Tag Archives: tai chi chuan

The Essence of Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune

Newsletter 1028
The Essence of Bruce Lee’s Jeet Kune Do

I wrote
a couple of newsletters ago
about the essence of Bruce Lee’s Art,
Jeet Kune Do.

Let me expand just a bit on that.
Bruce was concerned with the initial point of contact,
the entry into the fight.
So he figured out that there were five places
where you could ‘attack an attack.’
And that one concept
really sums up
The Way of the Intercepting Fist,
right?

You can interrupt an attack before it starts,
you can stop an attack on the way in.
You can attack and attack at the point of contact.
You can attack when the attacker is on the way out.
You can beat an attacker after the attack.

Obviously, each one of these points
has certain considerations.
Number five, for instance,
attack after it is over.
That’s like saying start anew,
but i fully understand Bruce putting it
with the five points of attack.

Now,
his attack could be summed up
with three steps,
kicking, punching and kneeing/elbowing.
So his basic drill was
kicking,
punching the pads on the way in
and closing for the knee elbow.

Now this is simplicity,
and it is genius for its simplicity.

So where do I differ from him?
I analyzed lots of arts like he did,
but I decided the essence of the martial arts
was not to obsess on attacking.
Yes,
you have to throw the punch
or do the throw,
but you should see it coming
before it happens.

This idea,
seeing something before it happens,
was a product of the karate style I studied.
It’s very zen.
I often wonder
if Bruce had studied Karate,
I mean in a ritualistic setting,
he would have come up with similar idea.
Maybe.

But the point is this,
I decided that the time to handle the attack
is when it reaches a certain physical point,
and that point would be when it enters ‘slapping’ range.

I structured Monkey Boxing around this idea.
Don’t charge in a fight,
rely on the sla[ping distance.

Part of it was that I’m 6 foot and 200 pounds,
so I encountered smaller guys
who were faster.
When I stopped trying to get them,
and relaxed and waited for them,
then I started winning.
I was no longer the big ‘sitting duck,’
but a guy who’s punches they ran into.

Now,
obviously,
there are many different ways
of looking at this matter of fighting.
Bruce isn’t right or wrong,
neither am I.
We’re just people with strategies,
tactics,
and preferred methods.
And the real point is that you
have to look into each art
and play with the techniques
until you understand the concepts,
then put what works for you together.

The martial arts are not a set in stone methodology.
They are a changing, adapting tactic.

Now,
obligatory ad…

4a Blinding Steel (Matrixing Weapons)

My method.
amongst all my other studies and methods.
It sets you up for weapons, hands and feet and takedowns.
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Okay,
one last thing…
I get wins from people all the time,
and ometimes I like to share them,
hope somebody else’s wins
can inspire oyu.
So here is Justin Harris…

I just had a hell of a workout with my Matrix Karate forms plus House 1, House 2, and Moon form. The interesting thing about a matrixed form is how well it stays in memory. I hadn’t practiced these in a while but I busted em out today and let me tell you they are so natural and intuitive, they just flowed right out of me. I can’t remember many classical forms I learned years ago. But the interesting thing is that the logic of a matrixed and organized form sticks in the mind and body better than random stuff. Not saying classical forms are bad, I do quite a few of them sometimes but logic and a clear sense of how to make the art True makes things so much easier.

Many thanks!

Sifu Justin Harris
Dragon Palm Tai Chi and Kung Fu

Thanks, Justin,
I appreciate the kind words,
and I love it when Matrixing works for people.

Now…everybody…
have a great work out!
Al

And don’t forget to check out the interview

BTW
I’m always pushing my novels,
did you know I write other stuff?
If you want to know the truth about government,
you will find some startling matrixing going on in

THE SCIENCE OF GOVERNMENT!

The Real Martial Arts Secret of the Universe!

Newsletter 1016

A Bit of Effective eMartial Arts Philosophy

What a day!
I just saw a duck walk past
with seven ducklings behind her.
Cool.

Okay, a real secret of the universe today.
Not one of those shabby, second rate secrets,
but the real goods.
Let’s set the stage…

What is the universe?
A bunch of objects floating through space.

Not much of a secret, eh?
Until you consider what this means to the martial arts.

A fist floats through space
it is aiming for your jaw.
Now,
two things may happen,
and only two.

The fist connects,
or it misses.
And there is the secret.
What?
You don’t see it?
Okay,
sigh.
Here we go.

If the fist connects it is force.
If the fist misses it is flow.

And that’s ALL there is.
A guy connects with you,
or misses.

Force bad if his fist hits you.
Force good if your fist hits him.
Sort of.

Flow good if fist misses.
Flow bad if it wasn’t a fist,
but a beautiful girl
that was trying to ‘connect’ with you.

I know
thats too simple to be a real secret.
Let’s go further.

Without force the universe stagnates and dies.
Hey,
no punching,
but also no sex.
No resultant familes.
No civilization.
We’re all alone,
man IS an island,
and that’s all she wrote, brother.

So the universe needs force to survive.
Except,
here is the problem,
and this is starting to become secretive,
or at least,
you’ve probably never heard this…

The universe teaches force.

It’s got to to survive.
And the real problem here
is not that the universe teaches force,
it is that man buys it.

And,
man never buys flow.
He has been trained not to.
The universe won’t reproduce
and give him all those nifty things
like cars and buildings and TVs and so on,
if he doesn’t buy force.

Which means,
anybody who buys into force too much
is only living half a life.
He is only living the force part.
The force part gives him
MMA,
wars,
cars,
diseases,
and so on.

The flow part gives him something else.
But to understand this
we must understand the benefit of flow.

Here’s some stuff to think about.
If you go away from something…it’s gone.
If you go towards something there will be impact,
with good and bad potentials,
and resulting vectors and new shapes and forms
and so on.

But if you go WITH something…
if you flow with them,
not colliding,
but encouraging harmony…there’s the other half of the universe.

there is art
and beauty
and love
and children playing in the fields.

Okay,
I hope this train of thought has encouraged
a realization or two,
and thus qualifies as a good secret.

Let’s go one step further.

The incredibly sad truth
is that a person can’t really understand truth and beauty
until he understands rot and ugliness.

And,
in the martial arts,
if you don’t learn how to maim and kill,
dismember and rip body parts off…
you won’t understand this thing called ‘Flow,’
and truth and beauty and all that sort of thing.

So,
God,
this is going to sound like a fortune cookie,
or a bumper sticker…

“You can’t learn the soft arts
unless you have learned the hard arts.”

This is a tremendous statement
with incredible ramifications,
and I know I have said it before.

Simply,
you must have yang to learn yin.

Funny,
the actual place I learned the concept,
to help me describe what I was understanding
through the discipline of arts
was in The Tao.

Something about…
‘there is no high without low.
There is no forward without backward.’

Okay,
this is sort of basic Neutronics,
for anybody who is interested,
but let me give you
the obligatory advertisement.

Check out the video
halfway down the page here…

2c Five Army Tai Chi Chuan

I wouldn’t have understood all these things
about jointlocks and pressure points
and balance and how the body works
if i hadn’t dabbled in the softer arts.

And,
let me tell you, brother,
these things are incredibly functional
if you have the hard to understand them.

Anyway,
the conclusion…

The universe teaches force.
Humanity teaches flow.
You have a wonderful choice and opportunity here.
Have a GREAT work out!

Al

2c Five Army Tai Chi Chuan

BTW
My novel, Monkeyland, is worth the read.
Check out the five star reviews on Amazon.

Internal Chi Power: Karate and Tai Chi Chuan

Newsletter 998

The Two Types of Internal Power (chi)!

Hi guys and gals!
Happy Corona vacation!
I hope you’ve made the best of it,
learned an art or two,
worked out every day,
preserved your health and safety
for your whole life.
If not…okay,
you’ve still got time.

One of the big mysteries in the martial arts
is this thing called Chi Power,
or ‘internal power.’
It is spoken of in Karate and kung fu,
Aikido and Tai Chi
and all manner of arts.
Interestingly,
MMA,
and more modern arts,
don’t speak of it.
In fact,
‘chi power’ is often denigrated,
held in poor repute.
All that means is that people don’t understand it,
and so bad mouth it.
So,
let me delve into the subject briefly.
Before I do,
however,
you should know something.
Most arts won’t generate chi power
for the simple reason
that the body is not structured properly.
To make chi you first have to have resistance,
and the body must be formed
to take advantage of that resistance.
you don’t make muscles,
although muscles occur,
in real martial arts.
You generate awareness,
and awareness becomes chi power.
When you do the Master Instructor course
you learn how to create resistance
by structuring the body correctly,
and that turns into chi power,
but it’s not easy.
It takes time and awareness,
and most people are too interested in beating people up
and so ignore the simple fact of awareness.
When you do the Matrix Karate you learn how to structure an art,
and that speeds everything up.
No missing pieces in your path,
nothing out of place or not making sense.

Okay,
that all said,
let’s talk about the two main types
of internal power in the martial arts.

There are hard arts,
karate and kung fu and such.
Then there are soft arts,
such as Aikido and Tai Chi.

Karate is a matter of analyzing the body
so that it provides certain paths of resistance,
and then using as little force as possible
on these paths.
Why as little force as possible?
Because if you use force you build muscles.
If you don’t use force,
then you start to use energy.
But the paths of resistance MUST be correct
for the generation of energy to occur.
If you turn your feet wrong you lose resistance.
If your hips aren’t aligned you lose resistance.
If your shoulders overthrow you lose resistance,
and so on and so on.
This is why the old guys who teach hard chi
obsess on such things as the wrist not being turned properly.
Even if you knock the other guy out…bad form.

Now,
here is an interesting phenomena.
Most karate teaches explosive power.
It’s all in your ability to explode.
If your form is correct
you might make the transition
and start to generate chi power.
Most styles of karate,
however,
do not have proper form.
they have been made into boxing,
or the instructors haven’t understood what they are doing
and the art has become tweaked and incorrect.

Actually,
the proper way to teach hard chi
is as follows.
Push with the foot,
feel the turn of the leg,
feel the turn of the hip,
feel the power go up the body,
feel the corkscrew of the arm
snap the fist.

This is described in many places,
but the directions are poor,
or they leave things out.
The instructor doesn’t teach the student
to stop tightening the whole body
and to tighten only the wrist.
Or breathing is neglected.
Or the purpose of stances is not adhered to.
(sink the weight into the ground to create a motor).
But if you relax, breath correctly,
feel weight and sensation course up through the body
through exact configuration
(spiral, unfold, pulse, etc.)
then you don’t get chi power.

tell the truth,
I had chi power from my study of karate.
I had a teacher who taught a good art,
and I obsessed on figuring out the best way to form the body.
But I didn’t understand it,
and wasn’t able to teach it effectively
until after I had done Tai Chi.
Tai Chi gave me the ‘emptiness’ that I needed
to fulfill the ‘empty’ in ‘empty hands.’

Okay,
having mentioned Tai Chi,
let’s talk about the chi power you get
from such arts as Tai Chi or Aikido.

Karate is an explosion.
A ball of boom!
Aikido and Tai Chi…
they rely on getting ahead of the attacker
just enough to unbalance them.
Now,
here is the secret.
When you move with somebody,
in harmony with them,
you tap into more power.
It is the simple fact of two motors
(two bodies)
working in tandem.
More energy is created.
And, harmony has more inherent energy
than the fact of exploding.

Which is not to say karate or kung fu
don’t have harmony.
But it is constantly being upset by the need for power.
If a person can stop lusting for power,
learn to relax while punching,
harmony breeds.
Never as much as in Tai Chi or Aikido,
but enough.

So these are the two types of internal power
you get from the classical martial arts,
arts that haven’t been corrupted by such things as politics,
MMA, boxing, the need to pay rent, and so on.

But there are more types of internal energy.
Much more.
But the correct path would be to develop
one, or both, of the types of energy I describe here,
then let other energies develop.
And they will develop.
Every person is different,
however,
so it may be difficult to predict
what kind of energy and ability you will develop,
and it may not be what you were expecting.
But whatever you get,
it will be in keeping with your personality
and your personal evolution of spirit.

If you want what I am describing here,
I recommend

the Master Instructor course
to learn how to structure the body correctly.

Matrix Karate
to learn how to structure an art
so there will be no missing pieces,
no out of place oddities.

And,
if you are a long timer
and understand all that I am saying,
you might like to delve into
Tai Chi Chuan.

Okay,
‘nuff said,
have yourself a great and wonderful Corona vacation,
and a super duper work out.
Al

2c Five Army Tai Chi Chuan

Chi Energy Developed through Martial Arts

Newsletter 990

Odd Things About Energy in Tai Chi Chuan and Karate

I don’t talk about energy
in the martial arts
(in Tai Chi Chuan, Karate, etc.)
as much as I should.
Some people think energy (chi) is bogus.
That’s okay,
they can bail this newsletter and pick up the next one.
But here’s some stuff about chi in the martial arts.

I was talking to a student the other day,
and we got into postures
when you are just talking to people.
We had just finished some form
and she was standing,
and she clasped her hands in front of her.
Yikes!
I pointed out that when you do a TCC form
energy is moving.
When you clasp your hands
or otherwise touch your body
you turn the energy into the body
and the creation of chi stops.
Simply,
it goes into circuit,
instead of flowing outward,
which the form trains the energy to do.
So after a form,
you should simply stand,
let the chi exude from your fingertips,
and swell from your body.

This concept relates to postures
when in simple communication with somebody.
She understood that when you fold your arms
you are indicating,
on a ‘subliminal’ level,
you are closed to communication
When you open your arms you are open to communication
And there are variations and versions of this
‘opening’ and ‘closing’ of the body
that people do in simple communication.
But this opening and closing relates to the circles of the arms
and the flow of energy
when doing the martial arts
and specifically Tai Chi

In Aikido we used to do a ‘two step’ movement across the mat,
pretending chi was flowing out of our out flung arms.
Then we tried to keep that flow moving as we entered into techniques.

In karate we ‘pump’ the energy in the body.
we build it in the fists.
Which is an oddity,
because closing the fists actually stops the flow of chi.
But you need closed fists,
but you should,
every so often,
do your forms with open hands,
and explore the different sensations and energies you get.

In Tai Chi you move chi through the body, yes,
but it should eventually exit the body in most most postures.
Here is how chi works in a few of the stances.

slant flying
two ‘horizontal’ circles of the arms
the chi contracts and expands as if you are holding a ball of chi in your arms
this is very close to the tan tien.

brush knee
with roll back it is as if you are pulling a rope
then pushing with a palm
a circle in front of you with the blocking hand
a circle (pulsing oval) of the pushing arm next to you
(feels like a locomotive chuffing)

fair lady
the front hand makes a circle
the rear hand (oval) comes through the circle made.
Something interesting here,
fair lady was originally called
‘fair lady weaves at the shuttles.’
it was a series of plucking motions,
resembling a lady weaving at the shuttles.
Martial techniques changed the original motion
into a more shaolin or pa kua version.
specifically,
‘tiger comes out of the cave.’
You sink and then corkscrew upward,
one arm creating the mouth of a cave,
the second hand coming out of the cave.

I mention this last because martial arts names
especially Chinese,
resemble certain images,
and you have to explore the images
and the changes of images,
to get to the truth of how energy works.

So there are three postures.
first you look at what kind of circles are involved
in the hand motions.
Then you explore whether the energy
expands and contracts,
whether it fits an imagery
(fair lady can be done like a locomotive chuffing,
very interesting)
and you do a bunch of other things.
when you strike you should…
push with legs, turn waist, circle (pump) the arms.
And,
of course,
you should practice relaxing
and focusing on the smoothness of your motion.
It helps to imagine perfect circles
(ovals, spirals, etc.)

And,
BREATHING.
Probably the most important thing of all
when it comes to creating energy.
Breath in when the body contracts,
out when it expands.
Breath to the tan tien,
then sink the energy down the legs.
Breath as if into the body part striking
or getting struck.

And,
there is a lot more.
Usually small things
that create a big wholism.
What the hands do the energy in the tan tien will mimic.
Shoulders MUST be over hips.
turn the body as one,
all pieces of the body must support one intention,
and so on.

Honestly,
if I made a simple list,
it would be a thousand items.
but,
doing the form year in and year out
IF YOU UNDERSTAND THE TECHNIQUES
and you will figure them out in 20 or 30 years
or maybe 40.

Now you see why I obsess on matrixing so much.
People should, and can, learn faster.
If you do a form for 30 or so years,
if you understand the techniques,
you figure it all out.
With matrixing you can cut the time by tens.
Instead of 30 years,
3 years.

But there is money in stretching the time of learning out.
Car contracts are a big thing,
most schools can’t survive without them.
Sad,
when you think about people who want self defense,
and are sold,
literally,
a bill of goods.

But when martial arts started up,
over the ages,
people needed to be put in combat.
So they needed to be taught quick,
the teacher couldn’t mess up,
or make mistakes,
lives depended on him.
He didn’t worry about getting a student on contract for several years,
he simply taught fast,
knocked heads and you’d better learn,
or else.
Armies of pheasants were created in months, even weeks.

The US army is based on learn quick and fast.
We turn out the best soldieres in the world in a matter of months.
Can you imagine the US army with such a viewpoint
as is presented in the martial arts today?
‘It will take you three years to complete basic training.’
We wouldn’t be the best military in the world
with that kind of thought.
Yet that is EXACTLY the kind of thought
that goes along with the martial arts.

I can teach a guy to fight in a month.
Fight well,
survive in a real fight,
no problemo.
But fighting isn’t the martial arts.
If you read this newsletter again you’ll see
that I’m not talking about fighting…
I’m talking about the body as an energy system.
I’m not talking about muscles,
I’m talking about energy as a viable and useful tool.

Well,
I’ve talked long enough.
You’ve either got it,
or you aren’t going to get it.

There is more to life than push ups and fights.
There are philosophies,
energy systems,
methods of thought,
strategies,
ways of living
far beyond what you ever thought…Horatio.

So here’s the obligatory ad.
Have fun,

2c Five Army Tai Chi Chuan

Or try the whole package…

2ca Tai Chi Chuan Package

and have a great work out!

Al

2c Five Army Tai Chi Chuan

Or try the whole package…

2ca Tai Chi Chuan Package

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/

Punching Ten Times Harder with Martial Arts

Newsletter 984

The Easy Way to Punch Hard in the Martial Arts

Most people don’t understand how easy the martial arts are.
Take, for instance, a good karate punch.
It will generate more power than any other punch in the world.
And takes less energy.
Don’t believe me?

I was watching a fellow punch the bag the other day.
The guy was maybe 25,
much experience in boxing and other arts.
The bag jumped and bent a little,
and that was it.

I stepped up to the bag.
I’m old…71.
I put my fingers to the bag,
then,
without retracting the arm,
I closed my fingers and thrust my arm out.
Freakin’ bag went to the roof.
You could feel it say ‘OW!’

So why was my ‘old’ punch stronger than some young turks?
Because I used less energy.

What is energy?
Go ahead,
give it your best shot.
Nope,
it’s not that.

Energy is the capacity for work.
Go on,
look in the dictionary.
That is the physics definition.
Physics,
if you don’t know it,
is the stuff we made up
to measure the universe.

So how do you measure work?
Here’s where it gets tricky.
You can measure work with…
watts, ohms, pounds, gallons per minute,
and so on and so on.
How you measure work depends
on what you are measuring.

So how do you measure work in the martial arts?
Here’s what nobody knows,
and why punches are so spectacularly lacking in horsepower.

You measure work by weight.

When that young Turk was punching the bag he was punching with his arm.
Twenty pounds of weight.

When I punched the bag
I moved my 71 year old body into it…
200 pounds of weight.

20 pounds versus 200 pounds.
I was literally punching ten times as hard as he was.
And,
I’ll tell you this,
it was easier for me to move my 200 pounds an inch or two
than it was for him to try to punch as hard as me
using his 20 pound arm.

Now,
I’ve given you all the clues,
how you going to put them together?
How are you going to make your body work ten times easier
than some guy nearly 50 years younger than you?

Well,
I’ll tell you,
it took me a while.
Fortunately,
I wrote it all down.

The totally scientific martial art
that opens eyes everywhere
and makes all martial arts quick and simple to learn.

Here’s the obligatory ad…

4d The Punch

But I’d be careful before I go there.
Sometimes it hurts to learn something,
you have to give up what you thought you knew.
Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Have a great work out!

Al

Why You Should Register Your Hands and Feet with the Police if You Know the Martial Arts

Newsletter 979

Register Your Hands and Feet if You Know Martial Arts!

This is one of those great myths
that have followed the martial arts
ever since they began.
Seriously.

When I was starting out as a white belt,
a newbie in 1967,
I heard you had to register
your hands and feet with the police
as deadly weapons.
Zowie!
Did that sell me on how deadly I was going to be!
I would walk the streets,
impervious to harm,
beating up anybody who looked at me.
I mean,
if i had to register with the police,
I was going to be one deadly mofo!

Then,
I believe it was the pages of Black Belt magazine,
there was an ad
for registering your hands and feet!
Double Zowie!
I was going to be SUPER deadly!

And,
fifty years later,
I just heard this statement again.
So here’s the truth.

You don’t have to register your hands and feet,
BUT,
if you study the martial arts
and get arrested for fighting,
you could be charged with
assault with a deadly weapon.

It’s true.
But don’t think this is bad,
think,
instead…
ZOWIE
You are going to be such a deadly mofo!

And,
BTW,
if I was ever in a fight
and had to use martial arts,
and hurt somebody,
I would probably leave the scene of the crime
(fearing for my safety)
then consider carefully
whether I should notify the police,
or tell anybody,
and endure all the trouble that might cause.
Just talking…

Here’s my favorite course,
the one I would be thinking about in a fight,
and is incredibly fun to do…

4a Blinding Steel (Matrixing Weapons)

Have a great (and deadly) work out!
Al

A WIN!

I was able to matrix now everything I do in martial arts, even managed to start to matrix a complete escrima system out of the basics of blinding steel. You were right, it is a totally different understanding of matrixing, once you master/understand matrix karate. The matrix blocks gave me a lot better insight into wing chun as well, mainly from the mini matrix. That was one heck of a revelation. I hit 3 flies in one go. I understand karate, wing chun and escrima now a lot better and was able to extract that out of the material. thank you very much. I really enjoy the way to the goal now.

“What you habitually think largely determines what you will ultimately become.”
– Bruce Lee

Most Important Martial Arts Attribute

Newsletter 978

Why Martial Arts Changed

That the martial arts have changed is obvious.
They have changed in many ways.
Arts have intermixed,
forms are looked down upon,
people want more reality in their sparring,
and so on.

For me the change is drastic,
and I always focus on a single aspect
or characteristic of the martial arts.
I think it is the real reason
for the decline of martial arts.

When I began training we didn’t know anything.
Nobody knew karate,
or any of the other martial arts,
it was all new,
and nobody knew anything.

We were told stories.
The fellow who could hold onto a horse’s tail
and run as fast as the horse.
The fellow who could catch a samurai sword
and snap it with his palms.
Catching arrows with the bare hand.
Breaking rocks with a single chop.
And so on.

Now,
we didn’t know if these stories were true,
we simply believed
because we knew no better.
And,
as time went on,
some of the stories were bogus,
and some…were true.

What I noticed
as time went on
was that less and less
had people heard these stories.
Less and less
they tried to do the tricks in these stories.
More and more they fell to fighting,
and stopped being able to catch an opponent mid technique
and do what they wanted.

In short,
people stopped believing.
And stopped striving for those mystical feats,
stopped developing mystical abilities.

Why?

Because of the people who trained before,
who had no success in achieving mystical ability
and so denounced it.

I’ve heard people say karate punches are inferior.
And they tout the endless boxing drills
as superior to karate.
Yet I have never seen a boxer
thrust a finger through a board and leave a hole.
I have seen a karate man do that.

I’ve heard people say karate blocks don’t work in a real fight.
Yet I have seen a fellow
break a leg bone,
break it in two places,
with a simple low block.

I’ve had people say chi doesn’t exist,
it is a trick.
Check out the video here…

4c Matrixing Chi Power


Or simply google such things as ’chi power.’

Here is the point.
In the beginning we didn’t know better,
so we believed that tales
just like a bunch of goofy kids.
Most couldn’t figure out how to do those cool sounding tricks.
But a few could.

But the kids of today listen to the trash talk
and they never hear of the ‘chi tricks,’
they never hear about people dehorning and killing bulls
with a single chop.

They listen to the fellows who failed,
and don’t seek out the ones who succeeded.

It seems that the fellows who couldn’t succeed,
are happy to shout their failure to the world,
and denounce the arts they failed in,
instead of figuring out the tricks
and practicing until they could succeed.

And the fellows who succeed,
they are self satisfied
and they have no reason to shout to the world.
Humility, you know.

I tell you this:
the most important element
in your success or failure
is going to be your ability to believe.
To believe that you can do.
To believe some of those old fables.
And to train in a manner
so that your belief is made stronger.

Believe.

Have a great and believable work out!
Al

Here’s that link again…

4c Matrixing Chi Power

A WIN!

…you’ve changed the way I approach the arts that I love. 2018 marks my 40th year as a martial artist, and I believe that what you do is so important to us true believers. Please remember that innovation is always going to be violently resisted initially. What you do is absolutely logical, and it’s impossible for any sane man to argue with logic. Press on with pride brother. You ARE making history and a legacy. Best wishes and thanks ~ Sean

“The doubters said, ‘Man can not fly,’
The doers said, ‘Maybe, but we’ll try,’
And finally soared In the morning glow
While non-believers Watched from below.”
– Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee’s Secret Formlessness

Newsletter 976

Formless like Bruce Lee

There is a quote by Bruce Lee…

“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.”

Now a lot of people refer to this quote.
It is held up as an iconic concept,
a golden standard.
Be formless.

And it is almost entirely misunderstood.

I heard one fellow say,
I don’t want to study karate
because I want to be formless.

But how can you be formless if you don’t have form first?
Do you think Bruce didn’t study forms?
He studied Wing Chun,
which has forms.
And he studied the forms of the drills,
the form of the Sticky Hands.
The guy was a living,
walk and talking
form.
Then he was formless.

First comes form,
then comes formlessness.

I want you to google Fred Astair.
Old time dancer.
Probably the most graceful man who ever lived.
His secret?
He makes every thing look effortless.
Do you know how much effort it took
to make his moves effortless?

Now consider that same concept with form.

Do you know how hard Bruce studied
how hard he worked,
how he must have visualized and sweated
to become formless?

Fortunately,
you can choose from a lot of arts to study,
and you can choose from a lot of forms.
You can choose the ones which intrigue you,
which fascinate you,
which seem to be the best for self defense,
or whatever your goal is in the martial arts.

Here are some of my favorite forms.

2a Shaolin Butterfly

They are incredibly simple,
very short,
very easy to translate into formlessness.
(Read the win below…)

Have a great work out!
Al

A WIN!

Al,
I’ve sped through the Shaolin Butterfly, am learning the Five Army Tai Chi Chuan and the Butterfly Baguazhang. It seems to me that now I can look at classical forms and simply understand how to do them correctly. It’s absolutely amazing. The practice and learning process basically infuses a student with the basics to make anything work. To correct the whole of an art simply by looking at the forms and playing around with them. I’ve applied this to many classical forms I learned years ago. Thanks so much for the master key to all the martial arts right in my hand. ~ Justin

“The stillness in stillness is not the real stillness;
only when there is stillness in movement does the universal rhythm manifest.”

– Bruce Lee

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