Folk Beliefs

Many martial arts have an associated body of folk beliefs. Pentjak Silat holds that the kris (p. 219) can kill merely by pointing. Masters of Kalaripayit (pp. 168-169) learn magical phrases to use in emergencies. Capoeira (pp. 153-154) is sometimes linked with Candomble, an African-derived folk religion. Some adherents of Chinese martial arts believed that incantations, willpower, and proper kung fu would make them invulnerable to blades and guns. The latter idea isn't uniquely Chinese - corpo fechado (Portuguese for "closed body") is a magic ritual, known to some Capoeira players, to become impervious to knives and bullets . . .

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