The Secrets of Kyusho - Stefan Reinisch - ebook

The Secrets of Kyusho ebook

Stefan Reinisch



Every action in Martial Arts and self defense aims at discovering the opponents' weak points, exploiting them and finally disabling him/her without injury or to bring him/her under control. Although our knowledge about the build-up of the human body has multiplied, in many books on the subject of Martial Arts an explanation concerning the effect of various striking and pressure techniques has reduced to mentioning merely "causes pain, paralyzes, death". Explanations are missing or are left in the realm of the esoteric. However it would be appreciated very much, if not simply from a standpoint of personal responsibility, if the followers of Martial Arts delved more into the possible medical outcome of their actions.

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Stefan Reinisch (1970) is a 4th degree Dan in Jiu Jitsu. He works as a teacher of Jiu-Jitsu at the sports institute of the university of Vienna, as a counselor in behavior and safety training for companies as well as teacher of self-defense for women and girls.

Juergen Hoeller (1953) is athletic trainer and therapist. He is a 3rd degree Dan in Taekwondo, Ashihira Karate and Jiu-Jitsu; moreover, he has several black belts in Judo and Combat Hapkido. He gives lectures at home and abroad and works as a teacher in the schooling of trainers in different sports organizations (Tae-kwondo, Judo, Fencing). He is an athletic trainer, a Karate trainer and an author.

Axel Maluschka (1972) is Business Coach and author. He has been training in different martial arts (Ashihira Karate, Taekwondo, Jiu-Jitsu, Kickboxing) since 1996 and is a student of Juergen Hoeller. He is coauthor of numerous martial arts books.

KyushoAttack Points in Self defense and Martial Arts


As authors of a joint project we’re indebted to the following persons:

•Harald Marek M.A. (4th Dan Jujitsu) for his comprehensive work as photographer.

•Senior Consultant, Dr. Mehdi Mousavi (5th Dan Jujitsu) for the foreword and for taking a critical look at our work in the book.

•Dr. Thomas Hausner (6th Dan Karate-Do), Specialist for Trauma Surgery and Surgical Specialist at the UKH (Accident Hospital) Lorenz Böhler Vienna, for his input regarding the solar plexus and celiac plexus.

•Dr. Moritz Hawliczek (1st Dan Jujitsu) for his medical advice.

•Peter Rütter (5th Dan Shotokan Karate), Management Coach, lawyer, two- times World Vice-Champion in Karate for his assistance with the cover picture.

•Sebastian Rudigier (1st Dan Jujitsu) for acting as our model for the additional photos in the second edition.

•Alexandra Runge for the cover photo.

•Benjamin Schmid for being the “victim” for the additional photos in this edition.

Thanks to each of you!

Stefan + Juergen + Axel


This book contains some techniques that can be dangerous and must only be practiced under the supervision of a qualified trainer or instructor. The author and the publishers cannot be held responsible for any injuries that might result.

This book has been written using exclusively the male form of the personal pronoun. Of course, for reasons of simplicity this should be understood to include the female form as well.

Stefan Reinisch, Juergen Hoeller & Axel Maluschka


Attack Points in Self defense and Martial Arts

Meyer & Meyer Sport

Original title: Kyusho – Angriffspunkte in Selbstverteidigung und KampfsportAachen: Meyer & Meyer, 3rd edition, 2012

British Library Cataloguing in Publication DataA catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

KyushoAttack Points in Self defense and Martial ArtsStefan Reinisch, Juergen Hoeller & Axel MaluschkaMaidenhead: Meyer & Meyer Sport (UK) Ltd., 2012ISBN: 9781841263618

All rights reserved. Except for use in a review, no part of this publication maybe reproduced,stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means now known or here-afterinvented without the prior written permission of the publisher.This book may not be lent, resold, hired out or otherwise disposed of by way of trade in any form, binding or coverother than that which is published, without the prior written consent of the publisher.

© 2012 by Meyer & Meyer Sport (UK) Ltd.Auckland, Beirut, Budapest, Cairo, Cape Town, Dubai, Indianapolis,Kindberg, Maidenhead, Sydney, Olten, Singapore, Tehran, TorontoMember of the World Sport Publishers’ Association (WSPA)www.w-s-p-a.orgPrinted by: B.O.S.S Druck und Medien GmbHISBN: 9781841263618EISBN: 9781841268316 E-Mail: [email protected]


Foreword Dr. Mehdi Mousavi

Foreword Dr. Franz Knafl


The Results of Using Kyusho

1      Attack Points on the Head

1.1     Eyes

1.2     Chin/Protuberancia mentalis

1.3     Corners of the mouth

1.4     Nose bone/Root of the nose/Os nasale

1.5     Subnasal point

1.6     Great auricular nerve/Nervus auricularis magnus

1.7     Buccal (cheek) nerve/Nervus buccalis

1.8     Forehead nerve/ Nervus frontalis

1.9     Infraorbital nerve/Nervus infraorbitalis

1.10   Mental nerve/Nervus mentalis

1.11   Upper lip

1.12   Ear

1.13   Parotid gland/Parotis

1.14   Skull

1.15   Temporal bone

1.16   Forehead humps/Tubera frontalia

1.17   Lower jaw

1.18   Submandibular gland/Glandula submandibularis

1.19   Lower lip

1.20   Sublingual gland/Glandula sublingualis

1.21   Cheeks

1.22   Dental alveoli

2      Attack Points on the Neck

2.1    Carotis/Common carotid artery

2.2    Nape of the neck/Cervical spine

2.3    Jugular notch/Fossa jugularis

2.4    Neck side muscle/Musculus sternocleidomastoideus

2.5    Neck side muscle – insertion point

2.6    Neck side muscle – insertion point hollow

2.7    Larynx

2.8    Clavicle hollow

2.9    Trapezius/Musculus trapezius

3      Attack Points on the Torso

3.1    Armpit/Axilla

3.2    Breastbone/Sternum

3.3    Chest muscles

3.4    Nipples/Mammary glands/Glandula mammaria

3.5    Testicles

3.6    Liver

3.7    Groin

3.8    Stomach

3.9    Spleen

3.10   Deltoid muscles

3.11   Kidneys

3.12   Kidney region/Skin folds

3.13   Ribs

3.14   Clavicle/Collarbone

3.15   Solar plexus/Plexus coeliacus

3.16   Coccyx

3.17   Lower abdomen (Bladder, Intestines, Pubic bone)

4      Attack Points on the Arms

4.1    Skin of the arm

4.2    Biceps/Musculus biceps brachii

4.3    Elbows

4.4    Hand

4.5    Wrist

4.6    The nails

4.7    Median nerve/Nervus medianus

4.8    Radial nerve/Nervus radialis

4.9    Ulnar nerve/Nervus ulnaris

4.10   Inside of the upper arm

4.11   Triceps – Final chord

5      Attack Points on the Legs

5.1    Achilles tendon

5.2    Instep

5.3    Skin on the inside of the thigh

5.4    Knee

5.5    Hollow of the knee

5.6    Sciatic nerve/Nervus ischiadicus

5.7    Outer side of the thigh

5.8    Inner side of the thigh

5.9    Shinbone/Tibia

5.10  Calves

5.11  Fibula

6      Special Techniques

Appendix: Recommended literature

Footnote References


Picture Acknowledgements

Legal Notice

Foreword Dr. Mehdi Mousavi

The martial arts from the Far East have enjoyed increasing popularity in the last few years. This fact is reflected in the numerous books, magazines, and other literature about Bushido that are flooding the market at the moment. However, forgetting the technical information, if you search for any works on the physical principles, anatomical physiological descriptions or even medical sports recommendations, you will be quickly disappointed. It is exactly these points, the so-called vital points, that cannot be learned without necessary knowledge of the anatomical facts and physiological regulatory mechanisms of the body. Many of these points are used as acupuncture points to cure various diseases, but several of these points can be life-threatening for the opponent. Only knowledge of these facts by the user can generate the necessary responsibility to be able to judge the situation correctly and react adequately to a possible attack.

The authors have attempted to illustrate and explain the anatomical basics of the vital points in this book through text and pictures. The way to use these points in self-defense by applying pressure on sensitive areas and their resulting effects are explained in detail. The dangers of using these vital points are based on medical factors.

The authors have succeeded for the first time in producing a medical/scientific-based work that matches the requirements of the reader from more than a technical aspect. Moreover, the book serves as a reference work for those exercising, covering how and where such pressure points can achieve best effects. Therefore, this book should be in every Budoka’s library.

With long standing practice in the martial arts, I recommend the reader not underestimate the pressure points and stay in constant practice with them because only the correct precision in executing Kyusho can guarantee absolute and perfect defense. “He, who thinks he is good, stops trying to be better.”

Dr. Mehdi Mousavi

Head of the Accident Surgical and Sports Accident Department of the Social MedicalCenter East-Donau Hospital in Vienna.(5th Dan Jujitsu; Kawaishi Ryu)

Foreword Dr. Franz Knafl

As General Secretary of the European Jujitsu Union (E.J.J.U.) and President of Shobukai Austria, it is a pleasure for me to write the foreword to the third edition of Kyusho, which covers the sensitive points of the human body. It gives the interested reader a didactic, well-structured understanding and overview about the important pressure and vital points on the body and explains their efficiency and possible effects.

This specialized book shows many potential self-defense sequences and gives every person exercising new impulses for daily training. Simultaneously, it dispels many myths and is equally a call to cast a critical eye on this theme.

Even though the index of contents and explanations of the individual techniques cover attack points on the head, neck, torso, arms and legs, the aim is clear that the uses of Kyusho against an attacker are primarily for their use in defense.

The authors and their advisers have had much experience with the various Budo disciplines for many years. As practicing sportsmen of various far-eastern martial arts, they know well the theoretical and practical background for the precise and purposeful (according to the situation) application of Kyusho from their own practice and experience of the effects.

This textbook ideally serves to broaden the knowledge of both master and pupil. However, it cannot replace the necessary and responsible training with expert instructors and trained partners. Correct Jujitsu, Karate, Taekwondo and other martial arts demand unending and lifelong training.

Dr. Franz Knafl8th Dan Jujitsu Kawaishi RyuGeneral Secretary European Jujitsu UnionPresident Shobukai Austria Nippon Jujitsu CourseHead at the University Sports Institute Vienna (Universitäts-Sportinstitut Wien)


“Five point palm-exploding heart technique” from Quentin Tarantino’s film Kill Bill, Volume 2 (2004), Enter the Dragon (1973) with Bruce Lee, etc.

Whenever the subject of Asian martial arts comes up, sooner or later secretive techniques are alluded to that have been handed down only to the best students of the top masters. The legend of the “Touch of Death” could only have been created on the basis of a lack of knowledge by the average person regarding the anatomy of the human body – something that has clearly not changed much over time.

Although our knowledge about the composition of the human body has increased, in many books on the subject of martial arts, an explanation concerning the effect of various striking and pressure techniques has reduced to mentioning merely “causes pain, paralysis, death.” Explanations are missing. Simply from a standpoint of personal responsibility for one’s training partners (and from a legal point of view) it would be very welcome if the followers of martial arts delved more into the possible medical outcome of their actions.

The time delay of the effect of certain actions is of course part of the reason for the secretive aura of this aspect of martial arts. On the one hand, however, as every accident surgeon knows, the phenomena that symptoms arise comes a certain amount of time after the actual incident (e.g., internal injuries following a kick). On the other hand, a technique that has a delayed effect in an actual defense situation is not going to help one much. Nevertheless, such myths as these will never die simply because of the intriguing effect they have.

All defensive actions (irrespective of the individual martial art) are aimed at sensitive areas on the body (in Japanese, this is called “kyusho” – in Chinese martial arts, it is called “dim-mak”) in order to make the opponent inactive as soon as possible. In the short term, the actions are mainly aimed at getting the attacker into a position where he will be vulnerable to follow-up techniques. While lever techniques are applied to the joints and can be used with appropriate, relative severity (pain or injury), the employment of the various striking, kicking pressure techniques is often not so easily controlled. The effects depend upon:

The constitution of the opponent (it can be that delicate girls are not sensitive to the pain produced by nerve pressure techniques, while strong men collapse onto the floor as if lightning has struck them)

Any previous injuries present

Type of clothing being worn (e.g., a thick winter jacket)

The precision of executing the technique

The angle of attack

The strength of the strike/kick/pressure

Whether the action surprised the opponent. For example, attacks on surrounding nerves in the tense muscles are thus naturally difficult.

There are many vulnerable points on the human body. Some are called nerve points, others have an effect on the organs that are not protected by muscle tissue or bones, while in other cases there are mechanical weak points. Some of the points open the way for a follow-up action, while others end with the attack.

The effects are spread broadly and range from superficial pain or injury to death. The effects on the various points are totally different (also influenced by their accessibility) and this is why some of the listed target areas are interesting from a viewpoint of the Budo term “totality”– in a competition/fight they are of secondary importance. If, in spite of this, you have any doubts about the relevance of Kyusho in martial arts sports, you should consider that a boxer strives to hit his opponent at his vulnerable spots (chin, liver, and solar plexus). Punches to the kidneys, nape of the neck, or the genitals are, on the other hand, forbidden because they are considered as too dangerous in the framework of a sporting competition.

As a general maxim, previous effective techniques (e.g., the lever) can be complemented by using Kyusho which increases their effectiveness further. However, the enthusiasm must not be extended, in any case, so that the reliability of a technique suffers (along the lines of “For a hammer, every problem looks like a nail”). The most dangerous opponents are those who can turn the pain into aggressiveness or strength. Kyusho only makes sense when used in conjunction with other martial arts techniques.

TIP: If finding the point is somewhat difficult, it can be advantageous to look for it on your own body and feel its structure. Finding the point on a training partner’s body is a little easier. Besides this, one learns very quickly to distinguish between the individual feelings of pain (for example, which nerves or muscles). To mark the target areas, the so-called “target plasters” have proved to be helpful in training.

The Results of Using Kyusho


In most cases, the opponent should be made to stop a particular action by applying pain (e.g., loosening his grip). Following this action is the opportunity to create “holes” for follow-up techniques. Sometimes pain is a side effect (e.g., the dislocation of a joint).