Kyusho - Vital Point Manipulation
A pressure point (Chinese: 穴位; Japanese: kyūsho 急所 "vital point, tender spot"; derives from the meridian points in Traditional Chinese Medicine and in the field of martial arts refers to an area on the human body that may produce significant pain or other effects when manipulated in a specific manner.
The concept of pressure points is present in traditional Japanese martial arts; in a 1942 article in the Shin Budo magazine, Takuma Hisa asserted the existence of a tradition attributing the first development of pressure-point attacks to Shinra Saburo Minamoto no Yoshiitsu (1045–1127).
Hancock and Higashi (1905) published a book which pointed out a number of vital points in Japanese martial arts.
Exaggerated accounts of pressure-point fighting appeared in Chinese Wuxia fiction and became known by the name of Dim Mak, or "Death Touch", in western popular culture in the 1960s.
While it is undisputed that there are sensitive points on the human body where even comparatively weak pressure may induce significant pain or serious injury, the association of kyūsho with notions of 'death touch' is controversial, although striking certain points on the body can be lethal.
There are several types of pressure points — each is applied differently and each creates a different effect. "Pain points", for example, use tendons, ligaments, and muscles; the goal is to temporarily immobilize the target, or, at the very least, to distract them. "Reflex points" produce involuntary movements, for example, causing the hand to release its grip, the knees to buckle, the target to gag, or even for the person to be knocked unconscious. Most pressure points are located on pathways on the nervous system.Some pressure points produce pain when struck, pressed, or rubbed, depending on the point itself. These points are also referred to as nerve centers. While the distraction of pain might offer sufficient advantage in a fight or escape, the body has a pain withdrawal reflex, whereby it reacts to pain by moving away from the source. Martial artists can use this reflex with minimal effort.