The Bias of Ignorance

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The Bias of Ignorance

Postby Rick Wilson » Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:39 pm

The Bias of Ignorance

A short while ago a post was made on a martial arts FB page of a Taiji practitioner demonstrating a principle in a short clip. The person posting the clip attacked him for showing phoney Qi powers. Now there are plenty of phoney Qi videos with no touch BS etc. but this was not one of them.

The clip was setting up and isolating a few simple principles. The practitioner moved his centre to create a tension chain in his partner then moved again to use that tension chain to compress both their tendons (read as the total of the body’s elasticity) and then he moved his partner into a void and when his partner’s structure broke the compressed tendons released and “bounced” his partner away.

I pointed this out and said he never said it was Qi and he was using some basic principles. It was set up to demonstrate the principles so it wasn’t done as a dynamic self defence scenario.

Like many forums you can imagine the backlash. Comments like: “This is BS”, “let him try that on an MMA guy” etc. No actual argument just the current day version of a discussion where you attack credibility and insult but present absolutely no facts to base your opinion on.

As I said, this was a demonstration and a drill so to say it isn’t real is to point out what should be obvious because no demonstration or drill is real. Their purpose is to highlight what is being shown or learned. Demonstrations and drills are set up and fake that is true – so what? We need to look at what is being demonstrated in that moment.

The other problem with a clip is there is nothing preceding it or following it to place it in context. Much like many videos of the use of force by law enforcement there is nothing showing the set up and the why. Without this we often do not know the snippet of information they are trying to present.

Second, when demonstrating a principle it doesn’t mean you are demonstrating it being weaponized. (Thank you Randy King for that term.) You are setting up a circumstance to show it.

Creating a tension chain, using compression and release of tendons and using voids are easily weaponized even against an MMA practitioner and to use that criticism lets me know they think sport not assault (perhaps a little of my own bias.) I mean what is that MMA guy going to do when on the ground the guy pulls a knife…. See – that is another non-argument - it means nothing. Could Tyson beat the crap out of Cus D'Amato? Sure, but who was training who? As I said a non-argument.

The question should have been how do you weaponize those principles in sport or assault?

There is a bias we have when we do not know something and it is hard to see things we do not know.

At my last knife seminar a participant came up and told me he had to admit to something. He said when I began demonstrating on people he thought they were all faking because I seemed to hardly do anything and their reactions were very extreme dropping to the ground etc. He said he thought it was fake - until I did it to him. Had I not crossed arms with him he easily could have gone off thinking I was a fake.

I look at clips as snippets where I do not know what came before or came after so I do not have the context in which what is being shown is being taught and I look very hard for what is making things work.

What got me on the discussion of the TAiji practitioner’s clip was that I can be almost certain none of the people who launched the backlash had any idea what I was talking about. And none asked for a further explanation.

Very sad when we let our ignorance create a blind bias – and we all do at some point, I am not immune to it either but at least I know to watch for it.
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Rick Wilson
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Re: The Bias of Ignorance

Postby Van Canna » Sat Oct 13, 2018 4:20 am

What a great post!

Thank you Rick. It is really the bias of ignorance that puts us in 'self destruct' mode.

I have seen extreme examples of this in my investigative work and also in the comport of some forumites in the past...something that is really saddening.

Ignorance is risky and dangerous. Ignorance can kill you! Lack of knowledge, stupidity and deception of yourself and others are all life denying and can destroy happiness and meaning in your life.
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