Following on from my last article on pressure point fighting, I would like to quote from Russell Stutely who is widely regarded as Europe’s number one pressure point expert. He is also highly regarded by Geoff Thompson and Peter Consterdine of the British Combat Association, who are very much into reality martial arts.
The reason that I wanted to quote from Russell Stutely is that although he highly advocates pressure points and obviously makes a lot of money teaching them and selling DVDs etc; he still very much advocates that you must develop good basic technique first. If he was to promote pressure points in a such a way as to suggest that it is a magic bullet so that you don’t have to bother learning anything else and beginners could use them to defeat experienced black belts, I would be very suspicious. But he doesn’t. He is very methodical in his methods. As with my previous posting, I am wary of how effective pressure points can be under pressure, but I do think that if you do want to learn them you must do it in a structured and methodical manner, which is why I am open to Russell Stutely’s approach.
So here it is in Russell’s own words:-
“So many times people ask me about the best way to learn how to use Pressure Points… So, I am going to start sending out my “Tips of the week” on Pressure Points in particular and also to answer some of the most popular questions asked.
OK.. How to learn Pressure Points correctly?
This is a biggie… so will be answered in several parts over the coming weeks.
The first thing is to gain an understanding of how the body works from a Martial Arts perspective. This does not mean that you need to know the names of points or even the names of major muscle groups etc.. it would of course help if you started to learn them as you go along.
First of all… whatever art you practice… take your best / favourite technique and really get to grips with it.. really understand it.. break it down into its constituent parts.
This means that you must analyse it to death… UNDERSTAND what every part of your body is doing to ensure the correct application of that technique.
For a simple “jab” as an example.. you MUST know what your weight distribution is, how your feet are positioned, where you “push off” into the floor, how your body aligns, any “extra” movement that should not be there… where the correct power line of delivery is.. how you are balanced, how you keep your defenses,… the relationship between your shoulders, hips and ankles … and MUCH more.
Then when you can break this down and understand it.. you know how to “re-build” the technique to make it more effective.
Then and only then do you start to add in the Points… unless you have great technique to start with of course!
This sounds like a MAMMOTH journey if you are supposed to do this with EVERY technique??
Well.. it is not as long as it sounds… do this exercise with 4/5 techniques and you will begin to REALLY understand how to break down a technique… how to make it better.
Then you will be able to do this with any technique… THEN we can begin to add the points.
I ALWAYS teach people Balance Points first.. understand how the body is balanced from both your and your opponents perspective and you will automatically begin to break down technique.
Just this exercise alone will dramatically improve your Martial Arts and Self Defense skills.
Hope that helps?
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Bonus: Historical look at Bassai Dai, one of Karate’s most pivotal katas