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Martial arts is often linked with self defence and the ability to fight people for good, especially in movies 😜.

This made me wonder if there exists some kind of martial arts placebo, such as a kind of pressure point knockout that only works on believers of a martial art.

Knowledge of these could be of great use if somehow we are involved in street fights. Does anyone know of such a placebo?

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You will find small subgroups in the martial arts that have been trained to be suggestible to bogus knockouts or other techniques that would be ineffective against anyone outside the group. George Dillman was famous for this, but there are many other examples. Back when at least his own followers took him seriously, then perhaps you could have mimicked his theatrics and got a similar reaction out of one of his own followers....

Another example - an 8th dan in Aikido I trained with (briefly) in Japan would get his students to fall over without touching them - all quite ridiculous.

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Pressure points exist... But they are basically just parts of the body that you would expect to be fragile and crucial to the bodies correct functioning anyway. Parts of the neck for example or the eyes. Placebo doesn't really come into this. An attacker is generally full of adrenaline that will prevent anything too subtle from working.

You just get the whole 'no touch knockout' nonsense when you make someone believe in something.

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A standard safety/etiquette practice in martial arts with submissions is to surrender by tapping on the partner multiple times. This is "tapping out". For safety in training at all but elite levels, practitioners are trained to release you immediately and without question if you tap out. This becomes reflex for many practitioners; if the partner taps, they let go. In training, this is the desired behavior so people do not get injured. Non-practitioners will not have this trained behavior.

If you signal surrender by tapping out and then continue fighting, do not expect to receive any further positive consideration.

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I have a Dillman pressure point book and many if not all the points correlate with acupuncture points. As an acupuncturist I view it as a possibly a type of placebo but as for interrupting chi/ki I am a little sceptical. There are some pressure points that cause severe pain but the only pressure Point I know that can cause loss of consciousness is a double chop to the side of the neck. This area has the barorecptors in the Carotid Artery and monitor blood pressure. Hitting these sends nerve impulses to the CVS area of the brain stem indicating that blood pressure is high. The brain stems response is to slow the heart rate and dilate the arteries leading to a sudden drop in blood pressure and blood flow to the brain causing unconsciousness. Supposedly causes the same effect as a guillotine stranglehold but in a shorter time period

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