Tag Archives: bunkai

Newsletter 1036

What is ‘Fake Karate?’

Good morning!

One of the main things wrong

with karate today

is bunkai.

It’s funny,

I have heard people who believe in 

the more combative methods,

talk about how worthless Bunkai are.


I have seen a LOT of schools that don’t even practice bunkai.

so people don’t practice making karate work,


as a result,

they don’t know how to make it work.

when I was training we didn’t call the form applications ‘bunkai.’

We called them ‘Promise Fights.’

It was the ‘promise’ of a fight.


as time went on,

it was more.

It was the postulate of a fight.

A postulate is an idea.

If you practice promising enough,

the idea works.

It is that simple,

and that complex.


many of the applications are worthless,

they are either dancers or posers.


they don’t fit the form.

But the forms have been really screwed up,

so that is understandable.


when we did the form applications,

or ‘Promise fights,’

as we called them,

we had 1/3 to 1/2 of the class time to do them.

We would face each and get ready,

we stepped forward with an attack,

and the defender did his promise fight.

Class after class,

year after year,

and a strange thing happened.

Because it was the same every time

we began to see where a body would move

before it would move.

We weren’t fighting,

we were looking,

and we would suddenly see the dip of the shoulder,

the turn of the foot,

the glaze of the idea,

and we knew what was coming,

before it was even launched.

So damned simple and workable,

yet it has,

in many schools,

been put aside.

And even if bunkai are practiced,

they don’t make sense,

they don’t fit the form,

they dance and they pose.

Our applications were VERY workable.

No posers,

no dancers.

They looked like the forms,

but they were VERY functional in combat.

I’ve talked about how the upper students

could actually make them work in freestyle.

And people have given up doing applications

across the arts.

It is easier to have a fellow punch a bag,

than think about the turn of the hip,

or the wrist,

year after year.

The sad truth is that most people

think that karate, 

and other martial arts,

are all about fighting.

May I coin a phrase?

If people think that,

they are not doing karate,

they are doing…

‘fake karate.’

And here’s an interesting little item,

the people who say,

‘my art is better than yours,’

are manifesting a fight,

and they are guilty of…

‘fake karate.’


believe me,

Fake Karate is every bit as bad as fake news.


just to let you know,

I’m working on a book,

and it’s a big one.

Might even come in two parts.

But it is proving…difficult.


when I write a book

I sit down and write it,

takes maybe a week or two.

But this one is just beating me up.

I have rewritten it,

broken it into pieces,

recombined it,

and it is just being stubborn.


my apologies for making you wait,


you might want to make sure

your matrix karate is ready for when this is released.

You are really going to need 

to have your art down,

because this is going to expand it.


The book is about what happened to karate,

and i am specifically speaking of the applications.

The bunkai, if you will.

Full of history,

full of applications,

full of matrixing.


I’ll keep working on it,

but you should look into either

Matrix Karate


The Master Instructor Course.

In fact,

I really shouldn’t do this.

there’s no reason to,

except that I’m a nice guy…

Buy one and I’ll give you the other.

Just buy one,

then email me at: aganzul@gmail.com 

and I’ll send you both courses.

This is good until October 31st.

Happy Halloween!

Now, have a great work out!


And don’t forget to check out the interview


I’m always pushing my novels,

did you know I write other stuff?

If you want to know the truth about government,

why we have riots and why idiots keep getting into office,

why the government seems to do the exact wrong thing

almost ALL the time…

then check out:




Newsletter 1031The Secret of Karate Bunkai

We actually didn’t all them bunkai,
we call them ‘Promise Fights,’
or ‘form applications,’
or simply techniques.
But the real description was…

‘Promise Fights.’

It was explained to me that
they were the ‘promise of a fight.’
It was decade before I figured out
what the phrase actually meant.

Before there is action there must be thought.
Action does not occur before thought,
action cannot occur at all without thought.
The actual word would be…


A postulate is the thought before the action.
So without a postulate
there is no action.

to drill those techniques until you are sweating blood
is to make the postulate work.
It is to make the idea work,
is to make the concept work.
It is the postulate…
or it is
the promise that your technique will work.
The more you drill
the more your promise will come true.

a couple of things.
If the technique is flawed the promise won’t come true.
If the technique is a poser the promise won’t come true.
If the technique is inappropriate,
poorly put together,
or mechanically or dynamically unsound…
the promise won’t come true.

if the technique is correct and appropriate,
if the technique matrixed…it will come true.

all conditions being met,
this where the magic starts.
Endless drilling = martial magic,
and in the most extreme sense of the word.

I remember one time I struck a fellow in the face,
pulled my punch,
didn’t touch him,
and he staggered away holding his chin.
My promise,
my postulate was so strong,
he thought he had been hit.
I had actually changed his reality with a thought.

That takes a LOT of drilling
with the correct techniques.

We took our techniques form the forms.
Basic techniques from pinan one through pinan five.
Up to green belt we had about 20 techniques,
real basic things,
block and counter.
We drilled those until we
And never missed our target,
never flubbed a block.
We would do the technique twice on each side.
If we made a mistake we would do the technique
more than twice.
Sometimes a lot more.

Come the green belt test
we would run through the promise fights
in about five minutes.
And that was considered slow.
And we were judged for perfect form.
We had to have perfect form in the middle of a fight,
and every technique was considered a fight…
with ourselves,
could we meet the demands of discipline.

Think about it,
ten seconds for two attacks,
ten seconds for us to attack our partner twice,
20 seconds and we had done one promise fight.
20 promise fights times 20 seconds,
400 seconds
6 1/2 minutes
No hesitations.
You can’t hesitate in a fight.

Okay, brown belt we had maybe 50 techniques,
fifty promise fights or ‘bunkai.’
20 seconds for both partners to get through each technique
times 50 = 1000 seconds.
Or…17 minutes.

Sometimes the instructor
would have us do just the techniques
from a specific form or two
and we would really focus on getting things perfect and fast.

Black belt we had about 70 techniques.
1400 seconds,
or…23 minutes.

About the time we were ready for black belt testing
you would see fellows sweating blood after class for hours
trying to get the promise fights into the required time frame.
Once the black belt test started
the instructor would just sit there and watch,
and you NEVER wanted him to make a check on his clipboard.

A green belt test you could make a few errors,
same with the brown belt test.
There were NO errors allowed on the black belt test.

Do you know what kind of mental focus is required to achieve this?
Superhuman is the only word that comes to mind.

And we did it in about three years.
And we ended up being totally intuitive.
Simply, we were not allowed to think about what we were doing,
so we didn’t,
and the only choice we had,
the only result
was intuition.
We had to know what we were doing
with no hesitation.
You can’t hesitate in a fight.

if this seems brutal,
it actually wasn’t.
It was just demanding,
and done on a gradient,
first you only have to do 20 techniques,
then you only have to do 50 techniques,
then 70 is reachable.

So that is the secret of the bunkai,
of the form application,
of the…promise fight.

Here’s the obligatory ad…

Matrix Karate

Matrix Karate will help you understand the martial arts
so that a black belt test will be easy.

Have a funtastic work out!
have yourself a great work out!

And don’t forget to check out the interview

Have you read ‘The Bomber’s Story?’
It is the ultimate conspiracy novel,
tells you who owns the US and the world,
and there’s even a little martial arts in it!



How To Push Power Down Your Legs With Karate Kata Heian Three

Sink and Twist for Chi Power!

It’s funny, a lot of people think that Karate is all fighting. The fact is, it has the same subtleties as other arts, and the same core principles. Here’s an example of that with the Power developed by a move from Karate Kata Heian Three (Also known as Pinan Three).

The first move of this karate kata is a an outward block, which is easily understood. Then you move into a feet together standing up, leaning slightly forward at the waist with the legs straight, pair of double blocks. I mean, what the heck kind of a move is that?

You can’t establish good balance with your legs straight in that manner! And leaning forward is not a good thing to do! And two of those low and middle blocks?

Well, looking a little deeper, the student shortly realizes that there is genius here. Unfortunately, the genius is often not perceived, unless one does a specific type of kata application. So here is the self defense move that will make sense out of this mess.

Ignore the fact that there are two blocks, they could be used for other techniques. Instead, just block two punches. One and two, you stand and block one, then the other.

Now, with the blocking hand grab the wrist of the second punch, twist from the feet, and pull as you do a horizontal backfist across the side of the head. I know this sounds weird, but think your way through it, and you will find some mighty interesting things happening. In fact, you are going to find some awesome internal power generating.

As you pull, you see, you need to drop your weight into the ground. This sinking of the weight is the same as Tai Chi Chuan concept of ‘rooting,’ but it is quicker and more violent. Still, it really works.

As you pull, the hips pivot, adding more weight to the action, and you find that you are moving large amounts of weight simply by leaning your body into it, or, to be more precise, against it. Now, this is not a smooth move, and it is actually against the rules of all stances…and then you realize, it shows you how to use all stances. Focus on that sinking power, wake up the tan tien (the energy center just below the belly button), use the weight of the whole body, and, zingo bingo, you suddenly have the classical power of the martial arts, but distinctly through the odd move at the beginning of Karate Kata Heian Three.

If you want more moves that give you classical power, mouse over to temple karate at Monster Martial Arts.