Penn and Teller last night

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by PHILBERT, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. Simon

    Simon Moved on Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    It's a simple question, why the need for everyone to jump on cuongnhugirl's back?

    Maybe you could assist in giving an informative answer.

    Just saying.
  2. robin101

    robin101 Working the always shift.

    Fair enough. But had I asked this question a little while ago, i feel i would have been berated for not searching the site enough etc, but onwards and upwards

    Marc MAcyoung is a self defence author that used to be involved in gang crime and street violence. His gang name was animal.
  3. Please reality

    Please reality Back to basics

    Thought the show was hilarious. I was waiting to see Mr MacYoung do a demonstration and was wondering about his shirt. The things he discussed and his wife's demo were spot on though and served a good juxtaposition to the kooks P&T found.
  4. OwlMAtt

    OwlMAtt Armed and Scrupulous

    I don't usually hawk my blog on MAP, but I wrote a blog entry about this very episode a little over a year ago.

    If you want to see the whole thing, click the link in my sig and go to November of 2011. Here's a snippet:
    All in all, I think it was a very entertaining episode. I took issue with how representative they seemed to think their nutjob guests were of the whole martial arts community, but in general the points they made were all valid.
  5. 47MartialMan

    47MartialMan Valued Member

    Without the nutjob guests, it woudlnt have been entertaining :p
  6. Combat Sports

    Combat Sports Formerly What Works

    I work in alternative media and this is not the first time I have seen Penn and Teller basically pull a giant ad hominem/appeal to mockery.

    Penn like many Libertarians is well versed in the tactic of simply attacking people who espouse an idea you disagree with so that you don't have to debate the actual validity of it.

    The rest of it was typical dishonest journalism that you see on FOX and other major networks with an agenda.

    Penn strikes me as the kind of fellow who has probably never been in a fight in his whole life and would probably pee his pants if someone confronted him for any of his loud mouthed bravado. He has a black belt in arrogance.

    I think many people in this thread saw the issue, which is that they painted the entire martial arts industry with a broad brush, and I have a feeling that it comes from Penn's ego and his own dislike of an activity. So therefore he must attack said activity so that nobody thinks it's "cool".
  7. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    Penn has actually had a lot of fights - he lost them all and is pretty blunt about it. He has never thrown a punch in anger or struck anyone. he is a pacifist and lives his beliefs

    the show actually concentrated on three specific segments of MA, leaving out sporting endeavours, and made valid points that to some are unpalatable
  8. Combat Sports

    Combat Sports Formerly What Works

    Don't get me wrong, I also acknowledge that there is some of what he is talking about in the martial arts industry. But taking one negative aspect of a thing and blowing it up is not a clear picture anymore then a caricature picture is an accurate picture of a person.
  9. belltoller

    belltoller OffTopic MonstreOrdinaire Supporter

    The whole "mystic" of Martial Arts is its own undoing. Sleight of hand, card-parlor tricks, unrealistic beliefs held en masse, false, cartoon-like assumptions...the more light the thrown on it, the healthier and better off it will be in the long run.

    Its folks. Or racket-ball. Its no different than world-class racket-ball, then.

    Lets build a mystique around World-Class Racket-Ball and give MA a well-needed break for a bit...
  10. Giovanni

    Giovanni Well-Known Member Supporter

    it's been awhile since i saw that particular episode. but i remember thinking he was right. let's face it folks, most martial arts are actually complete crap. this is something we already know.
  11. Combat Sports

    Combat Sports Formerly What Works

    If it was honest journalism, they would of pointed to the negative, and then pointed to the positive. They could of taken the Bullshido stance. Instead Penn and Teller seemed to tell everyone that the best self defense solutions are non-solutions. And as some other people in this thread have articulated, left out the very real possibility that people are not going to just take your money and be satisfied.
  12. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    And they were correct.
    Just as you leave out the very real possibility of escalating an already dangerous situation by attempting to physically defend yourself with not-ready-for-prime-time self defence techniques and receiving a far more severe beating as retaliation.

    Of those 9 allegations, which ones do you disagree with?
  13. Giovanni

    Giovanni Well-Known Member Supporter

    i think your post is bordering on patronizing. yeah, some of us are going to die a violent death. welcome to reality.

    if someone is pointing a gun at you, what martial art skill are YOU going to bring to the table to make them not pull it? ki? krav maga? what exactly works? and demonstrate how the 'martial' is better than just running, at least forcing the attacker to shoot you in the back?

    i like matt's post from earlier. i consider myself an athlete who's sport happens to be brazilian jiu jitsu, and very occasionally boxing and eskrima. all the other nonsense is just that, nonsense.
  14. Combat Sports

    Combat Sports Formerly What Works

    No, they were not correct.

    I disagree with all of them. I have successfully defended myself frequently growing up where I did. I failed sometimes too. But I never benefited in the long run from surrendering. You don't have to escalate it. They will do a fine job of that themselves.

    Yes, when possible you should try to escape. Gangs get pretty good at preventing that. Yes you should try to involve the authorities. That has helped me exactly zero times in my life.

    It depends on the situation. People looking for a target for their entertainment don't stop just because you let them get what they want, which generally is a chance to show off to their peers. And demonstrating to them that you will provide them this chance by repeatedly giving up whenever they feel the need to beat someone up to demonstrate their dominance encourages them, it doesn't discourage them.


    I recognize that some schools teach "not ready for prime time self defense". The issue is that they basically engaged in dishonest journalism portraying the entire martial arts industry in that way. It was lying. Plain and simple.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2014
  15. Combat Sports

    Combat Sports Formerly What Works

    I have no idea whatsoever what was supposed to be patronizing about that.
  16. philosoraptor

    philosoraptor carnivore in a top hat Supporter


    Thanks to owlmatt for writing these up. I agree with most of them, with some caveats to 1, 2, 3 and 7.
  17. Giovanni

    Giovanni Well-Known Member Supporter

    i said bordering on patronizing, because you seem to imply that people don't realize that bad things happen to people.
  18. Giovanni

    Giovanni Well-Known Member Supporter

    maybe not the entire industry.

    in my very non-scientific opinion, i would say that 99% of what's taught as "martial arts" is in fact nonsense.
  19. Combat Sports

    Combat Sports Formerly What Works

    I misunderstood what he was referring to. Let me go ahead and address those.

    That depends entirely on the situation. If the goal of the attacker is literally to attack you, surrendering is not going to discourage them. And point of fact if it is a typical bully/gang violence situation being known as someone that is not going to fight back is a great way to encourage more of it. And encourage others who are also hoping to demonstrate how "tough" they are to do it to you as well.

    I think this is a hasty generalization. While I am certain there are many who have not, to say things like "most" without quoting actual statistics is typical FOX News kind of foolery.

    This again, was stated without any statistics to back it up. Penn and Teller engage in what they generally do, make statements while speaking with an authoritative and mocking tone without providing any sources. Ironically I read an article just the other day about an MMA fighter who thwarted a robbery. I don't think this is happening everywhere. But I have a feeling that if you compared statistics to what happens to people who actually know how to defend themselves through training in "alive" styles to the statistics to what happens to people who don't, you will see a serious difference.

    Sure. But that represents a tiny minority of the martial arts programs I have ever encountered.

    My research pointed to the Judo founder introducing it. And it was used as a tool, not a money maker. The point that places do make money on them is true. However, it's not uniformly true to the industry AT ALL. Which was another blatant lie by Penn and Teller. The place where I study Judo and BJJ is a free club, and they don't charge for belt rankings at all. The instructor is motivated by helping people and spreading the art, and he asks that you demonstrate that you can use what you have learned in competition before he will rank you. (As the Japanese do.)

    Sure. They could of talked about that and compared it with the quality training you can find to avoid that. Instead they basically just portrayed it ALL as useless. And again, that's simply a lie.

    I don't really feel this is true anymore. It certainly was at one time. But the effort to bring "alive" qualities and resistance training to the martial arts are having a serious impact on the way martial arts are being taught. The UFC and the proliferation of MMA in particular come to mind.

    I feel this was also misleading as hell. Injuries are more likely when someone engages in ANY physical activity. Including sports. They could just lay around all day like Penn and be safer I guess.

    Last edited: Jan 9, 2014
  20. Combat Sports

    Combat Sports Formerly What Works

    Yeah, I would say that is very non-scientific.

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