Man! It is BEEYOUTIFUL out. Time for a BEEYOUTIFUL workout!
A quick word: Google is suppressing newsletter, but you can find this newsletter blogged at alcase.wordpress.com.
Bruce Lee did a good job of analyzing the motion of combat. He took apart when, for instance, during the opponent’s punch, you should attack. You can find out more about this if you dig around at FreeBruceLee.com.
BUT, nobody’s ever really tried to figure out what happens at the moment of combat. Not the moment of launch, but the thought that must occur before the launch.
And, to be honest, nobody’s ever had the neutronics data, so it is no wonder that nobody has ever done this.
the one thing to remember is that you have a thought, and energy, and body, follow it. The odd thing in all this is that thoughts go in only two directions.
Thoughts go out. Thoughts go in.
This can be made complex, if you stick on analyzing emotion, emotion disguises what you are doing, and so on.
So, the exact moment of attack, should be when the opponent is, for whatever reason, not thinking out, towards you, but inwards, towards himself.
If you understand this, you understand the purpose of meditation: sitting (or moving) and never allowing thoughts to invert, to come back towards yourself. In other words, to watch the world without having internal thoughts.
Here are the ways you can take advantage of this momentary lapse of awareness. The most important is distraction.
Distraction is when you point the opponent’s attention elsewhere.
He blinks because of a fly. He looks because of a motion to the side. He thinks when you tell him there is someone behind him. He thinks because you trash talk. He gets mad, or otherwise falls to emotion. And so on.
You can attack when any of these, or other, distractions occur.
You can attack after the thought of attack, but that is not a good idea, unless you are immaculate in your strategy and tactics. The reason is attacks will collide, mistakes can be made once you let him go into motion, and so on.
BUT… the best time to attack a person? Before he has the thought.
Doesn’t matter when he makes a decision, or for what reason, you simply attack before his thought. At that point he has become victim, as he is going to be responding to your attack, instead of creating an original one of his own.
Here’s the thing, people think you can’t see a thought. But you can. It takes an immense amount of discipline in classical martial arts. It takes less time in matrixed martial arts. Logic just allows you to study, and therefore learn, faster.
Heck, you see people thinking all the time. You see the look in their eyes, you read their bodies, you feel their energy. If you are good you actually perceive the thought. But that level of good depends upon how effective and sincere your training has been.
The lesson here? Train hard, train long, matrix (make logical) everything you do. Make yourself a perceptive person by looking out at the world, and not inward to your own thoughts, troubles, emotions, etc.
It’s hot here in LA, and you can really sweat those toxins out. The best way to sweat? Work out!
I was driving down the street the other day, and I saw all sorts of martial arts studios. MMA, Muay Thai, Boxing, Karate, Kung fu, Kenpo, Judo, Aikido, Taekwondo, and on and on and on.
When I began, in 1967, which is near 50 years ago, there was judo, which was taught in a few places, and there was Karate. Interestingly, Karate was undergoing a boom. This was just before Bruce Lee, and the Tracy Brothers had breathed fire into marketing, and Karate schools were opening every where.
I began Kenpo, went every day, became an instructor, and so on, and I had a lot of questions, and nowhere to get the answers. The only magazine was Black Belt, and they sort of circled the arts, talking about, but never delving in.
And there weren’t many books. There was the outlandish Super Karate Made Easy, Ed Parker had a book out, Robert Smith wrote his book on Shaolin Temple boxing. But these books were either techniques books, or they talked in mysteries, and there was no way to understand what the heck the martial arts were all about.
Then I came across a book called Zen Flesh, Zen Bones. I had left kenpo by then, and was in the Kang Duk Won, and this book was a Godsend.
Not a book about technique, not a dissertation of mental tricks, rather questions and tales that made you blink, and look for the real you.
One of my favorites was the old question, ‘Who were you before you were born.’
Now you might be wondering, how can an art built of physical routines answer that question?
The answer to that wonderment lies in the simple fact that we were not distracted. Karate was not infected by boxing, throws weren’t an active part. And so on.
On the surface, looking back, reading these words as I write them, I can understand why people might wonder, how can you call that an art? How can you think of that stripped down sapling as a wondrous forest of spirit?
Easy. We weren’t distracted, and we practiced those few techniques we knew until we could make them work.
Enlightenment is when you do one thing without distraction, until you see the truth of that one thing.
You have heard people like Bruce Lee say, in the end, a punch is just a punch, a kick is just a kick.
But, here’s the bad news, if you haven’t found that out through doing a simple kick, or punch, without distraction, for tens of thousands of times, then the truth of the statement evades you.
You know about water, but you’ve never been wet.
That is why, except for a few logical changes, and the nudging of matrixing, the karate I do now, is virtually the same as the karate I did way back when.
Pinan one through pinan five, the iron horse, a few others, I do them almost the same as I learned them. And, here’s the interesting thing, the way I learned them was only a couple of generations removed from the way they were taught before Funakoshi.
I go into modern schools and I don’t see what I learned. I see forms infected by boxing, distracted by MMA, slanted by tournaments and kick boxing. I see techniques discarded because people can’t make them work. I see people fighting, instead of painstakingly being taught the drills that lead to…not fighting, to scientifically assessing an opponent and shredding him without waste.
Most of all, I don’t see the calm of mind, the calm that comes not from knowing about lots of arts, but from knowing one thing well. And, in these modern times, if people do know one thing well, it has been slanted by ‘reality fighting,’ by the desire to beat up your fellow man, not to calm yourself, and find the truth of yourself.
Not to find out who you were before you were born.
Here’s the art that I was taught, unchanged except for a few logical tweaks, and the ‘de-slanting’ of matrixing.
Yoga has been around for thousands of years. Yoga asanas, or postures, were being done by people for this period of time for one simple reason: they work. The interesting thing is that they work, in spite of the fact that they are, for the most part, being done wrong.
I stumbled across this fact as a result of my studies in the martial arts. I studied martial arts for years and years, for decades, and finally realized that I was trying too hard. I was using all my muscles, all my energy, and it was a waste.
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It was a waste because how tense your muscles are doesn’t have much to do with how hard you hit. What matters is how relaxed you are. For when you are relaxed you can deliver the punch more efficiently.
If you are tense you are actually working against yourself, against your own body and mind. You are locking up muscles and actually stopping the flow of energy that results in efficient motion.
The problem was that nobody understood this. Instead, karate instructors would train people and wait for them to get tired of using so much effort, would wait for them, after some years, to start relaxing when they executed the moves.
Waiting for a student to get tired is not very efficient. Especially when compared to instructing them on when and how to relax.
In Yoga people are put in postures, and they stay that way, and the instructors, often sadistic animals, chuckle as the student undergoes the effort and the strain and the pain. Heck, we’ve all heard them chuckling and expounding on how easy it is.
But they don’t tell people how to make easy. Even if they do understand, they are often so filled with their own cleverness that they don’t take the time to make the simple explanations.
It’s one of those things of: ‘We’ve always done it this way!’ And no real understanding.
The truth is that effort, strain and pain can actually result in injuries.
The correct procedure should be to encourage the student to relax. Not to put him in difficult poses and wait for a year or two until he finally relaxes, but to educate him as to how to relax individual muscles.
When an instructor does this the student suddenly gets better. He enters more and more difficult poses not by trying harder, but by relaxing his body, by learning that his muscles are fighting, and he must give them commands to relax.
The interesting phenomena is that the student’s mind will not clear out until he has relaxed.
Well, of course. A straining mind is not empty, is not clear of distractions, it is filled with one, huge distraction.
How to Have Supernatural Powers in the Martial Arts…
Supernatural in kung fu, refers to such things as reading minds, intuition, seeing when things are going to happen before they happen, And so on.
The reason people have such trouble in gaming this high level of martial arts is because of a basic misunderstanding of who and what they are.
Great book to start developing your kung fu super powers! Click on the cover!
The body is an envelope for the spirit.
The mind is just a bunch of memory.
The spirit is the source of all supernatural ability in the martial arts.
The misunderstanding comes when people attribute their abilities to mental powers.
Memory has no powers, memory obscures he human being, which obscures a being’s natural power. Natural ability, what a human being can do once memories are put aside is actually what we call supernatural kung fu.
Thus to say Power comes from mental abilities is completely the opposite of what they should be thinking.
Think of it this way, A person trains his body and this creates discipline in the soul. In effect it bypasses the mind, which is to say the memories, which come between a person and his true power and ability.
Understanding this one must apply this to the martial arts.
One memorizes movements, Which creates a short-term memory. One practices the movements until the memory disappears and intuition remains. The bonus is at the long-term memory tends to disappear to, Or at least to get out-of-the-way of the martial artist.
So you memorize to give up memory and what is left is the awareness, the Spirit, the human being, the ‘I am.’
When you give up memory, your own abilities come to the fore. These abilities, Based in such things as intuition, actually frighten normal people. That is why so many people give up the martial arts at the brown belt level, for that is the level at which a person breaks through to intuition.
Unfortunately, most systems no longer bring a person to the edge of intuition, or push him through to intuition.
This is why I created matrixing. It makes the martial arts faster, it makes the jump to intuition easier.
Instead of spending years trying to figure out the confusion created by a laborious memorization procedure, the student learns logical moves, builds up no internal resistance to the memorization procedure, and slides smoothly into intuition.
Check out monstermartialarts.com, and especially matrix karate. Even if you have done martial arts for years, even if you know dozens of martial arts systems, once you experience the logic of matrixing, all those systems Will start to make sense and come together in a manner which you didn’t envision.
Yes, unbelievable but true, a young boy, who definitely didn’t want to go to Kung Fu class, has taken to wearing a tin skull cap. The boy’s father apparently wanted to teach him good Kung Fu, and he would say things like, ‘if you don’t study Kung Fu you will have a weak mind, then the government will control you with their radio frquencies.’ The boy thought that if he wore a metal cap as protection against the radio waves he wouldn’t have to study kung fu. Which is to say, he wouldn’t have to have a strong mind.
Great book to start learning Kung Fu! Click on the cover!
The scientific truth behind this odd tale is that the body is a like a machine, and the brain is like a radio station. Unfortunately, the radio station ‘brain’ is victim to so much static that it starts to generate its own static. The old ‘garbage in garbage out’ theory.
A study of Kung fu, focusing the mind on ‘one thing,’ will train the individual to ignore the static, and the mind will come under control, and then the radio frequencies broadcast by the government will pass right through the ‘empty mind.’
The static that is absorbed by the brain can actually come from several sources. Drugs tend to unfocus the individual, encouraging a form of static. The government puts out special frequencies at places across the globe in order to control mankind on a mass level. Even education is a culprit in this sad saga, as modern education is so lacking in even basic common sense that the result is more confusion among students, rather than competence and clarity, resulting in an ‘educated’ population that will do as they are told, and not what is right.
Thus, the boy’s father was right, and the boy was wrong, but, if he persists in wearing a tinfoil beanie he will doubtless remain stupid and prone to distractions and become just one more ‘mind number robot’ having existence as a human being.
The solution? Study Kung Fu, or Karate or Aikido, or any other form of body discipline…for to discipline the body is to discipline the mind.
A good place to start would be the martial arts lessons available at MonsterMartialArts.com. They are very logical, easy to do, and will cause the body, and mind, to become strong enough to resist any form of distraction. Remember, good Kung Fu results in strong human beings.
This guest blog was written by Paul Mann. I consider it a real gem of martial arts writing, and I think you will, also. enjoy.
Karate must be considered, in its final form and spirit, as an expression of your indomitable will to survive in the most direct, self-reliant manner possible, using only that which God gave you; a body, mind and spirit rigorously disciplined as an inseparable entity.2
Kyuhn literally means fist and is usually translated as fist, boxing or boxer. Kyuhn also has a much deeper, philosophical meaning: a person who is unified in body, mind and spirit. This is an implied meaning, which is derived from the fact that the component parts of your hand must be unified in order to form a fist. But, what is meant by unification of body, mind and spirit and how is it achieved?
Unification occurs when body, mind and spirit have been trained and are in harmony with each other. Unification of body, mind and spirit is accomplished by harmonizing the body, which will promote health and fitness; harmonizing the breath, which will result in an increased and harmonious flow of vital energy; and harmonizing the mind, which means controlling your mind and developing the power of concentration.
Harmonizing the Body (Tiuh San) Before you can learn to defeat others, you must first learn to stand. Stance training is the foundation of all authentic Chinese martial arts. Physically, it strengthens the legs for stability, powerful footwork and kicking. Correct posture is developed to provide maximum results from properly executed techniques. Also developed are a focused, concentrated gaze for projection of fighting spirit as well as breath control and correct placement of the tongue. Mentally, it requires patience, refines the temperament and produces a tranquil mind. Therefore, be serious and devoted in your stance training, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.3
Harmonizing the Breath (Tiuh Sik) And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.4 There are several words5 in the Bible, which have been translated as spirit or soul. The actual meanings of these words are: any breathing creature; breath and, by implication, spirit; wind and, by resemblance, breath; a current of air, i.e. breath. As you can see, the Biblical use of the words breath and spirit are interrelated and virtually interchangeable.
In Chinese martial arts we use the word hei. The character for hei has several meanings. It can mean air, breath or spirit, but it is most commonly used to represent the concept of vital energy. It is a creative energy, the divine ‘breath’ in every being, which appears as active attention, concentration, and mental force.6
According to a research project undertaken by M.I.T. in 1978, there actually is an electrical energy field around the human body, which can be regulated and even intensified by controlled breathing exercises. In 1997, Liu Chang I was invited to produce a video tape on Fukien White Crane Karate. During the taping, studio technicians picked up a sort of rumbling, drumming sound. The sound engineer couldn’t figure out what was wrong with the radio microphone he had attached to Mr. Liu. “Oh! That’s my gung lihk (manifested vital energy),” explained Mr. Liu. The microphone was removed and taping continued without further incident.7
In one of the most amazing demonstrations of vital energy, Kirlian photography was used to film Teruyuki Yamada breaking a one-inch board. Now, there is nothing amazing about a punch breaking a board, but it is amazing that the punch never hit the board! Playing the film in very slow motion revealed that the board actually snapped when Mr. Yamada’s fist was still one inch away from it! What had shattered the wood was the pressurized force of the energy field between the board and the fist!8
The study of breath seems shrouded with mystery. Unlike the visible techniques of karate, breath and vital energy are unseen forces. They are, nevertheless, as much a part of cultivating the mind as developing the body.9 Though we could suggest any number of preliminary methods for unifying the spirit, directly speaking, uniform breathing and breath control are very important, and breath control is of utmost importance for progressing on the martial path. Success in spiritual unity and strength concentration depends on proper breathing methods.10
The art of breathing (hei gung) is characterized by deep abdominal breathing with your mind concentrated on the daan tihn, a point about three inches below your navel. Daily performance of daan tihn breathing will increase your energy level, produce explosive power and promote a positive, optimistic frame of mind. This is the source of the saying, if you know the art of breathing; you will have the strength, wisdom and courage of ten tigers.
Harmonizing the Mind (Tiuh Sam) Part I Controlling Your Mind Karate training will give you the ability to respond to an assault in such a way that the skills acquired through training flow naturally and freely, from knowledge to action without delay. No fear, no hesitation, only immediate, effective and appropriate action. How is this possible?
An untrained mind, like a drunken monkey, jumps around from one thought or emotion to another. One moment you’re thinking about the job at hand, and then about how hungry you are, the score of a ball game, an upcoming date, or any of the five poisonous emotions.11 These thoughts and emotions will rob you of the strength you need to face and solve your problems. Once you are able to divert energy from unnecessary thoughts and emotions and pour it into achieving goals, your power will be boundless and you will be able to achieve more of what you want to accomplish.
No thought of thought is a martial term, which refers to a mind which is empty of all thought and/or emotion; a mind which is receptive, pliant and which allows you to react spontaneously to any situation, which may occur. So then, flow with whatever may happen and let your mind be free. Achievement of this concept in conjunction with deep breathing techniques will enable you to control your mind. The end result is a self-controlled person who is relaxed and effortless in mind and body; a person who sees things as they really are; a person who is fully capable of facing and decisively responding to any conflict, which may arise.
Harmonizing the Mind (Tiuh Sam) Part II Developing the Power of Concentration Once, long ago in China, there was an archer who trained daily to perfect his techniques. One autumn evening, the archer was walking home when, suddenly, he saw a flicker of movement in the shadows. It was a tiger, crouching and ready to pounce. Concentrating his mind, the archer fired off an arrow and scored a direct hit, right in the head. The archer hurried home without stopping to examine the dead animal. On the following day, he was curious and returned to the spot where he had slain the tiger. He searched everywhere, but failed to find the body of the tiger. He was about to abandon his search when he saw the arrow, stuck in a huge boulder. It hadn’t been a tiger after all, but his concentration had been so intense that the arrow had been driven into solid rock!
The concentrated mind can pierce through stone. It is characterized by “at yan” (indomitable spirit), a term which expresses a willingness to strive against all odds, to persevere under pressure, and to endure. It has an implied meaning of total commitment; of carrying on even when one is mortally wounded. The term is comprised of two pictographs, At and Yan. At is a pictograph of a hand restraining a germinating seed. Yan, the Chinese word for perseverance, depicts a heart pierced by a knife.
At yan, therefore, means concentrating your mind on one task, goal, problem or object and devoting yourself completely to discovering the solution or to finding the way out of your difficulty or to gaining your objective. It means to struggle, to grapple, to wrestle, to give your all and hold nothing back. It means closing with your problem or opponent and never retreating. It means no hesitation, advance bravely 12 with all you’ve got, again and again, until you achieve your objective.
Harmonizing the Mind (Tiuh Sam) Part III Complete Awareness The Chinese word for awareness, lauh sam, literally means keep your heart. Complete awareness (general, direct and specific) is the most important method of assault prevention. Your first line of defense is general awareness concerning yourself, other people and the surrounding environment. Pay attention, be alert and watch for conditions that might lead to a physical confrontation. Then, do whatever is necessary to prevent the confrontation from occurring.
Direct awareness13 (intuition14), finds expression in the saying no sound you can hear, no shape you can see. This ability to see the unseeable and hear the unhearable can make you more sensitive and receptive of the presence of other people’s energy fields. Any miscreant who intends to harm you will project a flow of energy which Chinese karateka call saat hei (killing spirit). Direct awareness is the ability to sense the presence of saat hei. When this happens, heed your intuitive alarm signals and take preventive measures before the danger manifests itself. In any situation which does become physical, direct awareness will enable you to act or strike decisively without conscious thought.
Your awareness must be more specific in the event that a confrontation does occur. Gaan is a Chinese karate concept which refers to “the space in between” combatants as well as an awareness of the potential ability of an individual to make offensive use of space, distance, timing and opportunity. Specific awareness (gaan) can help determine your success or failure by providing you with the information necessary for mentally establishing an imminent danger zone (ngaih gap yuhn).
Conclusion The Chinese word for monarch is comprised of three horizontal lines centrally joined and intersected by one vertical line. Philosophically, the three horizontal lines represent the three essential elements. The vertical line symbolizes unification and control. The word for monarch, then, describes a person who is unified in body, mind and spirit, a person who is in control of his or her life. This concept is the heart and soul of Yushin Ryu Karate Do – the Way of the Courageous Heart. Let this be the emphasis of your training as well.
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The following is a guest editorial from Alaric Dailey
Being a student of traditional Karate-Do, when I make mention to a school owner or martial artist or parent of a child taking classes somewhere that “martial arts is more than punching and kicking, there is more to being a martial artist than simply being a fighter” I get a blank stare. At this point, I have to explain the following.
The Wudan Assassin, on kindle or paperback…click on the cover!
These days, tradition is often poo-pooed with some comment like “if it doesn’t make me a better fighter than I don’t care”. But being a fighter doesn’t make you a good person, in fact, simply knowing how to fight can make you arrogant, or worse, a bully.
This is often evidenced in “fighter” gyms, people walking around with bad attitudes, all about testosterone and ego, injuries abound because people are always trying to prove they are the king of the mountain.
The way of the warrior, Bushido, is about being a gentle soul, learning not only to punch and kick, but to help others, to be calm and humble.
In other words, learning all those “useless” things, like the language, the manners, the meditation, the discipline, reciting Dojo-kun are not useless, they are about expanding your mind, and making you more than a fighter.
In my original dojo, my sensei not only give us the meditation and such, but would also tell us stories of the Samurai, and give us pieces of Bushido that most westerners never hear. “Ikebana (flower arranging) is a great way to clear your mind”, and “self-defense is not just about punching and kicking, it is about avoiding and defusing danger in the first place” were words of wisdom that we often heard from sensei.
When the Japanese would teach an art, they would distinguish whether or not it included only fighting techniques, or would give you “the way”. If you have “the way” it is a Do, Karate-Do, Ju-Do, Aiki-Do, etc. If it is purely fighting techniques it was Jitsu, Karate-jitsu, Ju-jitsu, Aiki-jitsu, and Nin-jitsu.
As a side note here, you will notice there is no such thing as a “Do” for Ninja fighting techniques. This is because the ninja weren’t fighters, they were assassins, their skills included, poisons, escape, evasion, not being seen, killing techniques etc. Being a hired killer, and being a better person have nothing to do with each other.
and 3 more associated virtues Filial piety (孝 kō) Wisdom (智 chi) Care for the aged (悌 tei)
I see it as a great loss that so many have thrown away history and tradition, the Do, in favor of the more testosterone fueled (and MMA fanned) jitsu. It is a sad state of affairs that our children grow up idolizing real and fictional people who push the ideas “might makes right” and “the ends justifies the means”, never once mentioning justice and mercy.
Putting Real Chi Energy into Your Martial Art Strikes!
The ability to create beams of energy, though I have never seen nor heard of it discussed, is at the heart of the martial arts. I include pressor or tractor or any other type of beam in this discourse.
A beam is a line of energy thrust outward from thebody of the martial artist, and this beam is usually constructed upon a line, though it need not be. It can be said that your martial art is not a true martial art unless it builds the ability to create a beam of energy at will.
Most martial practices on planet earth are aimed towards building muscle, or the shabby excuse of energizing body parts. The purpose of this article is to awaken the reader to the potential of creating beams of energy.
The first thing to be understood is that the body is nothing more than a machine. It is an organic machine constructed of meat and bone and various linking systems.
Indeed, to the person unused to a body, it can resemble a Rubic’s cube, though, in fact, it is very simple to use.
To use the body as a beam generator one must practice classical forms, and understand the value of classical stances.
To practice the classical stances requires work, which work necessitates the creation of energy in the Tan Tien, which is the one point, which is nothing more than an energy generator on a body/machine level.
This work should be augmented by breathing in accordance with the expansion or contraction of the body. To stance, to work, to breath, to concentrate awareness along the path of the arms, to imagine.
It is imagination that sets us apart from the beasts, and it is imagination that is necessary to create the idea of a beam of energy coming out of the body. You must practice until the mind is calm and then it will be able to imagine.
To test your ability to beam it is necessary to use a simple and often over looked gimmick. Set up a candle and face it, punch, and stop your fist an inch from the flame.
Do not trick flick the flame by leaving the line of the beam, but focus, and keep the line of the beam as straight as possible. With success over time, stop your fist two inches from the flame, then further. increase distance until you can put out the flame from across the room.
Eventually, with great patience and desire, you will be able to merely look at the flame and make it go out.
There are those that laugh and such practices as detailed here are of little importance, and there are those who will not persist, but seek the instant gratification of simple fighting. Then there are those who will discover the depths of their being through this simple exercise.
The difference between the two is faith, belief in yourself, and the desire to awaken your true abilities, and thus awaken yourself.
If you want to learn more about how to create energy beams, you should look at two books. One is Matrixing Chi, and the other is called…The Punch. Those two books will definitely show you the correct, scientific method for generating energy and projecting it from your body.
Many people have asked me for an example of how neutronics works. The answer, on a person level, is in the book, ‘Neutronics.’
On a larger scale, one effecting all of society, the answer is in ‘Neutronic Prison.’
Neutronic prison is about the largest problem our society has…criminals.
We spend immense amounts of money on the incarceration and rehabilitation of criminals. And the money is wasted, as people are not regularly rehabilitated, and they treat the prison like a college to learn new ways to be brutal and violent and break the laws of man.
Neutronic prison offers the only viable option, the best way to reverse this trend and actually create a society without criminals.
Oddly, the book is useful on many levels. The only real monster that man has not been able to slay, you see, is himself, and this book offers a heartfelt example of how simple it would be to control others, and to control the self.
Heck, you could even use it to raise children, and be gauranteed they would not turn to criminal options!
The book is only $10, and it is at the Church of Martial Arts.
I find that there is vast misunderstanding in the martial arts as to what mushin no shin is…people usually and incorrectly compare it to reaction time.
Now, to be precise, when people talk about mushin no shin they mix it in with not just reaction time, but especially muscle memory. The idea they are coming from is that if you do something long enough then it becomes intuitive, and even ‘on automatic.’
Mushin no shin is far beyond muscle memory…it is the other end of the spectrum.
Mushin no shin means mind of no mind. Another way of saying this would be time of no time.
Which is to say that there is no mind, or memory in this case, involved.
When you train in reaction time, when you build ‘muscle memory,’ then you are building memory, and memory is based on time.
But mushin no shin refers to no time…to perceiving things as they are, and not through the artifices, or demanding the reaction time, of muscle memory.
Now, the real world difference is this.
You feel a tap on the shoulder, you spin, you chop, your grandmother, who was offering you a plate of cookies, goes down for the count.
That is reaction time. It is not intuitive, it is knee jerk reaction.
Or, you feel a presence behind you, or, better yet, without feeling the presence behind you, you turn in concert with the tap of the finger to your shoulder.
There is no contact because you have merged with the action. There is no reaction; there is no moving after the fact, or moving violently because of something.
That is mushin no shin.
The first time I ever experienced mushin no shin I was 16. I was at a bowling alley, and one of the bowlers put a pencil on the slanted desk, and it started rolling.
I watched it, and watched it, and time started to stretch out and become inconsequential…I was ‘in the moment,’ free from reaction time.
The world glowed, and I felt this delicious sense of freedom. I realized that I had total control over the flight of the pencil. I could move any way I wanted to, and there were no boundaries or limits.
The pencil fell, and I reached out and plucked it out of the air.
A fellow there said he had never seen such fast reaction time in his life.
But it wasn’t reaction time…I was moving in between moments of time. I wasn’t using muscles to make motion, I was making motion directly, as an Awareness, as an ‘I am.’ And this was without any martial arts training; years before I ever started training in the martial arts.
Now, a quirk of the moment, was that experience, and the real problem came when I tried to make it happen at will. Couldn’t do it. I needed the training.
And, even with the martial arts training, it took me nearly 20 years before I started experiencing these things as a matter of course.
The point here, however, is that it is not muscle memory, or reaction time. Muscle memory trains the body, but not the awareness, and that is knee jerk out of control. Reaction time means something has to happen before you act. Neither of these are mushin no shin.
Mushin no shin is when you are aware of life as it happens, without the interference of muscle memory, or reaction time, or training, or anything.
People who are asleep use the term muscle memory, or reaction time, to describe phenomena they don’t understand.
What makes it really confusing is when you get some fellow who trains for years, then tries to explain what he is experiencing. in the western world we fall back on the inadequate descriptions provided by science, a science which, I might add, has never adequately explained such concepts as are manifested when a person is showing mushin no shin.
Terms such as ‘reaction time,’ and ‘muscle memory,’ are offered by western science for concepts they do not understand.
The term mushin no shin is used to describe a person who is free from muscle memory, has no reaction time, and is in a realm beyond the simple physics of the universe. He is in a second set of physics, the physics of sixth senses and intuition and dreams and all sorts of things.
Mushin no shin is used when a person is not confined by his memories, and other such limitations to the human spirit.
Here are some articles which touch upon the procedure for waking the person mired in Martial Arts reaction time, and endowing him with muslin no shin.
Go to the Testimonials in the menu and do a search for your martial art! Hi Sensei Al! (On the Black Belt Course) Everything is working great! Thank you for the quick responses. I am enjoying the one on one videos. It may be cliche, but I do feel like I'm there. I also like the conversational style and the way you explain how you're teaching and why. You've got a new student for life. Thank you. ~ Daniel
What's interesting about Al Case's writings and teachings is there isn't any emphasis on 'the unknown' or 'mystery' behind martial arts. Al will slam this information in your face! Quite frankly the data isn't hidden, you'll find you're blind. ~ WG
Al Case is a powerful presence to be around, but if you can confront it, then you will not be sorry, for there is no one like him, and it is an extreme privilege and honor.
I used to read your articles in Inside Karate and was excited when I found your web site. ~ RV
As an old timer with thirty-five years of experience I was really bored, but your works have peaked my interest and shown me that there is much more to learn. I Thank You Again, Sincerely ~ CC
Where was this information 24 years ago? This course is one of the best things to ever happen to me. Thank you Al Case for the gift of knowledge! Be blessed my teacher, ~ Rev. Ernest R
I bought the Infinite Fist tape YEARS ago and you know? I Keep going back to it! ~ KS
You are a master. You have opened me up to things that I have never thought of before. ~ KFM
I purchased your course on "Create Your Own Martial Art" and absolutely love it. I believe that your matrixing system is very unique. ~ DW
In my entire experience twenty years as a student and an instructor since, no one has contributed more to my martial arts education than you have. I started following your works twenty years ago and although I was young then I knew you had the True Art it was obvious to me even then. ~ Charles C
Students will know longer be slaves of poor instructors and practitioners. ~ Lonnie M
Win from Master Instructor Course Let me start out by saying thank you. Thanks from all the martial artists who asked why. Al, I'm in the Security and Law enforcement field and carry Instructor credentials, so effective methods in combat and teaching them is what I constantly look for.
Win from Matrix Aikido I just had to write to you to say WOW. Your INSTANT AIKIDO is great!!! ~ SD
My students have started coming up to me after class telling me how much more they are enjoying it, and that the classes have stopped being so ridged and now flow in a kind of give and take between me and them. I have stopped being a task master and started having fun and letting them teach me as well.
I did the Master Instructor Course and it hit me. The Basics that are so concisely communicated in this course including the Matrix principle IS the solution. It doesn’t matter what “style” I call my art, because all styles follow these same principles. It doesn’t matter how hard I train or how many repetitions I do if I don’t train the right way. And I would never become a master if I didn’t know how it all fits together. Now I do! I can honestly say that I am now on the path that I have always sought as a martial artist. Thank you Al!
I conducted a Matrix Aikido training class for a Security Team at a local manufacturing plant. I tailored the training according to their Use Of Force policy. As you know they need control and takedown skills. I knew Matrix Aikido would be the answer. The training plan you shared was boss. The class went so smoothly. The participants learned very quickly. By the end of the class you could see techniques of Monkey Boxing coming through. They were also able to create their own techniques. There was one female officer in the class who asked to become my private student. She was throwing, locking and taking down guys twice her size. The Security Supervisor wants me to come back and with more participants! I'll keep you posted. ~ L M
Have found your books and dvds excellent. My background is mainly in medical qigong but I practice Sun Style Tai CHi, BaGua and HsingI as well as Eagle Claw, Snake Style Kung Fu and several Wudang weapon styles. This is the first time I have had the underlying principles so clearly explained and in a way that they are immediately workable and demonstratable. I have worked through the Master Instructors Course, Aikido and Butterfly Bagua and have started to breakdown the Sun Hsing I using your matrix method. I was even able to teach a 70 year old friend of mine with no martial arts background your instant aikido where she was able to do some very accomplished locks and throws after the first lesson