WTF: The Dim Mak death touch totally works… really

This week, we delve into the evils of Dim Mak, otherwise known as the "death touch". Only thing that needs to die is the myth of it.

By: Victor Rodriguez | 1 month ago
WTF: The Dim Mak death touch totally works… really

Happy Wednesday, kids. PFL has another potential banger of a card this week, the UFC is back in Singapore, and Usyk vs Dubois is set for this weekend as well. And before all that, we’ve got your midweek treat of fisticuffs and silly antics. Today, that includes on of the Holy Grail elements of bullshit martial arts: Dim Mak.

So as we commence this weekly serving of oddball antics, we’d like to take a moment to remind you that we still have our mailbag open. Send your questions and concerns to, and I’ll do my best to answer them. Substack users get priority, and should have their handle included in the e-mail. Questions do not have to strictly be about fighting, either. Get as crazy as you want, I got nothing to lose.

Dim bulbs for Dim Mak

You’ve heard about it before. Death Touch, Dim Mak, Fatal Blow, etc. There’s tons of names for it, and the principle is the same. Hit your opponent in one mysterious area and you will severely injure or straight up kill them.

It sounds gauche and stupid now, but 30 years ago it was still something a lot of people put stock into. Mixed Martial Arts weren’t a widespread phenomenon in the Western Hemisphere, and we were still getting ads for Chi techniques and hidden jutsu to launch fire from your hands after the popularity of Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter II.

In retrospect, it’s not that surprising that people would still think that Dim Mak was a real thing. The infamous Count Dante of the Black Dragon Society had been advertising this stuff for decades. Nevermind that Dante was found to be a fraud and the Black Dragon Society another conman’s invention. The curiosity was very real.

The full story of Count Dante is one for another day, though. Today we’ll focus on these misadventures where an unfortunate soul decides to check out some Dim Mak up close.

It doesn’t go great.

First off, if a demonstration starts with a guy making fun of your belly, leave. Just straight up turn around and go home. Fuck that guy. I worked hard on this gut. Who are you to come out with your little Dim Mak bullshit and mock my girthy physique? Philistines, the lot of you.

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All parties laugh it off, and they get to business. And lemme know right quick if you see the fatal and fundamental flaw in this Dim Mak technique.

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That went from wind-up to pitch real quick. Dude on the right was clearly distracted and got punched in the gut. He understandably regrets the set of decisions that led to this moment.

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That’s not some “ancient technique”, that’s a bitch move. That man was sucker punched in a cold way right to the breadbasket and this other dude got the temerity to call himself a martial artist. Any child can do this. Any idiot can do this. It’s absurd.

Think about this: if there really were something like a powerful attack that could debilitate, incapacitate or just kill someone with one hit, wouldn’t military bodies around the world work on discovering and improving it? Wouldn’t it be banned in competition worldwide? With the advent of MMA and the streamlining of what is either efficient or useless in recent decades for martial arts, wouldn’t we have found what it is?

What we get instead is Mr. Reporterman getting his Eggo waffles turn into a bag of broken glass inside his stomach. And wouldn’t you know it, there’s more. Oh, joy.

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One minor detail here, notice that the guy doing the demonstration starts off patting the other guy right where his liver ought to be. We’ve seen what liver shots do.

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He then helpfully points to where he’s going to strike. This is what Dim Mak has traditionally been portrayed as in most popular media, a finger jab to a particular weak point.

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Surprise, bitch.

Mother of mercy, I can’t stand these dudes. You walk in expecting some hidden technique where you hit or poke a guy and he has his body shut down. All you get are some bad liver punches to compliant participants that aren’t really expecting the shot to begin with. This is bully behavior, and totally not worth it. Here, check out the victim doing the bubble guts dance.

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But they help him up and nail him with some chops to the shoulder. Perhaps this was an attempt at aiding his circulation for recovery? Who cares. Look at this trash.

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“Hi. This is Chinese Johnny Knoxville, and this is the The Crumpler.”

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Well, alrighty then.

I guess the part that pisses me off the most is the fact that they pick the guy up and give him a lecture. Like it’s their fault. And yes, they could have very well declined to do any of this Dim Mak nonsense at any point, but the last thing anyone needs after being hit like this is the same asshole giving them a talking-to like it’s gonna help.

The lesson for the week? Don’t agree to be a test dummy for guys demonstrating “hidden techniques”.

Sanda style

This is for all the people that complain about me (and by extension, the rest of the crew) being Chinese martial arts haters or whatever. It’s time for some Sanda highlights. In fact, it’s rather overdue. There’s a lot to love here, and we’ve got a collection of sharp action and scrumptious knockouts.

Gutsy grappling

SAMBOFIAS gives us another great matchup from the recent Asia and Oceania 2023 Championships. Lots of starts and stops that end with a hard-earned submission win. A lovely finale.

More bodies getting crumpled

YouTube user MUAYTHAIAGE gives us this amazing collection that is exclusively Muay Thai body kick knockouts. And believe me as someone that’s been on the wrong end of these, it is not fun.

Finally, a classic Jackie Chan scene performing absolute magic. Physical comedy is hard to do, and Jackie does it better than anyone during fight scenes. Check out how smooth the flow in the choreography is.

And that does it for this week, kids. Get hype for Tekken 8 finally dropping in January and featuring the talents of the one and only Lenne Hardt doing introductions. Until then, have fun playing 7. And remember – you might think you can fight, but there are many guys like you all over the world.

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About the author
Victor Rodriguez
Victor Rodriguez

Victor Rodriguez has been a writer and podcaster for Bloody Elbow since 2015. He started his way as a lowly commenter and moderator to become the miscreant he is now. He often does weekly bits on fringe martial arts items across the globe, oddball street combat pieces, previews, analysis, and some behind-the-scenes support. He has trained in wrestling, Karate, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and the occasional Muay Thai and Judo lesson here and there. Victor has also been involved with acting and audio editing projects. He lives in Pennsylvania where he plays way too many video games and is an S-rank dad.

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