Derren Brown's Magic

Ox Shaped Gold Headress Ox Shaped Gold Headdress

I commented today on Formosa Neijia about Magician Derren Brown' "Mind Punch."  Here is my comment, but you'll probably want to watch the video and read the other comments too:

Part of what we are talking about is what Sgt. Rory Miller simply calls “permission.” Derren’s tricks often require the permission of the person being demonstrated on. But that is true of the “one inch punch” in the video too. (I think the real value of the one inch punch is to give people a way to break the “freeze.”)

....internal martial arts do indeed work on cats and dogs, but I’ve never tried them on wild animals. Often the reason why an internal technique doesn’t work in a demo is not the “resistance” of the demo partner, but the contrived nature of their reactions–like their attack intentionally misses your head by 12 inches when you were expecting a direct shot.

And I suspect hypnoses was first developed as a form of self defense against wild animals. In China, where tiger attacks were the most common form of accidental death (during the Han Dynasty and earlier), it was common to wear a shimmering head-dress. Tigers hunt by smell but when they get close enough they look at their prey, and if there is a shimmering head dress they get distracted and momentarily forget what they are doing. Shaman used shimmering head-dresses to catch and kill tigers too.

All teaching is a head fake.  The expression "head fake" comes from football.  The quarterback consciously  moves his head as if he were going to throw the ball to one player, but then throws it to another.  If a skill can be learned, or knowledge acquired, simply by copying or imitating--then there is no need for teaching.  Imitating is often under rated as a powerful part of learning, but true teaching results in new concepts and inspired expression or revisions.  Teaching is a process where by students are "tricked" into seeing things differently and then encouraged to re-make the world in a way which is consistent with that new way of seeing.

Magicians head fake for the sake of entertainment, they  trick you and then just leave you hanging.