Finding Your Soul Through the Martial Arts

Newsletter 983

The Windows to the Soul of the Martial Arts

I’ve talked about where you put your eyes before.
So let me say it again,
and give you a rather phenomenal martial arts drill.

My first school,
kenpo,
held the belief that you should focus on the chest,
develop peripheral vision when fighting.

My second school,
kang duk won korean karate,
was of a similar opinion.
My instructor,
the best martial artist I have ever known,
took it a step further.
‘Don’t look at the eyes,’
he said.
‘They will fool you.’

Well,
both schools were wrong.
Even the best martial artist I have ever known was wrong.

The eyes are the windows to a man’s soul.
The eyes are nothing but devices.
‘binoculars’ for the spirit that drives a man to look through.
What does the looking is the ‘I am.’
The spirit.
Who you really are.

I find it absolutely fascinating
that so many martial artists will hold to caveman theories
of watching the body,
and refuse to see who they really are.

So,
I get newbies pretty regularly,
and I teach them martial arts,
and I teach them to freestyle.
Shortly after they begin freestyle
I always do the following drill.

I have them stand with their back to the wall.
I tell them to look me in the eyes.
They are always staring away,
looking elsewhere,
it has become hard for man to look his fellow man in the eyes.
Used to be easy.
I met old timers and that is all they did.
Eye to eye,
a firm handshake seals the deal,
an honest day’s work,
that sort of thing.

So I have this fellow standing back to the wall,
I make sure he is looking at me,
and I punch him.
The first dozen punches are easy.
I swing roundhouses.
I punch fast,
but they are easy to see.
Frequently the student will close his eyes.
I do this easy method until he is able to keep his eyes open.
Then I speed up.
I spin and back fist,
I throw an occasional kick,
I have good control,
but the student’s eyes usually open up
as I put a little steam on the strikes.

He blocks them all.

That’s right.
the newbie student blocks virtually
EVERYTHING
I throw.

Why?
Because open eyes create intuition.

If a guy is looking away he is not seeing
and he might as well be unconscious.

If his eyes are open,
if the spirit of the man is actually watching,
there is no limit to what he can do.

From that point on I can teach him anything.
He will learn everything.
And easily.
And if he doesn’t,
I put him to the wall
and open his eyes again.

But…
don’t believe me.
Do it for yourself.
Put some bozo back to the wall,
go slow throw lazy rounders
and make sure he is watching,
that he doesn’t go to sleep with his eyes open.
Guaranteed,
you will have a fast learning student
who will staring looking at the world
in open eyed wonder.

This little drill has been brought to you
by the same fellow who gave you Matrix Karate

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

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

Have a great work out!

Al

A WIN!

How Smart are Martial Arts Instructors?

Newsletter 982

The Educational Level of Most Martial Arts Instructors

Whew!
Hot today.
So I went to a martial arts ‘jamboree.’
Open call to everybody,
we all came into the school and worked out.
Did anything we wanted.
Lots of instructors around,
everybody had a blast.

So,
I was watching the instructors.
Some of them were freakin’ fantastic.
Some were okay.
We didn’t have anybody that was bad.
BUT…
I realized something.
Most martial arts instructors
are at the level of about a high school senior
when it comes to knowing and understanding the martial arts.

That’s right,
a black belt is,
generally speaking,
about the level of a high school senior.
He is bigger and tougher than the juniors and sophomores,
he knows a little bit,
but he doesn’t know enough to teach.

Pretty sad, eh?

For instance,
I spent some time showing a girl,
with physical disabilities,
how to punch so she could do the job without hurting herself.
I come back to her 5 minutes later
and a black belt has moved in and started teaching her.

‘Hit it harder!
Hit it harder!’

Pays no attention to the fact that she has problems
stopping her from ‘hitting harder.’
Isn’t aware of how her body is reacting to the overload.
Doesn’t really even know how to train a person,
especially how to hit somebody without hurting themselves.

And I don’t want to talk about the instruction
concerning joint locks or takedowns.

Simply, the instructor was about as knowledgeable
as a high school senior.

What should the knowledge level of a martial artist be?

A real martial arts instructor
should know three or four martial arts,
and actually understand how to teach.
That’s like a fellow who has graduated from college,
with a specialty in teaching.

Most instructors are trained in only one art,
and ‘know about’ every other martial art they have never seen.
Most martial arts instructors have never taken a course on how to be an instructor.
Most martial arts instructors think that a course in high school physics qualifies them
in the specialized physics of the martial arts (which are totally different that high school physics)
Most instructors don’t know anything about what chi is,
how to blend arts,
and they certainly don’t know anything about matrixing.

I spend a LOT of time educating people.
People who take my PMAT course are sometimes shocked
at what the real knowledge of the martial arts is.
People who take my Master Instructor course
are frequently blown away by what they didn’t know.

Think about it this way.

most instructors are about as smart as a high school senior
a real instructor would be at least a ‘college graduate’ when it comes to knowledge, and then have specialized courses on how to teach under his belt.

And, the alternative to all this, my solution to making instructors.

Get a black belt in matrix karate.
Learn 2 or 3 more matrixed arts.
Take the Master Instructor course.
Then you can call yourself a 4th black belt (master) with a master’s degree in teaching martial arts.
Then you would be actually qualified to teach martial arts.

Hey, it’s all on my site, and I’ve been saying this stuff for decades.

Here’s the Master Instructor Course…
http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/4-master-instructor-course/

Have a great work out!

Al

A WIN!

Martial Arts Characteristics that are Very Important

Newsletter 980

Martial Arts Elements for Survival

The Martial Arts elements that are necessary for survival are three.

The first martial art element is strength.
The forms and training will give one lots of strength. The stances are squats and lunges, and you will do hundreds of them during a class. Further, you will have real body resistance in your techniques when doing them with a partner, which will also aid your strength.
Strength, however, is not the most important attribute you should seek in the martial arts.

The second martial arts element is speed.
Speed comes from repeating movements endlessly. This repetitiveness will build a ‘zen’ frame of mind. One learns how to empty the mind sufficient to do the technique, to build more speed.
Obviously, speed is important when one is fighting; one needs to be faster than the other fellow, faster than the incoming punch or kick.
Interestingly, speed can lead to power, but strength does not necessarily lead to speed.
Speed, while an important second attribute, is not the most important element of the martial arts.

The third element is technique.
Technique is knowing how fast, how slow, how close, how far, how strong, how weak, how fast, how slow, and so on.
It is the appreciation of space around the body.
It is understanding what a punch (or kick) is, what it is comprised of, how it is built and delivered.
While some people may have a natural ability when it comes to speed or strength, there is no natural ability when it comes to technique. Learning the techniques of a fighting discipline, such as karate or jujitsu or kung fu takes time. And it takes time to improve them. And even more importantly, for those who are serious about learning a fighting discipline, the study of techniques will easily occupy a lifetime. Or three.

So the three characteristics that one should occupy himself/herself with in the martial arts are speed, power and technique. And of the three, technique is always the most important. Technique is the measure of a person, the measure of an art, and it is this study of space and time that makes the martial arts one of the most enjoyable activities in the universe.

Here’s the obligatory link to improve all three elements of the martial arts…
http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/4-master-instructor-course/

Have a great and technically perfect work out!
Al

A WIN!

Hello Master Al
The Master Instructor Course has taught me to competently teach proper posture and changing positon by being perfectly balanced in natural stances.  To impart energy most effeciently by implementing CBM.
Thank you for teaching me to utilize the proper powers in the correct manner which in turn has caused me to be more confident in all of life.
Sincerely, Lori S

“Art calls for complete mastery of techniques,
developed by reflection within the soul.”
– Bruce Lee

Deadly Karate Hands Must Be Registered with the Police!

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…

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/3a-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

Martial Arts as a Belief System

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

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/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 Died Because of One Thing!

Newsletter 977

How Bruce Lee Died

One of the biggest questions I get,
year after year year,
is how did Bruce Lee die.
At first I didn’t know.
I searched through all the theories,
his family was cursed,
he was poisoned by jealous masters,
he had a bad reaction to
marijuana, tea, speed, aspirin, etc.
None of these worked,
all the theories fell apart under close examination.
Recently,
however,
I found out the real reason Bruce died.
It is totally logical,
backed up by facts,
makes sense,
and I fell it is the real reason.

Did you know that Bruce had his sweat glands removed?
That’s right.
He was trying to get rid of ‘underarm blotch,’
which looked terrible on the camera.
Now,
sweat glands are important,
and the ones under the arms VERY important.
It is a way of cooling down the body when it is overheated.
Overheated like working out,
shooting films in 100 degree heat under lights,
and so on.
In the months before Bruce died
word has it that he had fainted several times.
His brain is supposed to have swollen.
Again,
a byproduct of heat.
So Bruce Lee died through overheating his body,
which was caused by his having certain of his sweat glands removed.

Can I be totally, 100% sure?
No.
But I can be 99% sure.
His history,
the condition of his body,
the effect of removing sweat glands,
it all makes sense.

I would love to have a doctor exhume the body and find out for sure.
Except,
it’s done.
Whether it is misadventure
through the removal of sweat glands,
or Triad masters giving him repeated overdoses of aspirin.
Bruce is gone.
Thank God he was with us for a while,
he sure left us some gold.

Here’s a link to a site filled with Bruce Lee info.

http://freebrucelee.com

Have a great work out!

Al

A WIN!

I’ve come to the same conclusion as Bruce (Lee):  I no longer believe in ‘styles’.  I believe every martial artist has to create their own personal martial art.  Even if they are a die hard ‘traditionalist’ they still do it their own way or their own interpretation. ~ Matt R

“The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.”
– Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee’s Secret of Formless MartialArts

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.
http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/6-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