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Was Kano a believer in pressure point knockouts?

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    Was Kano a believer in pressure point knockouts?

    I posted this in a reply to another thread. However, I find it very interesting and would like to see what the more knowledgable judoka think of the following excerpt from a book I am reading. If the mod gods feel this is a double post and want to delete either this thread or my reply so be it. I just though it was thread deserving in the MA History forum.

    I am about half way through a book titled "The Complete Kano Jiu-Jitsu [Judo]" by H. Irving Hancock and Katsukuma Higashi. I bought the book for historical purposes because it was originally published in 1905 and has been republished identical to the original.

    The last chapter of the book speaks of "Kuatsu, or the Restoration of Life". If this was truly a teaching of Kano the following reads like Judoka were originally chi loving hippies and proponents of the one touch knockout. Pretty interesting from a historical perspective. The experienced judoka on this forum may have more information concerning these particular authors or the following representation of resuscitation techniques, Kuatsu, employed in the Kano system.

    "Almost from the inception of jiu-jitsu, probably twenty-five centuries ago, the Japanese began to get inklings of the possibilities of that wonderful science of vitality which has since become known under the name of kuatsu. Persons who have fainted, or who have been struck unconscious, are quickly - almost instantly - brought back to full possession of their faculties.

    Originally kuatsu was, no doubt, employed solely for reviving victims of attacks. In later centuries however, it was discovered that this strange science was potent in cases of drowning, sunstroke, and injuries from other accidental causes.

    In the following pages every authentic phase of this wonderful yet simple work of revivification is given. The directions are few and simple, yet great care must be observed by the student. Success cannot attend carelessness. The vital points that must be touched in the manipulations must be found with exactitude or the desired results will not follow.

    It is recommended that the student, when merely practicing, make the touches and other manipulations very lightly. It is a curious fact, which will be noted by the reader, that many of the points of the body touched in the kuatsu manipulations are also points that are touched in attack for the purpose of causing death or insensibility.


    Hancock and Higashi, The Complete Kano Jiu-Jitsu [Judo], Page 507, Dover Publications, Inc.

    Pretty interesting IMO.

    EVERY japanese ryu has pressure points in it's teaching nothing new here.

    They were 'advanced' because you need to have a sound delivery system in order to hit them.

    You do know that previously there were loads or reanimation techniques taught in JMA, That they did the "mouth to mouth" and heart massage at least a hundred years before it was introduced in the west right ?

    Nothing 'Hippy' about this. The hippy thing is to think that you can learn pressure points and apply them without a sound delivery system.


      There is also a statement made in the book by Hancock, that, essentially, he had been "revived from death" many times during his judo training in Japan around the turn of the 20th century by the use of Kuatsu.

      I'll try and find the exact quote from the book when I go home later and post it. It is probably all a matter of perspective in that anything "new" with regard to medicine or manipulation of the human body may have been view as much more fantastic, bordering on mystical, back at the turn of the century. Since then we have obviously advanced in our general pool of knowledge on the subject and can pinpoint with some degree of accuracy why you are able to get a particular result from a particular bodily manipulation, whether its acupuncture or chiropractic related.

      The point of the initial post is that the Kuatsu representation in the book appears to be leaning more toward the mystical side as opposed to the empirical scientific side with which you see the cause and effect of various judo techniques explained today.


        Ha ok.

        Well yeah I would guess that before we knew why certain reviving method works they put some 'mystic' on it since they couldn't explain it any other way.

        Historically they probably trained loads of kuatsu to keep the working ones and disregard the non working ones as time went by and didn't really care as to 'why' it worked.

        From what I know when Judo's kuatsu was introduced in the west some people went to doctors and ask if it was possible that these manipulation, like mouth to mouth and heart massage, could work and were laughed at because 'scientifically' their was no way breathing out into somebody could revive him or that pressing against the rib cage could start (or stop) the heart.


          Isn't that kuatsu whatever used when someone gets choked out and you bring them out of it.


            Kuatsu are recessitation techniques I think and they actually work.


              BTW this thread is false advertisement.


                GoJU has strikes to pressure points.


                That's the difference between realistic pressure point techniques and a lot of shit.

                You have to actually hit the points hard to see an effect.

                For example a good thai kick to the keg shuts down the nerves momentarily.

                Same thing with a chop to the neck.

                Anyways most pressure point technique nowadays have become a weak attack system for nonathletic, unskilled people to convince themselves they're deadly.


                  Originally posted by GoJu - Joe
                  For example a good thai kick to the keg shuts down the nerves momentarily.
                  Its also a good way to really piss everyone off at the party.


                    I'm sure that his idea of pressure point usage was not what most of the Jackoffs nowadays think of. It is clear in his books and other Judo books that they are primarily used for reviving an injured/unconcious person. All of the methods have been proven, just some of them have been improved upon by modern medicine.

                    Basically, pressure points work. Modern medicine tells us that. Its just the western mystification (read-pussification) of martial arts has turned it into chi balls and voodoo.


                      If you overlay the basic "Pressure point" anatomy used in Japanese martial arts over what is known about human anatomy you often find some interested corrolations. Many are points where major nerve branches slip in or out of bone or where the major plate fussions take place in the skeletal system. The later part is a major consideration historically as most combat was done by young people at ages when compelte bone fussion had not happened and may explain the various stories of delayed deaths and the like.

                      The Japanese, like the Chinese, had a taboo against the manipulation of human remains preventing detailed internal anatomy from taking root. That so much about how to disable and dismantle a human being was deduced without any autopsy or dissection is amazing. It is also one of the reasons that a lot of superstitions developed around this information. Westerners who are often ignorant of the anatomical considerations end up focusing on the superstitious explainations because it feeds the sense of wonder that drove them to study "exotic" practices.



                        Basically its just a bunch of techniques for reviving people after they have been choked out. Its common sense stuff that works. Kano always explained things scientifically. He was a great modernist and educator who reformed jujutsu.


                          I don't think anyone debates that there are weak spots and exposed portions of the human body, and that funny/amusing things happen when you hit them. It's people that believe "magically tapping them and exploding someone's heart works, so why do all those nasty situps" we have a problem with...


                            The book in question is not a judo book, the authors caused some upset to Kano for using his name on the book.

                            Was/is there atemi to vital points in Judo? Yes. Is The Complete Kano Jiu Jitsu the definitive answer? No.


                              Just echoing CDRonin, the "Complete Kano Jiu Jitsu" was not authorized by Jigoro Kano and doesn't represent his teachings. Kano himself was very unhappy that the authors used his name in their title.



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