Friday, October 4, 2013

What Is Pseudoscience?

The article from Scientific American is worth reading.

Distinguishing between science and pseudoscience is problematic, and its prevalent in martial arts and combative training, where scientific studies are used to prove a point but are used in the wrong context, like Hick’s Law that is very popular and proponents for that it applies to combat is wrong, as it is a study of choosing between various conscious choices and it’s used for simplify menu systems and other machines or electronic products to make it easier and faster to use, but combat is spontaneous and reflexive actions take over and are unconscious with enough training. No matter what sport, if the athlete is feeling that he is loosing and start to focus on every detail, then Hick’s Law can start to kick in as he will focus on every single detail and try to chose the best action to get back to a flow state, he will loose as he descends in a negative mental spiral from fear of failure, there plenty of scientific studies to back that fact. This article has nothing to do with combat specifically but I find that many things I have been taught is based on pseudoscience, old scientific studies that have been proven wrong or used in the wrong context. Updated scientific studies and articles about how the mind works has taught me more than the vast majority of teachers I have trained under, I find that the understanding of perception and how the brain works as the most important information to evolve as a teacher and martial artist, as it is the mind that triggers the actions, having a gun but lacking the knowledge of how it works and the will to shoot renders it useless and will kill you, the gun can be any kind of martial art or combative training. The prefight stage is not prioritized at all in nearly all martial arts, preparing the mind for combat takes time and require the proper training, it is prevalent in Asian and south east Asian martial arts that the will to kill or fight is the primary and most important factor, strength as second, and technique as the last one. In Japan most systems had to change that mindset after WW2, so they could continue to practice their killing arts but had to change it to get it approved by the USA, in the western world the priority is reverse, that is to not get stigmatized as an immoral activity, to get more students by creating the illusion that technique can easily defeat strength, but pure aggression can defeat both if the opponent believes that he can be fearless and have an empty mind, but the reality is that physical and even verbal confrontation will affect the psychological state of mind, as many tend to forget that the mindset of some of the best and most efficient killers or fighters cant be used by everyone, as many are sociopaths on the right side of the fence and can write books about having and empty mind with no fear as they lack or have a lower sense of fear.

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