When creating karate kata, the Okiniwan masters included deadly techniques targeting vital points. But they kept these techniques secret from outsiders and, when karate was exported to Japan, it appears they chose not to pass on their full knowledge of vital-point striking. Here, Ashley Croft demystifies this hidden corner of the art and explores its practical application. He explores the historical perspectives - the evolution of karate, the possible intentions of the ancient masters and the development of vital-point striking - together with analysing the kata, identifying the purpose of the moves and developing workable combinations using the various vital points. The author also covers anatomy and Eastern medical concepts; the meridians, acupoints and the vital energy flow (Qi). In addition, he describes, and shows the location of, the pressure points and the practical application of pressure-point strikes.
Ashley Croft is a fourth dan in Shotokan Karate and in Ao Denkou Jitsu, and he has trained with some of the top instructors in the world. He has taught karate for over fifteen years. He is currently chief instructor of the Chiltern Karate Association.