How to be an Empty force master

If you follow these steps you will be able to demonstrate ‘empty force’ the ability to throw and move other people without touching them. Actually it is fairly easy. The trickiest part is how to start. Once you have demonstrated your power a few times to a core group of students it gets a lot easier

1. Act like a master.

This involves keeping your head quite still, pause before your talk, make your gestures largely symmetrical, and often slow. When you act like a master do not seek out eye contact with other people, let them seek it with you.  If you choose to give them eye contact, keep your gaze steady, ideally until the other person looks away.

Once you can do the master act at will you can be a little more approachable from time to time. This will both stop you from seeming a complete arse, and will also give your followers a reason to lick your nether regions (metaphorically… or not if you like) for those privileged moments of connection with their master.

2. Tell stories.

We all tell stories, but as an empty force master you need to tell several particular kind of stories. These stories need to hint at, or describe levels of development or power far beyond the ordinary. The stories need to justify why your students will jump when you wave a hand. These stories must be either so vague that they are impossible to argue with, or specific but absolutely unverifiable.

For example:

“You must understand that the universal energy suffuses all things and all beings, it is everywhere and when you learn to channel its sublime force then it allows incredible things to happen. It allows you to tap into the internal wisdom of evolution, to find the inner teacher and which you can then express in outward form.”

This part is basic hypnotic language, it does not really say or mean anything, but you can read whatever you like into it.

“When I was younger I travelled far and wide. I once stayed in a high mountain cave with an incredible Yogi. Oh how his dark eyes sparkled, they seemed to light up the entire cave. I never knew his age, but he had the spritely energy of a teenager.  His beard was down to his waist, and I once saw him pluck out a single silver hair. As I watched it turned into a necklace of gold and jewels, the teacher laughed and said “you have no need of such baubles, you must let go of material things” then the necklace turned into a golden serpent and slid silently from the cave. The yogi did not teach the secrets of his power easily. I have only reached a fraction of his level…”

This story has many completely unverifiable details. The details may make it seem more real. It also has some sneaky implications. It implies that you learned the secrets,  also that students need to be ready to let go of material things (and pay you), that if you learn the secrets you will not get old (a universal concern if not fear), and that you have special powers, if even a fraction of the old Yogi’s. You can also claim humility because you do not say you are as developed as the unverifiable Yogi.

Use these stories to get the students intrigued. Hint that if they just practice loyally then your will be able to show them the real skills when they are ready.

3. Put your students into a suggestible state.

You can do this by using hypnotic language. Talk about how “the infinite manifests in the finite as you journey through the levels of interior spheres, all you need to do is look inside and you will begin to understand the cosmic patterns, at first they are not clear, then they are clear and as you listen to the guiding voice of the teacher your will find that the clarity increases as ….” Go on like that for a few minutes and people are sure to zone out.

You can also use more active instructions. “Stand this way, now relax, focus only on your relaxation and your breathing, and now stand this way, and keep emptying your mind. Allow yourself to become sensitive and empty.” Generally the longer you get your students to stand in a particular way the more zoned out and obedient they will get.

Some of them will decide that they cannot cope with the exercises, or they are not learning. They are not good hypnotic subjects. Send them away, tell them that either they are not ready or that they have another path to follow. Be at least a little sad as you do this because you want to the remaining students to know what an incredible treasure the departing student is missing, and how lucky they are to still have access to it.

4. Create a hierarchy.

One of your goals is to create a hierarchy with yourself at the top. Access to the divine secrets comes as you rise in the hierarchy, and the way to rise in the hierarchy is through obedience. A student is only as good as their last act of obedience.

Never admit the existence of this hierarchy. Tell the students that the cosmic energy flows through us all, that everyone is equal. But do not act equal.

Reinforce the hierarchy  by praising the students who are properly obedient and follow suggestions. Hint that they will get access to the true knowledge soon. Show them ‘special’ exercises and tell them not to show these exercises to the disobedient students. Punish the students when they do not obey. Leave them in painful postures for longer, do not show them special exercises.

You can change the exercises as much as you like based on insight, revelation and superior understanding. That way you have an infinite source of special secret techniques.

If a student is especially recalcitrant and does not swallow your opinions eagerly it is best that you make him or her leave. You can do this in several ways. The direct ‘I’m sorry but due to your attitude/previous life karma/energetic issues you will not be able to learn this so it is better that you leave.’ or you can make life insupportable, treat them badly, discourage the other students from being pleasant to them. Once they have left you are free to talk about them in a way that makes your remaining students seem more special.

5. Get your students invested.

It is helpful if your students begin to pay you money. If you have done your job well it will seem a bargain for the mysterious powers and eternal youth that you offer. The more your students invest the more obedient they will be and the harder it will be for them to back out.

It’s a bit like relationships. You can have a one night stand, and say to your friends afterwards ‘He/she just wasn’t for me.’ It’s easy to move on.

But it’s different when you go out with someone for a while, move in or marry them and when you split up you may begin  to feel you have to justify why you spent all that time with the ‘wrong person’ , not to mention the hassle of needing to find a new bathroom for your toothbrush. Then it’s often easier to turn a blind eye to what’s been driving you mad and put up with your partner’s peculiarities.

The more money your students invest, the more hours they spend in silly postures doing your practises, the more you can stretch the envelope of credibility with them. They will want to believe, because it is easier to believe than admit that they have been duped.

6. Train your students when to fall over.

What is empty force? It is people feeling things and moving.  We all feel and we all move. The trick is to get the students to associate your movements, with their feelings, and those feelings with other movements, like jumping in the air and falling over.

To do this you can keep laying on the vague hypnotic language. “You see that when you pay attention inside then there are feelings, you can feel your energy moving. Can you feel, yes?” Of course the students will have feelings, so they will have to answer yes, thus confirming your mysterious understanding of ‘energy’.

Start at the ‘crude physical level’. Set your student up so they are in a slightly unstable position.  Tell them that you are going to emit a little energy, and that they need to be very sensitive and relaxed to feel it.

Then give them a good shove and knock them flying.  Give the shove a special martial flourish, and finish in a dramatic pose. Theatrics count in this business.

Act concerned if the student appears to hurt themselves, and say that the special practices you have been doing recently have made your energy stronger than you expected. Explain that “The pain is a result of your own internal resistance. When you learn to relax and go with my energy it will actually clear your energy channels and make you healthier.” This reinforces the association that disobedience/resistance =pain.

The important part of this is to train your student to know when to fall over. Take an audible in breath before you shove, and exhale explosively was you shove. This actually fits sensible body use, but you can explain it in terms of Qi.

You can add another level in by making some small preparatory movement that your student will understand unconsciously as a sign that “The energy is on its way – time to fall over”. Stamp your foot a little as you push as well. This gives another audible cue.

When you have decided that they are ready it is time to move on. Pick one of the more suggestible and obedient students. Touch your student and ask “Can you feel that?” of course they can. Next you can remove your hand and then ask the same question while the student still has the vague sense of being touched, or while your hand is still close enough to feel the heat that it naturally radiates. If you are skilled at directing your circulation to warm your palm this works even better.

You have now established to your student that they can feel you at a distance. You have also trained the reflex of being ready to be knocked over, when they see your gesture or hear your special inhale. You are ready for the next part.

7. The show – which is also the clincher.

Take your prepared student and  physically knock them over a couple of times to make sure they know what to do. Go through the touch procedure above, then say that you will push them without contact.

Explain that this is kind of energy use is quite dangerous, so that is all the more important to obey the instructions and go with the feelings. Resistance may cause injury. This will make them even more eager to comply with what is expected of them.

Now move to a suitable distance using your utmost masterful gravity (see step 1). Do your preparatory movement, your audible inhale, stamp exhale and finish in your dramatic posture as your student falls over.

Praise your student (not too much), and reward them with a glimpse of your human side. Then repeat until the student bounces automatically.

If they do not fall over blame it on the students bone headed lack of development, go back to one of the previous steps. If another student seems especially keen to get in your good books at that moment do the demo on them, and banish the disobedient student to an outer circle for a while.

Get a successful student to explain what happened and what they felt. The student is very unlikely to say “I jumped into the air because I am a dog and you are Pavlov.” Human beings have a special ability to create stories that justify their actions. The student already has most of the story prepared from cosmic energy explanations that you have fed them. This will add credibility to the demonstration, and make the student even more invested in your school and its explanations.

You can then do the demo from behind your student. Set it up as further proof of the existence of energy, that this has nothing to do with suggestion because the student cannot see when you will push.  The students will conveniently overlook the audible cues that you have trained them to jump to.

After a while you will be able to get your students dancing all around the room with a casual wave of your hand. You will find that you will also be able to do this to multiple students simultaneously if you have them all trained to react to the same cue when engaged with you in this context. Cool huh!

Congratulations you are now an empty force master. Once you have a few adoring obedient students new comers to the class will have examples to follow as to how to behave. They will either sigh and leave when they see what your mini sect can do, or they will get sucked into the group trance.

Now what?

Remember this only works because you and the students have so much invested in maintaining your myth. Do not make the mistake of claiming (outside of your little circle) that this will work on everyone. Someone invested not invested in your myth will not jump, or bounce. They are more likely to punch you in the head.

The only acceptable reason I can see to do this is as a short lived and amusing example of how suggestible we can be as a species.  If you do this to maintain subservient students and a superior status you are not a teacher, but a cheat.

As I wrote this article I became aware of how there is a little more of the empty force guru in my class than I’d like. Guru roles can be very seductive, and the belief that this is genuine can be passed down over time. Look at the following videos. In the first the kiai (empty force master) is looking pretty sharp knocking his students down without touching them. Either for publicity and/or because he has now come to believe in these powers he offers a $5000 reward to anyone who can beat him. In the second video he looks genuinely shocked when he his powers do not work and he gets punched. The MMA fighter looks equally sad to have beaten up an old man.

Here’s another set of genuine believers having their bubbles burst, at least temporarily.  I say temporarily because they are likely to retreat to the social bubble in which their powers ‘work’ and find some way to rationalize their failure. That the people who smacked them down have demonic powers or aid is always a good one in these situations.

If you have not already seen this it is an exception to the rule that you can only demonstrate empty force on students. Derren Brown demonstrates empty force without all the steps I have described here – but he does quite a few of them. He also is very transparent in explaining that he does it through suggestion and that he has no special powers, just hypnotic, social and stage skills.

Many students want guru figures, and will move on quickly if you do not fulfil their expectations. Better to let them go. They will work it out once they’ve had their noses ground in enough dirt.

A real teacher’s role is to make a student autonomous in the specific field as quickly as possible. The guru game aims to make the student dependent on the teacher as quickly as possible.

The way we really learn together is through honest explanation, through testing each other, and testing the method. A real teacher will invest in the students’ ability to challenge them, not just in the vague future, but right now. The student may get knocked back, but if they start pre defeated all you reinforce is their ability to be defeated, and probably their resentment too.

If you are friendly with your students do it because you like them, not as a reward. The first is honest, the second manipulative. If certain students get jealous, then it’s time for them to grow up.

If you give your students subliminal message and suggestions while you are teaching (and you almost certainly will) aim to keep the suggestions along the lines of:

You are a good human being, you can learn easily, you can develop, change can be pleasant, you are already fulfilled, life can be good,  and follow what is deeply important to you whether or not it involves the class or style.  

ps. If you follow an empty force master and are deeply offended by this article you are most welcome to come and visit me and demonstrate your method. If your method works it will work on me. I am ordinary man with a few skills but no special powers. I really am open to believe that is possible to develop truly unusual powers, I just have not seen anything that has convinced me yet. If your method does not work, consider how much of what you experience in your school matches this article and re-evaluate it accordingly.

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  1. Six harmonies | Integral Bagua - September 25, 2012

    […] *Empty force wannabes please read this again. The qi does not shoot through the ether to zap the opponent, it combines with the strength! You know strength like muscles attached to bones. The muscles that you use to get up off the toilet and brush your teeth or lift your lips to smile at cuties. If you think you can do all these things without your muscles beautify your anal sphincter with a little botox injection then keep your pants clean by qi power. Do not visit me until the effects have worn off. […]

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