Tag Archives: kung fu

As the Martial Arts Disappear from this Planet…

Newsletter 968

A SHORTAGE OF MARTIAL ARTS!

A fellow showed up at our school the other day,
taught excellent kung fu at the community center here.
And now he was out of business.
After thirty years of teaching for the center
they let his class go.
It was popular,
had long time students,
but they let him go.

But the story only starts there.
I was trying to get a teaching gig at the local YMCA.
Not interested.
Used to use the Y for a feeder.
Taught a bunch of students,
when they were done with the beginning courses
I would transfer them over to the school.
No more.
The Y has canceled all martial arts classes
(and they used to have a lot of classses)
except for Tai Chi Chuan (for old folks)

Hmmm.
And it gets worse.
The city next to mine has canceled all karate classes
in their community centers.
And the ONLY martial arts allowed
are Tai Chi (for old folks, no techniques allowed)
No MMA,
no jujitsu,
no karate or kickboxing.
No judo or Krav Maga.
Just good old wave your hands in the wind
but don’t you dare use it Tai Chi Chuan.

And here’s something interesting,
we have three commercial schools in town,
almost right next to each other,
and we are all doing well.
So something that is extremely popular
and makes money
is being passed over by cities and the like.

So what is happening?
To understand what is happening
you need know only one thing.
I live in California.

If you don’t live in California
you may not understand our plight.
Think about it this way…

In a city filled with potholes…
we build speed bumps.
We tell people
don’t drive fast,
just shut up and pay your taxes.

In a city where we have crime coming out of our ears,
(and we do)
the powers that be want to discourage
the ability to fight back.

Think about it,
good, old, liberal California,
home of so many great ideas,
has decided that people shouldn’t be able to fight back.
We have more illegal immigrants
than anybody in the world,
and this includes some pretty hard core criminals,
and we are supposed to open our hearts
and unclench our fists.
Don’t fight back,
you might hurt some victim from another country.
Don’t fight back against that home invasion,
just think about how fortunate the poor are
to be able to have somebody to plunder.
Don’t fight back.

You know,
when I started Karate,
way back when,
there was unbelievable excitement.
We didn’t have anybody telling us it was wrong,
or trying to shade us into some political belief.
All we had was sweat and blood
and a massive curiosity.
We wanted to learn to fight,
to fight back,
to be proud but humble.

And that’s sort of what I wanted when I started Monster Martial Arts.
Here’s the truth about where the name of my business came from.
I used to watch ‘Monster Garage.’
I would see these gnarly mechanics,
old school dudes,
who would tear apart cars,
put them back together,
make something better,
and I was inspired.
I wanted people to understand the martial arts.
I wanted them to get out of the age old rut,
to take them apart,
to forget about the idiots telling you ‘no,’
or that you couldn’t do something for some stupid reason.
I really wanted a true Golden Age of Martial Arts.
So I started Monster Martial Arts.
And it has been one of the more successful internet businesses.
But at heart is one simple credo…
don’t pay attention when someone tells you it can’t be done.

When the school near you disappears remember this…
Monster will be here.
And when the internet goes away,
my books and vids are out there,
just waiting for somebody to pick them up,
somebody who doesn’t understand the word ‘No,’
and who only wants to say ‘yes.’

Here’s the obligatory ad.

3a Evolution of a Martial Art

Three martial arts for one low price!

You guys and gals have a great work out!
Al

A WIN!

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.

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.

“Life is never stagnation. It is constant movement, un-rhythmic movement, as we as constant change. Things live by moving and gain strength as they go.”
– Bruce Lee

The Anti-Martial Artist Asks a Question…

Newsletter 967

Defining the ‘Anti-Martial Artist’

I get a lot of questions.
Lately,
a lot of people have been asking questions on Quora.

Some of the questions are less than serious.

‘Who would win a fight,
Bruce Lee or an Orangutang?’
So what would Bruce Lee be doing out in the jungle?
Or did he break into a zoo
just to test his abilities against a fat monkey?

‘I’m 15 years old,
what martial art can I learn really fast?’
Why would you want to learn fast?
Doesn’t ‘slow and steady’ cut it anymore?
Do you really want to miss out on the whole journey?

Or,
my least favorite…
‘Which Martial Art is best?’
And two arts are offered for the answerer to choose from.

Usually,
I’ll call the fellow who asked the question a dope.
Politely, of course.
But still…a dope.

I realize you don’t know anything…
or
For the profundity challenged…

The reason I get rude is simply that I hate the question,
and it reveals a ‘anti-martial artist.’
An ‘anti-martial artist’ is a fellow
who is opposed to the martial arts.
Rather,
he encourages people to fight,
he advocates fighting to establish worth
(now there is an oxymoron if ever there was one)
and so on.

I know,
you’ve heard me rant on this before,
but this sort of thing is so rampant
it deserves an extra say or two.

The real answer to this question,
of which art is best is that
every art is a piece of the larger martial arts.
A puncher has to learn grappling,
a judoka should learn karate,
a tai chi chuanist
should explore boxing concepts,
and so on.

There are
weapons,
kicking,
punching
kneeing,
elbowing,
grappling

Each range results in certain arts,
in pieces of arts,
and all pieces should be explored…
UNTIL THE ARTS MAKE SENSE AS ONE ART

That is the key to matrixing.

think about it.
When the Gracies won with BJJ,
it just proved that they knew something nobody else knew.
As soon as people figured out what they were doing
the advantage was canceled.
And why did the Gracies win back then?
Because people had gone too far in one direction,
explored only one piece of the pie.
So they canceled the advantage.

So remember this:
You need to know a force art like karate or boxing
you need to know a force/flow art like wing chun
you need to know a flow art like tai chi or Aikido

You need to analyze the different arts so you understand
what is the concept behind…
krav maga
hsing i
shaolin
taekwondo
kenpo
or whatever!

Choose the arts that will enable you to understand all the distances,
all the forces and flows,
and how they can work together.

And you need to dig in so deeply
into each art,
that you understand the concepts behind the arts.
Guaranteed,
once you learn the concepts
the art become a unified whole.
All the pieces become a simple puzzle,
easy to understand,
easy to use,
easy to shift from one piece to the other
depending on situation and whim.

Here’s the package I recommend
for putting together the arts as a single, unified whole.

1e Core Package

Or check out the kung fu version…

2e Kung Fu Package

Have a great work out!
Al

A WIN!

Guru, Sabunim, Sensei, Shifu, Sijo Al Case;
I just want to tell you that I have had your Core Package plus the Blinding Steel for quite a while. I have only been looking it over until today. Today I decided to start the Matrix Karate and to my surprise I am seeing threads that lead into the other parts of the Core Matrix Martial Arts. So far I have only learned the first six moves from the White Belt form and through the movement of the Buddha palm I can see the correlation of movement within Blinding Steel. This is awesome to see how learning one thing will relate to other things within the martial arts. I am excited and jazzed about learning this new information and can not wait to continue my practice of Matrix martial Arts. Thank you. ~ Matthew F

”Obey the principles without being bound by them.”
– Bruce Lee

Learn Apocalyptic Martial Arts

Newsletter 963

Here’s How To Do Caveman Martial Arts!

I’m binge watching a TV series.
‘Into the Badlands.’
Great fun,
the premise being that there are no more guns,
so we live on a few old cars,
relics like turntables,
and practice the sword.
Yowza!

And the martial arts are really cool!
Flying superkicks,
punches that knock people through brick walls,
did I say it was…COOL!

Now,
the thing that gets me is this…
the ladies,
in spite of living in relative caveman times,
all look like they stepped out of a beauty salon,
wearing the gorgeous gowns,
and,
of course,
wearing high heels that can spike an oaf’s face
with elan.

Well,
if you think about it,
that is the least of the problems.
The whole thing suspends reality for…COOL!
So what do you think a post apocalyptic martial art
would really look like?

No swords…
people would just pick up stray and heavy objects
and grind an edge on it.
Found a big, old paper cutter?
Loosen the blade and swing that!

Lots of knives.
Easy to make,
easy to hide,
easy to use.

Lots of guns,
but ammo might run out pretty quick.
So,
maybe no guns after a while.

And,
would you have a lot of people
who knew long and elaborate forms,
and knew how to use them in a fight?
Nah.

In a world reduced to caveman,
the guy who studies the short form,
and most diligently,
is going to be the one to survive.
I’ll take House One any day.

My House One,
on the Matrix Karate course,
has only seven moves.
But those seven moves have over 16 applications.
It replaces dozens of long forms
with simple logic.

House Two has 10 moves,
but put together with House One
there are over 64 applications.

So you just drill these simple moves
over and over,
and the truth will emerge:
a fellow who knows the basics well,
can beat a fellow who knows advanced techniques.
You see,
advanced techniques depend on the basics.
Got to know the basics.
And the fellow with the best basics,
no matter what kind of ‘advanced technique’ he knows,
is going to win.

Anyway,
that’s my answer to Hollywood,
gals on six inch spikes,
and those glorious
wire suspended trampoline kicks.

1a Matrix Karate

Do Matrix Karate for a year,
you’ll know how to fight better than anybody.
It’s pure, man.
It’s pure.
Pure logic and pure joy.

Have a pure work out!
Al

A WIN!
Hey Al!

I just read today’s news letter.  You are always so encouraging, and always raising such excellent signposts for those of us who follow you!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I’m taking it easy, really trying to ‘get’ coordinated body movement, working my Matrix Karate forms, looking for more and more relaxation… or less and less effort?

Each time I add a side, I find something new and wonderful.  When I started doing Form 2 backwards, I found a whole new ‘direction’ in my mind, like I was learning something completely new.

Ryan

‘I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once,
but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.’
– Bruce Lee

Master the Martial Arts with the Eyes…

Newsletter 955

The Eyes Have It in the Martial Arts

I’ve got a student
and he can’t look at me.
His eyes focus on me briefly,
then he looks somewhere else,
down at the ground,
off to the side,
someplace,
and I know he is unconscious.
Unconscious being not conscious of me,
or,
taking his eyes off his attacker.
In the martial arts
if you take your eyes off the target,
the target hits you.
So I asked him,
have you ever flipped anybody off?
He got self conscious,
nodded and mumbled in the affirmative.
I said,
NO YOU DIDN’T!
Your body flipped them off,
and you told your body what to do.
There is a separation
you see,
between body and spirit.
I asked him if he ever took a leak.
He laughed and said yes.
I said,
NO YOU DIDN’T!
Your body leaked.
You didn’t leak,
you told your body to leak.
And he started to get it.
And here is the lesson.

You don’t look at the chest,
and try to see everything.
You don’t look at the hands/feet.
You look at the eyes because…
THE EYES ARE THE WINDOWS TO A MAN’S SOUL!

If a car was driving towards you
should you look at the driver or the car?
You look at the driver
because he is controlling the car.
He is the spirit behind 2000 pounds of metal.
So you look at the eyes,
and you look for the awareness
that is driving a 150 pounds of flesh and blood.
And that’s where you look.
Period.
And somebody who disagrees,
is simply WRONG,
and I prove it with my next words.
you see,
I told him one other thing.
A very important thing.
What is the one reason
you always look forward,
always keep the eyes open?
The answer is simple,
and yet so hard to grok and do.
The spirit radiates in all directions.
It is aware from the center of a sphere,
looking outward in all directions.
So the one reason a person always looks outward
is so that he doesn’t look inward.
You can’t defend yourself
if you are looking inward.
If you are looking inward,
you are not aware of what’s coming to hit you.
Remember:
the one reason,
the only reason,
for looking outward,
is so that you don’t look inward.

Here’s the obligatory advertisement,
do yourtself a favor and go there…

4ac Rolling Fists


This is the one drill I use
to train people to look outward,
it works,
and it is better than ANY drill
in ALL the martial arts.
I developed it myself,
putting the missing pieces into
some of the lop sau drills in other arts.
This is the complete and real deal.

Have a great work out!
Al

4ac Rolling Fists

A WIN!

Al,
Allow me to say that in 27 years of Chinese martial arts your Lop Sau instructions are the most clear and cogent ones I have ever in my life encountered. ~ Justin H

“There is no comfort in the growth zone and no growth in the comfort zone”
Unknown

Responding to Matrixing in the Martial Arts

Newsletter 954

The Two Responses to Matrixing in the Martial Arts!

People usually react in one of two ways
when I tell them about Matrixing and the Martial Arts.

In the first response,
it starts out with a fellow describing a technique.
Something he learned which blows him away,
or,
on the other side,
a technique he dismisses as worthless.

I say,
‘that’s interesting,
but what about the other four ways of doing the technique?’
They blink then.
The world is black and white to blinkers,
and they never think of the colors.
Finally,
they force it out,
‘What other three ways?’

So I tell them about the truth table,
how to matrix techniques,
usually turns into an interesting discussion
concerning how force and flow work in the martial arts.
Which is interesting.
Most artists,
except for an occasional technique,
have no idea of the force and the flow,
they just hit or throw,
tain’t nothin’ else,
specially not no three ‘other’ techniques.

And the discussion goes out on the mat,
blinks turn into open eyes,
and they are usually blown away.
I don’t fight them,
I just show opportunities and deviations
which they have never thought of.

Now,
the second way people react?
That usually happens when they are talking,
or worse,
reading,
and can’t let go of their opinion.
They feel that if they let go of their opinion
they have lost themselves,
their autonomy,
their sense of self,
their worth.

They aren’t there with me,
you see,
so I can’t take them out on the mat,
and show them what I am talking about.
And here is the VERY sad truth.

Most people don’t know how to read,
can’t understand written directions.
Of course Matrixing makes no sense to them,
even sounds bogus.
But they are filtering everything through their minds,
and everything is tainted and slanted by their inability
to read and understand
So what do they do?
They attack me as a scamster,
as an internet get rich quicker dude.
And the gold floats past their eyes.

Inside,
they know something has happened,
and it infuriates them even more.
They were so close,
and yet…they missed.
And they are stuck in the mess of the martial arts.

Let me finish by saying something:
the martial arts are a maze.
They are a path from you to…you.
You study,
you practice,
you become enlightened and discover…yourself.

Except,
the path has been so messed up by
politics,
inability to read,
vested interests,
commercialism,
tournaments,
nationalism,
THE DESIRE TO BE RIGHT…
to be an authority and to dominate.,
that is it virtually closed.

So Matrixing opens up and straightens out the path,
makes it quick and easy,
gets rid of mysticism and stupidity.
But you either have to be smart enough to read and understand,
or experience it directly from me
or somebody who has taken a few courses.

And those are the two responses to Matrixing in the Martial Arts.

Have a great work out!
Al

1a Matrix Karate

Here’s a great win…

A WIN!

Master Al,

Matrixing is a scientific approach the same as quantitative research and mastering it from that standpoint.

I have seen and experienced many individuals whose goals are usually to beat people up, be the top dog, create an Alpha male environment. Though martial arts is about winning to save your life there is a higher purpose and that is to polish one’s mind to a higher state of consciousness.

I feel that as a group we have lost our true calling of polishing ourselves and true potential due to the misguided thinking that one way is better than another. It is true we must test ourselves with competition but, we should also be wise in how we choose our fights and when to fight and hurt someone.

Respectfully,

Joshua R

“Good judgement is the result of experience,

and experience the result of bad judgement”
Mark Twain

Handling the Angry Martial Arts Student

Newsletter 951

Angry Martial Arts

Had a kid in class yesterday,
he was losing at freestyle,
got upset,
got emotional,
started carrying on and whining
and generally disturbing the class.
We worked with him,
but at the end of class he was still upset.

The next class I gave a lecture
about giving in to emotion.
You have to control yourself
if you are going to control your opponent.
And I addressed this lad
who had been so-o- upset.

You were upset the other day,
it was hard to talk to you,
because you couldn’t listen through your emotions.
You’re calm now,
so now you get the lesson.
If you fall to emotion,
you’ll fail in your art,
and fall to an opponent.

He agreed.

But the day before he didn’t agree.
He couldn’t learn through emotion.

The point here is don’t be so anxious
to give a lesson
when somebody is upset.
Let him calm down.
When the emotion is gone,
and he is able to think,
to actually analyze,
that’s when you give the lesson.

And,
a quick lesson for you
on how to defuse emotion.

Humor.

One day we had a special needs kid in class.
He got upset,
screamed at us,
said a bunch of foul words,
went to the door
and flipped us all off.

The instructor next to me said,
‘Hey! I’m number one!’
Everybody laughed.
Even the special needs kid started to laugh.

So use humor,
if at all possible,
to defuse a situation.

Now,
it is HanaKwanMass!
You only have a couple of days
to get yourself a present,
and I tell ya,
the best present you can get somebody,
and even and especially yourself,
is a complete martial art.

Here’s one…

2a Shaolin Butterfly

remember,
my HanaKwanMass poetry is almost here,
so sit by your computer with bated breath.

2a Shaolin Butterfly

Here’s a great win…

A WIN!

My journey with Al started about 8 years ago with a book written by Al called Shaolin Butterfly, which I studied and still study on a daily bases. Then Al did something that has changed my martial arts life he started offering all of his courses at a lower price than what he used to charge. I took advantage and started by ordering just a couple. I went through them and found a wealth of information which cleared away the fog that most instructors throw at their students because they themselves don’t understand the whys of their systems.

That was it. I ordered all of Al’s courses. I have taken something from each of the arts that Al has put at my feet and have made it my own, and this has been a real gift.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

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