Working Both Sides of the Martial Arts

The Two Sides of the Martial Arts!

There was a famous karateka in Japan.
everybody thought he was the greatest.
One day he up and left for China.
While there,
he began studying Tai Chi,
and Pa Kua,
and all sorts of other stuff.
Now you’ve got to remember,
he was a karate master,
much looked up to,
but this Chinese stuff…
and the whispers started.

‘He betrayed Karate.
He lost his faith.
He was wrong.
How could he possibly stomach that Chinese stuff!’

Several years passed,
he returned home
went back into Karate,
and everybody forgave him.

People said things like
he saw the error of his ways.
He was just making sure Karate was the best.’
And so on.

But what could they say?
He was better than them!
And it seems like all the little people
want to pull down the big people.
Small minds.

here’s the thing,
when people actually asked him
why he went to China and studied
martial arts like Tai Chi and so on,
he said,
‘So I could understand Karate better.’

I began Karate in November of 1967.
I began Tai Chi Chuan about 1974.
Right after I got my black belt.

I started with a book,
Modified Tai Chi for Health,
by Lee Ying Arng.
Probably one of the first books ever printed in English
on Tai Chi Chuan.
Came from a publishing house in Hawaii.
Sold a few copies and moved on.
Some of you old guys might remember it.

the book was a mess.
The pictures were bad,
the motion was depicted with odd arrows
that didn’t always seem to make sense,
and the instructions were weird!
night after night,
I kept at it.

I left the Kang Duk Won,
studied Aikido.
Kept doing that darned Tai Chi book late into the night.

Funny thing,
my wife once asked me,
‘What are you doing?’
I answered honestly.
‘I don’t really know.’
And I kept going.

for years,
I was a tai chi book student,
slowly worming my way into
The Grand Ultimate Fist.

and I wrote my first article for the mags.
The article was called,
‘The Perfect Strike.’
It was in a karate mag,
it’s somewhere on the Monster now.
Want to know where I got the idea for that article?
Tai Chi.

Tai Chi concepts,
you see
were alien to Karate.
Strange things,
didn’t fit.
But I was finally figuring it out.
So I got paid a hundred bucks,
just because I was studying something
that made my karate better.

Years later I ran into a fellow
who took the time to show me real Tai Chi.
I hadn’t done badly
in my book learning.
here’s the interesting thing,
I would do Tai Chi,
and people would ask me why I was good at it.
And I said,
‘Karate helped me understand it.’

Do you understand?

Here are two arts that are almost in opposition.
They contradict each other.
They are different.
they are different only in that
they are opposite sides of the same coin.

In other words,
they are not different,
only people’s viewpoints are different.

Do you want to understand the martial arts?
Really understand them?
Then do two arts that oppose each other.
at least provide different viewpoints.
The jujitsu practitioner,
who relies on things like
force and hard leverage,
will find the doors of his art opening wide
when he studies Aikido.

both grab arts,
but one is force,
and the other is flow.

My particular path was karate and Tai Chi.
Lots of other stuff,
but those are the two that had the most impact in my universe.

Those are the two that short circuited my opinions
and gave me facts.

try it.
If you study Karate,
try some Five Army Tai Chi.
If you study Tai Chi,
try some Matrix Karate.
if you really have an aversion to Karate,
do some Shaolin Butterfly.

the old masters were not masters because they studied one art,
they were masters because they studied many arts.

Here’s the link to Tai Chi Chuan.

One other thing before I head out
for another work out…

If you go to the Monster,
look in the menu for the products page,
you’ll find some neat stuff.

every time you get a course,
or a hat or mug or whatever,
you bring me one step closer to Monkeyland,
and that brings everybody one step closer.

Talk to you later.


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