The Legend of the Death Touch
Dim Mak has this Awesome Legend status. The idea that you could knock out or kill an opponent while barely touching them is just SWEET! Of course, a detailed Google Search results in LOTS of people offering to sell you the “amazing secrets” of this “forbidden martial art” and very thin evidence that it’s more than smoke and mirrors.
Keep looking and you’ll find some promising looking evidence:
Now, considering that I’ve spent a fair amount of time practicing martial arts and I also practice magic, if someone is going to spend time screwing around with Dim Mak (or other techniques of fighting using magic) it’s going to be me. Luckily for me, my sensei was interested in this stuff too. So we did our research and came together for some “off topic” training. I brought my magical experience to the table and he brought his martial arts experience along with some REALLY interesting books.
Some of the books had some interesting preparation techniques to build chi and learn to project it. Others had details of the Chi Meridians as well as where and how blockages and “overloads” could cause problems. One of the books was written like an Armed Forces training manual and hurried to teach how to most effectively use different forms (including some Dim Mak techniques) quickly.
There were a couple techniques which promised anything from "The Death Touch" (instant death) to a lingering death which might take over a month. For personal survival reasons we decided to avoid those ones and start with techniques which promised things like a spasming diaphragm or a simple KO.
Our initial tests were resounding successes! We’d practice a technique and have it work beautifully!
After celebrating, we decided to try to block the techniques. I grounded and clamped down on my energy. The next time he hit the chakras in a technique, I held my energy in control and was mostly unaffected. I showed him how to do the same. Thinking we’d found something awesome we went to share it with others.
The first person we showed it to dropped like a rock. Same with the second. The third person however, well… nothing…
We tested it on about 4 other people. We ended up with about a 70% success rate with willing participants… for the first application. If someone knew what was coming and tried to block it, we only experienced about a 20% success rate. Over the years I’ve tested it further. My success rate is up to about 95% (The 1st Time) with people open to experience something cool. Unfortunately, with people who aren’t open to the experience I still get effects, but they are much smaller than the “drop like a rock.” My favorite two hit “spasming diaphragm” technique tends to be about 90% effective, but that’s considering a clench that slightly bends the target over and forces them to shift their focus away from me a success. Sure I’ve had experiences gently showing the technique where suddenly the recipient is on the floor gasping, but they are NOT the majority.
But surely with mastery you’d get more effective? You could become awesome and do stuff like in this video right?
Well… yes and no.
As I’ve practiced I’ve become a lot more proficient. I’ve increased how effective a maneuver is. I’ve gotten more skilled at accomplishing a maneuver. Originally I had difficulties trying to control my chi while hitting JUST the right place in JUST the right way. Now, I can pretty much tap the general area while directing my opponent’s chi to affect the correct point. (Yes, I said my opponent’s Chi. I’ve stopped trying to use my chi to hit them and instead I use the touch to “ground into them” and redirect their Chi.)
However, the issue of leverage keeps coming back up. I’ve explained before that the closer to your center something is, the more control you have Magically, and the same is true in Martial Arts. In Aikido the winner tends to be the person who maintains their center while leveraging the opponents failure to do so. AKA… I hold my center, trick my opponent into losing his and then guide his momentum further and further from center into certain doom (MWAHAHAHAAHA!).
In magic, my center is me. Your center is you. If you aren’t controlling your center, I’m able to “trick you” into doing what I direct. Thus, I can tap the top of your inner fore-arm directing you to block your own energy along a certain meridian before tapping your solar plexus to pulse your own energy. In most people this causes an energy spasm that manifests as a spasming diaphragm. (YES, punching someone hard in the solar plexus does similar, but when I say tap I mean less than 10 lbs pressure.)
HOWEVER, if you decide to control your energy, it is MUCH more difficult for me to affect you. Additionally you can dampen, ground out and negate the chain reactions that most Dim Mak techniques rely on. Thus, while cool, Dim Mak is EXTROADINARILY unreliable and the circumstances when you need it most are the circumstances in which it is most likely to fail.
Most people who practice this find others who think it’s really neat and want to study it too. It is a really cool feeling having your body do something without you directing it. Thus begins the saga of teacher and students who showcase amazingly cool seeming stuff.
Over time of training with someone you can build a serious trust. It can get to the point where I can manipulate your energy from a distance because you have given me permission to. We can even build this cult energy where we have a room full of people who believe that we can do this and thus a newcomer will do the same… Do you get where I’m going here?
It can get to the point where your class is amazing. People can perform amazing Dim Mak on each other and it really does work. This isn’t just a case of “Mass Hypnosis.” Chi and Dim Mak are real; however the “Mass Hypnosis” does get people to open up to it and even play along “Amplifying the effects.”
THIS is where moments like the following video come from.
Of course... I do want to meet this Lama and verify my argument by asking to experience his Chi while grounding, mind-shielding and energy shielding.
Unfortunately some of the Masters of these techniques end up getting a big head and start thinking that these techniques are always effective. Perhaps the Masters are practiced and impressive enough that with 99% of the population they can successfully perform Dim Mak. But then they do something silly like assuming that it’s a 100% thing. They forget that all things being equal, the person with better leverage will win. They forget that the target has better leverage over their own body… and they forget that there are other masters out there.
99% of the population doesn’t have good power over their own energy and body. However, Martial Artists are PROBABLY members of the other 1%, and of course, the martial artists most focused on winning a battle in the ring tend to be MMA martial artists (Yes, I'm aware that statement is redundant since MMA stands for Mixed Martial Arts).
These Mixed Martial Artists are most likely to ACTIVELY believe that some guy who is trying to screw with their energy is full of shit and/or not going to overcome them. Both active beliefs are essentially the kryptonite of Dim Mak.
Add all of the above together, and you start seeing sad and embarrassing videos like this.
So in conclusion, Dim Mak is cool. Dim Mak is fun. Dim Mak can teach you some really cool energy tricks, and help your magic. Heck, IN THE RIGHT CIRCUMSTANCES Dim Mak is pretty powerful. However, if you want a Martial Art you can count on to in a fight, CHOOSE SOMETHING ELSE. When you are in a life and death situation you REALLY SHOULDN’T rely on a technique which your opponent can counter with a simple decision.
Yes… I have chosen to add it to my repertoire and I have used it successfully in combat situations, but I know better than to rely on it and I DAMN SURE know better than to boast about it to a potential opponent.
Good Luck and Have Fun,
Power Before Wisdom