Tag Archives: karate training

MakingYourself Over in the Martial Arts

Newsletter 910

What Does the New Year Hold for the Real Martial Artist?

Happy New Year!
And…what ya gonna do about it?
Gonna get that next belt?
Gonna study a new art?

The truth is this:
we create ourselves anew each day.
So you have 365 chances to create a new you
in the coming year.

here’s the plan.

print out goals and tape them somewhere
you will see them every day.

Put them on the bath mirror,
the door you have to go through
to get to the world,
put them on the frig.
Put them somewhere…
Don’t let your goals fade.

back up your goals with actual action.
Set up a time and place,
set up a schedule for classes…AND MAKE ALL WORK OUTS
the most important thing
is to NOT get lazy.
Don’t let the action fade.
Wake up ten minutes early for the forms routine,
meet with the guys Tuesday and Thursday and Sat for working out.
Go to the gym,
especially your personal martial arts gym

realize that life doesn’t work unless you work.
In some ways this is the most important thing,
this simple realization.

Here’s what I did…and still do.

I set up my garage
or some area in the backyard,
as my dojo.
I set up a kicking bag,
I have a place where I can stretch.
I have enough room for forms.

Then I make a schedule and keep it.
For instance,
I would do martial arts Tuesday and Thursday,
Monday and Wednesday I would bike or run.
Friday I ate pizza.
I am not kidding.
Hard work needs a reward,
but if I missed one of my work outs…
I didn’t get pizza,
or whatever thing I had set up for my reward.
No ice cream,
no soda pop and popcorn and a movie.
I would use my wasted time,
for an extra work out.
That’d teach me!

the fun thing was setting up which martial art i wanted to study.
I liked to start with tai chi,
especially if I was feeling lazy.
Just standing in my dojo,
watching my body move,
and suddenly I started to feel more energy.

Another thing I do is change the art I study every month or two.
I liked doing karate one month,
kung fu (shaolin butterfly) the next month
Tai Chi the third month,
and then I would do it all again.
This type of rotational cross training
really helps me keep a fresh mind on it all.
It tends to get rid of plateaus
and keeps me on a steady rise
of mental acuity and physical ability.

So…what is this year going to hold for you?

Check out the courses here


and select the arts you wish to learn this year.

Don’t stop,
don’t drop,
just come out on top!

Have a great work out and…




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!


Don’t forget to subscribe to this blog…top of the sidebar.

Was Old Time Karate Really Better?

Was It Really Better in the Old Days?

You always hear the term about ‘the good, old days.’ And, in the martial arts, this is really true. I always hear people thinking back to when men were men, and sheep were…you know.

But it is a legitimate question.

modern martial arts
On one hand, you have the great arts coming out of the orient. I was studying back in the sixties and seventies, so the main arts were judo and karate, with a smattering of Kung Fu. We studied in in dirty dojos and did manic drills. We brooked no nonsense, and we were patient with beginners.

On the other hand, you have designer water, contracts and classes in the Y, at the gym, down on the corner, and in every friend’s garage.

So, my personal opinion is that the martial arts were better. I started at a McDojo, then went to a classical korean Karate school (Kang Duk Won).

The McDojo was the state of art to come, with thick mats and air conditioning and tournament freestyle and contracts and good looking chickies.

The Kang Duk Won had a mat that had been ripped and stitched so many times it was like walking across Frankenstein’s face. The bag went to the cobbler’s every week. We packed out own bags for better texture and weight and resistance to our endless kicks. Warn’t no chickies allowed.

The McDojo had shiny trophies, high fives for points, and you pressed your gi before class.

The Kang Duk Won you did hundreds of kicks, you didn’t wash your gi, and you couldn’t press the clutch down because your shins were so badly bruised.

In modern times we have scientific achievements that enable one to get more strength in the muscle.

Of course, modern times has a lot of junk science and internet gimmicks, so…?

Now, it’s pretty obvious which way I am biased. I was there, I don’t think alzheimer’s has obscured my memories of those old work outs, and I have seen modern schools that teach 18 arts on their front sign, but are a jumble of bags and exercise equipment inside.

But, nobody made me God, and if you think otherwise, then go ahead and tear me a new one. Heck, I might even learn something!

And, if you are old school like me, then feel free to leave your memory. Heck, it might just become legend!

If you want to read more about old time martial arts and the Kang Duk Won, try KangDukWon.com!

Differences BetweenTraditional Karate and the Kang Duk Won

Traditional Karate vs Kang Duk Won

traditional karateNow, there are quite a few differences between traditional Karate and the Kang Duk Won, and I could go through the various stances and point to various things having to do with structural alignment and the correct way to achieve it. But that is included in ‘The Master Instructor Course,’ and I would rather point to a single instance that may be more significant. Continue reading

In the Best Karate Training Drills the Eyes Have It

Best Karate Training Focuses the Eyes

In the best Karate Training drills one should look their opponent in the eyes. This is a very interesting and powerful aspect to Karate training, so let me give you some data about it.

First, I have had a lot of people, during karate drills, ask me where they should look. The common answer that I have found over the years, and this is from Karate school to Taekwondo school to whatever Martial Arts school (style) you are studying, is that you should ‘unfocus’ your eyes on the chest. Look at the center of the body and become aware of all the stuff on the outside.

best karate training

You can’t fight what you can’t face!


This actually isn’t bad instruction, you want to see everything, but it stops forward progress for the martial artist at a certain point.

The real advice, if you want to experience the best karate training drills, is to look at the eyes.

The eyes are the windows to a man’s soul; look at the eyes long enough…and you can actually see what a man is thinking.

Look at the body, and you stop looking at the mind, and the martial art becomes a thing of reaction, or, at the very least, slow progress.

So you look at the eyes, train hard, do your forms for discipline, and eventually you will actually pick up on the very thought of the opponent.

Tell me this doesn’t give an incredible edge in combat…to know what an opponent is thinking!

Anyway, the point is this: you can’t fight what you can’t face.

And, as you progress, if you don’t look to the eyes, attempt to see the thought behind the action, then you wo’t make the jump from fighting to handling.

You see, in the real martial arts you learn to fight so you can give up fighting.

You don’t look at an opponent and fight him, you predict what he is going to do by reading his thoughts, and then making moves that undo him rather than harm him.

Can anybody spell the word ‘harmony?’

Only idiots fight all their lives. Smart martial arts students, people who want to experience the best karate training drills, watch the eyes and learn to read the mind.

And, eventually, they experience harmony, and greater control.

Opponents become as children, and as easily handled.

And that is why, when it comes to the best karate training drills, the eyes have it.

Check out this great article on Aikido style throws. Or, you could take a look at this course presenting a more combat Aikido style.