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Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture
The Untold History of Kyusho (new book)

Hi All,

Please let’s help one of our own get his book moving. I’ve seen the draft (and written a foreword which you can see below) and it’s a very thorough book. Just about every historical chart of vulnerable areas is examined in the book and it makes for interesting reading; regardless of the personal emphasis one places on pressure points, or whether one takes a western medicine or “chi based” approach. Please read Nikolaj’s introduction, watch his video, and then read my forward. If you like what you see, then please follow the indiegogo links and get your copy :-)

All the best,


The Untold History of Kyusho


The Untold History of Kyusho - uncovering the controversies on vital points...

It's finally here, the one Kyusho book you have been waiting for...

 - In this work I explain and clarify the correct terms to be use, and where they come from.

 - I have researched more than 20 myths, such as "If Kyusho was so effective, why is it not used in MMA?", "The Delayed Death Touch" and "Does Kyusho only work on your students?" to name a few

 - Comparing more than 19 vital point charts, I have included a list of the most commonly used vital targets of the ancient masters, along with their personal opinion on Kyusho.

 - Including is also a vital point biography of more than 30 masters of the past, what was their experience with vital points - if any?

I need your help to get started!

Show me you want and need this work, so I can get it printed and published - i will ship it with a special thanks straight to your doorstep!

 Don't miss the chance, to be one of the first in the world, to get this new and exciting work at a reduced price - and my eternal gratitude in helping me accomplishing this.

I expect the book to be printed and ready for delivery in November.


Iain Abernethy’s Foreword

There are few subjects more divisive in the martial arts than pressure points. While it would seem uncontroversial that a blow to weak area of the human anatomy will have a greater effect than a blow to a stronger area, the controversy begins when we start to ask what constitutes a pressure point and what is their role in actual combat.

Some will base their explanation of pressure points on Chi and label the striking areas using acupuncture terminology. They also include acupuncture theory so that certain points should be struck in a given order in order to gain the greatest effect.  Some go further and even suggest that the time of day is to be considered too. Others instead turn to western medicine and refer to the structures of the body (i.e. nerves, bones, organs, etc.) as the areas to be struck.

Personally, I am firmly in the second camp. I’ve never seen anything that would convince me that Chi exists in an objective sense. I also feel that western science does a far better job of explaining why certain areas are vulnerable to being struck and what the results of a blow to that area could be. That said, I also acknowledge that many of the traditional martial arts originate from a place and time where chi was very “matter of fact” and hence in many cases “the language of chi” is the language of weak areas that has been bequeathed to us.

In his book Karate-Do Kyohan, Gichin Funakoshi states that the weak areas utilised in karate (and judo) have much in common with the points of Traditional Chinese Medicine, but that many of the points of Traditional Chinese Medicine are ineffective when struck, or are not readily accessible in combat. It seems to me that the ones that are effective when struck are the points that happen to lie above the weak points that western medicine can readily explain. I therefore avoid the terminology of Chinese Medicine in my teaching because I feel it adds a layer of unnecessary complication. However, I also acknowledge that if we are to understand the information passed on to us from the past, some knowledge of that terminology, and the underlying thinking, is important.

The second controversy surrounding weak points is their value in combat. Some see pressure points as being one of the most important areas of study. Others see them as being “extra credit” (to borrow a term from Lawrence Kane) where they will make an already effective blow more effective, but are not a primary consideration. Personally, I again find myself in the second camp.

Real situations are chaotic and ugly affairs and the accurate placement of blows is far from easy. The rapid and chaotic motion of all combatants combined with the chemical cocktail that floods the human body when under stress makes the accurate placement of blows extremely difficult to say the least. It’s really easy to be accurate in the dojo when you’re calm and your uke (recipient of the technique) is compliant, but that’s not the way it goes down in reality. There are things we can do to increase our accuracy (control limbs, utilise proprioception, etc.) but an aggressive barrage of high impact blows remains way more effective than any attempt to strike with precision. That said, we should still have the intention of striking weak areas (and we should appreciate that it is better hit someone on the jaw than on the forehead!). To have that intention, we need to have a knowledge of weak areas that is integrated into our practise. But there are problems there too.

Much of the information surrounding weak areas is, as already mentioned, shrouded in the esoteric language of chi. That can make it very confusing to westerners; although there are some who seem to delight in the fact that what they teach is confusing and hard to grasp. I think this stems from the notion of wanting to present themselves as someone who knows “the secrets”: secrets that are far too “deep” for others to comprehend. Whatever your view on chi, the information surrounding weak areas needs to be presented in a clear and straightforward way. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Nikolaj has done something very special with this book. He has drawn on many modern and historical sources to synthesise a state of the art look at pressure points. The information is presented in a clear, accessible and structured way. As such, this book is sure to be of great interest to all martial artists; regardless of the emphasis placed on pressure points in their practise or whether they take a chi based or western approach.

What I also really liked about this book is that, as well as presenting a great deal of information,  Nikolaj does not shy away from the controversies of pressure points and directly addresses what he sees as the most common myths and misunderstandings. By choosing to engage in, and contribute to, the dialogue surrounding pressure points in such an open way, Nikolaj has produced a book that I think will produce lots of healthy discussion and debate.

This also has to be one of the most thorough books on pressure points that I’ve seen! It’s a long way from the average book which shows a few charts and cursory explanations. This book delves into the history of this field of study and compares and contrasts much of the historical information passed onto us about pressure points. I found this to be fascinating reading and nowhere else have I seen this done so comprehensively. There is much in this book for those with a passion for martial arts history, as well as those with an interest in pressure points, to digest and enjoy.

Nikolaj’s enthusiasm for his subject also oozes through the pages! I first met Nikolaj at a seminar I taught in Copenhagen, Denmark many years ago. Since then, we have met up many times and I’ve always really enjoyed our conversations, both inside and outside of the dojo. He shares my passion for all things martial and I always find him to be a great conversationalist. He loves what he does and that excitement to explore, discuss and debate all aspects of the martial arts is very infectious! That passion really comes across in this book. I’m therefore sure everyone will find this an enjoyable and inspiring read.

There are not many martial artists out there with Nikolaj’s martial enthusiasm and it’s great that he has made this valuable contribution to the collective knowledge pool. We need more martial artists like him.

Iain Abernethy 6th Dan


Kyoshi's picture

Thank you for your awesome support guys! More than 110 are gone the first 8 days! Is that what you cal a best seller or what? Can't wait for the peer-reviews coming in after shipping!

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

Fantastic! That's great news :-)