu indigenous martial artists and combinations of Chinese Martial Arts, it came into the limelight of Japan during the early 20th century. At first, Karate is recognized as other forms of adaptation from other martial arts from the Chinese Kenpo, Shotokan style, and Gojo Ryu. Okinawa, Japan is the birthplace of Chinese martial arts integration, basically due to geographical considerations. Okinawa is closer to mainland China as compared to mainland Japan. Japanese Kenpo is a direct adaptation of Chinese five animal fighting styles and Chinese kung-fu, even though Shotokan and Gojo Ryu are not adaptations but simply parallel styles to Chinese martial arts. All Karate dated back to Okinawa, Japan, are adaptations and integrations of the different Chinese styles to the Okinawan style of Karate. It is the result of constant fighting modifications and integrations to the most applicable style of fighting of the Japanese.

Karate takes pride in striking with ease, speed and power. It is famed for the punching, kicking, knee and elbow strikes and open handed techniques. However, it is also a progression of techniques that are learned from years of training and determination. Higher forms of Karate uses techniques such as joint manipulations, grappling skills, lock holds and vital points hitting. These techniques made Karate one of the strongest and long lived disciplines of martial arts. It is practiced not only in Japan; it stretches its influence from mainland Japan across the globe. Karate is also called as "Karate-do" which literally means the way of the empty hand by some practitioners who take pride in the balance of simplicity and power by this art.

Karate (empty hand) is a martial art of Ryu-kyu-an origin. Recent research indicates that it developed from a synthesis of indigenous Ryu-kyu-an fighting methods and southern Chinese martial arts.

Kara means (among other things) empty, and te means hand. Karate is known primarily as a striking art, featuring punching, kicking, knee/elbow strikes and open handed techniques. However, grappling, joint manipulations, locks, restraints, throws and vital point striking are inherent to the art. Alternately, some modern schools of karate refer to their art as karatedo-, or literally "way of empty hand."

A pressure point can be defined as 1) an area of the body which is especially vulnerable to injury or 2) an area at which incapacitating pain develops when it is attacked. Areas such as the windpipe, eyes, nose or the knees are sometimes identified as pressure points because of their vulnerability to injury. They make ideal points for self defence because they are readily identifiable, easily reached, and exquisitely vulnerable. However, locations such as the eyes and the windpipe also represent high-risk-of-injury areas. These areas should only be attacked in life threatening situations because it is so easy to cause serious injury or even death by striking them.

There are also many areas of the body at which intense pain develops when they are attacked. At these points, energy can be transmitted into a nerve very effectively. As a result, they are known as pressure points or nerve centres. Pressure points of this type occur where a nerve branch connects to a major nerve pathway or where several major nerves join together to form a nerve plexus. When such a point is stimulated by pressing or striking, the resulting pain registers on more than one nerve pathway. As a result, the brain receives signals from multiple nerves and the pain felt is amplified.

In Karate, nerve centres or pressure points are used to disable and to defeat our opponents. However, the same points are used in acupuncture and acupressure to heal the body and to restore balance to the body's systems. To the acupuncturist, a pressure point is a gate through which the body's healthful energies flow. By manipulating the gate, the flow of energy can be increased or decreased as required to restore the health and well-being of the patient. To the martial artist, these same points provide a means by which the body's flow of energy can be disrupted to quickly incapacitate an attacker.

Different pressure points respond to different kinds of stimulation. Some respond to striking, others to pressing or rubbing. In addition, the angle at which a pressure point is attacked is critical to proper activation. In many cases, the full effect of pressure point activation can only be felt if the angle of attack is such that the entire nerve plexus or connection is stimulated. Proper angles of attack together with specific method of stimulation must always be considered whenever a pressure point attack is undertaken.

The following are examples of some readily accessible pressure points:


These pressure points can be used to cause pain. Many neck points involve applying pressure to major arteries and blood vessels as well as nerve centres. Faintness and unconsciousness can result from attacking these points.

1. Location: Behind the jaw in the depression under the jaw.

Attack: Strike diagonally back to front.

Result: A strong blow can cause unconsciousness or dislocate the jaw. Grinding with the thumb or knuckle can cause intense pain.

2. Location: In depression behind the corner of the jaw.

Attack: Poke or press in and upward at a 45 degree angle toward the centre of the head.

Result: Causes pain. Strong blow may dislocate jaw.

3. Location: Notch at bottom of jaw.

Attack: Hit on line 45 degrees toward the centre of the head. Can use knuckle or fingertips to poke and roll inside the bone.

Result: Causes intense pain. Heel palm strike at correct angle can knock out attacker. Puts attacker off balance, jars head.


These pressure points can be used to control an attacker and to force him to the ground. They can also be used to control the hand and wrist to force an attacker to loosen his grip or to lose control of the fist.

1. Location: Front of arm, where the pulse is located on the thumb side of the wrist.

Attack: Press in toward the bone and up toward the wrist.

Result: Weakens the hand.

2. Location: On the little finger side of the front of the hand, approximately 1/2 inch below the wrist crease.

Attack: Press against the bone and toward the hand.

Result: Weakens the grip and the wrist.

3. Location: Inside of arm just below the inner knob of the elbow.

Attack: Strike or press.

Result: Causes the elbow to bend and the arm to go numb.

4. Location: Front of arm, 2 inches to 3 inches above the inside of the elbow.

Attack: Strike or grab.

Result: Causes the elbow to bend and pain to extend down the arm to the little finger.

5. Location: Back of arm, Mid-triceps.

Attack: Strike against bone to lock elbow and release shoulder.

Result: Combine strike with wrist grab to lock out shoulder and arm in control move to the ground.


These points can be used to immobilize an attacker, to distract an attacker, or, if required, to seriously damage the leg or knee.

1. Location: The back of the thigh just below the buttocks.

Attack: Kick.

Result: Immobilizes the leg.

2. Location: The middle of the inner thigh, halfway between the groin and the knee.

Attack: Kick with the toes or press hard with the knuckle.

Result: Pain can distract attacker. Hard strike can buckle the leg and force the opponent to the ground.

3. Location: The inside of the leg, halfway between the ankle bone and the lower edge of the calf muscle.

Attack: Kick from inside the leg with a rising motion.

Result: Causes the leg to become numb.

4. Location: Back of the leg just below the knee.

Attack: Stamping kick or toe kick.

Result: Forceful kicks cause extreme pain and may cause the muscle to spasm.

5. Location: The top of the foot where the 4th and 5th toe bones connect.

Attack: Stomp or, if the attacker is shoe less, strike with a single knuckle.

Result: Causes pain, distracts attacker, may fracture foot bones.

6. Location: Achilles Tendon at the back of the ankle.

Attack: Kick with edge of foot or shoe.

Result: Moderate kicks cause pain. Hard kicks may damage the tendon.

Nerve centre pressure point attacks make very effective attack points in self defence situations. Some martial arts (Aikido, for instance) are built almost entirely upon the application of pressure point knowledge. These points are used to control or to quickly incapacitate an opponent. Activation of a pressure point can cause excruciating pain capable of making almost any adversary back down. When the pressure point is released, the pain subsides. Therefore, compliance can be gained without inflicting serious injury. That is one advantage of pressure point attacks. However, there are also drawbacks.

Pressure points are generally only the size of the tip of a ball-point pen - the area of activation may be the size of a penny. In the excitement of an attack, pressure points can be elusive. In addition, physical variations in size and musculature often make a specific pressure point on a specific individual difficult to locate. You must be knowledgeable as well as skillful to carry out a successful attack. An individual's sensitivity to pain or his level of intoxication (by alcohol and/or drugs) can also effect the efficacy of a pressure point attack. You may make an accurate, proper pressure point attack and your adversary may be unaffected. You need a back-up plan, just in case, whenever you rely on such an attack.

Knowledge of pressure points and pressure point techniques is a useful addition to one's self defence arsenal. When appropriately used, they provide an effective means of controlling an adversary without necessarily inflicting serious injury.   Listed below are a few pressure points on the human body.

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