After Showing Up to His Live Event, Skeptics Debunk Promoter of ‘Touchless’ Karate

Master Jukka Lampila is a Finnish con artist who claims to be able to teach you a form of karate that requires no kicks or punches. All you need is your mind and your opponents will be defeated. It’s called “EFO” or Empty Force and it’s all a trick.

Lampilo, in the foreground, “defeats” his “attacker” by using his “mind”…

Last week, Lampila was giving a demonstration of the technique in Spain (you bet your ass there was a pricey entrance fee) and a few skeptics decided to pay him a visit. I seriously don’t know why Lampila allowed cameras to be there…

While he “demonstrates the power” for the first couple of minutes, the fun begins at 2:28 when the skeptics decide to allow Lampila to use his powers on them:

Turns out the Empty Force is running on empty.

This is exactly what would happen if skeptics showed up at a Benny Hinn-like faith-healing seminar, too. When you see those scammers touch (or almost touch) someone on the forehead and the person falls backwards, that’s just the power of suggestion at work. They want to believe so badly that they’re willing to play along.

It’s the same trick hypnotists use.

Hats off to the Skepticool team for debunking this fraud. One down. Many more to go.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Madison Blane

    What most people don’t realize is that the placebo effect is still a very real and very measurable effect. If ‘real’ acupuncture is equivalent to the placebo effect, that doesn’t mean that it is producing no effect at all. It just means that ‘real’ acupuncture is no BETTER of an effect.

  • Artor

    This looks like someone who couldn’t cut it at Aikido, so he made up something similar, but useless. I hope anyone interested signs up for a different style, and gets something for their time and money.

  • Kimpatsu

    Yes, I was going to post this.

  • wmdkitty

    Khajiit approves of this video.

  • 3lemenope

    M’aiq does not understand what is so impressive about shouting. M’aiq can shout whenever he wants.

  • Richard Wade

    Yes. His actual physical moves when he was being pushed were definitely basic Aikido moves, which redirect the pusher’s hand and arm. But he didn’t follow through with the various actual physical wrist or arm grips, which if done by an advanced expert could put an attacker on the ground. Given what I saw, if one of the skeptics were permitted to present a forceful attack with intention and full speed, Lampila would be injured and flat on his back.

    He’s selling Aikido-by-magic. There ain’t no magic. Whether you’re using genuine Aikido, or Karate, or Barstooldo, If you cannot physically dodge your attacker, you have to physically touch him in order to defend yourself.

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    But those guys do get hurt and have been killed while performing and no, I don’t watch WWE.

  • BenjCano
  • momtarkle

    Really? Some have been killed performing? Was it in the ring? Was it, maybe, natural causes? Old age?

    I don’t watch WWE either, but have seen some snippets of it on TV.

  • wmdkitty


  • purr

    Oh man, this reminds me of an episode of ‘Real Sex’ on HBO where some Japanese dude claimed to be able to masturbate women to orgasm through the force of his psychokinetic powers.×560.jpg

  • Captain Cassidy

    I think these con artists eventually fool themselves into believing this bullshit, if they repeat it often enough and they have enough true believers around them to maintain the illusion.

  • Artor

    My ex has her blackbelt in Aikido, Training 20-30 hours a week, she regularly had bruised handprints on her forearms from the forceful grips in class. When going out in public, I got dirty looks from people who thought I was roughing her up. I had to laugh though, because she could easily tie me in a knot & throw me through a wall, despite me having 80 lbs on her.

  • midnight rambler

    This is the weird thing – something like 30% of people are helped by placebo effects, not just in self-reporting but in actual measurable effects. But the catch is that you have to believe that it’s real in order for it to work. If you think it’s a placebo, it won’t work; there can even be an anti-placebo effect if someone thinks that a real medicine is fake.

  • Compuholic

    Thank you for pointing that out. Placebo and its evil twin the Nocebo are very real effects. Many people think it is just about imagination and feelings but they are not. There are objectively observable consequences to both of them.

    As far as I remember that was also the result of the study. Accupuncture had a measurable effect (in the sense of a placebo) but it didn’t matter where the needles were applied.

  • WalterWhite007

    You’re wrong. I didn’t say we are born believing anything. We are prone to belief over disbelief. That’s a fact. You don’t automatically disbelieve second to second. You believe unless proven otherwise. Even then people lie to themselves to support beliefs they want to believe.
    You believe the floor in your house is solid. You believe the news. You believe what people tell you unless you know otherwise. You do automatically disbelieve. Belief is our default.

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    Yes, in the ring. Owen Hart died during a performance in 1999 and typing 1999 felt weird.

  • momtarkle

    R. I. P., Owen. Here’s a short clip of Owen’s death. It’s not wet, but it’s not pretty. And it’s not wrestling.

  • TravellingBeard
  • Madison Blane

    Which, as far as I’m concerned, says a lot about prayer. Perhaps it did work, just not for the supernatural reasons people ascribe to it!

  • momtarkle

    It’s WWF not WWE, you idiot!

  • Bob Seidensticker

    Wow! What a great parallel with Christianity. This guy is still out there, selling his seminars, just like Christianity is still out there. One benefit of Christianity is that, even if one guy is a fraud (Ted Haggard gets humiliated by the press, for example), the True Believer can just go down the street to find another charlatan who’s the real deal.

  • John Barleycorn

    This old guy blows me away. (Figuratively, of course.) What was he thinking? I think he was counting on the MMA guy to not punch him in the face because he’s an old man. Not break the social contract. But look, if a nutjob offers me five grand to prove that he’s full of shit BY punching him in the face…I’m gonna take it! Maybe I’m a man of low morals. I’m okay with that.

  • purr

    Hah. Joseph O Polanco is following you. You ‘lucky’ fucker.

  • Yoav

    Yet somehow all his, presumably fit and well trained, students are not only among these 40% but also haven’t manage to learn how to “translate this energy” and are still susceptible to his magic.

  • uzza

    There are more parallels than not between religion and martial arts. In fact, some traditions explicitly describe themselves as religions. Replace Sensei with pastor, god with the old master, the ryu’s techniques with holy scripture, and theology with made up bullshit.

  • Bob Seidensticker


  • P.W1974

    I use to watch it when I was younger and those guys can get nearly maimed sometimes. I remember a really tall guy jumped off of the corner post and snapped his leg in half when he landed. A guy got his spine broken after a guy called Big Van Vader performed a wrestling move on him. Yes, it’s just a form of entertainment but those guy take a beating due to the stunts they perform and the near 7 days a week, 30 days a month work schedule.

  • momtarkle

    OK, you are right and I am wrong about the dangers of that “sport”. It can be dangerous and the performers do get hurt. But, I still can’t watch it, even for short periods of time, without getting a major case of the giggles.

  • P.W1974

    You can’t watch it and take it seriously because it’s utterly ridiculous. As a kid I thought it was the most exciting thing in the world but now I can’t even bring myself to turn it on and watch 5 mins of it.

  • Colin Rosenthal

    “Every woman I know can achieve sexual satisfaction without me even touching them.”

    It doesn’t sound so impressive when you phrase it that way :-)