Pressure Points Chart for Martial Arts

Pressure points (vital points) are used in a number of martial arts techniques and can provide significant advantage to the user if applied properly. These points can produce significant pain or other effects when struck or manipulated in a specific way. Martial artists often incorporate these points in their techniques to help subdue an opponent. Some major martial arts that include pressure point usage are Hapkido, Aikido, Jujutsu, Karate, Kyusho Jutsu, and certain styles of Kung Fu. While there are over 300 pressure points (acupoints - mainly for acupuncture use) located on the various meridians throughout the body, common martial arts techniques incorporate only about a third of them.

Pressure points can be categorized into several types based on the application and the effects produced by the points.

Figure 1 showcases a sample of points which may help immobilize an opponent when struck. These points may cause temporary paralysis in specific body parts, cause unconsciousness, or produce difficulty in breathing. Combining the use of these points and the proper techniques one can temporarily immobilize an attacker, providing an opportunity for the user to escape.

Figure 2 shows a sample of reflex points which may cause body parts (for example, muscle) to reflex, move, or react in certain ways that may be strategically beneficial. For example, manipulating certain pressure points on the forearm may reduce an attacker's grip, which may help in performing counter-attack techniques.

Download this chart with additional information in this PDF

The information provided on this page is for reference only. Proper instructions for using pressure points must be learned only from a qualified instructor.

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