Mystic martial arts hoaxers.
To be fair, I think these people do at least partially believe that this is real.
If you’re my age, you probably remember the ads in the back of comic books promising martial arts skills and near magic powers via correspondence courses, or even a single book or pamphlet. As a kid, a skinny kid who was often bullied in one way or another, I wished those things were true. As a slightly older kid and an adult, I knew they weren’t really true. I think a part of me still wanted to believe them, but, by the time I was in college, I knew they weren’t anything more than wishful thinking. Or, maybe, at best, a metaphor for a way of looking at how the martial arts fit into a larger world. And, don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of things about martial arts I really love. But, like anything that’s popular and been around for a long time, there are plenty of people looking to take advantage.
So, today, in that spirit, I bring you The Bizarre World of Fake Martial Arts. It’s about 30 minutes and worth every second. It starts by looking at some of the stranger, and funnier, fake martial artists from the 70’s and goes all the way to the Chinese MMA fighter showing that all too many of the modern Chinese martial arts masters are, well, not quite able to deliver on some of their promises to potential students. There’s a lot packed into a 30 minute video and I’m grateful to Boing Boing for bringing it to my attention. And, now yours.