Dim Mak vs. Kyusho

May 1, 2014 | By | 12 Comments



Dim Mak / Dian Xue: 點穴
(Death Touch or Delayed Death Touch)

Kyusho: 急所
(Vital Point)

Although it appears they may be the same (most people working with either named classification claim this), as they both attack vital areas, they are very different... in their modern adaptions.  In fact modern Kyusho is very far removed from the original and can no longer therefore be associated with Dim Mak / Dian Xue, as they are now so vastly different.

I say this for many reasons first and foremost as killing the opponent was the main objection in past disciplines, the modern Kyusho is geared only toward dysfunction up to and including unconsciousness.  Even the names tell a differing story as there is no concept of death or killing in the Kyusho kanji or terminology.  There is also a quest in Kyusho for instant reaction, something that is far removed from the concept of the delayed terminology or methodologies.  So what is the determining factor that separates these two into their own entity (not to be confused as the same)?

First neither are the based on acupuncture points... this is important as many people are mislead or believe that this is the case, but it is simply not the true mechanism behind either... please see earlier post "No Point" which will explain this aspect in greater detail.  It is not based on Chi, elements, cycles or other Traditional Chinese Medical paradigms.

Some others believe that it is as simple as one attacking nerve and one is attacking blood vessels, which in part is true but far from the whole story or warrant.  A simple idea to think of; Dim Mak takes a certain time to cause it's dysfunctions and ultimate goal, whereas Kyusho is instant... so that alone tells you it is different in structure and therefore delivery to accomplish.  Reading old writings or claims of effect and transposing them on modern practices is not viable or correct as they have diverged from each other significantly and the future will see even more divergence.  This is not to say it is good or bad, but just to let the reader know and understand what is occurring.

As we could suspect, they are both attacks on the physiological processes and functionality but there are several layers of these and although all overlap or influence each other in some aspect, they do not control them.  One in fact is actually targeting the bodies innate protections and is in part working to protect the other  functions and physiology.  So using the both names under the same training is simply incorrect, if serious training is desired, the instructor needs to be questioned as to the similarities, differences and correlations to ascertain if they really know one, both or really neither in depth. But more important than talk is action, can they do it, can they show it and can they then teach it.

For clarity we will use the blood attacks (superficial level) of Dim Mak and the nerve attacks of Kyusho in comparison to illustrate the differences and divergences.  

When the blood is attacked via strikes or compression to the vascular tissue, the blood pressure drops quickly to avoid more adverse affect on the body.  This causes several observable as well as felt responses that we can ascertain even visually what has occurred.  These observable traits are a delayed affect with a fading or slow weakening of the body as it falls limp to the floor.  The depth of the attack is seen as when you lift the head of the felled individual even if seemingly awake on the floor (although not capable of coherent thought or body control) with symptoms such as nausea, cold sweats and skin discolorations.  Also observable is when they are lifted to revive, they pass out again as their blood pressure is again affected.  This affect lasts for much longer than when the nerve is attacked and the recipient is not able to get back into the practice readily, with deeper attacks and or affect the individual will feel the symptoms for a week or two.

When the nerve is solely attacked there is an instant reaction that is designed to protect the body by tightening the muscles, loosening the joints, withdrawing from the attack in an instantaneous reaction (Reflexive).  When attacking the nerve we can realize the difference even from outward appearances as we see very quick reaction, falling, stiffening of the body or even the appearance that the recipient jumps to the ground.  The revival is instant and there are so side affects that last for long time spans as in blood attack.

It must also be note that the revival processes are very different and the Nerve revival will not help the recipient, in fact the positioning to even perform it will worsen the affect on them.  So there is so much more that people tend to ignore or negate when naming a process they work... we must (as touch bearers for theart), make sure we are accurate in description, potent in application and conscientious in passing correct information for our future generations.

I will say in my opinion, in our modern society that Dim Mak is not the best model for self protection, Kyusho is far more applicable, instant and non damaging or life threatening.  However both must be studied (if only for historical record and perspective), to gain full worth of either.  Of course one can realize great skill in Kyusho without ever studying older original aspects of Dim Mak, however after studying the Dim Mak both separately and in correlation with Kyusho, significant new understanding of the older forms is possible... (but impracticable and dangerous for modern use).

Also to fully appreciate the old forms (from historical as well as practical use), one must understand these differences.  Reading Kyusho into these forms is incredibly beneficial and helps the practitioner develop more in line with the original way, but to fully appreciate and understand them we must go back to the original intent... and that is not modern Kyusho.

Also neither are based in Traditional Chinese Medical (TCM) aspects, this is purely scientific and anatomical in application, as well as understanding.




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Category: Protection

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  1. Euphoria64 says:

    If Kyusho can attack both nerve and/or blood anatomical structures and their functions…isn’t Dim mak the long term effects of the instant Kyusho application?

    • admin says:

      No it is not the same… what was stated above said that at one time it was the same… but our modern adaption to the nerves and some blood vessels have no long term effect. Hitting nerve causes one physiological reaction, whereas hitting blood has yet anther, (but remember that Dim Mak is not only about the blood there are several other facets involved).

      • Euphoria64 says:

        IMHO I need to be clear on where both start and end. 😉
        Not to appear as disagreeing…If you were to use Kyusho and stopped someones breathing and don’t correct it there are definite long term lasting effects.

        • Euphoria64 says:

          Though thinking about this, the example is an instant effect and perhaps what you are likely communicating about are the principles by which Dim Mak is applied so as to present an adverse change in the person that is sequential.
          Does Dim Mak application still intend to cause an initial dysfunction to set up the change to occur?

          • admin says:

            You know disagreement, argument, statements all serve to deepen a conversation which is a method of learning and understanding. I wish more had the balls to even write their ideas, questions or arguments so we would all benefit… my thanks for your comments and bravado.

            First question on the breathing, we have seen that it will always come back to normal on it’s own… but I will state that if you can stop someones breathing you are deeper in Kyusho skill than 95% of all practitioners and tapping more into the area of Dim Mak (Also depending on the target).

            Longer lasting does not necessarily mean Dim Mak, a simple strike on both LI-18’s will cause a headache that if not corrected can last a long time… but is not even close to Dim Mak.

            Anytime you attack the body there will be pain and dysfunction on some level, you yes a Dim Mak application would still have this.

  2. admin says:

    From a Facebook question:

    Fabien Reulier
    Dim mak and Kyusho don’t use the acupuncture points ?
    5 hours ago · Like

    Evan Pantazi
    No sir, after many years of study in many areas including medical as well as scientific, with actual application and measurement that is the only logical conclusion. For example, if you do a blood choke and your arm is across the ST-9, is that what makes the choke work? No. Yes there is a “Pressure Point” there, but that is not the target, just because there is one in proximity.
    5 hours ago · Like · 1

    And another point (pardon the pun), on ST-9 for all to ponder: If indeed Dim Mak is pressure point based and ST-9 is a supposed kill point (due to the Carotid Sinus under it) then why does the acupuncturist not kill when they use it. If then too the argument is they do not go deep enough to puncture that structure, is it not then two different structures, as the point works without touching that carotid structure?

    From an acupuncture manual from Peter Deadman, pg. 137;
    “Caution: care should be taken to avoid puncturing the carotid artery which must be palpate then held laterally” (editor note: when you hold something next to another it by definition is not the same entity), “during needling….”

  3. Rod says:

    For those who don’t know, Evan came up to Barrie Ontario Canada in May 2014 and we held a weekend Kyusho/Dim Mak course dedicated to this topic. It was very enlightening. While Dim Mak has it’s place in history and it’s techniques are certainly valid, we cannot truly train them in today’s world. They are just too dangerous. We can understand them (probably better than the Masters of old, due to our of level understanding of anatomy), but we can’t fully train them.
    Kyusho on the other CAN be fully applied and thus a certain level of mastery attained.
    Anyone who says they are a Dim Mak master today is either not using the same high level understanding that Evan is trying to convey… or they have a backyard full of bodies in shallow graves.

    • admin says:

      They are most likely lying as well sir.

      To master anything would require years of actual application with actualized and demonstrable result… being croaking someone.

      This information is in this day and age not probable or ethical to “Master”, but it must be understood what it is, where it was and how to accomplish… thus lift the fog that encompasses this ancient body of knowledge (and especially fooling others and self in thinking it is the same as Kyusho).

  4. Dee says:

    Do you use the same strike, rub, or stretch to “activate” Dim Mak as you do in kyusho?

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