We looked at this idea a bit in the Blog on 5D but let's expand on this a bit:
We as Martial Artists are all trained to hit the body, head, etc... and hit it hard, but let's take an anatomical look at what you are doing and how you are loosing efficiency. To attack the outside we need to develop greater speed, greater strength and greater flexibility to achieve the devastating destructive capability. And if it is not enough to dysfunction that opponent, you have just angered and sent them into even greater protective attack mode. This skill as seen in Boxing, Kickboxing, MMA and all fighting venues, is not easy and it has a diminishing time frame (you are only young and strong a very short time). So what is it we are really attacking...
The Head is based on a very flexible and multi-directional base (the neck), that will allow the head to move instantly with the blow. It is the most perceptive and reflexive part of your entire being and when it perceives threat in coming, it moves instantly to avoid it. It is also comprised of a thick layer of bone that is also designed in segments for flexation, so if one area is struck it does not break the whole. It is also comprised of arched or spherical shapes like a suspension bridge, to disperse the incoming energy. The hair and even skin is pliable and moveable to help deflect on coming blows with a slippery surface. And it is set away from the outer edge of the shoulders so that there is obstruction and additional distance to fully implement a direct attack.
The Arms are fully flexible and fast responding as the nerves are all close to the surface and instigate a withdrawal reflex action when restrained, in pain or danger. When struck they move easily and rapidly from the attack to absorb most of the blow to negate most of the damage. Powered also by the mind, they seek to stop or avoid the incoming attack with infinite possibility.
The Torso is designed in a series of arched bones at the upper torso to disperse blows around the exterior as does the head, with a suspension bridge type action. The lower torso folds to withdraw the organs as the skin, fat, muscle and in some cases other bone structures all protect the valuable and vulnerable internal organs and bowels.
The Legs are low and difficult to attack with hands, so the attacker must mostly use their legs for attack. The legs being much slower and less dexterous will be a very difficult attack vehicle and all the stances learned, protect the weaker structures so as to absorb most attacks. The muscles are large and well conditioned as they constantly work to support or transport the full body weight making them difficult to attack infast close proximity.
This is just a brief idea of why the body can take such punishment and keep working... it is also why a Martial Artist, MUST develop methods of attacking the inner body where all the real vulnerabilities lay.
So it is abundantly clear that attacking the shell is an inefficient way to work, we know to cause real dysfunction of the opponent we need to get to the inner structures of nerve, vascular, organ and connective tissue to really be more efficient... that is what this Kyusho (Vital Point) is all about. So instead of rehashing all of the exacting details of the vast number of targets, let's instead look at the underlying qualities by detailing what it does on a more inner scope.
1. Physical - Since we are attacking the components that actually make the body strong, flexible, mobile, reflexive and agile, we bypass the protective surface and dysfunction the body from the inside out. This is where the strength emanates from, as opposed to where it is focused and at it's peak (exterior). We attack before the body can make the exterior protection or weapons strong and in so doing can affect the entire structure, not just pieces of it. This is because of the body synergy needed to maintain the whole, once that is impeded the whole diminishes in performance and function simultaneously.
2. Mental - We all have fallen and bumped into things and been hit, pushed or compressed all of our lives in games, sports, day to day activities and work. We are used to it, we learned to ignore or even brush it off in order to have more fun doing it or even out of necessity... we are ready for the exterior to experience the cruelties of the outside world. But we have little experience with being attacked on the inside and when we do it freaks us out... think of a shot at the doctors office! It affects us mentally so that it weakens our thoughts, plans, attention and responses... some people even become an emotional mess. But more Martially speaking, if you are not ready for something internally, when it does happen your strategical, tactical, physical and mental abilities rapidly loose potential.
3. Spiritual - Also when you have attacked the opponent on the prior two internal and new levels, they loose the will to fight as they must first understand what they are now fighting. They are not used to it nor are they ready for it. When the spirit fails, then too does the warrior. That is because fear of the unknown is one of the most powerful influences over man... and it is why vast armies of people can be controlled by so few or even one. You must have a strong spirit that is forged through hardship to be internally free and strong.
You have heard the stories of war and of dead men walking... those so broken yet continue to fight on with sheer spirit. Well it should be a priority of every Martial Artist to overwhelm the opponents mind, body and spirit... maybe that's what that whole saying is about! Really think about it!
Two books that are also crucial and revered throughout the Martial Arts are: Sun Tzu's "Art of War" (with extensive research on attacking the mental aspects) and Miyamoto Musashi's "The Book of Five Rings" (with research in attacking the Spirit)... and of course the deeper tissue of Kyusho for the Physical. (read more here - http://www.kyusho.com/warriors/)
Luckily when you train with this type of attack and subject yourself to it, you learn it, reduce the fear of it, and can even cope a bit better than someone not trained in it that has never felt it internally before.
You need to train Kyusho!