Touchless Knockout, is that like brushless carwash?
November 7, 2005 1:48 PM   Subscribe

Yet another Martial Artist goes over the edge. A Chicago teacher of Dim Mak bills himself as "The Human Stungun" for his ability to knock people out from a distance. The fact that it doesn't work on anybody except his students doesn't seem to worry him. The odd thing is his students. In on the con? Or just victims of self-delusion?
posted by lumpenprole (73 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Also, this guys teacher who also practices the 'touchless knockout" has an open invitation from the Randi foundation. He has yet to reply....
posted by lumpenprole at 1:50 PM on November 7, 2005


I know we've discussed this somewhere--maybe AxMe? I remember that some folks here said they have experienced the effect first hand.
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:54 PM on November 7, 2005


I love that the segment is called "Does it work Danielle?", rather than "Does it work, Danielle?"

I think it's quite possible that his students aren't faking it. A lot of high-level martial arts folks have a lot of presence, and some of them like to build up cults of personality around themselves. I'm glad the higher-ups in my school are just kooky, rather than decidedly unbalanced like this guy.
posted by gurple at 1:55 PM on November 7, 2005


Whoops, forgot to finish my thought. I think it's quite possible the students aren't faking it and that they've convinced themselves of this guy's "powers" to a, er, stunning extent.
posted by gurple at 1:56 PM on November 7, 2005


I once dated a girl from Palos Heights who lied a lot. Thus, we can conclude logically that people from Palos Heights are likely to be liars. Thus, this human stun gun talk is all hogwash.
posted by VulcanMike at 1:56 PM on November 7, 2005


I'm from Palos Heights.
posted by LordSludge at 2:03 PM on November 7, 2005


I'm from Palos Heights.

Liar!
posted by lumpenprole at 2:04 PM on November 7, 2005


Um, direct link to video warning please.

VulcanMike, your "infallible" logic has one small hole. Because you dated a girl, you can't conclude ALL people from Palos Heights are liars, just women. Jeez!
posted by fenriq at 2:04 PM on November 7, 2005


I'm from Palos Heights.

No you're not.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 2:04 PM on November 7, 2005


Nice try. We all know if this were possible, we'd already have a method for doing it over TCP/IP and the person responsible would be rich and famous.
posted by mullingitover at 2:04 PM on November 7, 2005


if this were possible, we'd already have a method for doing it over TCP/IP

I smell an RFC to rival this one!
posted by lumpenprole at 2:06 PM on November 7, 2005


Actually, we do. No further replies to this thread will be posted because I've included some JavaScript in this comment that will knock everyone out. Sorry.
posted by mmoncur at 2:06 PM on November 7, 2005


FEEL MY POWER!!!
posted by VulcanMike at 2:08 PM on November 7, 2005


On behalf of legitimate martial artists everywhere, I'd like to say that this guy's fantasies have nothing to do with what we actually do.

I suppose I have to give Fox credit for actually making the loony toon attempt his stunt on real martial artists. It would have been more fun if the jujutsu guys got to choke him unconscious when he couldn't stop them with his ki blasts.
posted by tdismukes at 2:09 PM on November 7, 2005


If you're into folks debunking BS martial artists, bullshido sorta specialized in that activity. They covered this very clip months ago. The level of discourse is about on par with the SA forums, though, so be warned.
posted by mragreeable at 2:11 PM on November 7, 2005


Good God, local news is crap, isn't it?
posted by mr_roboto at 2:13 PM on November 7, 2005


I'm from Palos Heights.
Oooh, let's go to Dunalps.
posted by Bighappyfunhouse at 2:13 PM on November 7, 2005


I believe it. The mind is a powerful thing.
posted by panoptican at 2:16 PM on November 7, 2005


Action at a distance martial arts techniques are nothing new. I personally developed a weaker, shorter-range version of this attack twenty years ago.

Begin by putting your finger a few inches from your assailant/sister's face and slowly move it closer while repating the mantra, "I'm not touching you... I'm not touching you..."

It won't knock them out, but I understand it's very, very annoying.
posted by justkevin at 2:16 PM on November 7, 2005


I once knocked someone over from five feet away by flicking a booger at them.
posted by fenriq at 2:17 PM on November 7, 2005


I once had a person tell me - in all seriousness - that he could throw an 'energy ball' across the city to knock out the power to the whole city. I invited him to do so. He ignored the suggestion. Then he tried to get me to feel his power and made a lot of really strained faces while waving his hands at me. And I felt? Precisely nothing. He explained that away by saying that he didn't want to give me too much of his power because it might "pop" me.

He claimed he was a more powerful Master than anyone else in the world, and that if I came to learn with him that he could make me powerful too. Why no one has ever heard of him and why he was living in some burnout's basement is a mystery. *cough*bullshit*cough*

His delusions, while amuzing, weren't as puzzling as the other two people in the room who were absolutely mesmerized by his outlandish and non-sensical claims. He claimed so many magical powers, yet could demonstrate none of it. And these two ate it all up. I hung around for a while that evening just to witness the bizarre scenario and take note that a cult was certainly forming in that living room.

I've avoided contact with the people there as much as possible since.
posted by raedyn at 2:24 PM on November 7, 2005


This guy has nothing on Fist of the North Star.
posted by bardic at 2:26 PM on November 7, 2005


A guy once told me that 'food is overrated.'
posted by NationalKato at 2:27 PM on November 7, 2005


This isn't really all that different from Reiki, is it?
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:31 PM on November 7, 2005


I've met these types in training halls around the country. Oddly none of them will step into a ring with you.
posted by tkchrist at 2:32 PM on November 7, 2005


It's not working because he forgot to yell "Hadoooken!"
posted by StarForce5 at 2:33 PM on November 7, 2005


MrMoonPie -
Well, Reiki claims to heal people, not beat them up.
posted by raedyn at 2:37 PM on November 7, 2005


It's not Jim Channon or one of his mates is it?
posted by Artw at 2:42 PM on November 7, 2005


At least brushless carwashes are based on science (chemistry) and *work*.
posted by notsnot at 2:47 PM on November 7, 2005


At least brushless carwashes are based on science (chemistry) and *work*.

Maybe where you live. But where I live brushless carwashes are all done with chi and crystals. So there.
posted by lumpenprole at 2:49 PM on November 7, 2005 [1 favorite]


I have killed you all. This is the afterlife. Are you disappointed?
posted by xmutex at 2:51 PM on November 7, 2005


I hate guys like this. Gives martial arts a bad name. There is no excuse for teaching someone to attempt to do something utterly useless in a self defense situation.

That said - this type of mystique might have been useful to a Genbukan or the Tengu, Lín Gui, etc. who cultivated "Dim Mak." (Hmm....autumn moon temple might be worth a front page post)

But really you can just slip someone some slow poison, fight them, and even if you lose you can say "Well, y'know, death touch" and they die a bit later and everyone goes "ooooooh!" and no one messes with you.

Bit of a problem if they haven't heard your rep or are just after your wallet.

I've always lamented the loss of the dojo storming tradition (honorable intentions of course). I mean what better way to reveal these fakes?
posted by Smedleyman at 2:54 PM on November 7, 2005


dojo storming tradition

Sounds interesting. What is it?
posted by letitrain at 2:57 PM on November 7, 2005


VulcanMike writes "I once dated a girl from Palos Heights who lied a lot. Thus, we can conclude logically that people from Palos Heights are likely to be liars."

How do you even know she was from Palos Heights! Maybe she was just pretending to be!
posted by clevershark at 3:22 PM on November 7, 2005


In the building where I train, there's a kids' karate class that uses one of the rooms down the hall. I should totally bring this dojo storming idea up with my sifu, we could so take those 3rd graders.
posted by gurple at 3:22 PM on November 7, 2005


Jean-Martin Charcot, the Human Stungun of the Salpetriere.

Hystero-epilepsy has this mega-neurologist's enemies dropping like FLIES!
posted by ikkyu2 at 3:27 PM on November 7, 2005


Smedleyman : "I hate guys like this. Gives martial arts a bad name."

I wouldn't worry about it. It just gives ki a bad name (one I think it deserves, but that's neither here nor there). Nobody looks at time cube and thinks it gives science a bad name, and ki attacks:martial arts::time cube:science.
posted by Bugbread at 3:43 PM on November 7, 2005


Ever seen faith-healers on TV before? Looks the same to me...
posted by matty at 3:44 PM on November 7, 2005


we used to joke about dojo-yaburi at kendo... but we mainly used the term to mean visiting other dojos to learn from teachers who had different teaching styles than our own teachers.

sure enough, swear to god, one sensei had us solve math problems while fending off attacks.

i think back in the day one dojo's students would show up at another dojo and challenge the students therein, to see if the challengers' New Fighting Technique was indeed Unstoppable.
posted by joeblough at 3:45 PM on November 7, 2005


What is this "dojo storming"? I can kinda guess, but anyone with more info?
And anyone willing to put some stuff in Wikipedia about it?
posted by Bugbread at 3:50 PM on November 7, 2005


Dojo storming still happens in places like Australia. In the US most of the tough guys types have moved on to MMA and the other martial ring sports like Muay Thai. There are still challenges. This rarely happen in the traditional arts much anymore. Especailly death matches, etc. Except maybe with the Silat players. Crazy bastards.

A few years back was the infamous Emin Boztepe dojo-storming on William Cheung (dojo or Kwoon or whatever it's generic now-a-days) in Germany is a famous example. Resulting in a serious split in the wing Chun community. Though Boztepe made himself and his art look like shit since Cheung was twice his age and the attack looked like flailing school girls.

When I started Karate in the old days there were plenty of tough guys who remembered the Karate Wars of the sixties and early seventies. People got killed during that shit. Karate had a bad reputation. So it may be good that those days are gone.

There was a time when arts like Karate and Judo were a thinking mans boxing and a fairly rough game - especially for those that had returned from being stationed Asia. But then martial arts in the 1980's kind of got silly and Hollywoodized and Martial Arts like Karate turned into daycare or catch-all "character building" exercise. Not that there is anything wrong with that... but people often assume it still has the tough-guy cache it once had. Frankly most black belts couldn't fight out of a paper bag.
posted by tkchrist at 4:01 PM on November 7, 2005 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I think I saw this on bullshido as well, and over at the jref forum as well. The guy is a nob.

It just gives ki a bad name (one I think it deserves, but that's neither here nor there).

bugbread - As an aikidoist, I'll take exception to that. But with one qualifier. I'm not part of the bandwagon that sees ki as a force you can zap your opponents with. A fellow aikidoist friend of mine explained it well. To paraphrase, Morihei Ueshiba (founder of aikido) talked about a lot of similar "wacky" things. But as a fairly uneducated fellow, this was the language he had to try to communicate things he might not have had the proper words for (leverage, fulcrum, etc.). Just a thought, but it makes sense.
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 4:03 PM on November 7, 2005


Dude, haven't you ever seen The Karate Kid?
posted by loquacious at 4:04 PM on November 7, 2005


Dude, haven't you ever seen The Karate Kid?

*to bugbread*
posted by loquacious at 4:05 PM on November 7, 2005


Oh. Dojo Storming was showing up at another School spontaneously with your ranked students and challenging another instructor - or his students to prove their shit.

Sometimes it's overt and rude like that. Other times civil and subtle. I have seen it happen.
posted by tkchrist at 4:07 PM on November 7, 2005


"This Sensei can suposivly knockout his students..and only his students Hmm. Without touching them."

Where do people learn how not to spell???
posted by pmbuko at 4:16 PM on November 7, 2005


Sounds interesting. What is it?
posted by letitrain at 2:57 PM PST on November 7 [!]


It takes many forms.
Traditionally, an envoy could be sent from one school to another. Could be a group, could be one guy. And you challenge the school's students and teacher to a fight. This could take many forms. My favorite is to run a line of students.

That is, one person from the challenging school challenges at least one student from each belt classification in succession. If you make it through them, you fight the master. If you win, he leaves town or stops teaching or acknowleges the superiority of your school, etc. If you lose you become his student, or acknowlege his superiority, etc.


It has it's roots in the Musha Shugyo (warriors journey - loose translation, sorry, I only have Dojo Japanese) of the Tokugawa era in Japan.

It's sadly gone the way of the wooden floors and makawari in the McDojos.


I come from a Gung Fu background (closer to Shaolin than Ch'an, but heavily drawing on Taoism), but we had a very strong tradition similar to Musha Shugyo. Part of the development of the art is personalizing it and learning from other arts to make a custom fit of sorts (almost like Master Fred Degerberg's school but predates it - despite what he says - . Jing Quan Tao spawned from us, not vice versa) Then you come back and teach what you've learned (given that you have accomplished anything). A black belt, traditionally, is not an accomplishment, it simply means you are a serious student. I'm still working on SmedleymanDo. Most guys my size don't figure they need martial arts or just want it for the sporting/social aspects. Or they're cops who can't use 3/4 it.


But, back in the day too, a dojo challenge could also be to the death. I suppose that's before firearms. Afterwards, anyone could kill you with the right tool, so it was meaningless as a tradition.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:17 PM on November 7, 2005


/qualifier: not that Master Degerberg is not a nice guy or does not run a quality school. One of the few old school tough guys left that tkchrist alluded to that has a decent - excellent in fact - pedigree.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:24 PM on November 7, 2005


A fellow aikidoist friend of mine explained it well. To paraphrase, Morihei Ueshiba (founder of aikido) talked about a lot of similar "wacky" things. But as a fairly uneducated fellow, this was the language he had to try to communicate things he might not have had the proper words for (leverage, fulcrum, etc.).

My school uses Chi in a largely metaphorical sense, too. Or at least I think we do. Most of us treat it firmly metaphorically and we don't talk about it in detail with the folks who seem to take it more literally. In addition to the various physics metaphors, I think it can be useful in describing intuitive but complex concepts like proper breathing and attentional focus.

The metaphor is complete hooey if taken literally, in my opinion, but it's easier to learn the stuff if you work within the metaphor, and if you don't TREAT it like hooey.
posted by gurple at 4:24 PM on November 7, 2005


"I have killed you all. This is the afterlife. Are you disappointed?"

It's just like the Slashdot afterlife, only with fewer virgins.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:32 PM on November 7, 2005


Noticed that one of the guys at the Jiujitsu school they went to was Stephan Bonnar, one of the finalists from the UFC's reality show. Not a bad fighter himself.

/no point
posted by papakwanz at 4:34 PM on November 7, 2005


Actually, I just remembered that my first jiujitsu teacher, a blue belt under ... one of the Gracies? Or maybe he was training under one of the Machado brothers... anyway, he had trained in the Dillman pressure point system. The way he described it made it sound sort of plausible, but I always have to put this stuff to the capitalism test: if it was really that good, why doesn't every fighter in the world just learn how to knock you out by touching pressure points? A facile argument, I know, but if it really was the shit, you'd think more people would be doing it.

Off-topic, and maybe the wrong place for this, but I'm curious as to tkchrist's MA experience.
posted by papakwanz at 4:39 PM on November 7, 2005


Where do people learn how not to spell???

At skool.
posted by brundlefly at 4:52 PM on November 7, 2005


The Dillman pressure point system seems to be repackaged from derivatives of Shaolin Chin Na.
Much of those are based on pain or threat of breaking rather than mechanics such as lion worships buddha using an elbow wrap for a takedown.

Mechanics always works, pain, not so much. And pressure points, while useful, are not always reliable or quick. You spend too long a time waiting for an opening, it has to be accurate, etc. Better to strike at one than use a slower technique with the fingers and so forth.

Another answer is - they do. Boxers focus for example on the upper lip and the solar plexus for knockouts as well as behind the jaw (mmmm, sweet ganglia).
posted by Smedleyman at 5:03 PM on November 7, 2005


Where do people learn how not to spell???
posted by pmbuko at 4:16 PM PST on November 7 [!]


Probably the same place they learn style over substance.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:09 PM on November 7, 2005


Bite me
posted by strawberryviagra at 5:36 PM on November 7, 2005


knock people up from a distance?

Oh..I thought you said Marital Arts.
posted by zerokey at 5:47 PM on November 7, 2005


Off-topic, and maybe the wrong place for this, but I'm curious as to tkchrist's MA experience.

AS in where and what? It's complicated.

Back when I was a kid in the seventies lot's of back yard Goju Ryu karate and YMCA boxing. It was unorganized and I never really got ranking.

In the late eighties and early nineties a trained very diligently in a wacky Tae Kwon Do/Karate/Hapkido/Wing Chun hybrid. The head instructor, a fromer Marine and Judo heavy wieght was also a karate and TKD 3rd dan and a JKD wannabe. Excellent hard-core instruction, but a hodge-podge kooky system.

I started teaching the Karate curriculum for about four years until I got disillusioned with the entire traditional forms based systems. Took 3rd in an open arts sports Jujitsu rules (pankation rules) tourney in 1997. I got my ass whupped by a smaller guy with only six months of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Saw the light. Left at what would be between Brown-belt and 1st Dan in most systems to train in a more Grapple friendly MMA climate.

Couldn't find grappling instruction. So I dabbled in boxing again. And stayed with boxing when I met some guys who did BJJ/Muay Thai through an Inosanto JKD affiliate in the mid-nineties here is Seattle.

In 1999 through that Inosanto JKD/Kali group I kooked up with an amazing martial encyclopedia of a coach, Andy Wilson (ranked as an instructor under Thai Boxing Association's Ajarn Chai Sirsuit).

We train in some MT, Sub-wrestling and Panantukan (Filipino Boxing).

Andy in 2002-03 hooked me up with a really great BJJ instructor, Brian Johnson, (just got his Machado BB from PanAm winner David Meyer) who I trade basic boxing for ground fighting.

I float between the boxing, Muay Thai, Kali (JKD) and BJJ. Been consistently training for about 14 years or so.

Not training as much as I'd like. But my wife got pretty sick of being a Dojo widow.
posted by tkchrist at 5:57 PM on November 7, 2005


My ki blast is a 454 casull.
posted by substrate at 6:17 PM on November 7, 2005


One of my own favorite martial arts conversations:

Teacher: We're all going out for dim sum after class. Would you like to come along?
Dumbass: (eyes light up) Is that like dim mak?

He didn't last very long at our school.
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 6:21 PM on November 7, 2005


Good God, local news is crap, isn't it?

My thought, exactly. From "The Power" to "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" to the quick flashes and zooms to "Does It Work Danielle?" this piece is a veritable treasure trove of what's wrong with tv news.
posted by fungible at 7:02 PM on November 7, 2005


I can't believe no one's mentioned... THE GLOW!
posted by enamon at 7:56 PM on November 7, 2005


I once knocked someone over from five feet away by flicking a booger at them.
posted by fenriq
hehe, i just wanted to make sure this was seen again.
posted by nola at 8:23 PM on November 7, 2005


More fodder for Penn & Teller!

Yay!
posted by bwg at 8:42 PM on November 7, 2005


Did anyone notice Ultimate Fighter middleweight finalist Stephan Bonner onscreen for a few seconds? They must have been at the Carlson Gracie academy.
posted by bdk3clash at 9:11 PM on November 7, 2005


Aiiyuuugit!!
posted by swift at 9:32 PM on November 7, 2005



I've avoided contact with the people there as much as possible since.

Yeah, but now they're all over the AM radio waves, raedyn. We're seeing a human stun gun cult manifest in America, with a leader that is at once increasingly deluded and increasingly cavalier.
posted by squirrel at 9:34 PM on November 7, 2005


"Who disturbs our meditation, as a pebble disturbs a pond?"

"Uh... It's me. Ed Gooberman"
posted by klangklangston at 9:51 PM on November 7, 2005


Previous discussion
posted by mr.marx at 5:55 AM on November 8, 2005


"Uh... It's me. Ed Gooberman"

It's 'Gruberman' but otherwise, highly appropriate ... oh yeah, and funny ;-)
posted by dnaworks at 10:03 AM on November 8, 2005


I love that the segment is called "Does it work Danielle?", rather than "Does it work, Danielle?"

Heheh..."Does it work Danielle?" sounds like something that she should ask herself, third person, about a recently-purchased sex aid. Ah, punctuation humor...
posted by Edgewise at 3:35 PM on November 8, 2005


I like the tae kwan leep bit. I think I heard it on Dr. Demento a while back. That vagina attacking dog tho...weird.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:24 PM on November 8, 2005


Even better than no-touch knockout:

Turn opponent into a madmen with the slightest touch

I wanted to post this as a new link, but apparently I haven't made enough (pointless) comments. Anyone know how many do I need to make?

I think the martial artists around here would like to see this and/or have related chi debates, so if anyone wants to make this a new link I'd be grateful. If anyone is still reading the comments on a two-day old post.
posted by MetaMonkey at 4:37 PM on November 10, 2005


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