You already know this from all the times you’ve accidentally killed someone by misunderstanding tango instructions, but the body is lined with “pressure points,” or invisible buttons that control organs with magic. It isn’t much more complicated than that, but George Dillman still makes it easy in PRESSURE POINT KARATE MADE EASY.
Fifty years ago, George Dillman was “U.S. National Karate Champion” four times, whatever that means, and he’s husband to a woman who wears pajamas to Karate Book Picture Day and tells photographers, “No, I’m good. I ran a comb through it a few days ago.”
Before we start, let’s talk a little bit about George Dillman. This book was published in 1999 which came at a unique point in George’s Karate journey. It was six years after the debut of the Ultimate Fighting Championships, which as you may know, suggested the hilarious inadequacy of Karate when the other person is allowed to do non-Karate. This forced people with careers in traditional martial arts to pivot from “WE’LL TEACH YOU TO KILL WITH YOUR FUCKING HANDS” to “we will watch indoor children at affordable rates.”
Instead of starting daycares, some insecure Karate masters tried to rebrand themselves as wizards. George did both. His Karate evolved from punching potential muggers to teaching kids how to poke a body’s forbidden death spots. Long story short, this combined with his narcissistic personality disorder to convince himself he could knock people out without even touching them. And six years after he published this book, he was so deep in the delusion he seemed genuinely unprepared for it not to work in front of a National Geographic film crew. George stammered out a series of excuses about how the test subject who resisted his mightiest Karate waves must have had his toe or tongue in the secret force field spot. Karate analogies are not an exact science, but this was like a mechanic guessing your engine light came on because of un-journaled dreams and reading your confusion as a signal to put his penis in your husband’s hand. George unleashed such a profoundly embarrassing string of lies, the exact quote takes up half his Wikipedia page:
“The skeptic was a totally non-believer. Plus — I don’t know if I should say that on film — but if the guy had his tongue in the wrong position in the mouth, that can also nullify it. You can nullify it — you can nullify a lot of things. In fact, you can nullify it if you raise those two big toes! If I say I’m going to knock you out, and you raise one toe, and push one toe down… I can’t knock you out. And then, if I go to try again, you reverse it. If you keep doing this, I won’t knock you out.”
What George did here was incredible because the thing about martial arts is they don’t have to work. If you’re the shittiest Karate master in the world, the worst thing that can happen to you is a second Karate master has a different opinion about how you should kill hypothetical ninjas. And yet in an industry where there is no fail condition, George Dillman managed to do it. So as we read, keep in mind that after sixty years as a Karate celebrity and author, what the writer of this book is mainly remembered for is how his Karate doesn’t work.
Meet an eagle! He’s an unnamed Karate eagle who appears every few pages with a very stupid person’s idea of wisdom. Here he’s saying, “You want to BE a black belt, but are you willing to BECOME a black belt?” This intimidating message is a bit undercut by the picture of two little girls who seem to be saying, “We come here after school and wait for our dad to finish his Karate job. He said these belts normally cost $84, but he gets them for sixty. What? Seventy four? My sister says he still has to pay seventy four.”
Now that PRESSURE POINT KARATE MADE EASY has set the bar you need to clear at “mightier than a full-time sixth grader,” it’s time to learn Pressure Point Karate, easily. Well, not quite yet. A lot of this book is George Dillman’s personal photo album. And I don’t mean recent or relevant photos, but random vacation pictures and every single time he’s met a movie star. It seems indulgent past the point of sanity, but you don’t want to buy a book on combat acupuncture and find out on page 30 the author has never even met Billy Blanks.
The Photo Album section eventually ends, but George keeps including giant, pointless pictures of himself long after he’s started talking about Karate. Here he is going on about the philosophy and history of his once secret style of karate-jitsu and he can only fit one full paragraph on the goddamn page because he dedicated 3/4 of it to a glamor shot of him pulling some guy’s hair. Looking good, George. If this is your ancient style of fighting, it explains why 12-year-old girls excel at it.
I don’t know if I’ve ever seen someone so unphotogenic force this many pictures of themselves onto the world. He has the features of a baby who kept a vow to never let his bones change shape and the figure of a baby without a funny second thing.
After this instruction book opens with twenty seven pages of instructionless narcissism, the Karate eagle appears to tell us “Real masters don’t brag! They are too busy learning more.” It’s right under a caption written by George Dillman explaining how George Dillman is one of the most respected and sought-after martial arts teachers in the world. This fucking guy looks like Estonia tried to make their own Gremlins 2, but as real master of comedy, Seanbaby refuses to mock a mentally ill person’s appearance. He is too busy crushing ass.
Finally, some pressure points! Here’s the chart for death-touching your enemy’s right arm. Want to shut down their large intestine? Okay, there are ten spots that do that. Number seven is “halfway between the elbow and the wrist” and it must be pretty big since there are starting points to start measuring from either of those locations. You can tell this is a real thing and not made up because of all the times you’ve seen volleyball players receive a serve and die there on the spot, blasting shit out of their mouth and pores.
Not all of the pressure points are meant to destroy organ function or cause cramps. Some of them are more like puppet strings? For instance, if you rub the Triple Warmer #11 up and down, it will make your enemy straighten their arm. This is great for after you kill someone and need their body to wave as if to say, “I’m fine! No one has killed me!” Anyway, I think it’s great this man who teaches children has created an elaborate fantasy world where he can kill with his fingers and, maybe unrelated, control exactly how bodies move by rubbing them.
The book limply tries to convince the reader that this is a special kind of Karate with practical combat uses, and the reason the old Karate never worked is because of a conspiracy to teach school-children bad Karate intentionally to keep them safe. This is what the rise of mixed martial arts did to the brains of Karate teachers. George almost certainly believes this because the alternative, that he’s spent his entire life learning a style of fighting he can’t use in a fight, is unthinkable.
There’s not even an internal logic to this shit. If school-children aren’t safe around effective Karate, why is your job teaching it to school-children? What changed your mind about putting the power of life and death into the hands of kids? You could have cut twenty pages of your photo album to explain why you were a part of this century-long conspiracy. And it seems outrageously irresponsible not to include a chart of which states allow you to shut down someone’s liver with your finger.
Here’s a great example of karate-jitsu, the secret style finally available to hopefully-not murderers. If an attacker grabs you by your elbow, put your arm four inches to the right and wait for them to run away and trip. When they say “EASY” in PRESSURE POINT KARATE MADE EASY, they mean you’ll be facing opponents who lose control of their nervous system near gently moving children.
I’m not saying this is a bad fighting move. I’m saying if scientists grafted Stephen Hawking’s cells onto chicken DNA to make an eyeless wad of feathers and all it could do was scream, it would instinctively respond to an attack more effectively than this karate-jitsu move. I’m saying if every government on the planet required its citizens to dedicate a year of their life to mastering this maneuver, all human life would end before it knocked over a single person outside of George Dillman’s beginner’s Karate class. If I saw this happen I would assume that guy stepped on his own tampon string.
Not all of George’s moves are as well thought out as “maybe just kind of throw your elbow-grabber with your elbow?” Here he demonstrates how to force one of your students to give you a footjob after they kick you in the dick. Karate eagle says, “The less handsome the Karate student, the less they’ll expect it!”
This is the kind of move two gentle brothers would invent when they’re six and eight, and love each other very much. I don’t think you need to be a champion kickboxer to know that if someone kicks you in the leg and you give theirs a cute hug, they got the better end of the deal. And now each of you is hopping on one foot for reasons George never explains. This isn’t the set up to some second sweet move– it’s just George not wanting to waste a super sweet picture of himself from his hairline’s good side. Plus, hang on a second– if a little girl can throw you into the ground when you’re attached to her elbow, imagine how far a grown man is going to send you flying with his whole leg. If karate-jitsu is to be believed, this is basically loading yourself into a catapult.
George reminds the reader many times how karate-jitsu is the good kind of Karate unlike karate-do, which is a trick played on children by long dead Okinawans. And as I mentioned earlier, it’s not like anyone can prove he’s wrong. He’s betting his career on how no one will ever do a blind study where they beat the shit out of kids to see which Karate instructor was right.
Fun Fact: That watchful man whose name George misspelled is Bob “Pit Bull” Golden. He helped develop this fighting style from “pressure point touching” to “no touching at all.” So if you were wondering how any of this could get any dumber, that’s how. These dumbshits invented “The Force.” Which brings me to my main point: there is no place on Earth more safe than directly in front of George Dillman after you’ve made love to his wife through the hole in her pajamas.
The Karate eagle has an “important secret of self-defense” here about how you can bend your own elbow. George doesn’t really make it clear how that’s helpful, but if you go into a kidnapping armed with the knowledge that bendable elbows are some kind of secret weapon, it will be your second unpleasant surprise of the day.
After a few pages listing general areas you can tickle to take command of someone’s organs, and a few almost sarcastically bad Karate moves, George forgets what the shit he’s doing in his own book. The entire last third, forty fucking pages, is taken up with a step-by-step kata. Not a modern karate-jitsu take on a kata, but the exact same imaginary fist fight our grandmothers performed to earn their yellow belts and then took to their grave without ever meeting the specific man it was choreographed to defeat.
Look at that fuck. George Dillman looks like something Willy Wonka would point to and say, “Here’s one of our finest soldiers guarding the peppermint brook from ghosts,” and then lean in close to whisper, “THERE ARE NO GHOSTS, BUT THAT OOMPA LOOMPA’S SKULL IS TOO SOFT FOR SLAVERY.”
Let’s go over what we’ve learned: several questionable battle techniques, which ’70s kung fu stars are actually really nice in person, and which dots on a woman’s body controls her elbow. George suggests you now know more than some black belts. This dork really thinks his badly edited photo album of children he failed to kill is his magnum opus. He thinks he’s given you a new future in this dying industry of grifters and nerds. Then, after finally wrapping things up, he adds one more thing. It’s, of course, a full-page glamor shot of himself pulling someone’s hair.
Okay, now, after finally wrapping things up and adding one last full-page glamor shot, he adds that same full-page glamor shot again, and I’m not kidding:
This time he’s really done, and the Karate eagle’s closing statement is “Some people say, Practice makes perfect. They’re wrong. Practice makes permanent; perfect practice makes perfect.” And speaking of, what a perfect thing to say after forty pages of a disgraced liar showing you still photos of how to practice fighting against an opponent whose moves you know ahead of time, who can’t give you feedback, and who also doesn’t exist. This is like Billy Blanks’ barber putting up a sign that says “Subtlety is an angel’s soft kiss; all hair should be very round on the top.”
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