How can I learn combat pressure point striking? Part 4
The top rated tapes and DVD’s on the market today have pros as well as cons, which we will explore together to see what they have and what they lack. As many of you already know many of them are a complete waste of time as well as money. Others have value in differing ways. We will look deeply in to the instructional video market, to deduce what they display and what they do not display as well as their worth, as far as teaching ability in the use of pressure point striking. I must confess, that I have not seen all the film footage out there, but I have viewed all the major band names, so lets go.
Much like the old 35mm films, the modern tape and DVD‘s, for the most part, may express a certain quality of an instructors ability, but teach you very little on how you can transform the points in to your own fighting technique. I receive many complaints on pressure point DVDs and tapes The top complaint is I don’t understand it or it’s to complicated. There can only be four possible reasons for this.
- They only know a fraction of the total knowledge involved with the point they are demonstrating.
- They do not wish to really teach you all about the point being demonstrated.
- They know the points but are poor instructors.
- Poor script planning, ( film without plans).
Fore instance, Mr. Dillman’s strongest attributes are his showman ship, charismatic personality, and business sense. In his younger years he was a good competitor and a skilled showman. Dillman is anything but boring! Which is a great help in selling a fair amount of products.
In the late 80’s George Dillman was one of the first to pioneer pressure point exploration which created revival to rediscovering pressure point striking and place it back into the martial arts community using articles published in several martial arts magazines. These articles were criticized by many traditional martial arts instructors as frivolous an inaccurate portraits of there art. Dillman’s whole idea and purpose, by way of negative criticism, causing cross talk, created a market for his product. Dillman was in fact a marketing genius, for his creed for his marketing strategy must have been, to create negative press, which brought public attention to him and his style of pressure point arts.
Dillman, who was not a top ranking martial artist at the time, received world wide attention by way of this negative press. Thus interest was created and Dillman released the first Pressure Point tape, which was a hit. Dillman’s first tape was called, “Hidden moves in form’s”. This first tape was not well planned in its production. With a lot of criss cross ideas and view points. It is a home style video preformed in one signal shooting, without use of freeze frames and tends to be confusing by nature because there is so much information coming at you all at once. This first tape contains some of the basic uses of pressure points in the arms to be used in blocking. It was revolutionary for the time because most karate schools did not know or teach that these pressure points were the targets to be aimed for when the arm is used for an attack. It also shows one or two grappling techniques using pressure points. It also teaches about what a pressure ppoint is, and how they work on a basic level. There are inaccurate teachings in the first Dillman tape. One of the pressure points he shows is located one inch behind the center of the back of the elbow, which he calls a push point. Dillman teaches that this pressure point can not be hit that it must be rubbed. This is totally incorrect, this pressure point SI # 8 and TW # 10 cross one on top of another, if the elbow is slightly bent it can not be hit straight on with out using additional techniques. One is to use a method to straighten out the arm, locking the elbow by way of a shift stance, or within the strike. There is a quick retraction which will straighten the arm or the combination of the two.
Dillman also talks about what he calls the “three quarter punch”. This is a traditional Okinawa center line punch which is common in Okinawa kata. This punch turns only three quarters of the way around rather than a full turn when it is traditionally shot from waist level. You will see this type of usage in the old 35 mm footage of kata shot in Okinawa. But Dillman, in this first video, brings the reason why it is in original kata and why it is excluded from modern kata. If you have the opportunity to see some of this old 35mm footage you will see the punch in many kata from many systems. Also see, (footage by, Master Toshiaki Gillespie and Master Tadashi Yamashita).
The tape ends there. It is my opinion that this first tape is Mr. Dillman’s best tape out of all of Dillman’s tapes to date. Dillman’s second tape demonstrates his views of analysis of bunkai of kata practiced in many Okinawa systems. Ron Richard demonstrates the kata first then Dillman demo’s the pressure points within it. After the first two movements, the analysis gets vague and is hard to follow. It did show many common locks and blocks and one or two strikes in that poor quality home movie style which he used in all five tapes in this series that you would have learned already in any good school.
Tape # 3, contains some pressure point kata and simple hand forms found in the five basic kata. This tape is for the beginner who knows little on the topic and teaches a lot and is worth watching. There are some mistakes, but for the beginner it’s a good starter tape.
Tape # 4, He is addressing the unknown! For the first time, Dillman challenges all karate schools to answer the question “What do stances mean to kata?”. An absolute unknown to most schools even today! I will also add that with out a complete understanding of stances and foot work, you will find that your martial arts training will be useless in combat! Dillman hints upon the basics of this little known subject on tape #4 as well as demonstrating many minor pressure points of the feet and legs and the proper way to access them. As I commend him for the above, I do not subscribe to his belief or teachings on pressure points enhancing joint and arm lock techniques. Locks are simply using the weakness inherent in the all joint mobility against the attacker and has nothing to do with a true pressure point. Even some of the points shown in the foot by Dillman are not true pressure points. For example, the point between the metatarsals of the little toe and the next larger toe in the area of GB #41 Dillman demonstrates with a stomping technique found in some kata. It is impossible to reach GB #41 with the heel of the foot! In reality you would be bending the metatarsal with the heel and with a pointed weapon like the toe or the thumb you would be spreading the metatarsals apart which is what is causing your attacker pain. But this tape is a revolutionary tape none the less.
In tape # 5, which shows how to restore energy to and attacked pressure points using the hands. It is also a good tape to watch for that reason, and I feel that every instructor and every student must learn all these techniques first before practicing any pressure point striking for your own protection, and master them. These techniques are basic and trivial and are the lesst you should know. Traditionally true restoration of energy would be done with needles or a blunt hair pin used to hold the hair in place, in the orient. Dillman has created a good starter tape. All the following video tapes in the series steadily decline into demo tapes and have little to no instructional value at all! The seminar tapes and DVD’s are of course fun to watch but teach very little and lack the proper camera usage to show you the buyer how to do them. It is also my opinion that these pressure points done as shown on these tapes and DVD’s although they K.O a man at rest, will not work in a combat situation, for several reasons. I will discuss these reason in another article. Because it is a common thread in almost all the instructional videos on the market to date. The Dillman series,in my opionion, although they teach many basics are really created to draw people to the Dillman seminars. They create interest but are shallow as far as teaching ability. This is the very reason why you are still looking for answer! Many of the Dillman clones follow these patterns in there DVD productions, for the same reasons as Dillman’s productions.
The Dillman Clones
You know who they are, you seen some of there DVD’s, and in the end, you are just as lost as you were before. After Dillman’s book, tape, and seminar revolution, The Dillman clones appeared on the scene. Most of these clones were instructed at least in part by Mr. Dillman himself. After following him around for years, they started to make there own video tapes and DVD series and then demonstrating pressure points at their own seminars. Dillman has a cult following in which people would follow Dillman from seminar to seminar to learn more about his method. Some even held seminars for Dillman, priced at $50.00 a head, with a minimum, of fifty heads. Do the math $ 2,500.00 per two hour seminar Plus tapes, DVD’s, patches, private lessons and so on. Pretty good money for two hours work. Dillman had the martial arts world by the Cocaly’s and many clones figured out how needy the martial arts world was for this knowledge and that a lot of money could be made. So many of those followers became Dillman Clones, doing just what Dillman himself did. This philosophy is what keeps the money rolling in! These clone’s do what Dillman did all with a little twist of there own. Like Dillman, they are confusing and in the end the knowledge is vague.
Vince Morris (6th Dan), created tapes in which I found likable. In these tapes I’ve seen, he is first demonstrating a kata, then explains his interpretation of what the techniques are doing. He seems to be a personable fellow on camera and explains how to work it. It is one of the first tapes that you will go away with something usable, unlike the tapes and DVD’s prior to this. His bunkai will work for you in a combat situation. That is the point. What will you know at the end of the tape? Will you be more confused than ever? Or will you have something you can learn and know and therefore be able to use. Combat pressure point striking that can be used in a combat or street situation, by the beginner right up to the master, and that is my point. Vince Morris, well done.
As far as the Kata Naihanchi Shodan and its use, all the above masters of this Kata can all take lessons from Master Robert J Moran for it is my view that he is the cream of the crop as far as this kata goes. None of the above mentioned names, including all the clones can hold a candle to Bob’s knowledge and fighting ability with the Naihanchi Kata!
Robert Moran, inventor / martial artist, had a incredible burden to master pressure point combat striking strategies but found himself unable to comprehend the element theory as many of you do. He also found that striking one preliminary point first then striking another point second was impractical, much to complicated for high speed combat situations. In Bobs words, “it just couldn’t work, in high speed combat situations in most cases“. With the help of his father Dr Moran, he created a unique pressure point system that can be explained not by Eastern terminology but by Western terminology. In other words your language! Moran’s tapes and DVD’s explain pressure points on terms that we can all understand the first time out, and they work in combat situations, unlike the Dillman approach. The down side of the Moran tapes are, that the use of the cameras could stand some improvement and the filming is a little lackluster and that makes them a little tiresome. In some cases he could show the actual points better and give a better understanding of why it works. But of all tapes that are on the market which I’ve seen, if Moran shows you 10 points you will know ten points at the end of the viewing. You will not have to remember terminology like Lu# 3 or St#9 or strike metal than fire, no confusing terminology. Moran’s terminology goes like this, “strike chin #1( which is the indent at the bottom of the chin) with this hand weapon (middle knuckle fist) using a (knocking on the door motion) , in a downwards angle, which will produce a K.O because it shuts down the nerve found in that area, Simple isn’t it! Good work Master Moran!
Master Morans new DVD on defeating Brazilian Jujitsu, gives you about 6 basic pressure points, that I guarantee will work for you, against Brazilian Jujitsu, the first time out. Master Robert Moran is a new age pioneer and his work will change the world of pressure points forever more. His work with pressure point striking is unique, and in the future will change the nature of pressure point striking forever! Finally the Mystery is over!
In the future of Pressure Point striking combat, I would like to see, less play for the money aspect and more money spent to delivering a DVD that teachs all about one point first then move on to the next point. In the future I would like to see, better technology used for the filming process. One thing that is lacking in all film footage to date is a concrete plan (script) before shooting the demonstration and thoroughly teaches the points shown. That would use freeze frames of the body weapon entering the point, with the plan to end shooting with the knowledge that the buyer will understand the point and can safely start to practice for combat. The filming would be shown at combat speed and not at rest, which can be demonstrated with the use of proper gear. That future filming would have a written script for the film. In order to know how much is enough or to much information to comprehend. And that all future filming would stress proper safety for practicing with a partner with strong warnings in the case of misuse.
Fore only a fool would play with the unknown, and only a foolish instructor
would create an instructional DVD without showing the student a harmless way of
practicing training techniques without damageing others. And you can find many
DVDs Clips on youtube were some novice knocks out a person. it is exciting to
watch I agree but, can he assure that the person will not become sick or even die from the K.O?
Wiill he put it down in writing? I doubt it.