Explain this.... please!

Posted by: Ronin1966

Explain this.... please! - 01/10/07 12:41 PM

Hello:
An old article described assorted tricks, stunts and gimmicks which were/are often presented as internal martial arts skills. Eg:

Bending a weapon held on the throat by walking into it
The unbendable arm
Bed of nails
Hot coal walking
Sledgehammer to the cement blocks held on chest
Etceteria.

Now these are merely some of the more common stunts. Of the list above (or add your own) how do you EXPLAIN (debunk) the particular showmanship so it s not "magical". Nothing wrong with having a exciting demonstration, nothing wrong with a good show... but what do any of those (or similar demonstrations) have to do with genuine martial skill?

What would be a GOOD, clear demonstration of genuine martial skills? Help unravel the above demonstrations, or those others will hopefully suggest... Thoughts anybody...

Jeff
Posted by: MattJ

Re: Explain this.... please! - 01/10/07 01:43 PM

I do not know that much about tricks, as I never studied to do them. I do understand that both the "bed of nails" and the "sledgehammer" tricks take advantage of increased surface area to dissipate the shock of strikes. Ask someone to take the sledgehammer strike to the chest without the concrete block, or sit on a bed of one nail.

As for a good demo, how about the instructor sparring everyone there?
Posted by: Ronin1966

Explain this.... please! - 01/11/07 09:54 AM

Hello Matt:

<<I do understand that both the "bed of nails" and the "sledgehammer" tricks take advantage of increased surface area to dissipate the shock of strikes.

Yup.

The barefoot coal walking being another similar ~melodrama~. The coals being hot, but provided you keep moving... or coat whether knowingly/otherwise the bottoms of your feet apparently does the trick. Now if you or I were to have stoaked those coals.... nobody would walk them voluntarily I think....

<<As for a good demo, how about the instructor sparring everyone there?

Hummmngh, provided the instructor is not "armed"... sure why not! "... ok for those of you left standing, I am giving you my card, those of you laying down for a little while your cards are lying beside you...."

The kids saw one the other night which was pretty gross, the hooking a heavy something to the fascia in your back and pulling obscenely heavy object a lengthy distance. Gross but nothing to do with genuine martial skill. Merely the resillance<sp.?> of the body's fascia as a contact point.

Surely there are other bizarre demonstrations which pass for internal/bone-fide martial skill???? Or may well demonstrate an signifigant martial skill??? What is/are they?

Jeff
Posted by: KJ63

Re: Explain this.... please! - 01/11/07 11:22 AM

Yes I would agree and there are several others which exist on different levels:
Quote:


Bending a weapon held on the throat by walking into it
The unbendable arm
Bed of nails
Hot coal walking
Sledgehammer to the cement blocks held on chest



We could also add to the list:
- Pulling large objects with various parts of their anatomy.

- Puncturing various parts of the body with sharp objects.

- No touch KO's. No MA application at all (let the flaming begin)

- Even pressure point KOs to a certain degree are done for effect, because the body is a little more unpredictable under high stress

(For the last 2 I should add that I was a DKI member, and received my 4th degree under Mr. Dillman)

- Braking of any kind. Maybe good for teaching focus or toughening the hands, but there is really no purpose for stacking multiple objects, especially if you’re going to use spacers to separate the objects. Back in my TKD days, I saw a kid break 10 boards. Then two minutes later he broke his hand attempting to break 3 of the same boards without spacers.

- driving nails through boards with hand, foot, etc.

Many of these things have some practical application in MA like teaching focus or to strike through an object, toughening areas of the body, overcoming fear, and so on; but many are over exaggerated and performed in such a flamboyant manor that they become nothing more than a show. Many of them take no extraordinary ability at all, and can be taught in a matter of minutes.
Posted by: Blackrainbow

Re: Explain this.... please! - 01/11/07 03:43 PM

Some of you might not have seen this and might find it useful.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/08/060814-fight-science.html
Posted by: cxt

Re: Explain this.... please! - 01/11/07 04:27 PM

Various "stunts" to attract crowds (and hopefully students) have been around since day one of the martial arts.

Probbaly started when someone asked Og the caveman to "show me what you got " with his club.

Og thinks "well I can't just kill this silly jerk, his folks have the bear jerky consession--and I LOVE bear jerky...what to do...what to do...

So Og goes and smashs his club thu a big, thick dead branch-- to show the power of his swing and the strength of his clubbing technique.

All kidding aside, short of actually harming people, its hard for me to think of a "clear" demo--too many potential variables at work.

For my money a good demo would give the watchers a clear picture of what training is going to be like in that school---as well as what you might be able to do with it.

Posted by: Ronin1966

Explain this.... please! - 01/12/07 10:51 PM

Hello KJ63:

<<- BrEaking of any kind.

If forced to watch breaking prefer suspended solely by a string... understand that as bone-fide skill. Or the object of choice in a stack of objects that too.... being skill, provided completely interchangable with any other identical object in the larger stack re: composition, treatment, etc.

<<- driving nails through boards with hand, foot, etc.

No clue why a hammer is not the APPROPRIATE tool do not understand the connection w/ martial skill myself. Bizarre feat, and unusual stunt...but why do I want to know this , spend time learning this... as a martial matter?

Jeff
Posted by: eyrie

Re: Explain this.... please! - 01/13/07 06:48 AM

This might help...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDflabGkdTU

but how does it explain this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=co6G-vyAlII
Posted by: JKogas

Re: Explain this.... please! - 01/13/07 08:34 AM

....bear jerky concession, lol


I have seen the coal walking. It's been performed with a specific type of rock that doesn't conduct heat well. The bottom of the rock gets very hot but the top where you're actually walking doesn't get that hot at all.


-John
Posted by: schanne

Re: Explain this.... please! - 01/13/07 09:13 AM

I can explain all the trick but most of you already are aware of how they are preformed. Yes they are tricks but are fun to watch by the average lamen.

To make it more interesting they should:
1. Shorten, the bending rod to 4 feet!
2. Bed of nails, use less nails and spread them out!
3. Fire walking, use real charcoal!
4. Sledgehammer trick, use only one slab of concrete!

Truthfully I don't see to much of it anymore, we use to do all that stuff in the 70's during demonstrations in parks, local fairs and fund raisers. The public ate it up and it was a lot of fun to preform. Now that the general public has been saturated with MA for the last 30 years the show is old. Demostrations are still a valuable part of promoting your dojo. There is nothing wrong with putting on a great demonstration showing all aspects of your art and throwing in some showmanship to "Wow the crowd".


The rocks that are used for "fire walking" are Lava rock, very porous and full of air......................
Posted by: schanne

Re: Explain this.... please! - 01/13/07 09:18 AM

How come I can't buy nails like that at Home Depot.....can the head of the nail get any bigger?!!!...LOL
Posted by: eyrie

Re: Explain this.... please! - 01/13/07 08:07 PM

Yeah, but if you did, could you do it?

OK, some of the tricks can be faked, as demonstrated by the first video, but I think the point of some of these "tricks" is being missed.... the point is not the trick itself, but the body skills required to perform the "trick".
Posted by: Ronin1966

Re: Explain this.... please! - 01/15/07 09:20 AM

Hello Eyrie:



Exactly the types of demonstrations I was envisioning!

How do you account for the bottle, assume its a transfer of the shock caused by the bottle (nearly empty), in some manner???? The wine inside causing the force of the descruction.... or carbonated perhaps... (completely disavowing the possibility)

Jeff
Posted by: Ronin1966

Re: Explain this.... please! - 01/15/07 09:29 AM

Hello Again Eyrie:

Not sure what to think of the eye or throat demonstrations. Would never consider doing the eye thing no matter what the point, too inherently dangerous....

Assume clenching the eyelids will meaningfully tighten the skin there, making it a harder surface, but not enough (cannot envision it) ever being sufficently hard that I'd allow anybody to push against anything until it bent....

Dumb, dumb, dumb...

Identical principle with the iron bar and the throat.... even assuming its an alternate angle (then we realize/perceive it to be) it is a really good demonstration... cannot figure out the mechancs that would make that work...

Rod is too high to press/utilize the sternum to initiate the bend. Neither had their hands on the thing, but even if they did

Love to hear that one explained!
Jeff
Posted by: eyrie

Re: Explain this.... please! - 01/15/07 07:52 PM

Chinese wine (like sake - made from rice, but different fermentation agents and process) is not carbonated. Explain that one. It's basically transference of force.

As for the eye trick... note the "padding" on the end - sits nicely over the eye socket.... BUT... still requires some skill to be able to withstand such forces.

As for throat... there are ways to toughen the connective tissue in that area to withstand some force, but for forces of that nature involved in bending an iron bar, that still requires some sort of strength/development.
Posted by: Kendo_Noob

Re: Explain this.... please! - 01/15/07 11:53 PM

My friend's dad has worked in some sort of woodworking envoirnment for almost his whole life, and he can pound a nail into a board with his hand. Was it cool? Yes, does it mean my friend's dad is an X degree blackbelt? No.

Can the evolution of his hand to that point give you an advantage in martial arts? Yes.

Just my $0.02
Posted by: eyrie

Re: Explain this.... please! - 01/16/07 12:07 AM

Well, I for one am not disputing that such tricks require some level of skill - skill which could be applicable in a martial context.

And it would be cool to see a vid of your friend's dad pound a nail into a board. He doesn't have to be a black belt, but we could make him FA.com's first honorary black belt if he likes.
Posted by: IRKguy

Re: Explain this.... please! - 01/16/07 01:19 AM

A good, clear demonstration would be to show what actually happens in class in an abbreviated form with emphasis on self-defense. That way, you only attract students likely to stick with the training, since training is what you are offering, not tricks and gimmicks. You will attract a better class of students that way.
Posted by: Kendo_Noob

Re: Explain this.... please! - 01/16/07 07:47 PM

Hey, I might be able to get a video this summer, he does it as a party trick nowadays LOL
Posted by: Ronin1966

Re: Explain this.... please! - 01/16/07 09:38 PM

Hello Eyrie:

<<Chinese wine (like sake - made from rice, but different fermentation agents and process) is not carbonated.

Understood, was hypothesizing perhaps a little ADDED carbonation to the bottle in order to make the explosion so ~dramatic~. Assumed it was likely some type of simple shockwave type transfer...

<<As for the eye trick... note the "padding" on the end - sits nicely over the eye socket....

Saw it too and to me seems insane. Im certain training is required but... yikes. Accidentally injured my eye years ago, it never healed. Cannot conceive being that blase about em ever again....



<<As for throat... there are ways to toughen the connective tissue in that area to withstand some force

Fascia in that area??? Sufficent amount that could be toughened....? The cartiledge certainly isn't that thick, how does this work I love the demonstration, cannot understand how it is achieved, but do like that one.

What are some of the others that are odd/unusual but done, I wonder???

Jeff
Posted by: eyrie

Re: Explain this.... please! - 01/17/07 03:05 AM

Hi Jeff,

Even if the bottle contents are carbonated, I don't know that many could even replicate the trick... (anyone who can, please do post a video...)

Many people look at the trick and think it's a fake... sometimes it is and sometimes it's not. When it's not, it's indicative of some level of skill - skill which has martial applicability.

At the end of the day, it is the skill one should be focusing on developing.... and not just the parlor trick.
Posted by: Leo_E_49

Re: Explain this.... please! - 01/17/07 06:07 AM

Quote:

Many people look at the trick and think it's a fake... sometimes it is and sometimes it's not. When it's not, it's indicative of some level of skill




Actually, I think that even if it is fake, it requires a good deal of practical MA skill to pull many of these tricks off.

Kind of like pro-wrestling where the challenge is how not to kill your opponent.
Posted by: Ronin1966

Re: Explain this.... please! - 01/18/07 01:48 PM

Hello Leo:

Quote:

<<Kind of like pro-wrestling where the challenge is how not to kill your opponent.




Keep trying to tell/convince the kids of that but they just don't seem to get it "... let go you'll hurt your brother that way..." "...no I won't they don't on TV..."



Jeff "...just don't bleed on the carpet guys..."

edited to fix quote
Posted by: Ronin1966

Re: Explain this.... please! - 01/18/07 01:52 PM

Hello IRKguy:

Are there any demonstrations you've seen/observed/heard of that you hoped-wanted to have explained?

Jeff
Posted by: CA_Isshinryu

Re: Explain this.... please! - 01/19/07 06:48 PM

The unbendable arm isn't a trick as long as you take steps to make sure people don't turn the arm for advantage. We have gone over this before in class as part of a discussion of Sanchin. The arm isn't really unbendable as I'm sure most here know but when you have the right focus and concentration you can very significantly increase the amount of force it take by somebody to bend your arm.

This was used to help explain how our balance and focus should be for the part of Sanchin where you do the slow palm push outs. (atleast we do it that way) Your suppose to be focused and be able to root into the stance and be able to push somebody back from you. Very very hard to do without intense concentration if they resist even a little. If you focus properly you can push pretty darn hard.
Posted by: eyrie

Re: Explain this.... please! - 01/19/07 08:05 PM

Can I suggest that the purpose of the unbendable arm is to use the structure to convey the forces on the elbow crease to the ground. IOW, the tester should feel like they're pushing against the ground - not the elbow crease.

It's not a trick, insofar as a demonstration of the body skill required in grounding certain forces at supposedly "weak" points in the anatomy.

I've read one particulr explanation of this trick as a demonstration of the antagonistic action of the triceps and biceps, but to me, it merely shows the lack of real understanding as to the purpose of this EXERCISE.

As far as I'm concerned, canting your arm so that the elbow crease is facing inward is NOT advisable, I've seen people almost pop the joint capsule as a result... not a nice way to have your arm broken....
Posted by: Ronin1966

Re: Explain this.... please! - 02/18/07 10:35 PM

Hello CA Isshinryu:

<<The unbendable arm isn't a trick as long as you take steps to make sure people don't turn the arm for advantage.

Apologies for not responding sooner, trying to "catch up" in many arenas. Please explain the not turning the arm a bit more want to make certain I comprehend precisely what you mean... think I know where you are going, just want to make sure!

<<when you have the right focus and concentration

The "crucial" words, how does that work ?

<<the part of Sanchin where you do the slow palm push outs. (at least we do it that way) Your suppose to be focused and be able to root into the stance and able to push somebody back from you.

Your Sanchin stance unless far, far wider than most (ie equavilent to the horse stance, forward leaning stance, etc.) or unless angled very very differently won't support the direction of the intended pushing action. Does not the action require the structure be aligned correctly for the particular action, in this case a push?

Please flesh this out a bit more??? If you would please...

Jeff
Posted by: JAMJTX

Re: Explain this.... please! - 02/15/08 01:20 AM

Most of these stunts are just that and have nothing to do with martial arts skill.

Take the "bed of nails" first. It takes some knowledge to know how many nails to put in the bed and how far apart to space them out - and perhaps even the type of nails to use. Each bed has to be custom made according to the weight of the person.
Think of a karate punch for a moment. You hit with the 2 knuckles to focus the force into a smaller area. The bed of nails works the opposite way. You spread the body weight over enough nails so there is little to no weight on any one nail. Spread the nails out too far and don't distribute the weight properly and all the martial arts skills in the world won't stop them from poking holes in you.

The same thing pretty much gors for breaking concrete on the body. Put the wrong size of concrete on the wrong part of the body - or strike the wrong part of the concrete with the sledge hammer - and you're looking at an injury.

Hot coal walking is mainly a matter of not setting your feet flat down on the coals long enough to burn. You have to keep moving. You'll also see that these guys don't really walk on red hot coals, they let them cool somewhat and get to a better temperature. If you stop, you burn your feet. Once you get the coals to a safe temperature, it's much more of a mental game than physical. If you focus on the heat and get nervous about getting burned, you'll get burned. If you focus on the goal of walking non-stop to the end of the coals and don't think about the heat, you'll be ok. Just like breaking boards with a punch. Every person over 80 pounds can generate enough force to punch through a pine board. But you have to focus through it. Without training, most people will not be able to do that. They will focus on the front of the board and hurt thier hand. In the same way most people will focus on the heat and get burned.

I can't explain the weapon against the throat trick. I knew a karate teacher who used to do this with arrows. He would take a stance and someone would press the arrow into his throat until it (the arrow) snapped in half. Of course he would never do this with just anyone. His assistant was trained in the stunt as well.

Unbendable, which we learn as part of Aikido, is not a stunt in the same classification. It requires proper body positioning which can take some practice. But it does have real martial applications, in applying arm bars or doing things like our "hitting elbow throw".
Posted by: Ironfoot

Re: Explain this.... please! - 02/18/08 07:15 AM

Quote:

Hello IRKguy:

Are there any demonstrations you've seen/observed/heard of that you hoped-wanted to have explained?

Jeff




I've heard from 2 different sources about a guy from New Jersey who, after several minutes, force one finger through a cinder block. I'd like to have that explained.
Posted by: Vennificus

Re: Explain this.... please! - 02/18/08 08:22 AM

that body mind and kickass moves show did one...
Iron penis (seriously, who had the time and spare gonads to develope this)
at the end a guy pullsa truck full of people...With his penis on a ribbon
Posted by: mukashimantis

Re: Explain this.... please! - 11/08/10 03:22 PM

I have done a few of the above listed.Almost anyone can do them provided that they are in good physical condition and do a little practice. Most of the "tricks" do require concentration/focus. They are good visual examples of such. As most if not all martial arts require conc/focus and discipline as well as good body/strength training and conditioning, there is nothing wrong with these feats. The unbendable arm is a demonstration of ki or chi flow,which everyone has. The breaking of blocks/bricks is a little more difficult, not everyone can do it. Again, practice and hardening of the body are required.