The Ancient Art of Yellow Bamboo

image Yellow Bamboo is a form of white magic/martial art developed in Bali. If you sign up to get the free Yellow Bamboo training video then "you can learn very powerful methods to protect yourself and others. If you watch the videos you will see that it is possible to knock down attackers without touching them. This is a very powerful form of personal development." Annoyed by these extravagant claims (particularly the one about being able to knock down opponents without touching them), some Jiu-Jitsu practitioners decided to challenge the local Yellow Bamboo masters to a test "to prove once and for all that no-touch or Chi knockouts are, and have always been, complete and utter bullshit." These were the guidelines for the test: "The YB practitioner assumes a stance on the sand and is given time to prepare his Chi in accordance with YB practices. The challenger then runs 20 feet across the sand and attacks the YB practitioner. As the challenger is making his run, the YB practitioner has to effectively disable or deflect him using his chi." Needless to say, the Yellow Bamboo people completely failed the test.


Posted on Fri Feb 18, 2005


"Why is iy that every single time these cults of dim-mak/death touch/chi balls spring up there is never any independent corroborartion."

Yellow bambo is not a cult. Neither has it anything to do with deat touch, dim mak or chi balls.

"As I recall the Randi test was NOT arranged as per JREF protocols ergo was NOT eligible for the million. You have no basis for the fraud accusation."

You are rigth. the FIRST test was not arranged per these protocols, due the actions of one of the people on the JREF-side. That is why we invited them another time. Doing the ko again, with good results. So I think this constitutes fraud or at least misleading by the JREF people.

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof - and grainy poor quality video does not suffice. It does however suffice when the claim is "YB is crap and I will prove it" (i.e. the BJJ guys)."

Eh well that doesn't seem to make much sense, now does it?

"Without meeting you Ku'un I cannot assesss you - ut your claims for YB ring hollow when the empirical evidence has already proven YB as a fraud."

Oh? Which empirical evidence is that than? I would be happy to receive it, but doubt very much it has much value. If it has, I'm of course open to it. I doubt it has though, as the evidence I've seen multiple times by practising and getting deeper into the other aspects of this art, which go way beyond the knock outs, I've direct experience.
Posted by Ku'un  on  Sun Oct 15, 2006  at  12:11 PM
"I'm going to make a prediction here. My prediction is that Ku'un or whatever he's calling himself this week, will say something to the effect that you are too caught up in Western thinking."

Haha, you insinuate I'm changing my name? *falls of his chair laughing*
This is incredible to me. How far people go in limiting their potenital as where they could wonder what it would mean if this was truelly possible even though they don't believe it due lack of direct experience.
I will never say somebody is too caught up in Western thinking as long they are in the west 😊
No all kidding aside, some people with western scientific back ground getting involved with YB would be great. Problem is not "western thinking" , but trying to understand this part of Balinese culture through western glasses.

"All kidding aside, I think that kind of nonsense is an insult to Asians. The way these frauds interpret Eastern thinking is to make it sound as if it amounts to believing any cock and bull claim that comes along."

Huh? this is a Balinese system, from Bali, Indoensia, Asia... no need for them to interpret Eastern thinking, they do nothing else!

"Eastern or Western, the burden of proof is on the person making the extraordinary claim."

We already did our part, I think it is enough now. Please don't be so sorth sigted as only seeing the KO part of this system. It has a lot to offer on many levels.

"The day you show me 90-year-old men walking down the street on their fingertips is the day I will believe in Yellow Bamboo--or any other codswallop you tell me made that possible."

Hmm maybe you know YB better than me, but I don't think this is part of their training.
Doesn't seem to have much use now does it, as people have legs.
Posted by Ku'un  on  Sun Oct 15, 2006  at  12:21 PM
"Eh well that doesn't seem to make much sense, now does it?"

Errr...what part was causing you a problem?

Extraordinary claim - "I can KO you from 20 feet away" = unverifiable by video alone

"I can flatten a YB practitioner before he can use his chi-balls" = provable in a visual format


YB has proven nothing OUTSIDE of its own realm and consequently is relegated to "unproven". As for beig a cult, probably not. Anything offering a ten day course to elightenment is probably more of a scam.
Posted by Hannibal  on  Sun Oct 15, 2006  at  10:48 PM
I will let Randi explain reason YB have NOT met the criteria

"Our involvement with the Yellow Bamboo group, in Bali, Indonesia, began on June 28th, 2003, when we actually received their application. We'd been trying to get them to fulfill the application requirements since December of 2002, a full seven months of back-and-forth messaging. The protocol they finally agreed to needed small adjustments, which were made. Their claim was that their performer, a Mr. Pak Nyoman Serengen, could knock down, from a distance, a person attempting to attack him, or merely trying to strike him, with a piece of yellow bamboo!

I looked at their web page, and saw there a video clip showing a crowd of students running at Mr. Serengen, then falling down when he gave out a mighty shout just before they reached him. The interesting aspect of that video, to me, was that some of the students fell down just before Serengen put out his hand and yelled...

The agreed-upon protocol sounded simple enough
Posted by Hannibal  on  Sun Oct 15, 2006  at  10:55 PM
Randi's response (cont'd)

I'm particularly taken by the fact that Joko's body appears to twitch as he is prone on the ground. That indicates a very probable modus.

Mr. Joko Tri was not alone. His charge at Serengen was accompanied by several other YB members, two of them close enough to touch him.

No, YB did not pass the JREF preliminary test. There are many reasons for their failure:
First, no continuous videotape record was made, as I'd clearly required. Without that, there is only evidence that Mr. Tri fell down, but no indication of how or why. Second, Joko did not walk up to Serengen and "gently tap him with a piece of bamboo," as I'd specified, and YB had agreed to, but charged at him full tilt, with a huge bamboo pole
Posted by Hannibal  on  Sun Oct 15, 2006  at  10:56 PM
Hello there. I'm the second guy (in the black Bjj t-shirt) in the Australian test that was done in Perth. I find it amusing and aggravating that these frauds are still plying their con and making excuses. Mr Ku'un needs a reality check and if he'd like to arrange another test, fine by me. It's worth noting that immediately after their failure, they started making excuses and I offered them another shot but they declined. What needs to be understood is that we gave them a way to lose graciously by tapping in submission. They had never heard of this before and should be grateful that they were offered this. Without it they would have, at best, be put to sleep, at worst, had limbs broken. If they want to step up again, great, but how about some money on the table? I'll put up AUD$20,000, they do the same, winner take all. If they are the rich organization they claim to be, this would be loose change, right?

So shut up with the excuses, put your money where your mouth is.

YB is an out and out fraud, I *know* because I've faced them and kicked their fraudulent asses.


Posted by GreenStar  on  Sat Dec 23, 2006  at  08:48 PM
Well put.

Posted by Martialist  on  Mon Jan 15, 2007  at  10:54 PM
You're one of the BJJ people who owned them Greenstar?
You should've challenged the rest of this stupid scam cult in Australia and show them what a bunch of dreaming idiots they are.
Make them losers cough up money while you're at it.
Those frauds take money from people feeding them bullshit fantasy, they need to be taught a harsh lesson.

Stupid Indonesian government doesn't keep tabs on superstitious and fanatical bastards.
I'd say kick those fools out of Perth and Australia.

The rest of you guys need not reply to this shill ku'un unless you enjoy entertaining yourself talking to smug idiots thinking they're enlightened when they're either sockpuppying lying internet trolls or just plain deluded and stupid.
Posted by Anon  on  Fri Jan 26, 2007  at  05:20 PM
"As of now, I don't believe it but I am willing to change my stance based upon new evidence."
X2. Ditto.

Posted by Mike  on  Sat Feb 09, 2008  at  01:43 PM
The Holy Grail was supposed to be full of Christ's blood, not water. So yes, vials of holy water from the Grail would certainly be fake.
Posted by shop for art  on  Tue Feb 03, 2009  at  08:06 AM
Hi Greenstar and Ku'un. When a subject generates emotional response like this one it can be assumed that there is going to be little investigation of real facts to base discussion upon. The only real, first hand fact I have read here about the Yellow Bamboo claims is from Greenstar. He has seen with his own eyes ( and it is on film on Youtube ) that when a yellow bamboo practitioner asks a martial artist ( Greenstars friend ) to attack him he runs up to him, gives him a fairly friendly hug, lifts him up in the air and puts him on the ground completely unhurt. It does not look to me like the man attacking knows anything about attacking a person at all. Why should anyone need defence against a hug. I think the Yellow Bamboo practitioner needed protection against humiliation which he clearly did not have.
If the power of Yellow Bamboo defends against attack, then there must be an attack, not a humiliation. So, Greenstar, do you mean to say that your friend ran at this man with the intention of doing him real and serious harm of the kind one needs protection from. It is clear from the film that this is not so. In which case there is no basis for saying that this 'test' has any relevance in the discusssion. Now, if you can find a piece of film where the person fails to put up a good defence and gets floored and injured then you can say either, 1. The practitioner was no good at it, or 2. the practice does not work. So, even then, you have nothing conclusive without further information.
There is a view that the so called 'secret' knowledge about chi power is so clearly in front of our eyes that we cannot see it. That our judgements and beliefs blind us to a part of ourselves that can only be reached through gentleness, humility, study, discernment, calmness and a mind rigorously focussed on truth.
My dear friend Greenstar, your temperament and haste lead you away from the truth. Listen to Ku'un. Despite training with Yellow Bamboo he is in no hurry to defend them or attack you. What does that say about the teaching. This Yellow Bamboo says it is not a martial art but a spiritual practice. It sounds like the humiliated guy on the beach got a lesson he deserved about showing off. Martial arts are one thing, spiritual practice is another. One cannot be understood from the mindset of the other. I have enjoyed reading the blogg but despite your patience this argument will not reach any conclusions. These powers are attained as a by product of any practice which slows down and stops the choice making, or judging movement of the mind. Skepticism is effortless, discernment requires a refined mind. Thank you for an interesting blogg. Batman.
Posted by Paul T  on  Sun May 17, 2009  at  04:59 PM
Paul T,

I think you are Ku'un under a different name. Your argument is ignoring one major part of the youtube video with Greenstar's friend; the part where the YB "practitioner" nearly gets choked out by the jui-jitsu artist. I think that counts as something that the YB practitioner needed protection from. A choke like that can cause sever swelling and even death if the attacker so chooses. The fact that the YB practitioner had NO DEFENSE against the takedown and subsequent rear-naked choke proves that YB is a fraudulant form of self-defense. A squirming 12 year old girl would have put up a better defense against the choke than the YB practitioner did.
Posted by Ed P  on  Wed Jul 08, 2009  at  10:27 PM
Hi Ed P. Good point. I need to look closer. This is part of the problem with low quality film showing a defender still breathing rather well after an attack. It is not as convincing as someone lying on the ground in bits. I'll get back to you when I have run it in slow motion. Paul T.
Posted by Paul T  on  Thu Jul 09, 2009  at  12:04 PM
Paul T,

You're missing the point. The defender needs to defend the choke BEFORE it occurs, not after he has blacked out. The fact that the defender is breathing well after the attack doesn't change the fact that the defender still was not able to defend himself from the choke. He was fortunate the attacker was only simulating the rear naked choke, or else he could have been in serious trouble. The YB practioner was only breathing well because the Jiu-Jitsu artist allowed him to. It doesn't take slow motion to arrive to this conclusion.
Posted by Ed P.  on  Sun Jul 12, 2009  at  12:31 PM
Yellow bamboo martial art is very popular now world wide. I do like it and practicing Taichi from couple of years. Physically the training from Tai Chi cultivates a supple strength and flexibility. the principles from Tai Chi of redirecting force prove invaluable in everyday life mentally. It is really a amazing source of self defense and mental power and energy.
Posted by nwfighting  on  Sat Dec 26, 2009  at  09:24 PM
Dear Ed P. You seem to have answered my question about the nature of the attack. You say that the attacker " was only simulating the rear naked choke ". In this case the defender was in no danger and did not need any defence. This film still seems to show me the humiliation of a showoff who was unable to instruct a martial artist in trusting to attack with a killer blow....quite difficult to do actually as you martial artists practice NOT landing killer blows. It is most likely that the man was unable to commit to murder. Quite understandable but it negates the validity of the test. Check out the film, Three Miles North of Molkom. That will really throw another cat among the pigeons. If you can work out the energetics of what happens there in the middle of the film you get a free treatment from me.....and a great caffe latte.
Love and Light to all seekers of truth and debunkers of bullshit. Batman.
Posted by Batman  on  Sun Dec 27, 2009  at  02:03 PM
OK, so what you're saying is Yellow Bamboo self-defense techniques will only work if someone is trying to kill you? People testing Yellow Bamboo therefore have to be willing to commit murder in order to debunk a fraud. I can't see a rational person being willing to do this under normal circumstances. This is very unfortunate (or convenient) for Yellow Bamboo advocates, since it makes objective testing very difficult.

I couldn't help but noting something a bit strange however: Yellow Bamboo practitioners seem to have no problems using their techniques on each other. Which is interesting, since it means all practitioners of Yellow Bamboo are always trying to kill each other, from the most enlightened master to the new guy who just started.

They must have a lot fatalities amongst the new joiners if they have to learn their techniques while being attacked by people trying to kill them. And even the experienced members must make the occasional mistake. A human being can do a lot of damage to another human being even with just bare fists. It sounds as if the way of the Yellow Bamboo is for hardcore life-or-death members only. To any future potential applicants I wouldn't recommend putting any payments in unless you're willing to experience serious injuries or possibly death.
Posted by M Tait  on  Wed Feb 24, 2010  at  08:53 PM
Hi M Tait. Good comments. Yellow Bamboo appears to be 'Hard Core' energy work. There are many shamanic traditions that result in death for those who do not pass the test.
You have pinpointed exactly the crux of controversy.....How can you 'prove' the existence of 'chi' if the rules are that practitioners are not allowed to show off, AND, trying to show off will result in humiliation or injury??? You may not like my answer! Here goes:
Human beings are extra terrestrial beings we call 'souls'. Souls are very excited about having the earth experience and are lining up to get a body/mind/emotion robot to experience life on earth.
Souls are 5 dimensional and landing in 4 dimensions means a big adaption. ( If you find more than four dimensions difficult then it is good to realise that Quantum mechanics currently proposes 11 dimensions: In the mid 90s, a string theorist named Edward Witten of the Institute for Advanced Study and other important researchers considered that the five different versions of string theory might be describing the same thing seen from different perspectives. They proposed a unifying theory called "M-Theory", in which the "M" is not specifically defined, but is generally understood to stand for "membrane/matrix/magic." M-Theory brought all of the string theories together. It did this by asserting that strings are really 1-dimensional slices of a 2-dimensional membrane vibrating in 11-dimensional space. M-Theory is not yet complete, but the underlying structure of the mathematics has been established, and is in agreement with not only all the string theories but with all of our scientific observations of the universe. Furthermore, it has passed many tests of internal mathematical consistency that many other attempts to combine quantum mechanics and gravity had failed. Unfortunately, until we can find some way to observe higher dimensions (impossible with our current level of technology) M-Theory has a very difficult time making predictions which can be tested in a laboratory. Technologically, it may never be possible for it to be "proven." However, many cosmologists, including Stephen Hawking, are drawn to M-Theory because of its mathematical elegance and relative simplicity. Physicist and bestselling author Michio Kaku has remarked that M-Theory may present us with a "Theory of Everything" which is so concise that its underlying formula would fit on a t-shirt.)
Posted by Batman  on  Sat Feb 27, 2010  at  05:12 AM

OK, so, in order to adapt to four dimensions we need to forget, for a while, that we are 5 dimensional until we can handle: coordinating the body, language, logic, social skills and survival.
Then we get to play being on the planet with all the joys and sorrows. At some point we get transcendental experiences ( a taste of 5 dimensions )...falling in love, near death experience, giving birth. We can deny the validity of these experiences and continue to exist in the prison of the mind. BUT...if we choose to experiment with stargates ( doorways to other dimensions) we can discover parallel universes that exist, not outside, but inside ourselves. The only possibility of experiencing these worlds is by slowing down and stopping the 'choice making movement of the mind'. The logical mind is based on a false assumption that consciousness and thinking ( or mind ) are one and the same thing....they are not ( and this is the cause of all human suffering ). Any thinking or argumentation or cynicism ( in fact any movement of the choice making function of the mind ) restricts entry to these other dimensions. VERY CONVENIENT you will think. Me too. The thing a soul level we are all one ( you've heard this before )so from a soul perspective being better, different, greater, stronger, more spiritual etc. is anathama and does not compute. People who learn methods for transcending mind ( through ecstatic dance, music, sex, ritual, meditation, sacred plants etc ) understand the futility of using the wider perspective and increased energy ( chi ) for anything other than healing self and others, protecting self and others, learning and playing with the peer group. Anything else attracts envy, cynicism, disbelief and argumentation. All these are anathema to spirit. We are all souls evolving towards enlightenment in our own way, in our own time. We are little blobs of creative, conscious energy enjoying the best video game in the universe....shrink down to four dimensions in order to play every conceivable game... for real! ( well...nearly for real ). This four dimensional world is a shadow of the 5th dimensional world. You know how you laugh and cry at the though it were real. Same with four is just a ( very convincing ) fairground ride for the soul. We don't mix up thinking Shrek is 'real ' in four dimensional life. Well, we should not mix up thinking four dimensions are 'real' in the 5th dimensional life. When we have exhausted ( through many lifetimes ) our obsessions for power, money,nature, materials, politics, social and other activities we are left only with the life of the spirit to explore. There is nobody who can do it for you. You will never be able to convince anybody about your experiences...we are all alone...and one. Welcome to the world of paradox....5 dimensions. Heard of Koans? Paradoxes to free the mind.
Posted by Batman  on  Sat Feb 27, 2010  at  06:02 AM
By the way, the very, very little, anybody has seen of Yellow Bamboo on film is either a distorted and grotesque ( though comical ) attempt at showing off by westerners or such a small slice of the whole as to be impossible to interpret the meaning. It gives no information about the true spiritual practice and seems to suggest that the whole practice is trying to hurt people. This would be like saying that flying a jet plane is like doing emergency crash training in a simulator.
Nice chatting. Blessings from Cyberspace, Batman.
Posted by Batman  on  Sat Feb 27, 2010  at  06:04 AM
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