The Madness of Make Believe Martial Arts

May 3, 2024 | Sports, Videos

The martial arts community has been around for centuries, with some of the oldest and most revered martial arts being passed down through generations. From karate to judo, tae kwon do to jujitsu, and even more obscure styles such as dim mak and ninjutsu – these fighting forms have captivated minds of all ages. Unfortunately, with the rising popularity of these ancient practices in the Western world, the prevalence of charlatans, scammers and con artists has also increased.

One notable example from the 1970s is Count Dante (born John Keehan), a former marine who claimed to have secret knowledge of ‘Dim Mak’ or ‘Poison Hand’ technique. He sold booklets containing what he purported to be ancient fighting secrets – but was later revealed to be just an Irish-American hairdresser. While he did possess a black belt in Karate and had won many competitions, his lack of genuine knowledge was uncovered soon enough.

In the 1980s and 1990s Ashida Kim (or Radford Davis) made a name for himself claiming to be an expert ninja – selling books such as Ninja Secrets of Invisibility, Ninja Mind Control and even some Ninja erotica! Steven Seagal was another actor who came into prominence in this time period due to his Aikido black belt background – appearing in B-movies such as Under Siege – though later allegations of sexual misconduct against women cast doubt on his tough guy image. Charlie Zelenov proclaimed himself ‘the greatest boxer alive’ but ended up becoming a Kim Kardashian/Nicki Minaj stalker – attacking random people on the street! Lastly we have EFO or Empty Force Martial Arts which promised no touch techniques that could stop opponents with Jedi-like inner power – though these claims were quickly debunked when viewed on YouTube videos.

Given this shady history of martial arts fraudsters, it’s easy to see why skeptics may avoid learning any form of combat skills – not wanting to be fooled by yet another fake guru or hoax technique. For those interested in finding reputable teachers however – there is thankfully plenty out there! A great way to get started is by watching documentaries about martial arts such as ‘Kung Fu Masters: Inside The Shaolin Temple’ which profiles some legendary practitioners and explores their paths towards mastery in depth. Watching films like this will give you an understanding of how real masters train their minds and bodies – something that any serious martial artist should strive for.

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David B