Yes it was/is real
There it is circled in red on the page of the old "Wu Bei Zhi" (also known as "Bubishi")... so what is it exactly?
Well the truth is no one can say absolutely what it was as the individual that placed it there is long gone as was his thoughts or original intent of inclusion. It appears as a tutorial of an ancient warriors experience in the combative and healing arts of his time.
There pictured as part of the "6 Ji Hands" (六機手 Liù Jī Shǒu), the weapons of the manual in order to attack the Crucial or Vital targets of the human body (a partial list also added in the manual). These 6 Ji Hands are depicted throughout the manual and are essential to understanding or applying to the Martial Targets also contained in the text.
Now with these hands, it is not merely in the formation, it is in the skill of deployment that is the Vital Point. It is a method to make each hand or more correctly; each striking surface application, far more penetrating with greater energetic (kinetic force), transference into the deeper anatomical structures.
Unfortunately the individual that included these hands in the old treatise did not include this applicational aspect. So the actual use cannot be determined by anyone, merely speculated on... so the proof of value comes then only from DEMONSTRATED application, affect and therefore use.
The Blood Pool Hand position is depicted in many arts (with derivative branches) and with varying capacity, some styles like Wing Chun name it Fook Sao and use it primarily as a re-direct or hooking method, Pangainoon (Uechi-Ryu) call it Koken Tsuki (bent wrist strike) or Kanushiken (finger tip strike from this cupped hand position) which primarily uses this hand position as a striking weapon and styles like Praying Mantis call it (螳螂勾 Tángláng Ggōu) using it as both catching and hitting. It can also be seen in Tai Chi, White Crane, Goju Ryu and many other styles from China, Okinawa and even, but in lesser extent in Korean arts. The name is not important, how you use it is the vital point.
Do not read further if you still believe in Pressure Points... over time and much experience we have found that Kyusho is not pressure points, read at your own risk.
The Blood Pool Hand – forward rotational transference
This is for more powerful and percussive attack for many targets. It is better suited than the other hands for deeper penetration into the body targets or cavity using the forward rotational motion of the first two knuckles. However we cannot (as in all of the hand positions) negate the possibilities for poking, pulling or compressing type actions of the fingertips, or folding action of the palm.
Some targets like those just under the collarbone warrant, a deeper rolling (to stretch and compress), action. Interestingly as the name depicts “Blood Pool Hand” it was a tool used in the attack of vascular tissue or organs where the blood actually pools. This could adversely affect or damage the Spleen, Liver, Kidney or even the Heart. Or as in the first target mentioned, (under the collarbone) is crucial vascular tissue to and from the Heart such as the Aortic or Jugular Arches.
These are the more obvious attacks some may classify as Yang striking or compression type of attack. But as we always say there are two possibilities of Yin and Yang in all martial moves, the Blood Pool Hand again has both, but few see it. As YOU look at the formation the hand with a quick action, YOU can realize 3 directional actions in the extension and rotation of this hand.
Now as we understand the body can cope with equal or consistent attack far easier than staggered and alternating pressures (this is one of the Major keys to Kyusho). So as you extend the hand forward at a neck target, side of the sternocleidomastoid muscle as example, first contacting the target area with the base of the palm in a forward action much like a simple one directional strike, you place an acute neurological message transference to the brain. If you strike hard enough, you will also affect the vascular tissue responsible for bringing blood and oxygen to and from the brain. As the fingers withdraw in the rotation mentioned above, the fingers and inside of the palm add alternating (with staggered timing) pressures on other nerves, which also send energetic message to the brain with shocking, yet alternating acuity. (By the way you do not need to know or memorize any of this to make it work, hit them correctly in the right place and they fall down, no specific "Pressure Points" are needed as the underlying structures are long and have a greater attack area than the "Pressure Point" guys realize).
If the Blood Pool Hand is done properly in this area you will have disrupted blood, air and nerve flow... the human body simply cannot function correctly and will collapse to regain the stasis or balance the human system requires.
We can take a few pages and depictions of Vital Target Attack from the Bubishi itself and describe how the pictured Blood Pool Hand will function in them:
Example 1: We see the Blood Pool Hand used by the figure on the right by the mid-inner thigh. Variations can be seen in several old Kata like Seipai with the actual Blood Pool Hand or in fisted position.
The most obvious blood and nerve attack (using the forward rotational action of the first two knuckles to stretch, compress and or concuss) are at a superficial level (closer to surface) the Great Saphenous Vein and Anterior Cutaneous Branches of the Femoral Nerve. On a deeper level, There is the Femoral Artery, Femoral Vein and the Saphenous Nerve. How many of these you will reach or affect will depend upon the force transference used and trajectory of the attack.
This target used on only one leg will cause pain, dysfunction of the leg and altered states of consciousness from the restriction of blood (resulting in a drop of blood pressure) or neurological shock.
Both may be used simultaneously, but with less accuracy, force and actual affect. So it is for the reader to determine whether or not both these illustrations of the opponents are working both simultaneously, or are they just showing that the tool may be applied on either side of the body. Which hand would be used would then be dictated by the opponents position during a given situation.
The area of attack is 8 - 12 inches long (NOT A SINGLE POINT), Kyusho is not pressure points, they are vital targets however long or short they may be. Kyusho is also not pressure, it is an attack on the anatomical structures.
This is demonstrated with two Blood Pool Hands (for Silver Subscribers) at this webpage ( Click Here )
Example 2: We see the Blood Pool Hand used by the figure on the right in the neck region causing the opponents head to pull back. An exact posture from Panginoon Seisan and Sanseiryu Katas.
Now it can be argued also that the Right figure is using a Blood Pool hand on the opponents wrist as well. This could be another type of grip, but it is not illustrated as such... but needless to say this could be a compression of vascular, nerve or both on the opponents wrist to cause increased messaging and or impediment of blood flow... or merely clearing the way for the fully demonstrated Blood Pool Hand.
Getting back to the attack that is clearly the stated hand, this can be used as a stabbing type attack with the finger tips to attack the nerve and blood vessels at this area, however if you were to attack this target (an area 2 inches long and not a specific "Pressure Point", the opponents head (in the upright posture) would tilt down, not back on impact. (Only real application on many individuals can give you this insight not readily seen in an old drawing... or mere speculative talk).
The answer is not in "Pressure Points", the natural underlying anatomical structures are the real target not a theoretical point designated by man lying on further theoretical man made lines. When we look at what is really there and where the fingers really point, we see that the typical ST-9 point is not the target. The fingers depicted are under the jaw, to the side of the throat and the angle of attack slightly upward... so what is "Really" there?
Well on the more superficial or exterior layers of the anatomy there are the; External Carotid Artery, the nerve called the Ansa Cervicalis, and the Retromandibular Artery.
Deeper in and depending on the force issued on the attack are the; External Jugular Vein, The Superior Ansa Cervicalis, Internal Carotid Artery and the Hypoglossal Nerve.
Deeper yet lay the; Vagus (The heart is innervated by vagal and sympathetic fibers. The right vagus nerve primarily innervates the SA node, whereas the left vagus innervates the AV node) and Superior Cervical Ganglion (of nerve).
Stabbing with great force to this area could damage any or all of these Vital Structures and cause many physiological impairments or cessations. As we see the elbow also ramming into the heart, diaphragm (an organ where blood pools) and Liver (another organ where blood pools) this could be a serious or fatal type of attack.
To view a safer version of this epic posture Click Here
The Blood Pool Hand is one of the 6 Ji Hands which are not only the weapon or tool itself, but the rotational application. They are one of the attribute skills in the full body change encompassed in the ancient text.
Remember it is not what you call it that matters in tool or targets, what matters is knowing where the target is and how to attack it. The reality is in the experience, not the theory or talk.
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