Thread: Anybody heard of James Hydrick?
9/27/2005 7:26pm, #1
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- Jul 2005
Anybody heard of James Hydrick?
Below, I've pasted in the text of a Wikipedia article on a guy named James Hydrick, a fraudulent martial arts instructor and psychic who gained some notoriety in the early 1980s. I did a Bullshido search for "hydrick" and didn't get any hits, so this may be the first time anybody's mentioned the guy here.
The only reason I know about him is because "Inside Kung-Fu" ran two large feature articles on him (one of them a cover story) that I may still have stashed away with the rest of my old martial arts magazines somewhere.
The URL at the end of the Wikipedia article has a lengthy piece that focuses on Hydrick's psychic B.S.
Here's the Wikipedia article...
James Hydrick was a martial arts instructor and psychic who claimed to be able to move objects with his mind.
James Hydrick's brief claim to fame arose in 1981 in Salt Lake City where he had a cult like following. He claimed he was a psychic who was able to use mind control to turn the pages of books and make pencils spin around while placed on the edge of a desk.
He had also set up martial arts classes and claimed he could pass on the gift of psychokinesis to youngsters through special training techniques.
However, he was later exposed as a fraud by investigative journalist Dan Korem who discovered Hydrick had developed an exterordinary talent for blowing small but powerful jets of air from his mouth, while showing absolutely no signs of expression or effort. To Hydrick's credit, he came clean and admitted he developed his unqiue talent while he was in prison, and didn't learn it from a Chinese master as he originally claimed.
With fame no longer an option, Hydrick's life became something of a mystery. Reports suggest that he was jailed again, only for him to escape and not be seen ever again.
9/28/2005 3:04am, #2
James Hydrick was also sent to California state prison in the mid 80's for being a child molester.
9/28/2005 10:55am, #3
Originally Posted by Bishop
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9/28/2005 12:12pm, #4
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- Oct 2004
- So Cal
James Hydrick... now that's a name I haven't heard in quite a long time. Yeah, he's a real piece of work. IKF made hime out to be some kind of misunderstood martial arts powerhouse when in reality he's a a muscle bound perverted prison bitch. It wouldn't surprise me if he's back in the slammer for molesting kids again. That guy should be castrated and choked to death with his own genitalia.
9/28/2005 11:54pm, #5
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- Jul 2005
Okay, I dug out my box of old "Inside Kung-Fu" and here's what I found:
The October '83 issue contains part one of a two-part article on Hydrick. I'm not sure which issue has the remainder of the article -- I did a quick eBay check and it appears it was not the November '83 issue. This article was written by James William Holzer, a freelance writer.
The November '88 issue has the cover story on Hydrick. This article was written by Dave Cater, who was the editor of IKF at that time.
Both of the articles are a mixture of apparent fiction and apparent fact that's mind-bending even by martial-arts magazine standards.
Part one of the Holzer article starts off describing Hydrick's sudden ascent to fame, describes some of his martial arts and psychic performances and several conflicting, wacky accounts Hydrick gave of his early life and training. It then goes on to debunk Hydrick's accounts of his life, his martial skill and his supposed psychic powers. I have no idea what's contained in the second part of the article, because when the first part ends it sounds like the story has pretty well been told.
The Cater article is much creepier, particularly in light of Bishop's post (above) stating that Hydrick spent time in prison for child molestation. This article is sort of a half-assed "redemption piece" portraying Hydrick as a reformed criminal who is more comfortable in the company of children than adults, and who may or may not have martial-arts skill and astounding psychic powers. Cater doesn't attempt to reach any conclusions.
Truly astounding bullshit abounds in both articles. My favorite assertion (from part one of the '83 article) is that the May 8, 1982 issue of the "Augusta (Georgia) Chronicle" reported that Hydrick kicked and punched through a 30-inch thick concrete wall at the Richmond County Jail in an attempt to escape. Anybody out there in Bullshido-land live in the Augusta area and have access to microfilmed copies of the "Chronicle" from that era?
The same IKF article goes on to say that Hydrick had his one and only full-contact karate match June 27, 1981 at the Salt Lake City Fairgrounds, against Rob Morely, a former Texas amateur champion. Hydrick was knocked down twice in the first round and his corner threw in the towel early in the second. That story I'm inclined to believe. Tee-hee.
The '88 article says, among other things, that in May 1987 Hydrick was sentenced to die in a South Carolina court, and that on May 10, 1987 he and four other men escaped by helicopter from South Carolina's Perry Correctional Institution, that Hydrick was recaptured a few days later and that public sympathy generated by the incident led to Hydrick being released six months later and receiving a $25,000 out-of-court settlement from the South Carolina Department of Corrections.
I don't know what else to say except that these articles contain lots more material like the stuff I've just described. I may try to track down part two of the '83 article.
Last edited by G.R. Bug; 9/29/2005 12:00am at .
9/29/2005 12:01am, #6
Dude I was living in South Carolina in those days and I remeber some newspaper article about this guy (or another child molesting escape artist martial arts expert convict)"You know what I like about you, William? You like guns AND meditation."
9/29/2005 12:03am, #7
Originally Posted by Zendetta
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- Jul 2005
9/29/2005 12:20am, #8
Only very vaguely - there was an article in the local paper ("The State") about a prisoner who had attempted escape. I think he tried to bust thru a wall, and also mentioned that he was a child molester and martial arts expert.
My friend (the one with all the ninja magazines) had heard more - that the prison guards called him 'Rambo' and that he picked the lock on his handcuffs (?!?!). We thought he was totally rad, except for the child molesting bit which disqualified him from real coolness.
Could have been anyone, but the '80s SC connection is weird."You know what I like about you, William? You like guns AND meditation."
9/29/2005 12:49am, #9
I remember Hydrick's appearances on "That's Incredible" and the Danny Korem expose documentary back in the early '80s. Very complicated guy ... his breath control feats were truly amazing, even when explained as magic tricks. As far as I can remember he was mostly self taught as a martial artist and he demonstrated some impressive athletic skills along the lines of high jumping kicks, blindfolded chi sau sparring, etc. On the other hand he obviously couldn't lie straight in bed and he was a major fantasist. I hadn't come across the child molestation accusations before, although I know he was in and out of prison since he was a kid.
9/29/2005 2:11am, #10
Hydrick may still be in a California prison. His conviction was around 1988. I remember the cover story coming out around the same time. I had seen him at the Long Beach Internationals that year with a bunch of preteens hanging around with him. I later found out that he had molested some of those kids the weekend he took them to the Internationals.