Category Archives: external martial art

Karate Blocks Make the Man!

Newsletter 807

How Karate Blocks Make You Better

May you have the best work out of your life.

earn black belt karate

First Volume of Matrix Karate ~ Kindle version

Speaking of blocks…
When I was in my teens I was studying Kenpo.
I learned all these neat tricks,
was excited about fighting,
and I kept having these weird ideas about strategy
and how the martial arts were shaped.
I couldn’t make these strategies work.
I could fight well,
but these things I was thinking about,
they just eluded me in combat.
And it was because there wasn’t much
in the way of blocking,
in Kenpo.

In my twenties I joined the Kang Duk Won,
I bashed my arms for years,
and I learned about pain.
I learned that pain is a warning device.
And it was all because of blocks.

Most people won’t use a real block in freestyle.
I can,
and do if I am teaching somebody
and there is a lesson in it.
But it’s easier to just hit the other fellow
than it is to block.

But I never would have learned
how to slide in and hit somebody
if I hadn’t learned how to block.

I always remember the specific technique
where it all came home.
It was the technique
from the first move of Batsai.
Batsai is spelled a few different ways,
but it means
‘defending a fortress.’

In that technique I had to do three blocks.
And I had to do these three blocks with hips twists,
I had to twist the hips
to align the body
so it could support the impact
without collapsing.
And I had to do it faster
than somebody could throw three punches at me.

For months I tried to get that technique.
I would practice it and practice it,
get guys to give me that attack,
but I just couldn’t move my body fast enough.

One day,
I did.
Just like that.
One second I couldn’t,
and the next second I could.
Like a switch had been thrown.
But here’s the interesting thing:
I felt like I was behind my head.
I felt like I was out of my body,
just a little bit,
and watching my body move without me.

it was moving because I had mastered
the thought pattern behind the blocks.
I had practiced that mental circuit
until it broke,
and what was left was me.

From there I moved into other things,
hitting without blocks because,
darn it,
I had gotten so good at them I didn’t need them.
And I moved into concepts
of how to move the energy in my body
just by thinking about it.
Which is understandable if you realize
that learning how to block
had taught me how to influence my body
with just thought.

I began to be able to accomplish
all those odd ideas I had had
way back in Kenpo.
Which led to Matrixing.

Nowadays people don’t practice the blocks.
And if they do,
they don’t practice them with the proper hip movement,
the proper alignment,
the proper breathing and thought.

I know this because when people
come to me for lessons,
they show a complete lack of understanding,
no knowledge of the drills,
of how blocking works.

The thing is
there is a whole realm of thought
that goes with learning how to block.
You learn all sorts of things,
and it builds a springboard
for moving into other concepts.

Think about it,
you can box,
and learn how to take a punch,
but that doesn’t teach you
how to run energy through your body.

Nothing wrong with boxing,
it’s actually pretty good stuff,
fills in a few gaps
that are in the martial arts,
but it just doesn’t have the energy theory
that goes along with the martial arts.

I’m working on the Matrix Karate
for a Kindle version.
Kindle is very unfriendly to photos,
so I have to take some out,
and rewrite the thing.
It’s be good,
but not as good as a book,
or a video.
even the other electronic readers are better,
because they take PDFs easily.

But one of the things I focus on
to make up for that lack,
is the specific blocking in the forms.
Not the matrix of blocking,
which provides a logic
which blasts one to intuition,
but the old way,
learning the blocks,
making them work,
until the art does you,
and you become the art.

You guys are lucky.
You understand something the Kindle readers
may never understand.
You get everything on these courses.
On the other hand,
the kindle readers may understand something you don’t
because they will be seeing the art
in a more bare bones viewpoint,
that will let their mind fill in the blanks,
which is very healthy for a student.
who’s to say.
The real lesson is in the work out.
Getting the material and doing it,
thousands and thousands and thousands of times,
until it becomes you,
and you become it.
That will teach you the art,
no matter which of my books or courses you get.

Here’s the full Matrix Karate course.

Have a great work out!


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What is the Real Reality of Boxing and the Mixed Martial Arts?

Is there a Disconnect in Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts?

Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts? A disconnect? Something tells me I should stop right now, before people get mad at me.

The most important Martial Arts book ever written.

The most important Martial Arts book ever written.

Except, there might actually be something in the question.

When you box, or perform Mixed Martial Arts, you wear gloves. You don’t wear such gloves on the street.

When you do the ‘Sweet Science,’ or battle in the Octagon, there are ‘fences,’ which means a cage, or ropes, to enclose the fight. There are no such barriers in real life.

When you are down, there is a referred to save you. No ref on the streets, bro.

When you fight in a public venue, such as i have mentioned here, the rounds end and you have a chance to recoup in your corner. No end of round, no corner, no recoup on the street.

I know, this is all unfair, I’m picking on your favorite gladiatorial sports.

Except, I’m not.

Look, I’m not saying these things are bad, I’m just saying they are.

The real disconnect is when you train for things that are, and they might not be. If that makes sense.

The real disconnect, when you study boxing or the Mixed Martial Arts, is merely the ability to break away from your training when you have to.

Training is to enhance the martial artist, it is not to imprison him.

So don’t object to what I say, just consider it, and come up with plans for times when you have to defend yourself and you are not in the ring, in the Octagon, doing Mixed Martial Arts or Boxing.

If you want a real slice of reality, check out ‘Binary Matrixing in the Martial Arts.’

And, if you want real training for reality, check out ‘Blinding Steel.’

Al Case has been studying martial arts for 50 years.

Insanity in the Martial Arts

Newsletter 801
Sanity and the Martial Arts

Good summer to you!
It’s almost here,
and do you have a plan?
Have you selected what martial art
you want to master this summer?

I was talking to this fellow today,
He was a pilot,
used to push B1s around.
that’s right,
he was carrying the biggest bullets known to mankind.

We talked about a lot of stuff,
and veered into politics,
and it was refreshing.
He was from Arizona,
told me about gun laws there,
concealed carry,
the incredible border war that is going on
and that the news media doesn’t cover.
I told him about sanity.

He made the remark,
the old saw about:

insanity is when you keep doing the same thing
over and over,
and expect different results.

I told him that sanity was when you could observe reality.
He blinked,
and said I was right.
Never thought of it,
but I was right.
And I am.

When you do the martial arts,
you practice for some guy coming down at your head with a knife,
and you have to observe the exact reality of it all.
Observe something other than a knife
coming at your head,
and you get cut.
Blood spurts.
You know?

And here is what it all means,
most people deal in opinion.
Opinion is talk without the facts.

Most politicians do this.
They pay no attention to the fact
that every state that has fewer gun laws,
has less crime.
They call for more gun control,
if you observe the reality,
is asking for more crime.

Simple but true.

So on one side we have the relative insanity
(all sanity and insanity is relative)
of opinion.
On the other side we have the relative sanity
of observation.

The thing is,
it is actually pretty easy to be sane.
Just practice your forms,
and practice the techniques in your forms,
and toss out the bushwah,
the stuff that doesn’t work.

and this is an example of insanity,
many people don’t do that.

Look at the chat rooms,
everybody has an opinion.
One or two have the facts,
and the other 98 or 99 has an opinion.

is why I don’t bother going to chat rooms,
and have even,
thus far,
eschewed a chat room of my own.

here it is again,
if you can observe what is real,
you can be sane,
and the martial arts help you observe what is real.

If you can’t observe what is real,
you can only speak in opinion,
and the more opinion you have,
the more insane you are.

think about it.

And think about getting the Outlaw Karate course.

I was doing the Outlaw Karate course,
and tossing out bushwah techniques,
and trying to find EXACTLY what worked.
It really helped me to discover matrixing,

what martial art are you going to learn this summer?

Have a great work out!


Tai Chi Chuan vs Karate

Major Difference between Karate and Tai Chi Chuan

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.

Have a great work out!

Make a Hard Punch with Old Time Training Method

Old Muscle Building Method Makes for a Super Hard Punch!

I mean that literally, you can have a hard punch in days. The old body building method is called Dynamic Tension, and it was used by the old comic book guys like Charles Atlas and Joe Weider. It is actually still sold today.

kung fu training manual

Start developing your kung fu super powers! Click on the cover!

dynamic tension hard punch martial artsInterestingly, Chuck Atlas made his millions in the pages of comic books. He had ads that ran for years, and he even beat the Great Depression. His most famous ad, a bully kicking sand in a lads face at the beach, actually happened to him when he was a youth, and inspired him to create his world famous method for building muscles.

I was acutely aware of the comic book ads, liking comics and being a skinny weakling when I was young. I suppose, in some way, I answered the comic book ad when I took up the study of the martial arts. And, serendipity, amongst the forms I learned was one which dealt with Mr. Atlas’ form of shaping the body.

The pattern was supposedly a variation of a Wing Chun form. I don’t recall what we called it, but I do recall the hours spent on one specific movement in the form. That one movement made my punch get stronger and stronger and stronger.

When you do the move, take a back stance and cross the wrists in front of you. Press wrist against wrist, and slowly slide the wrists past each other. Let the power build, then let the hands snap off each other and execute a punch.

It’s best to punch with the rear hand, and let the front hand come back across the chest. It is also good to simultaneously press your feet against one another in the back stance. Then, when you release the hands, you can release the stance and really cover ground.

The muscles tend to build fast, and you’ll notice an increase in strength I would say within seven days. Over time you will notice the working parts of your arms and legs are getting denser and better shaped. And, in conjunction with the thrusting forward of the whole body, you are going to have some kind of powerful strike.

Obviously, you can tailor this exercise for other body parts, other types of strikes and blocks, and your body should get in fantastic shape. I’ll tell you this, one look at your chiseled physique and nobody is going to try to kick sand in your face. And that is how an old body building method can give you a hard punch in literally days.

About the Author: Al Case began martial arts in 1967. He studied such arts as Kenpo, Karate, Wing Chun, Aikido, Norther Shaolin Kung Fu, Southern Shaolin Kung Fu, Tai Chi Chuan, Pa Ku Chang and various weapons. He became a writer for the martial arts magazines in 1981, and had his own column in Inside Karate. Check out his course on increasing Chi Power.

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How Bad is Outlaw Karate?

Is Outlaw Karate Really a Kick Ass Martial Art?

I get the question, every once in a while, as to how tough Outlaw Karate really is. Let me answer that question once and for all.

4 outlaw karate cover orig

Here is the cover of the Outlaw Karate book which is for sale on Amazon.

First, I did study with the Hell’s Angels, which is to say that there were quite a few Hell’s Angels in my Karate class. They were tough, they were not the reason for the naming of this art, but they did tend to focus in on what worked on the street, and backed up their observations with real experience.

Second, I did name it Outlaw because it was going outside the realm of normal, or classical, Karate. I was combining two very hard styles of Karate, and this was looked down on back in the day.

Third, I’m not going to tell you it was a tough class, I am going to give you a  list of things that happened during that class that made it very tough. Then you can make up your mind as to whether it is a tough style or not.

I taught the class over a year long period. I chose the forms and techniques that I did because I was teaching my son; I wanted him to have the best, the things that worked the most. During the course we cracked his breast bone, actually put a dent in it. When the doctor said ‘No more Karate,’ Aaron refused, told me I would have to beat him up to stop him, and then walked into class that night. His attitude was not singular.

Mike had broken fingers for nearly the whole year.

Some of the guys, grown men, broke into tears during class.

All throws were taken to the max, which is to say we didn’t have mats, and we threw each other on the floor, full force, and laughed.

One night Josh found himself at a party, and a fight broke out. He stepped into a corner and faced outward and waited. Man after man ran up to fight him, took one look at the look in his eyes, then turned and ran looking for another fight. He just wasn’t a victim, and it was plain to see.

One day Aaron was walking down the street and was jumped by two much larger fellows. He rendered them both unconscious within ten seconds.

And so the stories go. It was tough and it was brutal. I can honestly say it was the toughest class I ever taught.

And I still think that the art was the toughest, and that solely for the attitude of the students. They laughed when they broke their bones, they persisted through tears and blood.

And they made Outlaw Karate a legend.

So, was it tough?

Heck, you can get a copy of the book, or the book and a video of some of the forms and techniques, and decide for yourself.

No matter what you decide, it will be a healthy addition to your martial arts; it will be something that  will work, and it will certainly enhance your other martial arts.

Book and video Outlaw Karate Course.

Just the  Outlaw Karate book (from Amazon).

The Three Secrets of Pan Gai Noon Karate/Kung Fu

How Karate was Born, Destroyed, and Can Be Resurrected

I had no idea what Pan Gai Noon was when I began my studies of karate.
I had begun with Kenpo karate, and then moved onto classical karate such as presented by okinawan or Japanese systems.
As the years and then decades rolled past, I delved deeper and deeper into the martial arts, and always in the back of my mind was a question where did it all come from.
okinawan karate history
The Japanese karate system comes from Okinawa, and Okinawan karate is derived from a broad variety of martial arts and Asia.
One of the most important influences in the matter karate comes from Pan Gai Noon.
PGN was talking the Fukien province of China. It was taught by a street seller name Shu Shi Wa who may have learned it as a style of Temple boxing taught by Shaolin monks.
Mind you, there are no real hard facts here, so you will have to make up your own mind as to the originals of karate and even kung fu.
That said, If you analyze PGN using matrixing, you will find a wealth of specific self-defense structures in the first three forms of this martial arts system.
In the first form, Sanchin, you will find straight thrusts that will override incoming punches. You will also find very useful and street applicable basic blocks. You will learn this in conjunction with learning how to fasten the body to the ground.
Fastening the body to the ground, or grounding, is the secret of making PGN work. It is also the secret of making all martial arts work. It is the secret of the art.
Most important, at the end of first form you will find a block called wa-uke. This is a circular block, not talking other martial arts, but possibly the most useful block ever talking karate.
The essence of wa-uke is to slap with the first hand, then grab with the second hand.
Thus, using grounding, you train yourself to stand and face. You slapping grab any strike coming in, and counter.
This concept of stand face is found in no other martial art in existence.
Other arts teach you to fight, PGN teaches you to stand and face. As simple as this concept is, the whole system is based upon it, And students would spend literally decades learning it.
The second form of pan gai noon takes this concept of stand and face using only the block of wa-uke and expands it through a variety of strikes.
Matrixing, at this point, can speed up your study of the art. By using a simple matrix graph, one can understand all of the possible permutations of motion inherent in wa-uke.
Without matrixing it can take decades to learn the art; with matrixing one can learn to stand and face in a matter of months.
The third form, Sanseirui, expands upon the theory of fighting and presents whole methods of combat.
The last one is not limited to the method of wa-uke, but is able to expand his fighting concepts in many other directions.
These three secrets of pan gai noon are inside the three basic forms. Unfortunately, they have not been passed down, but rather altered to fit Okinawan and Japanese martial arts concepts.
That’s the real truth of PGN has been obscured by people who didn’t understand them, And who translated the art into such concepts as dynamic tension, excessive breathing patterns, and basic techniques that are not tied together and any cohesive theory or concept.

If you wish to see the truth of the matter, I recommend the pan gai noon book available at Amazon. With this course you will see the truth of the beginning of karate, how it was corrupted, and how it can be made great again. An extra bonus, there are three complete systems on this book and video course.

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