Category Archives: gichin

My Martial Art Instructor can beat Your Martial Art Instructor!

How to tell if Martial Arts Instructor is Competent

Wowee kazowee! Bruce Lee/Chuck Norris/Jackie Chan was the greatest! My martial arts instructor can beat your martial arts instructor! Master martial arts Instructormartial arts instructorAnd, now that we have put childish attitudes aside, we can ask ourselves the question, how can you tell if a martial arts instructor knows his stuff. Choosing an instructor, after all, is one third the game in becoming a good martial artist ourselves. The other two necessities are whether the system is any good, and whether the student is any good. The first quality is whether he can communicate. Does he stand off and pronounce from on high, or does he grin right into your face and tell you what he thinks. Cheerful is best, but even abrasive is okay, if he is really talking to you. Another quality is whether he can get you to understand what he is saying. When he says square, do you see square, or something else? This is especially important when one attempts to share theory that can get heady and esoteric. Then there is the question of whether he actually knows anything. Yes, he may be a grand poobah, and know a thousand techniques, but can he tell you how and why they work? Is he a monkey see monkey do instructor, or one that knows the real reasons why the martial arts work or don’t work. Now we come to the all important question, can he beat people up. Okay, I don’t mean that the way it sounds. But your instructor should be able to defend himself adequately against real attackers. Now here’s one that’s going to sneak up on you. Is he too willing to defend himself? Unfortunately, many martial arts instructors breed an attitude which pulls in fights, and it is better to teach people how to fight so that they don’t ever have to fight. Okay, that is my take on it all. Argue if you want, but the fact is an instructor should be able to communicate, have something to communicate, and not encourage people to fight no matter what. Confidence, competence, and all the other martial arts related virtues are their own reward. The best Martial Arts Instructor course is, of course the Master Instructor Course at MonsterMartialArts.com. Here’s a great article on Martial Arts ranking systems.

How to know somebody in the martial arts

Newsletter 707
How to know somebody in the martial arts

All right!
Another perfect day!
Perfect for martial arts, that is.
Everything else is okay,
but martial arts are…THE BOMB!

To know when somebody else is going to do something,
that’s good martial arts.
Not to have reaction time,
but to be intuitive.

I was in a forum the other day,
and this fellow said you couldn’t know somebody,
that if you thought you did you were prideful.
He had lots of fights,
and based his opinion on that experience.

Look,
in a fight there is give and take.
It is a game,
somebody wins and somebody loses.
Martial arts are not about losing,
so you don’t want to train in something
that will teach you to lose some of the time.

What you want to do is train in a method
where you learn to win all the time.
Where you see the fight coming
and learn to avoid it.

So you take turns being the attacker,
you learn to analyze what is happening
so that you can know what is happening.
The key here is called awareness.

To train in forms Will make you aware of what your body can do.
To train in applications Will make you aware of what the other body Can do.
Then freestyle will make sense; then fighting can become a learning experience.
Without forms, Applications, drills,
And all the other tools of karate or any other martial art, freestyle is just fighting.
It is just fighting and there is only marginal increase in awareness.

So what this fellow was telling me,
When he said you couldn’t know anybody,
was that he could not become aware.

Is there anything other than awareness in this world?

Your time from birth to death,
and before birth and after death,
Is nothing more than the sequence of you being aware.
Every experience you have had or will ever have,
Is nothing more than the track of your awareness.
Right now, The whole universe is nothing more
Than what you are aware of.

There is nothing more than awareness.

So why not use the martial arts to train that awareness?
Will that not only enhance your existence?
If existence is only what you are aware of,
Shouldn’t you use whatever tool you can
To increase that awareness?

Okey-dokey,
If you want perfect form,
If you want to be able to make any application work,
If you want to actually become aware in freestyle,
And not just A fellow who trades wins and losses,
Try the master instructor course.

Your awareness depends upon it.

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

So, great to be back,
Have a fantastic workout,
And I’ll talk to you later.

Al

The Karate Gi that Wouldn’t Smell

Karate Gi…and How Clothes Make the Man

I put on my first gi back in 1967. It was pretty cool, my school had actually found a company that could supply us regularly. Very difficult to find sometimes, back then. We didn’t mind the $15 we had to pay.

It was yellowish, too short, looked ridiculous, but I found something interesting: it taught you how to focus. When you punched right it ‘popped!’

So I made everything I did pop, every kind of kick and punch and even block that I could…I popped.

I bought my first Tokaido, and it was a day in heaven. I’m not a clothes hound, but when I stepped on to the mat in that Tokaido, I felt…BIG!

And, my techniques were better. It took more power to pop, the material was thicker.

Of course, I had to buy the Tokaido, I had been made into an instructor, and I was told to look the part, or else!

I wore that uniform til it literally disintegrated. I went through the ‘don’t wash’ period, for a couple of weeks. Then the smell made me realize that I wanted to wash it, and I used to wash it and press it and fold it with absolute devotion and respect.

Yet I knew, always, that it was always in my mind. It was my uniform, my way of ‘preparing’ for my mock combat, my lessons in mortality and immortality.

Don’t want to wear one? That’s cool. Choice.

But look inside the uniform first, look under the skin. Check out to see whether you have the requisite pride, and in the proper degree and form, before you hold them in disregard.

As for me, they’ll have to pry my gi from my cold, dead…body.

Have a great work out! Al from monstermartialarts.

Don’t forget to check out the new Kenpo Karate Instruction Manual!

How to Create a Motor in the Martial Arts

Here an old post that deserves a new read…

3jQso4

One of the more profound mysteries in the martial arts is the concept of Chi. Chi is a mystical energy that pervades the universe in mysterious ways. And, chi is supposed to be a mystical energy that after a lifetime, you can use to do superhuman things. Unfortunately, proof seems to be sadly lacking for these claims concerning Chi. Maybe there are a few people who can do things, but most people can’t, and just a few exceptions here and there don’t prove the truth of certain theories concerning the subject of Chi. Fortunately, there is a theory that will result in Chi, that is not mystical, and that will work. A motor is two terminals which result in tension. Everything in the universe can be defined as a motor. Every tension in the universe is the result of a motor. An atom has a proton and electron interchanging to create energy. A cell has sodium and potassium interacting to create energy. Everywhere in the universe that you find two terminals opposing, you will find energy, and you will find a motor. And, when you take a martial arts stance with the human body, you have increased your weight, and this causes energy to move between the body and the planet. When you shift the weight from leg to leg, from stance to stance, the weight moves up and down the legs, and this excites the tan tien, a spot two inches below the navel which generates energy for the body. Thus, there is energy, and the body is a motor, and you can call this energy chi. Here’s the problem: everybody concentrates on making the body strong, and so creates only the low level chi required to operate the body. What people should be doing is focusing awareness on the procedure. If you build the awareness it takes to create the energy, you will build the energy that will result in the ‘superhuman’ potential that people look to Chi for. Thus, do your form, build awareness, and concentrate not on the violence of action, not on building the body, but on becoming aware of what you are doing. Feel the energy going down and up your legs, feel the energy building in the tan tien, and feel your connection with the planet. Do this and you will shortly become aware of energy building in your body in a surprising way. Energy that tingles a body part just by thinking of it, energy that warms the palms upon mere thought. Energy that can be channeled throughout your body and into the various body parts, and can even be felt outside your body. Once you have started building energy in this manner, then you can start searching for more spectacular ways to use it.

How to Create a Motor in the Martial Arts

3jQso4One of the more profound mysteries in the martial arts is the concept of Chi. Chi is a mystical energy that pervades the universe in mysterious ways. And, chi is supposed to be a mystical energy that after a lifetime, you can use to do superhuman things. Unfortunately, proof seems to be sadly lacking for these claims concerning Chi. Maybe there are a few people who can do things, but most people can’t, and just a few exceptions here and there don’t prove the truth of certain theories concerning the subject of Chi. Fortunately, there is a theory that will result in Chi, that is not mystical, and that will work. A motor is two terminals which result in tension. Everything in the universe can be defined as a motor. Every tension in the universe is the result of a motor. An atom has a proton and electron interchanging to create energy. A cell has sodium and potassium interacting to create energy. Everywhere in the universe that you find two terminals opposing, you will find energy, and you will find a motor. And, when you take a martial arts stance with the human body, you have increased your weight, and this causes energy to move between the body and the planet. When you shift the weight from leg to leg, from stance to stance, the weight moves up and down the legs, and this excites the tan tien, a spot two inches below the navel which generates energy for the body. Thus, there is energy, and the body is a motor, and you can call this energy chi. Here’s the problem: everybody concentrates on making the body strong, and so creates only the low level chi required to operate the body. What people should be doing is focusing awareness on the procedure. If you build the awareness it takes to create the energy, you will build the energy that will result in the ‘superhuman’ potential that people look to Chi for. Thus, do your form, build awareness, and concentrate not on the violence of action, not on building the body, but on becoming aware of what you are doing. Feel the energy going down and up your legs, feel the energy building in the tan tien, and feel your connection with the planet. Do this and you will shortly become aware of energy building in your body in a surprising way. Energy that tingles a body part just by thinking of it, energy that warms the palms upon mere thought. Energy that can be channeled throughout your body and into the various body parts, and can even be felt outside your body. Once you have started building energy in this manner, then you can start searching for more spectacular ways to use it.

Here’s Why People Suffer from Martial Arts Depression

Feeling depressed or down and you practice the martial arts?

Depression, especially in the martial arts, is one of those things that is so silly, yet it happens. The thing is, most people don’t recognize it.

Somebody gets their black belt in Karate, or Taekwondo, and the world is looking good, but that is the peak. After that they tend to slide down a bit.

karate kung fu pa kua chang martial arts book

Incredible new Martial Arts Book! Click on the Cover!

Well, they have reached a goal and need a new one, that is one thing that can happen. No big thing. The solution is to find another school, or avail yourself of the internet and start learning more martial arts.

To stop learning the martial arts because you reached your goal, got your black belt, is to go cold turkey on a major experience in your life.

Now, there is another type of depression that is much more serious, and will slowly steamroll you through the rest of your life.

Most people study the martial arts, they get a black belt, they learn an art, and, for lack of better description, nothing happens. Their art wasn’t true, and they will just go on, bouncing through life.

For a few people, however, the martial arts are an enlightenment. They are unique individuals, or maybe they happened across a true martial art taught by a superior instructor, and they undergo enlightenment.

Now, enlightenment is a funny thing.

One practices a true martial art, the forms align the body, which aligns the mind, which causes the spirit to wake up and say, ‘What? Who? What just happened?’

And then they are awake.

Confused, after a zillion years of sleeping and pretending they don’t really exist, but awake now, and WTF?

Then where do they go? Then what do they do? They are awake, and the rest of the world is asleep, and the frustration starts.

To their awareness the rest of mankind is slow and stupid, and…there is nobody intelligent to talk to. Nobody who understands this concept of being awake. Nobody who understands what they really are.

And, the solution is tougher on this one. After all, psychiatry is designed to shock the earthlings, not deal with people who have woken up. No relief in psychiatry, or any of those other earthling based ‘sciences.’

So what do you do?

You practice the martial arts. What got you there, what put you in the mess, what woke you up, is the solution.

In other words…wake other people up.

I tell you, there is no bigger pleasure in the whole universe than sitting around with a bunch of people who are awake and know what is going on. The rooms seems to glow, everybody is talking with ESP, grinning and laughing, and suddenly you know why you are alive.

I tell you, teaching people how to be enlightened in the martial arts is the most glorious experience in the universe.

And that’s how you deal with depression in the martial arts.

If you liked this article about depression in the martial arts then you should definitely hie on over to MonsterMartialArts.com and look at the section on Case Histories.

Martial Arts Reality in Novels

The Reality of Martial Arts in Movies and Novels

The first example of martial arts in this country (the USA) was probably the James Cagney film, Blood on the Sun in 1945. Man, it was a rock ’em sock ’em movie, with a judo match in the end that was gr-r-r-eat!

Before that movie the only other instance of martial arts in the US was that Teddy Roosevelt supposedly took Judo lessons while in the White House.

martial arts novel

The Wudan Assassin and REAL martial arts! Click on the cover!

After Blood on the Sun was ‘Bad Day in Black Rock,’ where a one armed Spencer Tracey used Judo to dispatch some very nasty two armed villains. Quite good stuff.

Somewhere in the late fifties and early sixties people started hearing about Karate. It was cocktail humor, and people joked about karate chopping somebody to death. On chop and cowier…bad guy gone.

And martial arts began making its way into cheap movies. Matt Helm featured a young Ed Parker, a hippie did Tai Chi Chuan in Billy Jack.

But, truth to tell, this was all pretty shlocky. Nobody knew how to film this new beast, and it really wouldn’t open up untilBruce Lee came along about 1967.

Which brings us to novels.

I remember reading ‘Six Days of the Condor,’ before it became a movie called ‘Three Days of the Condor,’ and the villain was so deadly because he had a(gasp) brown belt in Karate.

A brown belt.

The writer obviously didn’t know proper research.

And, to this day, there is little research, and writers are not too knowledgeable about the martial arts.

There have been a few good writers, Eric Lustbader is supposed to have done Aikido, but how much is not known, and then there is the question of whether he was a good enough writer to translate the art to the written page in a realistic manner.

Just a couple of years ago I read a book by Laurell Hamilton in which her heroine knows martial arts, but it is obvious that the author took a few lessons, painted Kenpo as the deadliest martial art around, and then slithered through any real fighting sequences without knowing what she was talking about.

All of the above, of course, is great for me. I’m a writer, and a martial artist of nesar fifty years. I know the techniques, I know the reality of the martial arts, and I can translate it to the written page.

Not to say that I don’t embellish for the sake of the novel. After all, you have to have a scorcher plot, and you have to build things up larger than life.

But, when I detail a Martial Arts technique as it would be used in the reality of a fight, it is fact based. THAT is what would happen if you stuck your finger in an eyeball. THIS is what happens when you lever an arm so that the bone snaps. THAT is the effect of trying to block a samurai sword.

But the thing is not to just have dynamite techniques, but to have a sub theme of martial arts.

In ‘The Haunting of House’ there is a girl who teaches martial arts, and she knows martial arts, and when she uses martial arts, it is with a sword and a hefty helping of the B chromosome. And it feeds the plot, it is important that she know martial arts, it shapes her, and it shapes the plot.

In ‘Machina’ Martial Arts is pivotal. The good guys all know martial arts, and they can link the arts together to create…something else.

But probably the best of these books deals with the Wudan Assassin. Three books, all filled with martial arts mayhem, all pivoting around the abilities of personal combat, and in a way that modern people, even people who haven’t studied the martial arts, can come to enjoy and empathize.

The first book, ‘Hero,’ has a guy down on his luck, a violent sort, whose only redeeming quality is the fact that he practiced martial arts in prison, that he survived prison through the martial arts. This opens the door to an engagement with a religious order protected by…the Wudan Asassin.

In the second book, ‘Assassin,’ the Wudan Assassin makes his appearance, and you finally meet somebody who IS the martial arts. Who can feel things behind him, can sense what others are thinking. It is the highest level of martial arts possible, and it is all translatable to the written page.

In the third book, ‘Avatar,’ The Hero and the Assassin come together. There is a threat to the world that is so great that the Assassin actually needs help!

And all these books have rock ’em sock ’em REAL martial arts.

No posing or posturing, no bad information, just real martial arts.

Heck, there are even training routines that the reader can do himself and learn from!

So, they are all available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble on line, Createspace, and other places. Though you might have to ask the clerk to order it for you.

Here’s the list of books.

The Haunting of House

Machina

Hero

Assassin

Avatar

You might have to sort through the links if you wish paperback or Kindle, but these novels are in both platforms.

Enjoy, and have fun with the real reality of Martial Arts.

Defining Tradition KarateKata

Traditional Kata Parameters

I’d like to talk about what makes a kata a “traditional” kata. I took Taekwondo for a short time, while I was doing so, the instructor told me that at one of the levels, the students had to create their own kata. I watched one of these student created katas, and I was amazed at the fact that they didn’t match any of the rules or conventions of traditional forms. When I asked about it, I was told that those rules don’t apply. I played the good student, and didn’t say anything further..

karate kata traditional

Click on the cover for the latest book in the Matrixing Karate series.

So what are these conventions and rules. Most items are conventions, but there are 2 hard and fast rules that can be counted on.

1. If done properly, you should end on the same spot you started. If you don’t, you screwed up.
2. No kata ever starts with a strike. It is always a block, or block and strike combination.

Conventions that can normally be counted out, include things like the following:

1. Generally symmetrical, this doesn’t mean that every technique is mirrored. Even in combat katas, like seisan, you will see a “balance” in the kata.

2. Will repeat some of the techniques, some times for no other apparent reason than simply repetition.

3. There will be a good mix of stance and footwork changes, and angles.

4. Generally you will not see entirely closed fists and spear hands especially in ancient kata, you will see many more techniques. Koi-no-shippo-uchi and bil-jee finger strikes are perfect examples.

But why does any of this matter? Remember martial arts are for defense, you can’t be on defense if you strike first, at least not for the most part. So blocking first, helps wire into your brain that you are being defensive. All part of becoming a better person.

Stopping where you started serves 2 purposes. The first and most obvious is practicality, if you are doing the form over and over and over, it is nice not to have to re-adjust every single repetition. The second, more important, reason is far less obvious it is “the measured step”. Kung-fu will often explain this far better than other systems. Each step should have a mathematical precision, if you are moving forward and back in the same stance, your stance height, width and depth shouldn’t change. Thus, 10 steps in one direction, and then 10 back, and you should end in the place you started.

The other conventions are simply that, conventions, they are not hard and fast rules. For more understanding of what I have written watch and study the Pangainoon Katas Seisan, and Sanseirui.

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Go to monstermartialarts.com and check out Temple Karate for the most evolved Karate patterns in the world. They are matrixed.

How Matrixing Works in the Martial Arts

Martial Arts Self Defense that Works NOW!

The Martial Arts are, no offense to anyone, a Chinese Fire Drill.

A chinese fire drill is when you’re driving along in a car, you stop at a light, and everybody gets out and runs around the car until the light changes.

karate style brown belt learnAnd all the other cars, if they know what, honk and cheer madly.

So you get in a fight, and your arms and legs are going everywhere, not hitting anything, everybody is screaming, and you wake up the next day with a broken nose.

Then you learn the martial arts, and you think you are unbeatable. Until you wake up the next morning and wonder what the heck happened. You have been training and drilling and everything, and you still got your teeth bent.

What happened is that the stuff you were learning is all out of order, doesnt’ make sense, is hard to remember, and hard to use, and so on.

It just isn’t logical.

So matrixing makes it all logical. It takes those forms and techniques, and it doesn’t matter if you are studying karate or kung fu or tai chi or aikido or whatever, and puts it all in order.

If you were in class and the teacher yelled ‘Count to ten!’ You wouldn’t panic because you have drilled and trained one to ten.

Now you get in a fight, and instead of running around the car flapping your wings and screaming, you select the exact right block, the exact right strike, the exact right throw, and you deal out the punishment like it is going out o style.

You are logical.

Look, let me explain something.

When you matrix the martial arts, you take out the emotion, and leave in the science. It makes sense.

It is easy to learn, easy to remember, and easy to use. You just don’t have to think about it anymore.

In fact, the whole ’remembering’ thing is gone! You don’t have to look into your mind and search around for the right thing to do…you just do it. without thought. And it is right.

No martial art does that, even with DECADES of experience.

Yes, people get better, but without logic they STILL have to sort through their martial arts systems.

So, no matter what art you study, Aikido or Gung Fu or Krav Maga or taekwondo, or whatever…it all makes sense, you don’t have to think, you have become intuitive almost within minutes of inputting the information…and you can use it.

Don’t believe me? Head over to MonsterMartialArts.com and check it out. Guaranteed, you have never seen nor experienced anything like this. Not in the martial arts, nor in ANY other field.

MonsterMartialArts.com

Finding Something Wet and Sticky in Self Defense

Closing Ceremonies and True Self Defense Concepts

Guest blog by Alaric Dailey

During the closing ceremony of class, Sensei would often read stories from some of the martial arts books.  Tales of the masters of Myamoto Musashi, Mas Oyama, Jigaro Kano, Morihei Ueshiba and Gichin Funakoshi were common.  Other times it was simple wisdom such as the following.  He gave this recitation many times, varying it each time.

one year black belt

Self-defense, most of you started karate to learn to defend yourself.  If you are here at our little hole-in-the-wall dojo, you doubtless looked at other schools.  It isn’t like this place is easy to find. What you found here is not sport karate, we do not compete in the popular tournaments with pads and touch-and-stop.  By now you know that when we compete, we compete in full-contact tournaments.  However, karate-do is much more than simply punching and kicking, it is a way of life.

Self-defense is more than karate though as well.  You can learn to punch and kick, but what if the bad guy is in a car? More than that, what if your health is bad?  You can’t very well defend yourself, if you are out of shape.  What about your eyes, it is much harder to defend yourself if you can’t see.

Truly, self-defense is less about defense, and more about taking care of yourself and others.  Making sure you stay fit, means you will be able to fight and endure should the need arise.

Never eating until you are “FULL” means your body will be able to react at any time without sluggishness.  You will find that simply slowing your eating, and eating only until you are two-thirds to three-quarters full, you will even out your weight, and be able to respond in any situation.  You should eat according to the needs of energy throughout the day, thus breakfast should be your largest meal, lunch medium, and a small dinner.  These simple rules will help your body regulate and you will have better energy all day.

Self-defense is even more than simply thinking as a healthy fighter.  You should also be aware of your surroundings, and avoid putting yourself in dangerous situations.  Don’t go to bars, and you will avoid bar-fights.  Avoiding a dangerous situation is far superior to having to fight.
To this wonderful and insightful narrative, I’d like to add a few statements. In our modern world, blood-borne disease is a reality.  If you must fight, you aren’t likely to be wearing a hazmat suit, so you may want to look at your techniques, and adjust to avoid making your opponent bleed. Avoid any techniques that may open you both up.   This is something to keep in mind especially when thinking about rape defense. Making the bad-guy bleed is always preferable to letting yourself get opened up.  Pretty much, the EMS rule applies to every facet of life these days “If it is wet, sticky and not yours, don’t touch it”.

About the author: Alaric Daily began practicing the martial arts in 1992. Martial Art she has studied include Pangainoon, Karate, Kenpo, Wing Chun, Krav Maga, Judo, Jujitsu, Aikido, Bagua Zhang, and Tai Chi Chuan.

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