Well once again I return from a short absence, lots of stuff going off here. Well my urge to write today was prompted by an interesting clip posted on Facebook. It is a guy explaining how he can knock somebody out using pressure point techniques. I am not writing to attack, forgive the pun, the use of pressure points to defeat or disable an attacker, everything works sometimes right. My problem is with snake oil salesmen misleading the gullible, they remind me of those guys on the edge of the market demonstrating the latest wonder gizmo. Watch the clip.

So after filling us up with dubious science otherwise known as mumbo jumbo, this guy effectively knocks out his uki. I think a smack to the jaw from about a foot away would probably knock me out too if I was daft enough to stand there and let somebody do that to me. It takes a lot less force than you think to knock somebody out that way so forget sending 250,000, 600,000 or WOWEE 750,000 impulses to the brain at once to knock somebody out, just hit him on his nicely offered, unprotected jaw, but do not forget to give him a round of applause for playing his part well.

So was the mumbo jumbo pointless, well the answer is simply no, it is part of the process, some people call it pre programming compliance, others see it as a subtle form of hypnosis and other see Neural Linguistic Programming at work. Whatever it is it needs willing believers to work, either that or rather than touching the pressure point you give it a hard enough if not full power smack. It is not that people peddle such twaddle but that other people queue up to learn these incredible superpowers. I have seen lots of examples over the years, here is one of the best.

Well he had an explanation for everything, most impressive was his ability to create huge chiballs that can knock people out, really? Well the test made it look a bit tacky if you ask me and as for interfering with customers in Starbuck’s is that ethically acceptable. Maybe I can pop over the road to the Co-op and get my chiball out and see what happens!

One thing these snake oil salesmen have in common is huge amounts of front and an ego the size of an aircraft carrier. Their followers buy into the mysterious powers of their master even when the Emperor has been exposed, literally, as a man with no clothes. The original clip posting started some interesting Facebook discussion including comments from people I have trained with and respect and I think the majority would concur with these sentiments. Once again skilled practitioners can cause real pain by attacking pressure points, I have felt this pain.  However, take a look at this group of jokers.

So where was her chi when she needed it? Well the answer lies at the end of the last paragraph, they were jokers, it was a spoof, the next clip was not a spoof.

A video clip from a beach in Perth, Australia. Yellow Bamboo are chiblasters, and even if you do manage to get close enough to touch them, you’ll allegedly die if you touch someone who’s got a charged up chi blast in him. Sounds worse than Master Ken’s deadly kill face.
ou can hear  people on the beach, believers, saying “he touched him, he touched him. how could he touch him?” Well he touched them and pinned them because he recognises the complete lack of anything awesome of chi, whether it is packaged as a chi ball or contained in a human chiblaster. Still think there is something in this chi thing? Well I have saved the best for last.

The thing is people will believe anything, Joseph Goebbels the nazi propogandist famously said “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

I am not in anyway implying that anybody represented here is a bad person but that they are fantasists, the build a version of reality based on their fantasies and the set about collecting their believers, those people who are searching for mysteries and something to believe in. Once they have the believers in their camp then Goebbels strategy is applied anything else and their very world can be shattered, in the last clip the chi cupboard was clearly empty and a thrashing resulted. I suspect the ego was damaged more than the flesh.

OK so you have guessed I have no belief that chi exists, it is just one of a number of myths and fantasies that pertain in the martial arts world. They surface occasionally and usually get knocked back down by people who know what the are talking about, people who recognise cognitive dissonance when they see it and at the end of the day, and at the end of this blog, it is not the end of the world, boom boom. However, my problem with these guys is the image they create of all martial arts in the eyes of the public. They are like that stubborn stain on your favourite shirt, whatever you treat it with it just will not go away or worse, you get rid of the stain then a few days later another one appears.

These people will service the gullible and remove their money from them little by little, mysticism sells and often it sells big. For me I think I will settle for reality, I am an empirically orientated person anyway, I love theories and I really enjoy academic enquiry and examination and I think I can spot a gizmo when I see one, can you? If you are not sure yet here is a clip to help you. Enjoy.