Who doesn't love martial arts? It's a fascinating form of self-defense. Karate, Kung Fu, Judo, Taekwondo, Jiu-Jitsu, and more ancient fighting arts that provide more than physical strength. They increase your confidence, strength and improve your mental state. And of course, it looks cool too!
As late as the middle of the 20th century, people living in the Western World considered these Asian fighting techniques deadly and cloaked in mystery. That all changed when Bruce Lee released his string of Kung Fu movies in the 1970s. Soon dojos were springing up from all over - gaining even more popularity when the Karate Kid movies came out in the mid-80s. Almost everybody wanted to wax on and off and be the next Daniel-San.
But as with almost all good things on this planet, these ancient martial arts quickly became a fertile breeding ground from charlatans, con artists, scammers and the crazies out there. Yep. Once martial arts became popular globally, these unsavory characters crawled out of a fifth-rate dojo's woodwork to wreak havoc, spreading their brand of mutilated Eastern philosophy woo-woo to grab attention and make money off gullible future students and acolytes.
In the 1970s, Count Dante, a former marine, claimed he had the "secret" deadly fighting style of "Dim Mach" or the poison hand technique. In reality, he was an Irish-American hairdresser named John Keehan who conned many into buying his booklet containing "ancient fighting secrets." To be fair, he was an actual black belt and did win many major competitions.
In the 80s/90s, Ashida Kim (Radford Davis from Florida) claimed to be an expert ninja. A quick Youtube search for his invisibility tutorial is guaranteed to blow your mind from stupidity. He made money selling ninja training manuals such as "Ninja Secrets of Invisibility," "Ninja Mind Control," and yep, even ninja erotica with the classic "The Amorous Adventures of Ashida Kim." He has zero records of any competitions or even verified footage of him sparring.
Next, actor Steven Seagal is an Aikido black belt who rose to fame in the 90s with B-movies like "Under Seige." He is called a serial liar who has made up his tough-guy image and has a long history of alleged sexual harassment of female co-stars.
The infamous YouTube troll Charlie Zelenov proclaimed himself the greatest boxer alive. He turned into a Kim Kardashian and Nicki Minaj stalker and began to attack random people in public. And of course, let's not forget EFO or Empty Force martial arts, a no-touch fighting technique that will have you stopping the enemy with a Jedi like inner power you can develop. Again check out YouTube vids of EFO in action and cue the laugh track.
Sadly, people will always be attracted to things that are too good to be true. Unless they wake up to reality, expect more of these fake martial arts conmen to spread their brand of crazy for the world to cringe collectively.