Vital Points: What Are They and Why Do They Work?

A vital point is a pressure sensitive point on or near the surface of the human body. Vital points function like gateways to the nervous system, the main controller of the body, allowing you to use pain to influence the actions and reactions of an opponent. Even a single strike can cause serious damage, unconsciousness or, in rare cases, death.

For example, a forceful strike into the Wind Mansion (GV16) at the base of the brain can result in instant death. The gallbladder (on the right side of the trunk, below the liver) and the Sauce Receptacle (CV24) on the tip of the chin are targets for potential knockout blows in boxing. The carotid artery, temple and Philtrum are common targets for striking in a selfdefense situation.

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Force Principles of Combinations

Combinations also can be classified by the force that they apply. Force classifications are defined by the direction in which they apply force to the opponent. Consequently, they are often more difficult to identify than directional classifications. Force is an internal characteristic that is not readily evident to an observer. It can be obvious, as in unified force or deceptive as in opposing force.

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Against an Armed Attack

Much has been written about the effectiveness of one system or another in a realistic or "street" situation. Many styles claim to be scientifically designed or to have secret techniques to defeat even the toughest of opponents, including armed assailants. Yet when it comes to an assailant armed with a knife, you don't need to learn a lot of fancy, secret techniques, you only need to remember four simple options. In an armed confrontation, basic is best and the most direct techniques are the ones that will give you the opportunity to walk away when it's over.

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Knife Defense Tactics

The following article is intended to give a brief overview of knife defense tactics for the experienced martial artist.

Many years have passed since I survived dozens of missions as a special agent while serving in the Korean military. Many missions involved combat, both with weapons and with fists. A few members of my elite 202 unit survived, many never made it.

Looking back, I find something valuable for my friends who couldn't make it at the time. In the Academy for Special Agents at Jeong-Neung, Korea, my combat instructor T.K. Kim used to scream at us during the grueling knife-fighting training sessions, "Do not run away from your opponent, get closer to him! Dissolve the knife in your head!"

The cardinal rule of combat, whether against a knife or an empty-handed adversary is "Stay close to your opponent!" Especially when your opponent is armed with a knife, there is often no way out but to stay close and fight.

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