Author Archives: aganzul

About aganzul

Al Case began his study of the martial arts in 1967. He began writing for the magazines in 1981. He has written nearly two million words on martial arts related subjects, which makes him the Number One Martial Arts Writer of All Time. He is the founder of Matrixing and Neutronics. He can be reached through Monster Martial Arts.

Martial Arts Zen Training with Guns

Newsletter 995

The Gun, the Sword, and the Martial Arts

The gun extends a straight line
The sword extends a straight, or curved line.
The bullet goes further than the sword,
but,
even with training,
not too much further.
Odd statement, eh?
I mean, the bullet disappears into a mile away.
The sword ends at three feet or so.
But here’s the kicker,
the further away you are,
the more control of your body you must have.
Beyond a certain distance,
probably 15 feet,
control goes out the window,
and you miss a lot of shots.
(We’re not talking about sniper rifles here)
So let’s look at the basic-basics of the sword—and the gun.

Sink the weight for both.
Breath deeply and control that breath.
Relax.
Align the body properly.
Move the body with CBM
(Coordinated Body Motion).

Well,
we are fine through the first four items.
Sink, breath, relax, align.
Motion (CBM) is where it all falls apart.

I was watching a movie last night,
Jason Statham shot about 40 guys
in about five minutes.
He shot them while he turned flips,
under his arm,
behind his back,
swinging off the side of a ship,
during explosions.
40 guys,
and he wasn’t even nicked.
I guess he had that motion thing down,
right?
Nope.
The camera had it down.
The script had it down.
In reality he would have been shot,
filled with lead actually,
by the time he hit the second or third guy.
That’s just the way it is.

(why do you think SEALs sneak in?
Because charging in an easy way to die.
Why do you think ninjas sneak in?
They don’t want somebody to fight back-
they don’t want to get hurt.
Why do you think your friendly neighborhood mugger
attacks from the rear,
swinging a weapon…
he doesn’t want to risk getting a boo boo!
It’s not actually cowardice,
it’s simply good tactics:
hit without getting hit.
Deliver a force or flow,
without receiving a force or flow…)

Anyway,
It is INCREDIBLY difficult
to hit a moving target.
(People tend to shoot where something was,
and not where it is going to be)
And it is harder to hit a moving target…
while you are moving.

When you train with a gun you have to have a stable platform.
You run from place to place,
momentarily freezing and shooting,
then continuing.
Only when you make the final approach
do you unload,
firing everything you’ve got,
because during that last few feet,
when you are running,
you’re probably going to miss,
so shoot a lot of bullets and hope.

Of course,
all statistics can be improved by practice.

But,
motion is a killer.
In the martial arts
you are closer,
and there is this thing called ‘block’ and counter.
You train to handle the attack.
With a gun the only way to handle the attack
is to duck,
hide,
get a mile away.
No blocking.
So you do not develop the idea of motion against motion.
At least not to an appreciable degree.

Yes,
there are gun tactics,
training in them helps,
but if you really want to know tactics,
you must have an intuitive understanding
of how to respond with your body
to the motion of his body.

You really need the martial arts
in addition to training in shooting.
You need that ‘zen’ frame of mind.

And here is where it gets interesting.
Here is the point that led me to write this little squib.

When you train with the martial arts
you develop a state of mind.
This is a ‘zen’ state of mind.
A peacefulness during combat,
a peacefulness during…motion.

You actually develop this same state of mind
with any other practice.
Practicing something until you have mastered it
brings calmness, certainty, peacefulness.
You can attain it with a gun,
while you are ‘in platform,’
but there aren’t any practices that I know of,
in gun training,
to impart that zen state of mind
while you are using a gun while in motion.

So if you want to learn a gun,
good,
it is a tool for a martial artist,
if there ever was one.
But you need something like ‘The Gun Kata,’
made popular in ‘Equilibrium.’
I am really waiting for some fellow
to send me a video,
or a link,
to somebody doing an effective Gun Kata.

Here’s a link for weapons training…

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/3a-blinding-steel-matrixing-weapons/

Have a great work out!
Al

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/3a-blinding-steel-matrixing-weapons/

Martial Arts Master Instructor Shares his Thoughts…

A New Martial Arts Master Instructor

Congrats to new Master Instructor
Everett Riggs!
Here’s just a portion of his win…

Hi,
I recently ordered your Master Instructor Course have watched it multiple times. It is really ground breaking stuff. I am a wrestling coach and have been incorporating some of the material into my program … I am also studying your Matrix Karate and Blinding Steel materials. Great material!

Everett Riggs

Again,
Congrats and well done
I absolutely love it when people use my material.
And i love it more when they use it to help others.

It is called the Master Instructor course for a very good reason.
It holds the principles of teaching.
And not just teaching one art,
but all arts.
It is based on physics,
and you can’t argue with the physics of the universe.
Well,
I suppose you can,
but you won’t win.

The funny thing is when people think
their art is the only art,
the best art,
isn’t anything better.

But ANY art can be good
if you teach it with the principles outlined
in the Master Instructor course.
Let me explain it this way.

A boxer hits the bag,
he makes the hardest punch he can.
But is it the hardest punch he could have made…
if he understood the ‘why’ behind the punch?
Nope.
Not even close.

A boxer hits the bag,
he gets the strong muscles,
he learns the correct pathway for the punch,
but he doesn’t learn WHY that pathway exists,
he doesn’t learn what is actually going down that pathway,
he doesn’t learn that a punch is NOT about muscles.
I’ll say it again,
a punch is NOT about muscles,
except in the smallest way.
It is about
(drumroll)
how much weight you can deliver.

Okay,
while you grok that,
let me say something else.
I’m an old guy now.
My muscle mass is diminished,
and
tell the truth,
I never had large muscles to begin with.
I had dense muscles,
but that is something else.
Now,
I get these big, muscly guys,
and I slap their punches aside like I am swatting a fly,
then I give them a LIGHT punch,
and they fall back,
fall down,
rub the spot I punched furiously,
and say…
OW!
Son of a…!
How did you do that?

I don’t wind up,
I don’t have big muscles,
I usually punch VERY lightly
(I don’t want to hurt them)
yet the effects are as stated.
They go OW
fall back and even down
and wonder how the heck some old guy can do that to them.
Well,
the answer is simple,
I understand that a punch is not muscle,
but weight.
And I understand not just the correct pathway for my body,
the right stance and angles
and dynamics and physics
and so on,
but the WHY behind it all.

Some young guys say I have ‘Chi power.’
But ‘Chi’ is just a grab bag
for things you don’t understand.
And what you don’t understand
is in the Master Instructor Course.

Yes,
there is chi,
but it is merely understanding
the principles of the universe
and using them in your own body
until energy starts to flow.

Simplest thing in the universe.
If you have…
the Master Instructor Course.
Here is the link…

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/4-master-instructor-course/

Okay,
again,
congrats to Everett,
and well done for understanding and using
the Master Instructor Course

Have a great work out!
Al

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/4-master-instructor-course/

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

A Martial Arts Night Before Christmas…

Newsletter 993

The Martial Arts Night Before Xmas

Here it is,
my annual Xmas poem,
the Night Before Xmas,
adapted for Martial Artists.

I won’t make apologies for it,
but I will ask one thing,
a present to me for Xmas,
if you will.

If I have offended,
sent the wrong order,
dropped a communication,
offended you in ANY manner,
even with this poem,
please forgive.
It’s a new year,
help me start it fresh,
the world is too wonderful a place
to carry around ANY ill will.

Now,
with no further ado,
here is…

THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS!

Twas the night before Christmas
I was in my shack
primed and ready
for the red fat attack.

my weapons were loaded
the windows were barred
all would be safe
while I was on guard

The chimney was decked
with concertina wire
I crouched by the couch
ready to fire.

I had an M60
with ammo to feed
I didn’t care
if the red fat did bleed.

A loaded shotgun
and grenades to spare
when red fat came down
I’d blow him out of there.

Throwing stars and knives
and a really long sword
and if that didn’t work
I knew a bad word.

Sitting there late
my eyes started to close
when suddenly I heard
a bunch of ho hos.

Off with the lights
safety off, too
I  watched the fire close
and heard a sound from the flu.

‘Ouch and gosh darn it
who put the wire here
those are my undies
starting to tear!’

Then a shower of soot
and a grunt and a groan
he landed in the fire
and gave out a moan.

He was rubbing the place
where the wire did tear
so I held down the trigger
and lead filled the air.

belt after belt
did I deal the red fat
he danced and he jumped
I knew he felt that!

then quicker than spit
I ran out of lead
but enough was enough
he had to be dead.

Boy was I shocked
to see him stand tall
stepping out of the fireplace
not bothered at all.

So I grabbed up the 16
to mow him down
he had to be hurting
cause I saw his big frown.

Then I was empty
and he came straight for me
I pulled out my knives
and sliced him with glee

He jumped to the side
moving real quick
disarmed my knives
with a well placed kick

then he dropped the big bag
he had on his shoulder
reached forth his arms
and his anger did smolder

He grabbed hard my neck
and held me up high
I tried kicks and punches
but I was like a fly

Not karate nor judo
no art did work
and he grinned a mean grin
and called me a jerk

‘Don’t you know
you stupid little man
Christmas is forever
in spite of your plan.’

Then he threw me aside
and proceeded to work
giving presents to all
and to me a great smirk

And when he left
the great big red fat
he left me a lump of coal
the big red fat rat!

HANAKWANMASS TO ALL
and to all a great work out.

Have a great work out!
Al

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

Martial Artists Have Their Own Dark Holiday

Newsletter 992

Martial Arts Holiday HanaKwanMass is Coming!

One punch at a time…
one kick at a time…
day by day we get closer and closer…
it’s just a few days until…

HANAKWANMASS!

You old guys know what I’m talking about.
Hanukkah, Kwanza, Christmas!
HanaKwanMass,
the one day out of the year
I get to insult EVERY person who says…
happy holidays.

Happy holidays is a phrase invented so you don’t
hurt the feelings of somebody who believes in Kwanza
by saying Merry Xmas to him,
or offend a Jewish fellow by saying Kwanza,
and so on.

But I say
a holiday is a holiday,
and if somebody says the wrong one to you
he meant well
and you walk away with good wishes,
and the heck with the politically correct bushwah.

You know,
there is a deeper thread here.

A fellow knows karate,
so he bad mouths Kung Fu,
or Aikido or whatever.
A fellow does MMA,
so he looks down on Kenpo or Taekwondo.

These fellows are the garbage minds of the Martial Arts.

When I meet a fellow who studies something I don’t,
I am all over him,
how do you guys handle this?
What about that weapon?
what’s your training like?

Every question I get answered
opens my mind
makes me a batter martial artist.

No art is better than any other,
they are just different steps in the martial arts.

No person is any better,
or worse,
than any other.
We are all cogs in the same machine,
we are all the different faces of God,
we are people…
and HanaKwanMass to us all.
And HanaKwanMass to you
and all your kids,
and your brothers and sisters,
aunts and uncles,
grandparents,
and even your dogs and cats,
and especially to your instructors.

If you understand what I just said,
then you understand the real spirit of the martial arts.

OBLIGATORY AD
(you may skip if you wish,
but you’ll probably wake up tomorrow with a rash.)

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/hard-punch/
This is for those of you
who wish to develop
the strongest punch
known to mankind,
and even a few aliens.

Al

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/hard-punch/

Teach Martial Arts and Go to Jail!

Newsletter 991

A New Law Against Teaching Martial Arts

I’ve talked about this,
on and off over the years,
and here it is actually happening:
a law to criminalize the martial arts.
Here’s a link
https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-11-27-tyranny-alert-virginia-to-outlaw-krav-maga-brazilian-jiu-jitsi-kickboxing-firearms-instruction-sb64.html
and here is one of the pertinent parts of the law
that makes a person guilty if that person…

1. Teaches or demonstrates to any other person the use, application, or making of any firearm, explosive, or incendiary device, or technique capable of causing injury or death to persons, knowing or having reason to know or intending that such training will be employed for use in, or in furtherance of, a civil disorder; or

Bolds are mine.

So,
you get the idea,
if you show a person,
train him in,
a technique of the martial arts
that results in injury or death,
you are going to be arrested,
tried,
and become a felon.
That means go to jail.

Yikes!

Now,
the chief proponent of this nonsense is Governor Ralph Northam,
the fellow who openly advocates infanticide (killing of children).
And the state is a democratic state…
though I ‘spect the republicans will go along with it.
Politicians, yuck.
They actually don’t want anybody to be able to defend themselves.
And,
be warned,
this is only the one more step in the eternal incrementalism
the government is guilty of
(small steps designed to circumvent laws

and common sense)

And,
the solution to this stupidity?
Study now.
Learn all the arts you can,
learn as much as you can,
before you are not allowed to.

I remember teaching a fellow from a communist country
telling me how the government would only allow
politicians and police to learn martial arts.
And here it is,
happening right here
in the land of the free.
Heysoos Xristos on roller skates on an oily floor.

Here’s the most valuable link…
http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/3a-blinding-steel-matrixing-weapons/

Teaches you how to use weapons, empty hands,
and take people all the way down.
Excellent for defending oneself
against government abuses.

Look,
guys and gals,
nobody can protect you but you.
Period.

and have a great work out!

Al

BTW
A mighty fist pump for
Lt. Clint Lorance, Maj. Mathew L. Golsteyn,
and CPO Edward Gallagher

Here’s that link again

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/3a-blinding-steel-matrixing-weapons/

Odd Energy Concepts in the Martial Arts

Newsletter 990

Odd Things About Energy in Tai Chi Chuan and Karate

I don’t talk about energy
in the martial arts
(in Tai Chi Chuan, Karate, etc.)
as much as I should.
Some people think energy (chi) is bogus.
That’s okay,
they can bail this newsletter and pick up the next one.
But here’s some stuff about chi in the martial arts.

I was talking to a student the other day,
and we got into postures
when you are just talking to people.
We had just finished some form
and she was standing,
and she clasped her hands in front of her.
Yikes!
I pointed out that when you do a TCC form
energy is moving.
When you clasp your hands
or otherwise touch your body
you turn the energy into the body
and the creation of chi stops.
Simply,
it goes into circuit,
instead of flowing outward,
which the form trains the energy to do.
So after a form,
you should simply stand,
let the chi exude from your fingertips,
and swell from your body.

This concept relates to postures
when in simple communication with somebody.
She understood that when you fold your arms
you are indicating,
on a ‘subliminal’ level,
you are closed to communication
When you open your arms you are open to communication
And there are variations and versions of this
‘opening’ and ‘closing’ of the body
that people do in simple communication.
But this opening and closing relates to the circles of the arms
and the flow of energy
when doing the martial arts
and specifically Tai Chi

In Aikido we used to do a ‘two step’ movement across the mat,
pretending chi was flowing out of our out flung arms.
Then we tried to keep that flow moving as we entered into techniques.

In karate we ‘pump’ the energy in the body.
we build it in the fists.
Which is an oddity,
because closing the fists actually stops the flow of chi.
But you need closed fists,
but you should,
every so often,
do your forms with open hands,
and explore the different sensations and energies you get.

In Tai Chi you move chi through the body, yes,
but it should eventually exit the body in most most postures.
Here is how chi works in a few of the stances.

slant flying
two ‘horizontal’ circles of the arms
the chi contracts and expands as if you are holding a ball of chi in your arms
this is very close to the tan tien.

brush knee
with roll back it is as if you are pulling a rope
then pushing with a palm
a circle in front of you with the blocking hand
a circle (pulsing oval) of the pushing arm next to you
(feels like a locomotive chuffing)

fair lady
the front hand makes a circle
the rear hand (oval) comes through the circle made.
Something interesting here,
fair lady was originally called
‘fair lady weaves at the shuttles.’
it was a series of plucking motions,
resembling a lady weaving at the shuttles.
Martial techniques changed the original motion
into a more shaolin or pa kua version.
specifically,
‘tiger comes out of the cave.’
You sink and then corkscrew upward,
one arm creating the mouth of a cave,
the second hand coming out of the cave.

I mention this last because martial arts names
especially Chinese,
resemble certain images,
and you have to explore the images
and the changes of images,
to get to the truth of how energy works.

So there are three postures.
first you look at what kind of circles are involved
in the hand motions.
Then you explore whether the energy
expands and contracts,
whether it fits an imagery
(fair lady can be done like a locomotive chuffing,
very interesting)
and you do a bunch of other things.
when you strike you should…
push with legs, turn waist, circle (pump) the arms.
And,
of course,
you should practice relaxing
and focusing on the smoothness of your motion.
It helps to imagine perfect circles
(ovals, spirals, etc.)

And,
BREATHING.
Probably the most important thing of all
when it comes to creating energy.
Breath in when the body contracts,
out when it expands.
Breath to the tan tien,
then sink the energy down the legs.
Breath as if into the body part striking
or getting struck.

And,
there is a lot more.
Usually small things
that create a big wholism.
What the hands do the energy in the tan tien will mimic.
Shoulders MUST be over hips.
turn the body as one,
all pieces of the body must support one intention,
and so on.

Honestly,
if I made a simple list,
it would be a thousand items.
but,
doing the form year in and year out
IF YOU UNDERSTAND THE TECHNIQUES
and you will figure them out in 20 or 30 years
or maybe 40.

Now you see why I obsess on matrixing so much.
People should, and can, learn faster.
If you do a form for 30 or so years,
if you understand the techniques,
you figure it all out.
With matrixing you can cut the time by tens.
Instead of 30 years,
3 years.

But there is money in stretching the time of learning out.
Car contracts are a big thing,
most schools can’t survive without them.
Sad,
when you think about people who want self defense,
and are sold,
literally,
a bill of goods.

But when martial arts started up,
over the ages,
people needed to be put in combat.
So they needed to be taught quick,
the teacher couldn’t mess up,
or make mistakes,
lives depended on him.
He didn’t worry about getting a student on contract for several years,
he simply taught fast,
knocked heads and you’d better learn,
or else.
Armies of pheasants were created in months, even weeks.

The US army is based on learn quick and fast.
We turn out the best soldieres in the world in a matter of months.
Can you imagine the US army with such a viewpoint
as is presented in the martial arts today?
‘It will take you three years to complete basic training.’
We wouldn’t be the best military in the world
with that kind of thought.
Yet that is EXACTLY the kind of thought
that goes along with the martial arts.

I can teach a guy to fight in a month.
Fight well,
survive in a real fight,
no problemo.
But fighting isn’t the martial arts.
If you read this newsletter again you’ll see
that I’m not talking about fighting…
I’m talking about the body as an energy system.
I’m not talking about muscles,
I’m talking about energy as a viable and useful tool.

Well,
I’ve talked long enough.
You’ve either got it,
or you aren’t going to get it.

There is more to life than push ups and fights.
There are philosophies,
energy systems,
methods of thought,
strategies,
ways of living
far beyond what you ever thought…Horatio.

So here’s the obligatory ad.
Have fun,

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/five-army-tai-chi-chuan/

Or try the whole package…

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/tai-chi-chuan-package/

and have a great work out!

Al

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/five-army-tai-chi-chuan/

Or try the whole package…

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/tai-chi-chuan-package/

 

Modifying Your Education in the Martial Arts with Matrixing

Newsletter 989

The Odd Effects of Matrixing in the Martial Arts

Started matrixing back in the 80s.
Been a long time.
Formalized it around 2007.
Taught a lot of people,
but here’s the thing…
matrixing is VERY subtle.

You do the first courses,
maybe you get a blast of realization,
especially if you’ve spent some time in the arts,
have a good database that needs to be organized.
Then the real work starts.
Time.

Time passes
and the seeds gestate within.
The initial blast of logic fades a bit,
but it keeps working.
Sometimes you don’t realize it
but you are looking at the world differently.
logically.
Life becomes smoother.
things other than the arts make sense,
are made logical by the matrixing going on inside you.

When you go to school
you are told to shut up and learn.
It’s all behavior modification.
Teachers can’t control the classes
unless they can control the masses.
So shut up and do your work.
Doesn’t matter that the work isn’t logical,
doesn’t have much to do with life.
Shut up and do your work.

They even go after you after school.
Do your homework.
No rest.
Get trained (modified)
so you can be a cog in a factory.

And here’s the thing…
there isn’t much real learning.
Mostly,
it’s memorizing.
When was the battle of Bull Run.
Who cares.
Memorize that algebraic function.
Even though you will never use it in life.

And,
when a lot of people graduate
they are in one of two modes…
a robot ready to man a desk somewhere…
and learning sucks.

Yeah,
school teaches you that learning can be boring,
meaningless and stupid.
So people come out of school thinking that learning sucks.
I did.
And I’d probably still think that learning sucks,
if it wasn’’ for martial arts…
and then matrixing.

There are things in school,
underneath all the drivel,
that do mean something.
Learning how to write,
what all that grammar stuff is,
is incredible.
But they don’t spend a lot of time on that.
Better to modify your behavior.

Underneath that algebra,
is a whole method of learning and analysis
and critical thinking…
but they slide over that quick,
too hard to explain.

And speaking of critical thinking…
schools don’t go anywhere near that.
Kids might start thinking for themselves,
and then where would the behavior modifiers be?

I started learning when it came to the martial arts.
I wanted to understand it.
I wanted to figure it out.
And I started thinking.
I started analyzing it,
being critical in my thought concerning it.
I started doing things that school never prepared me for,
and never wanted me to do.

Matrixing.
A quick way to line up all the data,
to make sense of it
and apply it.
And the carefully arranged rigidity of my mind
started to shatter.

Unfortunately,
it doesn’t work that way for everybody.

I was lucky,
had a couple of good schools,
an instructor who didn’t say much,
but could do a lot,
but who wanted us to figure it out for ourselves.

I remember once,
when a couple of the students went to Bob (my instructor).
They showed him two techniques
and asked him which was better.
He said,
‘I don’t know.’
But it was obvious he knew!
But it was also obvious he wanted to think for ourselves,
to make up our own minds.
To look at the techniques,
try them out,
mix them up,
analyze them,
synthesize them,
and…
understand them.

That is something that almost no teacher,
in todays schools,
martial arts or otherwise,
wants you to do.

No critical thinking for you…
you have to stay a bozo.

Okay,
I’ve ranted enough,
and it’s up to you.
Be a carefully crafted
‘do what I say’ person,
or start looking.
Get critical,
get analytical,
start matrixing,
look for understanding,
and,
here’s the real deal…
start having some fun.

Guaranteed,
when you finally figure out what I’m saying
you’ll understand something that teachers may talk about
but don’t know how to make happen…
fun.

Here’s some real fun…

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

Hey,
hapy vets day to you!
and have a great work out!

Al

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