Here’s some things about working out.
Where do you work out?
I’ve worked out (taught)
in alleys filled with debris,
basements littered with broken furniture,
rooftops with pipes and wires running everywhere,
rooms with only the space to stand in,
warehouses with dark rows of boxes,
on a fence,
on a tire,
in a tree,
in a cage (old LA zoo),
and on and on and on.
I’ve worked out in the ocean,
in the desert,
and on and on.
Every time I worked out
I learned something unique about my environment
and how to fight in it.
How do I set the feet so I don’t slip,
how do I turn the stance for best launch,
what types of stances work best for what situation,
how do I lift my feet so as not to trip.
And on and on.
I remember reading Carlos Castaneda
and he spoke of how to run in the desert at night.
Lift the knees high,
and I could feel my radar working
as I gave myself up
to trust my world.
how could I apply this to martial arts?
When you think about it,
it makes sense
to try all these places,
because you don’t know what kind of terrain
you will be attacked on.
I was in the army,
sitting on a bunk naked,
and some guy wanted to fight,
and fight me right then,
before I could get dressed.
What a unique learning experience.
I didn’t let it happen,
but to this day,
I think about it,
and what would I do…
home invaders while I’m in the shower,
I jump out,
slipping on the tiles,
searching for a weapon.
Martial means war,
and so many techniques come from war,
rolling in the mud,
the freezing snow,
in the darkness,
trying to stab
before you are stabbed.
So many techniques are altered by armor,
what techniques do we do that are useless now
but were worth something
when men wore armor?
And what techniques would be good for a fellow in kevlar?
You can see the potentials here.
Can you fight
in any terrain
of course you can,
if you have to.
But it’s best to seek out those odd environments
when you don’t have to.
Do your learning
before the fit hits the shan.
My favorite years of training were in the dojo,
I simply loved the camaraderie.
I loved sampling the different shapes and sizes
of my opponents
and learning what worked when and for whom.
Those lessons learned,
I expanded on them as you see in this newsletter.
And here’s something to think about…
if all the martial arts came from one technique,
what would that technique be?
When you travel back
through the influences of war
and environment and living conditions
when you think through your martial art
and find the core concept that grew it,
what core concept is there,
what one single technique was there
that made it all work,
that grew the whole thing?
This is a fair question,
and an important question.
and you have plumbed to the depths of your art.
what technique do you think
turned it all on
for Morihei Ueshiba?
what move tweaked Funakoshi’s mind
and opened it up so he could really learn.
And by learn
I mean create
and absorb and synthesize and….
In tai chi,
what single technique unlocked those doors,
beckoned the student in,
changed the world.
It is a simplicity that lies beneath all arts,
and even beneath the combination of all arts.
If you come up with one,
let me know.
if you come up with one,
don’t let me be the devil here,
do you think it will be the same one
that your fellow student would have come up with?
That all said,
I want to thank all for the help you gave me
after last weeks newsletter.
If you didn’t take advantage of that offer
in last weeks newsletter,
If you can’t use it now,
use it when I least expect it,
just remind me of it when you do use it.
Help is always appreciated.
The Monster says thanks.
to continue what we were talking about,
to find the truth of your art,
you must matrix.
Matrixing explores the terrain of your mind.
Matrixing explores all the arts,
all the moves,
and puts them in order.
This puts order into your mind,
and the computer up there
Works better than you ever would have thought.
Here’s the world famous URL…
find the art that inflames you,
and seek the peace of yourself.
if you just turn the key (work out)
open the door (work out some more)
and walk in (work out even more)
you guys have a day special beyond compare,
and I’ll talk to you later.
The weak can overcome the strong and the yielding can overcome the hard.
This all the world knows but does not practice.
~ Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu