Pseudoscience and Drama…

                Okay, the time has come once again to address some very strange claims made by a couple of people involved in the Chinese Martial Arts. Before we begin, I would ask you to watch this video:

                From the opening line, “It is called Qigong…” this is all about drama. There is very little in the entire video that has anything to do with real issues or a close and unbiased examination of facts. The line claims, “science will attempt to reveal the truth” is quaint, but when the facts are in your face and you ignore them in favor of drama, then you are not going to be taken seriously.

                The fact is, I would not even take this clip seriously enough to write about it except for one problem – a student sent me the clip wanting to know if I would be willing to teach them “Iron Shirt Qigong”.

                So when there is a student taking this garbage seriously enough that they actually want to learn it, we have a problem.

                Take another look at the swing taken on the crash test dummy at the 1:59 point of the video. One can clearly see that the strike was intended to achieve maximum impact. The strike goes well into the chest of the dummy and there is a false recoil made by the person swinging the bat after it had already bounced free from the dummy. This is important later.

                When we take a look at the strike on the “monk” at the 3:43 mark, we can clearly see that the strike was pulled. The recoil happens almost on impact. There was a strike, as is evidenced by the red mark, but I have to let my inner skeptic out and ask, why did they allow the strike to be performed by the “monk’s” student. Why not A-Rod? Why not any pro baseball player? If Qigong does protect, what would there be to fear from a strike from anyone. Let me take a swing at him!

                The spear is very impressive to the uninitiated, but it is an ancient parlor trick where the pressure is not going straight in but rather, down. They make passing reference to the redness on his chest below where the spear tip was but fail follow up on why it should be red, and exactly how much pressure was applied there to cause the redness.

                Sorry kids, this is one for the crackpot file. Nothing special here, just some pseudoscience and a heavy dose of drama.