A former tournament standout, George Dillman first learned of the role pressure points play in self-defense from Hohan Soken. Subsequent training under Seiyu Oyata opened Dillman's eyes to the effectiveness of the art, which is known as kyusho-jitsu.
By anyone’s standard, pressure-point expert George Dillman has an impressive martial arts résumé. As an instructor, he’s made incredible strides in expanding his students’ knowledge of pressure points. In his desire to make a mark on the martial arts world, he’s succeeded in branding the community with an effective, and sometimes controversial, weapon that any martial artist can use. Boxing to Karate George Dillman began practicing karate in 1961, and before that he boxed professionally. As an avid tournament competitor, he won 327 trophies between 1969 and 1972. And because he wanted to be a complete martial artist, he made sure his wins were distributed throughout all aspects of competition — sparring, forms, weapons and breaking. George Dillman has vigorously promoted karate before the public, primarily through impressive feats of breaking, and has been interviewed on television more than 35 times. His appearances include Real People, The Mike Douglas Show and NBC’s Sports Machine. For 30 years, he ran a successful tournament called the Northeast Open Karate Championships. George Dillman has worked with a virtual who’s who in the martial arts. His partners have included Muhammad Ali, to whom he taught karate, as well as Bruce Lee, Daniel Pai, Ed Parker, Richard Kim and Robert Trias. Under Pressure Still, George Dillman wasn’t satisfied. He wanted to make a genuine and lasting contribution to the martial arts, but he feared he didn’t have anything special to contribute. Then in 1972, he encountered Hohan Soken and the art of kyusho-jitsu, or pressure-point fighting. Hohan Soken, an old-school karate master, had lived in Argentina for many years. Upon returning to Okinawa in the 1960s, he was appalled that karate had degraded into such a feeble sport. On a trip to the United States, Hohan Soken took action to ensure that the old ways were not lost. He demonstrated kyusho-jitsu to George Dillman and three other black belts. He also delivered to them a set of notes introducing the fundamental concepts of the art, telling them they needed this knowledge to become a true master. George Dillman was unable to master the information contained in the notes. As a result, they ended up in a drawer. But that encounter with Hohan Soken opened George Dillman’s eyes to the fact that there were secrets of the martial arts that he had yet to learn. “I had always thought I knew everything,” George Dillman says. “But after that meeting with Soken, I realized I had a long way to go.”
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