Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the
world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to
over 16,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a
wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history,
humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.
If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced
features available, you will need to register first. Registration is
absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!
A blog written from the point of view of a martial arts beginner, which I am. You can find the full blog at http://yghmartialarts.blogspot.com. Here on AikiWeb, I'll post only those entries which are relevant to aikido.
From time to time, I enjoy catching an episode of Penn and Teller's cable television show Bullshit!. For those of you who don't know, Bullshit! involves the popular illusionist duo picking something they find dishonest, underhanded, or just plain wrong, and tearing it apart with all the wit and humor they can muster--which is a considerable amount. I don't always agree with the things they have to say (Penn and Teller are staunch atheists and libertarians), but I always enjoy hearing them say it.
Over the past few years, Bullshit! has taken on conspiracy theories, religious movements, pieces of legislation, political organizations, and New Age fads, just to name a few. Their commentary is caustic, irreverent, and usually heavily laced with profanity (as the name of the show might suggest).
It was with some trepidation that I recently sought out a particular episode that I'd read about on a martial arts message board. It turns out Penn and Teller had done a Bullshit! on the martial arts. I had to find it, of course, but the idea of Penn and Teller tearing into one of my favorite activities certainly made me nervous.
Would Penn and Teller tell me that my training is, well, bullshit? Would their show be ruined for me forever? Worse, would they challenge my belief in the validity and usefulness of my martial arts training? I almost couldn't bear to watch. But, of course, I did.
In their 30-minute attempt to burst the bubble of the martial arts mystique, Penn and Tell