Friday, June 23, 2017

"If you want to be believe you can always be fooled."

It’s Aliveness – Still | Matt Thornton': "Always remember that fighting, and by extension, fighting methods/training epistemologies, are empirically testable things. Any competent blue belt who wasn’t a cooperating stooge, but instead acting as the one thing every functional system needs as a correcting mechanism – a resisting opponent – would prove, repeatedly, that what you’re witnessing in the video above was little more than delusion made physical. And repeated experiments of many different sorts could verify these conclusions. 

...areas of claimed proficiency can be tested, and those tests can be repeated, safely, humanely, and without anyone getting seriously hurt (beyond perhaps, their pride). So if we settle on the fact that we are looking at the Martial Arts equivalent of Scientology, then it must just be about the money, right? 

...people who buy into this sort of Martial Arts superstition, like people who spend tens of thousands on Scientology, must be a bit dim. But that proposition, that superstition requires stupidity, is little more than faulty logic. I don’t think Mitt Romney is stupid. In fact, I think he’s an extremely intelligent man. However, as a Mormon (and we have every reason to believe he’s sincere in his faith), Mitt Romney also believes in a creator God who lives on a planet (or near a star) named Kolob. Uri Geller was very obviously, a shitty con man and magician. Yet he had physicists, research institutes, and heads of state believing he had “psychic powers”. That is, until he was exposed by the people qualified to expose him, other magicians (the Amazing Randi), on the Johnny Carson show...

Is it so hard to think that someone could have years of experience with functional Martial Arts, and still be taken in by some well-spoken huckster who uses the Martial Arts equivalent of carnival tricks? One of the reasons I continue to talk about Aliveness is because you don’t have to be dumb to fall for Martial Arts delusion; you just have to have one or more of the two following afflictions – a lack of understanding as to what Aliveness actually is, and or, a desire to believe. The first I can help fix. The second I cannot. Some people really want a magic bullet...

There are some profound lessons there. Lessons all of us need to remember. If you want to be believe you can always be fooled. If you want a magic bullet there will always be someone who will sell you one. And if you’re arrogant enough to believe that your failure of imagination is an insight into necessity – then you too may end up falling for the absurd. Hubris and nescience frequently come as a team...

Life is short. Time is precious. And truth always matters. So why do I care? I care because at their worst, fantasy based Martial Arts like Systema are dangerous. And at their best fantasy based Martial Arts like Systema are impoverishing. Dangerous because they pretend to teach people how to deal with things like guns, knives, and violent attackers. And impoverishing because they waste peoples time giving them make believe answers where proven solutions exist. Who are they most dangerous and most impoverishing for? Those who need help the most – the weak. I’m not worried that the Jocko Willinks of the world will be taken in by Martin Wheeler’s Systema secrets. But that chubby guy who keeps falling over himself as he haplessly pretends to get a grip on Wheeler, he will be. And that’s why the message is Aliveness – still."

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