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Fake Martial Arts And The Psychology Behind Them

It is said that practitioners of the Balinese martial art, called Yellow Bamboo, have the ability to blow their opponents away with their “chi” believed to be charged by a god. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work on non-believers of the martial art.

There’s also George Diliman, a master who claims that he can knock out and even knock down his opponents without touching them; a claim that his students very much believe.

Finally, there is Yanagi Ryuken, a Japanese man claiming to possess psychic abilities. Described as a master of Daito Ryu Aikido, he defeats his students with ease. But in 2006, then 65-year-old Ryuken was challenged by then 35-year-old journalist and mixed martial artist Iwakura Tsuyoshi. Ryuken was, unfortunately, but unsurprisingly, defeated.

Ryuken said he lost because his psychic abilities were temporarily weakened due to illness. It's impossible to know whether Ryuken's faith in his own psychic abilities was pummelled that day, but he reportedly continued to train students in his special style.
In any case, it's a brutal sight. It also highlights the darker, not-so-funny side of fake martial arts: people looking to defend themselves are being sold shoddy techniques that fail in real-world fights.

How are people convinced into fake martial arts? Super Eyepatch Wolf’s video titled “The Bizarre World of Martial Arts”, gives an answer to this question.

Well, what do you think?

(Video Credit: Super Eyepatch Wolf/ YouTube)


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There is, though, a difference between fake martial arts and traditional martial arts that may not apply in a street fight. The psychic abilities are nonsense, of course, but traditional martial arts need not be dependent upon such silliness.
I study Tang Soo Do, which falls within the traditional category, and thus has stylized motions and stances that would be foolish to use in a fight. But much of Tang Soo Do is practical and none of it makes claims of psychic powers.
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