Effects of a Kubaton
The Kubatoself-defense weapon that assists in applying additional force to various pressure points throughout the body. As a pressure point and pain compliance weapon, it can attack any point that a finger can, but with much greater penetration because of the smaller surface area at the end of the Kubaton.
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Types of Pressure Points
There are several types of pressure points – each is applied differently and each creates a different effect. “Pain points”, for example, use tendons, ligaments, and muscles – the goal is to temporarily immobilize the attacker, or at the very least to distract them. Reflex points produce involuntary movements, for example causing the hand to release its grip, the knees to buckle, or the attacker to gag, or even for the person to be knocked unconscious.
Some pressure points produce pain when struck, pressed, or rubbed depending on the point itself. While the distraction of pain might offer sufficient advantage in a fight, additionally the body has a Pain withdrawal reflex whereby it reacts to pain by moving away from the source.
Martial artists can make use of this through minimal effort. Applying pressure to the collar bone from above will cause the subject to move downwards, whereas poking them upwards in the gap between the ear and neck will make their body want to move upwards. Pressure to the shoulder causes that side of the body to move back.
A jab to the abdomen in the middle of the stomach will cause some people to twist around, away from the pain. A rapid impact, say from an elbow or fist, to the lower torso, just below the ribcage, can easily knock all the air straight out of a victim, leaving them gasping for air and unable to move. A rub down the back will cause the body to move forwards. Some points react more violently to pain from changes in the pressure (rubbing) rather than constant pressure.
Blood & Blood Pressure
The baroreceptors in the carotid artery are pressure-sensitive, supplying the brain with information to control systemic blood pressure. Pressure against this region will send signals which indicate that blood pressure is too high and lead to a lowering of blood pressure. Therefore striking this area can cause unconsciousness using the same mechanism, also relying on the force being transmitted to the reticular activating system.
There are certain areas which are likely to lead to a break if struck properly, such as the “floating ribs”, the philtrum, and the side of the knee.
There are joints that when struck, can be hyper-extended and even tear. This is a technique which can cause permanent damage to one’s opponent. There are two types: • Brute force: This takes advantage of the vulnerability of the strike point, usually a joint, thereby causing the damage. • Golgi organs: A relatively gentle strike to the Golgi tendon at the back of the elbow, for example, triggers a reflex which immediately relaxes that tendon allowing the elbow to bend more easily in the wrong direction. If this is immediately followed by a solid strike to the elbow joint, the elbow can be broken with significantly less effort than through brute force.
The brain is a sensitive organ which floats in a fluid (cerebrospinal fluid) and balances on a very flexible spine. These safety mechanisms allow the head to take substantial impact without resulting in concussion. However, martial art techniques can be delivered in a way which effectively eliminates such protections, thus causing disorientation or instantaneous knockout. The most commonly taught technique involves a strike just below the occipital ridge, at the correct angle in the correct direction. Another well known point with this effect is the chin or lower jaw, giving rise to the boxing expression: a “glass jaw”.
The same effect of knocking somebody unconscious may be achieved by using the edge of the hand (palm-up) to apply a sharp strike to the carotid artery. With enough force, the artery will be compressed, and a mere few seconds of the artery being pinched will starve the brain temporarily of oxygen, rendering the victim unconscious.
Some believe there are energy channels (acupuncture meridians) which allow Ki to flow through the body. Acupuncture is the best known use of the meridian system. Traditional Chinese medicine practices are largely based on the idea that meridians are specific pathway lines in the human body, along which are found many hundreds of acupressure points. There is no physically verifiable anatomical or histological basis for the existence of Ki, acupuncture points or meridians.
According to these legends, attacks will impact the flow of Ki, and thus the body. Therefore pressing, seizing or striking these points with specific intent and at certain angles is believed to cause either a heightening or diminishing of Ki circulation in the body. Arts such as Bak Mei and Bok Foo Pai utilize this strategy almost exclusively in combat.