Monday, November 26, 2007

The Occult Nature Of Martial Arts



In my nearly thirty-year experience in the martial arts, I have seen some interesting things. Most of them are ordinary, some spectacular. These include mere human feats of incredible jump spin-kicks, power breaking and manipulation of opponents. Sometimes these demonstrations have crossed into states of metaphysical events.
Martial arts often suggest a level of skill beyond the mere physical, and hint at an intangible or esoteric knowledge. This skill is recognized not only as a fighting skill, but also a healing skill.
From the earliest times, Warriors and Occult practitioners, or Shamen have been closely linked. Going to battle was a spiritual event, involving preparation and in some cases, inducing a trance state. The Vikings were known to have taken mind-altering mushrooms before going into battle, hence the term “Berserker” (Berserk). They went nuts and killed things. That warrior cult was also steeped in pagan gods, divination and superstition. They were a warrior culture, yet given the opportunity, they melded with the populations they had just kicked the crap out of and helped build much of Europe.
Other aboriginal cultures across the world have their warrior cultures closely linked to shamanic experiences also. Anyone who has read the Carlos Castenada books with Don Juan the sorcerer have a look into native American Indian culture and warrior spirit. Part of coming of age in warrior cultures has often been linked to taking psychedelic drugs or experiencing extreme hardships under the guidance of elders.
With Japanese martial artists such as Aikido founder Ueshiba, there were cults such as the Shinto O-Moto Kyo, that were based in natural science of every day living, and the older and revered Chinese occult systems. Chinese “Tao” is Japanese “Do”, and the esoteric knowledge of each has the same root. Nearly all cultures revered the sword as a spiritual tool, some bearing generations of blood.
Perhaps no esoteric system is better known than the Chinese five-element theory that governs acupuncture and pressure points. An unknown number of people partake in the healing arts provided by these techniques, yet they are hardly recognized by modern medicine today. Contemporary medicine looks upon Meridian theory as placebo therapy, yet in a martial as well as a healing application, the results are “striking” (pun intended).
The five-element theory is akin to the child’s game of rock-scissors-paper, where there is a healing aspect as well as a destructive nature. Wood feeds fire, fire creates earth, earth produces metal, metal leads to water (somewhat obscure, possibly water witching). The destructive cycle is just the opposite; metal cuts wood, wood penetrates earth, earth dams water, water cools fire, fire shapes metal. While each element relates to a meridian, combinations of strikes in the destructive cycle on meridians can cause knockout and damage. Experts more knowledgeable than me may expand on this.
The point is, there is a lot more to the skills involved in both healing and killing than most martial schools offer. Pressure points, sacred sounds used in ki-ai’s and much more.
From an internet search, there are scores of articles by Christian authors that indicate their fear of these ideas. Too bad for them. They may be missing out on a whole bunch of stuff that was known to the old Christian Gnostics that are abhorrent to modern evangelicals today. For instance, the Knights Templar was a Christian warrior society that found enlightenment in the middle-east, and incorporated it into their Christian rituals. The Templers were a Christian Knight organization that was created to guard passage to the holy lands from Europe. They built their fortress on the Temple mount In Jerusalem, and are said to have found the holiest ancient Gnostic (self enlightened) Christian relics. The Templars, according to author Jim Marrs (“Rule By Secrecy”-Harper-Collins), cut deals with and gained esoteric knowledge from “The Assassins”, the Hashish cult-for-hire in middle age Islam. Speculation is there was much information exchanged. Upon their return to Europe, the Templars used sacred geometry to build the Gothic Cathedrals, celestial navigation, and the first banking system. All this was built on Arab culture, and it revolutionized Europe. They were a Christian martial society, and on Friday the 13th 1307, many of the Templars were rounded up by the church, tortured and disbanded, partly for their esoteric and non-conventional knowledge. The contemporary Catholic Church may be the worlds largest practitioner of ceremonial magic, with the ritual cannibalism of the wafer and wine, or the methods of choosing a Pope.
Then there is the dark side. The Japanese Yakuza and Tong Chinese Mafia have long had blood rites. Secret societies such as Ninja clans developed many black-art techniques, the same techniques that are seen today in drug-induced interrogation, water-bording etc.
In the past, I have written about other cult-like schools. In Portland Oregon, there was a school called “Poekulean” or “A rose with thorns”. This was primarily a woman’s self-defense school, and they had candlelight rituals with knives involved. Now, this was an Indonesian-based school, and such is the nature of those arts, but it freaked a lot of women in Portland out, to the point where a critical article in a weekly paper was written.
I have also witnessed some “No touch knockouts”. I am telling you, these are very controversial, and don’t always work, but when they do, they do. There is an element of the Master-student relationship that is conducive to achieving the no touch knockout. I believe it involves hypnosis similar to that experimented with by Anton Mesmer in early European culture. I have also seen these attempts at knockouts go very bad. Hardened athletes and skeptics are more resistant, suggesting an element of Hypnosis is involved.
There is however, something that does happen. George Dillman’s Ryukyu Kempo group hooked students up to medical recording equipment and performed no touch knockouts on them. The results were startling and cautionary. Over cold drinks after a seminar I discussed this with experts Jack Hogan and Dan McCusky, both who had witnessed Dillman’s experiment. In their opinion, people went out very heavily, and were difficult to recover. They felt there was a tremendous amount of psychic energy involved. This practice can come at the physical expense of the practitioner. One of the men who was knocking people out urinated blood afterward, indicating that it had affected the prenatal Chi residing in his kidneys. Hogan and McCusky hinted that this art was possibly taken further, and commented that “There are some things that people just shouldn’t be doing”.
Most of us practice martial arts for health, self-defense and self-improvement. Just how far down the path we go, and which turns we choose are up to the individual. Through modern methods such as biofeedback and brain imaging, we are now able to see how shamanic practices of the ancients actually work. How they are used is a different story…

42 comments:

Sa Bum Nim Pieschala said...

Thanks DR,
Floyd thinks I'm off my rocker on the whole thing. I'd like to know more about 5 elements for reasons to be taken off line. Also a bit on color meanings ...

Hand2Hand said...

Where to begin, where to begin.

First of all, there are many points on which we agree and some in which I know we will respectfully disagree.

As a practicing Christian myself, I have spent a lot of time reassuring my Christian Brothers and Sisters that I am not engaged in any dark or sorcerous arts when I practice martial arts.

I do include qigong in my training because it does work to improve health and skill.

I've seen many amazing things myself as a martial artist, including: people who could not be moved when lifted, pushed or pulled; a man who could pull his testicles back into their original cavity and take a full force snap kick to the groin; a man who could take my hardest 19-year-old reverse punch to his gut. It wasn't like punching a muscleman. It was springy, like punching a trampoline.

But while great masters of yoga, qigong or martial arts have done some incredible feats, I've yet to see anything that cannot be explained by good science. There are definite limits to what a human body and mind are capable and nothing short of divine intervention will enable you to exceed those limits.

As far as Casteneda, he's a fraud. His claims have been discredited many times over by anthropologists and sociologists who've studied American Indian cultures. Here's a good place to start to read up on his life.

http://www.salon.com/books/feature/2007/04/12/castaneda/index.html

As far as the subject of magic or magick, I like the explanation of what constitutes magic from one of my professors, Dr. Heim at the University of South Florida, who was renowned as an expert in the occult.

"Everyone says that what they practice is a religion and what everyone else does is sorcery or witchcraft. For example, if I were an anthropologist from another planet, and I told my students that there are people on Earth who believe that if they take an ordinary piece of bread, and they say a prayer over that bread, that that bread becomes the flesh of their deity. And, by eating that bread, they acquire some of the power and grace of that deity, my students would say I was talking about magic."

I didn't know about the use of mushrooms for the vikings. I know that berserk comes from the word, baar sark, which means "bear shirt." The bear shirt was a bear skin shirt and the warrior who wore it would whip himself into a frenzy before going into battle.

It's similar to what the Moros would do the in Philipines. The Moros come from the Muslim lands in the southern part of the Philipine Islands. They would whip themselves into a trance, tie tournequets around their arms and legs before going into battle or on a suicide mission. That way, they didn't immediately bleed to death if they were cut with a sword or shot.

No foreign power has ever been able to conquer the Moros. Not the Spaniards, not the Americans and not the Japanese. In fact, the Colt .45 Automatic became the standard sidearm for American officers when we occupied the Philippines in the early 20th century. No other pistol had the stopping power to keep a Moro with a bolo from decapitating everyone in the room.

The joke about the Colt .45 government issue was "If you put all seven shots into a guy and he's still coming, throw the gun at him. That'll stop him."

Lastly, about George Dillman. I give him a lot of credit for reviving the use of pressure points in martial arts. But I don't buy his no-touch knockouts. I'm sorry, but he was not able to perform those under a double-blind test which was televised on National Geographic. I'm sure it's available on youtube.

If they're so real, then he should contact James Randi and try for Randi's $1 million prize.

But from all I've seen of no-touch knockouts, it's just the power of suggestion.

Suggestion and hypnosis are so easy it's embarrassing. I used to do all kinds of tricks with it at parties.

Sa Bum Nim Pieschala said...

I'll say this. To understand this concept, it is important to stop looking at the problem with "western eyes" i.e Randi, Penn & Teller.

This is like the Bible and not a western story and should not be analyzed as such. For example a good book to read on this concept is, "A Jewish Understanding by Rabbi Samuel Sandmel" (did I mention I went to Bible College?) He knew the New Testament better than I (yes I passed).

Now back to this topic, we're talking about Asian (mostly Chinese) metaphysics and not all of has been unproven.

I'm a Christian (a lot of Jewish thought though) so before we judge. We must remember there is quite a bit of "hocus pocus" in our own good book. So try to be objective.

http://user.cyberlink.ch/~koenig/2006/pro/pene.htm
As far as the occult goes it is undeniable. Right from Crowley (he studied yoga etc .. )

"On the back of “The Templars…” from the year 2001 William Breeze (chief of the 'Caliphate') and Michael Aquino (once chief of the Temple of Set) http://www.xeper.org/maquino/nm/COS.pdf express their recommendations; the work therefore receives a special meaning for all members. Wasserman undertakes therein a Tour de Force through the history of the old Knights Templars and constructs, like many O.T.O. - Thelemites, a historical continuity up to the O.T.O. The book brings the old Assassins, the Hashishim, into the drama. The Assassins of Hasan i Sabah were Muslim, politically-motivated killers who eliminated their political enemies selectively.

Many Thelemites maintain a preference for many kinds of martial arts, including Ninjutsu, the Japanese art historically associated with assassination and occult practices. (Also the REAL Kokuryukai)."

Moral of the story: People who live in glass houses ought not throw stones. Randi, Penn & Teller have slammed Christians too.

Hand2Hand said...

I like Penn and Teller as entertainers. Yes, I am aware that Randi, Penn and Teller are all outspoken atheists, too.

But let's give them credit where it is due - they've encouraged people to take a second look at supernatural claims and, in Randi's case, exposed countless frauds.

If someone makes a religious statement, i.e. that Jesus was the Son of God, that Buddha was enlightened or that Mohammed was God's last prophet, those are statements of faith that cannot be tested.

But if someone makes a statement that they can heal someone by laying of hands, that they have a statue of Jesus that cries real tears (like a local Greek Orthodox Priest did) or that they can knock someone out without touching them, those claims can be tested.

And, IMHO, such claims should be.

I practice Yang taijiquan and various qigong exercises. I find that they do work to improve health and concentration.

I've seen people who've practiced such disciplines for a period of many years and could perform some amazing feats.

But I haven't seen anything, such as telekinesis, telepathy, precognition, spontaneous combustion, etc., that cannot be explained, at least in part, by modern science.

Dojo Rat said...

First of all, no insult intended.
I think that any dogmatic belief system that thinks they are the only ones with a lock on reality are fooling themselves. I see some virtue in nearly every system, just like the martial arts. These are the precepts that our country and constitution are founded on. I reserve the right to poke fun at legetimate targets however.
With that said, I know Castenada has a jaded history, I have read about it also. What he did was expose millions of people to systems of alternative thinking used by native cultures. That in itself is valuable, and he may have fantasied about specifics, but was correct about certain peyote culture.
I have witnessed various no touch knockouts, and have seen them work and have seen them fail, I made that clear. What I can say is SOMETHING is happening. Dillman has a checkered history, but the best thing he did was bring Oyata's knowledge of pressure points to American Dojo's.
And lastly, I think Pieschala had a point: why is the mysticism in the Bible any more real than any other cultural mysticism? Because it is the word of God? Which God?
-- I knew this would raise some hairs, but that is partly what Dojo Rat Blog is about. I love it that you guys have put your ideas into motion, and have a great respect for all the comments,
D.R.

Sa Bum Nim Pieschala said...

I swear to G*D nobody follows my hyperlinks!

The occult IS in the martial arts I linked the top guys in my last post Crowley(Yoga) OTO (Ordo Templi Orientis) -> Aquino (Temple of Set, ex-Army psyops) -> Anton LaVey (Church of Satan)

Links:
Read the answer here.
Introduction to the OTO,
http://user.cyberlink.ch/~koenig/intro.htm

Crowley (the whole site is bar none the best on the OTO)
http://user.cyberlink.ch/~koenig/early.htm
Q: How was Reuss's group of Orders structured in 1905-06?

Michael Aquino in his own words
http://www.xeper.org/maquino/vitae.html
http://www.xeper.org/maquino/index.html

His years with Anton LaVey
http://www.xeper.org/maquino/nm/COS.pdf

Now Floyd Webb is going to interview Michael Bertiaux. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Bertiaux

The self proclaimed "Chicago Bishop of Ordo Templi Orientis Antiqua"
http://user.cyberlink.ch/~koenig/sunrise/otoa.htm
(try to get through that one, interesting stuff)

Bertiaux says he taught Count Dante. Period. I read his book "The Voudon Gnostic Workbook". I was taught some of that and it just reeks of Dante's attitude. He was much more than a comic book character.

I'm using these westernized references because, naturally, people seem to want to understand from a western perspective.

Scientifically true or not, never underestimate the power of belief, placebo or psychosomatic phenomena.This is real.

One of the biggest mistakes Martial Arts make and just people in general is "we assume the other guy is just like us. A good person" That can be a fatal mistake.

Just because you don't believe it doesn't mean others don't.

More OTO,
"Many Thelemites maintain a preference for many kinds of martial arts, including Ninjutsu, the Japanese art historically associated with assassination and occult practices."

So I'll tell you what I tell you what I tell everybody who says to me "not much good in a gun fight." I always say "Yeah , where's your gun now?" It's never WITH them :).

I'd rather be a Master than a shooter. It's one's spirit that makes you strong.

Pil-Sung!

Sa Bum Nim Pieschala said...

And since I'm the freak here ..
I find this symbol curious right down to the colors (reference: DR 5 element picture)

http://blogfiles.kingsolomonslodge.org/uploaded_images/emblem-717901.jpg

Sa Bum Nim Pieschala said...

Correction: This Image ..
href:http://blogfiles.kingsolomonslodge.org
/uploaded_images/emblem-717901.jpg

Hand2Hand said...

Hey DR,

It's not my intent to knock anyone's religious beliefs. My beliefs are my own and I recognize that when I speak about my beliefs, that I am only speaking from position of faith, not fact.

As someone who spent much of his youth as a hardcore atheist, I know what it's like to be the victim of religious discrimination. I always strive to be respectful of others' beliefs and religion.

Yes, Casteneda did expose many people to their first glimpse of Native American culture, religion and philosophy. But he fabricated and got so much wrong that I think someone could do much, much better from many other more reliable sources.

As far as no-touch knockouts, I don't deny that there is something there, too. But I think it has more to do with the power of suggestion than with any use of chi.

Even if Dillman wasn't interested in trying for Randi's $1 million prize, I see no reason why he shouldn't agree to have this ability tested in a laboratory under controlled conditions. If a no-touch knockout is possible for the reasons he claims, then I think it has tremendous implications for a wide range of sciences. If he won't do it for the money, why not do it for the advancement of science?

And I agree with Pieschala's point that Christian mysticism should not be considered more real than others' mystical experiences. That was the point raised by my old professor with his communion story that I referred to in my previous post.

I love that story and I've retold it many times, especially to fellow Christians who seem to think that there's nothing mystical about Christianity. It never fails to bring them out of their comfort zone.

By the way, I love Pieschala's comment about "Where's your gun now?"

Systema said...

http://www.rksi.net/video/RKSI_the_way_we_do_it.wmv

Sa Bum Nim Pieschala said...

Thanks HTH!
"By the way, I love Pieschala's comment about "Where's your gun now?" Is one of my classic trash talking reflexes.

The two points I wanted to drive home were.

1. You can not measure without a common point of reference.

So western science on non-western religions is pointless (Shinto, Judeo-Christian, etc). I would say SOMETHING happened that was recorded as a miracle (I don't know, wasn't there :) ).

Science as we define it i.e. "The Scientific Method" is almost irrelevant given the scope I just described.

2. Never underestimate the power of belief.

Richard Rimerez a self proclaimed Satanist and serial killer claimed he killed for Satan. If you chose not to believe in Satan that's fine. Just be aware others disagree.

I'm a Christian, if my talking to Floyd and others can prevent others from getting into some bad stuff (and I've been some of it). Then it is my duty. I've had death threats before I guess I can put up with them again. Integrity, is a TKD tenant and virtue and I intend live by it and to do the right thing.

You guys know me fairly well. My word is my honor here. I've never lied nor exaggerated, my stuff is unbelievable enough. I've seen and experienced scary stuff .. And I'm a Ji Do Kwan tough guy :)

I met Dildoman (oh and "The Dragon Society International" are his boys). I hate him for betraying the Okinawans and profiting from their secrets.He's in Fort Wayne IN.

But my instructor spoke highly of him. So I give him the benefit of the doubt.

I've never seen "an elephant fly" nor a "no touch knock out".But if DR did, I'm open to the possibility.

Bob Patterson said...

A day late and more than a dollar short on this one. But for insomnia I might not have seen it.

'ole Bob is a seeing is believing kind of guy. Until I see some of the things you describe and rule out natural explanations, I'm probably going to side with science.

Everything that I have seen can be explained by such things as body conditioning, physics, etc. Heck there is even good scientific evidence that now shows that meditation can alter conditions in the body. Nothing magical there and it's perfectly natural.

Granted, some of you have a much more extensive martial arts background than I and I have not seen anything like a "no touch" knock out, etc. However, I have to be honest: I'm pretty skeptical of that or any notion associated with "ki".

e.g. I had one master tell me I'm sending Ki into the wood when I break. Yet the instructor who got me back into tko is working towards an advanced degree in astronomy. He explains breaking in terms of physics, not Ki. You can Google similar articles that explain the physics of breaking.

http://howthingswork.virginia.edu/journal/Article1.1.pdf

I'm not going to lie and say I've never used the notion of ki in my training. However, I consider it a mental trick that helps me to focus. Sorta like visualization of winning a match, performing a poomse, etc.

This all having been noted, I'm a self admitted naturalist (or metaphysical naturalist) and am highly skeptical of the "supernatural". Whatever that is.

Regardless, I could be biased and might even be proven wrong some day.

~BCP

Dojo Rat said...

As I have said, I have seen the "no touch knockouts" go very bad. I have also seen them work, and I believe there is an element of Mesmerism or hypnosis. People above my level have seen more. I have a healthy skepticism, have never had it performed on me , and have clearly seen it fail.But when it works, it works. I also think that it can physicly harm the practitioner, as I have described.
But think of this: I have also seen Christian Evangelicalists do the same thing-- What's the difference? (the touch of God's hand)??

JoseFreitas said...

You know, St. Thomas is sometimes knocked for going forward and sticking his finger in Jesus' wounds after his resurrection. But I think he was the happiest of the apostles, he KNEW that there were fatal wounds, that there was a physical body etc... he didn't take things on faith only. I know this is sometimes a big no-no in Christian circles but I would stick to that attitude. Whenever someone claimed he could do something, I was (am) always the first to jump and shout "Me! Me!".

I have never seen or felt a no touch knockdown. But....

Many years ago I followed a cantankerous old chinese guy around. He was a funny guy, practiced Monkey boxing as well as a Hao Taiji offshoot. I studied Push Hands and hard style qigong with him for about three years. In the middle of this I also discovered he was a really high level adept, he could do amazing things with energy, in the healing field, as well as display uncanny things which I could only refer to as "parapsychology", telepathy, weird sixth senses, and so on. Or maybe it was all just coincidence.

Unfortunately, I also discovered he was something of a trickster, cheated people out of their money and played some really cruel jokes on others, etc... a classic swindler. So I discontinued my association with him (and told him why); a year after that, someone told me he was leaving Portugal and going back to his native Singapore. So, I went to say goodbye. He said: Let's go have coffee alone. We did, I told him I was sorry he was going, I still liked him and just wished other issues hadn't gotten in the way. He said, yeah-yeah-whatever, I like you too. And then: Before I go, I will make it plain to you that even though I'm a "bad boy" (his words, in english!), I am the real deal. He took my hands and ZAPPED ME BIG TIME. I had trouble breathing for about 2-3 mn, had bright spots in my eyes for 10mn, and small, reddish almost burn marks in the left hand and wrist where he held me for about two days. I thought I had died with a heart attack, that's what it felt like. I have no doubts in my mind he could have knocked me down if he had wanted to. Interestingly, he told me that he could do it this forcefully because I had been caught my surprise "just like a punch will hurt more if the target is out of balance or distracted", his words.

Other people tried to move me or hit me with a no touch strike, including Richard Mooney and Glenn Morris, and failed. And yet... I could feel things even though they failed to move me or hurt me. We also did exercises blindfolded to try to feel the "pressure" of qi or whatever and we felt that they were rather conclusive that sometimes something is going on. The fact that it is hard to replicate and requires a lot of work makes it difficult to verify, but I do believe something exists here.

Sometimes we see incredible feats of athletic prowess. We know very few people will EVER be able to do them, even with training. But we know they exist and don't question them. We wouldn't dismiss them just because we trained for three weeks to be able to do a reverse jumping spinning kick, and then failed to do it when we tried. Or dismiss some crazy gymnastics prowess just because on that particular occasion the athlete failed to do it, because of competition pressure, or illness or whatever.

I liked Dillman better when he was doing "light touch" knockouts, rather than "no touch".

And I don't believe it's possible to knock down someone in a fight with a no touch tecnique. Though I am open to the possibility that it might just be possible to do it within the context of a demo.

Hand2Hand said...

Testify Brother Bob!

You've said what I feel 100 percent!

I'd never say I don't believe in qi. I just don't subscribe to a lot of supernatural explainations for it.

To me, I think qi does refer to electro-chemical reactions in the body. It's common knowledge that living things have an electrical field around them. Sharks can actually track their prey with special receptors in their snouts that detect this energy.

Several things my sifus have said to me indicated that they believed it as an electrical form of energy. One sifu advised against practicing during a thunderstorm for that reason.

I also think qi is a great visualization tool, like you do Bob.

And Jose, I loved your post, too, especially the remark about St. Thomas the Apostle. If someone comes up to me and says he's Jesus, I think it's only natural to want to check him out and make sure he's legit.

Hand2Hand said...

One last remark I want to make on magick and martial arts.

I think it was Einstein who said "Any sufficiently developed technology is indistinguishable from magic."

Kung Fu Kenny G said...

Hi, this is a great blog. However, we MUST look at all these claims through the eyes of Randi and Penn & Teller. Otherwise, we continue to make the internal arts look goofy and we attract all the flakes and kooks to what are actually powerful martial arts.

In 2001, having seen enough of the frauds who claim to do no-touch knockouts, I offered $5,000 to any of them who could even make me wobble. This challenge was put on the cover of Inside Kung-Fu and an article inside. No one took me up on it for obvious reasons.

I've been involved in martial arts since 1973, and the internal arts since 1987. I've studied with some of the top tai chi masters in the world. Grandmaster Chen Xiaoxing spent a week in my home last year, where we trained for hours one-on-one. There is NOTHING supernatural about these arts. These are physical skills that.

Any double-blind clinical tests have indicated there is no proof any of it really works, but we're so in need of something supernatural that we blow off Western scientists as biased. That's an intellectual cop-out by people who simply can't stand someone proving that their beliefs don't stand up to independent scrutiny.

When I've personally asked some of these no touch masters to do it to me, they've become profane, rude, and displayed behavior that wouldn't necessarily be indicative of someone who has tapped into a Universal source of energy.

Richard Mooney made a lot of money doing this, and when he went through a double blind clinical test using around 18 people, he failed to move even one of them. The secret -- they didn't know what he was attempting and they couldn't see him.

It isn't hypnosis that causes a master's students to play along. It's pressure and a willingness to support your teacher. After all, if my teacher is supernatural, maybe people will believe that I'm capable of that sort of thing.

Sadly, people believe all this stuff. There's nothing medical about the Five Elements. I've practiced Hsing-I since 1987 and I studied acupuncture for 2 years. Performing Pi Chuan incorrectly will NOT damage your lungs and large intestines, as I was told when I began studying. Everyone performs it improperly for quite some time in the beginning. Performing it properly will not improve your lungs and large intestine function anymore than any other exercise.

The problem is this -- a black belt says something is true. A master who may be virtually illiterate says something is true. Beginning students believe it and as the years pass, they repeat the same silly stuff.

We just have to seek a little reality and maintain our critical thinking skills when we do these amazing, powerful martial arts.

Sa Bum Nim Pieschala said...

I noticed nobody touched the Crowley, Bertiaux, Aquino or Anton LaVey referenced I posted. They are occult too you know.

I also wonder why people will bash Christians but not this lot. Surely science can prove "the evil ones" false as well. Can somebody educate me on this?

And only a westerner would say, " However, we MUST look at all these claims through the eyes of Randi and Penn & Teller. "

I know many Koreans, Chinese and Japanese that would disagree.

Pil-Sung!
Master C.C. Pieschala

Hand2Hand said...

Hey Sa Bum Nim Pieschala,

I don't know where anyone here has bashed Christianity. I am a Christian and proud of it.

As far as La Vey, Crowley and the others, if they've bought into the supernatural claims of some martial artists and/or yogis, that's their problem.

It only shows that admitted and well-documented conmen like LaVey and Crowley can be conned themselves.

As far as eastern or western science, there is no such thing. There is science. Period.

An engineer in China will use the same principles in his work as an engineer in America. Same goes for a physicist, a biologist or mathematician.

My father's a biology professor and he can assure you, there is nothing different about how he does things than how a biologist would in any other country of the world.

And to DR, yes, I've seen faith healers and some evangelicals supposedly knock someone out during healings. I'm equally skeptical about those, too.

While there are instances of people being spontaneously healed
at revivals or in churches, the ones that stand up to any scientific scrutiny are extremely rare.

That's the nature of miracles. They are things beyond the natural, things that shouldn't happen, but do.

You don't see the Red Sea parting every day. You don't see fire rain down from the Heavens every day.

Miracles, by their very definition are rare. If they were something routine that happened every day, it would not be considered miraculous.

Lastly, I want to welcome Kenny G. He is a top-notch internal stylist who's given me some great pointers on my own training. His advice on silk reeling had done wonders for generating power in my movements, giving me a stronger root and more flexible hips.

He also taught me the single-palm change from baguazhang.

I look forward to really picking his brain on the internal arts.

Sa Bum Nim Pieschala said...

Hand2Hand you addressed me directly,

I'll respond to specifically.

"It only shows that admitted and well-documented conmen like LaVey and Crowley can be conned themselves."

What about what they (LaVey et al) inspire?

Conmen? I think not, "Crowley grew up in a staunch Brethren household and was only allowed to play with children whose families followed the same faith. His father was a fanatical preacher, traveling around Britain and producing pamphlets. Daily Bible studies and private tutoring were mainstays in Alick's childhood."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aleister_Crowley

LaVey was Jewish, the "funny letters" around their pentagram is Hebrew for Leviathan. He knew his Torah and Talmud.

Aquino (see my earlier links) took Crowley a step farther with "The Temple of Set" (Followers called Setians). Set is the Egyptian god "the destroyer" who is where early Jews derived the concept of Satan. Crowley adopted his beliefs from Jewish Quabalah, yoga and Egyptology.

This Bertiaux guy, will blow your mind.

I really challenge you to pick up some Christian books on these guys. Some books on Egypt would help too.

I realize that this is not a topic for Sunday school. You said you're a Christian and I'll never challenge your faith only your study of the subject.

However I must assume you have some reverence the New Testament. So since you really can't attack my facts you'll attack my sources. How about this one,

1 Peter 5:08 (NIV version) "be self controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in your faith."

I can only infer (Simon) Peter believed in the devil (Satan et cetera). Should he, the first Pope also use the scientific method? Or just go by what Jesus told him in person?

I've got more but this isn't a religious forum only an acknowledgment that the occult very much has its hand in Martial Arts. (Sorta like rock music :) )

My favorite movie quite, "the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist."

A ninja trick? My earlier quote, "Many Thelemites maintain a preference for many kinds of martial arts, including Ninjutsu, the Japanese art historically associated with assassination and occult practices."

Pil-Sung!

Dojo Rat said...

Here's another interseting factoid-- L. Ron Hubbard of scientology (which I do consider a cult) learned everything from Jack Parsons, who was one of Crowley's followers. Parsons was a scientist at the Jet Propulsion labratory in Pasadena California.
There are people out there that are saying Barbra Bush is related to Crowley--
Now, that IS some Occult whackiness ! ...

Martial Development said...

So I'll tell you what I tell you what I tell everybody who says to me "not much good in a gun fight." I always say "Yeah , where's your gun now?"

Reminds me of a story my old teacher liked to tell.

Baddie: So you do that kung fu stuff huh?
Sensei: Yeah.
Baddie: I've got a gun in my car.
Sensei: You'll never make it.

Eric Zielke said...

RE: people falling down during evangelical prayer meetings. You should be sceptical about that. I attended a ultra-charismatic Bible college. What I and several other of the students came to call this being "slain in the spirit" was a courtesy drop. You knew it was expected, so you just went along. I mean you don't want to be the only one who doesn't fall do you? ;)

Dojo Rat said...

Well, I have seen it both ways: People who resisted and dropped and had a real experiance, and people who just didn't give a shit or were skeptics and never flinched. I have talked to both, and the guys who resisted may have fallen to hypnosis...

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