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Talk:Martial arts

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I've changed some things here. One thing that I thought was strange is that people assumed because they were called "Tai Chi balls" they had some actual relationship to Tai Chi. --Just relax, and stay funny (talk) 18:01, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

Nullahnung's Edits[edit]

I do agree with ORavenhurst here. I added some things to the article to provide a more comprehensive view on martial arts than what is the aforementioned 'conventional thought' or what is focused on by aforementioned 'overexcited adolescents'. Nullahnung (talk) 11:20, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

I also have a an excellent example about unrealistic expectations that stem from martial woo! Everybody remember the Boxer Rebellion of China? Melee vs. Guns. Basically, a lot of the Wushu fighters proclaimed themselves to be bullet-proof due to their physical control. They were fatally wrong of course, as they were shot by the allied troops. I'll try to find some source on that as well, but I'm not too good on remembering some of the trustworthy sources for Chinese history. I'll add it in later. Nullahnung (talk) 11:37, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
Most of what you put in is nothing more than personal opinion, and I'm going to delete it when I can go through and sort out the opinion from the relevant material.--Token Conservative (talk) 00:57, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
That is fine. You may have a point that some of what I put is not really generally agreed upon. I will go through it again and delete the ones that I think may be problematic. If you have any other issues with the article after that, I would appreciate posting it in the talk page here, but obviously I can't demand discussion if you don't feel like discussion. Nullahnung (talk) 03:58, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
I've spent about 15 years doing what would be considered a stylized martial art, and yes, a lot of what is taught is useless as it is taught. But that is because of a disconnect between the mentality of martial arts instructors in East Asia and Western Cultures. Kata, for example, in Japan is taught directly as it is, with the assumption being that the student will learn the kata, and then figure out what it means on their own (bunkai is meant as a starting point, and nothing more). This is because in East Asia the general assumption with teaching is that the teacher gives the students the tools, and the student figures out how to use them. However, in the West, the assumption is that the teacher will give the student the tools and show them how to use them. Because of this, a lot was lost in the translation when American servicemen learned Karate, Judo, and other Japanese martial arts post-WWII. The servicemen assumed that the teaching mentality was the same, so when they were not told "now figure out what it really means", they assumed that kata was a very direct thing. So, in the West it gets mocked as useless, regardless of the lack of general understanding of what it is really about. Iain Abernethy is a great resource in this regard.
It's also worth noting that while Bruce Lee did speak out against stylized martial arts, he still did Sui Nim Tao (the first form in Wing Chun) 100 times a day, and was said to have taught the form to boxers who wanted to learn from him.
And non-stylized styles (RBSD and military combatives in particular) are probably less useful for self defense then the more stylized forms. And it's simply a matter of muscle memory. RBSD and military combatives are almost always designed to be learned and digested in a few days, no where near enough time to ingrain the techniques to muscle memory. And then congrats, you've learned it all, go out in the world and be safe! Just hope you don't get attacked a few weeks after you mastered the art of self defense. And MMA is not actually much better. Free-form competition is always limiting. Always. But if you're actually aware that what you're doing is not the same as a real world fight, you're less likely to get cocky. That's why you hear about MMA guys getting the snot beat out of them with pipes and bats: because they have zero training involving those things, but they haven't spent any time thinking about how to deal with them, because they're used to being told "this is as real as it gets"
Ultimately Martial Arts as a method of self defense is only as good as the student's understanding of what they are doing.--Token Conservative (talk) 04:34, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
Whoa, that is very interesting stuff about things being lost in translation due to the cultural divide. That would probably be a good addition to the article with a source by Iain Abernethy, if you can be bothered to write it.
Bruce Lee definitely incorporated elements of Wing Chun into his style, that is undeniable. He was probably a proponent of simply understanding what you're doing and how it can really be used, as you have stated in the end. This is a very wishy-washy way of phrasing things, though, however necessary the phrasing is to keep it truthful. That makes it hard to write anything concrete about martial arts in our article that may be relevant to the reader (well, I suppose it would caution them to not be cocky and be more critical). Not really sure how to add to the article using that. I myself have only regularly trained Thai Kickboxing for half a year and I got the impression that what I was really doing it for was just physical fitness and personal growth and not self-defense. The focus, anyway, was very much on competition and fitness, not self-defense. Nullahnung (talk) 06:08, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
The truth is ALL martial arts are useless, including gunmanship, unless you have the mindset that is willing to use them to incapactiate or kill an assailant. I've seen technically superb karateka who I would not want anywhere near me in a street fight and I've seen untrained people who I would rate above almost all martial artists any day of the week. The difference is the mindset. I've trained in TMA for 22 years now and have even at one time taught one of the Hells Angels karate. As a martial artist he was average, as an all round dangerous person he was up there with the best of them. Oldusgitus (talk) 09:50, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
"I got the impression that what I was really doing it for was just physical fitness and personal growth and not self-defense"
Throw in something about getting out of the house, and you just described 99% of martial artists. Eventually, I'll get around to including more material in this article.--Token Conservative (talk) 16:32, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

List edit by BoN[edit]

I don't think there's anything particularly wrong with what he said. Any reason why it seems ill-appropriate for us? Zero (talk) 17:35, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

Well, the stuff he/she added was about effectiveness. And then he/she listed a bunch of stuff that's used in competitions and such. Didn't really say what he/she meant with effectiveness. Was pretty vague on that. Nullahnung (talk) 20:23, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
Didn't strike me as a strong contribution either - "we are so real-world useful! Um, in competitions." BoN, anything to say? - David Gerard (talk) 22:45, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
Also, it's wrong. Lei tai in China, full contact Karate in Okinawa, randori in Japan, etc. Boxing and wrestling are actually the exception to the general rule in martial arts of 'people will beat the crap out of each other to get students'-- Token Conservative Feminist Thought Police 17:19, 12 October 2013 (UTC)

This seems more like a guide than an encyclopedia entry.[edit]

For examples, just look at the section called "What's a good martial art?" I'm not sure if this is the right place to bring this up, but it seems like a problem. Pseudoscience4prez (talk) 20:01, 22 December 2016 (UTC)


So for the record, the term "Bullshido" wasn't coined by Brian Dunning. I coined the term back in 2002 when we started the website of the same name, and registered the trademark in 2004; long before Dunning had his podcast. In fact, there was once an article for our website on RW, which seems to have subsequently been redirected here.

I wanted to post this note before I made the change, since I'm a new user here and am not familiar with the conventions. I should clarify that I'm not here to promote our site, but do feel we've earned a bit of credit in the broader Skeptics community for the work we've done for going on sixteen years.

Thanks all!

So, unless there are any objections, I'll probably rewrite this whole section. I'd obviously prefer it as a stand-alone article, especially given how extensive it'll end up being once I'm done (we have almost two decades-worth of work on the subject); but that's up to the admins. — Unsigned, by: Phrost / talk / contribs