September 09, 2010

Update on "Aztec martial art"

Back in 2001, someone named Ruel Macaraeg created a website to "to test whether any of the supernatural powers claimed on behalf of ritual weapons can be validated under controlled scientific conditions." Macaraeg claimed that indigenous and other non-Western societies believed their weapons had magical powers. And that he could prove these people wrong.

As far as I know, his claim about what these societies believed is false. And it's impossible to prove a negative, so his plan was doomed to fail. But because he deemed non-Western societies primitive and superstitious, he earned a Stereotype of the Month nomination.

Correspondent Al Carroll, who brought Macaraeg to my attention, added this note:If you go to the index, you will find "Yaomachtia and the Aztec Empire." This is a martial arts instructor, Manuel Lozano, in Texas who uses what he claims are "Aztec martial arts."

I checked around. No such thing. The instructor later admitted he had picked it up in China. Still, the site owner, Ruel Macaraeg, claims Lozano is "enormously influential" and so will be included even though Lozano admits to being a fraud. Maybe you could include two nominations, one for Macaraeg and one for Lozano.
My response to this:I searched Google to verify that the only references to the alleged Aztec martial art of "yaomachtia," in millions of Web pages, are to "Master" Lozano and his own site.On a subsequent page, I debated yaomachtia with Macaraeg, but this is the gist of the story. That was the last I heard of yaomachtia...until now.

Lozano speaks up

Recently I received this e-mail from Lozano, whom I hadn't heard from before. Nine years after the fact, he wanted to set me straight:Dear Mr. Rob Schmidt,

I ran across your website and you mention my name and the martial art of Yaomachtia and you say so many things about and some Ruel Macuareg whoever he is.

I don't know either one of you and neither one of you know me. I don't appreciate your comments about me or this ancient martial art i teach.

Why don't you research correctly what you talk on your so-called website before you talk about it.

You don't know anything about the Pre-Columbian Martial Arts to be making your unbased comments.

Manuel Lozano
Had my research skills failed me? After nine years of indexing pages, was Google loaded with information on yaomachtia? It was time for an update on the subject.

Ask and ye shall receive

I Googled yaomachtia once again and sent Lozano this reply:>> I don't know either one of you and neither one of you know me. I don't appreciate your comments about me or this ancient martial art i teach. <<

Sorry, but I don't need to know you to comment on something I've seen in the media or on the Web.

>> Why don't you research correctly what you talk on your so-called website before you talk about it. <<

I did research the subject before talking about it. But I'll update the research now. Here we go:

Supposedly the Yaomachtia is an ancient martial art originating in Mexico that was created by the Aztecs. It means "lessons of war" in Nahuatl. There is no record about its use in ancient times, nor for present use.

I believe the guy in Texas teaching it was exposed as a fraud and disappeared. And I've heard it said the word is a modern invention.

It was indeed a martial formation but nothing like a martial art.

Yaomachtia, I'm thinking may not be authentic, or at least not completely authentic.

Yaomachtia is supposedly an Aztec system of martial arts. You can find out about it at: But don't get your hopes up, unless your willing to shell out the money for the books and videos, you aren't going to find out much. I have repeatedly e-mailed "master" Lozano for more info on this art and he has never responded. I did a search for "yaomachtia" on the internet and came up with a message board for skeptics which claimed that "master" Lozano actually picked up the art of yaomachtia in China so it is not authentic.

The key point may be the first one. No record of yaomachtia in the past or present. So there's no information and nothing to research.

If you want to send me the missing evidence of yaomachtia's use in Aztec times, go ahead. Be sure to include authoritative sources for all your claims. Don't simply cite your own publications and videos. If the claims are credible, I'll update the page.

Comment:  There you go. Lozano got the update he wanted. I hope it was as satisfying to him as it was to me.

Needless to say, Lozano didn't respond to this e-mail. He has yet to provide a shred of evidence about yaomachtia's existence. The website is now defunct.

If Lozano comes across this posting next, my offer still stands. Go ahead and prove yaomachtia's existence to me. Put up or shut up. Until then, I'm still comfortable labeling it a "fictitious" martial art.

For more on the Aztecs, see Were the Aztecs "Murdering Animals?"

Below:  My impression of Macaraeg's impression of Aztecs: a primitive and superstitious lot. Courtesy of the movie The Road to El Dorado.

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