Tag Archives: chinese martial arts

Language in the Martial Arts

Newsletter 766
The Pure Language of Matrixing


I was reading the other day,
and a fellow was remarking
how important it was to understand
the language of the martial arts.
The particular phrase being discussed was ‘Oss.’
Which everybody says and nobody knows.
I didn’t know,
and I’m still not sure of the spelling.

master yoga martial art

kill martial art

Bruce Lee would not have stood for GMOs!

So the Japanese had small frigates and subs,
the aisles were narrow,
so narrow it was hard to salute.
So the crew member would nod to an officer,
and the officer would say,

Which means…
‘carry on.’

does that help you do a side kick better?
Does that improve your form?

It might make you smarter,
especially if you were on a Japanese frigate
from many years ago.

I believe you should learn everything you can,
does knowing this make you a better martial artist?
wouldn’t it make you better if the person,
instead of saying ‘Oss,’
said ‘carry on?

Which brings us to ‘appropriateness.’

I see students bowing manically,
slapping their thighs as they do s o,
and shouting ‘Oss,’
to their instructors.
So they are taking the role of the officer,
and telling their instructor he is a crewman
who better get to work.


that all said,
do you have to understand Japanese to learn Karate?

I heard people say this back in the sixties,
and they backed it up with such observations as,
‘there are concepts in the Japanese,
that Americans can’t understand.’


So you have to be raised in another culture,
‘Muricans are too dumb.

Sounds like racism to me.

in fifty years of study
I have not found ANY concept in the martial arts
I couldn’t understand.

I did find that the more difficult concepts
were actually a problem
of being misrepresented in the original language.
When I translated to English,
and used physics,
EVERYTHING resolved.

Which brings us to matrixing.

My purpose in the martial arts
is to make them simple and easy to understand.
To get rid of barriers to learning them.
To unclutter the mess,
to unmix the confusion,
to translate the bushwah into physics.

Want to learn another language?
Go for it.
It’s good for you.
if you know more you will learn faster.
don’t think that learning a language is a requirement.

And here’s something to think about…
every system is a dialect
of the pure language
of matrixing.

I’ve been working on the Binary Matrixing book.
It’s getting close.
Probably your last chance to get the Blinding Steel course,
before I take it down
and re-market it
and at a higher price.

check out this

column I wrote when I was with the mags.
I wrote it in ’96,
and UFC was barely hanging on…


have a super fantastic work out!



Online Gung Fu Course a Real Breakthrough!

Gung Fu Video Course Totally Incredible!

The Shaolin Butterfly Gung Fu course has been a real breakthrough martial arts course.

It is inexpensive, and yet it covers concepts from over a half a dozen styles of Gung Fu.

It condenses these systems and makes the concepts much easier to learn and to apply than if one was to take the original courses, which might take YEARS to complete!

First, the footwork is logically thought out. Each form moves in a different manner, enabling the student to rapidly understand motion in any direction from emotionless beginning.

Second, concepts from Mantis kung Fu are explored, from Choy Lee Fut gung Fu, the tiger, the crane, the dragon, and more! These concepts are well thought out, and the student rapidly learns to combine them for the BEST gung fu he has ever experienced.

Probably the most exciting thing about this system is the method of freestyle. It covers basics to advanced motions and drills, but it focuses on the completed freestyle drill called ‘Rolling Fists,’ or Lop Sau. Up to this time Lop Sau has been taught in pieces, and nobody has ever understood how the whole exercise works. There are actually six moves, and when these moves are practiced the student becomes able to do incredibly efficient freestyle within an hour or two.

AN HOUR OR TWO! Here is a clip…

It only took a couple of hours for the student to freestyle on an intuitive level, and as time went on his blocks and strikes became only harder and more combat efficient.

There is NO other style of Gung Fu that can do that!

There is NO other freestyle training drill in the world that can do that!

So the Shaolin Butterfly truly is a breakthrough Gung fu course. Check it out at:


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The Heart and Soul of Yushin Ryu Karate Do

Advanced Concepts of Yushin Ryu Karate Do

This guest blog was written by Paul Mann. I consider it a real gem of martial arts writing, and I think you will, also. Enjoy.

Karate must be considered, in its final form and spirit, as an expression of your indomitable will to survive in the most direct, self-reliant manner possible, using only that which God gave you; a body, mind and spirit rigorously disciplined as an inseparable entity.

sanchin kata pan gai noonKyuhn literally means fist and is usually translated as fist, boxing or boxer. Kyuhn also has a much deeper, philosophical meaning: a person who is unified in body, mind and spirit. This is an implied meaning, which is derived from the fact that the component parts of your hand must be unified in order to form a fist. But, what is meant by unification of body, mind and spirit and how is it achieved?

Unification occurs when body, mind and spirit have been trained and are in harmony with each other. Unification of body, mind and spirit is accomplished by harmonizing the body, which will promote health and fitness; harmonizing the breath, which will result in an increased and harmonious flow of vital energy; and harmonizing the mind, which means controlling your mind and developing the power of concentration.

Harmonizing the Body (Tiuh San)
Before you can learn to defeat others, you must first learn to stand. Stance training is the foundation of all authentic Chinese martial arts. Physically, it strengthens the legs for stability, powerful footwork and kicking. Correct posture is developed to provide maximum results from properly executed techniques. Also developed are a focused, concentrated gaze for projection of fighting spirit as well as breath control and correct placement of the tongue. Mentally, it requires patience, refines the temperament and produces a tranquil mind. Therefore, be serious and devoted in your stance training, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.3

Harmonizing the Breath (Tiuh Sik)
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.4 There are several words5 in the Bible, which have been translated as spirit or soul. The actual meanings of these words are: any breathing creature; breath and, by implication, spirit; wind and, by resemblance, breath; a current of air, i.e. breath. As you can see, the Biblical use of the words breath and spirit are interrelated and virtually interchangeable.

In Chinese martial arts we use the word hei. The character for hei has several meanings. It can mean air, breath or spirit, but it is most commonly used to represent the concept of vital energy. It is a creative energy, the divine ‘breath’ in every being, which appears as active attention, concentration, and mental force.6

According to a research project undertaken by M.I.T. in 1978, there actually is an electrical energy field around the human body, which can be regulated and even intensified by controlled breathing exercises. In 1997, Liu Chang I was invited to produce a video tape on Fukien White Crane Karate. During the taping, studio technicians picked up a sort of rumbling, drumming sound. The sound engineer couldn’t figure out what was wrong with the radio microphone he had attached to Mr. Liu. “Oh! That’s my gung lihk (manifested vital energy),” explained Mr. Liu. The microphone was removed and taping continued without further incident.7

In one of the most amazing demonstrations of vital energy, Kirlian photography was used to film Teruyuki Yamada breaking a one-inch board. Now, there is nothing amazing about a punch breaking a board, but it is amazing that the punch never hit the board! Playing the film in very slow motion revealed that the board actually snapped when Mr. Yamada’s fist was still one inch away from it! What had shattered the wood was the pressurized force of the energy field between the board and the fist!8

The study of breath seems shrouded with mystery. Unlike the visible techniques of karate, breath and vital energy are unseen forces. They are, nevertheless, as much a part of cultivating the mind as developing the body.9 Though we could suggest any number of preliminary methods for unifying the spirit, directly speaking, uniform breathing and breath control are very important, and breath control is of utmost importance for progressing on the martial path. Success in spiritual unity and strength concentration depends on proper breathing methods.10

The art of breathing (hei gung) is characterized by deep abdominal breathing with your mind concentrated on the daan tihn, a point about three inches below your navel. Daily performance of daan tihn breathing will increase your energy level, produce explosive power and promote a positive, optimistic frame of mind. This is the source of the saying, if you know the art of breathing; you will have the strength, wisdom and courage of ten tigers.

Harmonizing the Mind (Tiuh Sam)
Part I Controlling Your Mind
Karate training will give you the ability to respond to an assault in such a way that the skills acquired through training flow naturally and freely, from knowledge to action without delay. No fear, no hesitation, only immediate, effective and appropriate action. How is this possible?

An untrained mind, like a drunken monkey, jumps around from one thought or emotion to another. One moment you’re thinking about the job at hand, and then about how hungry you are, the score of a ball game, an upcoming date, or any of the five poisonous emotions.11 These thoughts and emotions will rob you of the strength you need to face and solve your problems. Once you are able to divert energy from unnecessary thoughts and emotions and pour it into achieving goals, your power will be boundless and you will be able to achieve more of what you want to accomplish.

No thought of thought is a martial term, which refers to a mind which is empty of all thought and/or emotion; a mind which is receptive, pliant and which allows you to react spontaneously to any situation, which may occur. So then, flow with whatever may happen and let your mind be free. Achievement of this concept in conjunction with deep breathing techniques will enable you to control your mind. The end result is a self-controlled person who is relaxed and effortless in mind and body; a person who sees things as they really are; a person who is fully capable of facing and decisively responding to any conflict, which may arise.

Harmonizing the Mind (Tiuh Sam)
Part II Developing the Power of Concentration
Once, long ago in China, there was an archer who trained daily to perfect his techniques. One autumn evening, the archer was walking home when, suddenly, he saw a flicker of movement in the shadows. It was a tiger, crouching and ready to pounce. Concentrating his mind, the archer fired off an arrow and scored a direct hit, right in the head. The archer hurried home without stopping to examine the dead animal. On the following day, he was curious and returned to the spot where he had slain the tiger. He searched everywhere, but failed to find the body of the tiger. He was about to abandon his search when he saw the arrow, stuck in a huge boulder. It hadn’t been a tiger after all, but his concentration had been so intense that the arrow had been driven into solid rock!

The concentrated mind can pierce through stone. It is characterized by “at yan” (indomitable spirit), a term which expresses a willingness to strive against all odds, to persevere under pressure, and to endure. It has an implied meaning of total commitment; of carrying on even when one is mortally wounded. The term is comprised of two pictographs, At and Yan. At is a pictograph of a hand restraining a germinating seed. Yan, the Chinese word for perseverance, depicts a heart pierced by a knife.

At yan, therefore, means concentrating your mind on one task, goal, problem or object and devoting yourself completely to discovering the solution or to finding the way out of your difficulty or to gaining your objective. It means to struggle, to grapple, to wrestle, to give your all and hold nothing back. It means closing with your problem or opponent and never retreating. It means no hesitation, advance bravely 12 with all you’ve got, again and again, until you achieve your objective.

Harmonizing the Mind (Tiuh Sam)
Part III Complete Awareness
The Chinese word for awareness, lauh sam, literally means keep your heart. Complete awareness (general, direct and specific) is the most important method of assault prevention. Your first line of defense is general awareness concerning yourself, other people and the surrounding environment. Pay attention, be alert and watch for conditions that might lead to a physical confrontation. Then, do whatever is necessary to prevent the confrontation from occurring.

Direct awareness13 (intuition14), finds expression in the saying no sound you can hear, no shape you can see. This ability to see the unseeable and hear the unhearable can make you more sensitive and receptive of the presence of other people’s energy fields. Any miscreant who intends to harm you will project a flow of energy which Chinese karateka call saat hei (killing spirit). Direct awareness is the ability to sense the presence of saat hei. When this happens, heed your intuitive alarm signals and take preventive measures before the danger manifests itself. In any situation which does become physical, direct awareness will enable you to act or strike decisively without conscious thought.

Your awareness must be more specific in the event that a confrontation does occur. Gaan is a Chinese karate concept which refers to “the space in between” combatants as well as an awareness of the potential ability of an individual to make offensive use of space, distance, timing and opportunity. Specific awareness (gaan) can help determine your success or failure by providing you with the information necessary for mentally establishing an imminent danger zone (ngaih gap yuhn).

The Chinese word for monarch is comprised of three horizontal lines centrally joined and intersected by one vertical line. Philosophically, the three horizontal lines represent the three essential elements. The vertical line symbolizes unification and control. The word for monarch, then, describes a person who is unified in body, mind and spirit, a person who is in control of his or her life. This concept is the heart and soul of Yushin Ryu Karate Do – the Way of the Courageous Heart. Let this be the emphasis of your training as well.

Check out the new website… http://bestkungfu.wordpress.com

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?

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

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

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.
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.

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.

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,
tell the truth,
everything was really spread out,
didn’t make sense.
But I could feel the power of it.
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.
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.
odd thing,
I found that,
as I explored the form in directions,
that for every different direction I stepped,
a concept worked.
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.

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?
But it works,
and I care about workability MUCH more
than I care about looks.
I question whether,
several hundred years ago,
the founders of Shaolin did their stances that way.
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.
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,
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.

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


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.
feel free to visit,
and have a good time.

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!


Tapping into Whiskeytown Martial Arts!

Up in Redding, California. Old mining town.

Capturing the spirit of 10,000 dead Chinese immigrants!

Capturing the spirit of 10,000 dead Chinese immigrants!

10,000 Chinese were imported for labor, but they all died off. Allthat’s left is the spirit of KungFu, which I am tapping into by doing Tai Chi at a vista point above the damn. Note the snow covered mountains. Cold. Mmmm. Makes me generate more chi. Did you know that you can heat your body up? You can do it with any martial art, or even an exercise. But doing Tai Chi heats it up without exhausting the energy. Tryit, you’ll love it. Check out the Five Army Tai Chi Chuan page at MonsterMartialArts.com.

The Secret Behind Yin Yang Martial Arts

One of the first things I noticed, way back when in the 60s, was that the martial arts always separated into two factors. I sometimes refer to this as yin yang martial arts. I noticed this way back in the sixties while studying kenpo karate, but it spread through all fighting disciplines, and especially the Chinese martial arts. Check out the video, then I’ll tell you about the two factors.

First, there was right v left. Then I realized you could go top v bottom (hands v feet?), but that was secondary to right v left. Then I realized it was right v left for a right attack, and right v left for a left attack. Things started to get real simple, and because I had a plan for handling virtually anything, I started looking at timing.

But the important thing was right v left, and then whether you close the fellow (push his attack across his body) or open him.

This was yin yang, led to the dichotomoy of the universe, and eventually resulted in massive enlightenment. Because the yin yang means: for something to be true, the opposite must always be true.

But I wouldn’t have realized this essential description of the universe if I hadn’t first realized, and thrown myself into solving the conflict of, right v left. Two sides to everything.

Go on, use it. You’ll find that the whole universe will eventually resolve using this datum as your guiding light.

In fact, all the books I’ve written, all the courses I’ve done, they all depended on this one factor which I call Yin Yang Martial Arts. Check them out at Monster Martial Arts. And pick up a free ebook while you’re there.

Three Steps to Matrixing Martial Arts Fighting

When I was first shown how to do martial arts freestyle, some forty years ago, I intuitively knew the things I am about to tell you. I thought everybody knew them. It was a couple of decades before I realized that I was in possession of something unique.

The first step to learning karate fighting techniques is to consider distance. If you control the distance, you control the fight. If you control distance, you can control whether the fight consists of strikes, manipulations, throws, or whatever.

The easiest drill to enable you to control distance is simply to face your partner at a distance you both agree on, and then, no matter where and how your partner moves, move with him to keep that exact distance. Forward or back, side to side, you keep that distance. An interesting addition to this drill is to match the footwork, if he moves his right foot towards you, you move your left foot back, and so on.

The second step to matrixing martial arts fighting moves is to divide the body top and bottom. The body consists of two triangles, one from the feet to the tan tien, and atop that, one from the tan tien to the shoulders. The arms are separate geometrical figures based off the (upside down) base of the top triangle.

To master these martial arts drills, if your partner attacks with feet, you must back up, if he attacks with hands, you must block. The reason you get out of the way of the feet is because they have more muscle and mass than the arms, and you should avoid blocking something stronger with something weaker. Obviously, as you get better and better, this will change, and you will be able to handle feet with hands quite easily.

The third step to matrixing karate fighting techniques is to divide the body in half. Simply, you must learn to perceive whether the attack is coming towards one side of your body or the other. This will enable you to open or close your attacker; to push his arms across his body (close) or to move them out from the body (open), which shuts down his weapons or opens his targets.

At first you can simply face each other and attack with either the right hand or the left hand, and build your knowledge concerning which side he will attack with. After you have built up enough experience to detect which side he will attack with before he attacks, face your partner in a matching stance (his right foot forward your right foot forward), and shuffle in with a punch to the centerline. Being able to detect which side he will attack with, and to even have choice as to whether you close or open him, will kick open the door to learning many more martial arts self defense techniques quickly and efficiently.

In closing let me say that everything is dependent upon perception. You must open your eyes and see your opponent, study him before and after, and during, every motion. This is at the heart of how you matrix martial arts fighting.

You can learn more about matrixing at Monster Martial Arts.