Straight-out charlatanism isn't all that interesting to me; more intriguing are those cases where the participants genuinely believe that a supernatural power is at work.
I remember an episode of "That's Incredible" back in the '80s in which a Hwarangdo practitioner demonstrated his "light body" powers by standing on a box of eggs without breaking the eggs (hint - it's the eggshells, not the martial artist, that have extraordinary attributes). As a gag, one of the show's hosts then also stood on the eggs, obviously expecting to crush them, but in fact he succeeded just as well as the "light body" master. Hard to tell who was more surprised ...
First, I'll say that I do believe that in a lot of the examples we typically see, there's a large degree of "non-resistance" towards the attacker, and much of it is blind compliance. And I really don't believe in any kind of psychic bullshit. Now, having said that, I'll just say that I can kind-of understand in *some* circumstances how a student might justifiably just sort of go with the flow. Not in a condescending, pretend, "I'm honoring the master" kind of way. But more along the lines of recognizing that the "master" (or whatever) is merely applying enough force or pressure to make the point. My own experience goes to a few times I attended workshops with William CC Chen. In some of the push hands or free fighting or applications training, it was really only prudent to not resist too much. Not out of any misguided level of respect or condescension of William, but being able to tell that resistance was futile, and would probably end badly for me. I don't think he expected anyone to "give" him anything. You could tell if he actually had you or not. (talking primarily push hands here) and if he did, why fight it? I could try to writhe or twist out of the situation, but he could jam you up in a heartbeat and make a bad situation worse. That's not to say everyone responded to him the same way. Maybe it was just my level of development that I could tell when I was got, and knew fighting it would only make matters worse. (falling gracefully) I saw a lot of junior players get owned bad by him when he would try to go easy on them, and they didn't (or wouldn't) recognize when he exploited an opening. It wasn't a malicious thing by any means. I don't think that of him at all. It was a matter of helping them to recognize their mistakes. They wouldn't gain anything by pretending it never happened. Like when we spar poekoelan, if someone taps you in the kiwis with a knee, or gets in an elbow break, you need to recognize that or they will make sure you do the next time.
its all bullshit!!! if this were true then we dont need to send our troops to Iraq or Afghanistan.
Further on this theme, here's an account of what happened when Bartitsu founder E.W. Barton-Wright tested the supposedly supernatural powers of a vaudeville performer back in 1899.