Scams Part 3: Fake Qigong

Along with fake iron palm tricks and fake iron body tricks, sometimes you will also encounter fake qigong tricks. People love to pretend they have magic powers!

The trick:
Knocking people out or moving people without touching them, using only your qi. Sometimes called “empty force,” “kong jing,” or “no touch knockout.”

Why it’s less than honest:
There is no empty force. No one can move you without touching you. Sometimes people can use mental tricks or subconscious cues in other people to convince them that it works, and actually get them to move, but this is all a mental game and has nothing to do with qi. If you watch these demonstrations, it never works on skeptics. People who believe in empty force come up with all sorts of reasons why it didn’t work (such as “it only works on people who are qi-sensitive”), because it never seems to work on anyone but the Kong Jing instructor’s students, and what good is a special technique that only works on your own students? Why would you be fighting them anyway?

No touch knockouts have been replicated by mentalists (power of suggestion), and have never been shown to work on an attacker who wasn’t affiliated with the school. There are dozens of clips of this on youtube, including at least one empty force master who got punched in the face pretty hard when his no touch knockout didn’t work on his opponent.

And let’s not forget, the James Randi Educational Foundation is offering $1,000,000 to anyone who can prove that this is real. Of course, the fakes will tell you they can’t use their powers for personal gain, so they have no reason to accept his challenge. How convenient! They could always donate the money to charity if they wanted to avoid “personal gain.”

How to make it legit:
Go visit James Randi. Move a skeptic under controlled conditions.

The trick:
Levitation.

Why it’s less than honest:
Get outta here with this nonsense. There is no levitation. Occasionally some “qigong master” (term intentionally used in quotes here) will assume the lotus position and “levitate” (also intentionally put in quotes). There are three ways to accomplish this 1) rocking back on their butt so their knees/legs come off the ground and it looks like they’re levitating from certain angles, 2) literally using their body to hop off the ground, 3) stage tricks (ropes, levers, mirrors, etc.), the same way stage magicians levitate. All three of these are nonsense, but occasionally some people will believe them, thus perpetuating the myth.

How to make it legit:
Actually levitate. And then give James Randi a call.

This article is not saying that qi isn’t real, or that qigong doesn’t provide health benefits. It just says you can’t move, much less attack, people using your qi without touching them. And you can’t levitate with it, either.