Interesting Question – No Touch Knockouts Versus No-Touch Healing

“The problem here is a very practical one. Research costs money, and the skilled practitioners of these methods (Therapeutic Touch) are busy working as doctors, not as researchers to a high enough level of competency in these methods for the research to be effective. Yet if some enterprising body were to give sympathetic and careful attention to our claims, then I feel we would discover that we have an undreamed of tool available to us which I’m sure can be further extended and refined.”

Anthony Scott-Morley, D.Sc., Ph.D., M.D. (alt. med), of Dorset, England

Recently there has been an interesting discussion on one of the martial arts forums asking why a person who believes that some people have the power to do no-touch healing would dismiss another’s ability to do no-touch knockouts.

In other words, if one believes people can heal others by externalizing their energy (call it Chi, Ki, or whatever) from a distance, why can’t that same form of externalized energy be used in combat and to knock people out?

Good question.

Now, I never considered this debate before, and call me a hard-ass, but I think both issues are nonsense. However, though I may tout the hard-line, I can see why people would have more faith and belief in no-touch healing than no-touch knockouts. In fact, there may even be some validity to their argument—possibly, but only the argument.

Now before you think I’m going soft and that I’m flip-flopping on my position, I am not. I still hold, and well forever hold until proven wrong, the position that neither method has any actual validity, and that there is absolutely no scientific information to indicate either works.

With that said though, I’m also aware of the “healing properties” of human touch and positive human interaction.

Of course I want to make the distinction clear. I believe touch, actual physical contact, can be therapeutic. In fact, I believe that touch is essential to the health and welfare of all human beings.

I also believe positive interaction among two or more individuals can also have many healing qualities. I mean, group therapy and “Twelve Step” programs are based on this belief. Clearly, if peer pressure can be blamed for causing one to engage in negative behavior, why can’t positive compassionate interaction help someone feel better about themselves and aid in their recovery?

Arguably, I guess the proponents of no touch healing can argue they provided the same benefits as group therapy, but on a on-to-one basis. Clearly, no-touch healing provides a healthy constructive interaction between practitioner and patient. Furthermore, treatment is designed to instill faith that one will get better and will feel better. This connection between mind and body has definite merit, and a positive outlook can do wonders when it comes to healing oneself.

With that said however, I don’t believe touch has the power to cure all ills. As therapeutic as touch may be, I don’t believe it can cure diseases such as cancer, like some proponents would suggest. Touch certainly can aid a person during their recovery, even ease their suffering, but it can’t cure them.

(For more information on the healing benefits of touch and studies relating to touch and healing I suggest going to Healing Touch International, Inc)

Of course this blog entry isn’t about actual touching to heal a person, it’s about no-touch healing.

I’m sure based on my opinion regarding the benefits of hands-on healing no one will be surprised when I say no-touch healing is a load of baloney. At least,it is in the way it is packaged and sold to the public. Sorry if being blatant offends someone, but its true. Quote all the studies you want, none of them prove its existence or even the possibility that there is some scientific evidence to support the faith people have in it.

Now, I’m not denying some people have benefited from such a treatment, but all that proves is the amazing power of the mind.

I forget which war this took place in, but a group of injured soldiers were once given sugar pills to relieve their pain instead of regular pain killers. Of course these soldiers weren’t told the pills were made of sugar. They were informed that these pills were the strongest pain reliever ever made, stronger than even morphine. Even so the pills had absolutely no medicinal properties a majority of the soldiers felt a reduction in their pain.

Now, we all know sugar won’t decrease pain, and those soldiers that felt relief shouldn’t have felt any changes. However, they did. It worked because they believed what the doctors were telling them and had faith in the pills they were ingesting. Clearly, it was a case of mind over matter.

The same placebo effect can be account for many of the wonderful results attributed to no-touch healing. As Albert Schweitzer stated, “The greatest discovery of any generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering the attitudes of their minds.”

Now to be perfectly honest, I’m not very knowledgeable when it comes to the various forms of no-touch/faith healing methodologies that are out there. Basically, many of them sound the same to me, and most deal with spirituality more than science. Of course this link to spirituality isn’t such a surprise.

Many individuals believe in the power of prayer, and that God can heal them. In many cases, even when faced with eminent death, their spirituality is unwavering. I knew such an individual once who instead of taking the antibiotics his doctors prescribed waited for God to cure him. He prayed and his fellow Jehovahs prayed with him. They held hands to share energy, and although he got worse and worse, his faith remained absolute. The end result was that he died from an illness that could have been easily been cured with proper medical treatment. Basically, one could assert that his “faith” killed him.

Of course, that example is most probably why I have such a bias against the healing quality of faith on its own. That is why I’m adamant that without proof one should not extol the virtues of “faith healing” as a true method of healing anyone.

Yes, it’s a hard-line, but it’s based on personal experience, and every thing I’ve ever read, heard from others in the medical profession, or seen on TV.

But I digress.

While I was reading the various posts debating no-touch healing versus no-touch knockouts, one particular method of healing was constantly referred to. That method is called Reiki.

Since Reiki seemed to be a major component of their discussion, I will address only that particular method in this essay, though I’m almost certain what I’m about to say applies to most other methods (magneto therapy, pranic healing color therapy, aroma therapy, music therapy, gems and stone therapy, etc).

Now I’ve heard of Reiki before, but really didn’t know enough about Reiki at the time this discussion was “heated” to make any fully informed comments., Now after several days of Internet research I think I can make a better, definitely more informed, opinion. And yes, the information presented here is just my opinion.

Before I start though, let me quote a description of Reiki I found on the International Center for Reiki Training website, (www.Reiki.org). Per their website they describe Reiki as:

Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by “laying on hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.
The word Reiki is made of two Japanese words – Rei which means “God’s Wisdom or the Higher Power” and Ki which is “life force energy”. So Reiki is actually “spiritually guided life force energy.”

A treatment feels like a wonderful glowing radiance that flows through and around you. Reiki treats the whole person including body, emotions, mind and spirit creating many beneficial effects that include relaxation and feelings of peace, security and wellbeing. Many have reported miraculous results.

Reiki is a simple, natural and safe method of spiritual healing and self-improvement that everyone can use. It has been effective in helping virtually every known illness and malady and always creates a beneficial effect. It also works in conjunction with all other medical or therapeutic techniques to relieve side effects and promote recovery.

An amazingly simple technique to learn, the ability to use Reiki is not taught in the usual sense, but is transferred to the student during a Reiki class. This ability is passed on during an “attunement” given by a Reiki master and allows the student to tap into an unlimited supply of “life force energy” to improve one’s health and enhance the quality of life.

Its use is not dependent on one’s intellectual capacity or spiritual development and therefore is available to everyone. It has been successfully taught to thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds.

While Reiki is spiritual in nature, it is not a religion. It has no dogma, and there is nothing you must believe in order to learn and use Reiki. In fact, Reiki is not dependent on belief at all and will work whether you believe in it or not. Because Reiki comes from God, many people find that using Reiki puts them more in touch with the experience of their religion rather than having only an intellectual concept of it.

While Reiki is not a religion, it is still important to live and act in a way that promotes harmony with others. Dr. Mikao Usui, the founder of the Reiki system of natural healing, recommended that one practice certain simple ethical ideals to promote peace and harmony, which are nearly universal across all cultures.

Based on this above description I can certainly see why some people would believe in the value of such a healing method. However, while they claim to have no “dogma,” it certainly sounds like they do. Clearly, they are stating their opinions and ideas, which are founded on faith, in an authoritative manner (that’s the definition of dogma).

This description also claims believing in Reiki isn’t necessary in order to benefit from it. However, they fail to offer any verifiable proof of that assertion. They simply refer to the spiritual nature of Reiki to explain why it works. What if I’m not spiritual by nature? What if I don’t believe Reiki comes from God?

Furthermore, they assert that Reiki has been beneficial in “helping virtually every known illness and malady.” If this statement is true, where are the statistics, the scientific data showing cause and effect. In addition, what is the definition of “helpful?” I need more than a few testimonials by individuals who believe Reiki helped them before I can believe this stuff actually has merit.

Lets face it, you can find and elicit testimonials regarding just about any product or idea out there. The diet industry is one such example of this. You know the ads: I used the cheesecake diet and lost ten pounds in one week, so can you!

Granted, most websites that discuss Reiki give the disclaimer that Reiki should not be used as a sole means to cure anything. In fact, many websites encourage individuals to seek professional medical advice in addition to Reiki treatment.

I respect this disclaimer a lot, but it goes a long way to proving my point. If one is seeking professional medical treatment at the same time they do Reiki, how could they possibly tell which method is actually more effective?

For example, I’ve suffered chronic neck pain for over ten years. I’ve tried everything short of surgery to ease the pain and get some relief. Nothing seemed to work, and trust me I wanted to believe something would.

Well, several months ago my doctor finally prescribed a painkiller that I have to take daily, but which takes several weeks before becoming fully effective. Let’s assume I would have gone for Reiki treatments during those weeks; would I now believe the Reiki made me feel better, or it was the medicine? Or was it a combination of the two?

Using the same logic as those that propagate Reiki, maybe the real reason I feel better now isn’t due to the pills. Maybe it is actually due to my new pillow, the fact I cut my hair really short and lessened the weight of my head, or maybe it was just the Twinkies I ingested. Sorry if that sounds antagonistic or I come off sounding like a jerk, but what if?

That’s the problem with this debate; there is a lack of proof, a lack of hard evidence to confirm or at least legitimize their claims. Most testimonials they present as fact are only based on the belief this works, not scientific study or serious long-term investigation.

Like I said I’m no expert on Reiki, and have no first hand experience regarding how this method is employed. Based on what I’ve read this treatment is either hands-on (light touch), no-touch, or a combination of both.

In either case, I discovered that there appears to be a direct correlation between Reiki and acupuncture/acupressure. Or in other words, many of the points used in Reiki to “transfer energy” are the same used in acupuncture, Shiatsu, and various other forms of massage.

I’m sure this correlation is no accident or fluke either, though I could hardly find any evidence of such a link on most Reiki websites. The topic is debated on some forums discussing Reiki though.

Now, I’m aware that acupuncture as a healing method also has its detractors and that explaining why it works can also border the mystical realm. However, I have lot more faith in acupuncture/acupressure than anything involving no-touch methodologies. At least with acupuncture there have been some major scientific studies to investigate why it works.

The flaw with the theory of Reiki, and other similar methods, is the spiritual component, a component that can’t be proven. This component is based solely on FAITH.

Any healing method that claims to transfer/channel universal life force needs to be scrutinized. What is this “universal life force?” Is there any proof such a thing exists? Are they referring to my aura, the radiation I naturally emit, heat transfer, or something else.

This claim is very similar to those who claim to have the power to knock someone out with out touching them. No-touch knockout proponents clearly state that they transfer and use life force (Chi) to knock people out. That is their assertion at least.

Of course, there are major differences between proponents of no-touch knockouts and no-touch healing methods such as Reiki. These differences mainly have to due with how both methods are taught, and that no-knock practitioners don’t claim their abilities will work on everyone, especially skeptics.

Since I have already discussed the later in previous posts, I’ll focus my attention on the differences each system has when it comes to learning and acquiring these skills.

According to the International Center for Reiki Training website, they claim learning to do Reiki is extremely simple, and anyone regardless of their intellect can do it. Per their website:

An amazingly simple technique to learn, the ability to use Reiki is not taught in the usual sense, but is transferred to the student during a Reiki class. This ability is passed on during an “attunement” given by a Reiki master and allows the student to tap into an unlimited supply of “life force energy” to improve one’s health and enhance the quality of life.

Its use is not dependent on one’s intellectual capacity or spiritual development and therefore is available to everyone. It has been successfully taught to thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds.

Now I had no idea what could possibly be giving during “attunement” but according to Wikipedia:

The Reiki attunement process is an awareness of self-empowerment usually involving initiation, spiritual ceremony and /or meditation with a specific purpose and intent to connect to the Universal Energy Source. Following and coming to understand this process is how one becomes a Reiki Healer. Being attuned to Reiki is purported to give one the ability to easily access the Reiki energy (Universal Life Force) for the purpose of healing a person or situation by realigning that person or situation’s energy. Many believe that only a Reiki Master can give Reiki Attunements.

When the attunement is given, depending on the type of attunement, Reiki Symbols are placed into your Crown, Heart, and/or Palm Chakras. During the attunement, Chakras are opened and cleared. Reiki symbols are used and there is transference of Reiki energy during the attunement. Central to this process is the establishment of a connection with the source of Reiki.

Now I’m not sure what all of the above means, sounds like mumbo-jumbo to me, but it is certainly pretty complicated. I would have to believe it would take more than a weekend class to obtain such skills, even if that skill was on a beginner’s level.

Of course, the assertion that obtaining Reiki skills is easy is directly contrary to what no-touch knockout proponents say. In fact, learning to do no-touch knockouts, learning to focus one’s internal power and externalizing it is suppose to take years of arduous painstaking practice, and well as personal insight.

While I have been unable to find any specific information stating how practitioners of no-touch knockouts transmit their knowledge, I would assume it has to be akin to techniques taught to develop and build up one’s Chi (internal power).

Of course whether one system is easy to learn and the other isn’t really isn’t important to the topic. That topic is why one would believe one method is real and the other is not. However, it shows a definite contrast in the average person’s ability to master something such as learning to externalize and channel energy.

From everything I’ve seen and read regarding both methods my opinion is you either believe in both, or neither. You can’t have it both ways.

In other words, if it is the realm of possibility to externalize energy at all, why is this ability only limited to good not evil?

The answer of course is more of an issue of morality than science. It is mush easier to accept something as fact when it is for the greater good, than when it is evil in nature. Fighting is, after all, considered evil.

In addition, a lot more people have been exposed to and accepted alternative methods of healing than have practiced martial arts, or been exposed to practitioners that claim to be able to do no-touch knockouts.

Whether no-touch healing works or not, I can’t say for certain. My opinion is that is does not and I wouldn’t trust these methods if I were ill. However, if they work for others, that’s great.

That of course is also my opinion when I listen to people who adamantly say they have been knocked out by a no-touch knockout, or claim to have felt something unexplainable during an attempted no-touch knockout.

My final thought on this topic is simple; believe what you will, just don’t tell me there’s proof when there is none. Don’t try and convert me. Let me enjoy my skepticism, until I’m proven wrong. I’ll be the first to admit my mistake when I see the real proof.

Lastly, don’t try to tell me one exists and the other doesn’t. Either accept both or keep quiet. After all you’re talking about the same abilities, used for different purposes.

***** Please note: I am not clear if Reiki is a no-touch method of healing, or if some practitioners just elect to use Reiki in a no-touch manner. Photos on the Internet showing Reiki practitioners clearly depict some do make physical contact and others do not.

My opinion on the effectiveness, or I should say lack of effectiveness clearly lies on the practitioners who practice no-touch versions of this method.

Since I believe Reiki is akin to acupuncture/acupressure those that touch are employing a method that has more validity, since as I said numerous times touch is beneficial to one’s overall all physical and mental health.

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That Burning [from Chi] Ring of Fire

I came across this clip with convenient timing, given Gary’s recent posts on The Power of Belief and No Touch Knockouts—perhaps all of these “externalized power” ideas are just knocking around the martial arts community this month.

It is a nice excerpt of an internal power guru demonstrating bio-electric healing touch and fire-starting which was posted on the blog Martial Development (linked to from Boot to the Head)

This clip is from “Ring of Fire”, a documentary from 1988 where some guys wander around Indonesia search for the exotic mysteries of the East (in the grand tradition of wide-eyed Western orientalists). It is a charming series, but the youthful enthusiasm and credulousness of the filmakers is apparent. To quote the marketing literature, they become focused “on the inner journey which leads them ever deeper into the forgotten wisdom of the island peoples.”

Anyway, the video can speak for itself. But I will note that the master has a cigarette in his hand in the scene before he lights the paper on fire (not that I’m insinuating anything). And why do internal power masters always talk about electric eels?

But don’t ask me for the deeper understanding, I’m a knee-jerk skeptic and Materialist. It’s all that pesky scientific education that gets in my way.

Ring of Fire: East of Krakatoa

Faith – The Power Of Belief

“What a man believes upon grossly insufficient evidence is an index into his desires — desires of which he himself is often unconscious.

If a man is offered a fact, which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it.

If, on the other hand, he is offered something, which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way.”

Bertrand Russell (05/18/1872 – 02/02/1970)
British philosopher, logician, and advocate for social reform.

My last few essays regarding No-Touch Knockouts (here, here, and here) have clearly conveyed my opinion. I don’t believe in any shape way or form that no-touch knockouts exist.

Fortunately, my opinion is clearly in the majority, and most people immediately dismiss this claim when they hear about it.

However, for whatever reason, there are many others who do believe such mystical—what certainly can only be considered fictional—things can occur.

The real question shouldn’t be whether no-touch knockouts exist; the question should be why do some individuals have the need to believe in such mystical things? What motivates them to believe?

Furthermore, why do these believers so vehemently argue about the validity of no-touch knockouts when faced with such overwhelming facts to the contrary?

The answer is all about, “FAITH.”

It’s their faith, their desire to believe in something, such as a higher power, that inspires them.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines the word faith as:

faith (f³th) n. 1. Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, an idea, or a thing. 2. Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. 3. Loyalty to a person or thing; allegiance. 4. Often Faith. Theology. The theological virtue defined as secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God’s will. 5. The body of dogma of a religion. 6. A set of principles or beliefs. —idiom. in faith. Indeed; truly.

Clearly those that believe in no-touch knockout are confident this phenomenon exists.

They also see the potential value of such a technique for life-protection, as do I—if it were a reality.

Lastly, they also trust and admire, in almost cult like devotion, those who claim to have such powers and skills.

However, anyone approaching this topic logically would see there is no merit it to it, since there is absolutely on material evidence to support its existence.

That however, is not what faith/belief is all about. In most case faith/belief is often based on intangibles, and people who have faith in something, believe in something strongly, proof is not necessary.

For example, religion is based on faith. There is absolutely no proof of any deity, heaven or hell, after life, or reincarnation, yet people strongly believe. People claim to have experiences where they have communicated with the divine, seen the light, were touched by an angel, or been tempted by demonic forces. Furthermore, most religions of the world were founded and propagated by charismatic individuals who sought out others searching for a greater meaning to their life, and would be willing to embrace their message. Even at times, die for their message.

While I have no desire to discuss theology there are parallels to those that truly believe in mystical martial arts myths.

For starters these individuals are searching for something. Something on a higher level than the average person can attain. They want to rise above normality, and obtain a higher power. While most people are content with becoming warriors they want to become a Jedi.

They seek out like-minded individuals who exchange these ideals, and talk about amazing techniques they’ve personally witnessed or that a friend of a friend has witnessed. How cool would it be to know how to do that!?

Lastly, they seek out someone who has allegedly achieved these abilities. Someone who is willing to teach these skills, especially if you afford him the proper, respect, loyalty, and devotion someone in his position deserves. Someone who has the personality, magnetism, and mastery to further instill that these beliefs are actually fact not fiction. In other words, someone who is a guru.

The funny think about the power of faith and belief is that even when such a “guru” says something that debunks the myth, his followers and others who believe the same thing seldom get the message. Or they refute what was said; normally blaming others for misinterpreting what was actually meant.

This is apparent if one watches the YouTube.com video clip titled “Dillman Explains Chi KO Nullification.”

In this interview Mr. Dillman explains why a no-touch knockout attempted by his associate Leon Jay didn’t work. In this interview he clearly states that the technique failed because the subject was a “skeptic,” and was a “total non-believer.”

I’m sorry, but if a technique is viable, skepticism shouldn’t be a negating factor. I mean who would go to a fight counting on something like that, especially if the counter is just disbelief.

My interpretation of what Mr. Dillman is saying clearly indicates that no-touch knockouts don’t work.

Another proponent of no-touch knockouts, Harry Thomas “The Human Stun Gun” Cameron states that no-touch knockouts only work on 40% of the population and that “natural athletes are the toughest.”

First of all, I wouldn’t bet on something if it only had a 40% chance of winning. I certainly wouldn’t waste years and years trying to master such a thing, when there are so many other viable options to choose from.

Secondly, aren’t most soldiers akin to “trained athletes?” Isn’t that why soldiers spend so much time enduring physical fitness exercises during basic training? Does this also imply that if one should happen to fight a professional soccer player, a definite example of an athlete, a no-touch knockout may not work?

These are nothing more than excuses that come out when frauds are exposed. I see it, the majority of people who see these clips see it, but the faithful some how miss it.

Of course all of the blame shouldn’t be directed towards George Dillman, Harry Cameron, Yanagi Ryuken, and others like them. Their followers—the “true believers,” the guys who fall down when attacked, and claim to have felt “something”—are just as guilty, if not more so, of conning the unsuspecting public.

These individuals are the salesmen for such fraudulent claims. These are the individuals who unwittingly (hopefully) fool others into believing that such things are real.

These are the individuals who stroke the egos of the con-man, until he reaches a point where he even deludes himself into believing he has the actual power, the gift. Just look at the case of Yanagi Ryuken (see previous post).

Of course, accusing the “believer” of fraud isn’t fair. After all, he truly believes that such things exist. His belief, his need to believe, has been preyed on and manipulated.

The problem with faith and belief is that you can’t fight it with logic or reason. Because of this, there will always be those who will perpetuate and try to achieve the power of the supernatural. There will always be those who will prey upon such believers.

Furthermore, there will always be those who will vigorously and even fiercely defend what they believe to be true.

This means that debates like this will continue on, and lines will be crossed in the sand. For the most part, it’s really not worth all the anger and energy, not to mention time, both sides spend debating the topic.

The only true solution to the debate is to agree to disagree. After all, the believers can have faith and feel confident that one day the truth will be known by all.

No-Touch Knockout Fraud Exposed

You know, sometimes I just feel so out of the loop. How was I suppose to know that there was a perfect video circulating around that shows just how fraudulent the no-touch knockout hype is all about? Where are all the guys who normally send me these links?

Now, I’m not talking about the George Dillman clip form the National Geographic special, or even the Youtube.com clip featuring Darren Brown.

No, this clip is from Japan and features Yanagi Ryuken (ryuken = dragon fist), a supposed 10th degree black belt in five traditional martial arts.

Problems with Bio Info of Yanagi Ryuken

First of all, according to the Internet, Yanagi Ryuken is a “Daitouryu Aikido” practitioner. What is “Daitouryu Aikido?” Do they mean Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu? If so I feel very sorry for legitimate Daito Ryu practitioners. I wouldn’t want this guy claiming to represent my art.

However, according to Yanagi Ryuken, his system is based on koryu jujutsu arts (unnamed), with Aiki, Qigong, and other mysterious elements mixed together.
In addition, Yanagi Ryuken is also supposed to have won over 200 Val Tude (anything goes) fights. You think with that many victories there would be more written about the man. I couldn’t find anything.

Video Clip #1

Watch this clip and make up your own mind.

If you believe what you’re seeing, please send a check to Yachigusa Ryu Aiki Bugei Dojo for $1,000.00 and I’ll send you the “secrets” so you too can learn to do these techniques. Money back guarantee not valid in any of the 50 states of America, or any other continents where some form of terrestrial life exists.

For those who don’t believe… well we now know nothing is wrong with your sanity.

My Personal Comments

“Evil Gary” wants to say that Yanagi Ryuken got just what he deserved. He got the crap beat out of him, because what he claimed to do doesn’t exist. He met a skeptic, and the skeptic beat him. Beat him bad.

Furthermore, “Evil Gary” has to wonder why such a great fighter, a winner in 200 Vale Tudo matches, didn’t look like he could whip cream. The guy he fought was clearly a lot younger, and less experienced. I mean he isn’t a 10th degree black belt in even one system, let alone five.

“Compassionate Gary” sort of feels sorry for this old guy. Obviously, there is something mentally wrong with the man, since he seems to really believe he has mystical powers. Clearly he is delusional.

I mean, he must be delusional, since in one post I read he actually claims to fight ghosts.

To bad Iwakura Goh wasn’t a ghost. Maybe then Yanagi Ryuken wouldn’t have suffered several broken teeth, and numerous cuts to his nose and lips. Maybe then he wouldn’t have looked like a buffoon. Sorry, I’m being evil again.

“Gracious Gary” appreciates that Yanagi Ryuken publicly admitted he had the lost the match, even though he blamed heart trouble for his loss. At least he didn’t mention anything about the old “tongue and toe defense.”

Further more, “Gracious Gary” wants to thank Mr. Ryuken for showing what happens to, and will happen to, anyone who dares to fight using such fictional skills. Mr. Ryuken did more in 2 minutes of getting his butt kicked to dispel this myth than months and months, maybe even centuries of debate ever has.

Closing Comments

Okay, I’ve had my fun discussing these two video clips.

On a more serious note I think video clip #2 clearly illustrates what every skeptic already knew. There is no such thing as no-touch knockouts. They just don’t exist.

You can argue the issue as much as you want to, but fact is fact. Sorry to burst your little bubble.

Like I said, I’m not sure if I feel sorry for, or respect Yanagi Ryuken for at least meeting the challenge. Sure a great deal of money was involved, and I’m sure he saw dollar signs, but at least he was willing to back up his claims. That’s more than the likes of George Dillman, or his army of generals ever has done.

The good thing in this case is that Yanagi Ryuken has now decided to retire, and will no longer accept challenges.

The bad thing is that I’m sure some of Yanagi Ryuken’s students, and other gullible individuals like them, will still believe. They’ll find some excuse for what happened that day, dismiss reality, and go on arguing that no-touch knockouts do exist.

Worst yet, these individuals will find others gullible people to believe them. I guess what David Hannum said was true, there is a sucker born every minute.”1

1 Quote is attributed to P.T. Barnum, but was actually said by David Hannum. Source “P. T. Barnum Never Did Say “There’s a Sucker Born Every Minute” By R. J. Brown Historybuff.com

My No-Touch Knockout Experience

My last essay reminded me of the below story, and made start to think that maybe I should reevaluate the possibility of that no-touch knockouts do exist. Or at least what the definition of one would be.

Many years ago during a reported burglary in progress, I came face to face with the suspect as he tried to exit through the window.

Burglary is a felony, and since I couldn’t see the guy’s hands I drew my gun and told the guy to “Freeze.”

As I lifted my gun from the holster and pointed the barrel in his direction the guy fainted. Yes he drop to the ground and was completely unconscious.

By definition wasn’t that a “no touch” knockout? I didn’t touch him, and he was “knocked out.”

After all, my “chi” must have passed from my hand through the gun and hit him.

HA HA HA

The No-Touch Knockout

I know this topic has been discussed to death on the Internet already, but believe it or not there are still groups discussing if such a thing exits or not.

I’m going to keep this short…. at least for me, and sum things up in one sentence.

There is absolutely no validity, or scientific evidence to prove, that anyone, living or dead, can or ever could knock someone out without touching them, without the aid of a some type of projectile.

Fact is fact!

Okay, so much for one sentence.

I know there are those that will vehemently argue that no-touch knockouts do exists, and that they have witnessed someone get knocked-out in such a manner, or know of someone who witnessed such an event.

Okay, I also have a bridge I like to sell you here in San Francisco. It’s really pretty and attracts a lot of tourists. I’ll sell it to you for a steal.

I realize many people have a need to believe in something. I understand that some people want to believe in mystical or super human abilities. Furthermore, I know people can at times be pretty gullible, and someone with a forceful charismatic personality can sway people into believing the unbelievable.

I’ll be the first to admit that if such a technique existed I would want to learn it. I mean, who doesn’t want to have that skill. It’s the ultimate self-defense.

However, if such a skill did exist don’t you think a lot more people would know how to do it? Don’t you think there would be reports in the news, because such a skill is being abused?

I mean why use drugs to commit date rape, just knock her out from across the room. Why point a gun at a clerk, when you can just knock him out from a distance.

Now the argument of course is that in order to develop such a skill requires a lot of training, and dedication. Training and dedication most people wouldn’t endure.

Maybe that’s true, but there are millions of people in the world, and a few bad ones would. Just like a few bad people take the time to learn to make bombs, plan terrorist plots, and even cultivate bacterial weapons like anthrax.

Strike One

Then of course, there is the argument that this knowledge was lost and only recently re-discovered. Crap! That’s just too easy of an explanation. Plus, except for legends, no reliable sources state that such a techniques was ever used in actual combat.

There is also no viable information that an actual living person in the past ever had such a skill.

I think anyone in the past that had such ability, and demonstrated it effectively-especially in a combative situation-would have instantly become a martial arts icon. He would have had tons and tons of disciples. Nnumerous stories about him would exist.

There are no such stories, and such a person never existed.

Strike Two

The last argument is my favorite, and usually used to attack skeptics like me. I call it the blame game.

In this case, when the no-touch knockout fails it’s the skeptics fault. They countered the techniques by lifting their toe or twisting their tongue.

Or how about this excuse: I can’t do the technique on you because your chi isn’t developed enough and it would seriously injure you. Don’t laugh; that excuse was used on me.

Many years ago there used to be a female martial arts instructor in San Francisco, whose students swore could knock people out without touching them. I forgot her name, and I’m not even sure if she is still alive. That’s not important anyway.

As a skeptic that would be willing to accept being proven wrong, I went to her school to see things for myself. I politely introduced myself to this teacher, and told her I had heard great things about her skills. I told her I was extremely interested in her ability to knock people out without touching them.

For the next half hour or so I got a lecture on chi, and the training it would take to develop my internal force. This lecture was followed up with her giving a demo, where she continuously knocked her students to the floor or into unconsciousness without ever touching them. She even knocked one guy out as he stood on the other side of a wall. Pretty impressive stuff to be sure.

I then asked her if she do it on me. She looked at me for a moment and said “No.” I asked her again, and she said she couldn’t. Not because she lacked the ability, but because my chi wasn’t strong enough and I would get seriously hurt.

Sure!

I then told her I would be willing to sign any release and wavier she wanted me to, and that any injury suffered would be totally my fault. She still declined.

Of course at this point she offered to accept me as a student and help me develop my chi. All it would cost was $85.00 a month.

“How long do you think it will take?” I asked.

“Years,” she said, “maybe longer.”

Once again I asked her to just please try and knock me out, I needed to feel her power before I could commit to training with her.

With a huff she agreed to try. I stood there waiting to feel something, anything. All I felt was bored…okay maybe a bit amused. I certainly was never knocked-out. If she was projecting any “force” my way, I never sensed it.

After a few moments she stopped. There was never any explanation why nothing had happened. She just left the room.

Of course some of her senior students asked me if I was feeling okay, and if I needed to sit down. I guess they were worried about my welfare. Nice of them, but unnecessary.

I left her school as I had entered it, still a skeptic. Maybe even more so.

This story clearly illustrates the main fact that disproves the notion of no-touch knockouts. If such a technique existed and one had the ability to do it they should be able to do it on anyone at any time.

If you placed 100 people in a room, 50 of them skeptics, 50 of them believers, your abilities should work on everyone. Maybe not to the same degree, not every martial arts technique works on everybody equally, but enough to show a verifiable statistic to prove its existence.

To date, I’m unaware of any such study, and I doubt any such study is forthcoming.

Furthermore, I find it interesting that those individuals who claim to be able to do no-touch knockouts, usually accuse the other person of countering their attack when things don’t work. What a load of crap! How can I counter something when I don’t even understand how it works?

More importantly if it’s that easy to counter, why bother learning it anyway?

Strike Three

The truth is that no-touch knockouts don’t exist. The body does not externalize energy like a ray-gun, any more than a goose can lay a golden egg.

No-touch knockouts are a con, a scam, and those that claim to have the ability should trade their black belts for a priest’s alb, since they are more akin to wanting to be a guru or a cult leader than a martial arts teacher.

Please give us legitimate martial arts teachers a break. Give the unsuspecting a public a break.

Challenges – "You wanna fight me?"

Shelter from the Rain

This weekend, the rain poured. As a result I’ve had to deal with a lot of trespassers who feel that the community garage of my building is a haven for them to do their illicit affairs, or a dry place to take a nap.

Unfortunately for me, who has to manage the building, trespassing into the garage area is nothing new; after several years, word has got on the street that it is a semi-safe place to do one’s drugs, use as a bathroom, or for prostitutes to service their clients.

Judging by the current activity, one would think I live in a crappy neighborhood. But, while the neighborhood can be colorful at times, that really isn’t the case. There are just a few bad characters on the street, and a bunch of lazy tenants who can’t get off their fat ass to secure the garage doors that create this problem.

However, for some reason this weekend has been extra bad. As I’m writing this, I’ve already had to remove almost 25 individuals from the garage. That total, of course, does not cover the repeat offenders, who always seem to bring new people with them.

Now I know this problem is one I should leave to the police, but law enforcement in San Francisco, can at times be very strange. The patrol guys say call when there is a problem, but their response time to such a trivial thing (in their opinion) can be more than half an hour.

Furthermore, if I should dare restrain these trespassers and keep them from leaving until the police arrive, I could be deemed the bad guy. This is true even though I’m a retired police officer, know the law, and know what force can and cannot be used.

Then there is the problem that even when the police do show up, they won’t arrest these people. It doesn’t seem to matter that there are no trespassing signs posted, and I’m ready, willing and eager to sign a citizen’s arrest form. For some reason unknown to me, the police feel they need to warn these people and wait for them to do the crime again. It kind of defeats the purpose of having such laws in my opinion.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to send everyone to jail. But there are a few who continuously trespass, and think my warning is a joke. I think if I could send just one or two to jail the message would get out that I’m serious about keeping trespassers out of the garage. Maybe!?

Fortunately most of these trespassers leave without an argument, and some even clean up their mess before they depart. How nice.

Unfortunately, every now and then I get ones who want to argue and worst yet, fight. They actually want to challenge my authority, though they are clearly in the wrong, and fight me. Yes, believe it or not, they get into my face, and try very hard to get me to strike them.

It really doesn’t matter what time day or night these encounters take place, or the fact that I often have my 85lb German Shepherd dog with me, who semi-convincingly looks like he would come to my aid.

Of course, the breaking point came today when one of these trespassers started to get in my face. Like I said, it’s not unusual for that to happen, but this time I was with my wife. Now I have nothing to prove to her, but if things had deteriorated like they appeared they would I most likely would have gone into overkill mood. Attacking me and hurting me is one thing, but my wife was there and most likely would have had to get physically involved holding back his female companion. The fact that my wife could have been in danger escalated the whole situation. Especially since this guy was really looking for a fight, and didn’t appear to have the common sense to shut up and just walk away.

He was in the wrong, he knew it, but I guess he had to impress the lady he was with—with his masculinity. She was more pissed than impressed. I guess she was the one with the brain.

Putting the whole thing into perspective, though I never lost my temper, the whole ordeal was loud enough that neighbors were watching. I like having witnesses.

Back to my point…

There’s no Winning

Now I’ve lived in this neighborhood all my life. I did homicide and gang related investigations in this area for many years. More importantly, my martial art school is located within the building I’m talking about, and has been there since 1993.

In other words people in this area know who I am. I get stopped on the street all the time by people I’ve never met, who comment about the school, or tell me how I helped someone they knew during one of my investigations. I’m no celebrity, but people recognize me enough—too much sometimes for my liking.

This means that a lot of these trespassers also know who I am, and several have jokingly asked me not to do my “karate shit” on them. Many leave when they see me coming, because they are afraid I will hurt them, because of what I teach, even though I’ve never made a threat.

These “street people” also know I will fight if forced to, since I have a reputation for fighting those that left me no choice. The fact is, I almost shot a hooker in my garage area that came at me with a syringe full of heroin many years ago. I was in uniform, and she was extremely stupid. She can thank her boyfriend that she is still alive, since he took the stab instead of me.

I’ve also had to forcefully escort a few idiots out of the building, and there are marks and indentations on the wall to prove it. I’m not proud things deteriorated to that point, but it sent the right message and couldn’t be avoided.

Now don’t get me wrong, I hate fighting. But as the manager of the building I have an obligation to keep things safe and clean for the 130 people who live here, including my family. That means I have to stop and confront these trespassers and get them out of here. I have no choice. No one else will do it.

This of course leads me to the point of my essay, that point being the idiots who issue challenges to fight them. Especially those individuals that are aware of who I am and what I do.

See, I’m in a situation where I’m damned if I do, and damned if I don’t. As a martial arts instructor, if I resort to physical violence I can quickly be seen as the aggressor, the bad guy. If I win the fight and cause an injury I can look like a bully, and possibly be sued even though I was 100% in the right.

If I lose, well I lose, but that fact will get around like a wild fire burning out of control, and would just lead to a lot more physical challenges in the future. I certainly don’t need that.

In other words its basically a lose-lose situation for me.

Now I’m no stranger to being challenged to fight. As a police officer I got that a lot. I mean, how many people want to get arrested and go to jail. However those challenges weren’t personal. All these people only saw was the uniform, the badge.

In addition, as a police officer there was always back-up just a radio call away.

No the situation in the garage is more like the ones I faced owning a “commercial” martial arts school. These challenges were one-on-one encounters with people who thought they had something to prove—people who wanted to kick my ass, just because I’m martial arts teacher.

This especially true in two situations that had the potential to be as life threatening as any fighting that would occur in the garage.

Challenge #1

The first situation occurred many years ago as I was teaching a kinder-karate class (4 –7 year olds). A man walked in off the street, watched me teach for a few moments and then questioned what qualified me to teach.

I answered his question politely, who knows he might have kids and was interested in enrolling them. However, he wasn’t satisfied with my answer, which mainly consisted of the number of years I’d been training, and which associations I belonged to at the time.

No, he wanted to know if I could “fight,” and if my fighting skills were good enough that I really had something to teach these kids.

Once again I was very polite, and told him I wasn’t a fighter, and that the kinder-karate class was all about teaching the kids not to fight. Once again he didn’t like the answer.

A few questions later, and after a few more polite answers, he finally asked me what was really on his mind, “WILL YOU FIGHT ME?”

What!? Was this guy actually challenging me to a fight? Here, in front of all these kids and their parents. Is this guy crazy?

Of course I declined to fight the guy, but he kept insisting. I clearly had to think of something else. I mean this guy was already taking his shirt and shoes off, and by now I’m pretty positive our discussion was over.

Certainly everyone watching had the expectation that if we fought I’d win. After all, I’m the “martial arts teacher.” However, that’s the problem, or at least part of it.

If I won, so what, I didn’t prove anything. That’s what people expected. I mean a martial arts teacher should be able to beat a “guy off the street.”

If I should lose however, well who wants to study with a martial arts teacher that can’t defend himself?

No, I had to think of another way, I had to use the greatest weapon I had, my brain.

So keeping my composure, I went up to the guy and told him I couldn’t fight him. I explained that if I won I would be considered a bully, and if I lost it would be bad for business. I then explained the real reason I couldn’t fight him, that reason being that it would set a bad example for the kids. Year after year I’ve told these kids fighting was bad, and should be avoided. If I should fight now, for no apparent reason, then what example would I be setting?

Now I’m not sure what part of what I said clicked in this guy’s brain, but he stood up, put his clothes back on, and started to walk out the door. As he left, he shouted that I was one of the best martial art teachers he had ever met, and that in his opinion I was qualified to teach these kids.

Of course I had to ask why. His answer was simple; I practice what I preach. Only someone confident in his or her abilities would have given him such an honest and straightforward answer to his challenge.

Well after this initial meeting, this man would stop at the school at least once a week. Not to challenge me again, but just to visit. Turns out he had studied martial arts for years while overseas, and was just interested in observing what I taught from time to time. He wanted to see where I was coming from, what I thought the martial arts were all about.

In a way, he was rather philosophical about life and the martial arts, and clearly had a lot of information to share. On the other hand, it was clear he wasn’t completely there mentally. And looking at the knife he always carried and that far away look in his eye wasn’t someone you wanted to have on your bad side.

I won’t ever call the guy a friend, but he did support the school. And it was better to have someone like that on my side, keeping out other potential threats, than having to worry about what he would do next.

Isn’t there a saying that says, “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer?” I’m sure it applies to even potential enemies.

Challenge #2

The second challenge was a little more serious. It occurred one afternoon between classes. A man, about 5’2″, 110 lbs, with a crazed look in his eyes, entered the school and asked me if he could “spar” me.

At first I looked at him in disbelief, assuming I had misunderstood what he was asking. I mean people entered the school all the time asking me if I could teach them to fight.

Of course I had heard correctly, and he asked me once again to spar him. It wasn’t like he asked me in a manner I could say no either.

My first response was to ask him if he had a habit of entering martial art schools and asking the instructor to spar. To my surprise, he said yes. Strike one for me.

“Why,” I questioned.

“Training,” he responded.

“Training!?” as I looked at him with a puzzled expression.

“Yes, as I travel around I ask anyone I think may have something to teach me, to fight with me, so I can test my skills.” As a demonic look gleamed from his eyes, he continued to tell me of his past fighting experiences, how he has been stabbed numerous times, and how he kicks trees in the park to strengthen and desensitize his legs.

I looked at him dumbfounded, I mean it’s the 20th century; do people really do those kinds of thing anymore? Do they? I had to know more.

Turns out, that this guy was a “self-taught” fighter, who honed his skills on the street. In fact, he said he would often offer some of the less than savory characters he met money to try and beat him up. If they kicked his ass they would get the money, if not they wouldn’t be in any shape to take it.

He then regaled me with some of his experience in barrooms, alleyways, and even in jail. Clearly this was a tough guy, if not someone who was a little psycho.

In a way it sure sounded like something out of a movie to me, but he was dead serious.

He continued by explaining that he didn’t have money for classes, and the only way he could train with a martial arts teacher was by challenging them to spar and seeing how they fought. Win, lose, or draw, he would learn something.

I then tried to convince him that he most likely had more “real” fighting experience than me, and I wasn’t sure what I could offer. He said it didn’t matter. Strike two.

Now, like I’ve said numerous times before I don’t like fighting or sparring. Then again something told me that “sparring” with this guy would actually lead to a no holds barred fight where one or both of us would get hurt, seriously hurt. He had that look, and based on our conversation I doubted he would care if he hurt himself in the process of beating me. In fact, I think he would have reveled with delight if lots of pain were involved, no matter who suffered it.

Like I said he had a strange demonic look to him. A look I know I’ve seen on violent criminals who just committed heinous acts, or those under the influence of serious mind altering drugs. Its a look like one would see when a when a tiger stalks its prey. A look that’s cold, uncaring. A look where it feels as if the person is looking through you, measuring you, formulating a game plan on which method to hurt you would work best.

Based on what I heard, and what my instincts were telling me I politely declined his request, stating that I no longer sparred due to injuries, and couldn’t afford to hurt myself further. He scanned my body, most likely evaluating what I said, and after a few moments insisted that we were just sparring and no one would get hurt. Strike three.

I thanked him for the offer to take it easy on me and once again declined. Of course by now I was edging my way to the phone so I could call 911.

For a few moments there was silence, then he postured as if he was going to attack. His whole body changed, and what once looked like a man of 5 foot 2, now looked like a demon, a demon ready to go for the kill.

There was no more smile on his face, and he clearly wasn’t the person I had been talking to for the last several minutes.

For the first time in my life, all those stories of Samurai sensing danger made sense. I sensed the threat, I could feel his intention, and my body automatically prepared for the attack. Things were happening like my instructor said they would if I ever felt my life was really being threatened. Further more, like the movies everything seemed to move in slow motion.

Unconsciously, my body prepared for his attacked, yet I felt calm. In a way it felt like I was watching the situation from the perspective of a third person. I realize my description sounds sort of cinematic in many ways, but I can’t think of any way better to explain it.

Fortunately, for both of us, the attack never came. In an instant it was all over, and we started talking again like nothing had happened. However, we both knew in the back of our minds a battle had been fought. I’m just not sure if either of could have figured out who the winner was.

After a few more moments I asked him to leave, saying I would never fight, because when and if I fight it is only to defend my family or myself and it is to the death. Dramatic yes, but it makes an unarguable point.

While he wasn’t happy with my comment, and started to provoke me again he realized I was serious. Our conversation, all the pleasantry, was over, and I’m sure my attitude and posture conveyed the fact this topic was no longer open for discussion.

As he left he thanked me, but he then asked if I had any students who would be willing to “spar” him? I said that would be up to my students, but I didn’t think so. We weren’t that type of school.

He left saying he would be back later. Sure, I thought.

A few hours later, during the adult class he returned. Bloody and busied he approached the class and asked if anyone would like to spar him. I stopped him, and asked him “what the hell happened to you?”

“I’ve been training,” he said.

“Training?” I asked, as I looked at the cuts and bruises on his face and hands, his ripped shirt, and broken shoe.

“Yes, I was just training in the alley behind your school a few minutes ago,” he responded. “There were two of them, one is still lying there,” he said with a sickening grin which showed his pride.

Looking at him, all I could do is wonder what the other two guys looked like. I had to check the alleyway.

Sure enough there in the alley was a guy who looked like he had been hit by a bus. There was also his friend who looked like he had been caught in a blender. They were pretty messed up, and I’m sure at least one of them required medical attention.

To make the situation even worst were the ten other people that were trying to figure out just what happened to their pal. The level of anger, and talk about revenge was amazing. Fortunately, no one saw the guy, and no further violence occurred.

As we returned to the classroom, the guy once again asked if there was anyone there who wanted to spar with him. I tried to intercede by asking the guy if he hadn’t had enough for the day, but before I could finish one of my students I’ll call Bill started to accept. I say started because I stopped Bill before he could finish his sentence.

Now Bill was a wannabe kick-boxer, who has some real skills—real skills in a controlled environment such as kick-boxing ring. He wasn’t what I would call a well-rounded fighter, nor was he someone who could actually absorb and overcome a lot of punishment. More importantly, he definitely didn’t have a killer instinct.

The truth is, this street guy would have slaughtered Bill without breaking a sweat.

It would have been no contest, since the street guy had nothing to lose. Meanwhile, Bill had a family, work obligations, and let’s just say a life that could be adversely affected if he should get hurt, especially in such a needless manner.

Furthermore, I knew Bill’s defeat would eventually lead to an escalation of this guys desire to fight me, something I really didn’t want to have to deal with. Based on what I knew, what I had seen in the alley, our “friendly sparring,” would clearly end up as serious fight. In fact, this guy gave me the impression he would rather die than lose.

A new strategy was in order, and I had to think quickly. I offered to help clean the guy up, prior to any more challenges, and as I took care of his wounds started to talk to him about the “true meaning,” of the martial arts. I told him that he had missed the point about what martial arts training was all about. Martial arts aren’t about only fighting, they are about building one’s skill to the point where fighting is no longer necessary. To avoid confrontation was the highest level one could achieve in training, and what he should really strive for.

I doubt what I said meant much to him, but he agreed to leave for the day. Unfortunately, while he left he also made it clear that he would be back.

I never thought I’d see this guy again, but the next day I asked a few people I knew on the street if they knew anything about this guy. I wanted to know what I was dealing with.

Turns out his name, nickname, was Crazy Charley (go figure), and people knew him as a brawler. Based on what I was told, everything he said about himself, including the fighting people on the street, was true. Furthermore, some of these fights involved weaponry, and he had done time for seriously stabbing someone in the past. He clearly was someone that shouldn’t be trusted. He was clearly someone who wouldn’t hesitate to hurt you.

Lucky me, I was now on Crazy Charley’s radar. I knew I couldn’t fight with him, and there wasn’t enough to get the police involved. At least, there wasn’t yet, and I wanted to keep it that way.

True to his word, Crazy Charley showed up the next day, and the next, and the next. Each day he politely asked if I or anyone else would spar him, and each day after being rejected he would quietly leave.

Each time we would go and do our almost dance-like routine of posturing and feeling out each other’s intentions. Nothing was said, but we each knew what the other was thinking, and more importantly ready and capable of doing. Each time there would be that moment things felt like they would go to hell, and then nothing.

Slowly but surely, Crazy Charley visits occurred less often, but from time to time he would stop in showing me his new cuts and bruises from recent “training” matches. He displayed them as others display trophies.

After five months of continuous challenges, Crazy Charley disappeared. Some say he was stabbed, some say he went to jail, and others say he left the area. I didn’t really care. He was gone and that was fine. The potential for danger and violence was gone, without incident.

Of course, crazy people seldom disappear forever, and a year later I received a package in the mail. It was from good old Charley.

Basically, he wrote that he had liked our discussions on the philosophy of the martial arts. He had liked our “mental” duels. He appreciated the time I took cleaning up his wounds, and my advice to him to stay out of trouble. More importantly, he valued my opinion and wanted me to review the enclosed manuscript about his life and training. He considered me as his teacher.

Lucky me. Hopefully, this guy isn’t teaching others and claiming to be my student.

The enclosed manuscript was about 200 hand-written pages, which were basically illegible. It didn’t really matter though, since there was no return address and I’ve never seen Charley again.

Good Old Memories!

Why Would I Want To?

Of course these two stories directly relate to how I started this essay. No matter where I’m challenged, how I’m challenged, I have more to lose than gain. I will always be wrong, no matter what the circumstance, no matter how right and justified I am.

The truth is, if I’m attacked I will defend myself. If my family or loved ones are attacked, I’ll most likely go after you with the intention to kill. I’ll face the consequences of my actions later. However, to get me to that point where I’ll fight, will require a lot of work, as well as extremely bad intentions on the part of the aggressor.

But to fight in response to a challenge, when the other person is aware of what I do for a living is another matter. I don’t have the time, more importantly the need to stroke my ego, or to deal with that kind of thinking. It’s not worth it.

If I liked fighting, and needed that form of competition to stroke my ego, I’d enter the UFC. At least then there would be a potential to get paid.

Unlike the situations that occurred in the schools though, it’s very hard to reason with some of these garage trespassers. Some are just hostile violent people who don’t even care about their own health and welfare. In addition, I truly believe they want to get into a fight, and may even see dollar signs thinking about suing me in the future.

Worst yet is the realization that a few of these guys feel they have something to prove. Kicking my ass, would give them “street cred.” If nothing else kicking my ass would open the door for even more trespassers, since they would get the sense they controlled the garage.

Besides nailing the garage door shut, (which I’ve considered but know I can’t do), I’m not sure what the solution is. I yell at the people who park there all the time, and have even threatened to take their parking space away.

Can the only answer be violence? Do I have to hurt someone, or get hurt to stop the challenges? Furthermore, if I fight barehanded today, what will stop the threats from escalating? I mean, I’m dealing with people on or taking drugs, who clearly aren’t in control of themselves. People who don’t care, and aren’t afraid to go to jail for what they do.

Clearly, the challenges I’ve had in my martial art schools, though potentially dangerous, are nothing compared to the ones in the garage.

Of course the true challenge for me is to hold my ground, remain true to my beliefs, and use my brain. Resorting to violence, to deal with the problem on their level, would make all the years I’ve preached about not fighting all meaningless.