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 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

Creating Awareness Drills in the Martial Arts

Newsletter 975

The True Martial Art of Awareness

Got a student here,
having a rough time with Tai Chi.
When doing the form
she wants to go to a posture,
strike the posture,
and that’s all.
But the problem is one of awareness.

When I was doing a lot of Pa Kua,
one of the drills I made myself do
was walk the circle
while staring at my finger.
Focus on the finger.
And the point was this…
DO NOT GO UNCONSCIOUS!
In other words,
grow more aware.

When you strike a pose,
this is common in Karate and kung fu,
you have a moment of awareness.
When you follow the finger
as you walk the circle,
you create awareness at all times.
So striking a pose might result in 10% awareness,
but you need to achieve
100% awareness.
Awareness at all times.

If you go to a party,
and you are aware 10% of the time
and a fight breaks out,
there is a 90% chance
you will get struck.

But if you are aware 100% of the time
you will probably avoid getting struck at all.

People think the martial arts are about fighting.
Or building the body,
or quickness or strength,
or winning tournaments,
or making an image to impress the girls.
Martial arts,
TRUE martial arts.
have nothing at all to do with that.
They are about building awareness.

You have to break through the obsession with the body,
then even put aside energy,
and just become aware.

When I walk the circle in Pa Kua
I hold a finger and stare at it without break.

When I do a Tai Chi form I create circles
around my body with my hands,
and I never have a corner,
never pause or speed up,
just hold awareness in every motion I do.

When I do a freestyle drill,
the point is NEVER to beat the other person,
it is to create awareness,
to create a shield of awareness around myself
so that nobody can penetrate,
so that I can deal with anything
because I am aware.

And,
forgive me for the obligatory ad,
but if you are interested in Tai Chi especially,
but any art,
Matrix Tai Chi creates awareness
about ten times better than the classical form.
It is a simple matter of applied logic.
Maybe I’ll go into this in a later newsletter,
but for now,
remember this…
if you want your martial arts to be true
you must create awareness.
Period.

Here’s the link…
http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/2ba-matrix-tai-chi-chuan/

Now have a GREAT Fourth of July!
Al

A WIN!

Al, Very early this morning I downloaded the Matrix Tai Chi package and wow! I read through the manual and am very impressed. I cant wait to start practicing what I am reading. The posture matrix and the application matrix, it makes so much sense. It took me a long time to learn the Yang short and long form as well as the Cheng Man Ching 37 form. Using the matrix I could have learned that all much quicker. I also glanced at the form video that came with the download and it reminds me of both Yang and the Cheng Man Ching forms run together but it all makes such perfect sense having read over the manual. I will read the manual over and over as I go through the course. I did the 5 Army Tai Chi course first and love it but I am seeing a lot more in the 5 Army form now having read the manual and all this after a quick read! This is great, I cant wait to get heavy into this program. I will keep you posted and as always, Thanks! ~ Kurt

“If you want to learn to swim jump into the water.
On dry land no frame of mind is ever going to help you.”
– Bruce Lee

How to Empty Out the Martial Arts

The Empty of Martial Arts

Gichin Funakoshi changed the name of karate.
It was naha te, which means ‘China Hand.’
He changed it to Karate, which means ‘empty hand.’
There have been all sorts of interpretations
regarding the ‘empty’ in Karate,
and why Gichin did this.
There have also been a lot of interest
in the significance of the word ‘empty’
for the whole martial arts.

I think it is Kenpo that says something to the effect
that no matter if you have a weapon,
I come to you with empty hands.
This is not born out,
however,
because Kenpo, and karate,
and other martial arts
have a lot of weapons.
So what does the word ‘empty’ mean.

Take a look at a sentence from The Tao.

‘Do nothing until nothing is left undone.’

This weird statement of redundancy
and a sort of a ‘double negative’ concept
gives hint to the true meaning.
But to understand the true meaning
one has to study both the hard and the soft.
Study just the hard and you are only studying one half the art.
Study just the soft and you are only studying one half the art.
You have to study both,
then put them together,
then think a lot to figure out the significance
of the word,
of the concept,
‘empty.’

In Aikido,
you empty the space in front of the punch
so that the person falls into the empty.
That’s easy to understand.
Defines a concept of harmony.
though it is sometimes harder than stuff to make work.
But that is the soft side of empty.
Works for Aikido,
Tai Chi,
and other arts, and techniques, of that ilk.
and understanding that kind of empty
leads to a lot of hard to explain abilities.

The empty in the hard side of the art is harder to explain.
First you learn focus.
Your whole body becomes rigid with power
but just for a moment.
Before and after…the body is empty.
If the instruction is good,
or the student is unusually smart,
he figures out that he need not make the whole body rigid.
He makes just the fist rigid,
the rest of the body is empty.
And,
I should add at this point,
the mind learns to become empty to make this step.
It is hard to empty the mind,
to focus on one thing (an opponent)
to the exclusion of all else.
But that is what is needed.
Then,
if the student happens to be blessed,
he figures out that he need not even make the fist empty.
He can just empty his fist
and stick the sticks of his bones
through the watermelon body of his opponent.
You find out all about this,
and all the necessary drills to make it happen,
in The Punch.

And,
to reach this level you have to understand
a few rather incredible things.
Stuff like:
the body is nothing but space…empty.
Or:
the universe is backwards.
But I will leave that for another time.
The truth is that,
unless a person has figured out how to make an ‘empty’ punch,
this stuff tends to be very scary.

anyway,
the subject of ‘empty’
is crucial to the martial arts,
and really needs to be understood
if one is going to get past the pain of bashing,
and into the true sublime nature of the martial arts.

Al

A WIN!

I’ve ordered several courses from you, but didn’t feel like it was time to write in until now. When I first got Matrixing Chi, it didn’t really make sense to me. Then I got The Punch and things started to click. The two flowed together and complimented each other incredibly well. I began to feel energy inside me, and my punches were beginning to pack a bit more power. But it wasn’t until I ordered The Master Instructor Course that things really changed. I began to notice (and fix) mistakes I hadn’t seen before. The most noticeable was the back stance. After correcting it, my punches have become much heavier as I’m able to more efficiently channel energy up my leg, through my arm, and out my fist. ~ Mylan B

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