The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers: Martial Arts Study Guide

This article is intended as a companion piece to The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers series. It will provide additional information on the martial arts themes that frequently appear in The LXD.

AntiGravity Heroes

What styles of martial arts are performed on The LXD?

In Episode 2, AntiGravity Heroes, Jimmy and Justin perform a dazzling set with elements of parkour, XMA, and modern wushu. Although the term wushu technically refers to Chinese martial arts in general, the term is most commonly applied these days to theatrical renditions of the arts, tuned for artistic performance rather than for direct combat application. Continue reading The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers: Martial Arts Study Guide

“Empty Force” and No-Touch Knockouts Real? Take Our Survey

Many martial arts bloggers (Striking Thoughts, Mokuren Dojo and Dojo Rat to name a few) have published their opinions on the veracity of chi projection, empty force (ling kong jing) and no-touch knockouts. Naturally, I have a few opinions of my own–but I do not intend to share them here and now. No, my purpose today is a humble and scientific one: to gather data.

The plural of anecdote is data, right? So, please take this multiple choice poll. Continue reading “Empty Force” and No-Touch Knockouts Real? Take Our Survey

Vladimir Vasiliev, Russia’s Mind Warrior

Excerpted from Vladimir Vasiliev: Russia’s Mind Warrior is Set to Hit the U.K. by Trevor Robinson

Through training in the martial arts, we begin to pay more attention to aspects of experience that might have seemed peripheral, if not hard to believe before. We begin to start noticing and giving more credence to experiences such as meeting someone for the first time and instantly liking them or disliking them without knowing anything about them. We like their vibes, we can tell if someone is staring at us and when we look up (what makes you look?) we feel we know what they are feeling or that something is going to happen, the phone rings and we know who it is before we answer it. As we allow ourselves to develop new sensitivities, we begin to view the world quite differently.

Training in Psychic Energy

Vladimir Vasiliev is a Master in The System [Systema] and he has an outstanding command of its use. Though he is so humble, I’m sure he would be the first to deny it! What I will relay now is on his personal account of the Psychic Training he received while he was with the Special Operations unit in Spetsnaz. In his own words:

The goal of the training was to make you multi-functional. You were to be able to work effectively in any kind of situation and never fear it. Perhaps more importantly, you were expected to learn how to be creative and act spontaneously. Divergent thinking, being able to come up with unconventional and unusual responses and decisions in different situations was an absolute necessity. You had to be totally adaptable to survive in the unit.

The key to this adaptability was the Psychic Training you received. You were expected to go well beyond the mere physical and psychological mastery to a point where intuition and that sixth sense, that we all have but seldom use, became a part of your daily life.

Awareness, or tapping into your sixth sense, was a focus for many of the exercises. Training classes could run for five hours and in some, you’d be blindfolded for the entire time. You’d have to follow what was going on, do your exercises and come to an understanding of the principles the instructor was teaching without the use of sight.

While sparring, the instructor would also walk around the class looking for trainees who weren’t paying attention to the total environment they were working in. If he thought you weren’t aware of his presence, he’d hit you with a stick over the head, this taught the trainee very quickly to be aware of where everyone was at all times.

At other times, we were brought up into pitch-black rooms and had to guess how many people were in it, if any. We’d also be blindfolded and have to identify colors just by touching colored blocks of paper. Again, awareness was to extend far beyond the normal five senses into the area of the psychic.

Some instructors who were skilled at passing psychic energy would take a few glasses of water and charge them with energy. This was a charge grounded in a psychic form of energy. It was much like touch healing. They’d concentrate on the water and send energy into it through their fingers without touching it. The trainee would then have to come into the room and tell the instructor which classes had been charged with the energy. The purpose behind this exercise was to teach the trainee how, on a mission, to tell if their drink was poisoned. Poison has a much stronger energy than regular water and that energy is discernible to those who have learned to access and use their psychic abilities.

Continue reading Vladimir Vasiliev, Russia’s Mind Warrior

Chi: Real Energy or Martial Art Myth?

Welcome to the third edition of Qigong and Energy Arts Forum. This main topic of this edition is science and skepticism.

Feature articleChi debunked? by Bob Patterson (Striking Thoughts)
Martial Development has a challenge for skeptical martial artists: Prove that chi is scientifically impossible. Naturally, since I consider myself to be an open-minded skeptic and a martial artist, I had to take a crack at this one.
From a scientific perspective, “chi” has not made it past the hypothesis stage…

Clearing the Air on George Dillman and Chris Thomas by Rick Fryer (Kicks Boxes)
Char-la-tan (n.) a person who pretends to be an expert in something or to have more skill that is really the case; quack; fake. That’s how Websters defines the word charlatan, but many martial artists on websites and forums like Bullshido.com or FightingArts.com would like to define it as ‘George Dillman,’ or as my instructor, ‘Chris Thomas’… Continue reading Chi: Real Energy or Martial Art Myth?

Movement, Martial Arts, and Man-in-the-Middle Attacks

Since we practice movement every day of our lives, it is easy to overlook the complexity of this task.

ASIMO

Voluntary movement, by definition, begins as an act of will. Willpower directs the brain, to signal the muscles, to exert force, to reposition the body in space, adjusting these commands in a real-time response to ongoing sensory feedback. And an accidental failure at any point in the sequence can foul up the end result, causing us to move poorly, freeze in place or topple over.

If an attacker could somehow introduce malicious commands or false information into our system, they could lead us to self-destruction. Fortunately for our individual liberty, there is no way to breach these communication pathways from the outside…or is there? Continue reading Movement, Martial Arts, and Man-in-the-Middle Attacks

If It Doesn’t Look Fake, Then It Isn’t Real Taiji

The position of refinement of consciousness in the theory and practice of martial arts is utterly critical. It pervades the fundamentals of training in martial arts as well as the most advanced contents of their highest level. This is the technical and theoretical core and quintessence of martial arts.

To abandon this is tantamount to throwing away the living soul and fundamental work of the techniques and theories of martial arts, leaving only low level “external exercises” with their peculiarities of outward form…

Consciousness as we use it here does not mean consciousness in the ordinary sense, abstract logical thought, or abstract ideation; neither is it formal thinking in the ordinary sense…it is always a result of combined refinement of body and mind.

from Mind Over Matter: Higher Martial Arts by Shi Ming

Master Shi Ming, from Bill Moyers’ Healing and the Mind

Shi Ming’s demonstration, and similar performances by other Taiji masters always draw criticism from the incredulous.

The most common objection is at the appearance of cooperation between teacher and student: the disciples appear to be throwing themselves. In many cases, that is exactly what they are doing. This fact alone does not, however, prove that the master is a fake. Continue reading If It Doesn’t Look Fake, Then It Isn’t Real Taiji

Can Qigong Soothe These Savage Beasts?

When alleged masters of kiai-jutsu and no-touch throws use their own students for demonstrations, skeptics cry foul.  If such incredible skills truly exist, the skeptics contend, they should enable the master to stop a skilled and determined attacker whom he has never met; otherwise, it’s obviously just bullshido.

Bob Sapp
K-1 Fighter Bob “The Beast” Sapp

These skeptics are serving up a false dilemma, lightly seasoned with argumentum ad baculum.  Under their revised laws of physics, the forces of this universe are neatly split into two categories: those which can floor Bob Sapp, and those which simply do not exist.  Fortunately, there is a middle ground where useful and interesting experiments can be performed. Continue reading Can Qigong Soothe These Savage Beasts?

Striking the Striker: Taijiquan Demo by Master Henry Wang

One of the gentlemen in my practice group alerted me to this video clip.  Henry Wang, an expert in the Cheng Man-ching style of Taiji, repeatedly bounces a puncher away through his own punch.  Not only that, but he is sitting on a table, with his feet off the ground, while he does it!

Continue reading Striking the Striker: Taijiquan Demo by Master Henry Wang