Is the Dim Mak Real?

The quick answer is yes. The Dim Mak is very real, though as with many stories and myths tales of its use and prowess have been blown out of proportion. Dim Mak is Cantonese term and is known as Dian Mai (點脈) in Mandarin Dian means to press and exert pressure and Mai is a reference to the blood vessels. This literally is to press on the blood vessels. This is more commonly known in Traditional Chinese Medicine by the term Dian Xue (點血) which also means to press on the blood vessels and should not be confused with Dian Xue (點穴) which means to press on the cavities and references acupressure points.

Stories and movies often popularize a technique known as the ‘Dim Mak’, the death touch. These stories detail how a well an accomplished master could touch an opponent, sometimes without even any force, and he would die instantly. Is it possible for anyone to develop this kind of power? Is it possible that a mere touch in a certain location on the human body can cause instant death? Is the dreaded Dim Mak real?

Most of what is considered Dim Mak is not just a single point on the human body but a collection of points. There are numerous points that can severely injure, debilitate, or kill an opponent. In Chinese Kung Fu these points would be taught in a system of martial knowledge known as the Poison Hands. In classical poison hands there are 108 points that are taught that can cause serious injury. 36 of these points can cause death while the other 72 points can cause unconsciousness or permanent injury. Most of these points, if struck with appropriate force, can not be recovered from and the individual will die within a few days or perhaps a few weeks. If these same points are struck with mild force they can cause permanent debilitating injuries if they are not immediately treated with the appropriate herbal remedies. Most of these points are specific points on the various meridians found within acupuncture. These points often seem random to those who are unfamiliar with the theories behind acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Other points are much more common knowledge. Hitting someone very hard in the temple is fairly well known as a potentially fatal strike. The temple is considered one of the 108 points taught within the poison hands.

Those struck by one of the 108 points, often would die without seeming to have any external injury at all. This is because many of the points, those that lie on certain meridians, often cause severe damage to internal organs. Other points directly cause damage to the internal organs causing internal bleeding. Most people struck by the Dim Mak did not die immediately as the stories would have you believe. Many would die in a few days to severe internal injury, others would appear to recover their health and then perish several weeks later. For those not initiated in the information of Traditional Chinese Medicine, it often appeared that these people died under mysterious circumstances.

For most people just a touch would not be able to deliver the amount of power necessary to cause such severe injury. Ancient masters were more likely to effect such impressive results with a mere touch, but it did not happen overnight. To be able to effect such results masters often had to have mastered the skills of the Iron Palm. With fingers and hands hardened more than bricks and metal, and a deep understanding of internal power these masters could hit points with seemingly little effort. A master that was very accomplished in the Iron Palm would also likely have had a deep understanding of Qi(氣). This would allow them to project their Qi into an opponent. With just a touch, the master could project his Qi into vital acupuncture points disrupting the opponent’s Qi and damaging internal organs.

The Dim Mak is not an easy skill to master. The body must be trained so that the hands can deliver the strikes to the appropriate points and must be both tough and very accurate. The spirit must be cultivated so that the exponent can direct his Qi to the appropriate areas of his body and be able to project it into an opponent. There is also a substantial amount of knowledge that must be learned. Theories of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine require years of study but are essential for knowing how to properly affect the points. Not only must the points and the consequences of striking them be understood, but the exponent must remember which of 12 major meridians are active during what time of day, during which seasons so that the most effective points can be acted upon.

While the Dim Mak is real, the amount stories and their fantastical nature often misleads people to what the skill really is and what it was capable of. This skill requires a lot of time and dedication to master.


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