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Old 12-02-2002, 08:29 PM   #1
javnitro
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Pressure points and nerve techniques

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
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Old 12-02-2002, 08:55 PM   #2
Kevin Wilbanks
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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.
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Old 12-03-2002, 01:54 AM   #3
Creature_of_the_id
 
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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

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Old 12-03-2002, 03:35 AM   #4
Sam
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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.
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Old 12-03-2002, 03:42 AM   #5
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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.

in Aiki
Agatsu!!
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Old 12-03-2002, 06:07 AM   #6
Ali B
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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
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Old 12-03-2002, 06:26 AM   #7
Bruce Baker
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Ignorance is bliss

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.
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Old 12-03-2002, 07:42 AM   #8
Fiona D
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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?
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Old 12-03-2002, 08:15 AM   #9
Creature_of_the_id
 
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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

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Old 12-03-2002, 08:36 AM   #10
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You can also learn in the Chinese fashion, known as Dim Mak as I have in my Studies of the past few years.

in Aiki
Agatsu!!
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Old 12-03-2002, 08:39 AM   #11
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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.

Mike Ellefson
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Old 12-03-2002, 09:56 AM   #12
Aikilove
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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).

Jakob Blomquist
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Old 12-03-2002, 04:23 PM   #13
javnitro
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Freaky!

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?
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Old 12-03-2002, 06:19 PM   #14
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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).

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 12-04-2002, 09:29 AM   #15
Bruce Baker
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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.
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Old 12-04-2002, 12:33 PM   #16
Doug Mathieu
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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.
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Old 12-04-2002, 01:54 PM   #17
Williamross77
 
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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.

in Aiki
Agatsu!!
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Old 12-04-2002, 09:31 PM   #18
mattholmes
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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
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Old 12-04-2002, 09:36 PM   #19
MikeE
 
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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,

Mike Ellefson
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Old 12-04-2002, 11:17 PM   #20
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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.

in Aiki
Agatsu!!
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Old 12-04-2002, 11:30 PM   #21
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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

in Aiki
Agatsu!!
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Old 12-05-2002, 09:19 AM   #22
Ron Tisdale
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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
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Old 12-06-2002, 09:56 AM   #23
Bruce Baker
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Let me clear up the fog

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.
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Old 12-06-2002, 10:20 AM   #24
Amendes
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Pressure Points

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.
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Old 12-06-2002, 05:39 PM   #25
Kevin Wilbanks
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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.
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