Misconceptions About Aikido

These simple geometric shapes contain the whole essence of aikido.

So much gets "lost in translation" from East to West, it seems, and Aikido has suffered considerably from continual passing down of FLAWED material. Today, I am to rectify some of these wrongs.

As a Certified Yoga Instructor, I have struggled to get a foothold teaching here, and it took me months to figure out why. Most people in the USA think of yoga as a sort of low-impact exercise to develop fitness and flexibility. These, however, are only a BYPRODUCT of yoga! Real yoga is a science of holistic healing and spiritual development. There are 8 limbs, of which asana ("poses") is just one, and not even the first step at that! The 7 chakras are not descriptive, but prescriptive (which is to say they are not fixed objects in our spiritual bodies but rather things installed into the energy field), and it is not even a traditional system! Traditional chakra systems may have as few as 3 and as many as 114 chakras! Also, a REAL yoga instructor should be doing client intake forms where a medical history and list of physical limitations for each student are documented so that the teacher can assess the goals and needs of the individual and tailor lessons to help the client reach those goals in the safest way possible! Teaching "cookie cutter" yoga where everyone is expected to just follow along is absolute madness, and potentially dangerous to participants! 

I am just scratching the surface here, but you should be getting the picture now; Western preconceptions of some Eastern practices can be so skewed as to make the genuine article unrecognizable. Such, I believe, is the case with Aikido. So, without further ado, here's a list of the top 5 misconceptions about Aikido.

1. Aikido is ineffective, and relies on compliance from the training partner.
- first of all, the "uke" or "recipient of technique" is only "complying" so they can get a feel for the technique. Secondly, a good school will have students practice with increasing resistance. Lastly, aikido absolutely IS combat effective, but people think it is not due to reasons which shall shortly be explained.

2. Aikido is all about pacifism, non-violence, and philosophy.
- True, Aikido became more and more philosophical over time. It became something taught almost like yoga, as a system of cultivating harmony and mindfulness. However, as it was a system derived from samurai combat techniques at its inception, to remove the combat element is to remove at least half of its identity, not unlike removing the holistic healing from yoga.

3. There is no striking in Aikido.
- There is an entire body of knowledge in aikido designated as "atemi waza" or "striking techniques" which are designed to interrupt an assailant's attacks ("if an opponent approaches, move in to greet him" to quote the founder himself). To anyone with knowledge of Kyushojitsu it is glaringly obvious these techniques target the vital kyusho points, which is why we talk about it here.

4. Aikido is meant to do no harm.
- The aikidoka is meant to conduct themselves without anger or *intent* to harm in their hearts. It is considered that when someone has resolved to attack, they have already harmed themselves. The aikidoka simply brings the assault to its inevitable end, and no further. A clear example can be made by the fact that most aikido techniques will result in the opponent on the ground and the aikidoka standing up. If the aikidoka were to mount the opponent and proceed to beat them mercilessly (ie "ground and pound" ala UFC) THAT would NOT be aikido.  However, breaking the arm or knocking them out could be if that's the way it played out. The way I was taught, many techniques traditionally ended with a simulated cut or thrust of the tanto. A grim reminder that the roots of this art are in warfare.

5. Aikido techniques are like dancing.
- The "techniques" of aikido are not actually aikido, and this is the point I really want to stress here... The codex of aikido "techniques" are literally nothing more than *exercises* designed to teach a set of principles in a very visceral way. Aikido is best learned by experience, because much of what you see looks exaggerated and unreal. Sadly, it often is in the modern West especially, but not always. Feeling it for yourself is the only way to be convinced, and it is also the best way to absorb the concepts being taught and learn to apply them.

Aikido came from Aikijujitsu which means (roughly) "joining-energy-soft-technique." Aikido means "joining-energy-way" so it is inherently undefined by technical skills (jitsu). It is meant to be vague and fluid. True aikido technique is no technique. It is simply the application of certain principles, namely blending, breath control, kinetic linking, mental focus, dynamic positioning, interruption and redirection of attacks, and a handful of joint locks and strikes. These are the "chi" or "ki" elements of aikido, by the way. It is not about mystical energy, but real energy and physical principles. ( Read more about that HERE )

I have designed a class wherein I can teach the fundamentals of aikido in as little as a day depending on the skill level of the students and their willingness to learn. However, mastery could take years. The key being the complete absorption of the *principles* and the ability to apply them *outside* of formalized, pre-planned practice! You aren't a "master" of aikido until you can apply aikido without relying on technique!

To see it all first hand, contact me on the KJWA - USA Facebook page

Sensei Rae Heskett has been practicing kyushojitsu, qin na, aikido and taijiquan for over 20 years. She also teaches yoga and qigong.

REAL Ninjutsu! Does it even exist?

There are two majorly conflicting camps when it comes to "ninjutsu" and I think just about any martial art when it comes down to it.

1. Tradition is defined by an unbroken lineage, and the only "authentic" martial arts MUST have a traceable lineage.

2. Martial art is defined by its effectiveness in combat. Tradition doesn't matter if the techniques can't be applied in a practical way against a fully resisting attacker.

Most "ninjutsu" would seem to fall outside of both categories. There is no fully verifiable lineage of ninjutsu out there. Even Hatsumi Sensei's is questionable. Most "taijutsu" (which really just means "body technique" so literally every martial art has taijutsu and changing the name was just a marketing technique) is either ineffective, or impractical.

...but what is a "ninja" really? Well, the words "ninja" and "ninjutsu" don't even show up until AFTER the days in which the people to which they refer were active. The word itself means something like "the art of stealth" and it was originally more about espionage than combat. 

In simplest terms, ninja were just a form of early special forces, not unlike today's marines, army rangers, SAS and so forth. If you choose to reduce it down to just the combat characteristics, the original ninja would have learned budo, which in turn gave us the modern arts of judo, jujutsu (traditional Japanese), and aikido, as well as the various weapons systems of the time (naginata-do, kendo, etc). 

My theory is, like modern special forces, ninja would have been given some additional, specialized combat training. Because they would commonly be deployed singly, or in small units, and their missions were more intellegence gathering than full-scale combat, the focus would be more on quick neutralization and escape.

This is actually very practical in modern application of "self-defense" because we will not have a full garrison at our backs when attacked, and our job is to create a window and get out as quickly and efficiently as possible.

So, ninjutsu CAN be practical, but we can't depend on an unbroken lineage, so we have to focus instead on combat effectiveness.

Keeping as true to the original model as possible, the methods should be as direct and efficient as possible. So "economy of motion" should be a key principle. In addition, because we know they learned budo, we can look to their offspring- aikido, jujutsu, and judo, for inspiration and techniques.

I shouldn't have to make the case that kyushojitsu is present in jujutsu, and aikido's atemi waza. Suffice to say anyone properly educated in these schools will know immediately, unless they are deluding themselves, or are woefully misinformed as to what kyusho really is.

Add to that some escape and evasion techniques, maybe a few concealable and improvised weapons, and you have yourself a functional modern ninjutsu system.

Boshuriken made from hardened, sharpened nails. "Shuriken" literally means "hand-hidden blade". These are thrown using a no-spin technique. They are also used as a nasty cqc surprise, and are long enough to pierce vital organs unlike the more well known hira shuriken or "throwing star"

Commonly sold as "self defense keychains" the "monkey fist" is a knot which, in this case, holds a lead weight. The shorter ones are commonly sold at gun shows and survival expos, but are relatively useless. The longer ones shown here can be used for a variety of trapping, locking, and choking techniques, not to mention striking from a distance, seemingly out of nowhere as the can be concealed in the palm, pocket, or sleeve. Compare to William Fairbairn's "kosh" or "cosh" used by british special forced in WWII.

Before my transition, I founded a system I called "Hatchie-Ryu Ninpo" based on my personal experience, and things I had learned over the years. I wrote a book which you can find HERE on Amazon.

From my 2 years living in the wilderness I drew stealth and survival techniques. From my training in aikido and kung fu I drew throws, grappling, and the fundamental principles of power through "softness" and blending. From my experience with real-world self defense, I drew my efficiency, and more direct approach than I learned from any formal training. Kyushojitsu was a big part of this.

It is my belief that kyusho was always a part of traditional Japanese martial arts, and that it would have been emphasized in the training of special operatives of the time. Applied correctly, it imparts a significant edge against a physically superior attacker. This makes for a much more effective and efficient neutralization of threat. There are certain principles which must be taught in person, such as flowing movement and chaining attacks, not to mention all the elements of internal power and blending.  Nonetheless, I consider a foundational knowledge and understanding of kyushojitsu to be critical to the would-be modern "ninja"

Join the Team! Become a KJWA certified instructor, then contact me, Sensei Rae, to learn weapons and survival skills, and more!

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Greatest Secrets of Martial Arts REVEALED!

"'The time has come' the walrus said 'to talk of many things. Of shoes, and ships, and sealing wax. Of cabbages and kings!"

-Lewis Carrol, "Alice in Wonderland"

The Walrus in the poem was trying to keep the carpenter distracted and preoccupied. In the Tao Te Ching the "shoes and ships and sealing wax" would be described as "ten thousand things" which is to say the illusions of the material world and of the ego...

Ego is a plague on the martial arts community. Ego has people bickering over which "style" is better and what techniques will and won't "work on the street." Teachers and students alike succumb to their egos and boast of their power, prowess, and "secret knowledge".

Well I've had it, and I am blowing the lid off! So here are the biggest "secrets" of martial arts lain bare for all to see... The time has indeed come!

1. There is no ultimate martial art

Like it or not, modern warfare is the closest thing to an "ultimate martial art" and that's why it is used by militaries. Bombs, drones, poison gasses, tanks and shells and bullets are more efficient at destroying human life than anything hands, feet and elbows could ever do. Even in ancient times primitive firearms were used. Spears were favored over swords in the iron age because of the length they put between you and your opponent. Basically, nothing that people like to think about martial arts is true. From a strictly military standpoint, we are at the top of our game now. There has never been "honor" in warfare, that's just the indoctrination they give you so you are willing to die for someone else's ambition. 

When it comes to civilian combat, ie "self-defense" there is no form. It is all chaos. Training hedges the odds a bit, but it does not guarantee a "win" and even if you survive the encounter, you may still have lasting and unforeseen repercussions to deal with. Practice for 200,000 hours and you can still be beaten by someone with no training at all. Yes, even if you "roll" even if you spar with the best fighters, even if you have won trophies and cage matches. In the real world, there are no rules, there is no honor, there is only chaos. Your best bet at hedging the odds is to square with that.

Now that I got you warmed up, lets get to some of the "good" stuff...

2. Chi is real, but it's probably not what you think.

The word "qi" or "chi" or "ki" is a concept which simply does not translate well into English. It is similar to concepts like "prana" (Indian), "mana" (Polynesian) and "ond" (Old Norse). Indeed it has been hinted at by practically every culture but our own! We have concepts like biomagnetism, kinetic linking, fascia and the extra-cellular matrix which describe parts of it, but not the whole, so it remains foreign to us. The tendency with Western culture is to make Eastern things seem mystical, almost like magic, whereas back East they are utterly mundane. 

The word "chi" can mean a number of things in Chinese, and all are interconnected. In English, we like things to mean one thing, especially if they are foreign... yet we have words like "bow" with several meanings that have nothing to do with one another, and have the nerve to say other languages are complicated... Chi in martial arts refers to several different elements all working in tandem. You might call it "synergy" of the body. 

3. The "Golden Bell Cover" and "iron shirt" are not the stuff of fantasy

You may have seen the video of the guy getting punched in the face while trying to use "chi" to generate an invisible shield of sorts. This is the kind of ego I was talking about in the beginning. Chi is real, but it's not what this poor fool thought. Likewise, there is a method of protecting the body using chi, but it isn't going to deflect blows like magic. "Jin zhong zhao" or "golden bell cover" and "tie shan" -iron shirt, are two distinct practices that produce the same result. One is "internal" the other "external" but just like the martial arts "styles" described the same way, it is only a matter of where one starts that serves to distinguish one from the other.

In either case the tissues and fascia are made to adapt through rigorous conditioning and training exercises. It is a long and intricate process which essentially forges the body into a completely new machine. There is not shortcut or simple way to do this. It has to do with "chi" only in the Eastern, traditional sense, not the way it exists in the Western imagination. The "internal" aspects have to do with the fascia which holds the organs in place, and the effects the breath has upon it. Watch any "iron shirt" or "golden bell" demonstration and pay attention to the way they breathe, the timing of the breath, the subtle movements of their face and skin, and the alignment of their bodies. All of this is "chi" being put to work. It isn't magic, it's just the product of many generations worth of study of body mechanics and the adaptability of living tissues.

4. "Empty force" is real, and also not what you think...

This is mostly due to publicity and marketing than linguistic failures as described above. More ego... Okay, so you may or may not have heard of "empty force" but the term has been co-opted by some the biggest scams in the whole martial arts world. These have invariably been debunked and brought great shame to their proponents and the martial arts community as a whole. It would be easy to make a scapegoat of this single concept as the reason why all "internal" and "soft style" martial arts are the laughing stock of the martial arts world...

but, instead, I am going to reveal the truth!

Empty force is NOT hypnotism, it is NOT telepathy, it is NOT telekinesis, it is NOT magical or mystical at all!!!  It has its roots in "wu wei" or "effortless effort" which applies in many ways to martial arts, both in the philosophical and practical sense. 

Philosophically, it is the state of peace and serenity that comes from mastery of self and emotions. It is the eye of the storm, the stillness amidst the chaos. It is something we become intimately familiar with through the practice of aikido. It comes with letting go of expectation and flowing effortlessly with change. The ideas that "empty force" can influence an attacker without even touching them comes from the very real effect that kind of calm can have on other people around you. Have you ever felt uncomfortable around a complete stranger for no reason at all? Have you ever felt inexplicably comfortable with someone, as if you had known them for years though you just met? It's the same thing. When a real life threat is present, sometimes the situation can be de-escalated just by changing the "energy" in the room. You do that with your reaction, or lack thereof. This is literally the foundation of the training for crisis councilers, psychotherapists, and negotiators. If it didn't work, these jobs wouldn't exist.

"Empty force" applies to physical techniques as well. Think about when a threat first presents itself. Before any contact is actually made, there is already anticipation of escalation. Some drunk gets angry, they expect someone to fight. The challenge is accepted and reciprocated. Escalation continues until something ends it, one way or another. Just like how the verbal cue prepares one for the physical altercation to ensue, so too can physical cues initiate physical preparation... 

Let me simplify this a bit. An untrained person will likely flinch if someone raises a hand with the intention to strike them. Flinching is a primal reaction that causes the muscles and fascia to arrange themselves in such a way that felt impact is reduced, and the internal organs are partially protected. The body does this naturally, and the more one trains, the more the body learns to anticipate, adapt, and counter. The way "empty force" works in a physical encounter is that it goes with what is happening, not against it, nor does it follow its own prerogative. There is nothing for the opponent to anticipate or adapt to because you are just blending into whatever they are doing. When you blend with their energy, you can also cause it to continue in a given direction in spite of their intentions to perform another movement. This is how many taijiquan (Tai Chi) and aikido techniques work. You don't follow form in these martial arts. You don't perform scripted techniques. Those are all just training exercises to teach you the underlying principles of blending, timing, and internal force. Once you have that, you don't use your own technique, you use the opponent's technique against them. We have all heard those words, but this is what it really means. It is all about empty force!

5. "Pressure Point" techniques work in real fights, but don't make you an unstopable killing machine

and why would you want to be? Let's stop and analyze this for a moment. Why is everyone so obssessed with how much damage a technique or weapon can inflict? Bombs and poisons can do massive damage, but I don't use that knowledge! There are numerous ways to end a human life, but I have never killed anyone! Yes, striking vital points can have an impact on the deeper systems of the body, but there is no secret combination that will result in the "delayed death touch" of legend, and why on earth would you want there to be?!?!?! The simple fact that you learned this thing would be more than enough to constitute an act of premeditated murder. You would do life in prison, or get the death penalty, and your teachers may well be tried as accesories to the fact! 

The art and science of kyushojitsu underlies many different martial arts, from Okinawan karate, to jujitsu, to myriad forms of Chinese Kung Fu (where it is called qin-na or dim mak) it is even found in Indonesian Silat and elsewhere. Numerous cultures and styles have their own variations of the same basic technology. It is nothing more than medical knowledge of the human anatomy combined with the will to exploit it for an edge in combat. That may sound wicked, but is it in any way different from using a knife, or a gun, or a bomb? When the stakes are "kill or be killed" then we use whatever we have at our disposal. 

However, when it comes to self-defens killing is NOT what we are going for. Our job is to get out of that situation as quickly as possible. It is about creating a window for escape, not destroying another human being. Kyushojitsu makes it easier to overcome an attacker who is physically superior, which will most likely be the case in a real attack anyway. It can increase your chaces of disabling, incapacitating, or even maiming an attacker, which can give you a bigger window for escape. Yes, it can kill, but the chances are not much greater than they would be with any other martial art. Judicious application of technique is key. Truth be told, you are more likely to kill someone accidentally by NOT studying kyushojitsu, because it gives you the fundamental knowledge of what areas are most vulnerable to attack, and which will produce the most profound results.

A person with no medical knowledge may not think stabbing someone in the leg could kill, but the femoral artery is one helluva bleeder! Everyone knows a blow to the head is more likely to result in a "knock out" but a sharp rap to governer 15 (the brain stem) could be instant death! By the way, this point is used "on the streets" in a technique known as "curbing" perhaps you've heard of it? 

The truth is, many of the meridian points that get "needled" in acupuncture do not respond well to touch, as in acupressure. Likewise, there are points that can be touched, but shouldn't be needled. In both disciplines, there are more points used than ar practical for fighting. Then, there are "extraordinary points" used in fighting that aren't to be found in acupuncture and acupressure text books! There is no "five point palm exploding heart technique" ala "Kill Bill" and the only reason we don't strike points full force in class is because we don't want to get sued! Practicing kyusho is as safe as any other martial art, perhaps even more so given that you have a truly knowledgeable teacher proficient in revival and healing techniques as well as martial arts.


"Little Alice fell down the hole, bumped her head, and bruised her soul."

It is time we relinquish our egos and succumb to experience. Let go of expectation, prejudice, and presumption. Pursue the arts in earnest, with an open mind, and a sincere desire to improve, evolve, and transcend. That's how we become artists rather than just fighters. So let us stop fighting one another and come together in mutual passion for martial arts!

The Principles of Power.

Power in martial arts is a more complex subject than it would seem on the surface. Most people think that being a being, hulking behemoth makes one more powerful. They focus on building mass and throwing hamfisted punches. These are elements of what we call "external" or "hard style" martial arts. However, it is actually possible for a smaller person to generate as much, if not more power than someone who is physically larger, and it can be proven mathematically!

F= M*V


These are the physics equations that describe the fundamentals of effective striking. Force equals Mass time Velocity (F=M*V) means that speed multiplies the amount of force you can generate based on your size. This is why "soft style" martial arts work better for smaller people. By focusing on flexibility, the development of lean muscle rather than bulk, and running speed drills we are able to generate as much, if not more power than our physically larger peers. By keeping the muscles loose using "soft structure" right up to the point of impact we are able to move much faster than those with stiff, bulky musculature.

P=F/A means Pressure equals Force over Area. This is why some of our "exotic" strikes such as single knuckle fists, "karate chops" and finger thrusts are able to do real damage. The smaller the surface area, the more pressure is exerted over that area relative to the force put into it. The simplest illustration is hitting a board with a hammer vs hitting a nail into the same board using a hammer. The hammer makes a dent, but does not penetrate because the head of the hammer covers a wider surface area. The end of the nail is a fine point, so when the same amount of force (mass of the hammer times the speed at which it is swung) is exerted over a smaller surface area (that covered by the point of the nail) pressure is increased and the nail penetrates the board. 

It takes a lot of training to execute powerful empty hand strikes. Most people do not hit as hard as they can because self-preservation kicks in and the body pulls back at the last moment out of fear from self injury. That's why we spend a lot of time conditioning our hands, feet, elbows, knees, and any other areas we may strike with.The whole concept of tameshiwari (breaking) is designed around the martial artist's drive to overcome these hurdles. Strength, proper body structure, striking the target in the correct way, with enough speed, and the mental fortitude necessary to drive through the target rather than fear it, are all demonstrated through tameshiwari. Boards may not "hit back" but they don't lie either.

Equalizers such as yawara, chizikunbo, kubaton, etc have many benefits to the novice practitioner of kyushojitsu, and can augment the abilities of experts as well. Firstly, by holding an inorganic object in the hand, the instinctive fear of self injury is instantly diminished. One is more likely to strike with full force and speed when something other than their own body is liable to take the brunt of the impact. Secondly, like our hammer and nail, the tool focuses the pressure over a smaller surface area, dramatically increasing the pain and penetration of the net force. Finally, these tools make it easier to execute a variety of techniques without the need for fine motor skills to change hand techniques/positions into more precise configurations. They are commonly sold as key chains, which makes them legal to carry and possess in most places, however, the advice to use them keys as a "mini flail" is no good, in spite of marketing. I recommend adding a quick release device between the keys and the tool so that it can be used without the keys getting in the way, not to mention keeping your keys separate means that if you happen to drop the weapon, or have it taken from you, you still have your keys as a means of escape.

Getting back to the main topic, one final principle of power I want to talk about is kinetic linking. This is a basic concept found in practically every sport, from martial arts to basketball, even golf. Essentially it involves utilizing the body like a whip- recruiting force from the larger segments of the body first, and transferring that power into smaller and smaller segments, thus concentrating and building it up to the moment of release. Now, in order to transfer the maximum amount of momentum, the muscles have to move loosely and freely. This is how "soft styles" end up producing seemingly impossible amounts of power. It may help to think of the body as a conductor for energy. Like a wire, there is a certain level of resistance as energy travels from one point to the next. If the muscles are rigid, the joints stiff, or the links "rusty" resulting in clunky movement, then power is reduced. When movement is fluid and the body is least resistant, power is maximized. Everything starts at the ground, which is why stance is so important. From there, every joint the energy passes through has the potential to add something from the preceding muscle groups. The hips tend to be most important because the legs are generally some of the strongest muscles in the body. If we stretch our legs and make them more flexible, we reduce the resistance in those muscles. Though we may never kick above our heads in a street fight, the ability to do so actually increases the potential power of our punches!

We talk of "dantien" a lot. Most refer to it only as the area between our navel and groin. There are actually three, the lower is between the navel and groin, the middle is in the solar plexus, and the upper covers the area from the neck and shoulders to crown of the head. Considered to be "mystical energy centers" similar to "chakras" in yogic teachings, they actually represent the 3 main junctions of kinetic linkage. Exercises such as qigong, which bring awareness to these energy centers and help us to move power through them in a very real way affect our martial prowess. By synchronizing our breath with flowing movements, increasing fine motor control, and making the whole ordeal into a sort of moving meditation we remove the need for excess thought or concentration. The end result is that maximum flow of power through kinetic linkage becomes completely natural and instinctual. Thus relaxed, seemingly "gentle" movements produce shockingly powerful results!

No Fundamentals?

It has been brought to my attention that people think kyushojitsu is overly technical, that we focus too much on striking specific points in specific ways rather than working fundamentals.

When we say “fundamentals” we mean things like stance, footwork, generating power, kinetic linking, speed and reaction time, maintaining guard, etc.

My immediate response to this would usually be “take a class and find out!” but one individual recently told me that they did exactly that, and felt they wasted a lot of time because they never learned anything practical… if this was in fact the case for any of you out there, then on behalf of the whole kyusho community, I apologize.

More often than not, people try to “learn” kyusho from youtube videos or books, which just isn’t going to work. Videos tend to present the aspects of our art which make it unique. Typically this is our precision targeting. We don’t put out free videos on fundamentals because, frankly, they aren’t all that special. A punch is a punch. Tai sabaki applies to every fighting art out there. Why bother presenting the same information seen a thousand times just to prove we use it like everyone else? Some books may go into these details, but most are actually written for those who already have foundations in other martial arts. In either case, book or video, one cannot attain the visceral experience of training with a live, knowledgeable sensei.

While kyushojitsu does apply to most martial arts, and its principles and targets can be utilized by anybody, using any style, at its heart it is an “internal” art. Sometimes called “soft styles” this family of martial arts focuses on the subtler dynamics which are best conveyed through direct experience and contact. “Kokyu-Ho” is an aikido technique that teaches the student how correct use of breath can influence power output. It sounds like magic and looks “fake” on screen, but when you feel a trained practitioner perform it on you, there can be no doubt!

I am a long time practitioner of these arts. I have spent YEARS developing my hand techniques, toughening my tissues, hardening my bones, building proper structure and speed with which to execute various “exotic” strikes. I practice yoga and qigong every day to build up my balance, flexibility, and internal power. Any sincere practitioner will do these things. We all run drills and spar like anyone else, at least this has been true of everyplace I personally have studied.

I hate to say it, but the only reason I can imagine a “school” would spend all their time talking about highly specific target areas without showing any real application of technique would be to mask the fact that their techniques do not work. I could see certain groups not going into fundamentals because they assume you already have them, but you should at least see evidence of this in sparring practice.

Because kyushojitsu is highly technical, it would make sense that some schools only teach people who already have solid backgrounds in other arts. I myself will be teaching all levels of students, which means we WILL be working fundamentals. Because my own background is in “soft styles” and “internal arts” we will be working a lot with those subtle principles mentioned before like shifting the center of gravity (“rooting” and “floating” we call it), using breath to augment power, “sticky hands” and “fa jing.” I haven’t done videos about these things because, as I said before, they are better understood when felt than seen. I have seen the commentary on videos demonstrating these principles and I know most people doubt their legitimacy. Why put myself out there to be ridiculed by those who haven’t the courage to step to me in person!? I am more than happy to demonstrate on someone willing to feel it!

I just want to say I have heard you, and I will do what I can to get some video of fundamentals and drills uploaded as soon as possible!

Remember, I am currently building a network through our facebook group (KJWA – USA) so if you are a Kyushojitsu World Alliance black belt or teacher, be sure to contact me there and get on the list! I would love to get some video of us working together to further develop and honor the name of out art!

Kyusho Jitsu Home Study Course

Kyusho Jitsu Home Study Course

Kyusho Jitsu Home Study Course

Kyusho Jitsu Home Study Course

Are you looking to learn more about the science of Pressure Point Self Defense? Finding qualified teachers in the real world is very challenging! In fact it gets harder all the time. This is where the Kyusho Jitsu Home Study Course can help you!

Years ago, back in 2008 I created a DVD set that was called the Kyusho Jitsu Home Study Course. It was created for the purpose of helping people get accurate information on Kyusho Jitsu. And believe me this is a challenge! Information is all over the place and much of it wrong.

Therefore about a year ago I updated the course and released it via Digital Download. But not only did I expand the Kyusho Jitsu Home Study Course, Most of all I made it a FULL certification course in the science of pressure point self defense!

What Do You Get with Kyusho Jitsu Home Study Course?
Course Outline:

Basic Anatomy – Vital Points

  • 8 arm points
  • 8 leg points
  • Meridian and their destinations
  • Cycle of Destruction
  • Cycle of Creation
  • 3 Power Principals
  • What are pressure points and their locations
  • Striking elements
  • Chi exercises – basic and advanced
  • 5 principals of Kyusho Jitsu
  • 24 hour cycle
  • Describe Yin/Yang and location on the body. (Which organs Yin/Yang etc)
Kyusho Jitsu Home Study Course

Kyusho Jitsu Home Study Course


Which stance to use when striking specific meridians and the purpose of the stance (Neutral, Forward, Reverse, Horse, Cat, Cross Over), thus increasing you chances of successful self defense!


Which type of strike to use when attacking a Meridian, therefore making each strike count!

Form (Kata)

  • Breakdown and pressure points attacked
  • 1st Level – Punching
  • 2nd Level  – Grab or Combination Punch
  • 3rd Level  – Grappling with pressure points
  • Resuscitation – Head – Heart – Lungs – (Both individually and together
  • Breakdown 3 self defense including pressure points and Meridians
  • Basic Joint manipulation with Power Stances and cycle of destruction and Meridian attacked. (3 only)

And much much more! The Kyusho Jitsu Home Study Course will give you a SOLID working foundation in the science of pressure point self defense!

Kyusho Jitsu Home Study Course

Kyusho Jitsu Home Study Course

Limited Time Opportunity!

Right now for a very limited time I am giving you a pure gold opportunity! This course sells for $797, which is about half of the cost of learning in my Dojo in Canada. But for a VERY limited time you can purchase the entire course, including grading for

ONLY $67!

This offer will end soon and without notice so don't wait!

Follow the link below for all the information!

If you missed our article on "How Kyusho Jitsu Works" you can read it right HERE! 

If you have any questions please comment below in the comments section. Questions asked in public help everyone!

Also if you have not yet read our updated article on Self Defense and Knife Attacks you can do so from this link! If you enjoy our content please share it with your friends on social media below!

Have a fantastic day!

Yours in the arts,
Grand Master Art Mason

Grand Master Art Mason

Grand Master Art Mason

Our Goals

Hello and welcome to the new U.S. branch of Kyushojitsu World Alliance! I just want to make a brief post to let everyone know what we are about, and our plans for the future.

First of all, kyushojitsu, for those who do not know "kyusho" refers to "vital points" of the human anatomy corresponding to those used in traditional Chinese medicine. These points lie over vulnerable blood vessels, nerve clusters, and weak points in the musculoskeletal system. "Jitsu" simply means "techniques" or refined skills. Kyushojitsu is a scientific approach to martial arts which utilizes medical knowledge of the body and its systems to neutralize a threat with minimal effort.

Chinese martial arts have "qin na" and "dian xue" which utilize the same underlying knowledge. These are not arts in and of themselves, but aspects of certain styles such as ying jow pai (eagle claw) and bai he quan (white crane). The legendary "Wubei Zhi" (bubishi) nicknamed "The Bible of Karate" contains much of this knowledge as well.

Simply put; kyushojitsu it the Japanese term for the underlying technology which accounts for many of the "secrets" behind various martial arts. Our first goal is to bring this knowledge into the open, refine and advance the art through pressure testing, and dispel the myths surrounding this controversial and misunderstood system of self defense.

We are in the process of trying to raise money to establish a brick and mortar studio in the Memphis area. This space will be used to train new students as well as allowing graduates of KJWA's correspondence courses to practice and refine the art with fellow enthusiasts. We will encourage members with backgrounds in other arts to share knowledge and experience to see how kyusho may apply and stand up against other fighting styles.

In short, our model is something of a hybrid martial arts school/club, more akin to the way traditional martial arts are practiced and developed in the Eastern world.

I, the Southern regional director for KJWA - USA, happen to be intersex, and I do not hide this fact. Assigned "male" at birth, I identify as female, so I am also "transgender" though technically speaking there was no "transition" in my case. Intersex people are among the most marginalized minorities in the world. I didn't even know I was intersex until I was an adult, so growing up was extremely confusing for me, and I was abused and bullied a lot... Martial arts saved me, both by giving me a means to protect myself, and by helping me to overcome the trauma of my childhood while cultivating balance and peace of mind.

Because I have personally experienced the difficulties of being "queer" in a community that can feel hostile, or at least uncomfortable for such individuals, I aim to make our studio a "safe space" for all LGBTQIA people. No gendered spaces, no judgment, no fear. We are a severely underserved community, which is sad because we are among those who need this knowledge most. With sufficient funding and support, that is going to change!

As a certified yoga instructor, and holistic healer with over 20 years experience, I will also offer those services on off days and between classes. These skills will also be taught should sufficient interest be expressed. We aren't trying to corner the market here. Our ultimate goal is to produce not only knowledgeable students, but also teachers who can go forth and spread this knowledge, preserving it for future generations. here...