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Old 09-19-2002, 11:15 PM   #1
Josh Mason
Dojo: Ronin Bushido Aikido Club, Winchester Ky
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Freaky! Pressure points in Aikido

My sensei was telling our beginners class about different meridians in the body that have to do with vital organs, and different pressure points that trigger those things. I was very skeptical at first, until I was called out to be Uke. Sensei demonstrated something that messed with my heart meridian. He was tapping my chin very lightly, and doing something with his hands. I could FEEL the energy being sapped out of me. All i can really remember is a rapid strike to the chin, and I was out of it. Out cold. After i came to (I don't remember anything really) He repeated the process, and i could feel that he was restoring my energy. My face was numb for the rest of the afternoon. This kind of thing seems very strange... Do most other Aikido Dojos teach pressure point tactics?

When sensei demonstrates Kotegaeshi, he'll sometimes push on a place on my arm, and my knees immediately just give out. (I'm 6'2 260lbs) I think that the Aikido we learn is a bit different from other Aikido, and being a beginner I really can't tell the differences yet.

Those who are skilled at combat do not become angered or afraid. Thus, the wise win before the fight, while the ignorant fight to win.
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Old 09-20-2002, 01:01 AM   #2
Bronson
 
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This topic can stir up a hornets nest Some people say it doesn't work some say it's the next best thing since oxygen. Our dojo does pressure points, but then again my sensei is a doctor of oriental medicine i.e. acupuncture. I've found a pretty good book for us laymen out there who want a little more info it's: Essential Anatomy for Healing and the Martial Arts by Marc Tedeschi.

We did some of it tonight as a matter of fact. We were doing what we call "third party intervention". Walking into a situation where someone else is being attacked. The pressure points weren't used to take the attacker down or out, just to break the balance to allow us to apply a technique. Although I did take a couple of good shots that dropped me I've also had my leg go numb, my arm go numb, gotten the tunnel vision on the way to unconciousness, lost my grip strength, and had intense pain from pressure points.

Sensei has also told us that roughly ten percent of the popluation won't feel pain from pressure points. That doesn't include people who have desensitized them over time. The two soccer players in my class come to mind. Can't get a pressure point on their legs to work for anything. They've been kicked so often and taken so much impact abuse on there legs that the pain just doesn't register....but poke the ones behind the ears and watch 'em jump

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 09-20-2002, 02:50 AM   #3
Genex
 
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Smile OUCH!

Okay so i'm at my first seminar last sunday got graded etc... and one of our head sensei's is showing us a technique at the end during the application he's doing a nikkyo and i'm on my back, my hand is up by my armpit etc, at this point he takes a knuckle and *gently* i mean gently presses it against a point 2" below my armpit, I was in agony! absolute pain flowed through my chest its like my lungs were on fire! it took me a minute to compose myself, and then my Nage did the same on the other side although he presses quite hard and i almost coughed up my lung...

needless to say i want to get a book on pressure points and learn something along the lines of what they do in croutching tiger hiden dragon.

pete

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Old 09-20-2002, 03:21 AM   #4
Ta Kung
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The only pressure points I've seen work, are yonkyo and that pressure point behind ones ear... any books on the subject (or sites) would be appritiated.

Regards,

Patrik
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Old 09-20-2002, 07:03 AM   #5
aikido_fudoshin
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Right between your collar bones, or directly below the adams apple is a bit of gap. Your finger fits in there nicely. Do this and focus your power on pushing straight down. Nobody can withstand it.
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Old 09-20-2002, 07:13 AM   #6
Bruce Baker
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My goodness.

When I first approached the Aikiweb community with pressure points I was nearly lambasted, and put on a spit, replacing the pig in the pig roast.

But here I see posts about sensei's actually bringing pressure point studys into practice? Am I dreaming?

I am aware there are a whole host of striking points within our practice of Aikido, and if you watch carefully, you will see that even the simplest of Aikido techniques give an opportunity to us pressure points, or pain by activating nerve endings. First learn to heal before you learn to hurt. There are more than a couple of rules for the use of pressure points such as ones health, polarity of the body, and genetic structure in which you actually judge the sensitivity of what pressure points work for a particular human structure, or race.

Most Aikido techniques use two pressure points for pain, learning what meridian you are using and a third pressure point on that meridian will cause the knockout, or fainting response.

Safety dictates you always practice with a healer present, and learn the rules of safe practice, or you will find that pain and numbness go beyond a minute and may be injury.

If you are looking for sites that have more on this subject, Dim Mak sites, George Dillman's Site, and there are a number of books in acupunture/ acupressure that will reinforce your own reseach.

Unless your teacher is pursueing this area of study, you will have to pursue it on your own. At this time, it is not in the general realm of Aikido, but it should be.
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Old 09-20-2002, 09:55 AM   #7
SeiserL
 
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Gotta support the Dillman sites, man knows what he is doing. Less complicated than the whole Dim Mak study.

Yes, many people seem against the use of pressure points and I haven't seen it emphaized much in Aikido. IMHO, it integrates very well. We do some in Tenshinkai Aikido (Phong Sensei).

And yes, Bruce, you took a lot of heat for talking about it initially, but then again, you often take a lot of heat because you tend to want to take the lead. Don't worry about it and take it personally.

Until again,

Lynn

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 09-20-2002, 10:07 AM   #8
diesel
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Quote:
Patrik Eng (Ta Kung) wrote:
The only pressure points I've seen work, are yonkyo and that pressure point behind ones ear... any books on the subject (or sites) would be appritiated.

Regards,

Patrik
There are 3 points on the face I can think of off hand..

1) The septum; where the base of the nose meets the lips (bad description). Taking your index finger parallel with your upper lip, push with the finger right before the nuckle at around a 45 degree angle where the cartiledge between your nostrils is. Doesn't take much pressure to bring tears to your eyes..

2) I dont know the medical name for this one.. Taking your right thumb and middle finger, start at the center of your top row of teeth at about the gum line (on your lips). Open your fingers so your right thumb is moving to the right and your middle finger is moving to your left, maintaing contact. About half way to the back of your mouth you'll feel where the bones from your skull bulge out. Your finger tips fit quite nicely in there at about a 30 degree upward angle.

3) Eye socket. Take your right thumb to the right eye. On the inside(left) towards the top of the eye socket, there is a little notch. Insert thumb, turn counter clockwise.

Weird to watch because it looks like your poking there eye out....

Try these on yourself before others
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Old 09-20-2002, 10:30 AM   #9
Josh Mason
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I'm glad to hear that more Sensei are doing the pressure point thing. I like what the above guy said, "Learn to heal before you learn to hurt" My Sensei uses his skills as an accupressurist to ultimately help people.

I think that's the beauty of Aikido. Aikido is an internal art. You really have a lot of decision making and control in Aikido, whereas in other external martial arts, your only solution most times is to break the guy's face.

In Aikido you can make a choice. You can control the attacker, and resolve the situation without violence, or you could do serious harm to the attacker at your discretion. People often question the effectiveness of Aikido in real situations. I think that the introduction of pressure points in Aikido could open up a lot more options for defense. Paired with other Aikido techniques, these pressure point tactics could be very effective and devastating in a combat situation.

Those who are skilled at combat do not become angered or afraid. Thus, the wise win before the fight, while the ignorant fight to win.
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Old 09-20-2002, 12:10 PM   #10
PhilJ
 
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Quote:
Bryan Siekierko (aikido_fudoshin) wrote:
Right between your collar bones, or directly below the adams apple is a bit of gap. Your finger fits in there nicely. Do this and focus your power on pushing straight down. Nobody can withstand it.
My instructor friend JUST did that to me last night. Makes you cough without the crush on the windpipe -- very unsettling, but effective.

Phillip Johnson
Enso Aikido Dojo, Burnsville, MN
An Aikido Bukou Dojo
http://www.aikidobukou.com
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Old 09-20-2002, 01:49 PM   #11
Erik
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None of this will go over well with believers but here are a few links for you.

http://www.ncahf.org/pp/acu.html

http://www.skepdic.com/acupunc.html

And with that, I'm out of this hornet's nest.
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Old 09-20-2002, 02:10 PM   #12
Alfonso
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Erik are you saying that the folks who posted on this board didn't experience what they described?

Or that this is a controversial topic?

What do you think happened?

what about something like this?
http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v284.../jci00080.html

Last edited by Alfonso : 09-20-2002 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 09-20-2002, 03:09 PM   #13
Erik
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OK, I'll bite once more and be controversial.
Quote:
Alfonso Adriasola (Alfonso) wrote:
Erik are you saying that the folks who posted on this board didn't experience what they described?

Or that this is a controversial topic?

What do you think happened?
It wouldn't surprise me a bit that something happened. The question is was it what they think happened or were told happened.

People, and I include myself in this, are horribly unreliable in terms of understanding what happened. It's why science works the way it does.
Quote:
Alfonso, that study is way out of my league (We'll have to get Peter or Colleen to look at it) but it's seemingly a step in the right direction. The little bit that I got from that study is that maybe it isn't even the needles. Maybe we should just shock people. Maybe the skin penetration causes a general healing reaction. Maybe it would have worked if the needles were not placed in proper acupuncture points (something they didn't appear to test). Maybe acupuncture actually does work but there is no such thing as chi/ki as it's practitioners claim? And, maybe one or two pressure points actually do, do something, and all the rest is pure crap. All kinds of possibilities even in that narrow study from what I read but again this is not my realm.
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Old 09-20-2002, 03:31 PM   #14
Alfonso
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I'm no expert either. All I meant to point out is that the matter is not closed in the medical world. I know of some doctors who give credence to the concept , and I've heard of other who don't.

personally i've neither studied pressure points nor are they emphasized in my training.

I do like to keep an open mind though.
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Old 09-20-2002, 06:14 PM   #15
Erik
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Quote:
I do like to keep an open mind though.
That's a really dangerous thing. Do you regularly jump off tall buildings by any chance? Or, are you closed to that idea? If so, why?

Why is it different with acupuncture?
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Old 09-21-2002, 02:20 AM   #16
leefr
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The difference is that you can see the person going splat(unless you're in the matrix).

It's not quite so obvious with acupuncture, especially when, as in where I live, it's an accepted and respected medical profession and practice(even though we may all be wrong).

I don't think acupuncture is truly relevant to using pressure points when fighting anyway. Isn't using pressure points pretty much an empirical study? You hit somebody somewhere and they feel a helluva lot of pain - maybe from anatomical structural weaknesses, a concentration of nerve endings, damage to an important blood vessel/artery or whatever. You're not going to argue about the balancing of yin and yang when you've got to put down an opponent as quickly as you can, and you're going to use what obviously works.
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Old 09-21-2002, 11:52 AM   #17
Erik
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Quote:
Frederick Lee (leefr) wrote:
The difference is that you can see the person going splat(unless you're in the matrix).
Hi Frederick!

I'm going to vacate after this post but have you ever seen someone go splat? I never have. I've never even seen the remains of it. Some people, a rare few, have survived parachutes not opening and a few have survived jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. I have seen people fall from 10 feet or so and get hurt and it certainly seems logical that the higher you go the worse it will be but I don't actually know that for absolute certain. The point I was making is that if you have a true and open mind, well, then maybe you should jump and see what happens. Or, do you look at the evidence and form a conclusion? If the latter, how come we never do that with acupuncture, or whatever?

With acupuncture, someone comes along and tells us a story and we believe. "Yea, Fred, acupuncture worked great for me." Sure, listen to Fred but Doctors and scientists? Nah, wouldn't want to listen to them even though they have information and research to work with.

So this statement is accurate:
Quote:
It's not quite so obvious with acupuncture, especially when, as in where I live, it's an accepted and respected medical profession and practice(even though we may all be wrong).
Because the evidence is not obvious, we listen to implied evidence. My back felt better, he fixed my liver problem (was there even a problem there), etc. It's scary how we process information and make decisions.
Quote:
I don't think acupuncture is truly relevant to using pressure points when fighting anyway. Isn't using pressure points pretty much an empirical study? You hit somebody somewhere and they feel a helluva lot of pain - maybe from anatomical structural weaknesses, a concentration of nerve endings, damage to an important blood vessel/artery or whatever. You're not going to argue about the balancing of yin and yang when you've got to put down an opponent as quickly as you can, and you're going to use what obviously works.
I agree, but much of this stuff gets sold based on knocking people out or things like the Dim Mak. Then comes the story of Chi meridians and pretty soon someone uses acupuncture as validation.

Anyways, this is a lost cause and it's time to go away.

By the way, I really recommend a book called the Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini. It talks about how people make decisions. While it's mainly directed at the sales profession, it has a lot of relevance into how people think and does a far better job of conveying what I was trying to convey.
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Old 09-21-2002, 02:55 PM   #18
Bruce Baker
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Thanks for the support, Mr. Lynn Seiser.

It was not my intention to lead anyone anywhere, but to say "... look, over there, did you see what I see?"

After our long long thread about pressure points last spring, we eventually agreed that the pain we feel in some Aikido twists, locks, and manipulations is from the nerve endings sending signals to the brain.It is what I call pressure points ... and that the extended study of pressure points does not work for the general public, but only for high level well trained martial artists with willing subjects. Then too, there is no explanation for pain knocking out people that will satisfy everyone. Hence the debate.

There are health concerns about using pressure points, because we are working with live human beings who are having the flow of their energy located in the function of their bodily organs interupted with pain.

You must learn healing, you must work carefully by practicing on only one side of the body at a time, and you must not work with the same pressures points on the same meridian day after day, but give your body two to three weeks rest on different practices. Two pressure point will cause pain, and three on the same meridian will cause a knock out. Always obey the safety concerns of knockouts, the health of your practice partners, and always have a healer present when pursueing this practice.

There is a lot more detail in pursueing this ar than saying "... here, do it like this." No more than some one could walk off the street and merge with advaned Aikido practice without any training, so too, you could not learn the application and use of pressure points without training and careful practice.

Normally you see the areas of the body that are prone to pain, and hence there too is cause to find out exactly what pressure points you have activated and why? So too, you should do the standard practice of basic Aikido that put you in the correct areas to use pressure points, but there are definitely not enough qualified teachers out there at the present time.

If you are in the Northeast of USA, there are plenty of schools that will start you on your way. Remember to tell them you do Aikido, and they will be very friendly ... not because you are a great fighter, but because Aikido contains many of the training secrets to make you a great human being who can be a great fighter if the need arose.

I am seeing teacher from almost every art, but Aikido, don't include me I am not a teacher, attend pressure point seminars. I guess we, the body of Aikido practitioners, are the quite moderate in clearing up the mystery of martial arts secrets?

That out of the way ... do your Aikido practice, study and learn the secrets of martial arts, but always remember to be a good person before you are a good fighter, and the balance will come ... eventually.

Last edited by Bruce Baker : 09-21-2002 at 03:08 PM.
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Old 09-21-2002, 09:39 PM   #19
PhilJ
 
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It sounds like what the debate is about here is perception and faith.

I think you'd all agree perception is ultimately relative. "I think", "It seems", "Apparently", "I've seen/not seen" are some key words.

Faith is the same thing. We read somehting and it becomes our gospel. This can be on a website, in a book, religious text... and because we read it, it becomes fact.

Erik, the two articles you included are truly biased, which makes them suspect. Reading a psychology book and accepting at face value is no challenge, and again, there is a bias there too, being "focused" on the sales force. Likewise, "acupuncture made me feel better" falls into the identical category, right?

This is not bad, though, and I'll wrap up my contribution here with this: decisions made based on faith and/or perception are not automatically invalid, but they are not automatically valid either. Just because a well-educated author comes up with a seemingly intelligent series of statements does not make it correct or incorrect -- it's usually his/her take on things.

BTW, this applies to this very post, too (whether it is intelligent or not -- you all will decide for yourself, correct?)

Phillip Johnson
Enso Aikido Dojo, Burnsville, MN
An Aikido Bukou Dojo
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Old 09-21-2002, 10:45 PM   #20
SeiserL
 
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I was at a knife fighting seminar where they were showing joint locks and pressure points. My partners were impressed how easily I seemed to get them. The instructor (Hock Hockheim) smiled at me and asked if I stidues Aikido. I think its there where we use it or know it. My perception is that it works from personal experience with the stuff and my faith is that it will work again.

Until again,

Lynn

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 09-23-2002, 12:43 AM   #21
Bronson
 
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we will assume you and uke are close to the same size. Distances may have to be jiggled a bit if the size discrepancy is too great. Also, descriptions of how to find them are assuming you are going slowly to learn to find them. Once you know where and how to get them it happens much quicker. Also also, don't just "poke" them, extend through them.

some I like to use are:

1) take your partners same arm (right-right, left-left) and place his bent elbow in the center of your palm. Gently close your hand in a natural position. Where the tip of your thumb rests on the lower inside of the upper arm is a point (heart 3 I believe)

2) grasp inside of partners shin (cross grab) from front. Slide your hand down inside of leg until your pinky finger stops on top of the ankle bone. Extend into the shin with the third knuckle of the index finger. I think this is spleen 6.

3) on the calf muscle. in the center of the belly of the muscle where it bifurcates. Bladder 57. we have a karate practioner who comes to class who likes to hit this point with his heel as he moves past.

4) have your partner grab you with a two handed choke from the front. To learn where this point is reach out and put your fingers on his ribcage roughly halfway between his armpit and his waist. It's located in the 7th intercostal space. To make it work well "pop" the point with your thumb tips or third pinky knuckle (knife edge of hand). spleen 21

5) from behind, grab ukes head with both hands at base of neck and hook a finger into the hinge of the jaw (both sides). Through the cheek, don't go sticking your fingers in uke's mouth lift up and back to move uke.

6) same position as #5 but place tip of index finger at the point where the earlobe meets the jaw. have the other fingers run along the bottom of the jaw bone in a natural position for the hand. extend in, up and back to move uke.

7) uke grabs two handed choke from the front with one leg further forward. bring up your same leg (right-right) and turn your waist bringing the knee to his inner thigh just below halfway between groin and knee. It will be directly across from ukes fingertips when he's standing relaxed with hands at sides. The motion is like you're skipping "through" the point. There is also one on the outside of the thigh at the fingertip level. The points on the inside of the arms and legs tend to be more sensitive than the ones on the outside. I think these are liver 9 and gallbladder 32, respectively.

6) have uke stand with arms outstretched to the sides. At the lowest point of the lattisimus dorsi (lats, the "wings" on the back of in shape folks). extend in and foward with a thumb or finger tip.

7)on the top of your forearm, roughly two finger widths from the elbow, in the space between the muscles is a another good spot. extend into the arm with a thumb tip. In tai chi I was taught to strike this spot with either a knuckle or the pointy wrist bone at the base of the hand (pinky side). It causes a charlie-horse which opens the hand.

well, that's about all I can think of right now. try 'em, see if you like 'em. don't get discouraged if they don't work. like I said in a previous post, roughly ten percent of the population won't feel much pain from pressure points. Some other won't because they've desensitized parts of their bodies. more than likely none of these will cause somebody to "drop" but they are usefull for creating openings. Kinda like stealth atemi

have fun,

Bronson

any mistakes about the point names are strictly my own

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 09-23-2002, 12:20 PM   #22
Bruce Baker
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Some of you are starting to get it.

We already have opening to use pressure points in Aikido without changing or adding movements.

They are already there. Find them. Study what is there. See where Aikido came from, and how it evolved with no loss of validity.
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Old 09-23-2002, 12:29 PM   #23
aikidoc
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Pressure points

I love to see my favorite topic come up again.

I would highly recommend Michael Kelly's book on the Death Touch. He places the topic in perspective from a medical science point of view. Pressure points work but not on everyone or always the same on every person.

I have submitted an article to black belt magazine on the topic and am still waiting to see if they will accept it.

Also, knocking out students in my opinion is dangerous-it causes a vaso-vagal reflex which if you have health problems could cause serious problems. Your blood pressure drops signficantly.

Dr. John Riggs
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Old 09-23-2002, 12:36 PM   #24
Alfonso
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Quote:
maybe you should jump and see what happens
LOL! I did when I was 18, not on purpose thought. I fel from 100 ft. And survived with consequences..

I've been surprised many times when evidence or experience has shown me things I didn't expect or believe even.

OTOH I don't feel compelled to pursue everything I withhold a definite judgement on. And that doesn't mean I'm closed to the idea that it all is hogwash either.

In addition tot that though certain ideas I may not accept based on my judgmeent (purely personal stuff, but determinant to me) , I try to see if there are any parts of it which do, and in this way I tell my self stories of how the world works.

I hope this doesn' alarm you
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Old 10-02-2002, 05:37 PM   #25
aikidoc
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Update: It appears Black Belt Magazine has accepted my article on Aikido: striking and pressure points (atemi waza and kyusho jitsu). I still have to do the photos and some minor editing. i don't have a pub date yet.
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