Dim Mak

In the world of traditional martial arts the word dim-mak is bounced around freely as an enigmatic and dark technique that has the magical ability to be lethal days after subtly administering it. Various points on the body are discussed as death points, touched or lightly struck, causing devastating and protracted effects.

Much of what is called dim-mak is actually kyusho jitsu, the art and science of attacking vital points on the human body. Dim-mak (dian xue in Mandarin) incorporates this but goes much beyond utilizing all of the concepts of the Chinese experience, like Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), yin-yang, Five Elements/Phases and qigong. Dim-mak has a premeditated intent to seriously destroy a person’s life or quality of life. It is almost an evil intent for the practitioner systematically, with knowledge of the outcome, uses attack methods in sequence to affect a systemic, often slow shutdown of part or all of the opponent’s being, including their spirit and zest for life.

Understanding human anatomy and physiology gives us insights into what exactly can cause a delayed, serious effect. This is especially true by knowledge of the nervous system and the heart and circulatory system. The body is a complex and beautifully sophisticated entity with all aspects of it having multiple functions. All parts and systems of the body are intimately integrated into a whole. For the body to function as an integrated whole there must be organization and this necessitates communication. There are two communication devices, nerve impulses and chemicals. Chemicals, hormones, from the endocrine system travel through the blood and electrical nerve impulses travel by means of the nervous system.

In addition to hormones the blood carries nutrient enriched blood to all organs and parts of the body, and the circulatory system carries the waste products away. Disrupting this flow has dire consequences on the organs of the body. A decrease of blood flow to any organ can lead to damage to the organ or total organ failure. A traumatic hit directly over an organ can cause this easily. Also, stimulating certain nerves connected to an organ by convergence in a sympathetic nervous system attack can cause a somatovisceral reflex response, which results in a decrease in blood flow to the organ.

In the video and book on Parasympathetic Attacks to the Heart offered by the Dragon Society International there is discussion on the how to attack the nervous system for a sympathetic response and various ways to negatively affect the heart and circulatory system. This information relates to the Chinese concept of “Dim Hsueh”, attacking the blood gates. Also, in the video is a demonstration of a true dim-mak attack to the lymphatic system as a sample of what dim-mak actually means.

Reality in Martial Arts Training

“We train hard so the fight is easy” – unknown.

During the past several years much time has been spent analyzing and rechecking martial art theories and applications in a hope that we can provide our group with a better plan for self defense and training applications.  One of the biggest obstacles that I have experienced is the wide range of talents and use of terminology.  What one group of martial artists considers “intense” another group would break a rib laughing at.  Think for a moment of the diversity of martial artists out there.  We have everything from blue-collar, heavy duty construction workers and submission fighters to white collar, office personnel whose biggest threat of the day is a paper cut.

Each has their own predetermined idea of what an intense workout is, and what a threat is.  I guarantee you that the two ideas are far removed from each other.

I run into schools and associations whose idea of an intense workout is cardio karate class with a gi on, and the next week I see a school where if there isn’t heavy bruising and blood loss it doesn’t count as a workout.

Reality checks are still one of the most humbling experiences out there and we all need them.   Most people get only one point of reference during their training.  Their only reality check is within the dojo and what ‘sensei’ tells them.

Both points are severely flawed.

‘Sensei’ can only teach you what he/she knows and has experienced and dojo is full of ‘dojo compliance’ and ‘politeness’.  These three things greatly inhibit growth and safety while filling the martial artist with a severe case of false security.  Run this simple test in your mind or dojo.  Try your techniques with a bigger, faster, opponent that is really trying to get you.  If you feel that it did not work or that you could only get it to work 50% of the time, you have a real problem on your hands.  Reality bites and is very unforgiving.  You have to decide whether you are willing to bet your life on ‘Sensei’s’ life experiences and dojo compliance when someone really latches on with intent.  Theories and mind games are okay, but when the attacker has you by the throat, and your lights are starting to go out, you may wish that you had spent a little more time in the real world of training.

Now, that does not mean that you go out and join a submission school or train with Army Rangers.  It just means that you push your envelope, question everything, and be honest with yourself.  Ask yourself, “Will this work for me when my life is on the line?” The fact that ‘Sensei’ says, and can do it will have no importance to you when you are about to get stomped.  If it doesn’t work for you on at least 90% of the people, 90% of the time, then it is a real bad bet on your part.  The undisputed truth of the matter remains as it always will, if you wish to learn to fight or defend yourself, you must engage in training as close to real fighting as your body can tolerate.  The harder you train, the more punishment you can withstand, the greater your chance of victory or survival.

The Truths and Myths of Pressure Point Science

Pursuant with recent discussion of why people are having trouble making pressure points work for them.  I believe the root of the problem lies in the original premises under which they are operating.  I recently did a full four hour seminar debunking some of the misinformation that has been distributed on pressure point theory.  During the seminar I demonstrated how each of the following myths are simply not true and any knowledgeable pressure point expert, acupuncturist or neurologist could easily supply you with information validating what I am saying.

The other thing that really amazes me in that people will take information at face value and not test it.  All you need to when someone tells you something about pressure point work is simply go out on the mat and test it.  Either you can make it work right then with the ‘expert’ helping you or the data is false.  Now, if nine out of ten people are making it work and you cannot, it may be that your martial arts skills need some work.  Anyway, here are some ‘pressure point principles’ that are easily myths:

  • Energy flows down the outside of the arm to the hand, across to the thumb and back up the inside of the arm.
  • Triple Heater #11 is a rub point and not a strike point.
  • 1 point causes pain, 2 points cause pain in the middle, 3 points cause a knockout, 4 points cause death.
  • GB-20 does not work if you bend at the waist.
  • Energy flows exactly opposite in a female.
  • You cannot generate enough energy with an elbow strike if you deliver it above shoulder level.
  • The way pressure points work changes if you are on the ground.
  • Meridians change elements when struck.
  • Meridians change polarity when hit.
  • Pressure points work better if you use your right arm to strike your opponent’s right side.
  • It makes a difference when you strike you opponent if you use a yin hand versus a yang hand.
  • Strike all points 45 degrees.
  • What makes pressure points work is nerve endings.
  • Stretching the nerve and striking it causes a knockout for pressure points to work.
  • Strike people on their elemental strong meridian.  (example: strike wood people on wood points)
  • Strike points opposite on females
  • When making active pressure points, some are rub points and some are strike points.
  • The five element science does not apply to pressure point work.
  • People in really good shape are easier to knockout.
  • Wherever a nerve crosses or branches is a strike point.
  • Raising the big toe is necessary to make energy strikes work.
  • When striking your opponent’s head, you must place your other hand on the opposite side of their head to stop energy from escaping, thus neutralizing the KO.
  • You must strike your opponent’s left side of the head with a palm strike and the right side with a closed fist strike or the energy of the strike will not work.

There are more myths out there, but you get the idea.  People are building their training, art and self defense programs based on some of these myths.  When the time comes to  use these techniques, they are going to rudely awakened and disappointed because they will not work.   What baffles me  is why did someone put this misinformation out there in the first place?  Was it because they just don’t know any better? or just did not want  people to learn? Are they mistaken in their research and development.  We may never know.

Some of My Favorite Pressure Points

Leg Attack Points ST 39 and GB 36

I want to discuss one of my favorite leg attacks.  The points below the knee at ST-39 and GB-36.  The attack works because of the ‘wood attacks earth’ part of our five element science.  The angle will come from the front at a 45 degree angle toward the core of the body.  The kick to these points is best done with the ball of the foot.  All you have to do is line up the kick so that all the foot makes contact with this combination at the same time.  This will insure proper angle of the attack.  Be careful!  A blow with 50 psi is adequate to do damage if you follow these instructions.

I normally demonstrate this combination in seminars  by striking these points with my knuckles with about 10 psi.  This normally causes the leg to buckle.  This slight amount of pressure is enough to properly demonstrate the power of this science and its proper application.  Once you locate the points, work on different angle kicks to activate them.  As I said earlier, the easiest is the ball kick, but it can be done from another angle with a shin kick. I have seen kicks to this area break legs in competitions so make sure that you give this technique the proper respect it deserves.


Point CV-24

Intersection-jiaohui point of the foot yang ming stomach and hand yang ming large intestine channels and the conception and governing vessels; 8th of the 13 ghost points.  Add to that the mechanical effect of the blow coupled with the neurological shock and we get an easy knockout when the point is struck in and down at a 45 degree angle.  Striking weapon can be anything from a dropping palm heal to an overhand looping punch.  Secondary effects include a dislocated jaw if your opponent does not have his jaw tight upon impact.


Point CV-17

Meeting- hui point of the qi; intersection-jiaohui point of the foot, tai yin spleen, foot shao yin kidney, hand tai yang, small intestine, and hand- shao -yang, triple burner channels and the conception vessel; alarm-mu point of the pericardium.

As you can see from the description of the point, this is a highly energetic point often ignored because it lies on the breastbone.  The structural damage may be limited due to all the bone, however, the energetic damage can be immense.

This point will react to any stimulus to the yin meridians so it becomes an excellent choice for a secondary strike after parrying the arm or kicking the inside of the leg.

A phenomenon that occurs in every martial arts school

I would like to address a phenomenon that occurs in every martial arts school. The instructor cares more about the development of the student than the student does.  I constantly see instructors working their butt off trying to get students to ‘do it right’.  Instructors will spend more time trying to get the non-conformers to do it right that they will helping the ones who are doing it right.

There are some wise old sayings that become more brilliant as I get older.  See if you recognize any of these:

  • The strong will survive.
  • The weak will always be with us.
  • When the student is ready to learn the master will arrive.
  • People learn one of three ways; they see, they listen, or they feel.
  • When all else fails to teach, pain will teach.
  • Everyone in the martial arts is not destined to be a Black Belt.
  • When we stop learning, we start dying.

Why am I taking time to share this?  I need to tell our instructors that it is okay to hold to their standards and not ‘sell out.’ It is okay for them to have students who do not make the grade.  and it is okay to tell students that they are not ready yet for a promotion, next belt rank etc.

It is a lot better to do that, being truthful with the student as he is developing  and to hold the student to a high standard that to have the student come before the testing board and be crushed by the outcome.

I want to share a personal story; Many years ago a private student of mine insisted on doing it ‘his way’ because it was easier for him.  He had less that six months study and I have over 35+ years.  One of us has a deeper understanding  of the martial arts.

He kept asking;

“Why am I not progressing?
Why do you always defeat me so easily?
Why don’t my techniques have the power yours do?
Why am I always off-balance?”

Easy answer.  ‘His way’ is not the martial arts way. He cannot see beyond his limited scope.  He does not have the advantage of 30 years of experience. He cannot see what is coming next.  He fights on one plane not knowing that seven other planes exist.  He couldn’t deal with what he did not know or recognize. His biggest opponent was himself and ‘his way.’

I am patiently watching.  Pain is teaching and it is a slow, painful, agonizing process. He will either get strong, learn or fail.  Either way will be okay.  Such is life, all are not destined to be black belts.

Pericardium 6 – An Idiot vs. A Master

Seminar attendees often ask me why I spend so much time on arm points and stances.  It is because humans normally attack with their hands and the points of the arm below the elbow are very important to setting up point combinations that will render the attacker helpless.

Making sure that stances are correct insures that you will be able to withstand the unseen low kick and allows you to transfer energy properly.

That being said, let’s take a look at the point combinations that can be used from a latch onto PC-6, Pericardium 6.

The following points on the body will be greatly influenced by your activation PC-6; CV-14, CV-24, LI-18, ST-9, KI-8, LI-10, LI-11 and GB-20.

So you can easily see why we must learn to deal with the first available target being the arm, and then proceed to the secondary target on the body, which will have been weakened by our intitial stiumulus.

Many naive martial artists believe that pressure point work only involves finding where the deadly points are and hitting them.  There is nothing further from the truth.

The ‘Master’ will utilize one point to set up the next and truly demonstrate the art.  Any idiot can go and buy an acupunture book and find out where sensitive points are and hit them.

The idiot’s approach fails when he connot hit the moving target and cannot deal with the arms in his way.

The ‘Master’ uses the arm points to establish a pathway to the sensitive points allowing an easy victory over his enemy.

You must learn the science and deal with the real world scenarios.

REAL enemies have arms and move in combat.

REAL enemies are durable and can withstand impact to their bodies.

Most martial artists are incapable of delivering enough force from their punches to defeat their enemies without the blow striking a sensitive point (pressure point).

Angle of Attack for the Most Destructive Power

Usually people relate this ‘player to the game’ to the angle the pressure point must be struck in order to transfer energy into the meridian.  Our DSI  pressure point charts show the angle necessary to inject energy or strike the point that will provide the least amount of resistance to the meridian core.

This basic ‘player’ is easily seen and demonstrated by the novice who has charts.  It is a key player in the core understanding of what we do.  That being said, lets look at this ‘player’ from a mechanical  application.

Every technique should be analyzed for its angle of attack to the attacker’s core.  It should be the goal of every technique to place you in a position that you could access the core of your attacker.

Take a quick look at the video clip in our ‘Instant Knockout’ Video here

One of the points highlighted is for stomach 5.  Now try to apply that stike to your own techniques.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Look at the position your technique puts you in.
  • What position is your attacker in when doing the technique?
  • Can you reach the attackers core?

Your job is to address any stimulus in such a manner that puts you in the best position to reach your attacker’s core with the least amount of threat. In other words, do not do a wrist grab with a release point ready to hit stomach 5 but that will place you in direct line of fire from the off side hand.

Choose the release point on the other side of hand that will put you on the outside… out of the line of fire.

Always try to egress into the attack at an angle that will negate the natural anatomical strength of your opponent.  This is usually done from the outside in toward the core of your attacker.  By pressing  the attack forward, you stop their rooting and stability along with ability to generate the energy wave form.

How the Parasympathetic works in the body and how you can use it for such an unfair advantage

Recently at a Dragon Society International Seminar, Certified Instructor David Hansford released his thorough and detailed martial science research of the Parasympathetic Nervous System and how it affects the heart and other organs of the body.

We were all blown away with this ‘cutting edge’ information to say the least.

Grandmaster Tom Muncy said…

“This is GREAT!.  This is some REALLY good stuff every martial artist needs to learn.”

But before we go into what is in the book and DVD set, let’s first go over what exactly is the Parasympathetic Nervous System and why martial artists need to learn about it.

It is one of the three main divisions of the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ANS is responsible for regulation of internal organs and glands, which occurs unconsciously. To be specific, the parasympathetic system is responsible for stimulation of “rest-and-digest” or “feed and breed” activities that occur when the body is at rest.

Its action is complementary to the other main branches of the ANS, the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for stimulating activities associated with the fight-or-flight response.

You got that so far? Okay, hang in there. You’re doing great.

Sympathetic and parasympathetic parts of the nervous system (nerves in the body) typically function in opposition to each other. This natural opposition is better understood as complementary in nature rather than resistant.

Here’s an example. Think of the sympathetic as the police, or first responders and the parasympathetic as the court system.

The sympathetic typically functions in actions requiring quick responses. The parasympathetic functions with actions that do not need immediate reaction.

Yeah, yeah.  So what does all this mean for a martial artist, combat expert, and self defense extraordinaire like you?

Let’s put it plainly.  Learning from Hansford’s Book and You will get all the juicy details of EXACT SCIENCE on how to manipulate your attacker’s nervous system to have the ‘upper hand’ with your favorite self defense technique in an altercation.


So what can you learn from David Hansford and some cameo appearances by Grandmaster Rick Moneymaker in this Book and DVD set?

Here’s my top 7…but there are so many more.

* What is the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic and why you need to know the difference between the two.

* What is Fa Jing and why it is the secret to energy transfer and styles like ‘iron shirt’.

* How the Central Nervous System works and the ways to dismantle your attacker in ways you never thought of before.

* What points ‘speed up’ the function of the organs, which ones ‘slow things down’ so you are not ‘working against yourself’ in your self defense.

* The most vital pressure points to ‘take out’ someone three times your size with ease and accuracy.

* What is ‘blood profusion’ and why every martial artist out there, regardless of your style, needs to know how it affects your striking ability.

* Learn one of the most easiest facial knockouts by Rick Moneymaker that takes a ‘quarter of a second’ to pull off.

The DVD is over 60 minutes of instruction to bring you up to speed on the extensive research David provided to the seminar attendees. It features hands on examples and demonstration and a look at seminar students practicing with a partner.

If you love studying martial arts and self defense science and pressure points, Parasympathetic Attacks to the Heart is one to definitely add to your library.


The Mystery of Traditional Martial Arts Training

The secrets of the Chinese-based martial arts, including karate, have been revealed gradually as the understanding into Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Chinese cultural experiences, and role these play in their fighting systems, has expanded. Still it all seems so mysterious with colorful names like “Palace of Toil”, “Bubbling Spring”, “Needle in the Sea” and “Brushing the Peacock’s Tail” and with concepts like the “Sichen”, “Five Element/Phases”, “Controlling or Destructive Cycle”, “Qi and the Twelve Meridians” and “Yin-yang”. What’s a Westerner to do with these totally alien names and concepts?

Mostly we memorize them, accepting that they are based on centuries of observation with results that are predictable and reliable. Touch here, hit there in the sequence of the Destructive Cycle and unconsciousness follows. Or strike hard here, in and down, and death within three days. The concept of dim-mak (dian xue in Mandarin), striking techniques causing severe, delayed effects, seems almost impossibly magical. Since these were guarded secrets for centuries, traditional martial arts have an aura of even more mystery.

The light of understanding began to shine as individuals and organizations, like the Dragon Society International, studied, researched and experimented; and then applied western medical knowledge to these Chinese concepts. For example, the most fundamental and important concept in the Chinese philosophy and Chinese-based martial arts is that of yin-yang, the opposite and complementary nature that exists in all things and between all things. In anatomy and physiology the human body has an autonomic nervous system to rapidly respond to emergency situations in order to protect the body and maintain homeostasis. The responses are reflex actions over which a person has no control. The autonomic system is divided into the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems with these having opposing and complementary functions: one speeds up the function or activity of an organ, while the other slows it down. Thus the autonomic system unconsciously controls blood pressure, heart rate, digestion, urination, sleep and breathing.

Striking some nerves causes a sympathetic response with an increase in blood pressure, breathing and heart rate and which can cause a heart arrhythmia. Striking other nerves activates the parasympathetic nervous system which results in the heart slowing down, the blood pressure dropping dramatically, and the brain to go into a vasovagal faint. In the extreme scenario the heart can stop.

The book Parasympathetic Attacks to the Heart, offered by the Dragon Society International, summarizes the anatomy and physiology relevant to martial arts implications for the heart and circulatory system. The physics and kinds of strikes most suited for either a sympathetic or a parasympathetic response are discussed as well.

Does your training need an edge?

Do you feel you’ve reached a glass ceiling with your training?  Do you want to enhance your training to include all aspects of the arts?  Do you have pieces missing from your training and you don’t know where to start?
For over 20 years Dragon Society International has taught seminars all over the world. We have gotten our hands on literally thousands of people in an attempt to enhance their martial arts and to ‘fill in’ any and all missing pieces of their art.

DSI seminars bring fundamental, in-depth and ‘nuts and bolts’ principles of martial science pressure point training.
Easy enough right?  So why do so many martial artists hesitate?

The problem arises with the preconceived challenges the individual puts on the process.

Students will tell us, “I have never seen results like that from the techniques my instructor has taught me?”.
But here is their concern:

  • They are afraid of making waves in their dojo.
  • They are nervous about switching styles.
  • They do not want to start from the ground floor in their training.

…and the list goes on.

First, you do not need to switch styles.  You can stay with the style you are in now. It does not matter what style you are currently practicing. We have helped out practitioners from every style, rank, country, back-ground, politics you can think of.

Sometimes a practitioner will ask us ,”Why hasn’t my instructor shown me these techniques before?”.  If we do not know your instructor personally we cannot answer that question in an honest fashion. Maybe he or she did not have the same knowledge or exposure that there is now.  Training even 5-10 years ago is different than today with access to Youtube, social media and the to the overwhelming knowledge on blogs and forums.

Instructors years ago had to go to great lengths to learn (travel, missing time with family, finding instructors, etc) and spending a fortune in collecting resources of books, tapes, and charts.

Presently it is even easier to access martial science knowledge and train with Dragon Society International.
You can decide to jump in with both feet and change everything you are currently doing. We have many members who have left their current school and come aboard.

Just for the record, when these situations have occurred the individual was already looking for another organization to switch to. They were either dissatisfied with either their current instructor, current style, current organization , or a combination.

The official position of DSI is we do not force or encourage, people to leave their current training circumstances. In plain language we do not fish in other instructors ponds. We do not need to.

Consequently if an individual comes to us and asks us to direct their training we will do everything in our power to help that individual if we feel they are genuine and honest in their reasoning for switching.

We will not get caught up in petty politics. It is all about the learning and sharing.

We have many Black Belts, for whatever reason, found themselves without an instructor to follow. Some may only teach a few people in their basement while some had large commercial schools with hundreds of students relying on them for information and rank.

I speak from first hand experience on this. Many years ago my wife and I were with a different organization. It got to the point where we had to make a decision as to which direction we wanted our training to go as well as the training of our students.

We already had developed a relationship with Dragon Society International and Grandmasters Muncy and Moneymaker. We decided to switch and go with Dragon Society. When I called Grandmaster Moneymaker and informed him we wanted to join DSI and leave our current organization his response was, “Welcome and don’t worry about a thing. We are going to take care of you.”

We haven’t looked back since. It was by far one of the best decisions we made for our training.
Many instructors simply want to add our science to the style they are currently teaching. We have worked with many organizations on helping them to add our principles to their curriculum with great results.
We have rank and certification for those just starting in the martial arts and want to earn their black belt all the way through to becoming a DSI Certified instructor.

We  have an ever growing list of DVD’s, books, charts, and reference materials to learn from all which are available on our website www.dragonsociety.com/shop

Along with GM’s Moneymaker and Muncy, our team of Martial Science experts, are available for seminars all over the country.

Cole Ricks – Weapons/Knife/DSI Principles

Michael Patrick – Weapons/Combat/BAR/ DSI Principles

Frank Annese – Weapons/Stick/Ground/ DSI Principles

Wayne Adams – Sparring/Locks-Takedowns/Kata/ DSI Principles

Michelle Annese – Locks-Takedowns/Kata/Children Curriculum/ DSI Principles

David Hansford – Parasympathetic-Sympathetic Systems/Kata/ DSI Principles

Our instructors are available for weekends or evenings.  You can have them in for a Saturday clinic or come into one of your regularly scheduled classes during the week.  We are now setting dates for our 2013/14 calendar.

How? Simple.  Contact us, come to a seminar,  or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

We can help you easily ‘custom fit’ DSI principles and “Players to the Game” to your current training.

What if it only took this one class or seminar to make all the difference in giving you that ‘edge’ in your training this year?  Don’t wait. Contact us today.

DSI is standing by.