Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Utilization of Kyusho Locations
When I began my study of RyuTe, there were dozen's of new concepts and ideas that I had to get my head wrapped around. Many of those concepts had been (weakly) mentioned in some of the other systems that I had previously toyed with, but none presented them as something that every student would be working on/with (almost immediately), regardless of their rank.
One of the most popular of those subjects, was Kyusho. Many students (myself included), attempted to organize what Taika was showing us (in regards to their locations and applications). Sadly, this often became a Cluster-f*%k operation. Numerous locations could be used for multiple purposes depending on how they were manipulated (direction, type of impact/pressure, whether the location was being flexed or relaxed, etc.). There were numerous variables to almost every instance of a locations use! What made it worse, was that if the wrong manner was used in an inappropriate situation, there would be little to no reaction.
Taika never really stressed any particular general manner of kyusho application. Locations were shown/taught as they became applicable to what application we were working on (at the time). This meant that a kyusho location could be (only) mentioned (in passing), or studied specifically depending on what that classes emphasis was that night.
Much like our Tuite Principles, all of the relevant points were not presented/mentioned at same time. They had to be collected through the attendance of numerous classes. Individual's who only studied for short periods of time, were never exposed to Taika's entire instructional method (which is why long-term students of Taika dismiss those wanna-be pretender's as being fraud's and charlatan’s).
The collection of general application rules, was awkward in several (application) respects. Teaching a location, Only for the purpose of knowing to strike/use that location, seemed to be counter-productive, as well as counter-defensive. It tended to encourage student's to attempt to strike only those locations. Not every location produces a usable reaction unless additional factors are also in effect.
If a particular location on the forearm (of an aggressor) is struck when that aggressor's arm is relaxed (and not striking), the reaction will be little, if any. When that same location is struck as that aggressor is attempting to strike the Tori, that aggressor will be dropped to their knee's (and their strike nullified).
But, OMG!!! they weren't knocked-out! and that's what all kyusho points are used for! (uh, not so much). Many kyusho locations cause/create less than (that particular manner of) dramatic responses. That doesn't make them less useful, only that their use is often dictated by the situation (not necessarily by the user's intent).
It should be remembered, Kyusho means vital-point. Vital, is a relative term, what's (actually) “Vital” depends on what one needs to accomplish. What this means, is that although we'd all like to believe that we would (just) Knock-Out an aggressor, unless the situation allows for it to be able to occur, it probably won't (sigh). This in turn, mandates that our other defensive skills be proficient as well. It's in those regards that knowledge of kyusho/atemi locations becomes more applicable.
A great deal of noise is made in regards to multiple locations being (required to be) struck, in order to effect any result, this is nonsense. I've both watched and received one of Taika's strikes (that have resulted in either a KO, or a numb (as in “dead”) limb. In either case he only implemented a single striking action.
We have our own student's practice arm strikes on a regular basis. Even though performed lightly, only limited contact practice can be attempted (before they painfully choose to change the technique their working on).
Having read several (different) theories about kyusho locations, I've never completely agreed with any one of them (singularly). I've found a combination of several of them to be closer to my own experience and knowledge.
First and foremost, is the complete dismissal of any/all “KI/Chi, Meridian” nonsense. None of it applies, works or explains any of it. That Shit is only being used to suck-in gullible moron's that are unwilling to investigate the subject for themselves. The understanding of the human neurological system is a tremendous undertaking, and one that I (certainly) make no claims to of mastered (at all).
That being said, it doesn't mean that it's impossible for the (only moderately educated) average person to be able to understand the basics, or at least with a little effort on their part, LOL. The RyuTe association has several doctor's (medical specialists) who are able to explain the physical/neurological reasons for the reactions caused/created by the strikes that Taika is teaching to us. Taika himself, doesn't know (or care). He say's it doesn't matter. As long as you know that if you do “A”, it will result in “B”, then he doesn't care what “A” is doing. The only thing that's important, is “B”.
I am exposed to the meridian tripe on a regular basis (I receive multiple E-mails daily). Every one of them, exert more mental and physical effort on any one application, than I would consider necessary for students to use for an entire confrontation. What they consider to be “Tuite”, is re-hashed jujutsu techniques that can (many times) be easily countered.
Is what I teach/use the answer? That's debatable, the difference being, that I'm willing to change my methodology if/when what I'm doing is proven wrong (to me). It's not like I haven't done so in the past, that was what got me involved with RyuTe 34 years ago.