Good evening! I just finished teaching, 2 1/2 hours of bliss, and I am in heaven. Let me share a little of that heaven with you. Here’s one of the things I was thinking about, which relates to the martial arts. Specifically, how Pa Kua Chang relates to the stealth skills of the native American Indians.
The most important Martial Arts book ever written.
Incidentally, I am going to write five articles on this subject, so if you want all five, subscribe to the newsletter. The other four articles will be coming out over the next month.
The American Indians were arguably the greatest light infantry in the world. They could outrun horses, they had thoroughly mastered such weapons as bows and arrows, knives, hand to hand, and so on. And, they were masters of stealth.
Think about this: to put food on their table they had to be able to sneak up on wild animals. This meant they walked with no noise, don’t rustle a leaf, or step on a twig. Do it so well that a deer won’t hear you. Have you ever seen how big a deer’s ears are?
The way they walked was very specific. They did not walk heel to toe, they did not place their heel down first, the placed the front of their foot down first, so they could feel a twig, or any other surface that was going to cause noise sufficient to alert an animal. So they placed the front of the foot down first, then rolled to the heel, and they were aware, feeling with their feet, sensitive to whatever they were walking on. And they walked fast enough to close on an animal before the animal went elsewhere to feed, and without alarming the animal. That takes incredible skill.
Interestingly, this method of walking is very similar to the way students of Pa Kua Chang walk. The precise way of walking in Pa Kua Chang is to place the whole foot down, gently, sensing the ground through the feet. This eliminates slippage on icy, grassy, wet whatever surfaces. Further, it breeds silence. Further, it enables the student to grip the ground.
This method of walking is commonly called ‘Mud Walking.’ Walk so you won’t slip in mud. Walk silently, with no wasted (as in audible) energy.
There are differences here, but here is the point: both methods are used to build awareness.
It is awareness that makes a better martial artist, not muscles, not speed, not anything else. It is awareness, of environment, of the opponent, of whatever is going on around you.
It’s funny, when I hear people refer to Indians as savages I have to suppress laughter. They adapted to their environment, they built a technology that made them possibly the finest warriors in the world.
If you just study them, if you consider how you might use their methods, how you might improve your awareness, you will find that they were geniuses of combat.
Now, let’s be honest, I haven’t studied Indian combat methods in depth, but I have studied methods that closely align. Here’s the link to Pa Kua Chang.
Good Lard…it’s summer! And absolutely perfect for learning another art. So which art do you want to learn this summer? A hard art to go with the soft? Soft to go with the hard? Weapons? Tai Chi? I mean, why not? what else do you have to do? And there is nothing else that is better for you.
Click here to get the whole story on Matrixing the Martial Arts
Okay, every once in a while I like to go over what Matrixing is, and suggested methods of study.
Matrixing is a system of logic. It is based upon analyzing potential motion. It is applicable to any art, and to any system.
But here’s the thing… the martial arts are put togethers. As such they are conglomerations of what worked for individuals. But these are all based on what an individual prefers, or works for his body, or the culture he has grown up in, and so on.
The result has been a lot of mystery, which is hidden by calling it mysticism.
So if you apply matrixing to your martial art, it becomes logical, and thus easier to learn, and there won’t be hidden spots. No more mysticism. Just hard core science.
That is matrixing in a nutshell. You can find out a lot more about it by subscribing to the newsletter, (alcase.wordpress.com), and just thinking about how it can be applied to your art.
Okay, recommended ways of studying matrixing.
Each course looks at the martial arts from a specific viewpoint, from a specific art or concept. If you have a specific weakness in your system, say…no weapons, or too hard, or something like that, you can just study the art that will take care of that weakness. Guaranteed, the logic on the art you study will start to seep into the rest of your arts.
BUT, the best way to study is probably to just follow the arts as they are listed on the site (MonsterMartialArts).
For instance: Matrix Karate analyzes the hard arts and classical blocks. Matrix Kung Fu analyzes locks and throws Matrix Aikido analyzes learning by concept. The Master Instructor Course analyzes the body Shaolin Butterfly analyzes footwork Butterfly Pa Kua Chang analyzes the transition from soft to hard Five Army Tai Chi Chuan analyzes soft takedowns And so on.
But each art can be taken apart by a sequence of matrixing courses.
If somebody wanted to learn karate, for instance, and from the ground up, I would recommend the following courses: Outlaw Karate (inspiration) Buddha Crane Karate (modular studies) Matrix Karate Making the art pure) Temple Karate (what old forms actually mean) and so on.
So there are many ways to study matrixing. But the fun of it all is this: you learn multiple arts…fast. Which is why I said, at the beginning of this newsletter, what do you want to learn this summer? Heck, you could learn three or four whole martial arts all within a year. That would be a high state of mastery.
Anyway, Here’s the Matrix Karate page, because that is the one that started it all, that is the one with some pretty crucial matrixing data on it.
Newsletter 796 Sleight of Hand in the Martial Arts
Good morning! It’s a balmy day out here in LA, absolutely perfect for working out. You just let the wind push you into the next move.
Hey, here’s something interesting, did you know that people don’t know how to use their bodies? They do sports, various gimmicks, and they catch the ball cool, but they are using the body at about 1/100 of its potential. True.
And, interesting enough, I am not talking about instances of high adrenaline as being the optimum.
In fact, you should be using less energy to create more effect.
Here’s the neutronic low down,very simple, on this phenomenon.
If you study math, the very first thing you learn to do is measure the universe. After a couple of years of working with this fact, which is used because it is undeniable, you can’t argue with a ruler, you learn to think in abstracts. You learn to follow formula, and you leave the necessity for measuring.
So, two specific stages, measure the universe, follow formula. The devising of new formula is considered the higher, most creative mathematics. That is what every professor shoots for.
Okay, understanding this, let’s discuss how it parallels the martial arts.
The beginner is taught to measure himself. How fast he can run from point A to point B, how much he can lift, and so on. This is the first stage, the measurement stage, the stage where you measure yourself in universal terms.
But you are not the universe, you are awareness, and to realize your true potential you have to find the abstracts of motion.
Here is a very simple example of an abstract of motion.
The magician holds up the deck of cards, you choose a card, insert it back into the deck, and the magician, even though he doesn’t know what card it is, pulls it out. Whoa! As Po would say.
But the magician has only used sleight of hand. He has trained his hands to make a motion that escapes the eye. He doesn’t measure himself, he grades himself according to how many people he can fool.
Can Joe Blow do this mystical faster than the eye can see motion? With practice. But here’s the point: What if you trained your whole body to move faster than the eye can see. There are ways, you know. Here’s one. Practice walking the circle out of Pa Kua for a few years, until you feel the ‘lightening’ in your legs. When somebody punches, you move your hand in one direction, and step down and under in the other direction. It will be as if you disappeared.
I first heard of this disappearing act when my instructor was being checked out by a high ranking Korean stylist. The Korean did a series of stretches, then, noting that Bob was just standing and sipping a drink, asked when Bob would be ready (for a proposed freestyle match). Bob put his drink down and faced the Korean. “I’m ready.” The Korean jumped into the air with a perfect spinning kick. When he came down Bob was nowhere to be seen. In fact, when the Korean turned his back Bob just walked behind him, in conjunction with the spin. The Korean was shocked to find Bob behind him.
I was not as fast as Bob, I have a bigger body, but I found that by moving my hand in one direction, and my body in the other, just as I described earlier, that people would follow my hand and lose sight of me.
This is simple stuff, but it takes immense practice. And it takes a dedication to graduating from the simple measurement of self into the abstract of measuring the other person.
It takes concentration, focus of mind.
And, in my case, in addition to all the karate I did, it took decades of Tai Chi and Pa Kua to understand the enrages involved.
But, with matrixing, it doesn’t take that long. It takes intense effort, but if you understand what you are trying to do before you do it, then you can cut the time down by MUCH.
Mind you, the path is different for everybody, because everybody is different, bodies are different, and the mind and spirit is definitely different. But, if you understand what I have said here, and are willing to dedicate yourself to the work, then you can go beyond the measurement of the universe. You can go into these things that, before matrixing, were considered mystical and reserved for special people.
There is no reason why, with understanding the matrixing concepts, and a little hard work, you can’t be special. There is no reason why you can’t use your body to its full 100% potential.
Here’s the Pa Kua page for any who wish to choose that as a part of their journey.
One of my work out partners, way back in the Kang Duk Won, decided he was going to do Tai Chi Chuan. He figured it would be easy, because of his karate conditioning. He threw his back out so badly it took him two years to recover.
Soft, flowing Tai Chi Chuan, and it was too tough for a young karate guy. What’s wrong with that picture, eh?
What is wrong is simple, when Bruce, my friend, did Tai Chi he thought he could just do a karate kick slowly. But karate is fast and explosive, the leg is out and back, in Tai Chi the muscles have to strain to keep the leg up. And I mean a whole sequence of muscles. Bruce’s muscles, though karate powerful, couldn’t support the leg for an extended period of time, and the result of his attempting to do such a thing disrupted the muscles all the way back to the spine..
Now isn’t that interesting, tai chi chuan has more ‘weight lifting’ in its moves. Karate has the fast explosion, and the muscle tightening (focus) builds the muscles. But those muscles are built at the beginning and end of the move. In Tai Chi the muscles must support the weight, throughout the move, for a long(er) period of time.
A simple difference, but it leads to an important concept.
Karate is explosive energy. Tai Chi is suspended energy.
The difference manifests in movements, in timing, in focus of concentration, in emptiness, in energy.
Now we could actually analyze these differences from different points of view. But what I’ve said here is probably the best point to start.
Not speed, not sensitivity, though those are important, but defining how energy is actually used. Because how energy is used defines the other terms. This concept is core.
This is not to discourage you from trying, but to caution you, and help you make the transition.
If you do your karate forms slowly, and round out the edges of your motion, you can get Tai Chi power. Just take it easy when you begin.
If you do your Tai Chi forms fast, you can find Karate power, and pretty easily. But you do have to adapt to a different mind set.
Explosive and slow two sides to a coin, two sides to the martial arts. And there are many more sides that these concepts can lead to.
Here’s the link to the Five Army Tai Chi Chuan course.
Releasing the Fifth Volume of Matrixing Karate: Master
This is the official announcement that ‘Matrixing Karate: Master,’ has been released.
It was actually finished a couple of weeks ago, and it has had time to get up on Amazon, and it is in the createspace bookstore, so it’s time to make it official.
Release of final volume of Matrixing Karate Series!
The first volume of this pivotal Karate series was dedicated to fixing basic movements. Volumes 2 – 4 were aimed at explaining matrixng principles, introducing matrixing graphs, and so on. Volumes 1 – 4 were based on the Matrix Karate course available at MonsterMartialArts.com.
The fifth and final volume is a bit different. It is based on a series of manuals written over the years, and upon the ‘Create Your Own Art’ video course.
The thing that makes this final book so important, and sets it apart from even the books it was based upon, is that it goes through the history and concepts of Matrixing and details exactly where each concept came from.
Thus, you are taken on a journey, from the first martial art studied by the author, Kenpo Karate, through each and every martial art he studied. This includes detailing concepts from separating two arts successfully (Kang Duk Won and Kwon Bup) and developing a third based on those two. (Outlaw Karate: The Secret of the One Year Black Belt). It goes into the exact influences that resulted in the development of matrixing, including the original matrixing lists from the 70s and 80s, and leads right into the creation of the Matrix graph.
One thing that may be surprising to students of the martial arts is that the author developed matrixing without the matrixing graph. Instead, he used lists of techniques, reworking the lists for every concept he encountered. This actually entailed, literally, thousands of lists. Thus, the development of the Matrixing Graph is a bonus to the martial arts of unparalleled value.
The book may be found on Amazon. It is paperback, and students of the martial arts are encouraged to get the earlier volumes first, that they may better understand the import and significance of this volume.
I have people asking me, every once in a while, for an example of Matrixing in the Martial Arts. This is something I don’t want to give, and there is an exact reason for me refusing. Let me explain this reason.
The mind is a bunch of memory. That’s all it is. An animal mind has very short span. A goldfish forgets within three seconds. That’s it. Simply, the goldfish is a being that lives within three seconds, and then moves on.
Bound by your own logic, matrixing sets you free.
Man is a rather longer memoried beast. It would be nice to go into this more, but this is not the time and place. So let it suffice to say that you can remember virtually anything. This lifetime alone, you can recall the most minute memories.
Now, mental abilities are something else, and they have absolutely nothing to do with the mind. Mental abilities, such as the ability to create problems, intuition, telepathy and telekinesis and all that sort of thing, that are not born of memory…they are what the awareness of the individual can do.
Separate them: mind is memory, and mental ability has nothing to do with the mind. Mental ability is what you, the human being, can do in your wildest dreams.
When you do the martial arts you memorize patterns. You memorize techniques. You memorize muscle motion.
You put all this into your mind.
But what can you do?
Well, you can do whatever is in your mind, but that has nothing to do with what you, the human being, can do in your wildest dreams.
You see, all this stuff you memorize into your mind is nothing more than…circuits. Just like an electrical circuit, bound by nodes and boards and such…everything is on a set path.
But you can only trap a human being so long. Eventually, be it a few seconds or a million years, the human being is going to say, ‘wait a minute! I recognize this place! I see what I’ve been doing! I see this memory!’
At that second the circuit is blown, the pattern disappears, and you become free.
Now freedom is relative, and that’s an absolute, and this is another one of those things I should skirt during the course of this essay.
So the point is this, when you blow a circuit you enter into mushin no shin. Mind of no mind. Or…a place where there are no memories telling you what to do.
Here’s a couple of things that go along with that phenomenon.
Mushin no shin can be achieved through the necessity of the moment…because of the need for survival. A fellow on the battlefield may experience it. Time slows down, he develops other perceptions rather instantly.
I remember reading of one fellow who survived Viet Nam because he could ‘smell’ Viet Namese. We could argue whether he actually detected by odor, or whether the human being sensed and attributed this ability to his nose, but the fact remains, he survived through an ability ‘grown’ for the moment.
Mushin no shin might last for a brief instant…then the memories come flooding back in. Still, that experience, that ‘aha’ moment, will open up a human being and let him or her know that there is a lot more to him, and life, than is ever written in a book, any book, in western society…or eastern.
Indeed, it is near impossible to describe this moment except in general and almost cartoonish terms.
The world glows. You understand God. You can see forever. These are descriptions of something that cannot be described.
And there are other phenomena connected with mushin no shin, or as I have segued into…enlightenment.
The difference between mushin no shin and enlightenment may be merely one of degree, or perhaps depth of understanding. Or perhaps the type and size of circuits blown.
But let’s return to the martial arts and why I don’t give examples of matrixing.
The martial arts are a series of memories. They are patterns. They are circuits implanted in the mind through hard work. And here is the bugaboo.
If the martial art is sufficiently illogical, there will be no mushin no shin, except by the severest accident. There will be no enlightenment.
One example of this is boxing. There are no examples that I can think of where a boxer suddenly threw off his gloves and said, ‘I understand that the essential nature of the universe is a golden vibe which we call God.’
There are a few boxers who have been pounded into believing in God, but this is not enlightenment, this is worship by the beaten.
Another example would be kenpo.
To be plain, I love Kenpo, I have loved it since I encountered in 1967, but I was not able to matrix it for a variety of reasons.
It doesn’t create a connection with the earth through serious stance work. It is a put together, a real conglomeration, of everything Ed Parker encountered and thought about: it is the memories, jumbled and reconstructed in a desperate effort to make sense, of one man. It is five evolutions of thought as one man went through life without ever encountering mushin no shin, or an ‘aha’ moment.
Nothing against kenpo, it just best exemplifies illogic in the martial arts.
And what it specifically exemplifies is the basic training method, which is memorization, or implantation of training sequences in the mind.
When I developed matrixing it seemed like an accident, but it was really my search for logic in a universe that is rather slipshod and haphazard and put together by whim and shamble.
Why me, why the martial arts, why the million and one experiences that set me free, I don’t know. Call me a cosmic accident.
But the fact remains, I tripped over a form of logic, described briefly in Boolean algebra, that puts order to ALL the jumbled up strings of random motions that we have been memorizing and calling the martial arts for a zillion years.
Now, if I could, in one word, or simple sentence, describe matrixing, I would, but you wouldn’t understand it.
Here is that sentence:
For something to be true the opposite must also be true.
Doesn’t make much sense, does it?
But it will if you do a few hundred hours of logical work in the martial arts.
Mind you, you could do a few thousand hours of work, a few million hours of work, and get nowhere. You would merely be trying to make sense of the insensible, the stored up memories in your mind.
You see, without the logic, without matrixing…the mindless mass of memorized circuits that are the martial arts just won’t make sense.
And, without the martial arts, with only the logic, you are left with:
For something to be true the opposite must also be true.
A simple phrase that means everything, and nothing, and is sort of like a zen koan, and doesn’t describe any sort of logic you have ever experienced.
So, it is impossible for me to give you an example, your jumbled up memory of a mind just won’t accept it. You will translate it into gibberish.
And, here is a cruel trick, when somebody gets close to understanding they say, ‘Oh, we’ve got that in our system.’
Simply, they have latched on to some simple point, and they do have it in their system, but their mind has slid right off of Matrixing the way teflon slides off bacon and eggs.
So you are caught. You are trapped in your own hard work, trying desperately to justify it, and refusing any example of real logic I could give you.
And your only real solution is to dig into the martial arts, and dig into matrixing that you might hope to understand the martial arts.
And, nobody really understands the martial arts.
True. Sad, but true.
They think they do, and they explain the martial arts by saying something like, ‘a punch is just a punch,’ or, ‘a kick is just a kick.’ Or some other pithy saying after a few decades in the martial arts.
That’s just more teflon sliding off the pan.
The real martial arts are a thought.
Not meat, not mind circuits, not even freedom.
They are a simple thought.
And the only way you will ever understand the thought that is the martial arts is through matrixing. I say this because the martial arts have never been understood in the history of mankind. Ever. Not on any planet, not on any plane of existence.
If they had been understood they would have, like one of those circuits, disappeared, and we would have a civilization without war and disease and the general corruption of mankind.
This essay has been written by Al Case, the discoverer of Matrixing. You can read more concerning matrixing and martial arts at Monster Martial Arts. If you are more interested in the type of thought process described in this essay, you should go to the Church of Martial Arts.
Don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter, download any free books, press the FB like button, and donate (order matrixing materials).
This has been a page about why there are no examples of Matrixing in the Martial Arts.
Pa Kua Chang founder Dong Hai Chuan was most likely a Shaolin Gung Fu stylist. Like many martial artists of his TIME, he wandered the land, looking for employment, and looking for opportunities to improve his Chinese martial art.
He would look for OPPORTUNITIES to use his Gung Fu as a bodyguard, fighting off bandits with spear and sword and hand.
Pa Kua Chang was created by Dong Hai Chuan
One must wonder then, how he became involved with a band of religious fanatics.
It is doubtful whether the monks of this unnamed sect could beat him in hand to hand combat, but they had to have something, or he wouldn’t have stopped his sojourning for eleven years and studied with them.
For the first nine years, it is said, Dong Hai Chuan walked in circles, possibly chanting religious mantras. He walked and he walked, and one can imagine the unspooling in his mental apparatus. It is invariable that his martial arts would start to manifest along the lines of this new practice he was doing.
Around and around, making gung fu motions with his limbs, bending his legs into gung fu stances, and thinking about how walking the circle could enable him to move better through hordes of bandits.
After nine years of doing these gung fu motions, which would become the basis for his Pa Kua Chang style martial art, he told the monks that he felt that the trees were bending after him, actually chasing him.
Trees Chasing a man? How could that be?
Have you ever caught the eye of somebody sitting on a bus? They are in journey, in a different universe, and for a moment the souls see each other. Across separate universes they touch.
Or, have you ever played in a soccer contest, run next to somebody, and been immersed in your own separate communication with that fellow, created a world that is not the same, that seems stable while the ‘real’ universe of the cheering crowd passes by?
This is the universe that Dong Hai Chuan made. This is the universe he found, a universe so mighty that stout trees bent to the wind of his passing.
The point here, however, is not about Dong Hai Chuan, it is about you. Can you use Pa Kua Chang (also called bagua zhang), and walk in a circle so that the universe bends to your will?
Can you go around in circles and learn the amazing hand motions of Pa Kua Chang until a mob of attackers is confused by your simple walking the circle self defense?
An interesting question, this Pa Kua Chang thing, for it opens the door to a new world, and a new you.
Go to the Testimonials in the menu and do a search for your martial art! Hi Sensei Al! (On the Black Belt Course) Everything is working great! Thank you for the quick responses. I am enjoying the one on one videos. It may be cliche, but I do feel like I'm there. I also like the conversational style and the way you explain how you're teaching and why. You've got a new student for life. Thank you. ~ Daniel
What's interesting about Al Case's writings and teachings is there isn't any emphasis on 'the unknown' or 'mystery' behind martial arts. Al will slam this information in your face! Quite frankly the data isn't hidden, you'll find you're blind. ~ WG
Al Case is a powerful presence to be around, but if you can confront it, then you will not be sorry, for there is no one like him, and it is an extreme privilege and honor.
I used to read your articles in Inside Karate and was excited when I found your web site. ~ RV
As an old timer with thirty-five years of experience I was really bored, but your works have peaked my interest and shown me that there is much more to learn. I Thank You Again, Sincerely ~ CC
Where was this information 24 years ago? This course is one of the best things to ever happen to me. Thank you Al Case for the gift of knowledge! Be blessed my teacher, ~ Rev. Ernest R
I bought the Infinite Fist tape YEARS ago and you know? I Keep going back to it! ~ KS
You are a master. You have opened me up to things that I have never thought of before. ~ KFM
I purchased your course on "Create Your Own Martial Art" and absolutely love it. I believe that your matrixing system is very unique. ~ DW
In my entire experience twenty years as a student and an instructor since, no one has contributed more to my martial arts education than you have. I started following your works twenty years ago and although I was young then I knew you had the True Art it was obvious to me even then. ~ Charles C
Students will know longer be slaves of poor instructors and practitioners. ~ Lonnie M
Win from Master Instructor Course Let me start out by saying thank you. Thanks from all the martial artists who asked why. Al, I'm in the Security and Law enforcement field and carry Instructor credentials, so effective methods in combat and teaching them is what I constantly look for.
Win from Matrix Aikido I just had to write to you to say WOW. Your INSTANT AIKIDO is great!!! ~ SD
My students have started coming up to me after class telling me how much more they are enjoying it, and that the classes have stopped being so ridged and now flow in a kind of give and take between me and them. I have stopped being a task master and started having fun and letting them teach me as well.
I did the Master Instructor Course and it hit me. The Basics that are so concisely communicated in this course including the Matrix principle IS the solution. It doesn’t matter what “style” I call my art, because all styles follow these same principles. It doesn’t matter how hard I train or how many repetitions I do if I don’t train the right way. And I would never become a master if I didn’t know how it all fits together. Now I do! I can honestly say that I am now on the path that I have always sought as a martial artist. Thank you Al!
I conducted a Matrix Aikido training class for a Security Team at a local manufacturing plant. I tailored the training according to their Use Of Force policy. As you know they need control and takedown skills. I knew Matrix Aikido would be the answer. The training plan you shared was boss. The class went so smoothly. The participants learned very quickly. By the end of the class you could see techniques of Monkey Boxing coming through. They were also able to create their own techniques. There was one female officer in the class who asked to become my private student. She was throwing, locking and taking down guys twice her size. The Security Supervisor wants me to come back and with more participants! I'll keep you posted. ~ L M
Have found your books and dvds excellent. My background is mainly in medical qigong but I practice Sun Style Tai CHi, BaGua and HsingI as well as Eagle Claw, Snake Style Kung Fu and several Wudang weapon styles. This is the first time I have had the underlying principles so clearly explained and in a way that they are immediately workable and demonstratable. I have worked through the Master Instructors Course, Aikido and Butterfly Bagua and have started to breakdown the Sun Hsing I using your matrix method. I was even able to teach a 70 year old friend of mine with no martial arts background your instant aikido where she was able to do some very accomplished locks and throws after the first lesson