January 4, 2014 | By | 13 Comments


tszNever Techniques

are the second most important aspect in the Martial Arts is the tools (after the targets).

The ancient method of anatomical targeting needed penetrating weapons to inflict the most destructive, efficient and definitive results.  This was achieved on the battlefield with forged metal, but in hand to hand combatives the body was developed into weapons.  More time was spent on this training than is today, (if even trained now) as the need is not readily seen by modern practitioners in this relatively calm period in societal evolution.

The long arduous process of forging tools (conditioning of knuckles, finger tips, legs, etc.) into hardened weapons is too much for most just looking for a hobby, fitness or real martial skill.  And as such many important aspects of the ancient arts are not surviving the years for future generations.  Now we see people overly involved with Kata (not hitting anything), Sparring (a game of tag and pulling the blows) and self defense techniques (with careful application to not cause damage)... all ingrain  an improper mindset and will or spirit. This is not to say that each of these practices is bad, they can be transformed once Kyusho (and especially the tools used are trained).

Let's first look at what happens when a person begins their weapon training in earnest:

  1. First there is a mental shift from divergent complexity to focused simplicity and efficiency.
  2. Then the spirit is forged as the determination grows from training long painful and dangerous methods.
  3. The bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles and skin are hardened far more than in technique, sparring or kata work.
  4. The focus on the delivery angle and penetration depth of the weapon becomes the goal and mindset.
  5. Striking through the surface is trained and ingrained.

One of the main problems is that instructors in modern times place too much emphasis on physical action and techniques comprised of combined physical actions, less on the targets and tools. This means that more mental every (nuero transmission and even thought), is diverted to these endeavors as opposed to focusing on the goal.  This is great for fitness and appearance, but diminishing for affect and result in Kyusho.  Many look at the old black and white films of the Masters from Uechi to Funakoshi and are surprised to see their performances look sloppy, lazy, casual... and more, just not crisp and pretty like modern Martial Artists Performances.  But that is the key, today most are so interested in "Performance" as opposed to real application and they cannot see the intent of the old masters... in fact they dismiss it to them just being old or we have improved the arts.  We have not improved the arts,we have changed the arts...this is not bad if you are looking more to exercise or looking pretty, but it is if you care about effectivity.

They spent time on the Makiwara, Mook Joong,Bricks and boards, sand and rocks, etc. to forge powerful weapons for specific targets they preferred.  This gave them a vastly different possibility with a vastly different skill.  That said, we do not however need to disfigure our hands r other body parts as they did with their conditioning, there are much smarter ways to train the tools you use as it is no longer seen by the public as a status symbol or signify-er of a master.  Today warped, calloused hands as example are viewed as ugly, no one really knows (except a very few) what this is about and if not really necessary why do it.  Also something to think about... we live longer and will need to endure the pain and limitations of arthritis or other such maladies from over conditioning.  However as our goal is no longer to kill the opponent, we no longer need this disfiguring approach,but we do need to condition and work our tools as the second most important aspect of our combatives training and preparation.

There are numerous ways to accomplish this, but in simple terms you need to have contact with something other than air when you train.  Walls, door jams, trees, anything will do, butof course the best is an actual person... yes that means really hitting (and also being hit..this will be a subject for another article).  You need to know (before the SHTF) what are your most natural weapons or tools and what targets you can attain no matter what the situation.  This is not an overnight process, you must spend many training hours first building a vast array of tools and targets, then another great many hours getting rid of the superfluous to simplify for effective self protection.  Then countless more hours repeating these in all environments, conditions, stress levels etc., this is not a game and it must be train as such otherwise you fool yourself into thinking you are prepared.  (this is all possible working with a Kata as well, but that is for another time)

Your most important tool is your mind... as you train your other tools, in the above manner, you will be sharpening your mind.  This is not a collection of techniques, but rather a conditioning of a martial artist.  Let's look at it from another perspective, you have two individuals ready to fight, both of equal age, size, strength and physical abilities.  One has trained hard on Kata and self defense techniques, the other in targeting weaker anatomical structures and hardening his weapons... who has a better chance?   Do not fool yourself.




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  1. Euphoria64 says:

    Quoting from the post:
    “Many look at the old black and white films of the Masters from Uechi to Funakoshi and are surprised to see their performances look sloppy, lazy, casual… and more, just not crisp and pretty like modern Martial Artists Performances.”

    I just want to comment on relaxation (or is it absence of unnecessary tension) and what I am learning about it on my kyusho journey in hitting targets and getting better responses than if I hit/strike with the intent of power and tension. It would appear that among many of the outcomes that the old masters may have had from their intent, Relaxation is part of the key to activating the targets and perhaps why their performances looked sloppy, lazy, casual.

    Did they, the masters know this and just not allude us to it or are we seeing things we want to see?

  2. admin says:

    We will never know that, however if all of them did it there must be something universal.

    I see it as relaxed as if the tools were attached on ropes (arms) and they contained a snap at the end as a bullwhip does.

    As I mentioned in the 6 Ji Hands, it is not the arms that propel the weapon, it is the wrist and the torque that gets Kyusho to work, better and more efficiently.

  3. Euphoria64 says:

    I suspect that the waist/hip rotation as emphasized in okinawan styles is to use speed and not strength as a source for that whip action at the end of the extremities to create the necessary type of impact required to cause body dysfunction through correct kinetic energy transfer.

    Just as a thought, If F=MA is the formula to explain force, and modern martial artist interpretation of the physics equation is that the emphasis (intent) when punching/striking/kicking etc is on the force side of the equation by harnessing mass x acceleration…

    Is a Kyusho practitioner using the same formula?
    If so, in the same way or with different emphasis (intent), e.g., A = F/M to achieve the right kinetic energy transfer?

    Of course, there is also another option…The formula is a totally different one.

  4. admin says:

    Th equation for Kyusho is slightly different, it is HTHLT=IH/TFD (Hit Them Here Like This=It Hurts/They Fall Down).

    Sorry just being pithy… in reality, force is not the equation in Kyusho at all (as seen with the old masters). Penetration into deeper layers of anatomical structure is. Now in basics of course power was taught with fists (and other blunt tools), and massive power as the correct tools and targets were not taught until much later (if ever) to the right student. I will also say that what has been shown publicly in Kyusho is only a third of what is.

    In Kyusho people need to separate themselves from mainstream Martial ways and applications… it is different. And they need to get away from the points.

    PS 99% of martial arts is like a snow shoe keeping the user on top of the surface with diffused power. (see

  5. Dee says:

    By reading the post, In kyusho, you will have to deliver the strike as if you are doing arm rotations (big circles),yet focus the rotation to your wrist . Is this summation close?

  6. admin says:

    Smaller efficient circular torque from a relaxed arm…

    By the way look at the systema guys… that is the relaxed way the old masters exude.


  7. Euphoria64 says:

    “HTHLT=IH/TFD (Hit Them Here Like This=It Hurts/They Fall Down)”…LOL, now that’s funny!

    I am not part of any systema organisation but also know that not only are they relaxed, they train mostly at slow speed, have a strong focus on breathing and from what I can see, don’t use kata or any vehicle similar to them.

    What I have found interesting with a different approach to energy transfer from a punch/strike is that of Ballistic striking, where instead of focus and intent on hitting through the opponent, the strike is put into the opponent with the intent to keep it there and have it spread and shock them internally.

  8. admin says:

    People often and mistakenly call Tai Chi internal as it is slow and supposedly moving chi all over the place. However if the practitioner does not understand or perform internal work, then it is an external form.

    If a Kara-Te practitioner works more on attacking the inner anatomical structures of an opponent then they are not external martial artist they are indeed an internal one.

    When you hone your tools with the intent to reach inside, you too become an internal stylist of sorts. You see it is not the style that matters, it is the practitioner.

    Even though many see body conditioning (especially the tools), they believe only what they themselves allow trough limited understanding.

  9. Euphoria64 says:

    In response to Dee…
    The big circles are performed as in training and kata because in combat under stress, the reaction is that the circles naturally get smaller.

  10. Dee says:

    The strike has to be small and concise yet heavy handed. small circles = application (real world)? What also help me in honing the correct strike, and angle is watching the KSP dvds. Thanks for the comment Evan and Euphoria.

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