Friday, January 31, 2014

On Kyusho Jutsu: Friday, January 31, 2014

Kyusho Vital Targets

A forceful strike causes trauma to the cranial cavity resulting in unconsciousness and hemorrhage.  A severe strike can cause death.

A forceful blow can cause whiplash.  A severe blow can cause cerebral hemorrhage and death.

The bones of the skull are weak at the temple and an artery and large nerve lie close to the skin.  A powerful strike can cause unconsciousness and brain concussion.  If the artery is severed, the resulting massive hemorrhage compresses the brain, causing coma and or death.

A slight jab in the eyes causes uncontrollable watering and blurred vision.  A forceful jab or poke can cause temporary blindness or the eye can be gouged out.  Death can result if the fingers penetrate through the thin bone behind the eye and into the brain.

A strike to the ears with cupped hands can rupture the eardrum and may cause a brain concussion.

Any blow can easily break the thin bones of the nose, causing pain, eye watering and bleeding.

A blow to the nerve center, which is close to the surface under the nose, can cause great pain and watery eyes.

A blow to the jaw can break or dislocate it.  If the facial nerve is pinched against the lower jaw, one side of the face will be paralyzed.

A blow to the chin can cause paralysis, mild concussion and unconsciousness.  The jawbone acts as a lever that can transmit the force of a blow to the back of the brain where the cardiac and respiratory mechanisms are controlled.

A moderate blow to the back of the ears or the base of the skull can cause unconsciousness by the jarring effect on the back of the brain. However, a powerful blow can cause a concussion or brain hemorrhage and death.

A powerful blow to the front of the throat can cause death by crushing the windpipe.  A forceful blow can cause extreme pain and gagging or vomiting.

A sharp blow to the side of the neck causes unconsciousness by shock to the carotid artery, jugular vein and vagus nerve.  For maximum effect the blow should be focused below and slightly in front of the ear.  A less powerful blow causes involuntary muscle spasms and intense pain.  The side of the neck is one of the best targets to use to drop an opponent immediately or to disable him temporarily to finish him later.

A powerful blow to the back of one’s neck can cause whiplash, concussion or even a broken neck and death.

A large bundle of nerves passes in front of the shoulder joint.  A forceful blow causes extreme pain and can make the whole arm ineffective if the nerves are struck just right.

A blow to the collarbone can fracture it causing intense pain and rendering the arm on the side of the fracture ineffective.  The fracture can also sever the brachial nerve or subclavian artery.

A large nerve lies close to the skin in each armpit.  A blow to this nerve causes severe pain and partial paralysis.  A knife inserted into the armpit is fatal as it severs a major artery leading from the heart.

A blow to the spinal column can sever the spinal cord, resulting in paralysis or in death.

A large network of nerves passes near the skin at the nipples.  A blow here can cause extreme pain and hemorrhage to the many blood vessels beneath.

A jolting blow to the heart can stun the opponent and allow time for follow-up or finishing techniques.

The solar plexus is a center of nerves that control the cardiorespiratory system.  A blow to this location is painful and can take the breath from the opponent.  A powerful blow causes unconsciousness by shock to the nerve center.  A penetrating blow can also damage internal organs.

A blow to the lower front of the ribs can cause the diaphragm and the other muscles that control breathing to relax.  This causes loss of breath and can result in unconsciousness due to respiratory failure.

A blow to the floating ribs can easily fracture them because they are not attached to the rib cage.  Fractured ribs on the right side can cause internal injury to the liver.  Fractured ribs on the left side can possibly cause internal injury to the spleen.  Fractured ribs on either side can possibly puncture or collapse a lung.

A powerful blow to the kidneys can possibly cause internal injury to these organs.  A stab to the kidneys induces instant shock and can cause death from severe internal bleeding.

A powerful blow to the area below the navel and above the groin can cause shock, unconsciousness and internal bleeding.

A strike to the biceps is most painful and renders the arm ineffective. The bicep is an especially good target when an opponent holds a weapon.

The radial nerve, which controls much of the movement in the hand, passes over the forearm bone just below the elbow.  A strike to the radial nerve renders the hand and arm ineffective.  An opponent can be disarmed by a strike to the forearm; if the strike is powerful enough he can be knocked unconscious.

The backs of the hands are sensitive.  Since the nerves pass over the bones in the hand, a strike to this area is intensely painful.  The small bones on the back of the hand are easily broken and as such a strike can render the hand ineffective.

A moderate blow to the groin can incapacitate an opponent and cause intense pain.  A powerful blow can result in unconsciousness and shock.

A large nerve passes near the surface on the outside of the thigh about four finger widths above the knee.  A powerful strike to this region can render the entire leg ineffective, causing an opponent to drop.  This target is especially suitable for knee strikes and shin kicks.

A large nerve passes over the bone near the middle of the inner thigh.
A blow to this area can incapacitate the leg and cause the opponent to drop.  Knee strikes and kicks are the weapons of choice for this target.

A severe strike to the hamstring can cause muscle spasms and inhibit mobility.  If the hamstring is cut, the leg is useless.

Because the knee is a major supporting structure of the body, damage to this joint is especially detrimental to an opponent.  The knee is easily dislocated when struck at an opposing angle to the joint’s normal range of motion, especially when it is bearing the opponent’s weight.  The knee can be dislocated by kicks or strikes

A powerful blow to the top of the calf causes painful muscle spasms and also inhibits mobility.

A moderate blow to the shin produces great pain, especially a blow with a hard object.  A powerful blow or kick can possibly fracture the bone that supports most of the body weight.

A powerful strike to the Achilles tendon on the back of the heel can cause ankle sprain and dislocation of the foot.  If the tendon is torn, the opponent is incapacitated.  The Achilles tendon is a good target to cut with a knife.

A blow to the ankle causes pain; if a forceful blow is delivered the ankle can be sprained or broken.

The small bones on the top of the foot are easily broken.  A strike here will hinder the opponent’s mobility.

Located at the base of the neck just above the breastbone; pressure on this notch can distract and take away an opponent’s balance.  Pressure from fingers jabbed into the notch incurs intense pain that causes an opponent to withdraw from the pressure involuntarily. 

Located at the base of the skull, a strike to these particular vertebrae can cause unconsciousness, paralysis or death.  The harder the strike the more likely death will occur.

Ken Keith Master
Takeo-Ryu Goshin Jitsu
Akiyama Yoshin-Ryu Jujitsu
Takeo-Ryu Training Center Inc.
P.O. Box 379291
Chicago, Illinois 60637-9291


  1. I have been a student of Master Keith's for going on two years now and I am progressing well in terms of my ability to execute blocks, strikes, kicks, joint-locks and throws. It is becoming second nature, instinctive.

    Kyusho is crucial... Knowing specifically where and how to strike to cause the most devastating effects is a must learn for any martial artist / Self-Defense practitioner who may have to actually defend him or herself in a real-life, combat situation.

    I am grateful that we at Takeo-Ryu Training Center are not just training for the sake of training, but learning skills necessary for defense and survival.

  2. In November 2014 I will be tested on my 6th kyu (Rokyu) syllabus which encompasses the demonstration of Stances, Blocks, Strikes, Kicks, Joint Locks, Vital Point Techniques, Throws, Break Falls, Chokes, Ground Fighting Techniques, Formal Exercises (Bunkai Extractions), and Terminology Japanese/English.

    Shihan Keith is thorough and demands no less from his students. Our proficiency in execution must be street-level ready. Performance and understanding grow together with repetition in practice.

    Four of my fellow jujitsukas will be tested for promotion as well. Three Kyu level students and our Sempai will receive his Black Belt degree test (Shodan).

    We are all excited for Sempai. He will be the first among us to be promoted to Black Belt. He is a fine example of perseverance and consistency. I am proud of him and really appreciate his role as assistant to Shihan. He can be relied upon for accurate rendering of the techniques as taught by our honorable Head Instructor Shihan Keith, without deviation. The promotions will be featured in our periodic E-Newsletter in the December Issue.

  3. Sempai, October 10, 2014 at 1:33 pm
    As mentioned by the Webmaster, I will be the first student trained by Shihan Kenneth Keith to be taking my Black Belt test in November. I have been with Shihan since about 2002. We have been through the basis of Karate, Shito Ryu, JuJitsu, and Kyusho.
    Shihan is a technician, traditionalist and an historian. He really enjoys what he does. This is what he expects from his students. Not just know the art, but know why it works and where did it come from.
    We have the policy of each one teach one. I added I can not get my Black belt unless the other students get their belts. We all contribute to the advancement of each other.
    One must have the Will and desire to make this life long commitment. What is your goal in life that is a life long endeavor?

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    1. Fuku, you are doing a great job working with our students. You are making them read, explain, be aware of their posture and their stances. Keep up the good work.

    2. Thank you Sensei. I observe you and Master Keith.

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Studying Kyusho Jutsu has really expanded my view of martial arts. I see the martial arts as a lifelong journey rather than simply, "Destination Black Belt." As basic as my current understanding is, I see a glimpse of a world of unlimited possibilities even leading up to actuating one's higher faculties for the benefit of humanity. There is certainly more to the martial arts, than meets the eye.