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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Martial Arts of Bullshido

Okay, okay, I admit it, I stole that name from BullShido.Net. It seems this is a skeptic forum against the supernatural/superhuman claims of martial arts. I just found out about it today. Anyway, I wanted to continue making fun of martial arts and how useless it is.

Here is the thing about martial arts that I really really hate. A lot of martial arts is build around this claim that if you train and study it long enough you will acquire superhuman and in some cases even supernatural strengths.

Multiple Orgasms Claim

Let me begin with the first superhuman claim. Most martial arts school (I would guess to say that almost every single one) teach, to advanced students, how to fight multiple opponents. You can see them give lessons and demonstrations about how these fights go. But the truth is that it is impossible to win a fight against two opponents not matter how good you are in whatever martial art you specialize at. Even if you know Sambo, which really teaches you how to fight, it is flat out impossible to win a fight against two opponents.

Okay, it is not impossible. If your two opponents include two retards then you will win. Or if your two opponents include two people who have no idea what they are doing you will win. But consider this situation. You are in the middle and one opponent is in front and one is behind you. Now people who do tae kwon do will claim that in a situation like that they can kick both in front of them and behind them - perhaps true, but that is irrelevant. Because who said that these two enemies will stand at a kicking distance from you? Imagine if the opponent in front rushes you, and forces you to wrestle with him. As you are wrestling with him, even if you are stronger than he is, you are entirely helpless against the opponent behind you. All that opponent has to do is repeatedly hit you on the back of your head until it is all over.

There is absolutely no way to surly win a two man fight. If you get lucky, just lucky, then maybe you have a minor chance to win. But if the fight goes as I described it, in a wrestling match, then it is impossible to win such a fight. You are entirely and completely helpless. Two men will always beat one man. And it does not matter who you are.

But if you watch martial art demonstration videos mostly in karate or tae kwon do then you will come across this stupidity. You will find one person in the center surrounded by three or four opponents. But it is not a real fight. It is a demonstration. It is a very fancy demonstration, I admit. They jump high, they make flying kicks, and flips. It looks like a fight scene from a movie. But it is just that - a demonstration. It is not a real technique. There is no technique against a two men opponent - you are doomed. If you ever face two guys, best chance is to run away or give your money.

Size Does not Matter Claim

Martial arts school are known for saying that anyone can do martial arts. Whether you are big or small you can learn martial arts. How good of a fighter you are depends not on your size but on your skill.

This is false. If you are 7 feet tall, weigh 450 pounds, and can give a good punch and a shove, then you can essentially beat up anyone in the world without ever learning martial arts. Size most certainly matters. This is precisely why women are not allowed to fight in MMA (men's) because it is purely unfair. Men are bigger than women, that is what makes it unfair. This is precisely why MMA is divided into weight classes. Because if it was really true that you can win by having skill alone then why there are no lightweights dominating heavyweights?

But if you watch the movies or watch martial art demonstration videos then that is not the impression you get. You get the impression that all there is to martial arts is skill. If you learn it and study it hard enough you will be so skillful that you will be able to take on anyone no matter what size they are. This is why you see in these demonstration videos a little guy taking on big guys.

The Death Touch Claim

The "death touch" or known as the "dim mak" is the legend that a skilled martial artist can kill an opponent by just touching him. Let me ask an obvious question. If it was true that these people really existed then why do you not see them in MMA? Where are these death touchers? If I knew how to kill someone, or at least knock him out, by just touching him you will see me in the MMA in no time. I will win every single match and become a champion.

People who claim they can do the dim mak try to be scientific by saying that they touch pressure points. It is true that people have pressure points but you will not kill people by simply touching those pressure points. Your neck is one big giant pressure point. It is not pleasant being hit in your neck. But you do not die from it unless it is a very hard strike. A touch does not do it.

The origin of the dim mak is a legend. It never been successfully done in control conditions. Indeed, if someone was able to do that he will most likely win the James Randi Challenge. Martial arts is build around legends. People who possessed superhuman or supernatural talents. The dim mak is just another such legend. It is a legend about how talented serious fighters can become.

Breaking Boards and Bricks

This is a favorite for people who do karate and tae kwon do. In karate, boards are usually broken with your fists and in tae kwon do it is usually done with your feet. In both situations the goal is to demonstrate how powerful a punch/kick a martial artist can throw.

Here is the truth about boards and bricks. They are trick boards and bricks. They are designed in such a way that they are breakable. Indeed, no martial artist, no matter how hard he can punch or kick, has the ability of breaking a piece of lumber that is cut down from a fresh tree. There is no way anyone can do this. It is superhuman strength that nobody can posses.

Let us talk some physics to find out why not. The strength of your punch is determined by the mass and the speed. The higher the mass and the speed in your punch the harder you will hit. My man, Mike Tyson, threw a deadly punch in ideal circumstances. I am not sure if Mike Tyson threw the strongest punch ever or not but it was tested to be up to something like 800 pounds of force. If you get hit with a fist that has 800 pounds of force, in your face, without Mike having gloves on, you will be dead. Mike can throw a harder punch, by far, than anyone in the MMA and in martial arts. But even Mike cannot break a piece of lumber. It is not humanly possible.

But many martial artists still think it is possible. Because they do not believe in physics. They believe in a mystical concept known as "chi". Chi is the magical life force within people. They claim that martial artists know how to break bricks and boards because they know how to channel their chi through them.

No Touch Knockout

As if the dim mak was not crazy enough there is something even crazier, and that is the no touch knockout. A few martial art experts claim they can knockout people without even touching them. How is this possible you might ask? Well, you see, people have this mystical life force in them that is the chi, if you can channel your chi through your body you can use it to knock out people without touching them.

Do I need to say anything more about this? All you have to do is go on YouTube and do a video search on this. You will find a few skeptics who show how non-sense this entire claim is. There is no chi and there is no no touch knockout.

One Inch Punch

This one really falls under kung fu and wing chun. The one inch punch is the claim that some masters of martial arts (usually wing chun) can put so much power into their fist that they can knock their opponent to the floor by barely moving their fist (hence the name "one inch punch").

The "reasoning" behind this is again the same bullshido. It is that the master can channel his chi into his fist and release it all out on impact. But basic physics tells us otherwise. The mass of the fist is still the same, but the speed is much lower. Hence, it is impossible to make a strong one inch punch. Certainly, it is possible to do a one inch punch, it will just be weak and will never knock anybody out.

Catching Arrows in Mid Air

You see this in movies. You see somebody shoot an arrow at a martial arts master and he catches the arrow with his hands, mid air, without the arrow killing him. There are real life demonstrations of this. I have seem some videos of this being done. But here is the thing. The arrows that are being caught are traveling much much slower than real arrows.

This was a myth that the MythBusters busted on their TV show. They hired a ninja who said he was able to catch arrows. He was able to catch some slower ones. But the arrow, at full speed, is impossible to catch. In fact, it travels so fast that it is humanely impossible to have the proper reaction time, and it is humanly impossible to close your fist fast enough. They made a robotic arm that was able to catch arrows at full speed. But that was because it was programmed electronically to close the fist precisely as the arrow is fired and it was programmed to be super human - it closed five times as fast as a human hand. Only then it was possible, and even under those conditions the super robo-arm only caught the end tip of the arrow. Which means that it is scientifically impossible for any person or ninja to have the skill to be able to catch arrows.


Martial arts is a mystical subject. It is like ESP. People believe in some crazy stuff. People believe it is possible to read minds, or that it is possible to talk to the dead. Martial arts is no different. Martial arts is based on a fantasy. People want to believe that it is possible for people to attain strengths and powers that humans do not posses by their physical limitations.

Keep in mind that martial arts originated in Asia. I do not know exactly when but I figure at least a thousand years old, I am guessing. Asia was a very religious part of the world as was the entire world. But they did not attach Christianity or Judaism to their beliefs, they had their own beliefs. They believed in Taoism. They believed in Buddhism. They believed in Shintoism. And various other beliefs. Some of these beliefs that did not have a diety in them (like Buddhism) but it still was a religion. And as religions they do have have crazy stuff in them (not as crazy as Judaism or Christianity or Islam). Part of what they strongly believed in was this mystical part of the human body known as the chi. What happened was these martial arts styles moved into the modern age and with it the mystical religious stupidity that came associated with martial arts.

Even if you are a reasonable martial artists who does not believe in all the martial art mysticism I mentioned in this post it still does not make martial arts bullshido. Because the main claim of martial arts is self-defense. That is what all martial arts claims. But they fail. They even fail at self-defense. My past two posts on martial arts was exactly in what ways it fails to provide good self-defense.

During the "Boxer Rebellion" in China you had some Chinese martial artists who believed they can withstand bullets. They truly believed that their martial arts can prevent them from feeling pain from bullets. And some believed they can out beat a bullet. Well, quickly they found out that that there are no bulletproof people and bullets hurt - a lot. They ended up learning their lesson. But why did they believe in such stupidity? Very simple, because martial arts is ultimately derived from mystical and supernatural beliefs.

Penn and Teller, who have a show on ShowTime, called "Bullshit!", did an episode on martial arts. You can see it here. Funny stuff. Those who believe absurdities will do funny stupid things (like forms demonstration in martial arts tournaments).

So all I can say is, fuck martial arts, long live ju-jitsu (and wrestling). Ju-jitsu, besides for being proven to be successful at beating people up, is also better than martial arts because they get to touch guys. Do you get to touch guys in martial arts? No. Do you get to go on cow girl on top of guys in martial arts? No, but in ju-jitsu you do. Ju-jitsu is sexy, martial arts is just plain gay.


  1. How about writing about snails next time. It will be another subject that you probably know nothing about, but I imagine that you can spout you bilge about it nonetheless.

  2. "How about writing about snails next time. It will be another subject that you probably know nothing about, but I imagine that you can spout you bilge about it nonetheless.":

    What did I say that was so wrong? Everything that I picked comes from martial arts. You can find these things either done at martial arts schools or at martial art demonstrations.

    I do not need to be an expert in Greek mythology to realize that it is a myth, nor do I need to be an expert in Christianity to realize how stupid it is.

  3. Multiple Orgasms Claim

    If you watch the Human Weapon episode of Krav Maga from the History Channel, Israel trains their special ops people to deal with multiple opponents.

    Size Does not Matter Claim

    The Gracies claim that size does not matter in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

    The Death Touch Claim

    You need to watch the Fight Science episode of Ninjitsu from the National Geographic channel.

    Breaking Boards and Bricks

    Iron Palm training causes fractures in the bones over long periods of time that the body fills up incrementally with extra calcium that would enable someone to break bricks.

    No Touch Knockout

    Yeah, that's a scam.

    One Inch Punch

    This article shows the efficacy of the 1 inch punch.

    Catching Arrows in Mid Air

    What dojo claims this?

    Dude, you need psychological help.

  4. "If you watch the Human Weapon episode of Krav Maga from the History Channel, Israel trains their special ops people to deal with multiple opponents.":

    So? Just because the History Channel shows it it means it must automatically be true. I described a situation, in what I wrote above, about how it is virtually impossible for any fighter to take on two fighters. Can you refute the situation that I described?

    "The Gracies claim that size does not matter in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.":

    It is irrelevant what they say. I am talking about what martial arts say. And they do make this claim. At least Royce Gracie was able to beat up people who were much larger than he was - though he is also wrong if he believes that size does not matter.

    "You need to watch the Fight Science episode of Ninjitsu from the National Geographic channel.":

    So you telling me you can kill a person from touching him? You really believe in this?

    "Iron Palm training causes fractures in the bones over long periods of time that the body fills up incrementally with extra calcium that would enable someone to break bricks.":

    Okay. What point does this have to anything to what I said? I said that breaking bricks is just a flashy thing. Further, I added that no person can break a piece of lumber. Can you find any martial artists who can do this?

    "One Inch Punch":

    From basic physics it is impossible to throw a punch from a short distance that will have devastating power. If you put all your weight (150 pounds) into it that is how much force you will approximately exert, but there is hardly no motion. It is more of a push than a punch. You cannot use it to beat somebody up. It is a worthless fighting technique.

    "Dude, you need psychological help.":

    I sometimes masturbate to gay hentai porn. Yes, I do need psychological help. But why does it matter in what I say? I may be psychotic but be correct nonetheless.

  5. I suggest that the entire a priori approach to fighting might be problematic.

  6. I broadly agree with what you're saying - there is a high (80%) bullshit content in martial arts. Here are the qualifications I'd add:

    1) Multiple assailants

    It is possible to disable 2-4 assailaints depending on the following variable: knockout striking power, premptive attack (deception), superior training, weapons (knuckledusters etc) - however this is obviously extremely difficult and once they start gang-banging you it's all over. The ability of martial artists in this regard is over-rated. Check out the writing of RBSD expert Geoff Thompson and similar.

    2) Size

    Size/strength does matter and all things being equal it's decisive. However with respect to projectiles (guns, arrows) size obviously doesn't matter. And with respect to a flyweight with a knockout punch who beats a heavyweight to the punch, the flyweight is capable of disabling the heavier & stronger man. It is also possible with great training to redirect force using angle and body structure so you can force someone to throw themselves. However I should point out that this is a trained lighter person thowing a heavier untrained person. As I said, all things being equal the advantage reverts.

    3) Inch Punch and short power

    Short range (5 inch) punches can have knockout power, partly due to their surprise factor (the major advantage of short strikes). This does not rely soley on PSI but speed and accuracy. A fingerstrike to the eye will also only need speed. An inch strike to the pit of the neck will not be pleasant either. Overall maximising short power is a valid goal but you're right in suggesting it's not going to generate 800 pounds of power.

    4) Everything else

    prettymuch agree

    5) Self Defense

    Safest form of which is to take them out before they start attacking. Defensive fighting is a dangerous fantasy and duelling is not appropriate for modern self-defense.

    So to summerise - yes, most of it is ridiculous, but there is a kernal of truth which anyone studying martial arts would do well to concentrate on.

  7. Your post basically shows that you are ignorant, narrow minded, hypocrite and basically a BJJ/MMA fanboy. So you hate martial arts. Dude then what is BJJ? It's a martial art!