In the movie "Kiss of the Dragon", Jet Li's character stabs the main villain in the neck, which causes him to suffer quadriplegia, and once removed, to have an incredibly painful looking anerysym. While I'm sure it was Hollywooded up, is there such a move in acupuncture/martial arts that would be even close to being this disabilitating that it was based upon?

2 Answers 2


I think this falls into the same category of martial art mythology as the 'Touch of Death' (known by many names, such as the Quivering Palm, or the 5 Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique) seen in movies like Kill Bill vol 2 and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. They fall into the realm of urban legend rather than being seriously part of a martial-art or medical reality. Whilst it is certainly true that disabling or even death dealing blows can be dealt through pressure points, there is no evidence for magic 'walk 5 steps and then you die', or 'all the blood goes to your head causing an aneurysm'.

Some commentary on the touch of death is here.

They make great legendary stories, and probably do no harm to the mythos around martial arts - it does no harm to your chances in a fight if your opponent is more scared of you than they should be.


In theory if pressure points are struck hard enough it can cause paralysis and death. Lots of martial arts claim that they can do it but when you push them for examples they can rarely produce any.

Personally, I fought in a tournament once and my opponent landed a very hard shot on the back of my right calf (as in body part, not animal) below my knee cramped and went dead and I had to fight the rest of the match basically hopping on one leg.

I have also had my arm numbed by a shot to the forearm nerve too.

Possibly similar very hard strikes to the nerves in the head and throat would cause serious damage but very hard strikes to the throat and head cause serious damage anyway.

  • 1
    Thanks for clarifying that it wasn't your pet cow that got punched ;) Sep 7, 2012 at 8:53
  • I too really appreciated the pet calf clarification. It was a little unexpected brevity in an otherwise serious and informative comment. Thanks!
    – user7783
    Jan 26, 2014 at 22:45
  • Glad to bring a laugh to your day :-)
    – Stefan
    Jan 27, 2014 at 7:35
  • Yeah,I thought the reference to the calf&people calling it your pet cow or calf was hilarious.its the funniest thing I've heard for a long time :)
    – user8447
    Mar 9, 2014 at 19:24

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