Tag Archives: karate exercise

Instant Zen through the Martial Arts

Newsletter 1017

How to Achieve Instant Zen Through the Martial Arts!

It is absolutely stark raving mad
that people don’t delve into this zen thing
especially in the martial arts,
because the martial arts can make it so simple.

Let me note a couple of things,
and then give you the EXACT exercise
that will transform you as a martial artist…
and as a human being.

First, a precise definition of the term.
Zen is Japanese for ‘meditation,’ from…
Chan, which is Chinese for ‘quietude,’ from…
Dhyana, which is ‘Sanskrit’ for meditation.

I have been told that it is an ancient word for…

Zen has been with us for over 5,000 years.
Why would it still be here if it didn’t work?

the reality of Zen is…
a moment of clarity.
A moment in which there is no before and no after.
A moment in which you understand yourself,
what you are and where you came from.

In this moment you become able to move
without earthly restriction.

To understand this think of a movie.
You enter a theater and sit down,
and they have so many Fing commercials
you forget to watch the movie.
You are stuck in the flashy moments
of sating yourself with popcorn
and never really see what is happening.
You wander through the snack bar,
buying things for your belly,
things that do not nourish
and only serve to distract.
the movie plays,
life goes on,
and you miss it.

you protest…
No, you didn’t.
You only thought you did.
You really just went to the snack bar.
That is what your life is
until you experience zen,
and hopeful a real zen moment.

how do you break out of this trap?
How do you ignore the distractions
and perceive what is really happening?
How do you get out of thinking you are alive
and really become alive?

Here is the method.
Sure fire,
designed EXACTLY for martial artists,
that will change the way you freestyle,
the way you do forms,
you can’t just read about it,
you have to do it.
And, before you do it
I should tell you that this method
is actually in a book
in the Matrix Karate course.
The book is called
‘The Master’s Handbook,’
and it is one of the first
martial arts books I ever wrote.
Here are the exact instructions from that book


Sit facing your partner, each of you with your legs folded in the zen kneeling position. One of you holds a small stick about the length of a pen and the thickness of a broom handle. The stick is held slightly below eye level by a horizontal and gently curving arm. No attempt at concealment is made, and the stick is just barely held by the tips of your fingers.
Sit silently for a period of time. The stick is dropped by the one holding it, and is caught by the one opposite.
Don’t try to build a rhythm for dropping or try to fool each other. Just sit. Let the static in your mind subside as you concentrate upon watching your opponent. Create silence and observe one another. Realize that no amount of tensing will make the stick easier to catch, but that relaxing will.
As you do the exercise you will have ample opportunity to still the jerks and twitchs of your muscles and mind. You will get to go through the pain in your legs. You will get to still the jerks and twitchings of your partner. You will get to still yours and his tendency to guess at when the stick will be dropped.
You will get to still the ridges of readying muscles and energies and you will get to still the focus of the catch. You must reach out and hold the falling stick in one position in space. There should be no slapping or grabbing or sudden tightening of the muscles. There should be the same naturalness and amount of insignificance as when you lift a glass ot turn on a light switch.
The application of the can be very interesting. This would be the practice of not ‘telegraphing your motion.’ This means that you stay perfectly still before a movement, no leaning or drifting in any direction before moving. You must stay in one place and let the stillness build and explode without forethought. Have fun.

Here is the illustration…

here is the question…
how long will it take?
Totally depends.
If you have a lot of discipline,
which comes from a lot of martial arts practice,
real martial arts
and not the watered down crap sold today,
then it probably won’t take long.
A few hours
a few hours should be enough
to cook your brain
and enable you to break through.
Let’s say you are a newbie,
not much discipline.
Might take a year or two.
But the more you practice the martial arts,
the more discipline you cultivate,
the sooner you break through.

another thing…
what does it feel like.
people may feel different things,
but here’s what I perceived.

I did not reach,
I was unaware of muscles,
my hand just nonchalantly
spurted forward and held the stick.

I didn’t grab,
it was more like I picked the stick out of space.

Prior to doing it right
I sort of forgot about the exercise,
it just sort of happened.

I was profoundly happy.

I was aware that I,
the being that was Al Case,
was what was true,
and that the envelope that was my body,
was temporary.
Al Case is a temporary vehicle,
a label,
for an eternal spirit.

I advise you right now…
when you achieve the zen moment I speak of
there is absolutely NO mistaking it.
It happens,
and you blink,
and you slap your head
and blurt something like…

The moment is so stark it can’t be mistaken for anything else.

It is the difference between snoring peacefully
and suddenly being the sun.
understanding life as you never have before.
And yet anything I tell you
will be a severe understatement
of the real thing.

And, a few things to provide context.
Old texts on zen were correct,
but I lacked the cultural background to understand the words.
New texts on zen were absolute garbage.
They were papers on what people
‘interpreted’ zen to be,
they were not by people who had experienced zen.

can you do it?
Can you have the permanent thought
that you can transcend your body
and understand what you actually are?
Can you forge the discipline
to sit and do this simple exercise?
Can you travel through the boredom?
Can you take charge of your life?
They is right here.
So…can you?

And, obligatory advertisement,
if you don’t have it already
you might consider
the Matrix Karate course.
That course,
and the other early courses,
have a lot of stunning bonuses on them.
Here’s the link…

1a Matrix Karate

Okay, guys and gals,
have a great zen!

My novel, Monkeyland,
is on Amazon.

Speed Drilling in Karate

Newsletter 703
The Secret of Speed in the Martial Arts

Let’s talk about speed in the martial arts.

We used to have this exercise
back at the Kang Duk Won
it was called ‘Speed of speed.’
it was brutal.
You faced your partner,
and there was only one attack:
a chop to the neck,
you turn the hand
so the flat of the hand strikes the shoulder.
What made it brutal was the times
when you collided with your partner.
Neither of you was faster,
and you both ended up hurting.

making faster karate techniques

speed kick in karate

Believe me,
as stupid as it sounds,
you won’t see this exercise
anywhere in the martial arts.
It just hurts too much.

here’s the thing,
after a few months of doing this,
of suffering bone bruises to the forearms
you found that you were faster.
Some lower belt would come in
and he’d just start to twitch
you were hitting his shoulder so hard
his head near fell off!

I tried teaching that,
and people didn’t want to learn it.
Man,the groans and moans.
So I persisted,
and had small classes
of REALLY tough martial artists,
but I kept thinking about speed.

I thought about the kenpo
circularity of motion theories and drills,
but hitting somebody ten times in a second
didn’t allow one to get the body behind any of the strikes.
So you have to be fast in the intuitive sense,
in the sense that Speed of Speed built up,
of seeing when somebody was starting to move,
and moving before him.
THAT was when you could get the whole body behind the strike.

have you ever watched the Magnificent Seven?
The scene where Yul Brynner claps his hands?

I started out with the hands apart,
standing in a back stance,
and the partner has to close the distance
and punch the chest before the hands clap.
Worked like a charm.
Easy to do,
not so brutal,
and directly applied to increasing power through weight.

there were variations I tried,
one of them,
of unusual interest,
is standing to the side with a stop watch.
Tell somebody to punch when they hear the stop watch click,
and click the stop watch a second time when the punch touches the target.
times were being measured in a full second.
That long.
No chance at all
of the punch being fast enough to work.
But what turned the trick
was to stand behind the person being punched,
and let the person watch you click the stop watch.
then they sped up,
and that was because you got rid of all reaction time,
and the puncher could see and anticipate.

But isn’t that what it is all about?
When somebody is about to punch
you don’t wait for the punch,
you look,
you examine,
you analyze,
you predict when it is coming.

Usually it starts with some kind of emotional set up,
but with the stop watch there was no emotion
and guys could get past the idea of emotion,
get past fooling each other with twitches and tells,
and directly view the factors of the strike.
People got fast real fast,
and we could tailor the strikes,
increase speed in everything
from blocks to kicks to whatever.

you can use this data,
do the exercises,
make your own exercises,
have some real fun,
and get past a lot of stuff,
and increase speed in the one area
that really matters,
putting weight behind a real strike.

if you have a little extra hair on your chest,
you can always try speed of speed.
To this day
I know that that exercise,
as crude and brutal as it was,
was the one that made the real difference in me.

if you want to increase speed
because you have perfect alignment in your body,
and perfect alignment WILL increase your speed,
then check out the Master Instructor Course.


I’ve been fooling around
making a few sites just for grins and giggles,
so try this one…


It’s aimed at explaining things about matrixing and neutronics,
and how they apply to the martial arts.
It’s not for everybody,
and I’m not done with it,
I’ll be working on it as time goes by,
but it’s at a point where
I thought people would appreciate it,
maybe even have some insight as to what they would like on it.
Feel free to leave comments on the site,
what you think,
any advice,
It actually gets to me
faster than an email.

it’s the middle of summer
so act like it!
Work out till you sweat COPIOUSLY,
and enjoy an occasional beverage.

Have a great and work out filled weekend!


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