Most claims of ki giving people superhuman abilities are based upon anecdotal evidence. Usually these claims come from the far past, which makes it impossible to scientifically test the validity of the claims. Belief in extraordinary martial art powers is similar to religious beliefs. Zealots say that if people believe in their religion, they do not require proof, and that no amount of proof will convince them that their beliefs are false.
Have you noticed how much strangers on the street look so similar to your long lost girlfriend? You may not be consciously looking for her, but you keep seeing women who remind you of her. Likewise, people who believe in conspiracies seem to see conspiracies everywhere; people who believe in Bigfoot see evidence of its existence everywhere; and people who believe in ki see it everywhere they look and, if they actively look for it, they find it everywhere.
Belief is a powerful force! If a person believes he or she is not in pain, the person will not perceive pain. The pain is still there, its just that the person refuses to accept its existence. If you believe in acupuncture, it will work, no matter where the needles are placed. People who believe in other types of no traditional medicine gain the same benefits, such as people who believe that crystals placed on their body in certain locations will relieve pain, or people who believe that pressure applied to certain pressure points or the wearing a copper bracket will relieve pain. Many people who “believe” they are sick, do in fact become ill, while many people who “believe” they are healed are actually healed. The human brain is a powerful force, even when it does not attribute its power to itself. Charlatans, and people with good intentions, have used this belief system to defraud people since humans have existed. Just because you truly believe in something, does not make it true; it may still be a fraud. Skeptics know how to harness this belief system and gain its benefits without having to attribute the benefits to supernatural forces.
Many people are able to do fantastic feats, some of which are real, some or which are illusions, and some of which are manufactured. In recent news, people were attributing Floyd Landis’ fantastic comeback in the Tour de France to his inner fortitude. However, now it seems that the comeback was due to his use of manufactured testosterone. Wonder how many of the famous martial art feats of the past were illusions or due to drugs or herbs, and not to ki.
If someone believes in ki, you will not be able to convince him or her otherwise, no matter how much proof you offer that disproves its existence. Likewise, if you do not believe in ki, you will not be able to enjoy the benefits that come from belief in its existence. However, if you believe in the human mind’s control over the body, you may reap the benefits of the concept of ki without believing in it.
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