Under Pressure

Kristen Farley
WATE-TV6 News Anchor/Reporter
November, 2009

Learning to protect yourself by knowing key pressure points of the body……

Imagine having the ability to subdue an attacker, no matter what your size or strength.

According to members of the Inayan School of Eskrima, if you know what pressure points to target on the body, you could likely do just that.

Members of the Knoxville school teach a form of Philippine martial arts. Sometimes they help train law enforcement officers, but recently they shared some of their skills during a rare public seminar.

Instructor Steve Klement showed the pressure points in his class at the Knoxville Expo Center.

He began by telling the more than two dozen people there from all walks of life that there are more than a dozen pressure points on the body.

Klement then had everyone pair up to practice striking those points on each other.

"You always work with a live partner so you know if something works," senior student Patrick Christian explained. "You know if you are hitting wrong or blocking wrong. You block wrong, you get hit."

The teachers warned participants that they would walk away a little sore and bruised from the exercises during this all day seminar, but everyone we talked to said that was a small price to pay for confidence this class could give them.

One of the people who paid to take part in the training was Sevier County paramedic Michelle Zinnemen. She said she took the class in hopes of making her job easier and safer.

As a paramedic, she said it is not uncommon to wrestle with patients in the back of an ambulance.

Recalling one incident, she said, "They really out ranked me in size and weight and strength. Even though they were on the cart and in seatbelts, it was hard to by myself to control him, to lay him down so we could treat him."

After just a few hours in the pressure point seminar, Zinnemen said she had learned skills that would help her subdue patients without any long term harm, so she could treat them.

The instructors want to stress while striking someone on one of their pressure points can be very effective to stop someone in their tracks, this is not self defense. It's just one tool to help. You can learn more about the Inayan School of Eskrima at the school's Web site:  www.inayan.com