Investigating the Dim Mak Death Touch

The old Kung Fu master touched his assailant, with no apparent effect.  Days later, the assailant died a sudden and mysterious death.  He was a victim of the legendary dim mak, the touch of death.

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Dim mak is a popular discussion topic among martial arts enthusiasts.  Some instructors claim to have the skill, or believe that it was used to kill Bruce Lee.  Others insist that dim mak instructors are frauds and the skill itself is a complete fantasy.  Is there any evidence to support the existence of dim mak?  Could it possibly work? Continue reading Investigating the Dim Mak Death Touch

Qigong Demonstration by Master Zhou Ting-Jue

This video clip from Ripley’s Believe It or Not showcases the qigong skills of master Zhou Ting-Jue.

In the first portion of the video, Zhou raises the temperature of a damp paper towel (containing a sheet of foil) above 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Steam rises from the towel. Continue reading Qigong Demonstration by Master Zhou Ting-Jue

Esoteric Fight Science

In this illustration, a Muay Thai knee knocks a soul right out of its body

In the new martial arts documentary Fight Science, computerized sensors are used to objectively measure the speed, power and balance of various martial artists. 

Among the findings:

  • The boxer punches with 1000 pounds of force;
  • The wushu practitioner moves faster than a snake;
  • Damage from a Muay Thai knee is comparable to a 35MPH car crash.

These data points illustrate that martial arts practice results in a stronger, faster body.  However in my opinion, they capture neither the most significant benefits of practice, nor the most interesting esoteric skills. Continue reading Esoteric Fight Science

Does “Final Fu” Give Martial Arts a Black Eye?

A Fight to Become the Top Dog

Final Fu, a martial-arts themed reality show, made its debut in July. According to the producers’ description:

Final Fu is an unprecedented series that will pit the best practitioners of their respective styles against one another in an arduous competition of challenges and stand-up, tournament point fighting to determine which art is capable of producing the definitive martial arts champion.

Does this show deliver on its promise? Is it informative or entertaining? Will Final Fu have a positive or a negative impact on the public perception of martial arts? Continue reading Does “Final Fu” Give Martial Arts a Black Eye?