The Dim Mak Chart of death points. Supposedly related to Chinese TCM acupuncture points.

Wikipedia defines Dim Mak as "The Touch of Death or Death Touch refers to any martial arts technique that can kill using seemingly less than lethal force targeted at specific areas of the body. The concept known as Dim Mak,  literally "press artery";  traces its history to Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncture. Tales of its use are often found in the Wuxia genre of Chinese martial arts fiction. Dim mak is depicted as a secret body of knowledge with techniques that attack pressure points and meridians, said to incapacitate or sometimes cause immediate or even delayed death to an opponent." But a more interesting, and detailed analysis of Dim mak comes from a Dr Kelly (DO), who not only elaborates on it both thoroughly and well, but has even written a book about it. The following is quoted from his website, which is devoted to the study of Dim mak, and, in my opinion, selling his book.

Dim mak (death touch)  is an ancient martial art that consists of striking certain points on the body to cause illness or death. The points are usually called dim mak points, but they are also referred to as vital points and pressure points. The majority of these points correspond to the same locations as acupuncture points. Dim mak is an extremely dangerous martial art, which can cause a great deal of damage to the human body. The effects of attacking the dim mak points include knockout, death, and a delayed death. Many have seen videotapes and seminars where a subject looses consciousness after being struck on certain points. Although this is a very dramatic demonstration method, it could have dangerous consequences.

Many believe that dim mak was created centuries ago by the same man who is believed to have developed the original tai chi form. Some have postulated that this form contained the founder's methods of attacking the most dangerous dim mak points. According to legend, this knowledge spread rapidly and influenced the development of many Chinese martial arts. These martial arts then influenced the ancient Okinawan martial art called karate. It is believed by many that the traditional katas of the Okinawan martial arts also contain the secrets of striking the dim mak points. This is interesting because Okinawan karate has had a major impact on the martial arts of Korea and Japan. Thus, it is conceivable that the traditional katas of these other martial arts could also contain the secrets of dim mak.

In the past, this knowledge was only taught to the most advanced and trusted students. As the martial arts spread around the world, the knowledge of dim mak (pressure point fighting) remained in seclusion. Thus, the true nature of many martial arts remained shrouded in secrecy. Recently this tradition of secrecy has been broken and there are martial arts masters who teach the methods of attacking the points to the public. This information is now available at seminars, in books, and on videotapes. Although this has had a positive effect on the martial arts, it does raise the issue of safety.

In most instances, dim mak is explained and taught using ancient theories based on acupuncture. Although this has been the tradition for many years, it has led to a great deal of skepticism and confusion. Because of this, many have disregarded the warnings about dim mak and started to experiment with the points. This practice could have tragic consequences. If the dangerous effects of dim mak could be explained scientifically, the warnings about the points might have more credibility. There is a definite need for a reference on dim mak that is based on modern medical science.

Dr. Michael Kelly has spent years studying the medical effects of dim mak and has found a great deal of medical research that provides evidence of dim mak's lethal effects. He has compiled all of his research into a new book, which explains the effects of dim mak on the nervous and cardiovascular systems. Topics such as the delayed death touch, knockouts, and attacking the internal organs are explained in detail using modern medical science. The book has been written in a format that will assist one in finding the dim mak applications contained within the traditional forms of many styles.

The initial chapter starts off with a brief introduction to the history of dim mak, and then goes on to explain the essential elements of neuroscience needed to understand the remaining chapters. Dr. Kelly then takes his reader through a comprehensive explanation of the relationship between dim mak and medical science. Included are separate chapters on knockouts, attacking the internal organs, and dim mak's effects on the heart. The last couple of chapters explain the medical science behind the revival techniques and attempt to tie all the information together so that the reader can start to find the dim mak applications contained within their own style. This book is a must have for all serious students of the martial arts and anyone with an interest in the diabolical art of dim mak. The book is titled, Death Touch: The Science Behind the legend of Dim Mak and is now available.

And there's more, which relates dim mak to acupuncture:

According to the ancient theories of acupuncture, the body has a circulating life force (chi or ki) that travels through invisible channels called meridians. According to this theory, all diseases are the result of disruptions in the flow of one's life force or chi. Acupuncture points are located on the meridians and represent areas where the flow of energy can be altered. There are multiple methods of manipulating the acupuncture points including finger pressure, burning herbs, and inserting needles. The acupuncturist inserts needles into different points depending on the illness or complaint. Dim mak evolved from this theory and different points are attacked to cause different effects. According to the ancient theory behind dim mak, attacking the points disrupts the flow of energy, which results in illness or death.

There is no questioning the effectiveness of dim mak. Anyone who has ever been struck hard on a dim mak point or witnessed a pressure point knockout can attest to dim mak's effectiveness. However, there are many who question the ancient explanation of dim mak's effects. Although the previously mentioned theory has been in existence for centuries, modern medical science can provide a new scientific explanation for dim mak's effects. Almost all of the points are located in areas where the one can attack a vulnerable portion of a nerve. In fact, many of the points can be linked neurologically to the internal organs that they are believed to affect. Consequently, attacking the nervous system can disrupt many of the body's functions resulting in illness or death. This new medical explanation of dim mak can be found in Dr. Kelly's new book.

www.dimmak.net  Dr. Kelly