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  1. theotherserge is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/15/2009 10:49am

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I'm disappointed! 18? Pshaw...

    From what the old man told us, the Soviets experimented with every aspect of human engineering that they could. There's a sensible aspect of hypnosis as a mental conditioning tool, then there's the far less plausible combat application...

    I've never gotten any sense of BS from Vlad (3 seminars). He never did the suggestibility thing here, but he does use alot of feint/flinch/react and psych-out gestures. He's extremely good at what he does, by then you see everyone trying to puzzle thru the work and it's IMO irresponsible if they think it's teaching them to fight barehanded vs a knife.

    Well, not everyone. There are alot of experienced ma people that have a level of awareness necesary to fight/spar in such a fluid, open stance/no-stance kind of way. Like Liam Neeson in Taken...
    Many things we do naturally become difficult only when we try to make them intellectual subjects. It is possible to know so much about a subject that you become totally ignorant.
    -Mentat Text Two (dicto)
  2. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/15/2009 11:05am

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Little Lamb View Post
    I understand that context can be critical. I am basing my opinion on this video excerpt.
    In that case, for all you (or I) know, this excerpt might have been proceeded by a detailed explanation in purely pragmatic psychological terms. If you take the time to watch Vasiliev's instructional material in context (full DVD, seminar, etc.) he typically takes great pains to explain this sort of thing in detail and without any reference to supernatural powers.

    Point being, to watch this excerpt and assume "telekinetic yellow bamboo BS" is to jump to conclusions.
  3. BackFistMonkey is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/15/2009 1:47pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR View Post
    In that case, for all you (or I) know, this excerpt might have been proceeded by a detailed explanation in purely pragmatic psychological terms. If you take the time to watch Vasiliev's instructional material in context (full DVD, seminar, etc.) he typically takes great pains to explain this sort of thing in detail and without any reference to supernatural powers.
    Hmmm ... it sounds like he is defensive .

    I have found that most martial art techniques ( that work reliably and/or are considered high percentage ) are pretty simple in theory and execution . The "complicated" bits tend to be layers of basic ideas and principles i.e. keeping your hands up and striking .
    Point being, to watch this excerpt and assume "telekinetic yellow bamboo BS" is to jump to conclusions.
    Compliance sucks when demonstrating the effectiveness and methods of a technique ...

    ... if it is compliant it is ( in my mind ) a demo , like a spinning hook kick knife disarm .

    No more no less .

    Unfortunately most of the Systema videos I have seen focus on compliance and seem to tactfully avoid anything I could use a yard stick .

    ... except for some of the stuff a few guys have brought to a few Throwdowns in the past . The performance of the practitioners ranged from " LOL , AN INSTRUCTOR JUST SCORED A DRAW IN THE WORST SLAPFIGHT EVER , AGAINST A WING CHUN NOOB " all the way to some very respectable skills and attitudes .

    .
    Quote Originally Posted by Bodhi108 View Post
    Nuke a unborn gay whale for Christ.
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  4. Mtripp is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/15/2009 1:53pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR View Post
    In that case, for all you (or I) know, this excerpt might have been proceeded by a detailed explanation in purely pragmatic psychological terms. If you take the time to watch Vasiliev's instructional material in context (full DVD, seminar, etc.) he typically takes great pains to explain this sort of thing in detail and without any reference to supernatural powers.

    Point being, to watch this excerpt and assume "telekinetic yellow bamboo BS" is to jump to conclusions.
    BULL Capital S with a HIT.

    He has claimed to be able to tell the color of paper, blindfolded, by touch alone.

    He has claimed to be able to knock people down without touching them.

    Years ago I offered him my check for $1000 if he could do the paper stunt with one control in place. All I got were threats.

    Randi offered him one million if he could do it, again, no reply.

    So excuse me if I scoff at the fatuous claim that there is no pretense of "psychic" powers here.
  5. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/15/2009 3:13pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by BackFistMonkey View Post

    Unfortunately most of the Systema videos I have seen focus on compliance and seem to tactfully avoid anything I could use a yard stick .

    .
    YouTube - Systema Sparring

    ... but this is going over very old ground, for me anyway.
  6. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/15/2009 3:51pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtripp View Post
    BULL Capital S with a HIT.

    He has claimed to be able to tell the color of paper, blindfolded, by touch alone.

    He has claimed to be able to knock people down without touching them.

    Years ago I offered him my check for $1000 if he could do the paper stunt with one control in place. All I got were threats.

    Randi offered him one million if he could do it, again, no reply.

    So excuse me if I scoff at the fatuous claim that there is no pretense of "psychic" powers here.
    Andecdotal evidence is worth the paper it's written on - specific cites, in context, please. Actually, if Randi got involved, you should probably take this up on the MABS board as well.

    Incidentally, I did not say that there was no pretense of psychic powers in Systema, even though I did investigate this in some depth, years ago, and didn't find any such pretense. I said that watching the recent clip out of context and assuming that it was demonstration of telekinesis was jumping to conclusions.

    After digging on a number of the more outrageous "psychic powers" claims in 2005-6, for example, I made contact with Trevor Robinson, the author of the original article that made those claims. That article was entitled "Mind Warrior" and appeared in a British martial arts magazine in the year 2000. At that time, Robinson was a Systema novice with a couple of weeks of training, and he admitted that he had been under pressure from the editors of the magazine he was writing for and had filled in the blanks of his own experience with "bioplasmic energy theories" put to paper by a Russian scientist who had no connection to Systema at all.

    The various "psychic" exercises cited in Mr. Robinson's article were, in fact, derived from a question and answer section in a Systema handbook, in which Mr. Vasiliev was translated as describing some of the experiments he had been ordered to take part in while serving in the Russian army. According to RobG, who contributed a great deal to the Systema threads a few years ago, Vasiliev had told him that he (Vasiliev) was punished for being unable to sense the difference between pieces of colored paper while blindfolded; he further said that no-one in his unit had been able to do that.

    Either way, the historical context is of the '70s and '80s "mind wars" tests being carried out in both the US and USSR militaries - I highly recommend Jon Ronson's book, "The Men who Stare at Goats", for a fascinating insight into what the US Army was doing along those lines at that time. As far as I have been able to determine, such exercises have never been part of the Systema curriculum.
  7. Little Lamb is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/15/2009 6:27pm


     Style: Judo

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by DdlR View Post
    In that case, for all you (or I) know, this excerpt might have been proceeded by a detailed explanation in purely pragmatic psychological terms. If you take the time to watch Vasiliev's instructional material in context (full DVD, seminar, etc.) he typically takes great pains to explain this sort of thing in detail and without any reference to supernatural powers.

    Point being, to watch this excerpt and assume "telekinetic yellow bamboo BS" is to jump to conclusions.

    True. I am jumping to conclusions. But I stick to my conclusion until the context you mentioned materializes. As I said before, chicanery is the most likely based on this video I saw. I am holding open the possibility that other evidence will put the entire excerpt in a less mystical light, but I cannot imagine what context could possibly explain the instructors words as translate by the student.
  8. Little Lamb is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/15/2009 6:33pm


     Style: Judo

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Mtripp View Post
    BULL Capital S with a HIT.

    He has claimed to be able to tell the color of paper, blindfolded, by touch alone.

    He has claimed to be able to knock people down without touching them.

    Years ago I offered him my check for $1000 if he could do the paper stunt with one control in place. All I got were threats.

    Randi offered him one million if he could do it, again, no reply.

    So excuse me if I scoff at the fatuous claim that there is no pretense of "psychic" powers here.

    The Amazing Randi is aware of Russian Systema? Excellent!

    Does he also know about those crazy Chi nuts who touch their master and start hopping around like electrified monkeys? I'd love to see Randi stomp them.
  9. Mtripp is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/15/2009 6:57pm

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    <<<Andecdotal evidence is worth the paper it's written on - specific cites, in context, please. Actually, if Randi got involved, you should probably take this up on the MABS board as well.>>>

    You sir, have no idea who you are speaking to.

    I have the issue of "Combat" where the interview with Vlad states his "powers" and even includes a picture of his "psychic punch." When I ran the Judo forum of the Underground this came up, and somewhere on this site under "flim flam" are the actual posts from then. So, with all due respect, I have been down this path before. Go look them up.

    <<<Incidentally, I did not say that there was no pretense of psychic powers in Systema, even though I did investigate this in some depth, years ago, and didn't find any such pretense. I said that watching the recent clip out of context and assuming that it was demonstration of telekinesis was jumping to conclusions.>>>

    Phui. His own ads for tapes talk about "psychic combat." Have you seen troopa? I have, and I have it. Once again someone has not does what they said they would, because months ago I was assured everyone would have seen it by now. When I get troopa out there for everyone to see, we can revisit this.

    <<<After digging on a number of the more outrageous "psychic powers" claims in 2005-6, for example, I made contact with Trevor Robinson, the author of the original article that made those claims. That article was entitled "Mind Warrior" and appeared in a British martial arts magazine in the year 2000. At that time, Robinson was a Systema novice with a couple of weeks of training, and he admitted that he had been under pressure from the editors of the magazine he was writing for and had filled in the blanks of his own experience with "bioplasmic energy theories" put to paper by a Russian scientist who had no connection to Systema at all.>>>

    The problem with this new "evidence" is that not once did Vlad write the mag and say print a retraction. Nor have he EVER refuted the claims made there. Again, I have seen Troopa. Also, as I said years ago on the flim flam thread, why make tapes with the word "psychic" on them if you are not making the claim?

    <<<The various "psychic" exercises cited in Mr. Robinson's article were, in fact, derived from a question and answer section in a Systema handbook, in which Mr. Vasiliev was translated as describing some of the experiments he had been ordered to take part in while serving in the Russian army. According to RobG, who contributed a great deal to the Systema threads a few years ago, Vasiliev had told him that he (Vasiliev) was punished for being unable to sense the difference between pieces of colored paper while blindfolded; he further said that no-one in his unit had been able to do that.>>>

    Interesting, and kinda late. It for sure comes AFTER I challenged him to tell the color BEHIND HIS BACK. He did it very well, blindfolded, and looking down his nose. For some reason his powers failed when I wanted it done behind him. Moreover, Igor Yakimov was a Russian Special Forces Solider, yet he was never asked to do any of those things. Odd isn't it? Then again, we have Troopa.

    <<<Either way, the historical context is of the '70s and '80s "mind wars" tests being carried out in both the US and USSR militaries - I highly recommend Jon Ronson's book, "The Men who Stare at Goats", for a fascinating insight into what the US Army was doing along those lines at that time. As far as I have been able to determine, such exercises have never been part of the Systema curriculum.>>>

    EXCEPT for tapes he sells that make the claim, and the insane Troopa videos.

    Now, I have a question I'd like answered?

    When I was in the Army, at the height of the cold war, we knew all about Sambo. And we knew Sambo was the official russian military combat system. I NEVER heard the term "Systema."

    The first time I heard it was then the KGBeast fought Batman in the comic books and he used something called "The System." I have always thought it strange, being a guy who is up on his MA history; that the term Systema was not in public MA usage untill AFTER those Batman comic books.

    Strange, isn't it?
  10. DdlR is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/15/2009 9:30pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtripp View Post
    <<<Andecdotal evidence is worth the paper it's written on - specific cites, in context, please. Actually, if Randi got involved, you should probably take this up on the MABS board as well.>>>

    You sir, have no idea who you are speaking to.
    That's part of why I'm asking for more than anecdotal evidence.

    I have the issue of "Combat" where the interview with Vlad states his "powers" and even includes a picture of his "psychic punch." When I ran the Judo forum of the Underground this came up, and somewhere on this site under "flim flam" are the actual posts from then. So, with all due respect, I have been down this path before. Go look them up.
    In searching for the term "flim flam" I've found a post by you, dated 2/18/2009, that includes a long series of messages apparently cross-posted from other forum discussions and emails during 2000, some of which are relevant to what we're discussing here.

    In that thread, you made extensive reference to the "Combat" article, which, as I have said, was written by a (then) Systema novice who confused some of the "psychic" experiments the Russian military was running during the '80s with Systema training. Robinson also later admitted to having "filled in the blanks" by referring to bioplasmic energy theory, which has no connection to Systema at all; he was under pressure to produce the article and figured it wouldn't hurt. You also referred to the "tropa" video, which I'm looking forward to seeing.

    For general reference, the thread is here - No BS Martial Arts - View Single Post - Flim Flam

    <<<Incidentally, I did not say that there was no pretense of psychic powers in Systema, even though I did investigate this in some depth, years ago, and didn't find any such pretense. I said that watching the recent clip out of context and assuming that it was demonstration of telekinesis was jumping to conclusions.>>>

    Phui. His own ads for tapes talk about "psychic combat." Have you seen troopa? I have, and I have it. Once again someone has not does what they said they would, because months ago I was assured everyone would have seen it by now. When I get troopa out there for everyone to see, we can revisit this.[/QUOTE]

    OK.

    <<<After digging on a number of the more outrageous "psychic powers" claims in 2005-6, for example, I made contact with Trevor Robinson, the author of the original article that made those claims. That article was entitled "Mind Warrior" and appeared in a British martial arts magazine in the year 2000. At that time, Robinson was a Systema novice with a couple of weeks of training, and he admitted that he had been under pressure from the editors of the magazine he was writing for and had filled in the blanks of his own experience with "bioplasmic energy theories" put to paper by a Russian scientist who had no connection to Systema at all.>>>

    The problem with this new "evidence" is that not once did Vlad write the mag and say print a retraction. Nor have he EVER refuted the claims made there. Again, I have seen Troopa. Also, as I said years ago on the flim flam thread, why make tapes with the word "psychic" on them if you are not making the claim?
    As I suggested years ago (either the first or second Bullshido megathreads on this subject), in my opinion "psychic" was a godawful translation of what would better be described as "psych-out". It's the difference between claiming "I can move another person with magic" and "I can make someone move through trickery/feints/etc." Incidentally, the same point was made by several other people in your Flim Flam thread.

    At the time Robinson's "Combat" article was released, Vasiliev's English was pretty marginal; he may have seen the article, or not; may have understood it, or not; may have figured it wasn't worth worrying about, etc. Perhaps he figured that "psychic" was as good a word as any to describe that aspect of his training ("of the psyche"), not realizing that it implies pseudo-science and chicanery in colloquial English. All of that is speculation on our parts.

    The TRS Direct promo for one of the earlier Systema DVDs used the term "psychic combat" in the voiceover soundtrack, as the video image showed Mikhail Ryabko doing a non-contact (and, overtly, non-mystical) movement exercise with a student. Full credit to TRS, they were obviously aiming for controversy towards selling a bunch of DVDs, and they got it; the impression given to any casual viewer was the Ryabko was supposedly pushing the student around with telekinesis. The fact that this type of exercise is about as "magical" as a tomato sandwich is not obvious unless you've actually seen it demonstrated and explained in context.

    <<<The various "psychic" exercises cited in Mr. Robinson's article were, in fact, derived from a question and answer section in a Systema handbook, in which Mr. Vasiliev was translated as describing some of the experiments he had been ordered to take part in while serving in the Russian army. According to RobG, who contributed a great deal to the Systema threads a few years ago, Vasiliev had told him that he (Vasiliev) was punished for being unable to sense the difference between pieces of colored paper while blindfolded; he further said that no-one in his unit had been able to do that.>>>

    Interesting, and kinda late. It for sure comes AFTER I challenged him to tell the color BEHIND HIS BACK. He did it very well, blindfolded, and looking down his nose. For some reason his powers failed when I wanted it done behind him. Moreover, Igor Yakimov was a Russian Special Forces Solider, yet he was never asked to do any of those things. Odd isn't it? Then again, we have Troopa.
    I'm looking forward to seeing it. In the meantime, as far as I know, things like Goat Lab and MKUltra were not exactly common knowledge in the US armed services, even during their glory days (and I use that term very loosely).

    <<<Either way, the historical context is of the '70s and '80s "mind wars" tests being carried out in both the US and USSR militaries - I highly recommend Jon Ronson's book, "The Men who Stare at Goats", for a fascinating insight into what the US Army was doing along those lines at that time. As far as I have been able to determine, such exercises have never been part of the Systema curriculum.>>>

    EXCEPT for tapes he sells that make the claim, and the insane Troopa videos.

    Now, I have a question I'd like answered?

    When I was in the Army, at the height of the cold war, we knew all about Sambo. And we knew Sambo was the official russian military combat system. I NEVER heard the term "Systema."

    The first time I heard it was then the KGBeast fought Batman in the comic books and he used something called "The System." I have always thought it strange, being a guy who is up on his MA history; that the term Systema was not in public MA usage untill AFTER those Batman comic books.

    Strange, isn't it?
    [/QUOTE]

    I guess so. Personally, I doubt that the term "Systema" in this context much pre-dates the 1980s, and I think that the System itself is an evolution of Spiridonov's SAMOZ, fractured and re-combined in and out of various SAMBO applications for several decades before it went public. I have no idea whether the name was inspired by a Batman comic book - stranger things have happened, I guess - but it seems far-fetched.

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