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javnitro
12-02-2002, 09:29 PM
Hi,
(sorry if my english is not really good)
I am new to Aikido (I have just began practicing a few months ago) and I was wondering how important are the pressure points and nerve techniques and if these are applied in Aikido.
I ask this because I am a relatively small guy (5'7 and 130 pounds) compare to most of the guys at my dojo that are over 200 pounds. So far I have found that I have problems dealing with their weight, I know I'm new at this and this will probably get better with time.
But the problem is that my hands are to small and I cannot even grab the complete arm of uke. I am not joking but I feel like I am trying to hold a watermelon with one hand and it seems really uncomfortable.
So, do you guys think that it is important for small women and men to learn pressure points and nerve techniques to make more effective the Aikido techniques, so we are able to wrestle with bigger persons? Do we learn this techniques in Aikido training?
Thank you,
I would appreciate your responses
Francisco

Kevin Wilbanks
12-02-2002, 09:55 PM
When you are doing Aikido, you will not be wrestling with your ukes. To an extent, the whole point of Aikido is avoiding that kind of muscular struggle. The idea is to do this by unbalancing uke through timing, placement, and use of mechanical advantage.

Pressure points can be important if you are talking about atemi to vulnerable targets like eyes, throat, groin, etc... However, if you're talking about gaining some kind of svengali-like power over people by touching them in secret points outlined on an ancient accupunture chart, I think you're talking about a fantasy, and something that is certainly not an essential part of most Aikido curricula. Even if pushing on such points can be shown to have certain effects on people under controlled circumstances, I find the idea that one would be able to reliably access them during a high speed, high force encounter a little outlandish... and I'm not even talking about a "real" fight.

In the long run, small size should not be an impediment to successful Aikido practice. If you are a beginner, and cannot learn the techniques because your partners are resisting, they are at fault. Given the situation, this is poor ukemi. Talk to your sensei.

Creature_of_the_id
12-03-2002, 02:54 AM
You're the same height and weight as me. The association I am part of don't teach pressure points and nerve techniques (other than yonkyo). So I can't rely on them.

You just have to learn to have faith in your technique, but as with everything that has to come with hard work, time and experience.

It will seem difficult at first, but you will learn to use your height and weight to your advantage.

(O'sensei was not a very tall man himself)

Let us know how it goes

Sam
12-03-2002, 04:35 AM
Pressure points can be extremely effective, but the main problem is that two in every five people are unresponsive to 'stimulation'. Therefore it is not good to rely on pressure points although they have their uses. Try instead to break uke's balance as has already been stated. The great advantage you have in training with people a lot larger than yourself is that you will rarely have to take it easy and will develop powerfull technique more quickly. Don't worry if you can't get a full grip - try to hook your fingers around the arm instead and rely less on your thumb if you are holding the elbow.

Good luck.

Williamross77
12-03-2002, 04:42 AM
There are hidden nerve strikes and pressure points in almost all Aikido techniques, to find them even if your instructor does not know, search out a good Dillman Jujitsu manuscript. But i think you will find them in time on your own. IE in Ikkyo you can often access a frontal yonkyo point and a Tripple heater point behinf the elbow, just feal around and you will find it, it hurts. But ultimatly the Aikido use of the points is simply to redirect that strength and to ( as the above thread states) time the takeing of there KI.

Ali B
12-03-2002, 07:07 AM
Hi All,

Buenos dias Fransisco. ¿Como estas?

I was practicing on Thursday using a nerve point in the neck to move the uki in Irimi Nage. It hurts a lot to have it done to you and I would think, no matter how big your partner is he will move it.

I am small and practice with large guys. Most of the time it is to my advantage. I am sure with some practice you will feel like that.

Love and light Ali

Bruce Baker
12-03-2002, 07:26 AM
Being one of the principle offenders to bringing up pressure points for the ignorant who claim pressure points don't work, and Aikido having a myriad of pressure points that do work, I must tell you that you will beat a dead horse in trying to discuss pressure points with most of todays Aikido commumity.

Less than ten percent of those who practice Aikido ever go beyond teaching aikido with hands on instruction of "doing it like this" as they show the most effective way to perform a technique without ever researching why it works like this.

As far as being more effective for you size and weight, your outside studies will enlighten you to the most effective way to perform aikido, as will you attention to details of why techniques work better for others than it does for you.

So, the "like this" mentality will win out ... for now.

Yes, Aikido does employ techniques which can cause pain, cause movement, and effectively use the pillars of Aikido to open your eyes to a whole host of grey areas that reach into the movements of all martial arts.

You will find that some teachers show you the details of techniques that go to the heart of activating pressure points with manipulations, and allow openings for strikes that surely identify with the study of pressure points.

If you are a beginner, or even intermediary student, go with the flow for now and pay close attention to what works the best. Figure out why it works so good, and you will find ideal openings for pressure points.

Don't go touting this find in class, most practitioners barely understand the transitional flow needed to introduce other techniques not practiced withing aikido classes, pressure points being one of them.

Yes, I am a fan of the Dillman studies and his validation of many things I had suspected in my studies or come to simular conclusions before attending his seminars. Every person should search on his/her own before becoming allign with another persons studies ... it validates the data in one's own mind as indisputable.

So, for the fans of pressure points not working, go to a seminar and prove that pressure points don't work.

Otherwise, and I mean this in the nicest way, shut the hell up!

(gee, that was only my first cup of coffee.)

Sorry, I am picking up some bad habits from watching Imus in the morning.

Fiona D
12-03-2002, 08:42 AM
Maybe we shouldn't say "pressure points don't work", but one should bear in mind that there are people around on whom it's almost impossible to get at certain pressure points properly. I've worked with people on whom the neck nerve point that Alison mentioned works like a charm, but others on whom it appears to have no effect. In the case I'm thinking of, it in't that the guy has no nerves in his neck, simply that the configuration of his neck muscles is such that no matter how hard I try, I can't reach in enough to get at the right nerves.

Perhaps it's safest to say that pressure points work, but we can't assume that we'll always be successful in trying to use them on our ukes?

Creature_of_the_id
12-03-2002, 09:15 AM
Hi Bruce,

I dont think anyone in the thread has said that pressure points dont work. I think the general concensus is that they are a valuable tool, a good weapon to have in your arsenal. But they do not have to be relied on in order to control a larger uke, posture, technique, movement and practice can do those things.

I'm thinking of doing a little research into pressure points myself. Our association doesn't seem to teach them, so maybe I can introduce them into my own training

Williamross77
12-03-2002, 09:36 AM
You can also learn in the Chinese fashion, known as Dim Mak as I have in my Studies of the past few years.

MikeE
12-03-2002, 09:39 AM
I have a pretty good background in Kyusho-jutsu from Ryukyu Kempo days. My Aikido instructor didn't believe in using it in Aikido. But, after he saw its application his thought was: Great it works, so use it. Just don't let it be a crutch that your technique relies on.

So, more or less, I use Kyusho-jutsu in my Aikido as icing on the cake. But, I do not use it as a way to make my Aikido technique work.

Aikilove
12-03-2002, 10:56 AM
I find it interesting that if you read stories about and see films on O-sensei (and sometimes his students e.g. Tohei) they frequently used some kind of pressure point in their control techniques. E.g. in the film-serie distributed by AikidoJournal, O-sensei is seen to pin one of his uke after a kotegaishi throw with a normal kotegaishi pin but added with a pressure on ukes temple region (making him squirm quite a bit!). In 'Rendezvou with Adventure' Tohei is seen to finish of with a pin that relies only on the pressure of his thumb on a spot on his (non cooperating!) ukes torso.

I'm interested in why these aren't (weren't) taught by O-senseis students and O-sensei himself. They never seem to rely on these pressure points to make there techniques work, but still, since O-sensei didn't seem to have any problem showing these types of controls or pins I don't see any reason why they are never shown in the aikido community (except when the instructor has a background in some other MA).

javnitro
12-03-2002, 05:23 PM
Well after I made an a** of myself this in another thread, here it is:

(Post #14)

Thanks for all the help... now I am more confused (just joking). I think is good to see that there are a lot of people interested in this subject.

I just read that O' Sensei was 5'4'. Is that true?

PeterR
12-03-2002, 07:19 PM
Bruce - there is a big difference between not subscribing to the glee club of pressure points and dismissing them out of hand.

As to the original poster please understand that pressure points become more difficult to find and utilize the bigger and meatier your opponent is. In other words if you are small and they are big - pressure points are not going to solve your problem and may make things worse (even in the dojo setting).

Bruce Baker
12-04-2002, 10:29 AM
I do Agree with you Peter Rehse, but that does not mean with proper training and practice the effectiveness of pressure points could not be used.

Point of fact: Aikido is an extremely efficient means of accessing and using pressure points.

I am a tremendous fan of Aikido because it opens the world of martial arts with movements that are improperly taught in other other disciplines.

The comparitive study, and teaching methods to students does not encourage the use of pressure points in the early stages of Aikido studies, but ... this too depends on the backround of the student, depth of their studys, and degree of their maturity to find the proper use of pressure points in Aikido practice.

I believe that most of the older practitioners agree that pressure points are an interesting cross training pursuit, but should only be discussed and taught by those who can be mature in the use/ knowledge of such tools.

It really has no place in the beginning stages of training, but once the foundation of knowledge in Aikido is gained, it really does add to making the lacrosse goal posts extend the field a few more miles.

Doug Mathieu
12-04-2002, 01:33 PM
Hi

I have heard a couple comments from our Shihan that I believe relates to the question.

One was during a seminar where he was telling us that originally a pressure point on the wrist was used while doing shihonage but modern Aikido teaching omits it.

The other time was during a camp where he made a comment about Nikyu and Sankyu which had to do with the pain factor. If I understood correctly he told us if we relied on the pain to make these and similar techniques work then we would not be able to develop our ability past a basic level and didn't really understand what was behind these techniques.

I think the gist of his message was our goal is not to inflict pain on via technique. Rather its to take control of ukes center. If we focus on the pain part we will rely on that and not learn to take ukes center.

Perhaps that is also applicable to the application of nerve pressure points. If we focus on that aspect we will use it to compensate for not quite getting the techniques principles down. Consequently big or small once we really know how to do a technique the pressure application is not needed.

I notice in class the first time someone is shown Yonkyu they are impressed with the pain that can arise. But then when they practice they are so caught up with trying to get the presuure point they miss using their body and proper movement to pin the person. We often tell new students to forget about trying to find the spot and concentrate on the form and body movement instead.

Williamross77
12-04-2002, 02:54 PM
It has been my practical experience that the points will not work correctly "unless" they are applied with the intent of capturing the uke's center and ki extention. This is the detrimental factor in the way I have seen pressure points taught in less sophisticated systems of development.

mattholmes
12-04-2002, 10:31 PM
In my experience, pressure points can be learned and made to work. Just like atemi exists in aikido for a reason, I think it likely that pressure points can be used. However, I don't like to use them in the dojo, because for me, the whole point of learning aikido (and not another martial art) is so I can learn how to not hurt people. It's not hard to hurt someone, and pressure points are just one more tool for that purpose.

To me, it seems like a non-issue. Of course pressure points can be used - anything can be used. But why use something that (my opinion) gets in the way of your progress towards harmony, unless another thing (i.e. if you don't use pressure points to your advantage your time on this earth is going to come to an abrupt stop) is going to get "more" in your way?

Hope that makes some sort of sense.

Matt

MikeE
12-04-2002, 10:36 PM
William,

Don't discount "less sophisticated" arts until you have mastered all of them.

Once you have done that...then lend your opinion.

Until that point it is best to disregard what you have not experienced.

Having Seiyu Oyata tap some points on your body and completely disrupt your breathing, ki, stability, and what have you is a very sobering experience. I talked at length with Sosa Sensei about this, and he was impressed with the application. Sensei, also had a healthy respect for all martial arts....they tend to lead to the same.

In aiki,

Williamross77
12-05-2002, 12:17 AM
My intent was to comment on schools that i personally witnesses and knew knew were not teaching correct application. While only a Nidan in my other art which uses pressure point application or "dim mak", my 10 years of study and use allows me to discriminate. I was not intending to haphazzardly disreguard any style, only the extent in which some people dive into it.

Williamross77
12-05-2002, 12:30 AM
thanks Sensei Ellefson for pointng out that it may have appeared as an attack on any art. Sosa Sensei and I spoke of the fruit of any art, this is true. I simply wanted the origional writer of ( "might make things worse") to ponder the possibility that it was possible that the pressure point instruction was limited. And at ten years of wrking with it I feal like a Baby, even though my first Aikido instructor in 1993 helped me by teaching me the basics of using needles in the accupuncture fashion to create more dynamic functionality of health points. Sosa Sensei and I never discussed the particulars of the certain points best in Aiki use, but in taking his ukemi I have felt him use them in a masterful way as a tool to "connect and take Shoto-o-seisu".

Best to you,

in Aiki

Ron Tisdale
12-05-2002, 10:19 AM
I think that pressure points and aikido (and daito ryu) kind of go hand in hand. If you note carefully the use of these points in daito ryu, you find that the placement of the points are like a roadmap to the proper placement of the hands to "take uke's center", when combined with appropriate movement. As far as controlling someone rather than being forced to injure them, I think it wouldn't make good sense to ignore pain as a good motivator. Of course, to rely on pain wouldn't make sense either. A healthy balance is always best.

I sometimes like to try applying nikkajo without causing pain to uke's wrist so that I can concentrate on making the technique lock the shoulder and control the center. At other times, I like focusing on the proper angles wrist to elbow to shoulder, which often causes quite a bit of pain to uke. In some styles of daito ryu, a version of nikkajo is applied using both of shite's hands on uke's one hand. No way there isn't pain involved in that one.

If defending myself, I would go for a full application of all of these, to maximise any effect of the techniques. Which is absolutely no guarantee of anything. :)

Ron Tisdale

Bruce Baker
12-06-2002, 10:56 AM
All right. There is some dispute about the term pressure point, and its effectiveness for Aikido.

YOU DO NOT GIVE UP YOUR TECHNIQUE TO PURSUE OR DIVERGE FROM THAT TECHNIQUE TO FIND OR EXPLORE FOR A PRESSURE POINT!

That out of the way ... we are activating pressure points to effect movement in Aikido.

Every sensory nerve in your body is susceptable to some type of access or stimulation, hence there are levels of sensory, and this is the same with pressure points. I can twist your arm, or I can hit it with a hammer ... different levels of pain, different levels of results.

Some of you endorse the feather/ tickle system that touches upon the sensory system but does not induce unneeded pain ... fine ... I agree that Aikido has that capacity.

Get it into your head that Pressure Points does not mean the top end of the scale for pain, but every martial art, every prod/ poke/ or test a doctor makes is headed at getting physical results from activating a pressure point or viewing results of the body from pressure point stimuli, or as some people address it, the human nervous system.

Pressure Points are merely the reference to a practiced, access point that works in stimulating, or detering a bodily function that can be seen with measured physical results.

Get the DEATH TOUCH out of your head. Your local doctor has just as much knowledge to kill you as much as cure you compared to the mytical death touch. In that light, we should have kept the witches and burned the doctors ... and few lawyers thrown on the fire wouldn't hurt either.

Enough comedy.

Seriously .... yes, pressure points are basically not taught in Aikido, but they are a big factor in giving credibility to Aikido as a Martial Art. Once you have begun to become bored with understanding the physical practice, take a look at pressure points. Nearly every Aikido technique puts you in the proper area, with the proper angle/ direction needed to validate Pressure Points in Aikido.

Get a hold of you physical practice, and the rest will follow.

Life most people who find pressure points in all martial arts, first learn to heal before you learn to hurt, and then you will understand why I am so excited about bringing this ancient practice back into Aikido.

Amendes
12-06-2002, 11:20 AM
I like presure points.

We train with them too.

Sensi said that presure points are good to use if you have to, since they don't leave marks, and they are better for your opponent.

However our sensi is a master of many arts, therefore he incorporates many of the different styles into aikido. For example in the higher levels we use Atemi, and yes presure points too.

Second I am glad we train with presure points, because in the real world I have used them.

In the real world I will succeed by any means necessary.

By the way our sensi did a presure point to our most senior student out of class, since this one was not something to show in class. I won't say where it was, I know the general area but I don't know exactly what point.

Before he did it he said this "This is what I think a very very bad sould feels like when it goes to hell."

He did it for a split second.

After the student stoped shaking on the ground he said." Do that for 3 seconds and your out." The person who had it done on him told me it was the most physicaly painfull thing he had ever felt in his life. And almost lost conciousness.

So don't ever judge a technique or method untill you have tried it enough times.

As for smaller people in aikido, there was a great disccsion on here a coupe of months back called. Working with Aikido Mountians.

Its worth looking up. I printed it out for one of our smaller students at the Dojo and one for our biggest student.

Also never ever forget your breath, it makes you better. I also ki every time I do a technique, even small ones when I do Ikkyo.

I even Ki when I break fall.. However im a good size, but I know the breathing and atention to timing is what makes it the best.

Timeing is everything, not points, or strikes, but hey they are good to know.

Kevin Wilbanks
12-06-2002, 06:39 PM
Pressure points? Hah. If you want to really be formidable, you have to delve into the ancient secrets of alchemy and ceremonial Magick. One of my teachers is a 14th level mage in the Sacred Order of Hormu and a grand vizier in the Golden Dawn. He can kill with a word. With a simple ceremony designed to send a targeted wave in the luminiferous ether, he can sicken, cripple, or kill from any distance. All that is required is some Hen's Bane, arrowroot, and a flaming goat carcass. Easy spells like this are possible with as little as two decades of study. My teacher is capable of so much more... I would be risking my life to say any more, but let's just say that not all 'natural disasters' and 'historical events' are necessarily what they seem on the surface.

Williamross77
12-07-2002, 01:51 AM
:straightf :freaky: HWUA??

DUDE PLEASE DON'T KILL ME!

I MEAN WE HAVE VODOO IN LOUISIANA AND ALL, BUT WHUA?:freaky: :confused:

:eek: OK?

Bruce Baker
12-08-2002, 09:55 AM
Now, those last two posts were uncalled for.

In fact, they are the heart of learning to be the light of harmony in learning Aikido.

The basis of polishing the stone is not to be the darkened overlord of fear, but enlightened and protect/nuture/ provide guidance into the knowledge of how to make you world, your life, your society a better place.

Let's save this type of comedy for the Humor section?

MattRice
12-08-2002, 01:18 PM
I don't know Jack about pressure points, except they hurt. However, I did see this with mine own eyes.

Years ago at a seminar in a karate dojo, the guy giving the seminar was 10th dan something something etc etc, and was there to explain/demo pressure point techniques. We were all very skeptical. Then he demonstrated on several large karateka from our dojo. Tapped them on the base of the neck somewhere, with a flick of his wrist. They dropped to the ground where they stood and had to be helped up. They were NOT plants or coopertive in any way. They were conditioned and experienced fighters who, moments before were bent on proving this guy a fraud. It wasn't magic, dude knew what he was doing. Just because something is beyond your realm of experience doesn't make it fiction.

Williamross77
12-08-2002, 02:06 PM
Yes your right Mr Baker, i was was just phlaberghasted or flabergasted with the "wherefrom" on that MAGIK comment. NO harm intended.

About the point on the neck, was it the front or back of the base of the neck?

There are H9 and H10 on the front of the neck that can do that. two on the side and back of the neck. Can't quite remember there name but i can look it up in my texts. There is one used for KI developement that can cause a nasty sensation and move you along the back of the shoulder, 3finger supinate the mid point of the shoulder joint and the cleavage of the neck or base of the neck. just under the GB20 along the muscle ther is a quite effective point that can cause loss of conciousness (kan oui geat a speel cheekr pleeze).

Bruce Baker
12-08-2002, 10:19 PM
Thank you Mr. Ross.

I too am a fan of Master Dillman.

I don't think in terms of numbers of a meridian, but in physiology with angle and direction of strike or method of activation. Must be from school of hard knocks, all those pressure point numbers get too confusing for me when actual practice is so easy within techniques. I guess that is why they make charts, eh.

Thank you for joining the Aikido forum. It is good to have another voice who has had experience rather than trying to teach some of the posters about what the heck pressure points are.

Now if we could get some advanced studys to include some pressure point seminars, we just might have a martial art that is a leg up on some other martial arts?

Welcome, and don't be afraid to lambast me when I need it. Keeps me honest.

aikidoc
01-03-2003, 11:47 PM
Dr. Michael Kelly's book on the Death Touch discusses the medical validity of pressure point techniques. He takes the mystery of the acupuncture points out of the picture and relates it to the actual nerves. Very good start for us westerners.

Yes, anatomy makes pressure points somewhat ineffective on a certain percentage of people. However, regular practice and attention to non-responsive pressure points has a tendency to sensitize them over time and they often start working-that's my experience anyway. Striking set up points can also sensitize others as well.

PeterR
01-04-2003, 01:56 AM
Yes, anatomy makes pressure points somewhat ineffective on a certain percentage of people. However, regular practice and attention to non-responsive pressure points has a tendency to sensitize them over time and they often start working-that's my experience anyway.
That's interesting. Aside from the obvious retort (excuse me bubba while I sensitize your pressure points) I wonder how much of that is belief and how much is anatomy.

My experience on the nerves typically accessed by kime techniques (yonkyo for example) is that one gets desensitized over time. I surely don't jump nearly a high as I used to and my forearms aren't any thicker than they were and my training partners are no less skilled.

I've considered the possiblity of toughness to pain (grab me anywhere and I wont jump like I used to) has increased but still where a lot of kime as been applied there is a lot less feeling.

L. Camejo
01-04-2003, 08:27 AM
Another interesting book that looks at the pp thing from a physiological/nerve and tendon perspective is something called "Black Medicine: The Dark Art of Death" by N. Mashiro, PhD, karateka and medical doctor. (Interesting name, eh?)

I agree that over time the body does build a degree of resistance/insensitivity to points that are activated continuously over time.

But then I apply something I learnt in shiatsu regarding how to treat irresponsive meridians and points. By stretching the area (of course this applies to points on the limbs mainly), the meridians are exposed better and are easier to access.

Simple experiment (for those willing) let uke stand with tegatana (unbendable arm) extended and try to activate kime points along the arm (found about 9 in my search). Count how many get the desired reaction.

Then apply something like a oshi taoshi (ikkyo) pin where the arm is stretched out to the max and try again. See if there is any change in reactionto the amount that respond or in how much they respond.

Of course I could just be a sado-masochist as well and just have a love for pain practice :)

Either way, I don't see pp application as a cure all or replacement for effective aikido technique. To me its a place to go when nothing else works, or when the technique just needs a little bit of extra persuasion.

I don't think though, that adding pp techiques to the mainstream aikido repertoire is gonna enhance its credibility as a "martial art". The techniques of Aikido are already dangerous as is, just takes a little bit of malice to make them deadly. Aikido works, sadly though, you may not get that impression from some of the training methodologies applied to teach it... this is where the question lies.

If you come up against a skilled attacker and your basic techique can't save you, don't expect pressure points to either.

L.C.:ai::ki:

Bruce Baker
01-04-2003, 02:35 PM
There is no one study that encompasses all of martial arts or how to use martial arts.

The give in of pressure points is that they are a piece of the martial arts puzzle as much as a rivet holds a building together, or electrical wires transmit electricity, or even when found in Aikido they transmit either motion or pain. Pieces of what it takes to understand something is like eating cereal with a fork ... it gets done ... but a lot of it drips or falls off before you get it into your mouth?

Or it is more like forgetting a few nails or screws when building a house?

It looks like a house, it stands up to most weather, but you don't miss what you don't see, so it just doesn't matter.

Well, to the guy who builds houses for a living, it matters to him.

Sure you can build a house with less fasteners, but would you feel secure if you knew it could have been built better than it is?

That is how you should consider pressure points.

You don't always see how important they are, or really care if you don't need them, but it will greatly enhance your knowledge, and why certain movements in Aikido are the way they are, and work best the way they are.

Oh, Well.

I guess it is like the karate guys who have never done aikido. You don't know what you are missing until you have been there, and done that.

Lyle Bogin
01-07-2003, 03:47 PM
The new text book, Kung fu Elements by Shou-yu Liang and Wen-Ching Wu has one of the best sections on this topic i've ever seen, specifically since it gives detailed explaination of the 12 cycles that corrospond to the time of day. So if it is between 11 and 1, you should strike those points that corrospond with this timeslot for maximum effectiveness. That is the old secret of the chinese masters...or so they say.

shihonage
01-07-2003, 03:57 PM
By the way our sensi did a presure point to our most senior student out of class, since this one was not something to show in class. I won't say where it was, I know the general area but I don't know exactly what point.

Before he did it he said this "This is what I think a very very bad sould feels like when it goes to hell."

He did it for a split second.

After the student stoped shaking on the ground he said." Do that for 3 seconds and your out." The person who had it done on him told me it was the most physicaly painfull thing he had ever felt in his life. And almost lost conciousness.

So don't ever judge a technique or method untill you have tried it enough times.
I'd like to see you executing and holding a pressure point for THREE SECONDS on someone attacking you apeshit-style.

IMO, pressure points are completely useless.

aikidoc
01-07-2003, 09:35 PM
I did an internet survey in 1999 of 5th dan and above instructors on the internet and found a wide variety of responses in regards to atemi and pressure points (kyusho jitsu). My conclusions are that style, interest, aikido paradigm and other martial arts training tends to influence people's beliefs about the purpose, role, and effectiveness in aikido. There are no answers to this issue only opinions.

Anatomically, nerve points or pressure point strikes can be very effective for setting up and executing technique. With study you will find that the points are easily struck without altering the flow of the technique.

To quote from my Black Belt Magazine article submission (still waiting on whether they are going to accept it):

"The application of vital point striking and atemi in general is a multi-faceted issue. Styles focused on martial effectiveness and older versions of Aikido are likely to place more emphasis on atemi. Others, however, prefer to use softer techniques and focus on ki or energy development. The individual’s belief system, viewpoint of Aikido philosophy, prior training, training style or affiliation, maturity level, and legal implications all play a role. The nature of the attack in a real situation and the dynamics of risk, adrenalin and skill all determine the likely response.

In my opinion, atemi and kyusho waza play an integral role in the martial implications of Aikido and serve as the transition from art to combat. Its application allows the defender to control the situation with minimal risk of injury to either party. To fail to use the tools available in a combat situation to ensure a favorable and safe outcome is irresponsible and shows ignorance of the possible implications of violence."

There is a lot of stuff out there on the application of kyusho and atemi to aikido-many refer to O'Sensei's use of such techniques. You have to look for it but it's there.

Everyone should pursue the issue based on their interests-I personally feel it has extensive martial implications for the art and is a lost element. Doing the technique harder and with more force does not make it street effective. My "opinion" is that the effective application of kyusho jitsu and atemi-waza is the bridge between art and combat. True not everyone is susceptible. However, contrary to other comments in the forum, I have "personally" found that pressure points tend to be more sensitive to manipulation the more they are struck-ask one of my students-I barely touch his arm anymore and he gets lit up in pain or his hand goes numb. Those of you who have practice yonkyo for any length of time know that successive applications to the radial hurt more each time-I hardly call that getting used to it. Most of my students cannot practice yonkyo for long due to the increasing pain sensitivity.

Just some of my thoughts for whatever they are worth.

John

aikidoc
01-07-2003, 09:48 PM
I am not sure many people practing pressure points will hold them for 3 seconds unless they are using it for a controlling lock. Generally, they are struck with varying degrees of force with the purpose of causing pain compliance or disabling a limb. The pain compliance is used to cause the uke to move away from the pain or respond in such a fashion to make control easier. Pain also has a tendency to disengage the attackers intent due to dealing with the shock effect of intense pain. This form of pattern interrup may give the nage time to execute the technique. Numbing he limb has the same effect. Kotegaeshi is easier to execute for example when the uke's shoulder is dropped rather than standing tall.

Doubters-this stuff has medical validity: read Michael Kelly's book "Death Touch". If you chose not to study it great.

I just feel there is too much "you're full of crap" type bantering in the forum which in my opinion is not productive. Those interested in the topic would have a more interesting forum by discussing their experiences and findings in applying pressure points/kyusho jitsu/vital points/nerve points or whatever you want to call them and atemi waza. Those who think we are full of it would be better served by finding a forum more to their liking or laughing at us in silence.

aikidoc
01-07-2003, 10:00 PM
Now to address my suggestion. I find when applying yonkyo I get a more effective pain response by applying a "complex torque" to the arm during the application. I prefer to use a mawashi type wrist bend whereas my friend Gary Chase in Memphis prefers to use a sankyo torque applied simultaneously while applying the yonkyo. The complex torques seem to expose the nerve more (radial nerve) or traction it (I'm not sure what the science will show) and make the technique more painful. Another sublety is to roll the knuckle of the index finger down and into the pressure point while squeezing the area as well. Occasionally, I'll get a meat hook that it doesn't work on but usually it works nicely. The more I apply it in single training session the more sensitive my students are to successive applications (my experience).

PeterR
01-07-2003, 10:08 PM
Those of you who have practice yonkyo for any length of time know that successive applications to the radial hurt more each time-I hardly call that getting used to it. Most of my students cannot practice yonkyo for long due to the increasing pain sensitivity.
I was talking about a longer time frame than the course of a training session. I expect a damaged area to hurt more immediately after the damage is caused if the injuring action is repeated. My personal observation still stands (and I am pretty sure most of the godan instructors in my dojo would agree) that kime (ie. yonkyo) has less effect over time (measured in years).

Kevin Wilbanks
01-08-2003, 01:13 AM
I just feel there is too much "you're full of crap" type bantering in the forum which in my opinion is not productive. Those interested in the topic would have a more interesting forum by discussing their experiences and findings in applying pressure points/kyusho jitsu/vital points/nerve points or whatever you want to call them and atemi waza. Those who think we are full of it would be better served by finding a forum more to their liking or laughing at us in silence.
PUH-LEAZE! The pressure point advocates in this thread have been making more and more outlandish and strident claims about pressure points. In your own quote, you decry those who don't use them as "ignorant" and "irresponsible". Then, when faced with skepticism or satire, you demand that the critics be silent and imply that they are not welcome on 'your' forum? Earlier, we were even treated to the command to "shut the hell up"!

If you want to have a little love-in among the faithful without the pesky intervention of honest skepticism, I suggest you tone down the grandeur of your claims. Confine yourself to "I" and "We" statements - 'I like pressure points', "we enjoy studying pressure points'. If, on the other hand, you want to continue to make truth claims, and can't refrain from casting aspersions on the non-pressure-point-faithful, then stop crying foul or trying to get away with cop-outs. Telling everyone to read a particular book, for instance, rather than arguing the relevant points or citing the evidence yourself is a cop-out.

If you want to convince me about the amazing powers of pressure points, or that my Aikido is impovrished without them, cite some evidence or provide some plausible arguments. Can you cite any double-blind, peer-reviewed, scientific studies that use control and placebo groups showing the efficacy of a 'death touch' or some little tap-tap-tap that leaves the victim writhing on the floor? Can you explain why I have never seen, nor heard of a single instance of such a technique being used in any of the thousands of UFC, Vale-Tudo, and other no-holds-barred fighting events that have taken place in the world in the last decade or so?

aikidoc
01-08-2003, 09:32 PM
If you want to be a critic, please get the quote accurate. Here is what I said: To fail to use the tools available in a combat situation to ensure a favorable and safe outcome is irresponsible and shows ignorance of the possible implications of violence." The operative word was "tools" of which atemi is one. My statement did not say what you said.

Most of the studies would have to be from the acupuncture literature which there is little available. I'm not sure if a double blind study would convince anyone who has already made up their mind.

The intent of my comments was to get the forum on the topic of pressure points and the usages and personal findings and to not to keep throwing darts back and forth. Those interested in pursuing the study of pressure points are not going to convince those who think they are useless any differently. If someone chooses to not attempt to study a topic but stand firm on their opinions, I or anyone else will not convince them otherwise. Read the literature, practice the applications or take seminars and then formulate your opinions. You may still come up with the same point of view but at least you have given it a shot. Learning about pressure points (nerve points) can be painful-nerves transmit pain. The reason I suggested readiing a certain book is Dr. Kelly takes the esoteric acupuncture concepts out the picture and relates it to science. Not that I am attempting to change anyone's mind so please don't attack me for a valid suggestion. I promise not to ask you to read the book. Just those interested in the topic.

As a response to the yonkyo issue. I find my wrist and the wrists of my students seem to be very sensitive to not only within session practice (which by the way was not specified) and subsequent practice sessions. Maybe we are just a bunch of sissies or we have very sensitive wrists. Or perhaps we don't practice the technique enough to toughen up. Again-it is my experience with this particular issue.

Dr. John Riggs

aikidoc
01-08-2003, 10:02 PM
Here's a question: Who can the following be attributed to? He felt the minimal force aspects of atemi were lost by subsequent practitioners.

aikidoc
01-08-2003, 10:56 PM
Follow up: I have not made any outlandish claims although you may view others having done so. My statements have been directed at striking nerve points or pressure points. If you strike a nerve it will hurt. If it does not hurt you have an amazing pain tolerance or the nerve was never struck in the first place.

Outlandish claims, for example, of people being knocked out does have scientific validity. It is called a vaso-vagal reflex or faint-i.e. a rapid drop in blood pressure causing the person to faint. Striking the nervous system in the right fashion can set up a drop in blood pressure. This is extremely dangerous since someone with heart problems or vascular problems could have a cardiac event. This is again explained scientifically in Dr. Michael Kelly's book (he's a medical doctor).

Kevin Wilbanks
01-08-2003, 11:48 PM
Since the use of nerve points (kyusho) was one of the 'tools' you enumerated, then the implications are clear: if I fail to use them in a situation where you deem they could be used, I am "irresponsible" and "ignorant of the possible implications of violence". While the last phrase is admittedly quite vague, the implied accusation of ignorance is not. How you can be mystified or offended that a skeptic would see this kind of hyperbolic rhetoric as a challenge, I don't know, nor why you would try to evade the obvious implications of your own writings.

Likewise, your insinuations that my mind is closed (i.e, "already made-up") is also an argumentative dirty trick. I have indeed made up my mind not to believe in things which do not correlate with my experience and the patterns I derive from it without evidence and/or good reason - so far neither has been provided. This is not remotely the same thing as having already decided that any particular negative assertions regarding pressure points are true.

Also, invoking the credentials of the author is not relevant. In philosophy, we call this an "argument from authority", which takes the form of "x is true because so-and-so says so, and they are an authority". Sorry: not a valid argument.

If you look, the original question was not just about what is possible under controlled circumstances, but about practicality. My original response to the poster included skepticism about the plausibility of applying the techniques in a full-speed altercation. Since there are so many wide-open fighting events going on these days, and - to my knowledge - the use of esoteric pressure point techniques is not explicitly against the rules in any of them. The information is freely available in books and taught widely. Why have we not seen the incredible efficacy of these techniques... even once?

My other point of skepticism is about being able to reliably produce devastating effects by applying minimal pressure point attacks. I'm not talking about merely a bit more pain being produced by a strike, as we are all familiar with this in terms of the groin, throat, etc... Sure, there are cases of 'cardiac concussion' inducing heart attacks, or strikes causing fainting, etc... But, can these effects be reliably induced by Dim Makkers on uncooperative subjects?

The only such 'evidence' I've ever seen was of the 'Ripley's Believe it or Not' television sort, which could easily have been staged, influenced by the beliefs of the participants, etc...

aikidoc
01-09-2003, 12:10 AM
Seems like we have a philosophy major here.

So if we want to play with words my statement can be interpreted as follows:

If you have no knowledge, training, or experience in the application of pressure points or atemi waza, then you cannot be irresponsible or ignorant of the implications of their use in a violent situation since they are not part of your "tool". The statement would only apply if you fail to use the tools you have available to you-i.e., what your training, skill, experience and knowledge bring to the violent situation. I am sure you will find a way to take umbrage with this statement as well.

As to the UFC matches, I only know that many of the winners have a jui jitsu background. Many styles of jui jitsu have atemi and pressure point applications. As to whether they use them or not I have no knowledge since I generally do not watch this form of stage violence. Although it may be closer to real street violence, to me it does not represent a real situation where skills are not matched or the violent intent is more than choking or getting a tap out. I personally have never watched a match, therefore, I am only speculating-so please pull a couple of the nails out of my palms.

My reference was not to impress you with Dr. Kelly's credentials or to use them to justify my statement. It was simply to show that his doctorate was not in a non-medical topic but rather to show that his credentials were in the area on which he was commenting-medical explanations for pressure points.

It would be interesting to know what training and experience you have had in the use of striking and pressure points since you indicate such experience has apparently not found them worthy. Peace.

L. Camejo
01-09-2003, 08:12 AM
My other point of skepticism is about being able to reliably produce devastating effects by applying minimal pressure point attacks.... Sure, there are cases of 'cardiac concussion' inducing heart attacks, or strikes causing fainting, etc... But, can these effects be reliably induced by Dim Makkers on uncooperative subjects?
Was drawn to this point, since I believe that the fainting response, at least in one situation, is based on the physiological design of most (if not all) human vascular systems. The following is a quote from the book I outlined above-pp28-32:

"Carotid sinus and Vagus nerve: Since the brain is probably the most delicate organ in the body, and since it requires a constant and uniform flow of blood in order to function properly, the body has developed extraordinary safeguards to insure that the flow of blood to the brain is not interrupted. Similarly, the blood pressure to the brain must not be allowed to rise to too high a level because of the danger of cerebral hemorrhage.

To maintain this status quo there have developed special nerve cells in the carotid artery called baroreceptors whose sole function is to monitor the blood pressure in this important artery. If the pressure suddenly rises to a high level, these baroreceptors respond by sending immediate signals to the central nervous system. Within a fraction of a second the central nervous system has acted in turn to decrease blood pressure in the body by causing four things to happen:

(1) The heart immediately slows down.

(2) With each beat the heart is able to pump out less blood.

(3) The artereolar smooth muscle relaxes, which greatly

increases the volume of the arterial system, drawing blood away from the head.

(4) Venous dilation, which increases the volume of the venous system, greatly decreases the amount of blood which can get back to the heart.

The net result is an almost instantaneous four-way reaction to decrease the flow of blood to the brain. This is the reason that the side of the neck is such an effective striking point, because the shock to the baroreceptors forces the CNS to react (mistakenly) as if the blood pressure in the head had risen to a dangerously high level. The CNS reacts with a drastic drop in blood pressure, and within a second or tow the blood supply to the brain is cut off completely. Fainting is immediate and unavoidable…."

I do apologise for the length of the post however. Just thought it's clarify some stuff.

L.C.:ai::ki:

PeterR
01-09-2003, 07:05 PM
Hi Larry;

I have the sneaking suspicion that either Nariyama reads these forums or has someone report to him what's being discussed. I remember once on this topic when Bruce was going on about there being no pressure point strikes in Aikido that I went to a Sunday morning lesson and Nariyama was pointing out these very things. Interesting stuff.

I did not find anything John said to be too outlandish even though I disagreed with some of his observations. Kevin made a very good point though. You just don't see the use of pressure point strikes in UFC type events. Seriously cool if you did.

So Larry my question is - as an Aikido shiai man whose well versed in pressure point theory, how easily would it be to effectively incorporate these strikes.

PeterR
01-09-2003, 07:26 PM
If you come up against a skilled attacker and your basic techique can't save you, don't expect pressure points to either.
I agree with that staement - but just to clarify my last request - which ones?

Kevin Wilbanks
01-09-2003, 09:42 PM
"It would be interesting to know what training and experience you have had in the use of striking and pressure points since you indicate such experience has apparently not found them worthy."

Not exactly. I am skeptical about the practicality of using pressure points, and also about whether they even reliably 'work' in the sense of producing dramatic effects like death or unconsciousness with the application of very little pressure. As I said, my only experience in seeing this sort of thing is on sensationalist tv shows which did not appear to be credible information sources.

I have little doubt that poking or striking people in certain areas hurts more than others - I have whacked my ulnar nerve or "funny bone" and been hit in the testicles, for instance. In a martial context though, it seems like the points are difficult to access, and the effect of pain unreliable, in comparison to say, immobilizing someone, breaking things, making them hit the ground real hard, stabbing them with a knife, shooting them with a .357 magnum, etc...

As far as my own practice goes, I am not particularly interested in pressure points even if they do 'work'. For one thing, training to be a fighter is not my primary goal in studying Aikido.

For another thing, training pressure points sounds extremely unpleasant, and possibly damaging to the nervous system in the long run. The tale about students being more sensitive to pressure points not only in a particular session but cumulatively over time should ring a little warning bell. It is likely that their peripheral nervous system is incurring damage that is not healing.

From my studies of CNS and PNS recovery with regards to weight training, I know that it can take up to two weeks to fully neurally recover from an extreme 1RM attempt in an exercise like the squat or deadlift. Deliberately poking and whacking nerve bundles to cause extreme pain might even require longer recovery periods, and doesn't seem like something I would want to practice regularly - it sounds like the students are becoming weaker, more susceptible to nerve attacks, and possibly doing things to their nerves that may have unfortunate consequences later in life.

I have heard anecdotes from powerlifters who have pushed so hard in a particular exercise over a period that they experience a kind of 'neural burnout' in that exercise. In a few cases, their performance took over a year to come back up to prior levels, and in one case, the prior level of performance was never attained again, no matter how hard he tried, despite good progess in other movements. Not scientific evidence, to be sure, but I thought the accounts seemed credible enough to be of interest. (Incidentally, competitive powerlifting is another extreme practice in which I have little interest in participating.)

L. Camejo
01-10-2003, 12:20 AM
Hi Larry;

I have the sneaking suspicion that either Nariyama reads these forums or has someone report to him what's being discussed.
Frankly Peter, that is a very scary thought. :eek:
Kevin made a very good point though. You just don't see the use of pressure point strikes in UFC type events.

I have a couple of feelings on this point - Was never really a fan of the UFC, since it is not really as No Holds Barred as some may like to think, just glorified WWE to me, and can be staged in the same way. As such, I don't subscribe to the view that it is a point of reference for judging the realism of unarmed combat, in which there are absolutely no rules. It is however, pretty entertaining and you may see some interesting technique now and then. As far as pressure points in UFC, check out the fouls section[/QUOTE] here (http://guidesarchive.ign.com/guides/14160/rules.html). Like I said, not no holds barred.


So Larry my question is - as an Aikido shiai man whose well versed in pressure point theory, how easily would it be to effectively incorporate these strikes.
As you know Peter, strikes aren't allowed in our shiai either. However, presses and rubs can be applied. The ease of application will depend on how well you set up for your body to intercept the attack before kuzushi is applied, or apply kuzushi with the help of the pressing of the point.

The setups will vary with the individual, but there is the very common kime inspired tenkai kotegaeshi, where kime is applied on the forearm to use a pain balance break before you do the finishing technique.

Another example is using points in our shiai applications is using the thumb of the inner hand to press the point on the base of

the inner elbow while applying ukiotoshi. Very painful, arm would fall nicely in shiai I think (tsuki strike), but of course I could be totally wrong, having only done tanto randori personally. But the tsukuri must still be sound for it to work.

Ok, thats it, no more revealing of my super secret magic techniques that I'm gonna use to kick butt in the Internationals in Leeds. Anyone else who wants to know are gonna have to come on the mat :).

Again, apologies for the long post. Hope I answered the question.

L.C.:ai::ki:

PeterR
01-10-2003, 12:39 AM
Ditto on the UFC Larry but my question was more along the lines of IF you were allowed these sort of strikes - which ones would you consider most useful.

One of the things I noticed during the last All-Kansai tournament were a lot of the shomen-ate techniques were finding the throat. Now considering that you could target the baro-receptors with sho-te would this be viable.

Nariyama-shihan this is a purely theorectical discussion not requiring a demo thank you

Watching the big boys play - when they do pull off the technique the opponent is pretty much gone. I actually don't think there is much advantage to the baro-receptor strike.

L. Camejo
01-10-2003, 01:13 AM
Ditto on the UFC Larry but my question was more along the lines of IF you were allowed these sort of strikes - which ones would you consider most useful.

One of the things I noticed during the last All-Kansai tournament were a lot of the shomen-ate techniques were finding the throat. Now considering that you could target the baro-receptors with sho-te would this be viable.
Ahh, now I understand the focus of the question.

I think the way shomenate works if you go for the neck, it may not have any effect on the baroreceptors, as they'd be near your fingertips at this point. May be nice for attacking the thyroid and trachial cartilages though. From what I gather the attack to affect the baroreceptors is a yokomen type strike to the side of the neck, as may be applied while doing a tenkai kotegeshi against a yokomen/shome strike (may work for tsuki too).

I think sometimes in Judo, depending on the angle of the arm and the body as well, a choke like kesa gatame can also attack these receptors. Of course I have never received or administered this particular strike so I cannot vouch for its effectiveness on attacking the receptors in particular (not saying that it may not affect something else just as nicely).

If I were allowed a strike I'd probably go for something like a yokomen to the jaw line, neck or brachial plexus, or a shomen ate type strike to the chin or nose. Theoretically of course.

L.C.:ai::ki:

PeterR
01-10-2003, 01:28 AM
Theoretically of course.
Of course - thanks.

Kevin Wilbanks
01-10-2003, 01:56 AM
I'm actually surprised that the pressure points are explicitly prohibited by UFC rules. If working these points works as well as advocates claim, this seems foolishly short-sighted on the part of the UFC people. If Dim Mak people started reducing famed NHB fighters to quivering masses with a little tap here and poke there, I would think their ratings would skyrocket. Audiences that never cared about the 'sport' would start watching. I know I would.

paw
01-10-2003, 07:11 AM
If I may,

The former owner of the UFC, Art Davies, has said in interviews that the "no pressure point rule" was made because of the belief that there were pressure points that resulted in instant death. At the time the UFC was trying to get sanctioned by state regulatory agencies, so the rule was made (although it was commonly held that the rule was pointless and unenforceable).

Many of the UFC fouls are recent, so martial artists that advocated the effectiveness of pressure points certainly had their opportunity. Heck, they can still use those techniques and claim the result was either accidental or incidental.

Regards,

Paul

aikidoc
01-10-2003, 09:33 AM
Kevin-that was a very nice response. Thank you.

I too was skeptical of pressure points (my bs detector was going off) until I personally experienced them. In fact, I went to a seminar and the instructor a 7th dan asked for a skeptic from the attendees. My dojo volunteered me to see if I could be knocked out or "buzzed" (conscious but foggy). The instructor nailed (pretty hard actually) on 3 points the last being my neck. Then he asked me how I felt and observed my eyes were in his opinion a little glazed. Actually, I felt fine it was just the last shot to the side of the neck hurt like hell. It did not work on me. However, my co-dojocho later struck three points with a whole lot less force and even though I tried to act like I was fine and did not feel anything, in reality I felt discoordinated and had a felling of buzzing. I could not focus and my eyes looked like I was stoned for about two hours. That made me give some credence to the potential-especially when I did not have to be hit with tissue destructive force to make it work. Then while teaching a class I had activated two points on an uke and was explaining the suki for atemi when I reached up (ikkyo) and lightly tapped the student on the back of the neck (I mean lightly) and he dropped like a rock. We had to revive him on the mat (katsu). Apparently, quite by accident I had caused a vaso-vagal reflex to be activated. He was fine but it was freaky.

I don't recommend practicing hitting any pressure point very often, hard nor successively and trying knockouts may be irresponsible given the possible health implications. Not all pressure points have to be struck to work. Some are very sensitive to pressure. For example on the inside of the thumb (lung 10) the median nerve can be very sensitive to pressure and helps drop the shoulder and control uke for kotegaeshi and the pin.

I study atemi/kyusho because my belief system about aikido is that it is a martial art. Its history has the use of pressure points and atemi from what I am able to glean from the literature and I find knowledge of this area to be important to my study. I internet interviewed many high ranking instructors over the internet and even had the head of one organization provided input. The striking element was an integral part of early aikido from what I am being told. It appears to have changed after WWII-which is similar to the karate arts-less devastating techniques were taught in response to expanding the art. Additionally, there was apparently some prejudice with showing non Japanese such techniques. Other elements were different instructors were focused on different aspects. Toyoda sensei told me in an interview he never received much instruction in atemi (he trained mostly under Tohei). However, he believed Saotome sensei was very involved in studying that aspect (his words not mine). Tomiki also appeared to have an interest in atemi and was involved in the manuscript for Budo (I believe)and his art does study atemi although I not sure of their definition. Early pictures show O'Sensei delivering strikes in nearly every technique. Many of O'Sensei's students stated they saw lights when he struck or touched them during a technique (which could be a pressure point activation or legend) and others state he was able to pin them with one finger (painfully). Daito-ryu uses pressure points and atemi regularly as part of their curriculum from what I am able to tell so this is likely O'Sensei's source of knowledge. However, I don't think O'Sensei was very involved in formally systematizing anything he did, so it was likely left up to his students to pursue it if they wanted to.

This is an involved topic requiring one to step deeply into aikido's literature and outside of aikido into the realm of ryukyu kempo/kyusho jitsu, anatomy, and acupuncture to pull together the pieces. It is a challenging study for those interested. It becomes more challenging when one realizes the precision and practice necessary to hit the targets at full force. I have seen one "knockout" at full strike force with hitting only arm points. The student had to be revived (katsu)-most likely a vasovagal faint.

aikidoc
01-23-2003, 07:44 AM
I was just informed by Black Belt Magazine yesterday that my article on atemi waza and pressure points has been accepted for publication. I don't have a publication date yet. They are reviewing the pictures with the art department-hope I don't have to do them over.