Tag Archives: mma

Becoming Formless with Martial Arts

Newsletter 987

How to Be Formless in the Martial Arts

Bruce Lee talks about being formless.
Zen teaches us to be formless.
This idea of being formless permeates the martial arts,
but what the heck is it, really?

To be formless is to be in the moment,
actually moving in concert with an attack,
and not in response to an attack.

It means you don’t react,
you don’t move in specific ways,
but rather in unspecific manner,
adapting to the motion of your opponent,
and not moving in specific manners
your training has dictated.

Here’s the problem,
there are total idiots out there
who hear about being formless,
and think that because they don’t study anything,
and especially a classical art,
they are formless.

Nope,
they are idiots,
trying to make their lack of learning
more than it is.

So,
here we go,
here is what it means in ways you can understand
and even adapt to your work out.

To be formless is to be like water,
pour it into a glass and it assumes the shape of a glass.
Pour it into a bowl,
and it assumes the shape of the bowl.
So it doesn’t mean you have the no shape
of somebody who knows nothing,
it means you are smart enough
to shape yourself to the attack.

Somebody punches and you block?
That’s a response form Karate.
Somebody locks you go with the lock
and figure your way out of it?
That’s a response form Jujitsu.

And freestyle is just reacting,
it is fighting,
no pouring yourself into a shape
that fits the attack.

Let’s say somebody pushes you.
How do you react?
Do you brace, then attack?
Do you grab and throw?
Those are specific responses
created by studying specific arts.

If you were formless
you would adapt to the push,
shape your body around it,
and that might entail blocking or grappling…
or unbalancing or shifting or…or…
but it would be unique to the situation…
WITH NO LOSS OF AWARENESS.

Indeed,
you would have more awareness,
because that is the result of the martial arts training…
if done properly.

If you do not study a martial art
you are certainly formless,
and a victim to the forces of the universe.

If you do study a martial art,
and then another one and another one,
you eventually become formless…
and the universe is victim to your desires.

So these fellows who study something and say,
‘I stopped studying so I could break out of that art
and become formless,’
are total and utter idiots.
They have exchanged their inabilities
for the right to sound stupid.
It’s true.

The BEST way to be formless
is to study an art,
maybe karate or kenpo or something,
then another art,
maybe Aikido or tai Chi or something,
and then another art…
and so on.
Eventually you learn ALL the options
for forcing or flowing an attack,
Then you have choice,
actual AWARE choice,
within the structure of the fight.
And that would be formless.

Here’s the obligatory ad…

Tai Chi Chuan

I put Tai Chi here because most people study hard arts,
or arts requiring great effort,
and the best way to achieve formlessness
is to study an art that take little effort,
and which makes you think
and figure things out.

Make sure you check out the video halfway down the page.

Have a great work out!

Al

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/five-army-tai-chi-chuan/

How Do They Rank Black Belts in MMA?

Newsletter 986

The Interesting Thing About Black Belts

I’ve written often about
what a black belt is,
what the requirements should be,
and so on.
Let me say some unpleasant things here.

I volunteered my time
at a local martial arts school.
One night I was sitting with a half dozen MMA instructors,
and the talk turned to black belts.
One fellow had 22 years experience,
but was not a black belt.
Had no plans for testing.
Was quite happy to be a lower belt.
The other fellows accepted this as normal,
but it really made me think.

The fellow had the qualifications,
he knew what he was doing,
but there was some sort of mystique
concerning the longer you wait the better you are.

I asked one of the fellows later
about his promotion to black belt.
He said he had studied for some 20 years,
and suddenly realized that he wasn’t going to get any better.
Oh, he would get smarter,
pick up a few more sly tricks,
but he was now descending,
his body getting older
faster than he could learn.
So he went to the school owner
and told him that he wasn’t getting any better
so he better get his black belt while he was still any good.
He was given his black belt.

Now,
I’ve given you the data,
and maybe you’ve read some of my writing
about a black belt being ‘expert,’
so what does all this tell you?

To me it says that there is too much emphasis
placed on winning,
and not enough on structuring MMA
so that people can be properly evaluated.
That in the MMA (and this includes many brands of Jujitsu)
people are more concerned with who they can beat,
rather than mastering the distinct body of knowledge
that MMA is.
And this is what makes MMA a sport rather than an art.

Look,
being a sport is not bad.
It just sounds bad here because
it is coming through the filter of Al Case
who promotes art as best.

But,
really,
it is all up to you.

Interestingly,
I approached the head of the school I was volunteering at.
I suggested we categorize techniques,
make it easier to teach,
make the body of knowledge succinct and precise
so that we would better teach it.
He agreed,
and it actually fit into his plans for the school,
but every time we started to do something
he found an excuse,
disappeared,
changed the complexion of our meetings,
and so on.

As a sports man
he was unable to become an artist.
And here’s the funny thing,
he had trained in many of the classical arts,
he knew where I was coming from,
even agreed that I was right,
but at heart,
in the core of him,
he was a believer that might makes right,
that beating people up
was more important than teaching them methods
that would create distinct methods resulting in art,
the ability to classify ability,
and so on.

Simply,
it was more important to win a tournament,
than to do an art.

Well,
I’ll leave you fellows and gals
to figure out the worth of what I have said here.

In the meantime,
one of the most exact studies I have done
on what ranking and abililties are
was in the Outlaw Karate book.

Here is the Amazon page for it…

OUTLAW KARATE

There is a complete art in it,
complete with tests,
but see if you agree with how I analyze belt rankings.

Have a great work out!

Al

Four Steps to Create Your Own Martial Art

Newsletter 912

Can You Create Your Own Martial Art?

I’ve been getting a LOT of questions lately,
how do you matrix krav maga,
how do you matrix the martial arts,
how do you create your own art.

Usually I answer as best I can,
realizing that these people are not normal.
Actually,
hope I’m not offending anybody,
but they sound like bot driven questions.

As to how to matrix the arts,
read some of my books,
get some of my tapes.
Easily explained and shown.

But,
the one that got me was
‘how do you create your own art.’
What got me about this question
was that other people tried to answer it.
The question seemed to be addressed to me,
it was quorum,
so not sure,
but several people tried to answer,
and they totaled MESSED it.

Answers included:
you can’t.
you have to have something unique.
you can but it has to be proven in MMA.

Well,
the short story is this:
if you just copy somebody else’s art
you aren’t an artist,
you’re a copy cat.
So,
somewhere along the line,
you HAVE to create.
Else you aren’t really an artist.

Look,
ask this same question of a painter
and you will end up with something like this:
you can’t paint until you learn to make canvas.

Actually,
that was the attitude in the middle ages,
and famous artists would gain apprentices
who would make their canvases for them,
and never learn anything.
They were just being used.

I hope you appreciate that analogy,
because it is REALLY spot on.

So,
here is the FULL story:

first, study an art to expert (black belt)
second, study other arts on your own
third, find what works for you
fourth, categorize according to concept, principle, or whatever.

And that is the truth about creating your own art.

I encourage people to study as many arts as they can.
I help them through my courses.
I encourage them to take a class to black belt.
I give an education that helps people understand
the concepts and principles involved.
I make the best martial artists in the world.
NO copycats.

So,
you want to be an artist?
A REAL artist,
considering that an artist is somebody who actually creates art?
There is actually only one place on earth that does that.
There is only one place that gives access to a variety of arts,
and is dedicated to the student learning,
as opposed to mindless drilling,
as opposed to the art as a calisthenic,
as opposed to a single art being considered the ONLY art.

Here go…

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/2d-create-your-own-art/

Have a great MLK day,
he was a man who believed in peace,
and making peace work
without using force,
is the highest martial art.

Have a great work out!
Al

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/2d-create-your-own-art/

http://monstermartialarts.com

A Martial Artist’s Night Before Xmas!

Newsletter 908

A Martial Arts Christmas Eve!

ALL RIGHT!
It’s Christmas eve,
and you know what that means…
it is TIME…
for the yearly rendering of
A Martial Arts Night Before Xmas.
Or,
as I like to call it…
HANAKWANMASS!

Before we start,
however,
I have to ask for my Xmas present.

If I have offended,
lost an order,
insulted you,
no matter how small or slight,
please forgive.
I make mistakes,
lots of them,
and I would love it if you could forgive me.
I’ll try not to make any more,
but you know how that goes.

NOW,
IT’S TIME!
In this corner,
holding a whiskey and looking dazed,
is your poet Al Case.
And in this corner,
proud as good literature can be,
is…

THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS!

Twas the night before Christmas
I was in my shack
primed and ready
for the red fat attack.

my weapons were loaded
the windows were barred
all would be safe
while I was on guard

The chimney was decked
with concertina wire
I crouched by the couch
ready to fire.

I had an M60
with ammo to feed
I didn’t care
if the red fat did bleed.

A loaded shotgun
and grenades to spare
when red fat came down
I’d blow him out of there.

Throwing stars and knives
and a really long sword
and if that didn’t work
I knew a bad word.

Sitting there late
my eyes started to close
when suddenly I heard
a bunch of ho hos.

Off with the lights
safety off, too
I  watched the fire close
and heard a sound from the flu.

‘Ouch and gosh darn it
who put the wire here
those are my undies
starting to tear!’

Then a shower of soot
and a grunt and a groan
he landed in the fire
and gave out a moan.

He was rubbing the place
where the wire did tear
so I held down the trigger
and lead filled the air.

belt after belt
did I deal the red fat
he danced and he jumped
I knew he felt that!

then quicker than spit
I ran out of lead
but enough was enough
he had to be dead.

Boy was I shocked
to see him stand tall
stepping out of the fireplace
not bothered at all.

So I grabbed up the 16
to mow him down
he had to be hurting
cause I saw his big frown.

Then I was empty
and he came straight for me
I pulled out my knives
and sliced him with glee

He jumped to the side
moving real quick
disarmed my knives
with a well placed kick

then he dropped the big bag
he had on his shoulder
reached forth his arms
and his anger did smolder

He grabbed hard my neck
and held me up high
I tried kicks and punches
but I was like a fly

Not karate nor judo
no art did work
and he grinned a mean grin
and called me a jerk

‘Don’t you know
you stupid little man
Christmas is forever
in spite of your plan.’

Then he threw me aside
and proceeded to work
giving presents to all
and to me a great smirk

And when he left
the great big red fat
he left me a lump of coal
the big red fat rat!

HANAKWANMASS TO ALL
and to all a great work out.

Have a great work out!
Al

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/matrix-karate/

The Golden Age of Martial Arts is About to Happen!

Newsletter 903

The Coming Golden Age of Martial Arts…

Let’s talk about Matrixing,
and how it works.
Before I do,
However,
let me put forth a shameless ad…

Almost here!
I call it HanaKwanMass,
so I can offend the most people.
But,
whether you are offended or not,
you will probably give gifts,
and the best gift you can give
is a course in Matrix Martial Arts,
it not only gives now, but over the years,
for the course of an entire lifetime.

Okay,
the ad officially over,
I noticed something very interesting,
back when I figured matrixing out.

Take a carburetor apart.
Clean it.
Put it back together.
If you have no experience,
you’re going to mess it up.
At the least,
it is going to take you a lo-o-ong time.
It often takes a lot of mistakes
to figure things out.
That’s the story with the martial arts.
You learn forms with no meaning,
nobody shows you the tricks
to make the techniques work.
Higher belts beat the crud out of you,
and don’t tell you what they know.

The problem is that people don’t know how to explain
what they know.
They earned it over time,
by making a lot of mistakes,
and they can’t explain it to you.

What if somebody could explain the mistakes to you,
could give you the knowledge to make it work,
without all the time and mistakes?
And that is the essence of matrixing.

Instead of spending four to five years,
grinding through bruises and even breaks,
figuring it out one step at a time,
what if you could just get the data,
learn the martial arts,
and do them?

So when I started teaching matrixing,
I would show somebody the real reason behind a punch,
I would show them how the lines of energy align in the human body.
Suddenly,
virtually instantly,
their blocks became solid…
and they caused pain.

It didn’t take years of lessons
on how to build the mysterious ‘chi power,’
it didn’t take dozens of forms
and hundreds of techniques,
it just took the actual and real reasons
behind what and how you do the martial arts.

If you understand something you can do it.

If you don’t understand something
you have to suffer through mistakes.
And nobody tells you what the mistakes are,
you just keep doing them
until you accumulate enough bonks on the nose
to figure out you’re doing something wrong.

So why lead with your face?
Why not lead with your mind,
with logic,
with the real reasons behind the martial arts?

I know
(sigh)
I’m an internet scamster,
tricking people for their money.
EXCEPT…
I’ve been on the internet since 2002.
Check the Time Machine if you don’t believe.
And before that I was doing mail order since 1984.
In that time I have received FOUR complaints.
Two of the complaints people didn’t even open their orders,
just sent them back.
One of the guys I have no idea why he wanted his money back.
One guy was highly upset
that I didn’t give him the classical art he wanted.
He apparently didn’t read the ad,
didn’t figure out that I was doing things differently,
that I was fixing the classical.

Look,
here’s something to think about.
People say that the Golden Age of Martial Arts
was back in the sixties.
They are wrong.
That was a period of discovery,
of growth and expansion,
of categorizing various arts into packages.
We have stars exploding,
arts become franchises,
and every week it seemed like something new was happening.

That’s not a golden age,
that’s just discovering something.

A REAL Golden Age is coming,
and it depends not on advertising and movies,
on stars and franchises.
It depends on knowledge.
Look,
before 1970 there were hundreds of people in China
who could too the ‘one finger’ trick.
Stick their finger through a board and leave a hole.
There were people who could break bricks from ten feet away,
just a blast of ‘chi power.’
I even have a photo of one fellow
placing a piece of bamboo across two slices of watermelon
and breaking the stick with a chop,
and not denting the watermelon slices.

Most of you have never heard of this stuff.
Have certainly never seen it.
And,
you won’t learn it in today’s schools.

BUT,
study the knowledge behind the martial arts
and you will not only understand tricks like these,
you will be able to do them.

The essence of the martial arts is in the knowledge
that is not currently being taught.
That knowledge is in the matrixing courses.
The matrixing courses are the real reasons,
the actual physics behind the martial arts.
All it takes is you,
to understand it,
to study it,
to make it work.
And that’s when we’ll have the true Golden Age of Martial Arts.

Okay,
I talk,
blue in the face,
here’s the link,
and for God’s sake,
I hope you understand the difference between mindlessly practicing techniques,
and understanding the real reasons for those techniques.
http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/4-master-instructor-course/

Now,
excuse me for being overly passionate,
I just love the martial arts so much,
and I so want you to have them,
the real martial arts for the real you.
Have a great work out!
And…
HANAKWANMASS!
Al

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

http://www.amazon.com/Binary-Matrixing-Martial-Arts-Case/dp/1515149501/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1437625109&sr=8-1&keywords=binary+matrixing

go to and subscribe to this newsletter:

https://alcase.wordpress.com

Remember,

Google doesn’t like newsletters,

so this is the best way to ensure you get them.

You can find all my books here!

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

http://www.amazon.com/Matrixing-Tong-Bei-Internal-Gung/dp/1507869290/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423678613&sr=8-1&keywords=tong+bei

The Secret of Strong Martial Arts Muscles

Newsletter 863 ~ Don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter and get some FREE BOOKS!

The Secret of Strong Muscles in the Martial Arts

And there is a secret.
Before get to it,
let me go over the basic understanding
of how muscles work in the martial arts.

First off,
the forms are calisthenics.
The horse stance is a squat,
the front stance is an almost lunge,
and so on.

And,
every time you snap the muscles,
close them violently to a focus,
you are using plyometrics,
plyometrics is contraction and expansion of muscle
designed to increase strength.

And everybody knows
how studying the leverage of muscles,
and using those muscles,
when throwing people around
is fantastic exercise for the body.

After a lifetime of doing forms,
tossing people around,
striking and kicking,
I am in top shape.
I shake my head in dismay
when I see people younger than me,
tottering around on canes,
clutching walkers,
hauling oxygen bottles.

All that stuff could be avoided.

A little fun in the martial arts every day.

Just playing tag with your fists,
gotcha with kicks,
and a little grab and toss with bodies…

And, it’s not too late!
You can eat right,
exercise right,
and turn your age back.

Anyway,
I promised you a secret.
and it’s good one.
One that I’ve never heard anybody talk about.

At first,
you work out hard.
You build your strength,
you push yourself until you can do those techniques
without any problem.

And,
when it isn’t any problem
you stop working so hard.
In fact,
you start to go backwards.
you use less and less muscles.

The work outs you do won’t be as hard,
but the mental focus is greater,
until you don’t use muscles at all.

Effortless martial arts,
putting somebody down with a finger.
Isn’t that a great ‘death strike?’

Or tossing somebody with a shrug,
everybody stares at you and says,
‘What’d he do?’

And what you do is simple,
you use muscles
until you don’t need muscles.

The fact of the matter is
there are three aspects to the martial arts,
Speed…Power…Technique.

Speed and power diminish with age,
but technique done right,
will never fade.
Good technique uses the muscles less and less,
until you don’t need them.
A weak guy can throw a strong guy.
If a guy was actually to stay weak,
after doing some intense martial arts.
Grin.

But that’s the secret,
do your techniques,
put awareness into your techniques,
until you don’t need muscle,
you just know the angle,
and your correct body alignment
lets the energy flow.

Well,
there’s a lot more to it,
I’ll talk more about this stuff on this blog
at MonsterMartialArts.com

In the meantime,
if you’re interested in some very streetwise stuff
that really works the muscles,
fast changes
lots of good, clean fun,
and exercises that will build muscles
until you reach the stage
where you don’t use muscles,
try this:

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/3a-blinding-steel-matrixing-weapons/

It’s a weapons course,
very logical and quick to do,
and, heck,
the guy who comes after you on the street
will likely have a weapon.
Might just as well learn how to swing a little quick weight at his head,
eh?
Grin.

Happy Easter!

Al

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/3a-blinding-steel-matrixing-weapons/

http://www.amazon.com/Binary-Matrixing-Martial-Arts-Case/dp/1515149501/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1437625109&sr=8-1&keywords=binary+matrixing

go to and subscribe to this newsletter:

https://alcase.wordpress.com

Remember,

Google doesn’t like newsletters,

so this is the best way to ensure you get them.

You can find all my books here!

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

http://www.amazon.com/Matrixing-Tong-Bei-Internal-Gung/dp/1507869290/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423678613&sr=8-1&keywords=tong+bei

What is the Original Concept Behind the Martial Arts?

Newsletter 838

SUPER SPECIAL MARTIAL ARTS ANNOUNCEMENT

GOOD MORNING!

Got a special announcement.

So special I am issuing two newsletters on the same night!

So special…
there is NOTHING like what I am about to do.

monkey boxing martial art

Click here to go to: MonkeyBoxingNow.com!

First,
don’t get me wrong,
people need Matrixing.
They need to understand the science of the martial arts.
It is the only way they will gain true understanding,
and true understanding is necessary
for true mastery.

Second,
I have provided many paths for people to master the martial arts.

You can do the classical route by going to:

http://kangdukwon.com

You can do the Matrix Karate route by going to:

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/black-belt-course/

You can do a variety of martial arts
by doing any martial art I offer,
and The Master Instructor Course.

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

So what could be better than that?
Eh?

What could be better than that is if I gave you personal lessons
for as little as $2.50 per week.

Go to:

http://monkeyboxingnow.com

Monkey Boxing is MY art.
It is not the scientific analysis of art,
as in Matrixing,
or matrixed courses,
but it does,
of course,
follow matrixing principles.

Monkey boxing includes the following courses,
which are offered on MonsterMartialArts.com.

Blinding Steel.
Matrix Kung Fu
Rolling Fists

tied together by The Master Instructor Course.
(What?
You thought I would teach you something without using
The Master Instructor Course?)

Further,
you will get snippets and tidbits
from ALL my courses,
because I have to give you all the drills,
and tell you where they came from,
and how they were developed.
And ALL my drills and exercises.
And Forms and Freestyle.
And everything else.

And you can ask me questions.
I will respond by email,
or,
if necessary and appropriate,
on video.

Thus,
I draw on everything in my 50 years experience,
to teach you my art.

Now,
the drawback is that there isn’t going to be
a specific order to all this stuff.

I am teaching people Monkey boxing,
as I teach the video course.
I draw on material I need,
as I need it.

So I don’t organize it,
I just teach it
in an intuitive sequence
based on what my students need.

But,
don’t worry,
I will be releasing,
sometime in the next few weeks,
a study guide of some sort,
to help you order all the material,
so you will understand the order,
and be able to focus on that order.

Don’t get me wrong,
this course DOES NOT replace matrix ing.
Matrixing is the ultimate science,
it is the martial arts in order.

But this my art,
the art that has come out of me
because of all my experiences,
because I need to express myself.

Okay,
here is the special announcement website…

http://monkeyboxingnow.com

Go there,
poke around,
and see if it is for you.
have a great work out!

Al

http://www.amazon.com/Binary-Matrixing-Martial-Arts-Case/dp/1515149501/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1437625109&sr=8-1&keywords=binary+matrixing

go to and subscribe to this newsletter:
https://alcase.wordpress.com

Remember,
Google doesn’t like newsletters,
so this is the best way to ensure you get them.

You can find all my books here!
http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/

http://www.amazon.com/Matrixing-Tong-Bei-Internal-Gung/dp/1507869290/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423678613&sr=8-1&keywords=tong+bei

Zen and Indian Stealth Skills in the Martial Arts!

Newsletter 834 ~ Subscribe now!

Were the Indians Masters of Their Own Brand of Zen?
part two

What a GREAT day!
Of course,
if you don’t work out,
you probably don’t really know what I mean.
Grin.

This is the second of a five parts series.
Subscribe to this newsletter to get all five parts.

Last newsletter I made the point
that the American Indian
was probably the finest warrior in the world.
To back this up,
simply consider their attitude towards that great zen concept…
silence.

In zen you create a silence so absolute
that your spirit can manifest,
that the truth of you becomes apparent.

Indians had this zen attitude towards silence.

The mere fact of walking,
as described in the first part of this series,
can be used to create silence.
But that is only the first stage.
Perhaps some of you remember an old adage
that only fools whistle?
A bit harsh,
a happy person should whistle,
but when you are hunting game,
or sneaking up to a battle,
you can’t whistle.

Instead,
you have to master the sounds of nature,
the tweet of a bird,
the call of a wolf,
the actual sound of shifting sand,
or wind in the rushes.

To master such sounds requires an appreciation of silence itself.

Consider this bit of zen:
it is not the sound you must hear,
but the silence.

Or,
as I am fond of telling students,
a candle in a coal mine
is brighter than the sun at noon.

Consider this when you are doing Tai Chi,
and don’t make a sound.

Consider this in Aikido,
and don’t let your circles make a sound.

Consider this in Karate,
or Tai Chi,
or other arts,
and quell the sound of your motion,
of your technique,
it is not just wasted energy,
but it distracts the mind
from the silence necessary
to manifest the spirit.

Here’s a link to Tai Chi,
which is a great art for pursuing silence.

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/five-army-tai-chi-chuan/

and have a great work out!

Al

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/five-army-tai-chi-chuan/

http://www.amazon.com/Binary-Matrixing-Martial-Arts-Case/dp/1515149501/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1437625109&sr=8-1&keywords=binary+matrixing

go to and subscribe to this newsletter:
https://alcase.wordpress.com

Remember,
Google doesn’t like newsletters,
so this is the best way to ensure you get them.

You can find all my books here!
http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/

http://www.amazon.com/Matrixing-Tong-Bei-Internal-Gung/dp/1507869290/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423678613&sr=8-1&keywords=tong+bei

If You Want More than Just Martial Arts Fighting…

To Fight or not to Fight

The following is a guest editorial from Alaric Dailey

Being a student of traditional Karate-Do, when I make mention to a school owner or martial artist or parent of a child taking classes somewhere that “martial arts is more than punching and kicking, there is more to being a martial artist than simply being a fighter” I get a blank stare. At this point, I have to explain the following.

wudan assassin

The Wudan Assassin, on kindle or paperback…click on the cover!

These days, tradition is often poo-pooed with some comment like “if it doesn’t make me a better fighter than I don’t care”.   But being a fighter doesn’t make you a good person, in fact, simply knowing how to fight can make you arrogant, or worse, a bully.

This is often evidenced in “fighter” gyms, people walking around with bad attitudes, all about testosterone and ego, injuries abound because people are always trying to prove they are the king of the mountain.

The way of the warrior, Bushido, is about being a gentle soul, learning not only to punch and kick, but to help others, to be calm and humble.

In other words, learning all those “useless” things, like the language, the manners, the meditation, the discipline, reciting Dojo-kun are not useless, they are about expanding your mind, and making you more than a fighter.

In my original dojo, my sensei not only give us the meditation and such, but would also tell us stories of the Samurai, and give us pieces of Bushido that most westerners never hear.  “Ikebana (flower arranging) is a great way to clear your mind”, and “self-defense is not just about punching and kicking, it is about avoiding and defusing danger in the first place” were words of wisdom that we often heard from sensei.

When the Japanese would teach an art, they would distinguish whether or not it included only fighting techniques, or would give you “the way”.  If you have “the way” it is a Do, Karate-Do, Ju-Do, Aiki-Do, etc.  If it is purely fighting techniques it was Jitsu, Karate-jitsu, Ju-jitsu, Aiki-jitsu, and Nin-jitsu.

As a side note here, you will notice there is no such thing as a “Do” for Ninja fighting techniques.  This is because the ninja weren’t fighters, they were assassins, their skills included, poisons, escape, evasion, not being seen, killing techniques etc.   Being a hired killer, and being a better person have nothing to do with each other.

There are 7 virtues
Rectitude (義 gi)
Courage (勇 yū)
Benevolence (仁 jin)
Respect (禮 rei)
Honesty (誠 makoto)
Honour (名誉 meiyo)
Loyalty (忠義 chūgi)

and 3 more associated virtues
Filial piety (孝 kō)
Wisdom (智 chi)
Care for the aged (悌 tei)

I see it as a great loss that so many have thrown away history and tradition, the Do, in favor of the more testosterone fueled (and MMA fanned) jitsu.  It is a sad state of affairs that our children grow up idolizing real and fictional people who push the ideas “might makes right” and “the ends justifies the means”, never once mentioning justice and mercy.

I highly recommend “The Hagakure”.

Check out the Karate Katas that work.

Martial Arts Self Defense Worked…Do You Run Away?

Martial Arts for Real Self Defense

In 45 years of Martial Arts self defense training I have only heard of one fellow killing somebody with the martial arts. He was jumped, killed the guy with an actual technique, and turned himself in. He was quickly released.

These days things are different. Whether you watch the videos on youtube of the police dragging people out of their house, or saw the clip on the beating death of Kelly Thomas by the police, or just believe that homeland Security really is stocking up on ammo to backbone a coup by Barack Obama…things are different.

self defense

Self Defense taken too far?


So here’s the martial arts self defense scenario.

Times are tough, and you have a job whereby you drive down alleys and pick up recyclables. You have been doing this for a short while, people understand what you are doing and it is legal and okay and actually a benefit to the community.

You stop to throw some newspapers in your truck. As you do so, a bum comes out from behind a garage and attacks you. He is obviously not of this neighborhood, you have no idea, but the guy is beating on you. No weapons, but he is bigger than you, and the ferocity of his attack makes you fear for your life.

You hit him and kick him, using your martial arts self defense moves, but he stays on the attack. He is wearing you down!

You finally slip a punch and get him in a rear naked choke.

He struggles, you squeeze, and it’s naptime.

You struggle to your feet, look down at him, and…he isn’t breathing! In the excitement of the moment you crushed his throat, and he is dead. Your martial arts self defense worked a little too good!

Now, the police in this town have a reputation for brutality. You are afraid that you won’t be able to pick up recyclables. You are afraid you will be thrown in jail. You don’t have the money for an expensive lawyer.

The law is probably on your side, you were defending yourself, it was an accident, but the fact that you know martial arts will probably be used against you.

There are no witnesses.

Okay, so do you turn yourself in, or not?

I know what the law says, but take my scenario at face value, and tell me what you would do.

We all recognize that this scenario and question that I have posed is for discussion, and not a recommendation to break any law.

Use the comment section below.

Check out these other case histories of Martial Arts Self Defense.