ON EMPTY FORCE -or- Advanced Martial Arts & Magical Thinking vs Actual Magic

This subject involves reality being affected by concentrated force of will & is considered pure fraud by academics.

But this subject also involves a conflation of a real phenomenon & magical thinking.

In Advanced Martial Arts there’s a concept called “Empty Force”. It involves attacking an opponent without making physical contact, essentially striking someone at a distance across an open empty space. There are tons of videos on YouTube purporting to show demos of this “power”.

If you know what I’m talking about then you’re thinking of how obviously fake these demos are. 100% correct, but not for the reason you might assume.

The Empty Force demos are real, but the explanation of what is happening/why it happens by the teacher & students is wrong.

They propose that the teacher strikes the student or students with pure Qi; an invisible energy blast that is irresistable.

No. That is very much not what’s happening.

There are two different effects in play, both being reffered to as Empty Force, & both usually mistaken for a Dragonball style energy wave blast. The reality, to me, is much more interesting, because of the differences & implications of both.

Displays of Empty Force can be divided into two types:

1) Only Work on Students, ineffective against random people

2) Only work on people who have been trained, ineffective against untrained dorks

Both types have a particular complaint in common. It’s the most heard complaint about any & all Martial Arts skills: “But that doesn’t work on EVERYBODY all the time!”

Nothing is 100% effective. So this is a garbage complaint. This is MAGICAL THINKING.

As for the two types of Empty Force, this garbage complaint is still irrelevant. The fact that a given technique or strategy has conditions under which I can operate effectively does not suddenly negate that effectiveness.

Everything has advantage & disadvantage within.

Type 1 Empty Force can only be demonstrated in a situation where students pedestalize their teacher.

It’s a combination of idol worship & intimidation.

That’s why it never works on randos. If you aren’t dazzled by the teacher, he’s just a guy making weird faces at you.

Type 2 Empty Force can only be demonstrated on individuals with a sufficient amount of combat training.

It’s a result of two developed Qi interacting competitively.

What does that mean?

When you spend a great deal of time on a subject you inevitably develop a task specific intuition.

This is not the mythological intuition that goofballs talk about.

It’s real intuition; DEVELOPED intuition.

When learning to fight, one of the fundamental skills acquired is the ability to read body language & extrapolate intent.

Type 2 exploits this to trigger preemptive or inappropriate reactions, thereby creating opportunities for psychologically devastating counterattacks.

This is the reason Type 2 Empty Force only works on another Martial Artist. Random people have no developed intuition to exploit. No developed intuition means no opportunity to misdirect.


Type 2 Empty Force is feinting on a higher level than regular people operate on. So when they see it in action it confuses them. They need an explanation. So they create one.

Because they have no direct experience of the subject (Martial Arts) they tend to magical explanations.

All magical thinking is this way:

•a principle is at work

•person does not understand principle

•person creates explanations to fill the ignorance gap

The level of a person’s psychological maturity & life experience directly influences the realism of the explanation.

Goofballs create goofy explanations.

Children create childish explanations.

See Clarke’s Three Laws to understand the scope better.

It’s not that “magic” isn’t real. It’s that “magic” is the word we use for something that clearly happens, clearly works, but for reasons & according to principles that we have no knowledge of.

For this reason, you shouldn’t discount seemingly fantastic occurrences. Keep an open mind. Just be sure to stay grounded, without getting swept away by projection.

Join the Sickness Kung Fu Email List for more like this. As your e-dad I will do my best to lovingly beat you until you gain wisdom & clarity.


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