I took a pressure points class yesterday.

And it kicked ASS! All sorts of law-enforcement techniques to force compliance from an uncompliant suspect.
All sorts of non-leathal techniques to bring down an attacker or bring them under control.
From musculature interruption to pain-inducement, to stunning techniques, it just rocked!

Look under “defense classes” or the like in your phone book. Maybe a local law-enforcement agency is having one in your area sometime soon.

It’s definitely fun stuff but you can’t relying on any one technique is a gamble if the attacker is out to hurt you. For example, one stunning method whereby the defender delivers a blow to the area below and to the side of the cranial, dorsal protuberance doesn’t seem to work on me. Likewise, most wristlocks just make me giggle. OTOH, strangles and chokes work frighteningly fast on me but how are you to know that until you try it on with me?

A good self-defense programme will involve pressure points in addition to at least strikes and/or throws. Certain well aimed strikes will disable anybody regardless of the target’s conditioning and and physiology. I’ve been studying Jiu-Jitsu for 3 years and it all forms part of a good defense.

Hapkido is even better because in addition to locks, throws and pressure points, they also pay attention to strikes which are a bit lacking in Jiu-Jitsu. I’d like to try Hapkido but there’s nowhere around here with affordable classes in it.

The only problem with strikes, is that if the other person doesn’t strike you (ie they grab/choke you), and you hit them, you can be charged as the aggressor, because you threw the first punch/kick/chop/ridgehand/elbow/knee.

Yeah, but in a police setting all you are doing is forcing compliance, or defending yourself with these tactics in a non-lethal way. Without being overly damaging (breaking arms, legs, etc) you can force compliance or defend yourself without fear of legal backlash. Sure, the person may sue later and perhaps even win, but you will not be punished by your department, because you can justify your actions, and these are the tactics they are teaching for dealing with that situation. Funny how the system works sometimes…
Without such tactics at their disposal, police would be powerless to get anyone to do anything they didn’t feel like doing.

Of course, as a civilian, I feel that if you are grabbed by someone you would probably still be justified in striking them, because even to grab someone is an assault. You have the right to defend yourself against an attack, just so long as you don’t go overboard doing so. Of course, the laws in your jurisdiction may be different, so we should all be aware of what they are for our own areas.

Apparently I’m really weird. I’ve known at least five people, including my SO, who knows all of the pressure points that will disable a person. They have (lightly) tried them on my friends and family as demonstrations, and have pretty much disabled them immediately. Me? Nothing. None of the pressure points work on me. My SO says that not only are my joints extremely and bizarrely flexible, but I have no nerve endings.

Just thought I’d mention that, since it’s one of several things that apparently make me a circus freak.

There was a girl in my class who was impervious to a few, but not all of them. The instructor mentions that there was in all his years of training classes only one person (again, also a girl) who was non-reactive to all pressure points.


Ain’t it fun?? We teach pressure points in our Taekwondo school and the students just love it when I announce that it’s time for them to make their partner bark like a dog.

My SO used to teach self defense classes, and he says I’m the only one he’s ever seen that was impervious to all of them too. He still can’t believe that driving my thumb joint into my palm doesn’t do a thing.

And speaking of my SO, I should really see who is logged in before I post, right?

I was hoping you meant “pressure point” as in massage therapy.
I have this pain in my subscapularis, and I need someone to press
on it right now.

If the subscapularis pain excuse doesn’t work, maybe my temp will go up to 112 and I can stay home from work all week.

There are many things that can influence pressure point susceptablility, alcohol and other drugs are big ones, emotion and adrenaline can also make a huge difference. For example, most wrist techniques have very little effect on my, my joints and bones will start to shred before I ever reach a pain threshold that would immobilze me. On the other hand, my elbow joints are very sensitive to pain and nerve points.

In our MA classes, we were instructed never to rely on only pain-compliance or nerve-point techniques for this reason, their failure rate is far too high to depend upon in a serious situation. My brother, who worked as a professional bouncer and was trained in martial arts, backs this up. He has come across more than a few drunks/crazies that seemed to have an immortal resistance to the typical techniques taught in police training or general martial arts.

We were taught to always go for a mechanical joint lock in preference to a pain-compliance lock. Mechanical locks will work every time, if the guy resists and escapes it will only be with his joints/limbs damaged or broken as a result. Relying on a pain-compliance lock will get you in trouble.

The best method IMO is to use pressure points combined with mechanical locks, it throws some extra butter onto the bread of your self defense. e.g. an elbow lock combined with your fingers digging into those special gettin’-to-know-ya spots.