More Martial Arts Nonsense, This Time From Russia
A video is making its way around Facebook (thanks to listener Steve Scott for showing this one to me.) What we have here is something that is, unfortunately, too common in martial arts. Some people who run martial arts studios believe that they can control a nebulous “energy force” which gives them the ability to effect other people, simply by waiving their hands, or shouting really loud, or some other form of minimal-to-no contact with their targets. And when I say “effecting other people”, I mean they are able to get them to physically submit to the martial arts instructor’s claimed powers.
There are many videos on the internet showing these martial “artists” at work. They all have one VERY critical component in common. They all have an audience of students and observers who believe what the martial arts instructor is telling them and showing them. That is where the real “power” comes from. It is the power of belief. People can convince themselves of just about anything, if they are invested in it on some level.
This week’s example comes from a Russian martial artist named Mikhail Ryabko. He calls his martial arts Systema Ryabko, which he describes as an “ancient Russian martial art – a unified training and education in the form of physical, psychological and spiritual exercises that can be used for education and training of any person regardless of sex, age, physical condition, nationality, religion.” So we have the argument from antiquity couched nicely in modern comfort-terms such as “psychological and spiritual exercises”. How nice. But does it work?
Well, you can judge for yourself. Perhaps some of it does work. But unfortunately, if it is a real fighting system, it is being severely discredited with the likes of these sorts of demonstrations. Here is the link to the Facebook video (I couldn’t find it online immediately, if I come across it, I will embed the video directly in to this post.)
What do you think?