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The use of pressure point techniques in martial arts is often not properly emphasized, but the use of pressure points can be one of the most effective and practical ways to deter an attacker. While pressure point techniques are important for anyone who is trying to learn martial arts, martial arts training that teaches self defense for women is one area where pressure points are particularly useful. Whether you are hoping to learn self defense moves or just want to be prepared for moves that may be used against you, the following are a few of the most successful pressure points to aim for when being attacked.
The hypoglossal pressure point is located on the underside of the chin, just below the bony protrusion on the jaw. Find it by pressing along the underside of your own chin by pointing the fingers upward and pressing until you feel an uncomfortable pressure. This point is used in self defense moves that use a knife-hand movement, and it is ideal for situations in which you are close to your attacker. A sharp jab to the area that is aimed directly upward, as if stabbing through the chin and through the top of the head, will cause your attacker a sudden burst of pain.
The mandibular angle is a pressure point technique that is most useful when used to defend another person or if you are able to get behind your attacker. The mandibular angle is located on the neck, just below the earlobe. To successfully apply the technique, grasp the head on both side (from front or back) as if you are using the jaw as a handhold. Try finding the pressure point on yourself to see how and where it should be used.
One of the best self defense tactics that can be used when attempting to quickly end a dangerous confrontation is the brachial plexus origin. This is one of the most successful self defense techniques because it can be used from either very close or arms length. The brachial plexus origin is found on the side of the neck, and runs from the earlobe to the shoulder. Unlike other pressure point self defense moves, a brachial plexus origin technique requires nothing more than a blunt strike to the side of the neck. Practice with a partner, using very gentle but sharp movements, strike the side of the neck with your forearm. This will cause an immediate sensation of blurred vision and/or dizziness when even slight pressure is used. Never use this move at full power unless you are in a highly dangerous situation from which you must escape.
While most pressure point self defense techniques focus on the head and neck, the common peroneal nerve is located in the thigh, and is an ideal target for punches, kicks, and particularly knee movements. The common peroneal nerve is located on the outside of the thigh, and is easily attacked with sharp kicks or punches. Again, this is one of the self defense tactics that doesn’t require any delicate movement- a strong knee to the common peroneal will often drop an attacker in a single blow, giving you time to run from the situation or apply another technique.
Among all martial arts techniques, pressure point self defense tactics are the ones least often explained. If you choose to practice these movements as you learn martial arts, remember that they should be done gently with a partner to avoid causing damage or injuring your partner severely. As you learn martial arts movements, consider how each one could be used in conjunction with pressure point techniques to achieve a better result.

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