Kung Fu
Kung Fu
Shutterstock / Microgen

The Controversial -

At the time I started studying martial arts in 1990, there were mainly just stories of incredible feats by martial art masters, or occasional grainy VHS footage, usually of a master shrugging off a scrum of assailants with ease. Now, with the seemingly infinite library of YouTube, there is an endless array of fantastical videos of “documented” evidence of chi masters doing what was previously only seen in movies. Undoubtedly, the reader has seen some of these videos as well. A touch, like the Vulcan death grip, sends an opponent to the ground helpless. A stern expression and shaking hands send invisible waves of energy at a group of participants that, as if on cue, fall over like bowling pins. For some, seeing is believing, for others the famous quote from Carl Sagan seems appropriate: “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

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