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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

Growing Spiritually through the Martial Arts

Newsletter 973

Evolution Through Martial Arts

An interesting thing to think about,
when you do martial arts,
is how much you are evolving.

If you do a form
you might be doing a certain number of squats
by doing the horse stance,
a certain number of lunges
by doing front stances,
and so on.
This is all physical.
You get in better shape through
the simplicity of body weight exercises.
But what about the spirit?
How do you measure the progress of the spirit?
Actually,
there is a way to measure your spiritual evolution
through the martial arts.

What does a white belt have?
hopes and dreams,
not much discipline,
that’s all.

What does a green belt have?
a bare understanding of movements.

What does a brown belt have?
better understanding of movements
with power.

What does a black belt have?
He understands the movements
and he has control.
Control is so-o-o much more important than power.

What does a master have?
Wisdom.
His techniques are so polished
he can do them without muscle.
He knows what is happening
without having to think about it.
So what is the difference between these ranks?

Time.
And…the number of times they have done their forms/techniques.
The number of times you have done a technique
is the most important thing here.

So you go to class,
two hours a week
for a year.
You make it to green belt
and you have some understanding of what you have done,
and you have done the forms ten times a week for a year,
or 500 times.

You go for brown belt,
you practice for another year,
and you have done the forms 1000 times.

You go for black belt,
practice for another year
1500 forms

A few years pass,
let’s say ten,
you make it to 4th degree black belt
more forms,
add them up at 500 a year…
13 years
6,500 forms

But what if you did the 6,500 forms in one year.
Would you be a master?
You might have the wisdom,
you probably need a bit more physical work,
but, yeah.
If you could do 6,500 form in one year,
you could cut 12 years off the runway.

Unfortunately,
most people practice inadequate forms.
Random movement,
incorrect physics,
dictate that they will go slowly
no matter how much they practice.

But what if you had perfect forms,
that condensed the material of the random motions
that make up the classical forms?
What if you had a form that focused
only on the true and correct technique,
and was totally logical?
Would you have to do the forms 6,500 times?
Or,
if the forms were ten times better,
could you just do the forms 650 times?

Interesting question, eh?
With an interesting answer.
You see,
after selling matrixing course,
specifically Matrix Karate and
The Master Instructor Course,
since 2007,
I have seen that people have a rough time with this idea.

They think it takes 13 years,
because some bozo who wants to make money off them
tells them so.

But if this idea was correct
we would have no rock and roll.
Takes too long to master the guitar,
you know.

If this idea was correct
we would have no army.
Takes too long to make a soldier,
you see.

If this idea was correct
we would still be cavemen,
chipping flints
and scratching our armpits.

But the idea is correct.
Kids pick up the guitar today,
and next year are rock and roll stars.

Young men are given weapons,
and go into combat a few months later.

We aren’t cavemen.

But,
we have to give up the idea
that learning is slow.

If learning was slow
we would still be children!

No.
You can learn the martial arts fast.
And you have to.
It is a dangerous world,
riots,
home invasion,
crooked cops,
a government in love with abuse…
you have to learn fast.
Period.

Here are the fastest, best, most logical martial arts courses in the world…

http://monstermartialarts.com

All you have to do is scroll down the page,
pick the art that interests you the most,
and do it so darn quickly
the mugger’s head will spin.

Have a great work out!

Al

A WIN!

I have found such tremendous benefit in my study of Matrix Karate that I want to dig deeper and deeper.  It’s only been a few weeks, but the forms flow so easily; it’s like Matrix Martial Arts are the way the body is SUPPOSED to work.  I love it! ~ Ryan O

“Those who are unaware they are walking in darkness will never seek the light.”
– Bruce Lee

After 50 Years He Passes his Black Belt Test!

Newsletter 972

Can You Believe It? This Guy Got a Black Belt!

The guy’s name is Russ Holder,
and his earning a black belt is definitely
one of the sweetest wins I have ever had
since I started the martial arts back in 1967.

Russ sent me an email a few years back,
it concerned the Kang Duk Won.
Kang Duk Won means ‘House for Espousing Virtue.’
I had studied kenpo for a few years,
then a friend took me to the Kang Duk Won
and the top of my head blew right off.
I had never even imagined an energy like this school.

The instructor,
Robert J. (Bob) Babich
was simply the best martial artist I have ever seen.
After 50 years experience,
and having seen and met a LOT of martial artists,
after working for the mags,
this is quite a statement.

And the people at the Kang Duk Won,
MG!
This was before the MA got popular,
there were no strip mall dojos,
and only the most diligent,
hard working,
Craziest people studied there.
I drove fifty miles for a class,
suffered bone bruises, contusions,
and definitely a few concussions.
And loved it,
and never wanted it to end.

Bob had studied with Don Buck,
and Mas Oyama,
and he conducted classes that were totally unbelievable.
And this bozo guy,
this Russ fellow,
wrote me and said,
‘Hey, we probably worked out together.’
And,
comparing notes,
it was obvious we worked out together.
He knew about the sweat,
the pain in the bones,
the unbelievable exhilaration
one of Bob’s work outs created.

So we have talked over the years,
shared stories,
taken each other back to that point in our lives
where everything mattered,
and nothing mattered.

Russ was a biker,
(is a biker!)
one of those guys that the newspapers slandered,
but who you could trust with your life.
A man as good as his word,
and worth more than a handshake.

So go here…

http://www.russellrazholder.com/eventpics/Karate_idx/2019/190529_1stDegreeBlackBeltTest.php

Poke around,
see the pics,
read the wins.
It only took Russ 50 years,
but he earned his black belt.

So many people start and quit.
So many people are in it because ‘it’s cool.’
Russ was in it for the art.
something was boiling in his bones,
and it came out after 50 years,
50 years to black belt,
but what a journey, eh?

Congrats, Russ.
You are old school and more than cool.
And I hope that people understand what you’ve done.
A humble bow to you.

Here’s a website I set up to teach the Kang Duk Won,

http://kangdukwon.com

Have a great work out!

Al

A WIN!

Hi Al,

Your Kang Duk Won orange-belt course is amazing!

People say that kids are supposed to learn faster than adults, and
that is generally true. But I have the feeling that I’m learning way
faster than when I was a kid!
It is not astonishing, I can train when I want, I can “see the
teacher” showing me” the forms and techniques as many time I want,
thus I’m more motivated and there is no culpability with missing a
lesson or anything.

Plus, Your course is clear and complete. For the first time, I came to
really understand, and see the usefulness, of what I’m doing! It is
very simple yet very complete, a true joy to go trough.  What a change
for me!

“If you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it’ll spread over into the rest of your life. It’ll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being. There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you. A man must constantly exceed his level.”
– Bruce Lee