Articles Street Effective Vital Points

Author: Jonathan Thomson
Date: 14 September 2007

They say you need an art of self-defence to get out of a situation on the street. This to me is not entirely true. There is no art when it comes to surviving a street encounter. This is where vital points come into consideration. Obviously we don't train vital points, as you would apply them in a real life or death street fight situation. In my books (the way I see it), there are 11 main vital points. It is how you apply or execute them that make a difference.
I would like to categorize these "street effective" vital points into three (3) main categories:

1. Death
2. Permanent effect
3. Immediate (short term) effect

  1. In the "death" category there are:
    • Throat
      The most used attack for this would be the knuckle strike (Yubi Zuki) to the front of the throat. By doing so you apply pressure to the "cube of the throat", which could cause the "cube" to collapse causing the opponent difficulty to breath or if applied with enough force for the opponent to have no way of breathing. By doing this you cause the attacker to suffocate to death.
  2. The "Permanent" category:
    • Back of the neck
    • Spine
    • Knee
    The most effective attack for the base of the neck would be a downward (Otoshi Hiji Zuki) or a side elbow strike (Yoko Hiji Zuki) and a knee (Mawashi Geri) to the spine. Because the base of the neck is part of the spine both these attack could cause permanent damage to the spinal column, causing the attacker to become paralyzed for life.
    An attack to the knee (Mawashi Geri) would cause the attacker to fall to the ground. Attacking the knee with enough force it could dislocate the knee and with this have permanent impact on the attacker.
  3. The "Immediate (short term)" category:
    • Top of the head
    • Temple
    • Chin
    • Side of throat
    • Sternum
    • Short rib
    • Groin
    • Thigh
    The top of the head would be attacked with a downward elbow (Otoshi Hiji Zuki) as you need enough impact to case damage, a normal fist strike would not have enough shock to the brain to cause any effect on the attacker. The results of such a blow would collapse the attackers' knees and would most probably knock him or her unconscious.
    The temple as well as the temple would be executed with a hammer fist strike (Kentui Uchi). This would cause the attacker to drop if not knock him/her unconscious.
    A hook punch (Mawashi Zuki) to the side of the neck would most probably cause loss of balance and temporary disorder/confusion. The reason for this would be a sudden shock to the blood system and cause the body to try and composite for this quick change, causing the brain to get to much blood.
    The sternum and short rib could both be attacked with a punch, an uppercut (Age Zuki) for the sternum and a low hook punch (Tai Mawashi Zuki) for the short rib. The effect of these blows landing would cause the attacker to have difficulty breathing, having an immediate effect on the fight.
    The groin could either be attacked with a groin kick (Kin Geri) or a knee (Hiza Geri) causing immense pain to the attacker.
    When the thigh is kicked with a roundhouse (Mawashi Geri), with enough power, it would cause the opponent to have pain on the muscle of his or her thigh. The reason for this is that there is a pressure point between the thigh muscles, which lames the leg for a brief period of time.

As a conclusion I would say these are the most effective vital points. Keeping in mind that there are more, they might not have the immediate effect, which you are looking for. A bloody nose might just aggravate the opponent more and make them more aggressive, instead of stopping them dead in their tracks.

"If they can't stand, they can't fight."

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