NOTE: It is dangerous to knock someone out regardless of how it is done. We lose a few million-brain cells every time we are knocked out. Not to mention possible long-term damage and or death.
1. Head Trauma Black Out: (Blunt Trauma or Concussion)
Most of us know that a strong percussion anywhere near the head, chin, face, etc., will cause a knock out. This is because these areas are vital to human survival and when knocked, the brain simply causes the rest of the body to faint thus saving all of the energy and blood for the affected area. This is the first and most basic of the knock out techniques. This is why boxers are knocked out etc.
2. Air Restriction to Lungs: (Lack of Air)
The second way is to cause the muscles around the lungs to constrict violently by going into spasm thus causing the person to black out. This can be achieved by a strike to ST 15 or to SI 11. A person can be struck on the scapular for instance which will have the same effect as a good kick in the guts. We are also able to use the Choke-out to stop the air getting to the lungs and this again is at a very basic level.
3. Stopping Blood Flow to Brain: (Lack of blood)
The third way is to stop the blood getting to the brain by squeezing the carotid artery, the old sleeper hold. This can be dangerous though if put on for too long and people have been known not to revive after such a hold. This hold is not as easy as it looks however. The way that we revive from the sleeper hold is to either use CPR if he has been knocked out and the heart has stopped, or we lift him into a sitting position placing our hands under his chest from the rear and jerk him upward while squeezing inward lightly. This should bring him around. If not, a medium slap on the back in between the scapular should work.
4. Dropping the Heart Rate: (Shock, or rapid disruption of systems)
The fourth way is to strike at certain points to cause the heart rate to drop as I have already mentioned with the carotid sinus or (ST 9) strike. Perhaps we are struck with the most common strike, the old haymaker or hook punch, the left palm would swing out to take the point known as Neigwan or (PC 6) in an adverse direction (against the flow of energy) while the right palm would strike inward to ST 9 point.
There are three other organs which when struck in certain directions will also cause this blood pressure dropping effect. Gall bladder (or GB) and intestines are the ones that are the easiest to get at. We have gall bladder points all over our bodies from the feet right up to the head and any of these points will cause the knock out when struck in the correct direction. GB 14, just above the eyebrow in the middle is one point which when struck in three different directions will cause three different effects. If for instance we strike with an upward blow to this point, it causes what is known as an energy or Qi rush to the head-causing knock out or death. The brain sort of explodes! Now this is where dim-mak can also be used as a healing art. We also know that the antidote for this point is GB 21 just on the shoulders. If we put pressure onto this point and quickly brush to both sides, this will bring the Qi back down out of the head. It is exactly the same when a person is suffering from a bad case of sunstroke. So we know to use these same points to heal the sunstroke! Sunstroke is the same condition of too much yang energy in the head. To expound, if I block a punch by using an inwards strike towards me this is going with the flow of energy. This point I strike, on the outside of his arm, is used as a ‘set up’ point. It causes the energy to be dragged to this point leaving the more important point of GB 14 more which I strike in an upward way.
If I were to strike GB 14 in a downward way it would cause the heart to slow dramatically or even stop to lower the blood pressure thus causing knock out or death from the heart not starting up again. However, this time I would use the initial block to strike his arm back up his forearm thus causing an adverse energy flow, this would also cause him to lose power from the lower body and this is called an energy drainage point strike.
Dim-Mak (or death touch) becomes even more complicated when we learn that there are certain points that when struck will cause seemingly totally unrelated parts of the body to react. For instance if SP 20 (Spleen 20) is struck in an inward way, it will cause either the right or left leg (whichever side was struck) to lose control and the person falls on the ground.
5. Neurological: (Disruption of nervous system)
For example, when the chin is pushed back it can cause pressure upon the spinal column causing a momentary blockage of information from the central nervous system to the brain and so the body is unable to do things, so we have another knock out.
Also, neurological shut down is a strange human phenomenon, which the martial artist is able to use to his advantage. There are certain parts of the face which when struck with a slapping motion will cause the whole nervous system to shut down. Martial artists wanting to show off have used this practise for years. However, the dangers of this type of strike are even worse than the others. This is because it seems as if there has been no real damage but years later the recipient of such a strike turns into a raving lunatic or in the very least becomes paranoid. Certain nervous disorders will also grow over the years and all because some bozo wanted to show off at a party or out the front of a building or at an airport etc.Notation:The abbreviated letter/number combinations (e.g.: GB 21, etc) correspond to specific meridian/points. Also, Chinese terms are used, such as Qi (for Ki), Neigwan (for PC6), etc.
This paper was edited and adapted by PMA Kwan Jang Nim Master Brian Alexander from Master Erle Montaigue’s www.taichiworld.com
Left to Right: Erle Montaigue, Brian Alexander & Eli Montaigue