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What is Kyusho Jitsu (vs BJJ)

What is Kyusho Jitsu?

Kyusho Jitsu is a martial art that focuses on pressure points. These pressure points are located all over the body but are often found in the head, neck, and chest areas of your opponent.

Kyusho Jitsu is not an effective martial art for self-defense. The use of this pressure point based martial art may cause pain or discomfort to an opponent. However, it has not been proven to be a reliable form of self defense on a fully resisting opponent.  

Kyusho jitsu teaches the idea that by attacking these spots and applying pressure to them, you can temporarily disable an opponent or cause them pain.

Yes, exposed nerves do exist. But, these nerves are exposed at slightly different locations in every individual. What works well for other opponents might not apply to another. A few millimeters off and you go from doing annoying pain to absolutely nothing.

Kyusho Jitsu has its roots in acupuncture. It may be effective for releasing tension and relaxing muscles similar to a massage but not as a fighting martial arts.

It is in no way practical as a martial art. Simply due to kyusho jitsu not being effective on a fully resisting opponent there’s no way that it would be effective in a real life scenario.

Another strong sign of whether or not a martial art is effective or not is:

Does the martial art contain live sparring?

If a martial art doesn’t contain life sparring how can we know that it can be effective in a real life self defense scenario?

Kyusho Jitsu vs Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Both practices have their roots in Japan and took influence from Japanese Jiu-Jitsu. But both have developed into very different things over time due largely influences, techniques, and goals. .

Additionally, pressure point fighting styles are distinct from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. That’s because they focus primarily on striking techniques rather than grappling or ground fighting techniques.

They also utilize strikes to cause pain to certain key points on the body in order to quickly disarm an attacker before they can harm you further.


On the other hand, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a martial art that focuses on grappling and ground fighting.

It emphasizes the principle that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend themselves against a bigger, stronger assailant. And that is by using leverage and proper technique.

While BJJ is an extremely effective martial art in general, it doesn’t teach pressure point fighting techniques.

They are both great in their own way. However, BJJ is a much more preferred form of martial art in general.

Not only is it a widely accepted form of martial art with competitive tournaments worldwide, but it also teaches you practical ways to defend yourself in real life.

Pressure Points for Self Defense

There are many different ways to approach pressure point fighting, but the basic concept is to use your opponent’s body weight and energy against them. To do this, you need to know the pressure points’ location on your opponent’s body.

There are five major pressure points in the human body, the:

  • Solar plexus
  • Navel
  • Throat
  • Eyes
  • Groin

These are all areas that can produce a lot of pain when struck correctly.

To apply pressure to these points, you first need to find them. One way to do this is to use your hands as a guide and feel for knots or sensitive spots on your opponent’s skin.

After identifying one of these spots, you can start applying pressure by grabbing hold of their hair or clothing and pulling them towards the spot.

Another way to apply pressure is by using an improvised weapon such as a stick or branch. Once you find the target area, hit it with force several times until your opponent gives in and makes a mistake.

Furthermore, there are many different pressure point techniques, but some of the most common ones include:

  • Joint manipulation (such as finger pressure on the shoulder)
  • Neck manipulation (such as chin lock), and
  • Abdominal Pressure Point Fighting Techniques (known as “ground control”)

Do Pressure Points Work?

Pressure points are actually one of the oldest and most effective ways to reduce tension and pain. Various cultures used them for centuries to treat a variety of health conditions.

Also, there is a growing body of evidence that pressure points can be effective in treating a variety of health conditions, including general pain, anxiety, stress, and insomnia.

So, as a form of acupuncture and treatment, yes. But, in a self-defense situation or as an effective martial art, they simply just don’t.

As they say, people are different and weird. Even though sensitive spots do exist in the body, they do vary from one individual to the other.

Moreover, some spots will hurt some people whereas others are unaffected. Some spots work on most people but don’t do that much and some are great just too fiddly to hit.

There’s always going to be some freak of nature who just doesn’t care and you never know when you can face them.

Is  Kyusho Jitsu Effective?

As mentioned, when it comes down to it (self-defense situations), no, not really. While there is truth to pressure point fighting as suggested by science and research, you can’t really use it in a real-world fight.

As you know, accuracy is thrown out the window in a fight. It is usually chaotic and fast. Even an untrained fighter, by instinct, starts throwing punches and hay makers. They’ll push forward with resistance, and with adrenaline in the mix, they may not feel much during the fight.

Kyusho Jitsu relies considerably on body positioning and control to achieve its objectives, making it difficult to transition from self-defense into striking attacks or vice versa when it comes to life-or-death situations.

Are Kyusho Jitsu Techniques Dangerous

No. While they may cause discomfort, they are not dangerous.

The science of pressure point fighting is based on the idea that certain points on the body can be more sensitive than others and can be used to inflict pain or discomfort.

Achieving the desired outcome by using pressure point fighting techniques is all about finding these sensitive spots and applying pressure until the opponent gives in or suffers an undesired outcome.

Some common goals of pressure point fighting are to disable or incapacitate an opponent, cause pain, force an opponent to submit or gain dominance over the opponent.

Why Don’t We See Kyusho Jitsu in MMA?

Pressure points are not illegal in MMA. If someone could incapacitate or heavily limit someone’s ability to fight with any sort of consistency, you’d see it happen. But, you rarely see it or you may never have been simply because it doesn’t work.

This style is not commonly seen in MMA due to its slower pace, which can make it difficult for fighters to maintain momentum while fighting.

Kyusho Jitsu also needs a high level of technical precision which often requires time. And when you’re in a fight, you have as little time to think about your next move. So, other techniques are more accepted and practical for competitive use.

While Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has become a competitive sport in the world of mixed martial arts (MMA), Kyusho Jitsu remains more of an art form than a competitive sport. 

What is Dim Mak?

Dim Mak or “dim” mak is a centuries-old Chinese martial art that uses techniques to disable or knock out opponents.

Dim Mak is another pressure point based martial art that has yet to be proven as an effective martial art or form of self defense.

In its English term, “Dim” means point/press, and “Mak” means blood vessel. So, we can translate Dim Mak literally by pressing the blood vessels.

Dim Mak practitioners believe that there are many different types of energy flowing through the body at all times and that these energies can be manipulated using specific pressure points on the body.

According to practitioners of Dim Mak, these pressure points have been mapped out in order to determine which ones cause specific reactions when struck with sufficient force.

Dim Mak is commonly translated as “finger death” or “the touch of death.” Practitioners of this technique use their hands and fingers in quick, unpredictable motions to strike and stab opponents targeting specific areas of the body.