Kyusho Jitsu

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Jul 3, 2018 | in The Science of M.A.

In the martial arts community, those who practice kyusho-jitsu (pressure-point fighting) are often subjected to criticism. It all started when their self-defense moves were first brought into the limelight and onlookers didn’t even want to believe the techniques were real. Those days are long past, however, and the reality of knockouts resulting from usage of human pressure points has been convincingly demonstrated time and time again — most notably by Black Belt Hall of Fame member (and kyusho-jitsu expert) George Dillman and his students.

Nowadays, two main criticisms of kyusho-jitsu persist. The first consists of dire warnings that self-defense moves using pressure-point techniques are dangerous and that those who practice them by actually knocking each other out are reckless and foolhardy. This accusation was later found to be groundless.

Are the Self-Defense Moves of Kyusho-Jitsu Dangerous?

For decades now, the once-secret art of kyusho-jitsu has been publicly taught and demonstrated. Thousands of students now practice the methods of kyusho-jitsu, and an untold number of people have been knocked out practicing its self-defense moves, some on numerous occasions.

In 1997, at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, a team of scientists sought to examine the mechanism behind human-pressure-point knockouts. In their findings — which were reported in Black Belt’s September 1998 issue and subsequently published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness (1999; 39:328-335) — they stated that “… no hazardous complications were demonstrated and no immediately dangerous phenomena … were noted...”