Tag Archives: karate forms

Karate Footwork for Fighting

Karate Fighting Footwork

what a gorgeous day!
Got up at 6,
worked out at 7
and everything gets better.
a work out ALWAYS makes everything better.

So there are lots of footworks in the martial arts.
Karate has lots of footworks.
the forms don’t usually show them,
so the student doesn’t get the real education.
Usually he gets a straight forward step,
or a spin to the rear,
or something like that
which has little relationship to fighting.

There are two specific footworks
that we used for fighting at the Kang Duk Won.
One is in the forms,
but you’ll never recognize it.
Been hidden pretty good.
The other one is not in the forms,
but we used to use it all the time.

One footwork is the ‘Switch Step.’
The other is the ‘Triangle Step.’

The switch step you bring your front foot back
so it is next to the rear foot,
then step forward with the foot that was in the rear.
this is a tricky one
and requires exquisite timing.
but it real works.
The opponent thinks you’re moving,
but you’re really just setting your legs
for the attack and…
You move in…and with the other side,
a side he’s not set up for.
It is best used for making small
forward and back movements.
Subtle movements when you don’t want to reveal
directions and intentions.
It really messes with his anticipation of distance and timing.

The triangle step is your side to side movement.
the specific triangle might have your right foot forward.
You bring your right foot back and to the side,
and move your rear foot to the position
previously occupied by the right foot.
The problem is that people start moving
their feet forward and back,
and don’t realize it is a side to side movement.

The switch step we just used,
no drills or forms illustrated it.
We just watched our instructor,
that’s what he did,
so we did it,
and it worked.

The triangle step is actually in the forms,
but it has been obscured.
The last move of pinan four,
for instance.
Don’t step forward or back,
or switch feet…
do a triangle step,
and suddenly that move
will reveal fighting potential in a form.

Now this is a bare hint of the things
I’m writing about in the book I’m working on.
There’s a lot of this stuff
as I lay out the forms
in a manner that is different,
and yet illustrates a core workability
that is often missing,
disguised, and obscured
in most classical karate systems.

Of course
you’re going to have to do the forms.
You‘re going to have to compare and contrast
the old with the new
to understand what is happening.

I’ll tell you right now,
this is not a book for people
who want to read about
and not do the work.
This book is only for people
who want to wade in,
get lost in the pages,
scratch their heads,
kick and punch the alligators swarming in their own heads,
and come the other side of the swamp.

One thing I will tell you, though…
there is matrixing in this book
and if you haven’t studied it,
the basic course on matrixing
will save your bacon.

It is ten times easier to study the classical
if you have studied matrix karate.

I have always told people,
do matrixing,
but DON’T put the classical aside.
There’s gold in those forms,
and hopefully,
with matrixing and this forthcoming book,
you’ll find it.

Probably a couple of months now
until I publish.
And say a prayer for poor Ted,
he’s right in the thick of 400 pages,
well over a thousand illustrations.
As soon as he’s out of the swamp
I’ll throw the rest of you guys in.

Here’s the obligatory ad for Matrix Karate…

1a Matrix Karate



And don’t forget to check out the interview

I’ve got nothing but five star reviews on

The Science of Government.
It’s really nothing more than applying matrixing to politics.

Politics is the justification for insanity by a group.

Here’s the link…

Newsletter 1030
Will the Real Karate Stand up?

Got an interesting email.
Fellow asked me which version
of the basic forms in matrixing
are the real ones.
The reason is that there are small differences
in the forms over the years.
And, he’s right.
So, what’s my excuse?

Aw, heck. I don’t have an excuse.
I just kept tweaking and tweaking.
The first version is going to be just as good as the last version.
So how can I say that about a science?
Because there is an art to the science.

I don’t break certain rules,
the body has lines of energy,
the body must be mounted on a base,
and so on.
But I do things like tweak entries,
explore different set ups,
that sort of thing.

And I expect you to do the same.

Back in the fifties
Gichin Funakoshi made the remark
that he didn’t recognize Karate as it was done,
that it bore no resemblance to the art he had been taught.

Well, of course.
Young turks in the colleges took it and ran with it.
Power was more important to them.
To an old man like Funakoshi
technique would have been important.
This would result in a MASSIVE shift
in how forms and techniques were done.

I have said this:
that the karate I see in schools, on youtube, and so on,
bears NO resemblance to the art I was taught.
And it is obvious why,
I have spoken of this many times.
Karate has been adapted for tournaments,
for politics and children and vested interest.

once people are done exploring the arts,
playing with this concept of styles,
once they undo the silliness of politics,
of being watered down for children,
and so on,
they will reach the same conclusion I did.
All martial arts are the same.

The physics of the body work only one way,
and so a body will eventually be tweaked to what works,
and what works is physics.

So much for the argument of which art is better.
They are all good,
but only as good as the man who
understands physics can make them.

All right,
One of the last versions of classical Karate I did was…

Temple Karate

Check it out.
It isn’t the perfect matrixed forms,
but it is classical karate
as seen through a physics filter.
Should make you think.

have yourself a great work out!

And don’t forget to check out the interview

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


How to Become Truly Creative in Your Martial Arts Training!

Newsletter 934

Outside the Martial Arts Box!

I used to ask my instructor
what he did to get better.
What did he work on?
What were his training methods?
He answered me:
‘I just do the forms.’
But he could stick his index finger
through a board and leave a hole.
there had to be something more.
It took me a while,
but I figured out the ‘extra ingredient.’
Going outside the box.

For instance,
I’ve written about his kicking bag.
We couldn’t go to a store and buy a bag back then,
we had to make our own.
I bought a duffle bag,
packed it with sawdust,
used it for a while.
It was a true piece of…stuff.
But it worked,
and I practiced,
and my kicks got better.
He did the same thing,
sort of.
He was able to find the canvas ‘sleeves.
He filled it with sawdust,
and the thing was too light,
didn’t pack right,
fell out of shape after a few hundred kicks.
So he experimented,
going ‘outside the box,’
and packed it with sawdust and water.
It got moldy.
He tried adding bleach.
Got soggy,
and he tried other methods.
His stroke of
outside the box
He cut newspapers in circles,
and stacked the circles in the bag.
Rock hard,
never fell out of shape,
light enough to hang without bending the rafters,
and so on.
This is true ‘out of the box’ thinking.
He did something totally unique,
nobody had EVER done anything like this,
and likely haven’t since then.
But his kicks were truly…
outside the box.

let me describe the trap you are currently in,
which stops you from thinking outside the box.
I came across a fellow on the net,
and he was talking about if bags get too hard
you can’t kick them.
And he’s going into the physics,
and how it is physically impossible
according to the rules of the universe,
and so on.
If my instructor had ever paid attention to the physics…
he never would have made that bag.
He would have been trapped by,
not the physics,
but the belief system surrounding physics.

I was once told that a bumble bee can’t fly.
His weight is too much,
his wings too stubby,
according to physics,
the bumble bee can’t fly.
Thank god the bumble bee doesn’t know physics.
Thank god the bumblebee has his own belief system.

And we get all these athletes
training by physics,
eating the food,
using the training devices,
following regimens described by people
who know physics.

Before the four minute mile was cracked,
it was considered impossible.
No human could ever do that.
on the top tier of runners,
you’re sort of a wannabe
if you can’t break the four minute mile.
But the physics didn’t change.
What changed was people’s belief in physics.
they didn’t accept the physics,
and they went ahead and broke the rules.
Went outside the box.
Did something that nobody believed they could do,
just because,
in their supreme moment of ignorance,
they believed in themselves,
and ignored the idiots.
They went outside the box.

When my instructor kicked that bag,
it was too hard,
he should have broken his foot.
he figured out how to kick the bag a little,
and his foot got stronger,
but more important,
his belief that he COULD kick that bag got stronger.
as he kept kicking that bag,
his kicks slowly improved,
and his belief system,
his idea of what it was possible for him to do,

So that is how you go outside the box.
You get an idea,
you chip away at it,
you look at it,
and you expand your belief system
beyond the belief system
of those that are trapped by belief systems.

you don’t have a unique idea?
you do.
When the instructor has you do ten kicks in class,
do eleven.
Go home and do a hundred.
I noticed that the fellows in my school
who had the best kicks,
were practicing 200 kicks per kick per side.
So I went home and started practicing
250 kicks per kick per side.
am I glad I did.
I’m 70 now,
and when I practice with these young kids,
my front kick is still faster,
and they really don’t like blocking it,
it hurts them to block it.

what about forms?
Do you do your forms twice or thrice
and then call it?
How about doing your forms ten times?
have you ever done a form100 times in a row?
It changes you.
It changes the way you think about forms.
It changes your belief in forms.
Something I used to do,
I was practicing Tai Chi,
and I decided to pile stance it.
There are about 108 moves
in the classical form,
I took a full minute to do each move.
Took me two hours to do one form.
I was different after that.
My Tai Chi was different,
and I started to really understand
what the old Tai Chi masters were talking about.

I hope this gives you an idea on how to think outside the box.
The only advantage you’ve got is your imagination,
imagination IS thinking outside the box,
so put in a little extra sweat,
and put yourself outside the box.

obligatory ad,
The book,
Chiang Nan,
is definitely outside the box.
I combined Karate and Tai Chi,
and got some interesting results,
results not covered by the fellows spouting their physics.
Here’s the link.


Have a great work out!


Here’s a link for an article about when I first started doing this book on Kenjutsu.
I intended to finish it quickly, but it’s actually been five years!

New Book About the Samurai Sword is Coming