Onegai Shimasu


My freshman year as an undergrad I took a Karate class to fulfill one of my Human Performance class requirements. The instructor of the course was a man named James Melton. James had been active in Shotokan Karate since the sixties and his level of knowledge of the art was astounding. James was extremely knowledgeable in the areas of physiology and physical conditioning, and nothing irritated him more than jackass instructors who went around selling martial arts as if they contained mystical secrets. One of James’ favorite saying was “I don’t believe in mysticism; I believe in mechanics.” I learned from James that the only secret to martial arts, or any activity for that matter, is that you must practice, train, and study whatever you are pursing with all your heart. Train everyday and you’ll get better. Slack off and you won’t. That’s the secret to martial arts and self-defense.

Because of the very practical training I received I’m extremely skeptical of anyone claiming to be able to use a “death touch” or any other magical martial arts move. That’s why when I saw this video of a guy claiming to be able to knock people out with his “energy” I got a little nauseous, because I can’t stand when people get fooled by charlatans like that. For one thing it gives legitimate martial arts a bad name, but more importantly it’s dangerous for the people that believe they have this power. Imagine that you get into a situation where you have to defend yourself and you try this Ryu-like move to knock out your opponent with an energy force. After your opponent is done stepping on your face he may take the time to laugh at you.

Here’s a tip: If the martial arts instructor only demonstrates particular moves on a black belt from his school, something’s probably fishy. Black Belts are taught to play along. We know what the instructor is about to do, so we usually make the demonstration go smoother by being a passive partner (human dummy is also an acceptable term). Multiply that passive mentality to the Nth degree and you have guys “passing out” when their instructor screams “aaaaaayyyyooooken” at them. The only thing that made that video worthwhile is when Pudgy Sensei tries to use his knockout move on the ju jitsu guys. They take him down to the mat for a little grappling match.

Mechanics will get you every time.


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