Tag Archives: judo

Samurai Poetry and the Meaning of Life

Newsletter 909

The Martial Arts Poetry of Dying

Glad to see you’ve recovered from my Xmas poetry.

You know,
some people don’t like poetry,
think it’s sort of stupid.
I,
on the other hand,
am a big fan.

Before cell phones…
men would write poetry to their lady love.
I could quote a few limericks
that would make you blush.

There once was a man from kent,
who’s…

But,
no.
I know you don’t want to hear such filth.

But how about this…
Haiku.

Haiku is very rigid poetry,
a precise number of syllables,
a precise number of lines.
And one of the purposes of Haiku
was for a samurai to declare his death.
That’s right,
the emperor says you’re a chicken gut samurai
and you are going to cut your guts out.

OUCH!

But,
before you do so,
you have a night to contemplate,
a night to write a poem to sum up your death.
One last chance to give your life meaning.

What would you write?

Here’s a couple of samples…

old pond
frog leaps in
water’s sound

Or…

the first cold shower
even the monkey seems to want
a little coat of straw

Or…

how many gallons
of Edo’s rain did you drink,
cuckoo?

These are literary samples,
what do you think a samurai would write?
Here are some samples of American students
trying to duplicate,
or at least describe,
samurai.

Brave as a lion
Fights with no fear or any doubt
Heads into battle

Sneaky as a snake.
The way of the samurai.
Meditation helps.

One swift and strong blow.
No motion of his body.
Yet his sword is still clean.

Not bad, eh?
Well, here’s the real thing.
It doesn’t have the same structure,
but these are real samurai haiku…

Minamoto Yorimasa2
1104-1180

Like a rotten log
half buried in the ground –
my life, which
has not flowered, comes
to this sad end.

Ota Dokan3
1432-1486

Had I not known
that I was dead
already
I would have mourned
my loss of life.

Shiaku Nyûdo5
d.1333

Holding forth this sword
I cut vacuity in twain;
In the midst of the great fire,
a stream of refreshing breeze!

Takemata Hideshige6
(After being defeated by Shibata Katsuie)

Shall Ashura
subdue a man like me?
I shall be born again
and then I’ll cut the head
off Katsuie…

Toyotomi Hideyoshi8
1536-1598

My life
came like dew
disappears like dew.
All of Naniwa
is dream after dream.

Uesugi Kenshin9
1530-1578

Even a life-long prosperity is but one cup of sake;
A life of forty-nine years is passed in a dream;
I know not what life is, nor death.
Year in year out-all but a dream.
Both Heaven and Hell are left behind;
I stand in the moonlit dawn,
Free from clouds of attachment.

Okay,
I hope you took the time to read,
and to consider these things.
Deep thought from men on the cusp of battle, disgrace, death.
What are your thoughts,
I repeat,
if you were to die tomorrow morn…
what would be your poem?
What would sum up your life,
and death,
and you only have a handful of syllables to do it in.

And,
consider,
your time in the martial arts,
the long work outs,
the years of sweat and vigor…
they are all but a haiku,
a fleeting moment
in the vagaries of the universe.

So short
make the best
your time is short.

Here’s the obligatory link…
http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/temple-karate/
It is an old version of karate,
before shotokan,
it was used to defeat samurai in battle.
Enjoy

Now…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

And have a great work out!
Al

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

An Absolutely GREAT Karate win!

Winning from the Classical Masters of Karate

I feel so-o-o good!
And it is all because of a work out.
Have you done your work out today?
You have?
Then do another one!
And feel double great!

master yoga martial art

Click on the Cover!

I was going through my wins
came across this one.
I meant to print it a month ago,
but things happened,
and I lost it in the basket.
So here it is now,
an absolutely GREAT win!

I’ve trained on two continents officially hold 1 black belt, and unofficially am that level in 2 others. I am currently working through the purple belt level in your Kang Duk Won course. I have to say that the workout is as tough as anything I did in Hapkido. The KDW material is filling in all the holes I had in my training. It’s really amazing how much stuff the instructors leave out or don’t even know. About a year ago I was at the place where you started in developing matrixing. I was looking for ways to bridge all my training into a logical system apart from the individual styles. I am lucky I found your site. I saved myself about 40 years of headaches! Just keep up the good work. ~ Jason W.

Thanks
Jason W.
I truly appreciate your win.

And,
for everybody,
as Jason indicates,
after you get the basics of Matrixing down,
what do you do?
You look for places to fill out your training,
ways to put matrixing up against the classic.
Those old guys knew things,
they are not to be discounted.
And,
the Kang Duk Won was my first real art,
and understanding it through Matrixing
really makes it work.

It’s true that a lot of people
just can’t get to black belt.
There are too many holes,
too much incorrect data,
things out of place,
all sorts of things that are gone wrong.
But if you’ve done some Matrixing,
and especially Matrix Karate
and the Master Instructor course,
then taking a look at classical karate
is more than just crucial,
it is the next breath of martial arts
demanding to be taken.

Now you can study Kang Duk Won
through Temple Karate.
It’s got several of the forms.
And you can find it in Evolution of an Art.
And I believe the book I wrote on KDW
might be available on those courses.
but you should check out the courses first.

BUT,
the absolutely BEST way
to study Kang Duk Won
is through the mail order course,
which is at:
http://kangdukwon.com

I included all the old drills,
all the theory and concepts,
absolutely everything I could remember
concerning the Kang Duk Won.

It’s inexpensive, too.

If you’re not interested in matrixing,
it is still an amazing poke in the eye.
But if you have some matrixing under your belt,
then you have the tools to REALLY understand
what those old guys were saying
when they taught this incredible art.

It is,
BTW,
one of the purest,
if not the purest,
example of True Karate in existence.

Anyway,
check it out.

http://kangdukwon.com

HAPPY WORK OUT!

Al

go to and subscribe to this newsletter:
https://alcase.wordpress.com

Remember,
Google doesn’t like newsletters,
so this is the best way to ensure you get them.

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

http://www.amazon.com/Matrixing-Tong-Bei-Internal-Gung/dp/1507869290/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423678613&sr=8-1&keywords=tong+bei

How to Put Zen into the Martial Arts

Newsletter 805
The Promise of a Fight

Beat Google!
Sign up for the newsletter at
https://alcase.wordpress.com

Gorgeous day.
Absolutely gorgeous.
And that means it is an absolutely gorgeous day for a work out.
So get going!

Was teaching this morning.
We were doing Promised Fights,
and my partner was grimacing,
and finally backed off.
“Ow,” he said.
And we got into a long discussion.
Heck,
he was hurting,
I had to let him recover,
give him some data,
and then hurt him some more.
Right?

First,
I started out with the old
‘Do it a form a thousand times and you know it.
Do it ten thousand times and you’ve mastered it.’
My student did exactly the right thing,
he said,
‘So if I do it 20 times a day,
then in fifty days…’
“Yep,” I said.
“You could know it.
You could be expert in 2 months.
But you have to do it right.
You have to understand the alignment,
how the feet work and why,
and you have to know the Promised Fights…
otherwise you could do it forever and not know it.”

Second,
we went into proper body alignment,
which is covered on the Master Instructor Course,
and how the feet must align properly,
and how the particular form we were doing had to be done
to make this all work.
I ended up saying,
“align your body,
make it a single unit,
then he won’t hit your body parts,
he will hit a single, integrated unit,
and it won’t hurt you.
Energy flows through a body that is a single unit,
it doesn’t flow through body parts used in individual fashion.
This is especially important in a Promised Fight.”

And,
came the look I had been waiting for.
I had been using the term Promised Fight,
and I knew he would eventually ask about it.

“What is a Promised Fight?”

A Promised Fight,
or a Promise Fight,
is a piece of the form applied.
A form Application.
It is a self defense movement.
It is bunkai.
It is the working part of the form.
But,
it is more.
In fact,
if a person doesn’t understand what I am about to tell you,
he/she is not doing karate.
They are just fighting themselves.

I asked my instructor what a Promised Fight was,
and he said,
‘The Promise of a Fight.’
And,
while the study of PFs gave great abilities,
and the answer he gave me was correct,
it was terribly incomplete.

To understand what a Promised Fight is
I need you to look up the word ‘Postulate.’

Look it up for yourself,
get all the nuances,
where it came from,
and all that,
but for this newsletter,
the short and inadequate version is this:

suggest or assume the existence, fact, or truth of (something) as a basis for reasoning, discussion, or belief

Assume existence,
put forth the truth,
as a basis for belief.

If you understand the hint here,
you should be diving for a big old Oxford Dictionary,
wanting to know why a simple karate move
becomes the basis for truth in this universe.

So let me break it down a bit,
from the viewpoint of 50 years of training.

A postulate is a thought,
which if worked on,
becomes true.

Worked on,
as continually done in a work out.

As in a piece of the form,
practiced again and again and again.

Now,
let me back up a bit,
a form is a circuit,
a pattern of moves that you practice and practice
until you just do it without thinking about it.
You strengthen the body,
you remember the applications,
you get light and quick,
and all those sorts of things.

When you do a piece of the form,
over and over and over,
you condense the circuit,
and you get rid of thought,
and suddenly there is nothing but the move.
Somebody punches,
and you don’t exist,
you just track the incoming,
and the Promise Fight,
the postulate of moves,
pops out of you.
And it works.
You punch him,
and he falls down.
And he doesn’t understand what hit him.
But here is the truth of it all…
a thought hit him.
A Postulate of thought hit him.
A Promise Fight,
clean and simple,
without distractive thoughts,
hit him.
And there is nothing purer in this universe.

Now,
I am always so busy trying to get people to understand,
offering all sorts of methods,
that i sometimes forget to go into this factor.
BUT,
in Matrix Karate there is the Matrix of blocks.
These are like mini-Promise Fights.
Very important to get these,
to understand them,
it is important to learn the small PFs
before you get to the big ones.
The big ones are on Temple Karate.
There isn’t talk of a matrix there,
because it is assumed you have done the groundwork of Matrixing first.
And the form applications are VERY pure Promised Fights.
They REALLY result in a zen frame of mind,
and the ability to hit somebody with a thought.

If you get Temple Karate
and you haven’t done Matrix Karate,
then you are taking the long route.
It will take you years,
and as distractions mount,
you can be knocked off the path
and never get there.

So you should do Matrix Karate,
work on the Matrix of Blocks,
make inroads and discover what a PF is.
And,
you can always take the pieces of the form,
they are pretty obvious,
and work on them to make real Promised Fights.

Then you do Temple Karate,
get into the classical forms,
and really go to town on the Promised Fights.

Matrix Karate is pretty simple,
it presents the movements that are pure karate,
no distractions from other arts.
It aligns you,
and sets you up for the broader moves of Temple Karate.
It is a real Closed Combat System.
You can do it by itself,
or you can do it,
then move into the classical,
and see what kinds of things
the old guys who came before us were into.
Temple Karate is a larger assortment of tricks,
it broadens the education,
and digs you to new depths.

Anyway,
that is the story on Promised Fights.
Dig ‘em…they are the real zen of Martial Arts.

Here’s the link for Temple,
if you have already done Matrix Karate.
You can just go to MonsterMartialArts and find Matrix Karate,
it is one of the first arts presented on the home page.

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

Now,
have a great work out,
and schedule yourself for twenty times a day,
and send me your wins in two months.

Have a great work out!

Al

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

Don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter at
https://alcase.wordpress.com

http://www.amazon.com/Matrixing-Tong-Bei-Internal-Gung/dp/1507869290/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423678613&sr=8-1&keywords=tong+bei

About the Monster Martial Arts Newsletters

Newsletter 802
What’s Happening in the Martial Arts!

Good afternoon!
Think I’ll do a Tai Chi workout,
those always make me feel so large.
It’s funny…
large on a peaceful scale.

Got an email today,
asking where the newsletters have been.
Here, read for yourself…

Hey Al,
Haven’t heard from you in a while. Are you okay? I miss your newsletters. I’m sorry you’re catching flak from a bunch of little cowards spouting their worthless and unqualified opinions from the safety of their mother’s basement. I’ve been playing this game for a long time (since 1978), and I see you as nothing less than an innovator (if for no other reason than your unique ability to systemize that which has always been chaotic). We live in a unique time where the sharing of information is easier than ever. It’s easy to put people on a pedestal and idolized those who went before us as more than men. But the truth is, they only had a narrow perspective and worldview, and while they did the best they could with their extremely limited access to information, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they are deserving of worship. Just like grade school, only about 5 people out of a hundred actually studied hard and put in the work. The rest either ostracized them, or agreed with them and parroted their phrases to appear more intelligent. I think this phenomenon is seen in the Bible, with William Shakespeare, & in the martial arts. Five percent actually understand what the hell they’re reading (or have read it at all). Most of us do not understand or have not read it, so we agree with those who have and praise the brilliance of the work. The rest think it’s just a bunch of bullshit. My friend, you are among the 5%… No, you are one of those that the 5% study. The difference, is that we have access to more tools than any of our predecessors have had. There will always be  the few that create change, and the lazy masses  that first  violently oppose, and then  blindly  parrot. You can’t be extraordinary  by being ordinary. Keep on pressing on. I value and appreciate your perspective.
-Sean

I thank you, Sean,
from the bottom of my heart.
So let me explain what,
exactly,
has been happening,
and why I am so slow these days.

When I came down from Monkeyland
I was pretty broke.
No place to live,
no job…
no prospects.

Well,
it’s against the law to whine,
so I took on a bunch of jobs.

I drive Uber in the morning,
tutor kids in the afternoon,
do the martial arts in the evening,
and have a janitorial business on the weekend.

And I make sure I work out every day,
and multiple times a day,
if I can.

So that’s what’s been happening.
Survival on the stupid level.
the need for petty, crass cash.

A couple of things happened because of this,
a person gets tired if he isn’t doing what he loves.
So I’m tired all the time.
Poor me.
Whine…whine.
But,
there will come a time when I can shift everything back around,
focus on the martial arts,
and keep going.

After all,
at the end of the road is Monkeyland.
A place where people can go to study martial arts.

Anyway,
it’s not the small people who whine about what I am doing.
There is one common factor in these people:
they have never read what I am doing,
never seen a tape.
They offer opinion without facts.
They think they know everything
based on their own experience,
and they don’t need no durn facts.

So how can I get upset about a bunch of fellows
who offer ignorance as their stock in trade?

It’s sort of like listening to fourth graders
whine about how tough math is,
when the truth is
they just just don’t want to do the work.

And,
the root of the matter,
I’m just stuck in a boring spot,
should be out of it one of these days,
and doing more martial arts.

Then my chi kicks in,
my energy swells,
and life is great.

So that is what is happening.
That is why I am slow in coming out with the newsletters.
It’s my own durn fault,
for putting myself in this situation,
and it continues to be my fault
until I figure out how to right the situation.

So I thank you Sean,
and all the others,
the fifty,
and even the passersby.
Thanks for writing me the email,
encouraging me,
and even chastising me.

I apologize for being a lazy…fellow,
and I guarantee it won’t last forever,
nor probably even long.

In the meantime,
it is up to you.

Work out every day.
Don’t make ignorance your comfort zone,
but delve in,
buy books and videos,
enlarge your cranium with the swell of martial arts.

Put them to work with your friends.
Understand that their is perfection of the spirit
in the study of martial arts,
and that it makes the world a better place.

It calms the spirit,
it undoes undue excitement,
it gives lazerlike insight into the problems of the world.

I’ve been around for a while,
and I will go away,
but the martial arts are your true teacher,
they are the liberator,
the educator,
the enlightenment.

They last forever.

Enjoy.

Now,
I’ll try to work a bit harder,
and stop being a lazy…fellow.

And you go have a great work out!

Al

hHeere’s a course that undoes ignorance…

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/4-master-instructor-course/

http://www.amazon.com/Matrixing-Tong-Bei-Internal-Gung/dp/1507869290/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423678613&sr=8-1&keywords=tong+bei

Black Belt in Karate, Black Sash in Tai Chi Chuan

Newsletter 798
The Importance of a Black Belt in the Martial Arts

Good afternoon!
Absolutely stunning day.
Absolutely perfect for a work out.

Hey,
I had somebody ask me,
the other day,
what belt I was.
It’s a legitimate question.

I received my black belt in 1974.
It was in a classical karate system,
the Kang Duk Won.

And,
a few years ago,
a bunch of my black belts decided
I should be an 8th black belt.
I had some forty years training at the time.
But it was sort of interesting.
we had a wall,
and everybody who made black belt
got a plaque on the wall.
We had a dozen or so plaques,
and somebody noticed there wasn’t one for me.
So they got together and got an 8th black plaque for me.

The funny thing is I didn’t notice it
for quite some time.

Here’s the deal.
I’m proud of my black belt.
But,
shortly after I received my belt,
I lost all interest in belts
and promotions
and such.
(Though I did appreciate
what my black belts did)

Simply,
I became addicted to the information,
the the art,
to the development of myself in a spiritual sense.
But that’s me.
For those who have just begun,
you should be very concerned
with earning a legitimate black belt.

A legitimate black belt carries with it
the realization,
the knowledge,
that you have just begun to learn.
If you earned a black belt,
and you didn’t get that thought,
then there is a good chance that you aren’t legitimate.
You haven’t CBMed,
made the art into yourself,
inverted your viewpoint of the world,
haven’t understood that reality is the illusion,
and yourself is the projector.

Now,
the real point of the martial arts is this:
Does it work.

First,
does it work as self defense.
Can you defend yourself?

Second,
does it make you grow spiritually?
Do you understand your worth as an ‘I am,’
do you see yourself as a point of awareness,
do you understand how your thoughts control the universe?

I suppose,
analyzing my own preferences,
that is why I prefer Karate first,
and Tai Chi second.

Karate works.
It makes my bones hard,
puts snap in my muscles,
and gives me long life.

Tai Chi works also.
It makes me sensitive,
removes me from illusion,
and gives me long life.

And,
interestingly,
Tai Chi,
learned effectively,
is one of the most incredible
self defense styled martial arts
I have ever experienced.

And,
they provide me with a ‘hard and soft’ progression of art.
After you do a bit of matrixing,
you can see how karate can become tai chi.
And how tai chi enhances Karate.

All very interesting.

If you are experienced with the hard,
I recommend the soft.
If you are experienced with the soft,
I recommend the hard.

It’s the only way to be sure
that you really understand
all aspects of the martial arts.

The trick,
of course,
is to make sure you matrix BOTH martial arts.

Here are the Matrix links.

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

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/2ba-matrix-tai-chi-chuan/

Have a great work out!
Al

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

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/2ba-matrix-tai-chi-chuan/

http://www.amazon.com/Matrixing-Tong-Bei-Internal-Gung/dp/1507869290/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423678613&sr=8-1&keywords=tong+bei

The True Spirituality of the Martial Arts

The First Lesson in the Martial Arts

I was teaching today,
first time in a long time,
first time since I went through the shoulder injury,
and operation and rehab,
and,
man, it felt good.
Back in the saddle again.
Thanks, Nick.

master yoga martial artAnd,
I was reminded of one of the first things
I ever tell people.
Sort of important,
because I get emails from people
who ask about spirituality.
So here is the basic lesson,
usually the first lesson,
I teach people,
and it is about spirituality.

Invariably,
people will think they made a mistake,
they will usually even apologize.
I say,
‘What?’
They say,
‘I’m sorry.’
I ask, ‘For what?’

Here’s the point,
The student never makes a mistake.
He makes decisions based on the data he has.
If he comes up with an answer that doesn’t fit
he isn’t wrong.
He just needs to go over the material some more.

And here is the lesson…

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS RIGHT AND WRONG!

There is right,
and there is almost right,
not quite right,
and so on,
but there is no wrong.

The problem is that people have grown up in a society
where people make other people right or wrong.
You ran the red light!
YOU’RE WRONG!
You get a ticket.

Well, actually,
you ran the red light based on certain data.
The data might have been off,
but it doesn’t make you wrong.

It makes you the ‘victim’ of a government
that exists through the action
of making people right or wrong.

Some guy slaps his kid.
He’s not wrong,
he was raised by being slapped,
it is the viewpoint he has accepted.

Now,
we know what is wrong here,
running a red light or slapping a kid,
it is easier to say somebody is wrong,
than to understand them.

The government thinks that penalizing you
will make you more aware.
But hitting people doesn’t make them smarter.
Quite the opposite.

So here is the point:
do you want to be a spiritual person?
Then make people right.
Give up,
totally,
the idea of wrong.

Teach a kid,
show a worker the correct way,
share a good time,
make people right.

Not wrong.

This is an old concept.

Ever heard of:
Do unto others…?

This is because the universe is basically
a mirror for ourselves.

As you do,
so shall ye reap.

If you make somebody wrong,
then you are wrong.

If you make somebody right,
then you are right.

So,
which do you want to be?
What kind of universe do you want to live in?

And this is,
invariably,
the first lesson I teach.

some people get it quick.
Some slow.
But if I keep saying it,
then it works.
Students get better.
Students become better teachers.
And everybody becomes more spiritual.
More aware.
More…understanding.

Okay!
Here’s a list of books I have written

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

Check them out,
see which ones interest you,
fill out your library,
expand your understanding of the martial arts,
and of yourself.

Have a great work out!

Al

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

http://www.amazon.com/Matrixing-Tong-Bei-Internal-Gung/dp/1507869290/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423678613&sr=8-1&keywords=tong+bei

Myth and Mysticism in the Martial Arts!

Myth Versus Mysticism in the Martial Arts

Do you study Karate? Or kung fu or kenpo or Taekwondo? Or even Mixed Martial Arts? Then let me ask you a question.

Would you turn in your car for a horse and buggy?

Click on the cover to find the source of the martial arts...

Click on the cover to find the source of the martial arts…

Why not? After all, the horse and buggy is the old standard. Will never blow a fuse. You’ll get a thousand gallops before the old girl keels over. So why not?

Okay, so let’s rephrase that…would you give up your horse and buggy for a car?

Sort of a silly question, isn’t it?

So let’s talk martial arts.

Your kung fu or Kenpo, your Karate or Jujitsu, those are horse and buggy. They are routines based on mysticism. They are born of legends which cannot be proved.

Mind you, they were great in their day, but why not put them aside for something a little more scientific?

Here’s the thing, people are taught monkey see monkey do. They learn methods based on the movements of the tiger, or some old nun, or some cosmogony that may or may not bear much resemblance to reality.

They are not taught scientifically.

Yes, the arts work, but here’s the question…do you want to ride a horse across the US? Or take a car?

Heck, the car is going to be ten times faster, easier on the bones, and fun.

The horse might be…fun.

The car is built scientifically.

The horse is a miracle of evolution…but it is not a scientifically designed mode of transportation. It is slow, requires constant feeding, and leaves noxious waste.

The car is…fast.

So what do you want to do? Keep going with the old mystical mystic stuff?

Or learn ten times faster?

Interesting choice, eh?

If you want to understand something, not just do it blindly, then you need Matrixing. And you can find matrixed martial arts at MonsterMartialArts.com.