No-Touch Knockouts – Why do I care?

For those that are regular readers, and for those that have stumbled onto this blog and have read a few of my previous posts regarding the no-touch knockout controversy, one may wonder why I care.

I ask myself that very question all the time. I mean why does it bug me so much? Why can’t I just overlook the nonsense, and just forget about it? WHY!?

Well the answer isn’t because I’m such a fine upstanding citizen or that I want to see truth and justice prevail. It’s not because I think my purpose in life is to expose fraud and corruption where and when I can. And its not because I receive accolades from my martial art contemporaries, martial art students, fellow workers, family, or friends because I’m willing to fight the good fight. To be honest most don’t care.

No, the reason is more personal; I simply take offense to the idea, and feel this affects the credibility of the martial arts in general. Clearly with the current state of martial arts, where schools exist that churn out black belts like McDonalds sells burgers, we in the industry don’t need this.

The last thing we martial artists need are people discrediting what we do, and giving the public further ammunition to ridicule what we do. Hollywood has done enough of that already, by highlighting the flash and the fluff, as well as the mystical more-than-real world fighting techniques that work.

I learned a long time ago that credibility is everything, and one’s reputation is all one will ever truly possess in this lifetime.

Now some will laugh at the above, once again questioning the legitimacy regarding the history of my school. However, I’m the first to admit that what little information I’ve pieced together has enough holes to leave room for lots of speculation and suspicion.

I for one would carefully scrutinize someone else with the same story as mine. However, I would never be flipped enough to call them an outright fraud in public forums as others have done to me. Without meeting the person, seeing their skills first hand I wouldn’t be comfortable or feel justified making any assertions.

Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m the first to stringently question the information my teacher gave me, but it’s all I’ve got to work with. I’m also the first to say there is absolutely no proof to verify anything. I’m not trying to deceive anyone by saying there is. I tell people what I do and do not know and let each individual believe what they want.

With that said, back to my point.

As any student of mine will tell you, I’m a big proponent of vital point striking. I believe understanding the various methods of applying vital point striking and other elements of Kyusho Jutsu is extremely important in maximizing the efficiency of ones martial art techniques.

My honest opinion is that you can’t call yourself a martial artist if you have no concept of them, or at the very least some basic tools to utilize them. All real authentic martial arts attack weak points of the body, and that is all the art of vital point striking is about.

I also realize that relying on vital points alone in a real fight is ludicrous. It’s borderline suicide. The art of vital point striking is nothing more than an enhancement system to viable techniques. The art of vital point striking is sort of like adding the whipped cream to the milkshake. You don’t need the whipped cream to make the milkshake taste good, but you want it anyway. It’s that little extra zing that makes the milkshake so much better.

So what is the connection between the art of vital pint striking and no-touch knockouts? The answer is simple; most proponents of no-touch knockouts are also proponents, even major figures—dare I say modern day pioneers—in the art and dissemination of vital point striking.

Given the fact that many people already questioned the validity of vital point striking as they presented it, and believe these proponents were frauds regarding that topic, imagine what they must think now.

Clearly, there is more proof to substantiate that vital points exit. Just spend a few minutes at a vital point class/seminar and your opinion regarding their existence will quickly change (note I didn’t say one’s opinion on their application in a real fight would; that requires a little more time).

My problem, the reason I’m so adamant regarding the topic of no-touch knockouts and extolling the insanity of this belief, is that those who perpetuate martial art myths such as this discredit all the real hard working martial artist who spend numerous years enduring physical hardship to hone their craft.

The martial arts are nothing mysterious or supernatural. They are all based on applied sciences. They were all tested and refined during a time when warriors actually utilized these skills.

To make martial arts something they are not, to take these skills and try to place them in a position akin to supernatural powers is just wrong. It’s a lie. It’s dishonest.

I can’t tolerate dishonesty, and I guess in the end that’s what really bothers me about this topic the most. Clearly, it’s the reason I can’t put this topic to rest.

Lastly, I dislike having to dispel preconceived notions potential students bring into my school. Explaining to someone that their belief, that what they’re searching for, does not, nor ever did exist is just not good for business.

No one likes or respects somebody who “bursts their bubble.”

Advertisements

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.

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.