The old Kung Fu master touched his assailant, with no apparent effect. Days later, the assailant died a sudden and mysterious death. He was a victim of the legendary dim mak, the touch of death.
Dim mak is a popular discussion topic among martial arts enthusiasts. Some instructors claim to have the skill, or believe that it was used to kill Bruce Lee. Others insist that dim mak instructors are frauds and the skill itself is a complete fantasy. Is there any evidence to support the existence of dim mak? Could it possibly work?
Dim Mak Does Not Equal Death Touch
The Cantonese term dim mak does not translate to “death touch”. I have heard that a less dramatic, but more accurate translation would be “press artery”.
With that clarification, it should be obvious that the skill of dim mak does exist; anyone can press an artery, right? For more useful answers, we should ask more specific questions…
Can dim mak be performed on a skilled, resisting opponent?
There are pressure points on the body, which can be manipulated to cause immediate and excruciating pain. And there are vital areas, which can be damaged with a relatively small amount of force. Martial artists protect these points and areas. But all this has little to do with dim mak.
By definition, dim mak operates on arteries, which are continuous and span the entire body. Yes, some pressure points happen to be located along these arteries. No, this does not make dim mak synonymous with pressure point striking or grappling.
According to TCM theory and practice as manifest in acupuncture, the body is covered with these arteries, also known as meridians. If you are touching an opponent’s arm or leg, you are probably touching a meridian.
In other words, if your opponent can touch you, they can probably perform dim mak.
Can dim mak injure an opponent?
Simply touching an opponent’s meridian is unlikely to hurt them, much less kill them. Dim mak cannot be haphazard pressing and grabbing, any more than acupuncture is random poking about with a needle.
The connections between acupuncture/acupressure points and organ function are supported by thousands of years of practical experience, and by experiments with modern biomedical technology. If acupressure can be used to cure sickness, it can obviously be used to cause sickness.
Can dim mak cause a delayed death?
If dim mak can influence organ function, then it absolutely can cause a delayed death, in a matter of days, weeks or months. Consider these two concrete examples:
It seems to me that the legendary skill of dim mak is no more implausible than the more common skill of acupuncture, and it should be given a similar degree of respect and consideration.