8 Hand-To-Hand Combat Myths You Probably Believe

MYTH: The Dim Mak (delayed death touch) is a strike that can kill anyone.

TRUTH: The most popular source of this legendary technique? Bruce Lee. But not because he executed it. Instead, Bruce Lee’s name coincides with the Dim Mak because a 1985 article in Black Belt magazine speculated that Lee’s 1973 collapse and subsequent death could have been the result of a delayed lethal strike some 10 days prior.

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The 1988 movie Bloodsport also popularized the notion of a “death technique” supposedly learned by westerner Frank Dux (Jean-Claude Van Damme’s character in the film). Science says that Lee’s death was caused by cerebral edema — an increase in the brain’s water content. And the accuracy of Bloodsport is still constantly debated, meaning there’s yet to be any sort of official acknowledgement of any “one touch” death that doesn’t involve pulling a trigger.