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Dim Real
Modern medicine finds basis for the ninja death touch.
 More of this Feature
• Part 1: Vital Points
• Part 2: Commotio Cordis
• Part 3: Dim Mak

Dim mak, the legendary death touch of martial arts legend, seems too amazing to be true: A martial arts master, wise in the ways of the human body, merely touches his opponent. The recipient of this "death touch" collapses in a heap, dead.

Sure, many martial arts techniques have the power to injure or even kill. A kick that breaks through several boards has the kinetic energy to break ribs. But could someone kill another with a simple touch?

Vital Points

Most treatises on dim mak refer to "vital points": specific locations on the human body where vital energy is concentrated. According to dim mak experts, striking or touching these points in the correct manner can immobilize a limb, or even kill. Some points correspond to blood or lymph circulation points, and striking them can cause a blood clot to form, or shut down circulation to an area of the body. Some points correspond to nerve centers, and striking them can numb muscles or render them useless.

Many dim mak points correspond to acupuncture points--the same places where a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine places acupuncture needles. Acupuncture has been used effectively to help patients stop smoking, cope with arthritis and back pain, even as anesthesia in surgical operations.

Modern Science

To many people, dim mak seems like hocus pocus. Similarly, a lot of folks don't believe acupuncture works, despite numerous "legitimate" studies in Western medical journals. The notion that the body can have several "vital points", that can be manipulated for beneficial or malevolent purposes, just doesn't seem possible.

However, a study by an eminent cardiologist brings to light a possible explanation for dim mak's "death touch." Dr. Barry Maron, of the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, has been studying a little-known condition known as commotio cordis for many years.

Next page > Commotio Cordis > Page 1, 2, 3

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