Category Archives: wing chun

Wing Chun Karate is Interesting…

Wing Chun and Karate?

Wing Chun and Karate, seemingly opposites, but not. Actually, I found more similarities between Wing Chun and Karate than almost any other martial arts.

Wing Chun, of course, is the Chinese Martial Art that has soft blocks, which is to say guiding blocks, and hard strikes. It has been around for hundreds of years, and it is quite sophisticated. A person who has actually reached the ‘inner circle’ of this Chinese Martial Art is quite untouchable, can fight blindfolded, has a full range of sixth senses having to do with anticipating attacks before they happen, and so forth.
wing chun gung fu

The main difference here is the direction of the blocks.

Wing Chun blocks tend to come back towards the body.

In Karate blocks tend to go away from the body.

In either art, if you are moving the block sideways, you are doing the block wrong, for there is no body, and therefore no possible body alignment behind the block.

And, yes, whether you are blocking hard or soft there must be body and alignment of structure behind the blocks. You can’t overwhelm the attacker’s strikes (as inKarate) if you don’t have this body and structure, and you can’t effectively guide the attack if you don’t have this body and structure.

Now, that all said, take a look at ‘Wing Chun Kung Fu,’ by James Yimm Lee, and you will find a section on the eight gates and four doors. Is this not perfectly transferable to Karate?

And, once you understand this, and if you are in a real style of Karate, you will understand how the concepts of grounding and deep stances must be used. And, if you are in this style of hung fu, and come across Karate, you may realize ho more effective, especially the early training, would if you deepened the stances and worked on the grounding and alignment.

Thus, these styles of Japanese Martial Art and Chinese Martial Art do have more than surface similarities, and it is even of high benefit to study both systems. You must not try to blend them however, past what I have said here. That would muddle either art, cause confusion, and detract from both Wing Chun and Karate.

If you wish to go further with the concepts outlined in this article on Wing Chun and Karate you should examine Matrixing at MonsterMartialArts.com, a specific course that would apply would be the Master Instructor Course.

Greatest Day in Martial Arts History!

Happy Martial Arts Memorial Day!

Happy work out!
And happy you!
Why should you be so happy?
Well,
you’re about to get a fantastic deal.

First,
it is my birthday.
Got to be the greatest day
in the history of the martial arts,
right?
And,
two times a year,
my birthday and Christmas,
I ask you something.
I ask you to forgive me.
This is a serious thing.
If I said the wrong thing,
offended you somehow,
didn’t deliver exactly what I promise,
forgive me.
And let me know if there is something
that I need to do
to make it right.

Here’s the deal…
people make mistakes.
I deal with thousands of people a month,
so I have a lot of opportunity to make mistakes.
I have a lot of opportunity to build up ill will.
So,
if I messed up,
and I can erase ill will
even if I don’t know what it is,
then it keeps my personal universe
happy and functioning.

So,
forgive me.

Now,
that said,
let’s talk about why you should be happy!

Birthdays and Christmas,
time for presents,
right?
Everybody should get lots of presents
all the time.
Heck,
life is short,
we should live happy,
and why not?
Right?

So the present is this.
Until June 5th, 2014,
all download courses
are two for one.
You buy a course,
you get an extra one.
FREE.
My thanks for forgiving the world,
and forgiving me,
for any mistakes or ill will.

I can’t do this for courses I have to mail.
And the courses should be of around the same value.
You pay 30 bucks,
find another course for thirty bucks.
Order,
then email me with a happy birthday greeting,
and say you want a second course free.
I’ll send the second course
probably within 24 hours.
I’m on the computer a lot,
I check my mail,
so I’ll get back to you,
probably within 24.
If I don’t,
email me again,
mama google messed up.
My email is

aganzul@gmail.com

And,
if there is a small difference between course prices,
ask me.
When I’m celebrating
and all happy
it’s pretty easy to start talking about blinding steel
with a thirty dollar course.
Or the Black Belt course,
if you’ve already order a forty dollar course.

Okey dokey?
Did it make you happy?
Excellent!

So,
read it again,
make sure you understand,
then pet the dog,
shave the cat,
or whatever,
then…
order.
And,
no limits.
You want more than one course,
go for it.
It’s two for one,
no limits.

Happy birthday to me,
and happy memorial day to you,
and…I guess that’s it.

HAVE A GREAT WORK OUT!

Al

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

two courses for the price of one,
of comparable or almost comparable value,
no limits on number of courses,
no physical mailing courses,
no books from Amazon,
only downloads,
send me an email if you have questions.
aganzul@gmail.com

The Real Shaolin History That Nobody Knows!

The real Shaolin History is one of those animals that’s difficult to pin down. One reason for this is that the communist regime controls all history, and rewrites it to suit the state. Another reason is that the current history is of an oral tradition, and therefore quite open to mythicizing.

real shaolin historyThe real history starts with Bodhidharma taking the long journey to China to see the emperor. This tends to build up Bodhidharma at the expense of the emperor, and this isn’t right. The Chinese ruler, you see, was encouraging Buddhist monks to translate texts from sanskrit to Chinese.

The emperor believed that if he saw to the translation of these religious texts the general public would be enabled to study this religion. He believed this would allow him to enter nirvana. Bodhidharma told the emperor otherwise, which gained him nothing but a swift kick in the pants right out the emperor’s doors.

Bodhidharma then sought refuge at a local temple to meet up with other monks, and was turned away. The head abbot apparently thought him a trouble maker, or maybe he just didn’t want to rub elbows with somebody the emperor found wanting.

The temple he was refused entrance to was constructed in an area which had been razed, or burned down, and the emperor’s gardeners had planted new trees. Thus, the temple was named Shaolin (young forest). Nowhere to go, Bodhidharma began living in a cave.

Eventually Bodhidharma gained admittance to the temple, and legends have it that it took nine years, he bored a hole in the cave with his eyesight, he cut off his eyelids and planted them, and all sorts of other rather ludicrous legends. No one knows why he was admitted to the temple, but it was a good thing he was. The monks were in bad physical shape.

The Shaolin monks spent all their time hunched over books (scrolls, etc.) and were a sickly lot. So Bodhidharma taught them a series of movements based on hatha yoga and raja yoga. These movements were based on the 18 main animals of Chinese-Indian iconography, and this was doubtless the source of the five Shaolin animals.

This was the true origin of shaolin kung fu, though it is difficult to say when body conditioning was transformed into actual martial arts. The region was preyed upon by bandits, and it can be safely assumed that somebody whose body is in good physical condition is going to stand a better chance of survival than somebody whose body is not. At any rate this real Shaolin history has more legitimate sources than the various myths and legends which currently abound.

Real Shaolin History means nothing if you don’t study the martial art itself. Head to Monster Martial Arts for the most efficient Shaolin Teaching in the world!

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.

A Quick Summation of Matrix Karate

How Matrix Karate affects ALL Martial Arts

Matrix Karate is a system of martial arts,
but it is a system of logic as well,
and you can apply this logic to ANY other martial art.
Simply do Matrix Karate,
then take the basics of your system,
and I don’t care if it is krav maga
or tai chi,
or even something concocted by Lieutenant X,
and plug it into the forms and techniques
and you will have an instant Matrix of your system.

Now,
that is not the end of it,
but the beginning.
because as soon as you see your system logically,
ALL sorts of other doors are going to open.

And then the classical system that you have been studying
is truly going to become a VERY advanced form of Karate.

You won’t have those mysterious ‘hidden techniques’
holding you back.

You won’t have the political bushwah
that destroyed your system
in the way any more.

You won’t have any less than adequate instruction
that you might have received,
in your way.

Simply,
you will understand how everything fits together,
and then when you take another look
at that classical system,
you will realize something:
if your system is unchanged enough
then you will truly benefit from the concept
of it being a closed combat system.

A closed combat system is one
which was designed by evolution of generations,
doing only what works,
until you have something truly rare,
a true masterpiece,
something that can evolve the human being.

And,
if it is changed,
then you will have the tools
to RETURN it to
a closed combat method
once again.

I don’t care if your system has been…
altered by politicians,
twisted by political organizations,
changed for tournaments,
diluted for kids,
designed to make money,
or whatever,
or ANYTHING else…
you will be able to fix it.

And,
I guarantee this,
even if you can’t see what has been left out,
you will be able to figure it out after matrixing.

Now,
Matrix Karate is that powerful.
But,
here’s something I run across.
I come across,
usually in forums,
the people who say…
I know what you did,
I know what you are doing…
I’ve already done that.

Here’s the cruel trap,
there are enlightened human beings out there,
and they well might have figured out
what the heck is happening,
and they might actually have insight into their own souls.
These guys might well be VERY powerful people.

BUT…
they did it without method.
Or,
the method they used is antiquated,
based on ancient hieroglyphics
or whatever,
and…

THEY CAN’T EXPLAIN IT!

Which means they can’t teach it.
They can’t explain what they are doing,
accept in the most obtuse and confused manner.
They will resort to sayings from the Tao,
which is a good book,
but not a science,
and can be very confusing in itself.

And these guys,
no matter how smart,
end up losing students
because they don’t have a good, scientific method.

And,
I ask them,
‘have you ever seen a matrix?’
And they say nothing.
Because they are holding on to the fact
that they know something.
They don’t undersdtand,
won’t understand,
that I am not trying to destroy their system,
I am only making it so they can understand it
and teach it,
and create a REAL golden age of Martial Arts.

Now,
I have made it REAL easy.
First,
there is the course itself,
available on MonsterMartialArts.com,
and a few other places.
Second,
there is an example of me teaching the course,
complete from white to black.
That is on Monstermartialarts.com
and a few other places.
Third,
if you want to understand Matrixing theory,
there is Matrixing: the Master Text.
That is available on MonsterMartialArts.com
and a few other places.
Fourth,
there is the Matrixing Karate series.
Five books detailing ALL sorts of stuff,
available on Amazon.

Now,
here is the funny thing,
you probably paid
$50 a month for your lessons,
maybe a lot more.
And the material here is less expensive than…
all the years of your lessons,
a movie and dinner with your mate,
a used tire,
a new Tokaido gi,
A TANKFUL OF GAS!
groceries for a week (if you eat a lot)
a few cases of beer (and better for you)
a pair of Nikes,
and all sorts of other stuff,
and you end up with
MORE KNOWLEDGE
than ALL your years of previous training.
Or,
at least,
the ability to make TOTAL sense
out of ALL your martial arts.

Okay,
thanks for letting me get that out.
I know it is a sales push,
but there is data in there,
and if we are going to have a REAL golden age of martial arts,
it really is necessary.

Okay,
it rained up here at Monkeyland,
so I have to replace an inverter,
clean out culverts,
chase the cows out of the crops,
and go look at the birds.
Saw the most AMAZING buzzard hawk today.
Truly magnificent.
Sitting on the highest branch
of the tallest tree
on the highest mountain here.
Heck,
maybe I better just move that to the top of the list,
Yes,
watch birds all day,
then go work on a ‘Buzzard Hawk’ form.
That’s what I have to do.
You guys and gals,
I really want you to have an enlightening work out,
really get into it,
really analyze the way you shift your weight,
keep your blaance,
and how that combines to create EXTRA energy.

Have a great work out!
Al

that you are.

Have a great work out!
Al

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

Bruce Lee and the Softer Side of Wing Chun Kung Fu

Bruce Lee and the Two Styles of Wing Chun Kung Fu

Whenever I try to explain to people that there are 2 styles of Wing Chun, anyone that “knows” Wing Chun, tries to tell me that I am wrong, that there is no second style, only the variation being that of Moy Yat and Leung Ting.

The objection stems from the fact that most people do not know that soft-style exists.  There are no “training” videos sold of soft style,  and finding a video on YouTube is next to impossible.

difference martial art

Was Bruce Lee great because he knew the soft side of Wing Chun Kung Fu?

Soft-style was only taught to a select few students, William Cheung learned both soft-style and hard-style. Bruce Lee, Leung Ting, Moy Yat and other famous Wing Chun Stylists either never learned soft-style, or chose never to teach it. Think of it like this, hard-style was taught to the outside world, and they guarded the REALLY good material and kept it only in the family. Because I do not know these individual people, I don’t know the reason their lineages don’t include soft-style, whether they wish to continue the secrecy, or whether they simply weren’t privy to it.

The Tan-sao is a perfect example, of the difference. Hard-style leans and drops it down so it is almost horizontal, soft-style maneuvers the body properly, and keeps the tan-sao up, the eyes just barely able to see over the fingertips.  Bruce Lee threw out the Tan-sao because he said it was worthless, and indeed if the tan-sao is held low, it doesn’t block anything.

When comparing forms, you will observe hard-style people simply lean from one side to the other when performing chum-kil, while soft-style will actually take a full step.

Both of the videos below include Bil-jee, if you watch those variations of that form, you will see many more differences.

 

Some of the key differences between hard and soft Wing Chun are as follows:

  • Hard-style relies more on muscular strength, while soft relies on correct body alignment. As sensei says, “if you are leaning, you are falling”.  This is true in all arts, and one of the reasons my Brazilian jujitsu instructor harps on good posture. If you rely on a lean ,you must rely on muscle.
  • Hard-style uses a more collapsed forward guard with no forward intention, under the assertion that in trapping your energy is harder to read.  While the energy is indeed harder to read, the guard is easier to blast through. Such a guard and collapse and trap a guard that has no forward intention.

Hard-style Wing Chun is what Bruce Lee was unhappy with when he created JKD.  Even so, he and many others proved it was incredibly effective, even without knowing the “family secret”.

How to Find a Martial Arts Pressure Point

Martial Arts Pressure Points

Good goldurn morning!
Or evening,
or whenever it is!
But you know that whenever it is…
all you have to do is work out.
Work out,
and the mysteries of the universe
unfold before you.
Mysteries,
such as…
pressure points.

karate training manualI had an email today,
in it was a question about pressure points,
and I get this question every once in a while,
when am I going to do a book/course on pressure points.

Heck,
why write a whole book
when I can explain pressure points right here?

To understand pressure points
think electricity.

Points are like wall sockets,
for instance,
there is a pressure point
on the elbow.
It is called the funny bone,
but it’s not a bone,
its just where the nerves pass close to the surface,
and you can strike that point,
or grip it,
and cause some pain.

Then there are nerve clusters,
like switchboards.
For instance,
there is a cluster of nerves right near the armpit.
Stick a finger in there,
and you cause a severe reaction.

Now,
we could get into energy,
electricity is an analogy for electricity,
and where the lines of energy run,
and which way they go,
and so on and so on.

But you don’t need all that stuff.
And,
if you think about energy the way I am describing it here,
and what I am going to tell you to do,
then you will learn about pressure points faster
and with better result
than if you spent twenty years
examining how the meridians effect the kidney
if you strike the second toe
of your left foot
twice at midnight.

You must learn to look with your hands.

I spent about three years at the Kang Duk Won,
and during that time I hit people,
and I got hit.
Nice,
perfectly controlled strikes.
A few bruises,
a cut lip or a mouse,
but,
generally speaking,
we were practicing pretty darned fine control.
And,
we were learning to look through our fists.

Listen,
if somebody gave you a box
and asked what was in it,
you might shake it.
You could tell if what is inside is hard or soft,
liquid or solid,
and,
if you shook it long enough,
swear to god,
you could probably tell the color
of whatever is inside the box.

I know,
sounds weird.

But I kept hitting people,
and,
like most,
I could tell when I was hitting bones or muscle,
soft tissue or hard,
and I could gauge the reaction of people to these strikes.
And I could tell by my reaction
when people struck me
what was inside the body.

It’s like radar.
consider this analogy…
You come up to a house and knock on the door,
you listen.
You can hear the echo of your knock
resounding through the house.
Now,
knock so that you get the best echo,
you get that really hollow pitch
that reaches all-l-l-l the way
through the house.
Now,
knock on your partner’s chest.
Listen.
Listen to the reverberations.

Listen to the changes as you knock
on different parts of the body.
What does it sound like
listen to your fist
when you knock on a bone?
What do the lungs sound like?
Heck,
it’s like a doctor’s stethoscope,
except that you are using your own enhanced senses.
And you can tell what is in the other person’s body.

Now,
it is just a quick jump to pressure points.
Take a look at this…

I am working a pressure point.
Now I don’t know where this point came from.
I’ve never studied pressure points,
but I find that I can feel the body
and the points are ALL over the place.
Almost anywhere you touch the body
you can cause a reaction.

So let me explain something.
I just touch the body,
using the ‘listening’ I learned to do with the fist.
I listen with my fingertips,
extend my senses inside his body,
touch with authority,
and,
zingo bingo
we have a pressure point.

Is it a real pressure point?
I don’t know.
Doesn’t matter.
All that matters is this…
practice your techniques and listen with your fists.
Feel the effects as you strike your partner.
Be gentle,
for you can hear more if you are gentle
than if you are distracting yourself with a loud yell
or a huge force of radiating energy.

It’s a matter of focused awareness,
that is all…and nothing more.

But how do you focus your awareness?
Through control.
Through learning control.

and,
sorry to say,
sorry if i step on toes here,
but not through boxing or MMA,
for the purpose in those sports
is to smash and destroy.

Look,
I love to watch MMA,
and there are instances of high control in some of those games
but they are the gladiatorial games of Rome
brought to modern times,
and they don’t teach pressure points
or how to increase your awareness.

Only the classical martial arts teach that,
and those only rarely,
because most of the stuff taught today
is not aligned.
Doesn’t make sense.
Are random sequences of techniques,
and not a step by step journey
to increased awareness.

And with increased awareness
comes a knowledge of pressure points.

So my advice
to anybody who wants to learn pressure points
is this.

Work out.
Do the classical.
Align the classical with matrixing,
so that you actually understand what you are doing
and are on a step by step procedure to awareness.

Do your forms and techniques,
do them with sincerity,
do them with lots of energy,
and do them silently,
learn to listen with your fists.

Do that
and you need no further instruction.
The secret isn’t a secret,
it is just a matter of your learning to focus awareness
in a rather unique manner.

And,
if you are interested,
the video clip was from
Five Army Tai Chi Chuan.
http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/five-army-tai-chi-chuan/

but it doesn’t matter which course
you start your matrixing journey on,
all that matters is that you start,
and that you persist,
and that you learn to focus
the precise and exact awareness
that you are.

Have a great work out!
Al

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

Was Shaolin the Original Art?

Finding the Source of Gung Fu

I had some spare time
so I wrote a website.
It’s about Shaolin.
The point about it being…
was Shaolin the original art?

Now,
every country has its art,
but they are mostly based on Shaolin.

And,
before Shaolin there was fighting,
but Shaolin elevated it to art,
to enlightenment.

So,
maybe Shaolin wasn’t the first,
but it was probably the most important.

I was pretty lucky in my selection of Karate,
I happened upon a very pure art,
from before Funakoshi.
And,
the interesting thing is,
I was pretty lucky in my study of Shaolin.
If you read the first blog
on my new site,
I explain a bit about it.

Now,
here’s the thing.
I did Karate,
and I matrixed it,
and it was pretty messed up.
But you do matrixing first,
and then it all makes sense,
and then the classical stuff starts to really make sense.
Becomes advanced studies.
I found the same thing happened in Shaolin.

Man,
I tried to figure it all out,
studied Wing chun,
Ton Toi,
a bunch of other stuff,
but it didn’t seem to come together for me.
Then I met a fellow name of Richard Armington.
Richard had studied with Arthur Lee in Hawaii,
and it was real old school.
So we went through the forms,
and,
tell the truth,
everything was really spread out,
didn’t make sense.
But I could feel the power of it.
But,
you know me,
I didn’t want to spend a dozen years,
so I looked for the one thing that would grab me,
that would make sense.
Look,
it’s like when you walk into a room,
you look for a rack to hang your coat on.

Without that rack,
everything goes on the floor.
Gets tangled up.
So I was looking for something,
a concept,
a technique,
a way to twist the whole thing
so it would matrix in my mind.
So it would fall into order,
would make sense.

In one of the forms,
I think it was called ‘jing mu,’
though i am hazy on translations and spelling and such,
but i think it meant butterfly.

And it was light and flitting,
covered directions in a very matrix way,
and I had found my rack.
I started hanging concepts off it.
All the concepts that were spread out
all over the place in Fut Ga,
and I could now make sense out of them.
And,
odd thing,
I found that,
as I explored the form in directions,
that for every different direction I stepped,
a concept worked.
Well,
that made sense.
Different geometries – different concepts.

So I reworked the Fut Ga
in a more methodical and logical way.

The forms fit two different footworks,
they emulated a bunch of different animals,
and the techniques,
as you go through the forms,
advance logically.

So instead of the Shaolin concepts radiating all over the place,
they could be done one, two, three fashion.

Made it REALLY easy to learn.

And,
some of the bad habits Shaolin picked up over the years,
I was able to delete them.

For instance,
just to mention one,
have you ever noticed how,
in the back stance,
the back ankle is scrunched,
and the front foot is way out there,
the heel lifted up?
That stance doesn’t work.
There is no mobility,
and the front foot isn’t able to kick,
and the thing just doesn’t work.
So I raised the stance slightly,
turned the foot in slightly,
and the thing works.

Is it Shaolin like you see?
With the guy all scrunched down and looking…Shaolin-y?
No.
But it works,
and I care about workability MUCH more
than I care about looks.
And,
I question whether,
several hundred years ago,
the founders of Shaolin did their stances that way.
Heck,
they had to fight,
not pose.
And here’s something to think about,
the Shaolin was destroy more than once.
So the art was rebuilt more than once.
Who’s to say it was rebuilt correctly?

The current Shaolin,
I am talking PRC
(People’s Republic of China)
killed off or chased out
all the Shaolin stylists
as part of their great cultural revolution.
Then,
when they realized they could make money,
they rebuilt it.
But they didn’t use martial artists,
they used physical education coaches.
And you can see mistakes.
You can see physical education,
but mistakes in body alignment.
You can see frantic workmanship,
beautiful workmanship,
but not an art that is based on function,
on self defense.

Hope i didn’t step on two many feet out there,
and,
if I did,
go to my sites and write hate mail.
Explain how I am wrong,
1st amendment, man.
Say what you want,
and unless you’re foul mouthed,
I’ll okay it.

Anyway,
now you know about the Shaolin Butterfly,
what was under my cranium when I did it,
and the thrust of my site.
And you’ll have more insight
into the Shaolin Butterfly
than what is said there.

The site is

http://bestkungfu.wordpress.com

Take a visit,
I’ll be changing a lot of stuff.
I wrote the articles after wiki,
and I’ll be making them into stories and good times.
But,
feel free to visit,
comment,
and have a good time.

Now,
you guys and gals
have a GREAT spring break.
And I hope you get ALL the eggs,
but try not to use any dim mak
on those kiddies you are shoving aside.

Have a great work out!
Al

http://bestkungfu.wordpress.com

Martial Arts Kata, Prison or Essential Tool?

Martial Arts Kata, Good or Bad?

in the Martial Arts Kata are often translated as martial arts forms, so I use the terms interchangeably.

Bruce Lee said in “The Tao of Jeet Kune Do” the following about forms:

“Too much horsing around with unrealistic stances and classic forms and rituals is just too artificial and mechanical, and doesn’t really prepare the student for actual combat.”

karate kung fu pa kua chang martial arts book

Click on the Cover!

Is this true? Or is it meaningful, do forms actually teach you combat? Certainly looking at Pinan/Heian 1, or Kenpo Long 1, you have to wonder, is this meaningful? Are they honestly expecting me to drop the opposite hand when I block and punch?  And why are they having me drop my hands when in sparring they tell me to keep my hands up?

Even with something so entrenched as Sanchin, or the Sil Lum Tao those that lack correct teaching have to wonder, “how is this teaching me to fight?”.

In stark contrast are kata such as sanseirui, where it is very apparent that the kata is truly a combat scenario that captured and formalized into a form. This is evidenced by the lack of symmetry in the form, you don’t have “do the exact same thing on the other side” or “first do it on the right, then on the left”.

But do any of them provide you with anything useful? Or do they lock you into a routine.

Bruce was an incredible man, certainly what he said must have some value.  Besides, if not for forms, how do we transmit the style, untarnished, to the next generation?

The problem with Bruce, is that he was amazing. He was so amazing that somewhere along the line he seems to have forgotten that you have to explain to a new student how to make a fist, not to punch with the flat part of your fist, to line up the bones, to add CBM.  We can see that he knew this, for he said (paraphrasing here) “before I learned to punch, a punch was just a punch, while I was learning, a punch was much more than a punch.  Now, a punch is just a punch”.  However, he repeatedly wanted to throw away all the tools that are used to learn basics.

To quote my sensei, “you have to have a set of basics before you start learning to break free of the forms”.

I feel that all forms are intended to serve a purpose, but what is that purpose?

Let us start with the so simple that they are obnoxious forms, like the early Kenpo forms and the Pinans.  They are not meant to be combat forms, they are meant to be a way to train symmetry, and to familiarize you with the “alphabet of movement” that your system trains.  Think of the movements in these forms as “this is my footwork, these are my blocks, these are my strikes,  there are many like them, but these are mine”.  Symmetry is important, you need to be able to block, thrust, flick, parry and strike on both sides, these forms teach you exactly that, and they force you to practice equally on both sides.  Bruce may have been so good that he only needed five techniques and only those on his lead side, but that doesn’t account for most people, nor does it address what you are supposed to do if you get injured during combat.

So basic, boring forms have a purpose, even if it is only training.  However, when we go back to the question of dropping the hand, you do have to stop and wonder why practice something that we would never want to do in combat.   This is where I personally feel that some of these forms are less valuable than they could be.

Sanchin appears to be one of these boring beginner forms; however, it is an exceptional kata, Please see the earlier article I wrote on Sanchin (add a link to the other blog post).  My sensei was fond of saying that he could tell your belt level by watching your performance of Sanchin.

The Sil lum tao, is also a form that appears to be on the boring scale, however, it is a very internal form. It is meant to isolate the hand movements used in Wing Chun so they can be practiced separately from any foot movement, and to build Chi power.  These 2 aspects mean that it can be practiced and improved on for the rest of your life, just like Sanchin.

None of the seemingly boring kata teach you to fight, not even sanchin.  They may teach you many critical elements of fighting, blocks and strikes that you can combine, a clear calm mind, the ability to take a hit and continue. These things and more can be learned from kata.

Learning to fight from a kata though?  That is tough, there are people that have been reputed to have done so, I have a very hard time believing that.

In my mind the only way to improve reflexes, and learn to handle unexpected things is to get into sparring (at all contact levels) with as many different people as possible.  Try to get with people of different levels, different arts, and no arts.

In my personal opinion, I feel kata are very important, both for handing down the style, uncompromised. They are critical for training your body to use all the different tools in the styles toolbox.

I do not feel that they are a prison, rather an encyclopedia of motion and much more.  In my mind all kata should give you as many tools as Sanchin, Sil lum tao and Sanseirui.   However, if the form teaches you to do dangerous things, like drop your hands, you might want to re-evaluate the validity of that particular form.

If you want to align and make logical your Martial Arts Kata, check out the Master Instructor Course at MonsterMartialArts.com.

Publication of Final Volume of Matrixing Karate Series!

Releasing the Fifth Volume of Matrixing Karate: Master

This is the official announcement that ‘Matrixing Karate: Master,’ has been released.

It was actually finished a couple of weeks ago, and it has had time to get up on Amazon, and it is in the createspace bookstore, so it’s time to make it official.

karate master requirements

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

The first volume of this pivotal Karate series was dedicated to fixing basic movements. Volumes 2 – 4 were aimed at explaining matrixng principles, introducing matrixing graphs, and so on. Volumes 1 – 4 were based on the Matrix Karate course available at MonsterMartialArts.com.

The fifth and final volume is a bit different. It is based on a series of manuals written over the years, and upon the ‘Create Your Own Art’ video course.

The thing that makes this final book so important, and sets it apart from even the books it was based upon, is that it goes through the history and concepts of Matrixing and details exactly where each concept came from.

Thus, you are taken on a journey, from the first martial art studied by the author, Kenpo Karate, through each and every martial art he studied. This includes detailing concepts from separating two arts successfully (Kang Duk Won and Kwon Bup) and developing a third based on those two. (Outlaw Karate: The Secret of the One Year Black Belt). It goes into the exact influences that resulted in the development of matrixing, including the original matrixing lists from the 70s and 80s, and leads right into the creation of the Matrix graph.

One thing that may be surprising to students of the martial arts is that the author developed matrixing without the matrixing graph. Instead, he used lists of techniques, reworking the lists for every concept he encountered. This actually entailed, literally, thousands of lists. Thus, the development of the Matrixing Graph is a bonus to the martial arts of unparalleled value.

The book may be found on Amazon. It is paperback, and students of the martial arts are encouraged to get the earlier volumes first, that they may better understand the import and significance of this volume.

Subscribe to this blog in the top right sidebar.