View Full Version : Exposing Martial Art / Self Defence Trickery and Slight Of Hand

Darren Laur
July 31, 2002, 09:57 PM
Exposing Martial Art / Self Defence Trickery And Slight Of Hand

Before you read any further, please go to the following internet site first, http://www.ssmma.com/gallery_video.html# ( go to bottom of page where it says “Live Seminar May 2001” , click on first frame of the “Live Seminar Mass Attack Knockout and No Touch Knockout”) and watch what this instructor is doing, and then read my post below. I think you will find it very interesting !!!!!!!!! I know this post might be offensive to some in this forum, but knowledge and the understanding of that knowledge is power !!!!!!!


Let’s expose this guy for what he is …….. a charlatan and an entertainer. What he is doing is nothing more that a techniques that is called “Waking Hypnosis” or “Hypersuggestability”. Since I have a background in this topic, I am a Certified Hypnotherapist and working towards my masters in NLP, lets break down what we have just seen in this video.

There are a number of ways to place a “WILLING and COOPERATIVE” person into a state of hypnosis, one of which is “waking hypnosis”. The best way to explain waking hypnosis is when a person in authority, such as a Doctor, tells you that you have only got two weeks to live, and then bang, you die in two weeks. You the client believe without question that the doctor must be right because he is the expert, so his “suggestion” you are going to die in two weeks must be correct and thus the conscious and more importantly the subconscious accept this “suggestion” 100%. Remember that the mind guides the body !!!!!!

In this video, the person in authority is the Instructor, and I use this term sparingly, who is demonstrating this “magical” technique to participants who want to be there and learn ( read WILLING and COOPERATIVE). In fact, you can hear the group calling him Sir, this now “anchors” to everyone, that he is a “person in authority” which is needed to make “Waking Hypnosis” work.

Next, lets look at how he “plants” the “suggestion” you will be knocked out, into the participants subconscious. First, the instructor obviously asked for volunteers. If a person volunteers, it tells the person in authority (hypnotist) that the person is definitely “Willing and Cooperative” and therefore more susceptible to suggestion. Although we did not see it in the video, I am also sure that this instructor conducted some very easy “suggestibility tests”, without letting the participants knowing of course, prior to his demonstration to ensure that he picked the right volunteers to demonstrate on. Heaven forbid he pick someone who would not respond to his suggestion, to do so would result in loss of face and more importantly loss of MONEY to him !!!!!!!!!

Next, The instructor prior to actually performing this “amazing” knock out technique, further “anchors” his suggestion to each participant, by slowly demonstrating what he was going to do to each student. He does this using a technique known as a “Hypnotic Equation”. A hypnotic equation is basically where the instructor is replacing one action with another. In this case, on the first three students, he suggests that when pain or pressure is felt by me striking you, you will go unconscious. This is a classic “Hypnotic Equation” He further anchors this suggestion by showing ( through demonstration first) what each student will do when he performs/applies his “magical” and “awesome” technique……… again give me a break !!!!!!!!

So now, lets look at the actual applications/techniques used by this Instructor. Prior to the actual demonstration, you will not that the instructor uses some humor ( says “ it’s over, did you see that”) to get the group, including his victims, to laugh. Why, because FEAR is one of the factors that can prevent an “induction” from taking place. This is a distraction technique that is used to calm people prior to an “induction”, in this case the technique of “Waking Hypnosis”. A calmer participant = higher suggestibility which = they will do what I need them to do.

Victim#1: Instructor first uses a technique known in hypnosis as a “misdirection”. A misdirection is used to increase a clients receptiveness a suggestibility due to the fact that the conscious brain is reaction as it should thus opening up the subconscious brain to suggestion. The misdirection technique is where the instructor first kicks the inside of the student’s right leg to get a pre-designated response that would happen. Because this worked, the students subconscious mind is now “wide open” to the instructors suggestion which he anchored earlier. The instructor now touches the student’s left side of the head (previously anchored hypnotic equation) at which time the student, “magically” and in “awe” of the group is knocked out and falls to the ground. What one should note, is that when in a state of hypnosis, a participant is still fully in control of his body. If you look closely, you will see victim #1 put his hand out to protect himself as he falls to the ground. If you compare this to an actual knockout, as you see in boxing, the body will fall to the ground like a marionette puppet whose strings have been cut. THIS DID NOT HAPPEN IN THIS CASE . Further, after apparently being knocked out and falling to the ground, you will hear the instructor state “back up” (suggestion) to victim #1, touches his head (anchor), at which time the student himself without any real help goes into a seated crossed leg position with his head up, just as the instructor “suggested” he do.

Darren Laur
July 31, 2002, 09:58 PM
Victim#2: again instructor uses “misdirection techniques” by touching/blocking both arms. He then lifts both hands directly above and to the front of the victims forehead. This technique is known as an “Eye Fascination”. If I can get a person to do an eye/lid lift, it places one’s brain activity into a state of “alpha”. When the brain is in a state of alpha, a person becomes more suggestible. Instructor then strikes the victim in the chest with both hands ( anchored hypnotic equation) at which time the victim falls to the ground unconscious. Again notice that as this victim falls, he puts his hands out to protect himself from the fall. Also how once again the instructor goes over to this victim once grounded, again touches him (anchor) and then says “head up” at which time the victim immediately does as he is told.

Victim#3: again instructor uses “misdirection technique” and then uses and “anchored hypnotic equation, by striking the subject to both side of his neck. Again watch how this victim falls, and also note how the instructor again touches the subject after this knock out.

Victim #4: This is a very interesting one to watch, and more importantly to break down. Again the instructor uses a misdirection technique ( has the student grab him with two hands) but this time the instructor does not use a physical touch of any kind, but places his hands above the victims forehead about 3-4 inches away (eye fascination technique) and through some kind of “magical force” causes the person to go unconscious. What happened here was that the instructor used a technique known as “compounding” to anchor his earlier hypnotic equation that the person would be knocked out. The victim in this case, watched three separate students be knocked out by the instructor. Because of this fact, each time the student saw the instructor knocking someone out, his subconscious mind was being compounded with the “visual fact” that he would be knocked out too, no matter what this instructor did. As well you will note how the instructor causes the person to move his upper body and head backwards. To the unconscious brain, it equates this motion to falling backwards, and with the previously anchored suggestion, and the fact that the student had seen three other of his colleagues go unconscious, the instructors suggestions were “compounded” thus the knockdown. This is the same technique that a lot of “Pentecostal Ministers” use when they touch a person’s head and yell “your healed” at which time that specific member of his flock falls backwards in what others see as an unconscious state.

What I did not share with you, is that I am a Bruce Siddle PPCT (Pressure Point Control Tactics) Instructor. For the past ten years, I have been teaching PPCT techniques to police officers in my department. I have also deployed these same techniques in “real world” scenarios. In fact, I can remember knocking a guy out with a full force fluid shock Brachial Plexus Strike. So can a person be knocked out with PPCT techniques? , given the proper context and opportunity, absolutely!!!! But when people get knocked out with a PPCT technique, they do fall like a marionette puppet who’s strings have been cut, not like the guys in the video who were able to control their fall. How these students fell, were identical to those who are placed into a hypnotic state. I have seen, experienced, and applied both, so can comment on this observation. The fact remains, watch the video frame by frame, and watch how these participants are falling, the proof is right there before your eyes !!!!!

This video proves nothing more than the fact that the instructor is very skilled in the area of hypnosis and suggestibility, period, full stop !!!!!!! Teaching this to students in a self defense context is both misleading and negligent, period, full stop. It is because of these charlatans who promote this garbage to uneducated people for nothing more than the old mighty buck, that people are getting seriously hurt or even killed when attempting to use this s**t in the real world.

What you saw in this video, I can replicate time and time again. The ONLY reason this instructor was able to make things work for him was because he had WILLING and COOPERATIVE subjects to work with. On the street I’m pretty sure that your attacker will not be so WILLING and COOPERATIVE, Period, full stop.

This instructor is both an entertainer and a CHARLATON who is not teaching self defence (as he had advertised), but rather “self defeat”. Remember, there is the art form of Martial Arts, and the reality of street combatives/self protection. It is my opinion, that this video shows the “art form” and nothing more. To even attempt this stuff in the real world would likely get one seriously injured, or even killed

I know that this is a heated topic amongst those who believe in this stuff, and skeptics like me who see something else other than what is presented before their eyes. This is why magicians are so good at what it is they do. Until recently, the art of magic was a closed shop, no one else could see what the actual trick was. It was not until a few years ago, when the FOX TV network started airing “magic revealed” (presented by a masked professional magician), that those of us not in the know began to understand the parlor tricks behind the magic. Professional magicians went nuts. Why?, because their tricks were revealed. I am starting to see a direct correlation between the mystical part of the martial arts, and the reality of empirical and scientific research !!!!!

Remember, Knowledge and the understanding of that Knowledge is POWER. It is with such knowledge that we can effectively educate others about these entertainers and what they are actual doing !!!!

Strength and Honor

Darren Laur

Darren Laur
July 31, 2002, 10:05 PM
I exposed how people can abuse the art and science of hypnosis and NLP in the above post, but here is a proven way in which the same topic can be used in a very postive way to increase Motor Skill performance in combatives. I know I posted this on another thread, but I believe it is worth mentioning here again:

Hypnosis, NLP, and the Combative Edge

I truly believe that Hypnosis and NLP it is going to be the next "nexus" in combative training. Let me explain

As trainers, we attempt to make the trained response the dominate response. How do we do this, by teaching gross motor skills and utilizing the training techniques of REPETITION. and scenario based training.

As a Certified Hypnotherapist CHt. ( My training was through a company called the “Meridian Institute, 180hrs of training, and my Certification is through the “International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association”), at my school I have not only been able to increase retention and usability of specific motor skills through Hypnosis and NLP techniques, but I have been able to decrease the amount of time needed to get the specific motor skill taught to be downloaded into the subconscious mind. What does this mean, when hypnosis is used with physical repetition, the amount of time needed to become unconsciously competent is decreased dramatically !!!! This is a training technique that both amateur and professional athletes have been using for years.

Traditionally, trainers have used lots of repetition to pound a specific motor skill through the conscious/ critical mind, and into the subconscious mind. Through hypnosis, we can take a motor skill program, and directly download it (by-passing the conscious/critical mind) into the subconscious. It must be understood however, that hypnosis is not an alternative to actual physical repetition, but when used in conjunction with repetition, hypnosis can greatly increase motor skill performance and warrior instinct !!!

Here is one way that I use hypnosis to increase motor skill performance:

Step #1:

New motor skill taught and chunked until student is consciously competent

Step #2:

Once student is consciously competent, induction into state of hypnosis where I now download program into subconscious.

Step #3:

Once Motor Skill program has been downloaded into subconscious, student is taken through a guided imagery session, where the motor skill taught is being utilized in a real world scenario.

Step #4:

Student is exited from hypnosis, and motor skill is again physically practiced. From my experience, you can usually see immediate results.

On average, depending upon the motor skill being learned, 6-12 sessions of hypnosis are utilized. A fellow police trainer has found for firearms training, an increase in performance can take place after only ONE session.

I also teach my students, to utilize self-guided imagery session, which only enhances and compounds the specific Motor Skill(s)

The science and art of hypnosis and NLP are two tools that all trainers should be utilizing with students. Like any tool, get professional training and certification first. Do your homework, there are a number of schools out there that advertise that they offer "certified hypnotherpist" and "NLP" training, but really don't, and only want to take your money. My CHt training was over 180hrs.

To my knowledge, there are only two individuals presently using hypnosis and NLP in combatives training, myself and a fellow police trainer by the name of Brian Willis. In fact, the FBI is so impressed with Brian's results, they have sent representatives from Quantico's physical training branch to look into what is being done by us Canadians.

Yes, Gross motor skills are easily learned through repetition, but with the inclusion of hypnosis and NLP, they are learned faster and in combative context. Remember, the subconscious mind cannot tell the difference between fantasy and reality. Through proper and professional guided imagery sessions (hypnosis), I can place my students in "any" combative situation where they are there in mind, body, and spirit. This is very powerful due to the 7 "P" principal of personal safety : "proper pre-planning prevents piss poor performance"

Hypnosis and motor skill performance enhancement is real. Both amateur and professional athletes have been using it for years ( I suggest you read a book called " The Mental Edge") Unfortunately, as a professional Hypnotherapist, I must fight the myths surrounding this topic because of what stage hypnotists do. I too was a non-believer until I was exposed to it. I'm a big believer in "don't tell me something is going to work, show me it is going to work" The results that I have seen, as well as other trainers, speak for themselves.

This is not Voodoo or sitting on a mountain to be enlightened. Hypnosis is both a science and art that CAN and WILL give a Combative Edge !!!!!

Darren Laur
July 31, 2002, 10:06 PM
What is NLP ?, My short definition is:

Neuro: Brain

Linguistic: Language

Programming: Behavior

NLP is often referred to as the “Software for the Brain”, NLP is a model for being able to duplicate human excellence and learn new behavior at an accelerated pace (primarily through communication). NLP is first and foremost an attitude, an attitude of curiosity and methodology. In my opinion, NLP is a method for “Modeling” excellence. There are two major areas that NLP is famous for:

· Advanced strategies for communication/influence (this is what I do)
· Fast and effective models for creating behavioral change

What NLP really is, is a completely unique synthesis of cybernetics, neurology, and linguistics that offers a person practical methods for rapid personal improvement. Really, NLP is the science of using your brain, your language and your behavior to get what you want.

I guess the caveat here is to understand that there are many different schools of NLP, just as there a many different schools of psychology. Each has their own take on NLP. There is however cross pollination in all.

What I have taken form my NLP studies is that every brain has the same neurological wiring, but from the moment you are born, you and your environment begin to program it so that it is unique to you alone. There is no other brain in the world like yours. We take in information through our senses, and process this information in a way that is unique to each individual on the planet. In doing so, we create software programs that run on automatic until we learn a new program. Our brain relies on our senses to bring them information. We see, heart, touch, taste, and smell things in the world. Once we do this, these sensory experiences are turned into a picture, a sound, or a feeling on the inside of our minds. I call this the language of the subconscious.

NLP teaches that there are three basic ways that a person (read combative student) will learn. Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic. Although all three may overlap, one will be the “primary” language of the subconscious.

Characteristics Of Visual People:

Visuals understand what you say by what they see. They turns your words into pictures and images. Their minds work like view-masters or movie cameras and are happiest when you paint pictures for them. Visuals talk about seeing, how things appear, from a point of view.

Characteristics Of Auditory People:

Auditories are sound based people. They listen to how you say things. They get more information from how you say things that by what you show them. The paralinguistic cues (how you say what you say) are more important that your content. Their mind works like a jukebox or tape recorder. It plays back recordings to get an idea of what you are talking about.

Characteristics Of Kinesthetic People:

Kinesthetic people make decisions by how they feel rather than by what they see or hear. Their information comes predominantly from touch, feeling, emotions, gut instinct, hunches, and attitude more than what you say. They have a good kinesthetic memory and need to “feel it” before they trust you.

The language of the subconscious is very important for me to understand, because if I’m teaching a motor skill in a language that is not understood by my student(s) then learning is difficult or does not take place at all. This is where frustration can be seen in the student because in their words, “ they just aren’t getting it.” A good instructor will learn to listen to the student in order to pick up on their language of the subconscious. If a student is painting a picture using visual words, when speaking to that person, the instructor must paint them a picture as well. If the student is talking about how things sound or feel to them, the instructor should be speaking in similar terms. Thus, the listener receives the message that the instructor hears and understands them. This is a major step in increasing the degree of “rapport” and understanding between you the instructor and student. If you treat a visual student like a Kinesthetic, the visual student will have troubles understanding and therefore, frustration builds and learning is stunted. To the subconscious, you are speaking a language that it does not understand..

When teaching combatives in a group context, I always demonstrate the technique (communicate what I am doing) in ways to cover off all three communication styles; visual, auditory, kinesthetic for the above noted reasons. This is something that I have identified that many instructors do not do. Many instructors only teach in their own specific “sub-conscious“ language because that is how they learn and understand. These instructors do not know, because of lack of knowledge, that students “may” communicate/understand at a different level than their’s. Remember, not everyone learns/communicates the same way. When students break off to practice the skill, I will then adapt the “subconscious language” to meet their individual communication style. This is especially true if a student is having difficulty performing a specific motor skill, and needs help. This is how I primarily use NLP in combatives here at my school, or when I conduct seminars.

Other nuggets I use from NLP include:

Questions are more powerful than affirmations:

People who do affirmations are wasting their time because they are actually setting up internal conflicts that cause them to activate the opposite of what they want.. When people look into a mirror and say “ in every day and in every way, I am getting better and better”, a part of their mind comes back and says, “bull!” doesn’t it? It is just like if I told yu that you have a blue shirt on when you actually have a read one on ! I say “nice blue shirt” and you say, “it’s not blue, its red.” Then I say, :it’s blue”, and you say, “no it’s red”… we could go on like this forever…. which is exactly what happens for most people when they do affirmations.

Instead of engaging yourself in this confrontative struggle with yourself, you could begin to ask yourself questions instead. Questions will always get you an answer. Questions change what you are focused on. They get you to focus on either what is good about you, your environment or your behavior or what is bad. An affirmation in the form of a question is 300 to 400 times more effective and will literally train your brain to translate the affirmation into your behavior. Remember, the brain learns quickly to move in directions. Questions direct the mind. They divide experiences and lead our attention. Questions demand an answer. This is why I teach in a combative context to ask yourself the question, “am I threatened, or am I challenged” If you find yourself in a threatened mind set and stay there, you are in trouble, hypervigilance will set in. If on the other hand you get challenged, the training and the experience that you have can now deal with the threat at hand. By challenging the brain, even if you do not have the training or experience to deal with the situation at hand, the brain will begin to adapt, overcome, and improvise to get itself out of danger. (please see my posting on the use of FEAR for more details)

NLP also gave me an understanding semantics, and their deeper meaning:

· I never use the word “try” as an instructor. To the subconscious brain, try denoted “failure”. But how many times have you heard an instruct say, “just try it again.” Instead use “do it again”
· I never use the word “defender” ie attacker/defender. Defending denotes “defensive” mindset. I want “offensive” mind set in my students, so I always substitute defender with “fighter” ie Attacker/Fighter
· I never use wrong or right. ie “that is the wrong way to use that technique.” I always use desirable/less desirable. In the street, wrong will denote failure. Everything we do in combatives is desirable. Some techniques are more desirable than others.

Again, there are a number of differing schools when it comes to NLP. Each has their own take on what NLP can do, and where it can be used. I am only using NLP as an aid to increase motor skill performance through communication/understanding be it visual, auditory, or kinesthetic.

Yes, NLP and hypnotherapy have some commonality, but I do use them quite differently. I use hypnosis for the purpose of:

· Dropping a specific motor skill directly into the subconscious mind, thus decreasing the amount of time needed to learn the motor skill with repetition alone
· Anchoring specific stimulus/response techniques at the subconscious level
· Teaching guided imagery (visualization) using a three step process:

1. Visualize or imagine the accomplished goal or outcome
2. Make a movie of how you achieved this goal
3. Build a contingency plan (plan “B” abort technique should plan “A” fail)

In guided imagery ordinarily, the third step is what people do to program their mind for failure because they imagine everything going wrong, but not what they did to overcome it. Using this method of visualization, you program your mind for how to overcome adversity along the way if you encounter it. When you learn how to run your brain then a world of endless possibility and opportunity becomes available. This is especially important in combatives.


Strength and Honor

Darren Laur
Integrated Street Combatives
[email protected]

August 1, 2002, 12:07 PM
darren......Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!.......I did not have the software downloaded and could not watch the video. However, I have seen a demonstration of exactly what you described.

It was by a matial arts instructor who called himself "Doctor" Cameron....(any chance thats who is the instructor in the video?)

Though I was confounded by what he did, I did not buy into it mostly because every time he showed a technique it was with pre-selected volunteers. Also because he was demonstrating his techniques to people who were standing passively and not aggressively attacking him.

He was even selling videos supposedly "teaching" these techniques! I did not buy them because I did not buy into his techniques as legitamate. he also evaded questions, instead requesting us to buy his video where all questions would be answered.

I knew this guy was a charlatan, but since I knew one of his volunteers I knew they were not part of the trickery. As I said, the demonstration did leave me confounded. thank you so much for explaining what it is that I witnessed. I can now finally explain to my students why I believe that what we saw that day had serious flaws.

Dreams + effort = reality.

August 1, 2002, 08:44 PM
In the 60's I used to hang out with hard core, hard contact sparring guys who challenged people who they felt made the martial arts look bad or who couldn't perform what they claimed they could. They closed down several schools here in soCal just by inviting the instructor of the school to put up or close down.

Simple method, sometimes violent...in the long run, don't know if it did much good....still a lot or phonies operating ...must be good money to operate a McDojo.

August 2, 2002, 12:13 PM
For ages, charlatins have been fleecing willing sheep.

Thank you again Darren.