Kyusho! How women can use to fight off male attackers

Kyusho! How women can use to fight off male attackers

A Japanese martial arts book written more than 100 years ago has revealed the moves women once used to fight off attacks by men.

The text details a number of martial arts moves that women can use for self defence, including throws, a kicking technique and a way to break an attacker’s arm.

Published in 1914, the book’s female author also describes a group of Japanese females who came together to form a Women’s Self-Defence League.

The book contains a detailed diagram showing the ‘weak spots’ on a man, which are known as Kyusho.

‘Kyusho are points on the body that can cause damage if struck hard, or they can be used to resuscitate a person,’ the book reads, according to Live Science.

‘If you violently strike any of these Kyusho, it can render a person unconscious and even stop their breath.

‘Good and proper people would do well to learn these points.’

The book, named ‘Self-Defence for Women’ was written in Japanese by Nabatake Yaeko under the pen name Nohata Showa.


The book contains a detailed diagram showing the ‘weak spots’ on a man (pictured), which are known as Kyusho | Mail

Little is known about the identity of Yaeko, who described herself as a ‘women’s historian’.

It has now been translated by Eric Shahan, who specialises in transcribing 19th- and 20th-century Japanese martial arts books.

The martial arts moves detailed in the text come from a style of fighting called Jujutsu.

‘The fundamentals of Jujutsu is to use the opponent’s power,’ Showa writes.

‘You can win by moving nimbly at the right time, without using much power.

‘Should you ingrain these techniques into your body, even a cute weak girl can wrap up a large man and achieve a win.’

In the book, Showa claims she has used the techniques in the book to fight off attacks from men.

‘While I was returning to my abode from running an errand just the other night I encountered a frightful situation,’ she writes.

‘I was able to imitate the handful of Jujutsu moves I learned and, despite my slight form, was able to avoid falling prey to a dastardly scoundrel.

‘It was an absolutely thrilling experience.’

She also describes a surge in violence against women in 20th-century Japan and talks about the formation of an all-female defence league.

The book reads: ‘My dear sisters, my dear daughters, the way in which the citizens of this country have fallen is truly regrettable is it not?’

‘Some men feel no qualms about affecting disrespectful conduct around us.

‘A resolute solution to men’s debauchery continues to elude us.’

The Women’s Self-Defence League trained women to fight off attacks from men and awarded women who had used moves to defend themselves from an assault.

‘Should any reader of this book have, by chanced toppled, restrained or otherwise through self-defence measures thrown a ruffian or [man] attempting mischief this organization will award you … a large certificate reading ‘Meiji Imperial Achievement Award’.’

By Mail

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