Is My Martial Arts Master a Psychopath?

Being a martial artist, any kind of fighter or a master (Shifu) can have many synergies on how psychopaths and martial artists view the world. Especially when the way of life is interpreted wrongly or the view of the environment is very self centered. This is why the ancient Chinese masters avoided egoic and self-centered students. Now we don’t have this control anymore and most martial arts are available for everyone. The following post is to help masters and students analyze this matter and how Chinese traditions avoided this problem.Psychopaths are not insane, they are fully aware of their actions and the outcome.

Definition of psychopaths

Psychopaths are not insane, they are full aware of their actions and the outcome. They are hard to detect and can “sleep” in society for decades before they kill or commit other inhuman crimes. Potential psychopaths sometimes never commit a crime but often feel very apt to do so.

Psychopath potential

There are around 1% known psychopaths (actual number is most likely much higher) in the world population. Psychopaths usually aim for a job with a position of power and have distinctive characteristics.

How most psychopaths think:

  • Self-centered world view.
  • Have no deep relation to their family.
  • Not very emotional but very materialistic.
  • Rational thinking even in extreme situations.
  • Focus on basic needs: food, drinks, money…

What skills most psychopaths have in common:

  • Very cunning and manipulative – talking with a psychopath after several hours can leave a “hypnotizing” affect about personal understanding.
  • Speech patterns to hide psychopathy.
  • Distinctive personalities in public and private life.
  • Unfortunately most of them are very intelligent.

Top ten jobs with the most psychopathic potential:

  1. CEO
  2. Lawyer
  3. Media (Television/Radio)
  4. Salesperson
  5. Surgeon
  6. Journalist
  7. Police officer
  8. Clergyman
  9. Chef
  10. Civil servant

What job is a martial arts master?

Being a master (Shifu) is indeed a strong power position. Which is highly dependent on how much attention the students are given.


  1. Ceo = When the master runs his own school, association with his own management of people. trainers, cashiers,  receptionist and so on.
  2. Lawyer = Knowledge about the law. “How can I defend myself, what is allowed and what comes with consequences?” This is important for any master with self defense classes.
  3. Media = When the master makes his own videos, blogs or advertisements public. The media is a way to manipulate people and strengthen his position of power.
  4. Salesperson = Selling martial arts apparel or DVDs. It is a position of power on the market.
  5. Surgeon = Knowledge about anatomy, meridians and so on. Some masters promote themselves as healers with superior knowledge of healing methods and the effects in the human body. Potential synergies: acupuncture, TCM, massage…
  6. Journalist = Interviewing his grandmaster and making this information public. Psychopaths tend to attract more people by doing that and also interpret their own world view by showing similarities with the authenticity from the grand-master’s roots.
  7. Police officer = When masters tend to judge others and execute justice in situations. Not always similar to what a police officer would do. But correcting, judging and advising other people is a strong point. Maybe the master works close with the police or always wanted to be a police officer.
  8. Clergyman = Catholics, Taoist, Buddhist or any other religions or philosophy. Some masters become priests or tend to manipulate people by giving them speeches about the way of life.
  9. Chef = When a master is making special meals which are usually only eaten in China, otherwise not many correlations here. Most psychopaths do cook to satisfy their needs.
  10. Civil servant = When a master is doing a civil service. Helping refugees or any other kind of civil courage.

There are simply not enough masters in the world to promote enough statistical data, but students or masters which practice the ancient arts for themselves with the characteristics of a psychopath have indeed a higher potential to actually be one. Being a master can have many satisfying correlations with the top ten jobs that attract their thinking. One of the biggest correlations martial arts has is the strengthening of oneself. Psychopaths are self-centered and want to “secure” their standing, physically and mentally.

How to detect potential psychopaths

The use of past tense can be an indicator of psychological detachment, and the researchers found that the psychopaths used it more than present tense when compared with normal people. They also found more dysfluencies — the “uhs” and “ums” that interrupt speech — among psychopaths. Nearly universal in speech, dysfluencies indicate that the speaker needs some time to think about what they are saying.

Psychopaths appear to view the world and others instrumentally, as theirs for the taking.

A psychopath’s language contains more words known as subordinating conjunctions. These words, including “because” and “so that,” are associated with cause-and-effect statements. This pattern suggested that psychopaths were more likely to view the crime as the logical outcome of a plan (something that ‘had’ to be done to achieve a goal).

And finally, while most of us respond to higher-level needs, such as family, religion or spirituality, and self-esteem, psychopaths remain occupied with those needs associated with a more basic existence. The analysis revealed that psychopaths used about twice as many words related to basic physiological needs and self-preservation, including eating, drinking and monetary resources than normal people.

By comparison, the nonpsychopathic murderers talked more about spirituality and religion and family, reflecting on what nonpsychopathic people would think about when they just committed a murder.

Additional points on how you can detect potential psychopaths:

  • Self display of the “public personality” (facebook, blogs, interviews) – showing greatness and power. When the school website has many pictures of himself showing off his “power”.
  • Having nicknames or other things which encourage different personalities.
  • Strong need to control and finding people which can be controlled.

How masters can encourage psychopaths:

Each master has a different way of teaching students, here we show which kind of teaching generally has more potential:

Martial Arts exercises with higher potential

  • Partner exercises which make people compete against each other.
  • Exercises which satisfy the ego by displaying oneselves power.
  • Roleplaying as criminal and victim. (self-defense classes)
  • Promoting knowledge as hidden or ancient secrets which lead to great power.
  • Do not feed individual students ego as prodigy.

Martial Arts exercises with lower potential

  • Repeating the same exercises over and over again – people must lay down their ego to focus their whole being on repeating these exercises  – no matter how demanding and painful. Less thinking, more doing.
  • Stretching classes and working with a “healthy” pain. This does not show greatness but dedication to work on oneself.
  • Demanding meditation exercise – psychopaths cannot display their ego here. Meditation should be very long to maximize the effect.
  • Telling students that there are no tricks and secrets, only dedication, discipline and hard work.
  • Teaching their students that progress is based solely off the student and their mindset. Taoist masters often show that they don’t care much.

Traditional methods to avoid psychopaths in martial arts

Ancient Chinese masters used to “filter” new students by giving them exercises which seemed pointless, demanding and repeated them often. If the student complained to the master he would shout to him to go away and look somewhere else. However if the student never complained he would sooner or later (between three and twelve years) become a part of the family and the master would be similar to his father.


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