There’s a trick that I’ve seen demonstrated by martial artists who really should know better. And the more people I talk to the more common this charade seems to be.
Basically it’s a ‘test’ of internal energy which roots the person to the floor while the demonstration partner turns red in the face trying to push him over.
With the help of my Mini-Mall Karate Master character, here’s a video showing both the ‘internal energy’ trick and exactly how it’s done…
What Happens WITHOUT Internal Energy
Usually the demonstration goes like this…
The master asks a student (more often than not a senior student) to put both his hands on his shoulder and push him.
The master topples over very easily…
What Happens WITH Internal Energy
But now the master charges up his internal energy stores. He does a little ritual that supposedly powers him up and roots him to the floor. For example he might
- Center his dan tien,
- Line up his chakras,
- Focus on his breathing,
- Push his Kundalini energy down,
- Say ‘Abracadabra’ three times,
Now he reaches out his arms to the side…
…maybe he talks about visualising an invisible wall that he’s pushing on…
….or maybe his limbs have now become conduits for the tau neutrino…
Now the same student tries again and, hey presto, despite huffing and puffing and making wild facial expressions the master is completely immoveable!!!
Is this proof of chi? A demonstration of chakra power? Evidence of magic?
How Is This Rooting and Grounding Trick Done?
To do this the master has done three things…
First, he has often chosen a student who knows the drill and/or is already a little awed or afraid of him for this demonstration.
He doesn’t get blindsided by a sudden push or a tackle. This trick only works when the guy pushes in a calm, steady manner.
Secondly, the master has elevated his arms making it much harder for the pushing person to get purchase on the shoulder.
Instead of being able to push on a flat deltoid muscle their hands are now slipping off the arm before significant power can be transmitted.
Thirdly, the master has subtly anchored his own arm under the pushing person’s arms.
This allows him to push UP against the arm which in turn pushes his own closest foot DOWN.
In order to get tipped over that near leg needs to come off the ground. By keeping it planted it’s much harder to move him.
It’s a trick folks.
If you want to use this as an example of biomechanics then fine. There’s even some combat application to this deflection and anchoring that can help you not get pushed around.
But if you’re using this trick to prove the existence of something that doesn’t exist then it’s fraudulent behavior.
When Penn and Teller do their magic tricks they never claim to be doing something supernatural. And occasionally they even tell us exactly what they did.
Some cult leader on the other hand might use the same trick to convince his followers that he is the sole representative on earth of Pikkiwoki, the Papua New Guinean mud god.
Same trick. Big difference.
Shame on those who use a simple biomechanical trick to ‘prove’ the supernatural.
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