Pressure Points to End a Fight

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Have you ever dreamt of being such a master of martial arts that you could press one spot on your attacker and instantly end the fight? Are these techniques possible? How could you really use pressure points in a self-defense encounter?

Pressure Point Fighting Fantasies

While there is lot of truth to nerve-pressure control, because of television and movies, there is a lot of fantasy. If you aren’t already a martial-arts master, you probably won’t be able to use nerve strikes to just walk right up to the flailing attacker and paralyze him with one touch.

Don’t count on Spock’s Vulcan nerve pinch to have your attacker instantly slump over into la-la land. Vulcans may be able to induce instant fainting in Star Trek, but you can’t.

Neither will you be able to paralyze someone in pain with one press of the thumb, like Remo Williams in The Destroyer series.

And even if you could press one spot and paralyze, you’d still have to be proficient enough in the arts, to be able to dodge punches and kicks, avoid being grappled to the ground, and so on, just to get in close enough to strike.

Not an easy task.

Nerve Strike Targets

Since it will take too high of a level of mastery to be able to find useful pressure points “to press,” you probably should try to use them as an initial control in an all out fight.

By themselves, they won’t serve you the way you want them to.

Instead, think of nerve points as targets. If you strike near a nerve center, you can cause a lot of pain — maybe even enough to end the fight.


Warning: Certain nerve strikes, like a temple hit can cause death. You could be held liable. Know your nerve strikes inside and out, and their consequences, before you start incorporating them into your repertoire.

For example, you’d think that the pressure points around and in the arm pit wouldn’t be sensitive enough to end a fight. Once, during martial arts practice, I accidentally hit my opponent in the fleshy skin, where there are glands, just in front of the arm pit. It was a medium strike with my knuckle.

And it ended the practice session for this guy. I didn’t mean to, at all — but accidents happen during sparring. He gave me credit and said it was a good pop. The next day, he claimed he still felt sore.

The Best Way to Use a Pressure Point to End a Fight

Other than striking a nerve center on the body, pressure points are excellent at the end of the encounter. (Finally, you get to cause pain by “pressing.”)

Imagine someone attacking you. You can’t get away. So, you have to hit and/or kick. You hit until you get control with a wrist lock. If your attacker is still struggling as you apply a joint lock, then you can use pressure points to assist.

Pressure points are excellent to:

  • distract while regaining control of a lock
  • stop resistance
  • direct your captive to calm down
  • lead your opponent to a more controlled position
  • dissuade your attacker from trying to hit or kick further

Pressure points are excellent to help bring the fight to a conclusion.

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