Tag Archives: kung fu instruction

Turning up the Heat in a Martial Arts Class

Newsletter 1014

Heat Makes for a Pure Art!

bagua zhang style martial arts are the best!

Good morning!
It’s a perfect Wednesday!

You know,
I have a special deal for any of you guys
who like intense novels.
It’s at the end,
but let’s talk about heat first.

The body is a machine.
And it is a motor.
What is the difference between a machine and a motor?
A machine is a series of motors to accomplish a purpose.
A motor…wait for it…drum roll…

The heat can be used for various things.
More action being prime.

When you work out,
when you use the motor that is your body,
what happens?
Your body gets hot.
Sometimes you have to cool it down.
Generally speaking,
what I have told you is totally accurate.

what does this have to do with the price of pickles in Italy?

One of the clever little tricks the body does,
when you pump it up,
is cleanse.
Motion creating heat will purify the body.

Understanding this,
and remembering my days
sweating in the dojo…
(130 degrees in San Jose)
And remembering how much fun it was,
every once in a while I would turn up the heat in a class.

I mean,
turn up the heat.

Half hour before class I would close the doors and windows
and turn the heat as high as it would go.
these guys would come in
and sweat just from standing there,
and then the fun would start.
That would be a day
when I ran them through basics half the class,
then ran them through forms the next half,
and then the third half we would freestyle.

Oh, it was fun.
They would be dragging.
I would let them drink as much water as they wanted,
This was sort of unusual.
I don’t usually let students take breaks for any reason.
You’re going to take a break in the middle of a fight?

I was careful in pairing students,
and I watched them closely.
Exhaustion leads to mistakes,
and I didn’t want anybody to get hurt.

But they would sweat,
and if their uniform wasn’t TOTALLY soaked
by the time class was ended,
I knew I had failed.

a short aside,
when I first moved to Los Angeles,
taught my first class,
we met in an attic.
Heat rises,
and one fellow told me
he actually lost 15 pounds in 2 weeks.

the point here is this:
Karate is a pure art.
And it must be made pure.
And to have a pure art,
you must have a pure body,
so I would turn up the heat,
they would sweat,
and the machines that were their bodies
sweated out toxins,
and what was left was the pure body,
and it made it easier to guide them to the pure art.

the original inspiration for this method
came from reading about summer classes in Japanese dojos,
reading about how students
would go to the front door and wring out their gis.

Later inspiration came from reading about Yoga classes.

the obligatory advertisement…

I recommend
Butterfly Pa Kua Chang.
The reason is that when I did that
the purification process
really seemed to kick into high gear.
And the sweat was different,
it was ‘silver.’
Really amazed me,
I mean,
sweat can have different colors?
But that’s what I perceived,
and I recommend you find out for yourself.
Here’s the link.

2b Butterfly Pa Kua Chang

have yourself a great and sweaty work out!


2b Butterfly Pa Kua Chang

And, the special deal for people who like to read novels.
I recently republished ‘Monkeyland,’
and I am looking for reviews.
If any of you guys want to read,
then give me a review on Amazon,
I’ll send you a free copy of Monkeyland (Digital).

Email me at:

Subject line: Monkeyland review.

I will send you a copy of the book.
before you send the email,
check out the book,
see if it fits your reading preferences,
and make sure you glance at the reviews.
Here’s the link…

Shaolin Kung Fu Able to be Learned Within Months!

A Faster Way to an Old Martial Art!

Shaolin Kung Fu, the popular myth states, takes lifetimes to learn. You have to go spend three days sitting in front of the temple to be accepted for teaching. You have to undergo bizarre training rituals that will enable you to do handstands on one finger, rip the bark off of trees, break tones of concrete with your head, and…and that’s not the truth.

Those are myths spread by people who want to impress people; by TV programming like the Kung Fu series starring David Carradine.

shaolin kung fu

You don’t have to go to the Shaolin Temple to learn Kung Fu…you can learn this ancient martial art online!

The truth is actually quite a it more simple, yet even more powerful.

The first Shaolin Kung Fu book to hit the shores was ‘Secrets of Shaolin Temple Boxing’ by Robert W. Smith.

In that book Mr. Smith stated that Bodhidharma brought Kung Fu to the Shaolin Temple. Actually, he brought a system of calisthenics to help the dilapidated monks get strong enough to listen to his lectures without falling asleep.

The monks used this method to get stronger, and ended up defending themselves against bandits, and changed the simple calisthenic into a self defense system.

The monks realized five principles of combat (animal fighting modes), eventually expanding the five principles into 72 techniques.

So Shaolin Kung Fu shouldn’t take a lifetime to learn. It should be able to be learned within a few months.

The original Shaolin monks learned it within months; why can’t you?

The reason is that for over 2,000 years well meaning people have been adding things to the once simple system. These things have confused Shaolin Kung Fu, mushed concepts all together, put techniques out of order, and even slanted it for tournaments or other personal interest.

In Shaolin Kung Fu the five animal fighting modes have been redefined. The original five animals were the tiger, snake, crane, leopard, and dragon.

But the tiger and the leopard are similar; why should you learn two animals that ae pretty much the same?

In the system called the Shaolin Butterfly the five animals are the tiger, snake, crane, dragon, and Monkey.

Actually, the monkey has been held to be one of the original five animals by many schools of thought.

So, we have a revised and better definition of the five animal fighting modes.

Now, each of the five animals has a specific attribute; one gives strength, one gives balance, and so on.

The problem is that these attributes are mere descriptions, tactics, at best, and not real martial arts techniques.

However, if you assign a stance to each animal, you suddenly come up with the five original concepts of the Shaolin Kung Fu monks.

The tiger is aggressive, and he uses the front stance for charging.

The crane is delicate and balanced, and he uses the one legged, crane stance to achieve this.

The Dragon twines and writhes, and he uses a cross kneeling type of stance.

The snake is flexible clinging, and he uses such stances as the one legged squatting stance.

The monkey is agile, and he uses the back stance to build this agility.

Now, these are still mere approximations of techniques. But one can see how the five stances could be used to begin the animal emulation process. But, how does one expand upon these stances/characteristics into a simple list of techniques?

Well, there is only so much that can be put into an article.

But, if you really want to learn this stuff, and I mean in months instead of lifetimes ~ if you want to figure this stuff out and be able to use it in real life ~ then you’ll find another great article on Shaolin Instruction at Monster Martial arts. Or, you can take a look at the Shaolin Kung Fu Butterfly course itself.