Chi is the internal energy that circulates through the body, according to many eastern martial arts and medical traditions. A skilled martial artist can limit or incapacitate his opponent by robbing him of the energy he needs in key parts of his body by attacking a pressure point that blocks the opponent's chi. Strikes, holds and locks all have the ability to block chi when applied to the correct point.
The Tiger's Mouth
The tiger's mouth refers to a spot on the hand that is a very effective pressure point. As with most pressure points, pressure on this location has both medicinal and combat uses due to its location on primary chi meridians. This point is located on the hand between the thumb and forefinger. If you follow the line of both bones back towards the arm, the small, fleshy part of the hand in the junction between the thumb and index finger is the tiger's mouth.
A crucial pressure point exists on the collar bone. A strike or hold to this point can cause serious chi disruption. Physically, a blow to this location also runs the risk of a separated shoulder or broken collar bone, and so techniques attacking this area are extremely dangerous and should only be used in situations where your life is in danger. The pressure point is located along the collar bone roughly in a vertical line with the ear.
Pressure points in martial arts tie to pathways or meridians that chi travels along in the body. Strikes along these meridians can disrupt the flow of chi and cause intense pain. One example of a highly sensitive point of this type is along the front edge of the shin bone. A light kick that travels down the front of the shin bone is often enough to cause your opponent intense pain.
The point of the elbow itself is not the pressure point. Rather, the softer area on the upper arm just above the elbow is a location where a skilled martial artist can seize and disrupt his opponent's energy. This point is an example of a point that can be struck, but more commonly is held when the lower arm is locked and used to manipulate the opponent's movement.