The Cult Of Make Believe

The inaugural Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) event, held on November 12, 1993, at the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, Colorado, marked the beginning of a new era in combat sports. The tournament-style event aimed to determine the most effective martial art by pitting practitioners of different disciplines against each other in no-holds-barred fights.

One of the memorable moments of that first UFC event was a match between a “sumo” wrestler and an aging Kyokushinkai black belt. The sumo wrestler, Teila Tuli, stepped into the Octagon with his formidable size and strength, while the karateka, Gerard Gordeau from the Netherlands, brought his skills and experience to the fight.

As the match began, it became evident that Gordeau was not intimidated by his opponent’s size. He quickly closed the distance and unleashed a powerful knee strike, aiming at Tuli’s face. The impact of the knee strike was devastating, knocking out two of Tuli’s teeth and leaving him unable to continue the fight. It was a clear demonstration of the effectiveness of striking techniques in the context of mixed martial arts.

Hallelujah. Boom, it’s new era. Everything changed. Or did it?

Fast forward to today. In a high school gym near you, a rather unconventional performance unfolds. On one side, there is an out-of-shape individual claiming to possess the ability to knock out opponents with a mere touch, known as the “master of no-touch death.” On the other side, a former operative from Spetsnaz, Russia’s elite special operations unit, showcases his skills by evading attacks from rubber knives and guns. The performance elicits a mix of comedy and appreciation from the small audience who have paid their admission fee in hard currency, not Rubles.

It’s important to note that the concept of a “master of no-touch death” is widely regarded as pseudoscience and is not recognized or accepted by the martial arts community. The claim that one can incapacitate or kill an opponent without any physical contact is met with skepticism and often dismissed as unfounded.

Similarly, while Spetsnaz is a real special operations unit within the Russian military, the idea of a former operative demonstrating his skills in a high school gym for entertainment purposes seems far-fetched. Special operations units are highly trained and operate in covert and sensitive missions, and their techniques are not typically showcased in public performances.

The comedic nature of the performance suggests that it is intended as a form of entertainment rather than a serious display of martial arts or combat skills. The audience, although small, seems to appreciate the spectacle and is willing to pay for the experience. Such events, often referred to as “martial arts seminars” or “combat training camps” can be found in various places around the world and cater to different tastes and interests of the fringes.

It’s important to approach such performances with a critical eye and understand that they may not accurately represent the true principles and capabilities of martial arts or special operations units. While they may provide amusement and entertainment value, they should not be mistaken for authentic displays of combat skills or training.

The practice of completely fake martial arts can be attributed to various reasons. Some individuals may be unaware that the martial art they are practicing is fake, as they may have been misled by fraudulent instructors or organizations. Others may be drawn to the allure of mystical or supernatural claims associated with these martial arts, such as extraordinary powers or secret techniques. Additionally, some people may enjoy the theatrical aspect of fake martial arts, treating them as a form of entertainment rather than a practical self-defense system. P. T. Barnum famously said, “There’s a Sucker Born Every Minute”. A bit of needed humor here. However, it is important to note that practicing fake martial arts can lead to a false sense of security and may not provide actual self-defense skills.

Gambarimasho ~ C.Borkowski