Often referred to as the "death touch" in Martial Arts, this powerful understanding of the body can be used to both hurt and heal. Dim Mak is a training reserved primarily for those of upper rank Martial Arts abilities.
While these days, much discussion around Dim Mak focused on Martial Arts, it actually is not solely based in Martial Arts. Dim Mak became known to the Chinese with the development of their Internal Medicine, dating back to 200 BC.
In Martial Arts, Dim Mak is often taught in conjunction with Chin Na, the art of seizing and joint locking. The two utilize the ideas that there are pressure points throughout the body. Depress the right set of pressure points with the right amount of energy and you can inflict either pain or healing. The concept is exactly the same as that which is utilized in acupuncture.
Regardless of what style of Martial Arts you study, a healthy understanding of Dim Mak will enhance your training. In order to perfect Dim Mak, the artist must be aware of vital pressure points and how chi flows within the body. Through practice, study, and training, a master of Dim Mak can immobilize their opponent with a single touch.
Dim Mak is not about power or strength. Thus, it makes it ideal to utilize in training self-defense to a variety of people. In fact, many of the basic concepts in self-defense derive from Dim Mak.
Understanding Dim Mak is also vital for helping to heal the body. Even outside of Martial Arts, in areas like massage therapy, reflexology, and Reiki, these techniques are invaluable to helping the patient to heal.
A stylist could spend a whole lifetime perfecting their Dim Mak techniques. And because each person is different, one must not only understand the techniques but also how to adjust the technique for the recipient. Everyone has the same pressure points but some people may be more open than others to receiving energy at that point.
Dim Mak has been featured in many movies in Martial Arts. The most recent can be seen in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Kiss of the Dragon.