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.

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/

50 Years Ago the Martial Arts were Different

Newsletter 988

Martial Arts Changing Over the Last 50 Years

When I began martial arts,
back in 1967,
things were different.

At this point you expect me to say something to the effect of…
we were more ‘dedicated,’
we were willing to suffer bruises and breaks,
we walked 20 miles,
barefoot,
through the driving snow,
uphill both ways.

Nope.
Has nothing to do with that.
You see,
I have been in modern schools,
I have seen people train until they couldn’t stand,
I have seen people suffer injuries and keep going.
I have seen that uncommon degree of dedication
that the martial arts create in individuals.

I am talking about knowledge.
Let me give you an example.

Do you do the horse stance?
Can you do Teki 1 for an hour?
Can you hold a ‘horse meditation’ pose
for an hour?

Nope.

Most modern schools no longer practice the horse stance.
At least,
I have never seen them.
They don’t force themselves to do low stanced forms.
And in this they are different than
the way we did things fifty years ago.

So,
why is the horse stance important?
It’s just a weird squat, right?
so what’s the big deal?

Okay,
here we go,
see if you can stay with me.

If you stand on straight legs
you don’t work.
Your legs don’t work.
You can stand on two legs for hours,
no prob.

If you stand in a deep horse,
legs bent,
you work like a mofo.
You sweat and strain,
and…the tan tien has to produce more energy.

The tan tien starts to work.

So you do it again.
And you last a half a minute longer.
And you do it again,
and again,
and over a month or so you start to notice weird things.

By breathing deeply,
and imagining that you are breathing to the tan tien,
a ‘place’ a couple of inches below the navel,
you are able to stand in a horse longer.
Your legs don’t shake as much,
and you begin to feel the energy coming out of the tan tien.

You realize that your legs are working harder,
so your tan tien is working harder,
and you are experiencing a weird sort of body energy.
An energy that Joe from the western world doesn’t know exists.

And,
here it gets interesting,
you start moving differently.
You brace in stance and people can’t move you.
Your arms become unbendable as you wish.
You stop using muscle and start using energy,
as from the tan tien,
to do certain types of work.
Most of all,
you move differently,
energy courses out from the tan tien,
goes through the arms,
becomes an unstoppable force
that is directed through and out from
your well structured karate form.

What is happening is
if you practice low stances,
doing karate forms,
that little thing called a tan tien
will ignite.
and…

THE MOTOR OF YOUR BODY WILL TURN ON.

It will change the way you move,
the way you treat life,
the way life treats you.

But,
most schools no longer practice the deep stances,
and especially the deep horse stance.
And,
here is the sad thing,
if the instructor insists on it,
students leave in flocks and droves.
Don’t want to work.
Aren’t willing to make the sacrifice.
Can’t put up with a little pain.
It’s not fun.

So…the martial arts are different
than when I first began them 50 years ago.
People are still willing to suffer,
but they don’t understand things like the horse stance,
so they end up fighting,
going to tournaments,
softening the experience with padding,
and they never get the true karate.

And,
here is something really weird.
Gichin Funakoshi,
some 50 years ago,
said much the same thing.

He said that the karate he saw
was not the karate he learned….50 years before.

Did he just observe the same thing I did?
Or was there some super secret that they were doing
that I missed.

Uh oh.

I recommend Outlaw Karate,
because I took the most important techniques
from the two most workable systems I have ever seen,
and combined them in one system.
It really works,
and you will have an opportunity
to work that horse stance the way I recommend.

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

Have a great work out!

Al

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

How to Be Formless in the Martial Arts

Newsletter 987

How to Be Formless in the Martial Arts

Bruce Lee talks about being formless.
Zen teaches us to be formless.
This idea of being formless permeates the martial arts,
but what the heck is it, really?

To be formless is to be in the moment,
actually moving in concert with an attack,
and not in response to an attack.

It means you don’t react,
you don’t move in specific ways,
but rather in unspecific manner,
adapting to the motion of your opponent,
and not moving in specific manners
your training has dictated.

Here’s the problem,
there are total idiots out there
who hear about being formless,
and think that because they don’t study anything,
and especially a classical art,
they are formless.

Nope,
they are idiots,
trying to make their lack of learning
more than it is.

So,
here we go,
here is what it means in ways you can understand
and even adapt to your work out.

To be formless is to be like water,
pour it into a glass and it assumes the shape of a glass.
Pour it into a bowl,
and it assumes the shape of the bowl.
So it doesn’t mean you have the no shape
of somebody who knows nothing,
it means you are smart enough
to shape yourself to the attack.

Somebody punches and you block?
That’s a response form Karate.
Somebody locks you go with the lock
and figure your way out of it?
That’s a response form Jujitsu.

And freestyle is just reacting,
it is fighting,
no pouring yourself into a shape
that fits the attack.

Let’s say somebody pushes you.
How do you react?
Do you brace, then attack?
Do you grab and throw?
Those are specific responses
created by studying specific arts.

If you were formless
you would adapt to the push,
shape your body around it,
and that might entail blocking or grappling…
or unbalancing or shifting or…or…
but it would be unique to the situation…
WITH NO LOSS OF AWARENESS.

Indeed,
you would have more awareness,
because that is the result of the martial arts training…
if done properly.

If you do not study a martial art
you are certainly formless,
and a victim to the forces of the universe.

If you do study a martial art,
and then another one and another one,
you eventually become formless…
and the universe is victim to your desires.

So these fellows who study something and say,
‘I stopped studying so I could break out of that art
and become formless,’
are total and utter idiots.
They have exchanged their inabilities
for the right to sound stupid.
It’s true.

The BEST way to be formless
is to study an art,
maybe karate or kenpo or something,
then another art,
maybe Aikido or tai Chi or something,
and then another art…
and so on.
Eventually you learn ALL the options
for forcing or flowing an attack,
Then you have choice,
actual AWARE choice,
within the structure of the fight.
And that would be formless.

Here’s the obligatory ad…

Tai Chi Chuan

I put Tai Chi here because most people study hard arts,
or arts requiring great effort,
and the best way to achieve formlessness
is to study an art that take little effort,
and which makes you think
and figure things out.

Make sure you check out the video halfway down the page.

Have a great work out!

Al

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

Awarding a Mixed Martial Artist a Black Belt

Newsletter 986

The Interesting Thing About Black Belts

I’ve written often about
what a black belt is,
what the requirements should be,
and so on.
Let me say some unpleasant things here.

I volunteered my time
at a local martial arts school.
One night I was sitting with a half dozen MMA instructors,
and the talk turned to black belts.
One fellow had 22 years experience,
but was not a black belt.
Had no plans for testing.
Was quite happy to be a lower belt.
The other fellows accepted this as normal,
but it really made me think.

The fellow had the qualifications,
he knew what he was doing,
but there was some sort of mystique
concerning the longer you wait the better you are.

I asked one of the fellows later
about his promotion to black belt.
He said he had studied for some 20 years,
and suddenly realized that he wasn’t going to get any better.
Oh, he would get smarter,
pick up a few more sly tricks,
but he was now descending,
his body getting older
faster than he could learn.
So he went to the school owner
and told him that he wasn’t getting any better
so he better get his black belt while he was still any good.
He was given his black belt.

Now,
I’ve given you the data,
and maybe you’ve read some of my writing
about a black belt being ‘expert,’
so what does all this tell you?

To me it says that there is too much emphasis
placed on winning,
and not enough on structuring MMA
so that people can be properly evaluated.
That in the MMA (and this includes many brands of Jujitsu)
people are more concerned with who they can beat,
rather than mastering the distinct body of knowledge
that MMA is.
And this is what makes MMA a sport rather than an art.

Look,
being a sport is not bad.
It just sounds bad here because
it is coming through the filter of Al Case
who promotes art as best.

But,
really,
it is all up to you.

Interestingly,
I approached the head of the school I was volunteering at.
I suggested we categorize techniques,
make it easier to teach,
make the body of knowledge succinct and precise
so that we would better teach it.
He agreed,
and it actually fit into his plans for the school,
but every time we started to do something
he found an excuse,
disappeared,
changed the complexion of our meetings,
and so on.

As a sports man
he was unable to become an artist.
And here’s the funny thing,
he had trained in many of the classical arts,
he knew where I was coming from,
even agreed that I was right,
but at heart,
in the core of him,
he was a believer that might makes right,
that beating people up
was more important than teaching them methods
that would create distinct methods resulting in art,
the ability to classify ability,
and so on.

Simply,
it was more important to win a tournament,
than to do an art.

Well,
I’ll leave you fellows and gals
to figure out the worth of what I have said here.

In the meantime,
one of the most exact studies I have done
on what ranking and abililties are
was in the Outlaw Karate book.

Here is the Amazon page for it…

OUTLAW KARATE

There is a complete art in it,
complete with tests,
but see if you agree with how I analyze belt rankings.

Have a great work out!

Al

Rape, Revenge and Martial Arts

Newsletter 985

What is Your Martial Art Ethic?

I was teaching a student the other day.
She’s over 70,
but studied martial arts when she was young
so she’s in good shape.
I showed her a technique,
and we were talking,
and she made an interesting remark.
‘If I had him down like that
I’d kick him and stomp him.
I’d kill him.’

Whoa!
We had been talking about a rape situation,
I usually avoid those in teaching,
but she brought it up,
and I said,
‘But you’ve already got him down.
Why kill him?’

‘Because of what he’s done.
If he’s raped one,
he’s raped another.
He needs to be killed.’

It was funny.
She’s liberal in most attitudes,
but in this situation
she was a little to the right of Ghenghis Khan.
My kind of girl.
Except…

I said,
‘if you give in to rage you give up the art.’

But she really didn’t get it.
I couldn’t dent her pissed off-ness.
We were just talking,
but the rage she held,
for a make believe situation
(that she had never been in),
I couldn’t dent.

Ethics,
you see,
didn’t matter
when it came to rape.

I told her that if she shot somebody
and the wound was in the back
she would go to jail.
A man with a turned back is trying to get away,
is no threat,
and shooting becomes murder
if there is no threat of harm.

She didn’t care.
She was right,
and that was it.

Interesting.
I kept teaching her,
and will continue to do so,
even though there is a spot of insanity
hiding in her bones.

But then everybody is insane,
they don’t realize it
or they would be sane.

Martial Arts makes one sane.
It leads,
if done correctly,
to a higher ethic.

So when I meet somebody who is off kilter,
I just tell them to keep practicing.

But…
how about you?
If you’re female,
and found yourself in the situation
of having a rapist at your mercy,
would you do harm?
Kill him?
Cut off body parts?
Would you let your baser part rule you?

If you’re male,
and your wife or daughter is compromised,
would you kill the rapist?
You’ve already knocked him down,
he’s no threat.
Would you fall to revenge
and do bad things to him?

I’m not going to lecture anybody on this,
there is a line between civilization and savagery here,
and though I claim the higher ethic,
I can’t claim that what I think
is best for the race.

I’ll keep working out,
and hope that I find the answer that is right,
but…?

Here’s the obligatory ad,
it’s for Tai Chi because that is what I was teaching this good lady.

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/2ba-matrix-tai-chi-chuan/

Have a great work out!

Al