With the grading approaching I’ve found myself having to re-learn the Japanese pressure points (kyushu) that’d I’d once memorized for my shodan exam. It’s amazing how quickly one forgets these things. In any case, it’s reminded me of the importance of having a clear intent with our targets and to occasionally explore spots you might not always think about striking.
One of the things I love about traditional karate is training to attack these more vulnerable areas – the spots usually off limits in competitive martial arts. Groin strikes, chokes and eye gouging, biting, ripping at ears and pulling hair (sigh) – all that good stuff – these are the things self-defense is made of.
In training Sensei frequently encourages us to poke and prod ourselves and our partners to develop a feel for those hard to find places. Something tells me he could find them all blindfolded, but I’ve learned not to ask twice about the exact location of pressure points unless you’re after some first hand experience to ‘burn’ those spots into memory.