Book Review: “Dragons Touch, Weaknesses of the human anatomy” by Hei Long
This isn’t a huge volume so the review will be pretty brief too.
The preface of this book is a comment on the USA martial arts scene and a plea for combining solid techniques with the knowledge of this book.
In the introduction, the author talks about karma to explain that this knowledge isn’t to be abused. He states his belief that if you take a life unjustly, you will be punished for it later in life. Next is the classification of the targets. Mr. Long uses 2 categories: Numerical, which describes the anatomical level (brain, cardio-respiratory, muscular, skeletal, etc.) and alphabetical, which describes the physical reaction to striking a specific point (pain, structural damage, unconsciousness and death). I very much appreciate this system for it’s clarity and lack of complexity.
The main part of the book now follows with an anatomical and physiological review of the target areas, followed by a series of photos demonstrating techniques that could be used to attack them. There are 43 targets described, located on the head, back, chest, abdomen, groin and legs. The author also shows from which angle the targets should be attacked.
The last chapter shows combinations of techniques, designed to kill an opponent. Mr. Long says these techniques should only be used if there is no other option and that you should be mentally prepared to kill your enemy. The book ends with the conclusion that you should practice the techniques diligently.
There are a couple of issues I would like to address regarding this book:
1) The anatomical and physiological explanations are reasonably accurate. I had a medical doctor friend of mine take a look and she didn’t really find anything negative to comment on this.
2) I have a lot of problems with some of the targets the author describes. They seem a little far-fetched a times. For instance:
- The author claims that a 45° upward strike to the septal cartilage (nose) will drive it into the brain and kill an opponent. This myth of driving the nose into the brain is just that, a myth. If anyone has a single shred of scientific evidence that you can make it happen, please present it because I’d love to see it.
3) The techniques to strike the target areas are sometimes a little strange. E.g.: using a hook kick to strike the neck area while defending against a straight punch, is a lot more complex than an easier and faster counter punch would be.
4) Mr. Long states that you should only use killing strikes when they are justified. Yet he goes against his own advice. He demonstrates defensive actions against a knife or a club attack and disarms the attacker. Once the weapon is cleared, he continues to strike and kills the opponent. In my humble opinion, once you disarm an attacker by jabbing him in the eye, breaking his elbow and hitting him in the face, the fight is over. There is no more need to break his neck or back, if the immediate life endangering threat is averted. Even more, legally speaking, you just committed murder…
This book offers a couple of good ideas about targets, but a lot of its content is out of touch with reality. An inexperienced reader will not be able to distinguish between the good and the bad in it. If you do have some training already, you won’t find much that you don’t learn after a few years of practice. I’d recommend you buy this book only if you have money to spare.
The quality of this book is very good . The lay out is comfortable with decent pictures and sharp illustrations. Excellent.
Buy it here: