Tag Archives: gichin funakoshi

Five Martial Arts Books Written over Twenty Years Make an Encyclopedia

I Wrote an Encyclopedia of Martial Arts

There are five books in the Martial Arts encyclopedia, and they cover Karate from China to America, from the first transmutations of Kung Fu to the latest scientific innovations.

sanchin kata pan gai noonPan Gai Noon, is on of the more important Chinese Arts that influenced Karate

Kang Duk Won is a pure form of Karate before the Japanese went power crazy on it.

Kwon Bup is an American version, very powerful and straight forward.

Outlaw Karate is the record of my attempts to create a style of Karate that could be done in one year. A black belt in one year really is a heady concept.

And the last book, Buddha Crane Karate, begins going into matrixing concepts.

I haven’t listed as an encyclopedia (though I did at one time), and that is because these five books were written over a twenty year period. They have different software programs, different technologies, and, taken together, they are ragged. So I list them as separate books, but they are an encyclopedia of Martial Arts. They are all technique, not a lot of words, just the actual moves.

You can find the Encyclopedia of Martial Arts on this page.



Finding Something Wet and Sticky in Self Defense

Closing Ceremonies and True Self Defense Concepts

Guest blog by Alaric Dailey

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

one year black belt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Karate Puzzle makes for Incredible Martial Arts Learning Experience!

Speed up Learning with a Karate Puzzle!

The Karate Puzzle is the brainchild of Andreas Sturm.

Now, unfortunately for non-Germanic speaking people, the website is written in German. A wonderful language that I can’t speak.

karate puzzle

Andreas Sturm, inventor of the Karate Puzzle

However, a little work with the google translator, and it is easy!

The puzzles themselves are sliding images, and all you have to do is figure out which button to click to mix up the images, then slide them back into place!

Now, I found this quite interesting, and it did tax my poor brain. Even after doing the forms for over forty years, I found myself having to sort through the pictures to figure out the sequence.

And, sorting them in this fashion will help your ability to learn the forms and do them faster.

It really is ingenious, and one of those things where you slap your head and think, ‘Why didn’t I think of this?’

But you didn’t, and Andreas did, and well done to him.

There are seventeen kata on the puzzle page, a full range of the Shotokan forms. This will keep you busy into the wee hours, so when you can’t get to the dojo, you can simply open a soda pop, go through the various forms, and get yourself an armchair work out that actually works!

As for Mr. Sturm…he began his study of Karate in 1995, and began instructing in 2002.

Though the website is in a foreign language, using the translator I was able to read it pretty easily, though a bit slower than I am used to. It is a good website, fileld with solid information, and, of course, there are the puzzles.

Interested in visiting the site? It is at Karate Puzzle.

This article was written by Al Case, for more information on fantastic martial arts training methods like the Karate Puzzle, visit him at Monster Martial Arts.


Karate Throws for Fun and Maim!

Finding and Defining the Karate Throw!

When this writer first learned Karate, there weren’t any throwing techniques. There was just kick and punch, and so much of it that there wasn’t much interest in how to throw somebody.

Heck, if you wanted to throw, you took Judo, right?

karate throwing technique

He could punch…and he could throw!

But, as time played out, and arts were learned, the subject of Karate throws kept popping up again and again.

Interestingly, there were throws in Karate before that art became a mass produced method of making money for US teachers.

I’m not trying to diss anybody here, but the US teachers were all saying ‘My art is the only Martial Art!’ And they were concerned with pushing their tournament fighting, which had no room for throws.

But Gichin Funakoshi was once taking lessons with Jigaro Kano, and suddenly Gichin did a throw that Kano didn’t really know. And when Kano was surprised, Funakoshi passed it off with, ‘Oh, Karate has a few throws.’

A few throws, indeed! Karate is LOADED with takedowns and locks and all manner of manipulative grappling techniques!

Finding Karate Throws in the Kata

My favorite example is the move at the end of Pinan Three. You poke over the shoulder and elbow, and slide to the side. Absolutely perfect grab art, if, instead of poking the eyes, you grab an encircling arm and throw on the slide.

Anyway, we could get into a lo-o-ong discussion about the placement of throws in almost every single move of every single kata, but I will leave that up to the reader to explore on his own, and merely say: ‘the throws are there, you just have to learn how to look.’

I will say that the throws in Karate tend to be all over the place. Karate wasn’t organized logically, and the things are placed in haphazard arrangement. That may make your job of finding them harder, but it will also make it more interesting.

I will also say that, in the end, while this writer loves throws and locks, there is greater efficiency in one punching an opponent. I know that some people may disagree with this, but I recommend practicing the punch until it works, and exploring the throws and locks so that you don’t get trapped or fooled by them, and so that you may have options. An option, for instance, in the event that it’s only your drunk cousin…don’t punch him! Just do one of your Karate Throws, over the shoulder and into the trash can…he he!

Here’s a great article about Karate Throws. You can also check out Matrix Kung Fu at Monster Martial Arts, which is the bible of Throwing Techniques.


Karate Throws That Nobody Knows…

Karate Throws to Warm Your Heart!

Speaking of Karate Throws…
It used to be
people learned Karate
so they could one punch a sucker.
Put him to sleep for a week.
people couldn’t do it,
and by the time the nineties rolled around
they were ready for Mixed Martial Arts.
Ready to throw and lock,
ground and pound,
smash and trash,
and all that.

shotokan karate throw

Best Karate Throw

you can one punch somebody if you do it right.
It has to do with depth of punch,
time of actual contact (impact)
and delivering an idea.

this is not about that one punch idea,
this is about throws,
and a lot of people gave up their karate training
because there weren’t any throws in it.

My, my.
Ain’t we silly.

Gichin Funakoshi got together with Jigaro Kano.
Gichin was asking about throws,
Jigaro taught him some.
Then Gichin did a throw
that he had not been taught by Jigaro.
Jigaro was surprised and asked him about it,
and Gichin replied…
‘Oh, we have throws in Karate.’

We have throws in Karate,
what an interesting statement.
Yet the whole world thinks we don’t!
Yet the founder of modern day Karate says we do.
So why don’t we see many throws in Karate?

One reason is because it is easier to teach punches
to huge classes.

Another reason might be
the Japanese had throws,
so why teach them what they already had?

Another reason might be
the Okinawans didn’t want to teach their samurai busting techniques,
to the culture that created the samurai.

there could be a lot of reasons.
My personal favorite reason
the Okinawans didn’t teach a lot of throwing techniques in Karate
(they did teach some),
is that the specific physics of Karate
don’t favor the particular mechanics of the body
when doing throws.

The reason I say that
is I learned a few throws,
but they relied on violent karate style motion,
and we didn’t have any ‘judo techniques’ style of motion.

consider all that as you wish,
let’s talk about throws.

In Pinan Three.
The spear hand technique,
you can translate that into an arm wrapping technique,
and take a guy down easy squeezy.

in Pinan Three,
when you are doing the foot raise
elbow and backfist
on the way back down the center of the form,
you can slide into an opponent,
insert yourself under his arm,
and effectively ‘split’ him.
Bottom half goes one way,
top half goes the other.
And, voila…a throw.

Pinan Three,
at the end,
when you do the horse stance,
punch over the shoulder.
Perfect for a grab from behind,
you grab his arm,
sideways movement with an arm throw.

that’s just three off the top,
the truth is,
I could easily find a dozen throws in that form alone.

I don’t bother.
I was interested,
I looked,
I saw,
but I found that it was much better
to matrix the body,
isolate specific lines of energy,
and therefore to isolate the throws and present them as a matrix.

I don’t teach big massive arts,
I don’t teach Karate with all the techniques of all the other arts,
I teach karate as a specific and ordered set of principles,
as a science and not an art,
and then I teach throws
as a specific and ordered art
in Matrix Kung Fu (Monkey boxing).

To try to teach all the arts
through one particular art’s viewpoint
is how we got in the mess in the first place.
Somebody learns a concept,
say it is the clinging energy of Mantis Kung Fu,
then they try to include every single concept
they have ever learned
under the mantle of preying mantis Kung Fu,
and suddenly they are trying to teach the elephant style of Mantis.

And it doesn’t make sense!

All the concepts don’t fit together
if you try to teach them from a single viewpoint!

if you teach each martial art
from the unique viewpoint of that art,
then the arts become small and bite sized.

The problem,
of course,
is that people have never really isolated
the specific concepts of their arts.
Karate is ‘hard,’they say.
But that’s not the unique concept of Karate!
That is a generality,
it points to art,
and not to science!

‘Tai Chi Kung Fu is soft,’ they say.
But all kung fu is not soft,
and so there is misunderstanding,
concepts are mushed together,
and people are left to dig their way through the mess.

Do you understand?

For an art to be considered as a science it must be made logical,
pried apart form other arts,
aligned within itself,
kept separate form other influences.

when it is understood,
it can be put together with the other arts,
which is to say,
other arts can be taught in similar fashion,
and put together
and made into a whole.

Studied as a mush,
it takes decades to lifetimes
to master the martial arts.
Taken as small, bite sized, and logical matrixes of information,
the whole art can be absorbed quickly and smoothly.
Mastered in a couple of years.

don’t believe me.
Try Matrix Kung Fu,


See for yourself.
Matrix Kung Fu is virtual all the standing up takedowns in the martial arts.
If there is a takedown not there,
it is invariably able to be figured out
from the throws that are there.

Oinky donkey,
nuff said.
I hope I’ve said enough
to bring you out of the dark ages,
because the golden age of the martial arts
is about to open.

Matrix Martial Arts shows you where the doorknob is,
and all you have to do is turn and enter.
That simple.

before I go,
Check out The Map.
It’s on the menu of Monster Martial Arts.
I used to have one of these a long time ago,
and I’ve brought it back,
very interesting,
especially if you are on it.



And I’ll talk to you next Friday.


zen martial arts


The Empty in the Empty Hands of Karate

empty hand technique

Still the mind and expose the soul!

Karate means Empty Hands, and there are several layers to this meaning.

One meaning, as expressed by Ed Parker of Kenpo Karate, is that you hold no weapon.” I come to you with only karate, empty hands. I have no weapons, but should I be forced to defend myself, my principles or my honor; should it be a matter of life or death, of right or wrong; then here are my weapons, karate, my empty hands.”

This is a fine sentiment, a good statement of honor, but it doesn’t get to the heart of the real empty hands that Karate is.

The original name of Karate was Naha-te, which meant ‘Okinawan Hands.’ It was designed by the Imperial Bodyguards to protect the King of Okinawa. Interestingly, the name was changed by Gichin Funakoshi, who is considered to be the father of modern Karate.

The reason for this change becomes obvious as one digs into the art, and finds some particularly zen concepts within.

One must become silent within while doing the art. Silence in which one watches ones opponent. Silence, which presages and enhances the energy to be generated. Of course, while having much depth, this technical necessity for silence leads one to the real meaning.

If one is silent, one has stopped the mind from chattering. One focuses on an opponent, stills all distractions, ignores all outer movement, ignores all inner thought, and only focuses, and here is the true meaning.

How often do you have thoughts?

When one is reading a book and loses all sense of time, when the world goes away, the mind has been suspended. Now immerse yourself in the chaos of the world, but so deeply that all distractions go away, and there is nothing but you.

Now do it in the middle of chaos.

There is the zen of it all, and there is the point of Karate, and other martial arts, and there is the empty that you seek through the empty hands of Karate. If you wish to know more about this concept, but in modern, understandable terms, check out the free ebook on Matrixing offered at Monster Martial Arts.