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Old 6th November 2014, 04:27 PM   #41
Squeegee Beckenheim
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Originally Posted by Son of Inigo View Post
In regards to the "slain by the spirit" shtick, I have experienced similar things like that first hand. I was raised in a non-denominational, charismatic, fundamentalist, bible church. By raised, I mean church on Sunday mornings, elder meetings Sunday afternoon, and Sunday and Wednesday nights. Can't forget about all the youth group activities and Sunday school stuff. Oh, and I went to the ACE accredited school attached to the church. I pretty much lived there.

I don't remember any slain by the spirit stuff, exactly, but as we were charismatic, it was a 'spirit filled church". So we had speaking in tongues, with the attendant interpretation of tongues, along with the gifts of prophecy, discernment, and of course healing.

I remember as I grew into early teen-hood, that I was dismayed that I exhibited none of those gifts. We were told that they were given to those who prayed for them and were chosen by the spirit to receive them. Being "good faithful believers, with pure hearts" was an implied criteria. So as I prayed and waited for my gifts to be bestowed on me, I noticed that my friends (most of them kids just like me) starting to exhibit some of the gifts. And that got me to thinking; they sure ain't no better a believer, or purer than I was, as there was a lot of, ahem, shared mischief that was frowned upon by both holy scripture and church elders committed by all of us.

So I knew that their gifts weren't real as there was no way they were higher on the biblical totem pole than I was. But yet, they were blessed by the gifts of the holy spirit. I will admit that there was a lot of peer pressure placed on me to also exhibit these gifts, as it was a sign of ones holiness. But I couldn't do it. I knew my friends were faking, and I started to suspect everyone else was doing the same. But man, it was hard to resist the peer pressure to fake it.

It has been a long hard climb out of that place. Even after 30 years, it is hard to buck an upbringing like that.
Good for you. And welcome.
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Old 6th November 2014, 04:28 PM   #42
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I feel the need to contribute this video. Truly the most impressive demonstration of no-touch hand-to-hand combat ever seen.

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Old 6th November 2014, 04:39 PM   #43
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Some background.
The word qi/chi is as generic as energy in english.
Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Yep

I use the word "qi" in conversation every day with native chinese speakers who use it as a physical concept

The problem is that it can also have "spiritual" connotations, but the physical and spiritual concepts are not really seen as particularly distinct, at least not among the layman, but then that's probably true of "energy" in english too
Several of the native chinese tai chi practitioners I've trained with have said "When the old guys talked about chi they meant leg strength".

I'm the Rob Morton in this article http://www.taichichuan.co.uk/informa...er_margin.html

At the time I was chatting on a usenet group to a student of the same Shen - he talked about how Shen made him feel fluttering sensations in his stomach as his "chi awoke". No, that's him learning to make some muscles work.
I have a book Body Magic by John Fisher that has a trick that depends on people not being able to control the finger between middle and small. I type. That trick no longer works on people who use keyboards a lot. It's not magic. I do stuff that means my middle fingers work independently.
I have a hilarious video "Electromagnetic field for defence in Hsing I" somewhere with Peter Young's students falling without being touched and a couple still struggling to perform as expected. One of his students was kind enough to explain to me that if I was pushed and simply took a half-step back that was a low level of skill. Instead he was trained to find "wu ji" (basically 'at ease') and recover there. Of course that mean when PY pushed him he trotted back about 20 feet until he could stand vertically. I've read several articles ostensibly written by his native UK students that show characteristic Hong Kong grammar. His students accept this. At a demo I was impressed how he selected volunteers: all the people with eager shiny faces and none of the ones paying close attention.
Per Roborama's quote above and via Needham's Science and Civilization in Ancient China you need to understand a few things if you want to talk about chi in martial arts or anything else. First, what does it mean? If someone says energy is important in boxing I can say, damn right, the training near killed me. If they then say they need a coffee first I know we're using "energy" in different ways. There is a reason that chinese people differentiate "ground qi" "etheric qi" etc just as we differentiate "kinetic energy" "emotional energy" etc.
Sorry I'm rambling but I've posted so much of this before. tl;dr version: chi in martial arts is as real as centrifugal force.
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Old 6th November 2014, 06:19 PM   #44
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Doe anyone know of an English-translation transcript of the audio in the first dialog? It would be interesting to know what the commentator was saying.
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Old 6th November 2014, 06:33 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by LTC8K6 View Post
I used to wonder why all the hand motions were necessary.

Then it dawned on me that the believers wouldn't know when and how to fall without them.

A lesson to us all: don't hand wave the hand wave!
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Old 9th November 2014, 02:15 AM   #46
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This guy obviously understood the Dillman Method. Georgie explained one such failure by saying that the guy might've had his tongue held in his mouth in a certain fashion, thus preventing his star student from rendering him unconscious with his (Dillman's) fearsome No-Touch KO Punch. Or maybe he raised his big toes in a certain fashion. You see, if you raise one big toe and lower the other, you're impervious to this deadly technique.

Notwithstanding that this would tend to make the fearsome technique kind of worthless, e.g. you don't have to defend yourself but just hold your tongue in a non-knockout-receptive manner or alternately raise your big toe. He actually peddles this crap.

I kid you not. I'm sure some are familiar with this clip but those who aren't will enjoy it. (I can't make all links work on these forums sometimes because of copyright issues in Thailand so apologies if it's already been linked to.)

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I have a friend in HK who is into all sorts of martial arts. He once said the most heartening thing I ever heard from one of them. He was the middleweight kickboxing champion in Romania and came to China to learn Qi. I braced myself for nonsense, but he continued with.... "... it's all ********. None of it works." (I actually have to get in touch with him - he studied Muay Thai here and married a Thai woman and he comes back often. I forgot about that until I mentioned him in this post)
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Old 9th November 2014, 03:46 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by phunk View Post
That second video was much more satisfying
How come I got this message?

"This video is private."

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Old 9th November 2014, 05:42 AM   #48
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Forgot to mention: Empty Force (ling kong jing) originally meant a feint. Anecdote from a friend who heard it from Chen Xiao Wang whose family invented tai chi. It's empty force because there is no force behind your move, it's a fake intended to get your opponent to move.
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Old 9th November 2014, 05:48 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by bit_pattern View Post
How come I got this message?

"This video is private."

Alas, it has begun. The Master's Chi is All-Powerful. Soon, we'll feel a mighty kick to our nether regions and the laughter will be gone from our throats.

Raise your toes, people. Raise them now! Before it's too late.
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Old 9th November 2014, 06:54 AM   #50
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Much of this is just part of martial-arts culture, and has been so for a long time. I remember reading "Zen in the art of Japanese Archery" years ago. The author, a westerner, was working in Japan and decided to take up Kyudo, Japanese ritual archery. He struggled for weeks to draw the bow in the traditional manner. Strained and strained but just could not do it.
Finally, the instructor told him he must use the "breath" (chi) in order to do it properly. So, the fellow began following these new instructions and sure enough, in a few more days, he was able to draw the bow.

It occured to me that the sharp-eyed old teacher could likely tell when the student was "on the cusp" of developing enough strength, and then impart the secret technique....And viola! It works!

Likewise, in Black Belt magazine, they had an article on a fellow who was attracting a lot of attention in "breaking" demonstrations. He could shatter big chunks of ice and all. Big burly lad...Barathy, as I recall.
Anyway, in the interview, he said that when he was training, his instructors told him that he was beginning to "flow a lot of chi' (since he was hitting the bag, and his opponents, very hard) and that he should take up breaking.
But that just also means that as a result of hard physical training, he was getting stronger... As the comment above about leg strength.
I won't go into all the ways you can cheat on these breaking demonstrations.
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Old 9th November 2014, 11:29 AM   #51
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This is just as much woo, no chi claims involved.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rG-RALKfn7Y
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tjFGPPllx8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cO-8nekWkkw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlRbSdJ0OVU

(on the last one, for example, it is 'amazing' how one can handle a knife attacker if they stand 6' away from you when they swing the knife, and then just stand there with their arm down when you go in to do some stupid, ineffective, showy kick. But hey, he's a "grand master", I must just not appreciate this stuff)

Most of this stuff looks like synchronized dancing to me, and really poorly done. I know there are people out there actually learning real self defense skills, but it is not just the woo brigade that are capable of fooling themselves.

BTW, I say dancing advisedly. I was into this silliness a bit in my late teens/early twenties. The instructor's girlfriend joined, and immediately got belt after belt. Because she was his girlfriend? No, because she was a dancer and could trivially put her body into those silly poses (don't bend you knee, roger! Why not, this is what is giving me leverage? ... crickets...)
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Old 12th November 2014, 08:46 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Audible Click View Post
So, the students believe that the "Master" can use EFO to knock them down, throw them etc? Wouldn't the "Master" know it was fake? When the students realize they don't have the "power" wouldn't they simply leave? In the second video the "Master" gets his clock cleaned, I wonder what his excuse is. I'm genuinely interested in this and hope someone can answer my questions.
No, they don't know it's fake. It's all around reinforcing self-delusion. I imagine those without a propensity to believe this don't generally pay money to go to these classes or to attend these demonstrations.

Originally Posted by The Greater Fool View Post
I'm dumbfounded.

These guys must know this is fantasy, and everyone involved must likewise know. Which begs the question...

Why would they go up against anyone that is not part of the fantasy?
Because they end up believing their own ********.
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Old 12th November 2014, 09:23 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
There was a TV show featuring guys traveling to the schools of various martial arts, including some in distant and fairly isolated (from us Occidentals at least) places, to get some quick samples of what each featured art is like. They found a guy (I think on a Pacific island) who said he could wrap himself in invisible chi energy like armor that would protect him from any harm, and proceeded to demonstrate on just his arm, moving his other hand around and up & down that forearm repeatedly like he was wrapping a long piece of cloth. Then when he'd apparently done enough of that, he whacked himself in that arm with a machete. The TV show's host had to offer him the aid of his crew medic.

Aside from the injury, he must have suffered a lot of embarrassment, so the fact that he did it anyway tells me that he really thought he could succeed, which tells me he had never really put it to even a smaller test before.
I know that one. Here it is:
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Specially sharpened for Chris Crudelli and his crew.

Quote:
As his blood leaks out, I can't help thinking that Red must have actually believed he could do this. He claims he's done it before. Otherwise, why risk the embarrassment when that fails, not to mention the possibility of serious injury or death!
Quote:
I mean, what can you say. It's a sharp blade. You see the way it went through that tree. I was thinking,.... hmm,... God,... he's gonna hack his arm. We're gonna definitely see some juice today!
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Old 12th November 2014, 09:38 PM   #54
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Try also Bill Moyers Healing and The Mind Power of Chi from 1993 starting at 41:01. Same deal.
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Last edited by cosmicaug; 12th November 2014 at 09:41 PM. Reason: Added " from 1993"
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Old 12th November 2014, 09:40 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by phunk View Post
I was really hoping to see that guy get punched in the face at least once. Is that wrong?

ETA: That second video was much more satisfying
Second video is now private. Which is it? Is it the one of the old Japanese ki master getting his ass handed to him by a somewhat hesitant MMA guy? The one where he gets bopped in the nose and looks dumbfounded as if he can't believe the MMA guy was even able to touch him? The one where at the end the MMA guy is seen hovering above his adversary looking around like saying "I'm sorry I beat up the old guy but he kind of did ask for it"?
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Old 12th November 2014, 09:47 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by The Norseman View Post
I don't disbelieve you, but I must counter with plain old western boxing. Why can people be trained to be very effective at receiving and dealing blows, yet chi-lore is not found among the classes?
I have a theory about this, and I must stress that this is speculation and I have no data to back it up.

Back in the day, there were martial arts in Asia and in Europe. With the invention of firearms, the European martial arts died out and stopped being practiced, whereas the martial arts in Asia continued to be practiced. To compensate for firearms and remain relevant, the Asian martial arts had to adopt magic as part of their techniques. In Europe (and its cultural dependencies) firearms replaced the traditional hand-to-hand combat styles.
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Old 13th November 2014, 03:52 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by cosmicaug View Post
No, they don't know it's fake. It's all around reinforcing self-delusion. I imagine those without a propensity to believe this don't generally pay money to go to these classes or to attend these demonstrations.
I was at a multi-style workshop where Peter Young (who now peddles himself as a buddhist monk) was doing a demo. He was very good at selecting people to work with: the ones standing wide-eyed and slack-jawed and not the ones carefully watching. He used to write articles supposedly by UK-born university educated students but loaded with characteristics of Cantonese speakers.
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Old 13th November 2014, 04:58 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by Son of Inigo View Post
In regards to the "slain by the spirit" shtick, I have experienced similar things like that first hand. I was raised in a non-denominational, charismatic, fundamentalist, bible church. By raised, I mean church on Sunday mornings, elder meetings Sunday afternoon, and Sunday and Wednesday nights. Can't forget about all the youth group activities and Sunday school stuff. Oh, and I went to the ACE accredited school attached to the church. I pretty much lived there.

I don't remember any slain by the spirit stuff, exactly, but as we were charismatic, it was a 'spirit filled church". So we had speaking in tongues, with the attendant interpretation of tongues, along with the gifts of prophecy, discernment, and of course healing.

I remember as I grew into early teen-hood, that I was dismayed that I exhibited none of those gifts. We were told that they were given to those who prayed for them and were chosen by the spirit to receive them. Being "good faithful believers, with pure hearts" was an implied criteria. So as I prayed and waited for my gifts to be bestowed on me, I noticed that my friends (most of them kids just like me) starting to exhibit some of the gifts. And that got me to thinking; they sure ain't no better a believer, or purer than I was, as there was a lot of, ahem, shared mischief that was frowned upon by both holy scripture and church elders committed by all of us.

So I knew that their gifts weren't real as there was no way they were higher on the biblical totem pole than I was. But yet, they were blessed by the gifts of the holy spirit. I will admit that there was a lot of peer pressure placed on me to also exhibit these gifts, as it was a sign of ones holiness. But I couldn't do it. I knew my friends were faking, and I started to suspect everyone else was doing the same. But man, it was hard to resist the peer pressure to fake it.

It has been a long hard climb out of that place. Even after 30 years, it is hard to buck an upbringing like that.


You're a person of integrity. Welcome to the forum!

Keep on keeping on.
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Old 13th November 2014, 12:19 PM   #59
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My YouTube was recommending videos I might like, it had a different version of the kia master vs. MMA fighter video. This one explained that the old man had been bragging that he could beat any MMA fighter and even put up $5,000 to make it more interesting.

I think that was one of the rare times when a knock out punch wakes you up.
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Old 13th November 2014, 12:22 PM   #60
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Any good chief petty officer can make men faint without touching them. You just need to apply a little verbal barrage.
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Old 13th November 2014, 12:49 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I have a theory about this, and I must stress that this is speculation and I have no data to back it up.

Back in the day, there were martial arts in Asia and in Europe. With the invention of firearms, the European martial arts died out and stopped being practiced, whereas the martial arts in Asia continued to be practiced. To compensate for firearms and remain relevant, the Asian martial arts had to adopt magic as part of their techniques. In Europe (and its cultural dependencies) firearms replaced the traditional hand-to-hand combat styles.
And now, firearms have a kind of magic too.
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Old 14th November 2014, 02:41 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by marplots View Post
And now, firearms have a kind of magic too.
There can be only guns.
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Old 14th November 2014, 08:37 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
I have a theory about this, and I must stress that this is speculation and I have no data to back it up.

Back in the day, there were martial arts in Asia and in Europe. With the invention of firearms, the European martial arts died out and stopped being practiced, whereas the martial arts in Asia continued to be practiced. To compensate for firearms and remain relevant, the Asian martial arts had to adopt magic as part of their techniques. In Europe (and its cultural dependencies) firearms replaced the traditional hand-to-hand combat styles.
Not true. European martial arts continue to be displayed--it's called "fencing". Olympic fencing is derived from rapier fighting back in the 1700s and 1800s. It's highly stylized, of course, and the fact that it hasn't been regularly used in combat for a few centuries has had an impact--but it IS a European martial art, derived from actual martial activities.

There's also a revival of European martial arts, including both swordplay and unarmed combat. Enough people are going back to the old Medieval styles of martial arts to make the translations of the German and Italian masters, at least, readily available (not sure about the French, British, or Spanish, but that's because of a lack of interest--I do German and my wife does Italian).

I think a lot more of the explanation has to do with the fact that Asian cultures avoided adopting guns for so long. Japan attempted isolationism and enforced cultural purity, but cannons sort of destroyed that. However, the idea of a Golden Age sometime in the past is one that seems built in to humans, and the fact that the cultures were so alien seemed to add a lot of attraction to them.

Asian martial arts had, to the best of my knowledge, magic at their foundation. Not in the sense of "they were impractical", but rather to the people practicing them, at the time they were invented, the concepts weren't magic. They were part of their world-view, just as gravity, evolution, and electromagnitism is part of OUR worldview. As the martial arts became less and less used in combat, the magical elements became more and more important because there was nothing to restrain them. A similar process happened to fencing--try using Olympic style fencing in combat and you're going to get eaten alive before you can repost. The elements were always there--the Asian martial arts were built upon a worldview that we now consider fundamentally mystical, just as fencing originally emphasized form and timing--but the lack of actual use in combat allowed those parts to become far more emphasized.
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Old 14th November 2014, 09:24 AM   #64
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As a slight derail Girard's 1740 smallsword work is being translated - HQ scans of the original https://guywindsor.selz.com/item/544...98720a840b5da1
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Old 14th November 2014, 11:04 AM   #65
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I still am interested in whether there is a translated transcript of the commentary in the original video posted in this thread.

Does anyone know of one?
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Old 14th November 2014, 11:44 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by xterra View Post
I still am interested in whether there is a translated transcript of the commentary in the original video posted in this thread.

Does anyone know of one?
I'm not sure I understand what it is that you want. The Finnish EFO master is speaking English but is hard to understand due to mediocre audio quality. The woman is translating into Spanish. Captions seem accurate (ie. they match the English and the Spanish, as far as I can tell).
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Old 14th November 2014, 12:24 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by cosmicaug View Post
I'm not sure I understand what it is that you want. The Finnish EFO master is speaking English but is hard to understand due to mediocre audio quality. The woman is translating into Spanish. Captions seem accurate (ie. they match the English and the Spanish, as far as I can tell).
I think xterra is referring to the other video of the Kia master vs. MMA fighter.
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Old 14th November 2014, 12:27 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by Wudang View Post
Forgot to mention: Empty Force (ling kong jing) originally meant a feint. Anecdote from a friend who heard it from Chen Xiao Wang whose family invented tai chi. It's empty force because there is no force behind your move, it's a fake intended to get your opponent to move.
In his book The Art Of Learning, Josh Waitzkin - Former US National Chess Champion and also Former World Tai Chi Pushing Hands Champion - includes a chapter called "The Illusion of The Mystical" which gives a very good technical explanation of how good feints, combined with a little physics and close attention to detail can produce undeniably potent results that can easily be misinterpreted as magic by those who don't know how they're done.
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Old 14th November 2014, 01:00 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by Prometheus View Post
In his book The Art Of Learning, Josh Waitzkin - Former US National Chess Champion and also Former World Tai Chi Pushing Hands Champion - includes a chapter called "The Illusion of The Mystical" which gives a very good technical explanation of how good feints, combined with a little physics and close attention to detail can produce undeniably potent results that can easily be misinterpreted as magic by those who don't know how they're done.
I saw a shotokai demonstration of that. There was no woo involved in that part (can't remember the rest). The instructor was demonstrating the importance of timing in a set piece and the junior dan grades would make an attack - just after they'd committed to an attack he'd counter with at strong feint (possibly a "real" attack that he didn't complete) which they all avoided but fell over as they were unbalanced.
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Old 14th November 2014, 01:06 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by Prometheus View Post
In his book The Art Of Learning, Josh Waitzkin - Former US National Chess Champion and also Former World Tai Chi Pushing Hands Champion - includes a chapter called "The Illusion of The Mystical" which gives a very good technical explanation of how good feints, combined with a little physics and close attention to detail can produce undeniably potent results that can easily be misinterpreted as magic by those who don't know how they're done.
There's no doubt that this video looks a bit like magic.

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE


I can't tell whether I'm watching a bunch of play-acting, the results of the art of suggestion/near hypnosis, or such a skilled Tai Chi user that real moves look unreal.
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Old 14th November 2014, 01:09 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by Wudang View Post
There can be only guns.
I hope you are ashamed
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Old 14th November 2014, 02:10 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
There's no doubt that this video looks a bit like magic.

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE


I can't tell whether I'm watching a bunch of play-acting, the results of the art of suggestion/near hypnosis, or such a skilled Tai Chi user that real moves look unreal.
I'm not any kind of expert, but that looks fake to me. In contrast, the competition Tai Chi videos I see on YouTube look kind of boring, but Waitzkin describes how the players are actually paying close attention and timing their movements according to their opponent's breathing and eye-blinks, so as to unbalance them in a way that they can't readily understand what just happened to them. I think the illusion being created is apparent to the opponent, not necessarily to a non-participating observer.
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Old 14th November 2014, 02:29 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by cosmicaug View Post
I'm not sure I understand what it is that you want. The Finnish EFO master is speaking English but is hard to understand due to mediocre audio quality. The woman is translating into Spanish. Captions seem accurate (ie. they match the English and the Spanish, as far as I can tell).

My error -- I was talking about the (Chinese? Japanese?) video, now marked as "private."* It was posted in #2 by malicus:

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...3#post10308763

The supposed master ends up with a nose bleed.


*Does that mean the person posting it has realized that the video does not show what it was intended to show?
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Old 14th November 2014, 04:23 PM   #74
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEDaCIDvj6I

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Old 14th November 2014, 05:01 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
I hope you are ashamed
Hi, nice to meet you.
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Old 14th November 2014, 05:47 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by Son of Inigo View Post
In regards to the "slain by the spirit" shtick, I have experienced similar things like that first hand. I was raised in a non-denominational, charismatic, fundamentalist, bible church. By raised, I mean church on Sunday mornings, elder meetings Sunday afternoon, and Sunday and Wednesday nights. Can't forget about all the youth group activities and Sunday school stuff. Oh, and I went to the ACE accredited school attached to the church. I pretty much lived there.

I don't remember any slain by the spirit stuff, exactly, but as we were charismatic, it was a 'spirit filled church". So we had speaking in tongues, with the attendant interpretation of tongues, along with the gifts of prophecy, discernment, and of course healing.

I remember as I grew into early teen-hood, that I was dismayed that I exhibited none of those gifts. We were told that they were given to those who prayed for them and were chosen by the spirit to receive them. Being "good faithful believers, with pure hearts" was an implied criteria. So as I prayed and waited for my gifts to be bestowed on me, I noticed that my friends (most of them kids just like me) starting to exhibit some of the gifts. And that got me to thinking; they sure ain't no better a believer, or purer than I was, as there was a lot of, ahem, shared mischief that was frowned upon by both holy scripture and church elders committed by all of us.

So I knew that their gifts weren't real as there was no way they were higher on the biblical totem pole than I was. But yet, they were blessed by the gifts of the holy spirit. I will admit that there was a lot of peer pressure placed on me to also exhibit these gifts, as it was a sign of ones holiness. But I couldn't do it. I knew my friends were faking, and I started to suspect everyone else was doing the same. But man, it was hard to resist the peer pressure to fake it.

It has been a long hard climb out of that place. Even after 30 years, it is hard to buck an upbringing like that.

Thank you for sharing this post. I congratulate you, that took a lot of courage. What is funny is that you were the one that was blessed; with logic, honor, and truth.
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Old 14th November 2014, 07:11 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by Dinwar View Post
European martial arts continue to be displayed--it's called "fencing".
Also "boxing" and "wrestling".
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Old 15th November 2014, 06:34 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by Prometheus View Post
I'm not any kind of expert, but that looks fake to me. In contrast, the competition Tai Chi videos I see on YouTube look kind of boring, but Waitzkin describes how the players are actually paying close attention and timing their movements according to their opponent's breathing and eye-blinks, so as to unbalance them in a way that they can't readily understand what just happened to them. I think the illusion being created is apparent to the opponent, not necessarily to a non-participating observer.
Yes, I agree. I spent a couple of years doing basic Chang family tai chi forms (just the movements you see them doing in the park, not push-hands sparring). I was invited to see my trainer's sensei give a demo showing some simple push-hands self-defense. Seeing my trainer staggering backwards theatrically on his heels (just as in that video), in a way that just doesn't happen to a fit, well-coordinated, well-balanced person in real life (you either fall over or you take two or three steps back and stop), made me realise that, although he wasn't deliberately faking it, there was clearly a lot of wishful thinking and self-delusion involved. Bear in mind he'd spent years training to keep a solid and firm footing (known as 'developing root').

The difference between that and what Josh Waitzkin describes (it's an excellent book) is chalk and cheese.
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Old 15th November 2014, 09:01 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by The Greater Fool View Post
I'm dumbfounded.

These guys must know this is fantasy, and everyone involved must likewise know. Which begs the question...

To think in in a clear, direct method while avoiding logic errors ,reasoning errors, learned biases, and social expectations is a very difficult task. Amazingly few people can perform it on their best days.

As others have pointed out, a large number of people do not operate on the I'll-believe-it-after-i-see-it principle and instead follow the I'll-see-it-after-I-believe-it approach. These folks who fall down a lot are in the later camp - but that group has billions of members.
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Old 15th November 2014, 10:57 AM   #80
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Google "Solomon Asch" and you see some very interesting videos. Much has been done since then of course but it is a landmark study
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