Tag Archives: kung fu

How the Martial Arts Fell Apart!

Newsletter 949

Five Steps of How the Martial Arts Failed!

I’ve spoken before of this,
some of my advertising is aimed at this,
so let me detail some of the exact steps
of how the martial arts degraded.

FIRST,
PROTECTIVE GEAR
One day the head instructor walked in
had a box of protective gear.
So we geared up,
and started hurting each other.
But we hadn’t been injuring each other
before!
Simply,
putting on the gear made us think
that we had to hit harder to have effect,
and,
we thought,
‘oh, we can hit harder,
they have protective gear on,
so it won’t hurt.’
But it did hurt,
and we started getting sprains and deep bruises,
even breaks,
so the protective gear didn’t work,
but the head instructor kept demanding we wear it.
Protective gear meant more money for him.
Interestingly,
protective gear works now,
but that’s because people aren’t teaching the real art,
which you will understand
as you continue with this little essay.

SECOND
EXPANSION
When I started martial arts,
there were maybe a dozen schools.
As the number of schools multiplied,
hard core martial artists stopped coming together
in the few schools,
and were spread out in the many schools.
in the whole SF bay area.

THIRD
KIDS
As the number of schools grew
instructors couldn’t pull in enough people,
but parents were willing to enroll their kids
at an astounding rate.
The art was quickly watered down,
drills were changed,
and protective gear was sold.

FOURTH
TOURNAMENTS
Tournaments were a wonderful way
to enroll people and keep them enrolled.
Unfortunately,
a technique that wins in a tournament
bears little resistance to a real technique.
Also,
there was grown a false sense of ‘penetration’
when it came to striking people.
My own instructor took the to a tournament
this was back in the late sixties,
and walked out mid-tournament.
The techniques were simply so degraded
he couldn’t encourage his students to learn them.

FIFTH
POLITICS
Back in the very early 70s
my instructor was sitting at his desk,
and two Koreans walked in.
They told him that
The Korean Martial Arts Association was being disbanded,
and if he joined the new Taekwondo association
he would be promoted two belts
(he was sixth black at the time)
and every black belt in his school would be promoted one belt,
and they would all get to learn brand new forms!
Forms that would replace the old ones,
which, according to these two Koreans,
were old and didn’t work.
Interestingly enough, this same association,
since that time,
has gone through two or three new sets of forms,
and there are even people who have returned
to those bad old forms
taught at schools
such as the Kang Duk Won.
This was politics,
TKD, sad to say,
was an invention by a military general
so Korea could have its own
more national art.
And so what if it didn’t work.

SUMMARY
So,
that’s the truth.
If I have stepped on toes,
sorry,
but I was there.
I saw this stuff first hand,
I experienced this stuff first hand.
It really happened.
And if you don’t like what I have said,
do some research,
if you can find histories that weren’t written
by some school for advertising,
you will come to the conclusion
that I am not kidding.

Now,
does that make the martial art bad?
No.
People have overcome bad training,
politics,
tournaments,
and other misfortunes.
The art is about people,
and the deeper a person delves into an art,
the more sure it is
that they will find the truth of the martial arts.

But there are systems which are ALL messed up.
and which are being sold as the next great thing.
And they CAN be fixed.
But you need a bit of matrixing.

But,
I don’t want to push matrixing here,
I want to push history,
I want to push actual,
physical martial arts.

I wrote five books,

Pan Gai Noon
Kang Duk Won
Kwon Bup
Outlaw Karate
Buddha Crane Karate

You can find them on Amazon.
Or,
better,
if you go through the website
you can find video courses in which I show these arts.
These courses often have the books (in PDF)
bundled in with the videos.
That’s your best deal.

Now,
I am not pushing remembering dates,
who taught who and why it matters.
I am pushing an actual progression through history,
China to Okinawa to Japan to America…
…to matrixing.
You can actually do the very techniques of which I speak,
you can see how they evolved from art to art,
country to country,
concept to concept.
Kung Fu to Karate to Matrixing.
And that is better than reading a thousand encyclopedias.
This is a PHYSICAL history of the martial arts.
This is the martial arts being written on your bones,
not a bunch of significant words on paper,
which may or may not be important,
but are definitely slanted to whoever writes them.
Better to do than talk about.

Okay,
end of push,
thanks for listening.

Here’s a list of some of my books,
including the ‘historical’ encyclopedia.

http://learnkarateonline.net/karate-books/

Have a great work out!
Al

http://learnkarateonline.net/karate-books/

Here’s a great win…

A WIN!

Al,

I have gone through many of your courses and am currently going through blinding steel and eventually on my way to forty monkeys. I recently went through your book Matrixing Tong Bei. Several things clicked and the martial arts universe opened up after finishing that book.

Respectfully,
Tyler K

Making Beginning Karate into Advanced Karate

Newsletter 943

Defeating the Linearity of Karate

I was watching videos
of people doing karate on the internet.
This included demo teams,
old masters,
and whoever,
and I was struck
by wrong they are doing karate,
by how they didn’t really know karate.

The funny thing is
karate is one of the most powerful arts I know,
yet everybody is doing it wrong.
Let me give you one example.

Watch a video on youtube,
watch a demo team for karate.
They are fast, powerful, explosive.
It is not good karate.
Why?
Because their arms and legs move back and forth
in a linear manner,
stopping and starting.
Real karate is liquid,
it does not stop and start.
At the end of every movement there is a circle,
often too small to be easily seen.
this circle avoids the stopping and starting of the muscles.
It takes effort and muscular exertion
to stop and start muscle motion.
When you have a small circle
somewhere in the end of the motion,
which leads into the beginning of the next motion,
you are doing real karate.

Now,
those who don’t understand will argue,
that is okay,
they will remember
and eventually come around.
For those of you who are frowning,
standing up and checking to see
if you have a little loop on the end of a punch or block
(both ends)
the truth is dawning.
Karate is not linear.
It is not a rigid piston effect,
it is a looping,
neverending effect.
And,
what do you get out of it?

The loop helps change one move into the next
the loop saves energy and is more efficient
it is faster
your body becomes more liquid,
more fluid,
you start to develop ‘pulsing power.’
Pulsing power is when you…
push with the legs
turn the hips
throw the punch.
Not exactly together,
but one…two…three,
so fast that the punch becomes one motion,
each action lending power and energy to the next action,
and yet becoming more and more fluid.

Now,
I read of this concept originally
while reading books on Chinese martial arts.
And,
I observed my instructor,
who was quick and whippy,
fluid like a striking snake.
And I read about a more fluid karate in Shotokai
(not shotokan)
which is supposed to be the style
funakoshi handed down his lineage to.

And I thought about it,
and developed it,
and came to realize the truth of it.
So take your time,
practice your forms,
and search for places where you can
add a loop at the end of a technique.
Maybe it is in the motion of the hand,
maybe it’s a turn of the hip,
a sink of the hip,
and flip of the shoulder.
Whatever it is,
you’re now on the path to true karate.

And,
all these guys doing wrong karate?
They are phenomenal,
not to be disrespected,
but it is a simple matter of physics
that reveal them to be expert beginners,
even master beginners,
who haven’t made the transition past beginner,
into the real thing.

When I teach karate to newbies
I usually let them work on the piston effect.
But when they are starting to remember everything,
I shift them to the looping effect.

Now,
I don’t talk about the whiplike effect much,
I instead recommend people do Matrix Karate,
but if you have matrix karate under your belt,
you could look at Temple Karate.
I do more advanced forms there,
and you can probably,
if you have a quick eye,
see how I add the teensiest of loops
to make my karate fluid.

But your eye has to be quick,
because the longer you train,
the smaller your loops become
until no one can see your loops.

Have a great work out!
Al

Matrix Karate

1a Matrix Karate

Temple Karate

3c Temple Karate

Following is a great win that shows one thing…you aren’t going to get the answers, you are going to get the questions, the questions that lead you to understanding your own martial art. Do you have the kind of mind that can do this?

A WIN!

I picked up Matrix Karate from you; and I definitely get it.  My area of study is Kajukenbo; and based on watching the Matrix Karate DVD last night, I am reasonably sure that matrixing Kajukenbo would be very straight forward.  Time consuming, yes, difficult no.  I think it would be best to break Kajukenbo into its 7 arts (Karate, Judo, Jiujitsu, Kenpo, Boxing, Kung Fu, and Escrima), and matrix each of those.  My questions are: do you think that is the right approach? Is there a particular order you think these should be taught in? Do you teach each matrix’d art to completion, then move to the next? And, how does sport karate fit in?  And finally; for the traditional forms, would those be one entire section? Or would you recommend splitting them into each sub-section of the art?

Stumbling on the Path of the True Martial Art

Newsletter 939

Translating Karate into Everything

Hey Guys and Gals!
I just wrote the following newsletter,
and I just wanted to say thanks to you guys,
for being martial artists,
and making my path so worthwhile.
Hope you enjoy…

I was a black belt in Karate when I started Aikido.
I always remember the shock on the Aikido black belt’s faces,
I had a question
and I would walk right up
and ask the question.
If you’ve ever been around the classical,
that’s not how you do stuff.
You bow and scrape.
You practice speaking in a subdued manner.
You treat yourself like a humble dope
so they will take pity on you.
But I was a black belt in karate,
I was equal,
be it in another system,
so I would walk up and break the etiquette,
I would just ask.
Funny thing,
they always answered my questions.
I suppose they couldn’t figure out how to say no,
without themselves looking like a doofus.
So one day I’m asking a question,
and this black belt blinks,
and realizes.
‘You’re a black belt.’
Yup.
Then he took me aside,
we traded stuff madly,
really got into the art.
But here’s the interesting thing:
in Karate,
when you get to black belt,
you start figuring out how to use specific forms in freestyle.
Sure.
You’re intuitive,
you start reading minds,
guy thinks about an attack,
you think about a defense from a form,
and they match.
Not like today when people just fight.
Now,
at black belt I wasn’t interested in that.
Did it,
but wasn’t interested.
I was already reading everything,
looking at other arts,
and I wanted to make other arts work.
Of course,
the big problem was that I hadn’t really studied other arts.
I had read about them.
Big problem.
So doing the Aikido class,
I began to realize that I was performing the same body motions,
but going with the opponent
instead of against.
Instead of colliding with an inward block,
if I did a quick step and made the in block go with the attack,
I had aikido.
Zingo Bingo!
Then I looked at Tai Chi,
figured out the concepts,
applied them to Karate motions,
and I was doing Tai Chi.
And,
yes,
it was that simple.
Everything translated if you understood the concept behind the art.
Went through a few Kung Fu systems.
Did weapons,
and so on.
Matrixing was born,
and I wrote a million words
to describe everything
so everybody could understand it.
Do you study one system?
Silly you.
With a few tweaks you could be studying all the martial arts.
Now,
there are a few things to look out for.

First,
most systems these days
have become so muddied
they don’t have specific concepts.

Second,
most systems don’t have the right blend of forms and freestyle,
they end up with two arts…
the art of whatever their forms are
and the art of freestyle.

Third
most systems don’t stick to the path long enough
to become intuitive.
They end up putting boxing into their training,
mixing in MMA so they can advertise,
and so on.
You can recognize these systems
because people describe by using such terms as /muscle memory.’
Muscle memory is what you have until you go intuitive,
then it’s a whole new ballgame.
Then you are in the now.
And that’s a very zen thing.

The thing is,
when you have a system that works,
you can’t go hunting and pecking through other systems,
you have to do your whole system,
then you have to understand the concepts of the other system,
and you have to understand how these concepts work by physics and mechanics.
Then you have to work your butt off.

When I was figuring this stuff out
I was working out several hours a day,
even if I had no partner.
I would do air forms,
pound the bag,
work with weapons,
and write everything I did down.
And,
therein lies the difference
between a martial artist,
and a fellow who practices the martial arts.
We all start out the same,
going to classes,
blindly groping.
The fellow who practices martial arts,
however,
stops.
The martial artist doesn’t stop.
He becomes more and more obsessive,
finding new things to obsess about,
compelled to learn new things,
always dissatisfied with his progress,
always knowing that the truth is right around the corner,
if he could just see…a…little…further.
Anyway,
that’s the path from Karate to Aikido to everything else.
It’s not an easy path,
if you measure it in bruises and hours,
but it is the easiest path if you are obsessed.
Here’s to you,
I hope you’re obsessed.

Have a great work out!

Al

1c Matrix Aikido

AN AIKIDO WIN!

Here’s a fellow who illustrates what I’ve been saying…

Hi,
Just wanted to take the time to thank you.  Having now watched and read through the Matrix Karate system it is exactly what I was hoping it would be when I originally made the purchase.  I have begun working my way through the material and am enjoying every second of it!  I have since also bought (I’ve been treating myself each pay day) your monkey boxing and within the last few days your Aikido course.  Both I have found instantly applicable, and although I have only watched the Aikido seminar once so far, I have quickly identified that together they are so much more than the sum of their parts!   Within just a few days of the monkey boxing course arriving, I found that I was suddenly able to lock and manipulate to restrain far higher grades than myself in the club I attend, and now have found I have members of all levels, and even my own instructor asking me to just go over techniques so they can see what I did.  Suffice to say that the guy (every club has one) that is like an immovable object was lying face down the very first time I tried a technique you had discussed… and I see no reason why my skills won’t take on a similar bound forward as I absorb the Aikido course.  
I am sure you hear such stories all the time from people like me (over enthused with what must seem mundane to yourself) but I really felt I ought to say thank you.  One thing I am not sure if other people have found, but I want to mention, I truly appreciate you laying ‘it all’ out for people, by which I mean I appreciate the reward  (in terms of knowledge) coming from hard work and ‘flight time’ rather than an arbitrary period between Dan Gradings no matter how often one trains in that time before the next chunk of knowledge is passed on.  I will continue to follow your courses and let each build on what went before.
One more thanks for the recommendation to read ‘As a man Thinketh’ I really took a lot from it.
Anyhow, I’ll leave you be, and stop pestering you with my ramblings.
Many thanks one last time,
Adam D.

Martial arts Injuries are Stupid…Here’s How You Deal With Them

Newsletter 934

Martial Arts Injuries!

I don’t usually get injured,
And when I do it’s usually something stupid.
I detached a tendon in the fourth finger of my right hand.
Stupid.
And it takes six weeks to grow back.
But,
Every tragedy is an opportunity,
So let me elucidate on that.

First,
When you are injured
You figure out better ways to do things,
You are forced out of the same old same old,
And start to think,
How can I do this technique?
Should I change angles?
Use the other hand in a different way?
And so on.
And,
There is a bump in awareness.
You have to move so that you don’t impact,
But rather match the trajectory
Of whatever is incoming.
So you learn stuff,
And get smarter.
But stupid injuries are still just that…
stupid.

And,
At this point,
Let me offer the injury formula,
If not for your benefit,
Then mine.

Speed plus Ignorance equals Injury.
S + Ig = In

Geez.
You’d think I would have that down,
eh?

Except that it is a caution to go slow enough
to engage your ability to analyze,
And not a guarantee.

Anyway,
That all said,
Let me point out that
‘Chiang Nan’
Is the book that teaches you
how to make karate into Tai Chi.
I’ll be doing a lot of Chiang Nan
For the next six weeks,
And I urge you to look into it.

Chiang Nan


It has a TREMENDOUS amount of knowledge,
And a whole new way of looking at the martial arts.

And,
One other reason I am pushing this book,
I am about to come out with a new one.
So get caught up,
Don’t get left behind.
I’ll let you know about it,
Probably the next newsletter.

Okely Doggone Dokely,
I wave my busted finger at you,
And caution you…
WORK OUT HARD
You never when you’re going to get busted.
(insert a trickle of a tear down my cheek here)

Al

Chiang Nan

The Right Way to Teach Martial Arts

Newsletter 933

A Different Method for Teaching Martial Arts

One thing I noticed,
Over the years,
Is that people like to make things harder.
In the beginning,
Mac was easy,
intuitive.
Tried a Mac lately?

Or,
How about a car?
Used to be you could take your car apart,
Fix any little problem,
And even the big problems.

You know how we used to work on Volkswagons? (Beetles)
We would drive the car over a couple of four by fours,
Let the air out of the tires,
Loosen four bolts,
And lift the car off the engine.
Try that with your new Lexus!

And,
The sad thing,
The same thing has happened to the martial arts.
They have become so difficult.
Memorize a couple of dozen routines,
Make a couple of hundred techniques work,
And so on.

But…
Here’s something interesting,
You hear it all the time,
But it’s still interesting…
You never use forms in combat.

And,
I should correct that…
You never use forms in combat…in modern times.
Back in the sixties and seventies we did.
Used the heck out of the forms.
Taught us incredible things.

So what happened?

People started making the forms difficult.
Instead of letting people just do the forms,
Until the forms taught the people,
Teachers started getting nit picky,
Explaining things that didn’t need explaining.
Foisting BS concepts.
Mixing pieces of different arts together,
Without understanding what either art was.
And so on.

Got real difficult,
You know?

But the mind doesn’t like difficult.
And,
Let’s face it,
A fight isn’t difficult.
You either trained in your basics,
And those basics are intuitive,
Or you didn’t,
And they aren’t.

In matrixing you make things logical,
And this makes things simple.

You don’t have to memorize techniques
you would never use in combat.
We use an entirely different method
For learning techniques
That WILL work in combat.
Here is how I teach.

Let’s say I give a person the matrix of blocks.
This is a handful of blocks that,
Through a simple trick of logic,
Becomes over 60 techniques.
The student starts working his way
Through the circle of blocks.
He reaches one which doesn’t work.
He comes over to me and says,
‘Al, this doesn’t work.’
I say,
‘Oh, you can’t make it work.’
They say,
‘No, it actually doesn’t work.’
So I say,
‘try changing which foot is forward.’
It doesn’t work.
‘Try changing the timing.’
It doesn’t work.
‘Try changing…’
It doesn’t work.
And so on.
Finally,
They throw up their hands.
They say,
‘I told you…it doesn’t work!’
I say,
‘Oh,
Why didn’t you say so!’
They blink,
Their eyes open,
Sometimes we get a little frustration popping out.
I say,
‘So,
Did you learn anything?’
And…they did.
They usually say ‘yes.’
If they say no,
I ask them,
‘Well, would you use it in a fight?’
‘No.’
‘Then I guess you learned something.’

Now,
You may think I’m being ridiculous,
But the Martial Arts are full of techniques
That people try to make work,
And they don’t work.
Yet people train and train,
Never actually coming to grips
With the fact that the technique doesn’t work.

Let me light this method of teaching up.

You get frustrated by your ‘smart’ phone.
You curse the thing for being dumb.
We’ve all been there.
But a child picks that phone up and programs it for you.
ARGH!
Makes it even worse, doesn’t it?

Now put that child in the cockpit of a stealth fighter.
You know what’s going to happen, don’t you?
Grin.
And that brat,
Making a super techno gimmick like that work,
Is all the more frustrating.
Repeat…
ARGH!

But the child has not been taught that doing something wrong is…wrong.
So he just makes his mistake,
corrects,
Never inputs society calling him stupid,
And flies the plane.

I don’t have to train him,
By using methods like the one I described earlier,
To accept his mistakes.
He’s already quite happy making mistakes!
And he is willing to learn from them.
Doesn’t have all that ‘grown up’ distraction stuff.
Heh.

So,
Let’s bring it home.
The martial arts are every bit as complicated
As flying a super stealth fighter jet.
The proof is that so few do it right.
They end up fighting,
And not handling the incoming missiles,
And downing the attacker,
In a simple, scientific manner.

Unless,
Of course,
They have embedded themselves with
A heaping helping of…
matrixing.

Guaranteed,
You have been infected by grown up things like…
‘YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG!’
How many times have you heard an instructor say,
‘No, no. Do it like this.’
‘No, no. Use your arm like this.’
No, no. Don’t kick in a situation like this!’
About a million times.
Even the best meaning instructor
infers,
implies,
Tells the student he is wrong.
And the student,
Having been educated in school,
Knows that he is wrong,
And somebody else is right.
His parents have told him he is wrong.
His teachers have told him that he is wrong.
Even his friends have told him that he is wrong.

You know how I teach?
Let’s say I see somebody eating a kick.
Trying the same wrong block over and over.
I don’t tell him why he is wrong.
I never tell a student he is wrong.
I simply say,
‘Move to the left.’
The student doesn’t.
I repeat,
‘Move to the left.’
The student doesn’t.
And,
After a few dozen times,
He finally moves to the left.
Kick slides by.
‘What are you going to do?’
Student looks blank.
‘Do it again.’
The kick slides by.
And,
eventually,
The student blinks,
Hooks the kick,
And body bumps the hip.
Opponent goes flying.
I never told the student what to do…
I never made him wrong,
Or tried to tell him what I would do.
I just gave a simple direction.
Move this way.
Move this way.
Never getting frustrated.
Never making him wrong.
Never lecturing him.
Just…
LETTING HIM DISCOVER THE TECHNIQUE!
I don’t teach,
I back off and let the student fall forward.
When he finally catches himself…
He has educated himself,
And he has learned how to educate himself,
And educating himself is going to get that much easier.
And my job gets easier and easier and…easier.

Okay,
I should wind it up here,
I’ve blatted your ear long enough.
If you want to jump out of the trip
Where people tel you you are wrong,
Then come on over to the matrixing trip.
Guaranteed.
It I fun.

The Circle of Blocks is in the ‘Matrix Karate’ course.

1a Matrix Karate

But if you think you’re smart,
And want to cut to the chase,
Try the Master Instructor Course.

1d Master Instructor Course

Now…
HAVE A GREAT WORK OUT!
Al

1e Core Package

One Terrorist, One Bomb, One Martial Artist!

The Martial Arts Question of a Terrorist!

I get tired of hearing about school bullies, secret fighting techniques, and which martial art is best, especially when the real problem is one terrorist, one bomb, and you’ve only got time for one martial arts technique!

You step onto an elevator in Trump Tower, there’s one person in the corner, but, in this ‘eyes down’ society you ignore him and lift your hand to press the button for the fourth floor.

The button is already lit up. Huh! The other guy is going to the fourth floor, too. The fourth floor is a family planning clinic, and your eyes inadvertently flicker up.

He’s wearing a long, dark coat, it is open, you can see rows of dynamite sticks! And he’s trying to plug in a dead man’s switch!

You mutter the F-bomb here!

He’s going to kill expectant mothers! Innocent children! Insert another F-bomb!

You have got less than three seconds before he’s armed. Three seconds in which to disarm him and save half a hundred morning families. Three seconds in which to make sure he doesn’t plug in the switch, render him helpless and save the world!

Here’s the question: WHAT TECHNIQUE WILL YOU USE!

Now, while you’re blinking, maybe uttering an F-bomb of your own for this writer, and your mind is wildly trying to come to grips with this scenario, let me throw a few parameters in here, lay out some ground rules, and play a very serious devil’s advocate.

If you punch him in the head, you might break your hand. Skulls are hard, boxer’s wear gloves for this reason, and one punch actually isn’t a very sure thing for a knock out. Watch a boxing match, or any good MMA tournament, and you will see hundreds of punches thrown, and very few knock outs.

If you grapple, try a single leg takedown and wrestle him to submission, you are taking a big chance. He might not care if you break something as long as he gets that switch plugged in, and a single leg takedown will leave his hands free. Besides, do you really want to get in a wrestling match with a guy wearing 20 sticks of dynamite?

The coat is open, which leaves certain targets open, and certain targets closed.

He is the same height and weight as you. Slightly bigger if you are a lady.

Within one second he will notice that you’ve noticed him. Two seconds he is plugged in. Three seconds and…BOOM!

So, one second to thoroughly assess a situation, at the end of that second you have to know what technique you are going to do. And I don’t care what martial art you study, this is not a ‘my art is best’ question, it is a ‘what are you going to do when the world is about to end’ question.

So, you’ve got one second. Pick your technique and explain it in the comments, or…BOOM!

About the Author: Al Case, 8th degree black belt with over 50 years experience, has written/produced over 100 books/video courses on the martial arts. You can find out the fastest, best, most efficient method for earning a black belt click on the Matrix Karate box at his website, http://monstermartialarts.com.

Why You Have To Study Lots of Martial Arts

Newsletter 929

I Really Want to Kill Someone with Just One Strike!

I get this every once in a while,
somebody wants to find the ‘magic technique,’
the technique that works for everything.
Somebody wants to study just one thing
and be able to kill anybody with it.

Now,
I am not going to teach you how to spell comic book,
and for a simple reason,
there actually is a technique,
a perfect technique,
that will do this.
And,
not to be mystical,
or obfuscate,
it is the last move at the end of Seisan.
Go ahead,
find it,
see what it does,
figure it out,
and practice just that one technique.

BUT,
that having been said,
I want to describe the philosophy behind
why you have to learn a whole martial art,
spend years studying,
instead of just buying a gun.

Okay,
first,
let’s consider celestial navigation.
You want to take your rocket ship to Arcturus.
You blast off,
you’re sailing away,
but…where is that durned star?
You’re confused by the time you reach Jupiter.
There’s the big dipper,
bunch of stars over there,
and the seven sisters,
and..Beetlejuice?

Wish you had a map, eh?

Now,
let’s compare that to taking somebody DOWN!
You punch for the throat,
except he’s punching too,
so you shift, and he misses, but you miss.
But his arm is there,
so you go for an elbow roll,
except he’s twisting in response,
but your foot is…

Do you get the idea?
The same as going for a star without a map,
there is amazing confusion in a fight.
So you have to make a map.
You have to make it with your experience.

You punch,
he strikes,
but you’ve studied slipping in JKD,
the elbow roll comes,
he shifts,
but you know about shifting from Tai Chi.
he strikes,
but you know about dropping an elbow from karate,
and you finally strike him in the throat,
AND…manipulate him,
AND…take him down.

Now,
the analogy may not be quite clear,
so let me elucidate.
You find arcturus by your knowledge of what and where the other stars are.
AND…
you achieve your takedown by navigating a map of the human body,
by knowing where the joints are and how they turn,
by understanding leverage,
by subtle shifts of anatomy,
his and yours,
and you navigate to the final strike and takedown.

So when you study a whole art,
instead of buying a gun,
or searching for that mystical one finger technique
that reverse spirals the energy
so that the chakra explodes
in the fourth lumbar…
what you are doing is studying
a method for navigating the body.
No star will confuse you,
no motion or joint will confuse,
and you will find your way to…
better health,
understanding that common folk don’t have,
and the certainty that martial arts bring.

So, the best map for understanding the body,
because it can be applied to ANY martial Art!
Is
The Master Instructor Course.
You learn how the body works.
You learn how techniques work.
You can make any art work,
any technique work,
you understand forms better,
and…and it just gets better.

Here be da link!
http://www.martialartsinstructortraining.com

Have a great work out!
Al

Here’s the link for the ‘One Terrorist, one bomb, one martial arts technique… http://www.sooperarticles.com/sports-articles/martial-arts-articles/one-terrorist-one-bomb-one-martial-artist-1657952.html

http://www.martialartsinstructortraining.com

On Naming your Very Own Martial Art

Newsletter 927

Picking a Name for Your Martial Art

One time I was down at the offices of CFW,
which published the Inside Karate mag,
which I wrote articles and a column for.
One of the guys,
in charge of video,
suddenly called to me.
‘Hey, Al! Got something to show you!’
I went into the video room and he put on a tape.
The tape was a half hour long,
but within a few seconds I knew what it was.
The guy on the tape was a perfect Bruce Lee imitation.
He swooped wooped,
he swung the nunchucks
EXACTLY
as Bruce had swing them in his movies.
Move for move.
He spoke lines from the movies,
and it was eery,
it was almost as if he WAS Bruce!

But,
of course,
he was just a copy cat,
a guy without much of a life,
a guy who didn’t know who he was,
so mimicked others.

That leads us into this weeks subject…
I am very big on people creating their own martial arts.
There is a simple reason for this.
If you just learn what has gone before,
then you are only a copy cat.
But when you create your own art,
when you alter the moves to fit your frame,
when you craft energy to fit your situation,
when you rearrange pieces of arts
to fit changing situations…
then you are an art.
Would Michaelangelo be an artist
if he merely copied everything Davinci did?
Same thing is true for the martial artist.
Yes,
you should learn,
and that usually implies at least getting your black belt,
in Shotokan,
or Aikido,
or whatever art you study.
But,
at a certain point you have to step outside your art.
Keep the original the same as you learned,
but create your own separate art.

Now,
that all said,
let me slide into a connected but different thing.

I subscribe to something called Quora.
On that platform people ask questions,
and answer questions.
You get a wide cross section of what people are thinking,
you get answer,
a whole host of different answers,
to questions mundane and bizarre.

Recently,
a fellow asked the question:

What’s a good name for a fictional karate style that a flow state fighter would use?

This is a very interesting question.
I have had a LOT of people ask me about naming their art.
Since I am about the only one telling people how to be artists
a lot of artists end up up sending me this question.

I remember one fellow,
many years ago,
personal student of mine.
He reached the point where he had to go out
and create his own art,
and he asked me about a name.
He was was coming up with names like…
‘The Way of the Golden Fist,’
and so on.
So I told him to call his art…

‘Rick Do.’
The way of Rick.

Fortunately,
he didn’t.
He teaches his arts
with some very fine labels.
Very smart guy.
Smart enough to know when to ignore me.

So,
anyway,
I got this question on Quora,

What’s a good name for a fictional karate style that a flow state fighter would use?

And I gave the following answer.

Interesting.

By fictional you mean to use it in a book/script? Or for own use?

What I used to do, just for stuff and giggles, was find a word, or even a zippy type word, and get it translated by google. Zippy karate, not to be facetious, but just as an example, translates as ‘bibi.’ So ‘Bi Bi Do.’ (The Way of Zippy!) This can get fun, you can have ‘crouching tigers eating unwary hunters’ translated, ‘Dūn fú lǎohǔ chī cūxīn de lièrén.’ Then shorten it up as you wish.

If you want to go more serious than my flippy examples you can certainly do that.

Good luck with it, and have a great work out!
Al from monstermartialarts.com

So there you go,
one of the things I do as an artist,
as an author and as a martial artist.
It is great fun,
makes you think,
and might even be worthless.

But I told everybody on Quora,
and didn’t want you guys to feel cheated,
so I pass it on here.

So try it out.
Make up a name for your art.
Focus in on what principles and tricks you want to teach,
and sum it up.
Then have google translate it into whatever language.

And,
while you’re at it,
You can always check out
the ‘Create Your Own Art’ course on the Monster.
It is old,
the video quality isn’t good,
but you can understand it all,
and the principles are SOUND!

Here’s the link.

2d Create Your Own Art

Have a great work out!
Al

2d Create Your Own Art

What the Old Martial Arts Masters Knew

Newsletter 926

The Last Word on Chiang Nan

Got an email from Tom J the other week,
said an interesting thing.

I am getting the picture that “real” true karate, being true to its Okinawan roots, comes very close to stand-up grappling with strikes, I think, also, much of the sensitivity developed in Tai Chi – like exercises was there.

Even though they were not doing Tai Chi as such, lots of practice and thinking through the moves probably brought the Okinawan masters into that level of skill

Which brings me back to your “Everything must be practiced”, admonition. All the pieces are like pieces of a pie and all should be visited in practice.

Thanks Tom.
And he is so right.
People think that Tai Chi is the ultimate,
and it is,
but that doesn’t mean there aren’t others that are the ‘ultimate,’
it doesn’t mean that there aren’t other arts
that don’t elevate the student to the top.

My instructor said to me once:

There are many roads to the top of a mountain.

He had certainly reached the ability,
let alone the sage wisdom,
of a tai chi master.

The problem is that so many people think it is all about fighting.
Fighting is important,
but you go past fighting,
and start to understand how to handle life,
and what person can fight you
if you know how to handle life?
Heck,
a guy throws a punch
and it is an exercise in dissection,
in quick and sure manipulation,
and there is no fight.

And the truth of the matter is that these old guuyts,
these old masters,
who knew so much,
they knew so much because they studied more than just half an art.
Shake Morihei’s tree and you’ll find
the very thorough and complete
aikido jujitsu.
And you’ll find spear fighting,
sword fighting,
and all many of no nonsense studies.
Take a look at the Tai Chi masters,
you’ll find Shaolin,
types of kung fu,
history as bodyguards,
and it’s all to the death.

So don’t think you are going to be a master
if you study just one art.
Oh,
maybe,
but it’ll take half a century,
and then you die.

All of which means you should study ‘Chiang Nan,’

How to Translate Karate into Tai Chi Chuan

Which takes karate and applies tai chi principles to it.
You get a soft way of train a hard art.
You figure out different ways,
sometimes more efficient ways,
to move the body.
You undo the effects of training that has been too hard,
and has resulted in injuries.
You elongate your life in the martial arts.
You learn more than you ever thought there was in the martial arts.

Okay,
enough preaching.
You heard or you didn’t,
and the choice is up to you.

I think,
next time,
I’ll talk about the various courses.
I’ve got so many,
got so many books,
I should probably differentiate them,
maybe acquaint some of the newbies to this newsletter
about the how and the why of matrixing your martial arts.
Until then,
think about Chiang Nan,

And have a great work out!
Al

How to Translate Karate into Tai Chi Chuan

How Retreating makes Winning Martial Arts

Newsletter 918

The Danger of Reverse Martial Arts!

Actually,
there are three dangers here,
and one exception,
but first let’s answer the question…
What the heck is ‘Reverse Martial Arts?’
The answer is simple.
Backing up.
Running.
Retreating…and usually in disarray and with little hope!

The simplicity,
as you’ve no doubt heard,
is that there are three levels to a man.
Spirit
Mind
Body

If the body backs up,
if you are running,
can’t cope with the attack,
then the opponent can see it,
exploit it,
and chase you down.
By not holding your ground you become weak.

But,
the body backs up because the mind has failed.
The mind is a bunch of memory,
and the memories we are speaking of
are those techniques
you’ve tried so hard to make
intuitive.
But if the attack comes too fast,
is something you don’t understand,
you flinch…
which is to say back up.
So the mind has to back up first,
then the body.

BUT
the mind backs up because the spirit has failed.
The spirit is you.
You set yourself a task,
you decide to ‘go forward,’
but something confuses you,
makes you blink,
and you let go your task,
and the mind shuts down,
and the body backs up.

You are in retreat,
and in retreat is the danger of losing.

BUT,
there is an exception.
If your retreat is a plan,
if you realize something about the other person,
that you can deflate his presence,
depower his weapons,
confuse his strategy,
by a momentary retreat,
by ‘suckering him in,’
then you are not running.
You are setting the other fellow up,
or ‘attacking in retreat.’

Now,
that all said,
there is a cure,
a way to make sure that you never fail on any level,
and not on all three levels.
This is to keep the eyes open,
to study your mistakes,
to go forward with thought,
with consideration,
with analysis.
But that’s hard to do.
Still,
it is the key to superlative martial arts.

here’s the obligatory link…

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/rolling-fists/

if you can do this course,
if you can keep your eyes forward and steady,
unblinking and ready,
while doing this drill…
you are da man!

Have a great work out!

Al

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/4-master-instructor-course/

http://monstermartialarts.com