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Want to be real smart in the art?
Have you ever considered playing chess?
It’s an oriental game,
a lot of martial arts are oriental,
and there are some incredibly smart comparisons
between chess and martial arts.
I was reminded of this because my wife
wanted me to teach her how to play.
So we broke out the chess board
and I went over some simple concepts for her.
There are eight pieces (plus pawns)
You must learn what each piece does…
and how it relates to other pieces.
The first major strategy is to control
the center four squares on the board.
You can’t win if you sit back in your own space,
you have to go through the center (usually)
to get to the opponent’s area.
There are only two questions you must ask yourself.
Who is trying to get me.
how can I get them.
You ask these before you touch a piece,
and you stay your hand until everything makes sense.
The board is a matrix.
If I was going to teach a computer
to play chess
I would matrix each piece’s potential of motion.
If two people play perfect games
white would always win.
How does this relate to the martial arts?
There are eight basic blocks
and you must learn what each block does,
and how it relates to other blocks (moves).
Controlling the center four squares
is like positioning the elbows precisely
between you and your opponent
so you can extend, retract, guide or block
the incoming attack.
You must ask yourself what weapon is coming towards you,
and position yourself so your weapons are at advantage.
The direction of attacks creates a matrix,
and the defense is defined by a matrix.
If I study hard
and analyze all motion
I enter an intuitive state.
I will be at cause,
and I will see anything he does
before he does it.
(mushin no shin—Mind of no mind)
Do you see the analogies between chess and martial arts?
by the way,
my wife wanted to learn chess because she saw
‘The Queen’s Gambit,’
a series on netflix.
If you watch it,
when the girl begins to see chess pieces on the ceiling
you will understand that
the mind doesn’t figure this stuff out,
the human being does,
without the distraction of the mind.
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Have a great work out!
Don’t forget to check out the interview
How to Fix Karate! (volumes one and two)
volume one is at
And volume two is at…
‘The Last Martial Arts Book’ has 11 ratings for 5 stars.
(There is a video version of this book with no stars yet)
My two yoga books have 9 ratings between them for 5 stars.
‘The Book of Five Arts’ has 7 ratings for 5 stars.
‘The Science of Government’ has 6 ratings for 5 stars.
‘Chiang Nan’ has 5 ratings for 5 stars.
My novel, ‘Monkeyland,’ has 5 ratings for 5 stars
That’s a lot of good ratings
so hopefully you’ll find that useful
find the book/course that is right for you,
and matrix your own martial arts.