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.

What I learned After 50 Years of Martial Arts Forms

Newsletter 966

Fifty Years of Martial Arts Forms

Felt like a work out the other night,
so I went out and did my forms.
I did the basic Pinan (Heian) forms.

I learned those forms near 50 years ago.
I do them near every day,
and for a simple reason:
I learn something from them.

I look at each angle,
adjust those angles according to stance,
and the surface I am on,
if the legs are spread wider
it changes the angle of the arms.
I work on breathing,
focusing on the tan tien
and coursing energy through the body,
making sure I have the correct angles
to support the energy.

As I go through the forms
I imagine opponents,
how the blocks would work,
focusing on the snap and pop
as I loosen and tighten the muscles,

The forms are calisthenics,
a lot of people don’t think of the forms like that,
they are into the mystical and such,
and I am not unaware of the mystical,
but if I am doing a horse,
I am squatting.
If I am doing a front stance I am lunging,
And together with the tightening of the muscles
I am getting a real work out.

The great thing is I don’t have to pay for my work out,
I paid for these forms near 50 years ago,
I bought them,
so I use what I bought.

Almost every day I repeat those forms,
and here is the interesting things.
In the beginning I had to remember them,
work on my memory,
and I did.
But at a certain point they became intuitive,
I could just snap through them,
very liquid.
But I find myself going more slowly these days,
feeding awareness into the forms,
and here’s the odd thing.
When somebody hits me,
they are hitting my energy,
the patterns of energy I have carefully placed in my body.
They are hitting my awareness,
an awareness that makes the body firm and solid,
and quick and fast.
Isn’t that interesting?
That awareness could be mystical?
But mystical comes from mystery,
which merely says you don’t understand something.
But after 50 years of forms I understand them.
When somebody hits me I just run awareness through my body,
to the point where I am being struck,
and energy follows it,
the muscles become hard almost without tensing,
and the fist or foot bounces off my frame.

And,
when I strike back,
I control myself,
because if I put too much awareness in my fist,
the other fellow will be hurt.
But I don’t want to hurt anybody,
I just want to practice my art.
Heck,
if 50 years of doing these silly forms has given me this much,
imagine how much I will from another 50 years!

Here are three arts,

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/evolution-of-a-martial-art/

including the one with the Pinans in it.

Have a great work out!
Al

A WIN!
Al,
When I do my forms now I find myself working less on visualization and more on listening to what the structure of the form I’m doing has to teach me. Have you ever experienced this? A kind of spontaneous learning by repeating the form over and over just being aware? I am almost certain you have, but I like chatting with you about these things cause you invariably give me something new to consider.
A good workout to you
Justin

“A good teacher protects his pupils from his own influence.”
– Bruce Lee

Who are the Real Martial Arts Gods?

Newsletter 965 ~ sign up now!

The Martial Arts Gods are Pissed!

1967, November.
My very first class.
The instructor said:

you bow when you enter the building
to show respect for all within the building,
and the art taught within the building.

you bow to any instructors you meet
to show respect for their hard work

you bow when you step onto the mat
to show respect for everybody
who has ever studied the martial arts.

‘WAIT!’ I protested.
“Everybody?”
“yes.”
“Who is everybody?”

“The people who taught your instructors,
the people who taught the people who taught your instructors,
the people who taught the people who…and so on.”

“So I’m bowing to everybody who ever studied the martial arts?”

“Yup.”

Silence.

The instructor:
“Do you know how much blood it took
to figure the martial arts out?
Do you know how much sweat it took
to put the techniques into teachable routines?”

“Oh,” I said,
dimly understanding what I was getting into.

The instructor continued.
“When you bow to me it is not because
I wear funny pajamas and have a black belt,
it is because I represent a sacred trust,
handed down through hard work and dedication.
Got it?”

I did.

You know,
in the past I have gotten away from that explanation,
and I shouldn’t have.
I tell people that bowing is saying ‘hello,’ and ‘goodby.’
And it is,
but who you are saying hello and goodby to is pretty important.

When you walk into a church you know it is a church,
there is just a feel to it,
a spirit,
and you can feel that here is a place where people pray,
and the walls and floors and everything
have soaked up that energy.
A martial arts studio is the same.
There is a feel to the mats and mirrors and bags,
a feel different from a gym,
or a school for boxing,
it is a deeply spiritual feeling,
put there by endless ritual,
by respect,
a sense of ‘art’ that is exuded by spirit,
and deeply perceived by people who are in love with that spirit.

The martial arts spirit,
the sweat and blood and spirit
exuded by the trillions of men who ever stepped on to a mat,
who defend self and families with honor,
who believe in a better world.

Bow to it.

Have a great work out!
Al

A WIN!
I see the progressive curve in matrix martial arts, the logic, the feeling, the system (order) and the change from hard to soft, from physical to spiritual, from external to internal and how the both come together. In essence the notion of styles and belts vanishes, as does the delusional importance placed on the external, materialistic side of the martial arts…rank, fame, winning/losing, belt number and color, titles…vanity and ego. For something to be true, its opposite must also be true,… where the external is superficial and limited, the internal, the essential qualities, are deep, bound and limitless, hence the truth, coming from the source, not the human mind. Can’t take the belt with us, but the essence, the wisdom, the teachings, remain, perpetually. At least this is what I have found. On my matrixing journey from basic basics to matrix Karate, to Pangai Noon, to monkey boxing, to blinding steel, to Pakua to Tai Chi.
Now all I care about is to master the material and be the best teacher i can be. So others find their way home as well…
Thank you for all you have given me over the last 3 years.
It is a debt I can never repay in full, but it definitely brought me to the point where I am now and beyond. I humbly bow to you in sincere gratitude and respect, sensei Al.  I always considered you a Grandmaster, my teacher and a good man who cares.
Will S

“If there is a God, he is within.
You don’t ask God to give you things,
you depend on God for your inner theme.”
– Bruce Lee

This is Why Everybody is Crazy

Newsletter 964

Why Everybody in the World is Insane

I became aware of this in the martial arts; I studied martial arts freestyle and realized this interesting phenomena:

When people launched a fist at a partner, they always punched to where the head was, and didn’t take into account the fact that the head moves, and they should be punching to where the head would be.

If trained martial artists were caught in this trap, where did that leave the bulk of untrained ‘humanity?’

The conclusion here is that everybody in the universe, except for a few anomalous individuals, is reacting, being at effect of, or…not aware.

Not aware is a branch of crazy.

Think about it. Your mother tells you to pick up your brother at the bus stop…when he got on the bus eight hours ago. Shouldn’t you be picking him up where the bus arrives eight hours later?

Think about it: somebody is crying about an accident; Billy scraped his elbow in a fall. But the fall already happened. You should have been crying when it happened. After it happened it is too late. All you are doing now is venting emotions wastefully.

Actually, you should have been doing something about the fall when it happened, not wailing about it after the fact.

In the martial arts, if you try to handle a strike after it happens it is too late.

So everybody in the world is a split second behind. Or as good as crazy. Reacting instead of acting.

How do you avoid this conundrum?

My particular path was the martial arts. And, the specific path, ten times faster than the classical martial arts, is a matrixed martial art; a martial art made logical.

You practice a move endlessly, until you begin to see the person attacking actually thinking about what he is going to do. You move as the thought gestates, not afterwards, when the universe is, belatedly, put into motion.

In a matrixed martial art everything is arranged logically, so you don’t practice wasteful moves, unworkable moves, moves where the attacker waits for the defender to catch up to the universe.

The funny thing is that most people will refuse this path. They will take a pill, drink a lot, huddle in their crowd of friends and lie to each other about what reality is.

But you need to jump up and grab ahold of the universe. Grab a fist as it comes at you, step to the side when the sword descends, learn to exist in the ‘now.’

The alternative is to stay, happily and blissfully, insane. A moment behind, trying to catch up without even knowing you are behind.

I just wrote an article further considering the points here. It is at: The World is Crazy! You might have to be patient, it sometimes takes a couple of hours for the posting procedure to take effect.

Have a great work out!
Al

A WIN!
Hello master founder… How are you? I hope that all is well.

I’m so thankful for your knowledge and passion for the martial arts. I’ve been on this path for many years and was never able to unlock the simplicity of the arts. I’ll never look at them the same.
Again, thank you.

The create your own art course is wonderful. I’m exploring so many things its crazy. I’m now working on a crane (or some type of bird) set. So far it’s pretty nice and has the flow working. I’ve also come to love those nine square diagram. Things are taking shape lovely.

Timothy G

“A wise man can learn more from a foolish question
than a fool can learn from a wise answer.”
– Bruce Lee

How a Real Cave Man Would Do Martial Arts!

Newsletter 963

Here’s How To Do Caveman Martial Arts!

I’m binge watching a TV series.
‘Into the Badlands.’
Great fun,
the premise being that there are no more guns,
so we live on a few old cars,
relics like turntables,
and practice the sword.
Yowza!

And the martial arts are really cool!
Flying superkicks,
punches that knock people through brick walls,
did I say it was…COOL!

Now,
the thing that gets me is this…
the ladies,
in spite of living in relative caveman times,
all look like they stepped out of a beauty salon,
wearing the gorgeous gowns,
and,
of course,
wearing high heels that can spike an oaf’s face
with elan.

Well,
if you think about it,
that is the least of the problems.
The whole thing suspends reality for…COOL!
So what do you think a post apocalyptic martial art
would really look like?

No swords…
people would just pick up stray and heavy objects
and grind an edge on it.
Found a big, old paper cutter?
Loosen the blade and swing that!

Lots of knives.
Easy to make,
easy to hide,
easy to use.

Lots of guns,
but ammo might run out pretty quick.
So,
maybe no guns after a while.

And,
would you have a lot of people
who knew long and elaborate forms,
and knew how to use them in a fight?
Nah.

In a world reduced to caveman,
the guy who studies the short form,
and most diligently,
is going to be the one to survive.
I’ll take House One any day.

My House One,
on the Matrix Karate course,
has only seven moves.
But those seven moves have over 16 applications.
It replaces dozens of long forms
with simple logic.

House Two has 10 moves,
but put together with House One
there are over 64 applications.

So you just drill these simple moves
over and over,
and the truth will emerge:
a fellow who knows the basics well,
can beat a fellow who knows advanced techniques.
You see,
advanced techniques depend on the basics.
Got to know the basics.
And the fellow with the best basics,
no matter what kind of ‘advanced technique’ he knows,
is going to win.

Anyway,
that’s my answer to Hollywood,
gals on six inch spikes,
and those glorious
wire suspended trampoline kicks.

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

Do Matrix Karate for a year,
you’ll know how to fight better than anybody.
It’s pure, man.
It’s pure.
Pure logic and pure joy.

Have a pure work out!
Al

A WIN!
Hey Al!

I just read today’s news letter.  You are always so encouraging, and always raising such excellent signposts for those of us who follow you!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I’m taking it easy, really trying to ‘get’ coordinated body movement, working my Matrix Karate forms, looking for more and more relaxation… or less and less effort?

Each time I add a side, I find something new and wonderful.  When I started doing Form 2 backwards, I found a whole new ‘direction’ in my mind, like I was learning something completely new.

Ryan

‘I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once,
but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.’
– Bruce Lee

Achieving Enlightenment in the Martial Arts

Newsletter 962

How to Have Enlightenment in the Martial Arts

Martial Arts realization,
as in Morihei Ueshiba,
as in a supreme moment of enlightenment.
The physical part is easy.
Do your forms.
The mental part is a little harder.
Learn your art,
but go outside your art,
create a huge database,
commit yourself until their is no doubt,
and so on.
The spiritual part is the hardest.
Grow your awareness.

Now how the heck do people grow awareness?
I mean,
according to teachers, psychologist,
and anybody who knows anything…
people only get dumber with age,
they never get smarter.

But the truth is this…
people who say you can’t get smarter
are referring to themselves.
If they haven’t done it,
then it can’t be done.
Right?

Wrong.

And this points to a simple fact:
while you have to read,
and explore the various fields of knowledge,
school is not designed to make you smarter.
It is designed to make you a compliant worker
who does what he is told
in the great factories of life.
Do what you are told,
don’t complain,
and make sure you buy the right kind of soap,
car, dogfood, jeans, condoms, and so on.

So,
leaving all that aside,
how does one become smarter?
If you follow the one advice I offer here,
it’s easy.
First,
intelligence isn’t how much you know,
it’s how aware you are,
how fast you make the connections
necessary to thinking.
So here it is:

The slower you go the more you will look,
the more you look the more you will know.

Or,
the short version,
the slower you go the more you know.

I use to write something on my hand,
then I would ask the student to read it.
I would open and close my hand quickly.
They saw nothing,
a smear of letters,
nothing.
So I would open and close my hand slower.
‘To be more intelligent look harder.’
Or,
‘You’ve got to look when you seek or you won’t find.’
Student goes ‘aha!’

You see,
it’s not in the IQ tests,
it is in your appreciation of life,
it’s in knowing how to see life.

Sure,
I teach fast,
but I also,
especially in the beginning,
go slow and make sure the student understands
what it is I am saying.
If they yawn or look blank,
I repeat.
Once they blink and go, ‘Aha!’
Then I speed up.
And I speed up far more
than any martial arts school you will ever see.

Once the mouth of awareness is open
you can through a whole universe into it.

Of course,
it helps that what I throw is matrixed,
makes sense,
is logical.

You see,
if things move in too fast
the mind rejects it.
The mind just becomes overwhelmed.
But if what I throw is logical,
then I almost can’t go too fast.
The mind gulps life at an astounding rate
if it makes sense.

Anyway,
that is all there is to becoming smarter,
more aware,
in the martial arts.
And that is all there is to becoming enlightened,
if you have the will to endure
and the desire to succeed.

You guys and gals
have a wonderful and deep work out!
Al

A WIN!
Hey Al… I probably spent the first couple of years, reading the material and somewhat doing the forms, apps and freestyle. Really, not enough to make a real difference. Once I actually did the work, do the art until the art does you, I noticed both a better delivery in personal energy, not in only my strikes, but the energy could be directed downward. My mental focus has improved and even my wife notice my anger last seconds. A warrior both pushes his mind and his body. With your massive volume of work, and a dedication too doing the work, and with your method for attaining awareness. The process is expedited, it really is a science…
… I know you get a lot of crap for Your theories, but as you say…”A truth not shared is no truth at all”.
…Your matrixing and Neutronic material is a science, if You do the work….you will get it.

Michael G

Master Instructor

‘A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.’
– Bruce Lee

Why Books are the Real Gold When It Comes to the Martial Arts

Newsletter 961

The Value of Martial Arts Books

One of the first Martial Arts books to hit the US…
Super Karate made Easy by Moja Rone.
It is pretty outlandish,
the descriptions are worth the book alone.
‘Give him a Sunday punch and he’ll wake up on Tuesday.’
Ha!
It’s part of my free books package
when you sign up for the Monster Martial Arts newsletter.

One of the first martial arts authors was Bruce Tegner.
He wrote a score of books.
Bad form, simple ideas,
a public that didn’t know better.
Yet his ideas are worthwhile;
they make you think.

Then there are the classics:
Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere,
an amazingly artful work,
that actually passes on the spirit of Aikido.
Karate Do Kyohan,
a thorough look at Karate by Gichin Funakoshi.
Tai Chi Touchstones…
Shotokan’s Secret…
and so on.

And,
of course,
‘The Biggest Martial Arts Lesson of All’
10 volumes of smarts and anecdotes and histories and so on.

Why is ‘The Biggest Martial Arts Lesson of All’ important?
Think back to the beginning of the internet.
The web was new,
all sorts of stuff was out there,
floating up and smacking you in the face.
Great times,
the wild west of martial arts information.
Amazing.
Then it changed.
Google was the big villain.
Google has almost single handedly brought the age of information to a close.
Go on,
do a search on martial arts,
you will find:
wikipedia, ads for schools in the area, and that’s about it.
Google is a ‘telephone book.
That’s all it is.
How does a telephone book make money?
It shows ads.
So Google isn’t even a good telephone book.
It is a paid telephone book.
Sort of like paid politics.
You only get what advertisers want to give you.
You only get the same old politician.
No real and useful information.

Yes,
you can find information,
but only if you know exactly what you are looking for.
But why would you look for what you already know?

I miss the wild west of the internet.
I miss finding out wild things,
meeting bizarre people,
searching my way through the maze of mystery
that was the martial arts nobody had ever known about.
Think about it,
the martial arts magazines are mostly gone.
TV only has MMA,
Books are…BOOKS!
And that’s why I wrote
‘The Biggest Martial Arts Lesson of All.’
I replaced the internet.
I give back what we’ve lost.
Obscure bits of history,
odd items of humor,
profound examples of martial arts,
styles of karate,
brands of kung fu,
arts you’ve never heard of and won’t ever again
because Google destroyed the window into
what you really want to know…
the things that you didn’t know.

I’ve written over 50 books on the martial arts,
I’ve written more books,
more words,
on the martial arts than anyone in history.
If you count my novels,
well over two million words.
And why?

Because books stick around.
People still discuss Bruce Tegner,
they pore over Bruce Lee’s books,
and books about Bruce Lee.
They are still fascinated by Moja Rone,
even though nobody knows who he is.
A fake name with a following!

So when you go to the dojo
and you hear some fellow expound on
why this art developed into that art,
the secret of Chi,
mysterious arts that nobody ever heard of,
you’ll grin.
And you’ll know the truth because you’ve taken…
‘The Biggest Martial Arts Lesson of All.’

You see,
my art will fade with time,
I’ll die.
But the books will be there.
In a thousand years people will be discussing (and doing) Matrixing quite avidly,
and they will still be enthralled
by the ten book collection of wit and wisdom,
the discussion of what Chi is,
the incredible abilities of those who truly dedicated themselves to the martial arts,
the histories and anecdotes,
the priceless gift of learning things
that they didn’t know.

My advice,
don’t bother with the Kindle versions.
They’ll be gone the next time your computer crashes.
Get the ten books themselves in real form.
Be able to thumb through real pages,
and not know what gem you will come across.
Look up at your bookshelves,
see the block of ten spines
that represent a real look at the real martial arts,
and have some real fun.

Use Google,
get back at the biggest villain,
and find the complete ten volumes of…
‘The Biggest Martial Arts Lesson of All’

HAVE A GREAT WORK OUT!
Al

(And don’t forget to drop me a letter if you like a book or course, and to give me good ratings on Amazon. It helps, believe me, it helps.

A WIN!
Master AL
Just a email to let you know I’m really enjoying the two new books of The Biggest Martial Arts Lesson. I got both from amazon and I look forward to getting the whole set. I’ve gotten all your books and they have changed my Martial Arts Practice and Study for the better …Your books and courses have given me the ideal way to teach and practice martial arts … I would like to give you all the thanks for showing me the True Way. Looking forward to the remaining books of The Biggest Martial Arts Lesson of All.
Sincerely
Sensei Danny M

‘Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.’
Bruce Lee