Penn & Teller: Bullshit! “Martial Arts” is the latest episode of this dynamic duo’s myth-busting series. As you can guess from the name, it covers some of the myths you find in martial arts. Before you look at the video below, some thoughts:
To a certain extent, this episode confirms some clichés:
- There is bullshit in the martial arts. Just look at the tai chi/chi kung lady. Let’s just say I think she has strayed from the path…
- There is some good stuff too. Marc gives sound advice, as usual. Though I do think Dianna should have worn the T-shirt I gave her for her board breaking demo… :-)
- Nekkid women always liven up a show, even if the topic doesn’t justify their presence. I’m not complaining though…
On the other hand, I get the feeling Mike Reeves and Damian Ross have been made to look bad due to some fancy editing. If you didn’t know already: TV-producers can make you look either great or like a total, flaming asshole just by how they edit the raw footage. That’s just how it works. Depending on the purpose of the show and the script, they’ll pick a certain role for you and make sure you look the part. They’ll even steer you in a certain direction during filming to make sure they get the footage they need to twist things around on what you actually showed or said.
So I’m not convinced these other people actually are as bad as the show paints them. Maybe I’m wrong, who knows? Regardless of that, you have to agree it makes for some good TV.
Now you might wonder why I don’t cut the tai chi lady the same slack. Well, I’ve been training in Chinese arts for over two decades now and don’t really appreciate “her kind” of teachers. Every time I start to teach somebody tai chi chuan, I have to go up against the bullshit ideas such people spread. It’s a losing battle and it annoys me.
Another point is how they overemphasize certain aspects. The board breaking is taken totally out of context and made to look like it’s retarded as hell. Personally, I’m not into it but that doesn’t make it useless. It has it’s time and place. But Penn & Teller made sure it didn’t come off that way, which makes me wonder about the research they put into the shows.
So all in all, not the greatest show on martial arts ever. But not the worst one either. Anyway, here’s the video.