Thursday, July 19, 2012

"Sifu, I've seen it all"

How sight has become the best way to manipulate masses

It is undeniable that today, sight has become the first of our 5 senses. Continually stimulated, it has the strongest influence on our behavior.
Vision can represent up to 90% of our perceptions, and a large portion of the brain is dedicated to the processing of the millions of pictures we are exposed to everyday. Therefore, it is not surprising that the oppressors invest so much time and money in movies and video clips.
The modern man goes from one screen to another: from computer at work to computer at home, to the tactile screen of a mobile phone to the GPS of a car, ending up in front of the TV, until critical consciousness has totally left his body.
The total number of hours we spend in front of a screen is alarming : 8 hours for an adult, nearly 10 hours for a student (18 – 24) These young people watch the smallest amount of live TV of any age group (three and a half hours a day), but they watch the most online video (5.5 minutes a day). Source :
Being 24 myself, here comes my point: watching online videos allows you a much more larger number of possibilities. Therefore, the younger generation is given a larger choice of programs, including more extreme videos that are part of the internet, where every possible desire finds its response. From sexuality to violence, most of young men “have seen it all”.

Identification : an obstacle to Consciousness

The problem is the difference between “seeing and doing” and the critical question of consciousness. As Shi Zu Freddie Lee stated “all they really do is watch people doing things”. When you are a young person developing your identity, you mostly identify with a subject: most frequently a famous sports player, a singer, an actor or an athlete. Let’s face it : there are very few leaders and an infinite number of followers. The internet allows you to collect data on this person, and tabloids will let you know anything of his private life. You will feel closer to him, to the point where your ego (the ideal representation one has of himself) will be very close to him/her. Therefore one part of you (the unconscious, egoistic part) will assume that you can do the same. This results in a false sense of superiority towards real people.
The scene I depict is nothing new: how many out of shape crawling couch potatoes can you hear on a game day?

The Master/ Disciple relationship in a dead end?

Therefore, when a young man walks into a dojo, he has seen bricks breaking, gun shooting, online murders. He might even identify with steroid-injected athletes in a cage destroying the people in front of them. He assumes he already knows a lot about martial arts styles and fighting. What works and what doesn’t. He is here to pay only for what he wants in a merchant/customer relationship that doesn’t fit with the martial arts. His teacher or master (the title is rarely accepted as it is a sign of submission), compared to the best gymnasts or fighters in the world seems very petty. He might have 20 or 30 years of experience he doesn’t look so strong after all.
Our goal, as martial artists, is to help these people getting over the fake wall of illusions and to enter reality, developing mind, body and spirit. At first it will be hard for one to realize his own weakness. But with courage, progress will start to show and the one who was once an arrogant boy may become a wise man. As an artist, he will then be able to express his own visions and creativity.
Not to post pictures of how great we are on the internet, but for a better self-image of himself and humanity.

Todai Ling


  1. Regarding this topic, I believe the problem goes far beyond exposure to video media. I think most of society is in a hypnotic state, and that the trigger for this is the rectangular shape itself, which is huge in our culture. I recommend checking out a couple YouTube videos my friend Darin and I made in dialog about this topic. The initial idea is put forward in my video called Beware The Rectangles. My friend's response can be found under Scare The Rectangles III

  2. Love your post! When time permits, I encourage you to continue to creatively express yourself in this blog. I'm very happy to see so much positive energy feeding off one another on this blog. Thank you.

  3. Thanks to Shi Zu for his feedback and to Ryan for encouraging further researches.
    The videos you recommend are very long though and I had difficulties spotting the main ideas. I will give it another try today, as I have more time
    Oh, and it's sparring day today ;)

    1. That was a great post. As martial artists, our ultimate goal is to break our own ego in order to become wise and real. Bruce Lee would always promote people to destroy their ego; this is why he was the real deal.


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