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 Post subject: Moving experiences
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 1998 2:03 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am
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Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
I would particularly appreciate feedback from both Evan Pantazi and Dr. J.D. on this one. Of course all others are more than welcome to jump in.

It seems that each year brings a new trick in the karate "majic shows". When I was a kid, we marveled at the breaking demonstrations. Then people went from wood to bricks to cinderblocks to massive blocks of ice. Well the Uechi folks decided to give the lumber equal time and started beating each other with boards and bats and the like. Then the taequondo folks got into sticking large needles in their skin and hanging weights on them (to show their ki). Even some of the Qi Gung people hang large weights off of their testicles (really!!) as a demonstration of qi development. Of course there is more. Recently the popular thing to do is knock your friends out with kyusho strikes in public.

I don't mean to offend folks, but I will anyhow. Just the listing of the demonstration techniques above by itself says a lot. It is impressive to some. It is otherwise to others. We all have opinions. In some of these demonstrations there is some substance. In others....

Well the latest thing that some "qi masters" are demonstrating would have to be described as resembling telekinesis. Rich Mooney is one (I hear from postings on the kyusho forum) who demonstrates that he can move people across the room with his qi. This is not the first time I have heard of a demonstration like this being done.

I can always count on a cyber acquaintance of mine, Bruce Miller, to comment on stuff like this with a western perspective. Bruce recently has been in a "data input mode" about these demonstrations. Good for him....he's keeping his mind open and doing a little background study before he comments. There is someone who I will trust a little more than most because of this.

Well, J.D., do we have a candidate for Randi's cash award? What do you think of this, Evan?

Don't ask me (yet) what I think. However...it IS hard to sound objective and serious sometimes. But I'll listen and watch if it means I learn something.

Bill


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 Post subject: Moving experiences
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 1998 11:42 pm 
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Location: Mount Dora, Florida
Please note: Tony has been testing the limits of this forum and in the process discovered that we can post video clips and sound bites. Check out the test Tai chi clip he has linked to. In looking at this clip a couple times, I noticed that the instructor barely touches his partner and in most cases is moving backwards or with one foot off floor as his partner flies backwards. Interesting.


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 Post subject: Moving experiences
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 1998 5:27 am 
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I also find some of the "new age" martial arts displays unbelievable although I'll continue to maintain an open mind. Back in the 50s - 60s I also impressed audiences by breaking boards with my bare hands. I soon stopped doing demonstrations that played on the audience's lack of knowledge of karate and focused more on trying to show people a "believable" art they could identify with.

Many teachers thought they could get students by impressing them with circus tricks. My feeling is that normal people get turned off by such displays. . . and eventually their trickery would be discovered.

In a recent Taichi magazine, there was a story about a very old master (who died shortly after the article was written) who was "tossing" a student all around the room using "chi". Phil S. recently posted video clips of a similar application of chi. I don't wish to downplay the talent, strength and ability of these teachers, but I find it hard to believe that the person being "tossed" wasn't 80% responsible for the action/reaction.

I notice this same phenomenom in class or at demonstrations where I'll ask a student to help out. For some reason or other, the student will "cooperate" with my demonstration. Knowing what I'm going to do, he will, even if I deliberately pull the defense, still move and without touch on my part, be mysteriously thrown aside.

I don't want anyone to get defensive about these comments. I might be 100% wrong and I certainly don't wish to infer that the people involved with these demonstrations are not entirely convinced that what they are doing is legitimate. And I certainly don't wish to infer that these demonstrations of 'chi' falls into the same category as breaking huge blocks of ice that were precut prior to the demo. But I would like to discuss the possibility that the application of chi, in this "tossing" demonstrations, may have something to do with the mindset of the "tossee".


[This message has been edited by gmattson (edited 09-22-98).]


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 Post subject: Moving experiences
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 1998 5:43 am 
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George wrote-"In a recent Taichi magazine, there was a story about a very old master (who died shortly after the article was written) who was "tossing" a student all around the room using "chi". Phil S. recently posted video clips of a similar application of chi. I don't wish to downplay the talent, strength and ability of these teachers, but I find it hard to believe that the person being "tossed" wasn't 80% responsible for the action/reaction"

Ialso taped this display of skill from an A&E cable show called "Secrets of The Warriors' Power" A 'master" was tossing a guy around with one finger?? Almost laughable!

Kevin


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 Post subject: Moving experiences
PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 1998 5:56 am 
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Location: Richmond, VA --- Louisville, KY
George

I'd like to relate an interesting incident that happened to me when I was in graduate school.

My graduate advisor (and department chairman) was from "the old school" he was Swiss and stern like a German. Got his MD at Zurich and PhD at UPenn. Anyhow he would socialize with the lab techs, but would often give an icy stare and walk away if a grad student joined in the conversation. He was a short but stocky man, and limped from a tractor accident on his home farm. Most every graduate student had a kind of fearful respect of him.

We used to have one phone in the whole department that was outside the general secretary's office. It was (supposedly) for the lab tech to order supplies. Well most graduate students like me spent 12 to 18 hour days in the department. Hard to have a life like that. Sometimes you just need to ignore the rules and do what you have to do. Well one day I had just finished making a call, and noticed Dr. A walking towards me. As he approached me (I thought to scold me for using the phone), I flinched my head away from him. It hit a bookshelf and the entire contents of that shelf fell on my head. Dr. A didn't miss a breath, and said what was on his mind without any concern for what had just happened.

Wow, what chi he had.....NOT. That single incident really woke me up. It made me painfully conscious of the physical manifestation of my psychological reaction to this guy. From that point on I made a conscious decision to keep my spine straight, my head up, and my eyes looking straight into his eyes whenever I talked to him.

Interesting....we accomplised a lot more together after that epiphany.

Bill


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