Tag Archives: kang duk

Bob Babich, Mas Oyama, and the Kang Duk Won

Behind the Scenes at the Kang Duk Won

This post concerning Mas Oyama, Don Buck, and other early pioneers in American Karate, was actually written by Master Instructor BJ. I didn’t know some of this, and there is no way I can compete with the original words presented here. I suggest you do a little googling of the names involved to pad out what you’re about to read. It is well worth it. The original post appeared on KangDukWon.com.

The Story of the Kang Duk Won in America

Sifu Al, you probably know this already but when teenage Don Buck started training with Duke Moore in 1946 fresh out of the US Navy where Don was the US Navy Pacific Fleet 137lb Champion and also wrestled and studied Combat Judo & Defendu.

duke moore, don buck,mas oyama, kang duk won,karate,kenpo

From the Hawaiian Karate Museum, John D. Pell collection. John Pell, Don Buck, Mas Oyama, Gosei Yamaguchi.

By the Mid-50s Don Buck was a Body Building champion and San Francisco Cop in addition to being a black belt in Moore’s Judo & JJ.   Buck & Moore started studying Shorinji Ryu Karate with one of Duke’s teachers, Richard Kim.  One of Kim’s Korean student’s came to the US to work as a Pro Wrestler.  Of course I’m talking about Mas Oyama.

BTW, Mas Oyama’s Karate and Masahiko- Gracie JJ Defeater- Kimura Judo workout partners in the Early 1950’s were Tak Kubota and Taiji Kase!  In fact the gnarled hand on one of Mas Oyama’s early books- ghost written by Don Draeger- was actually Kubota’s.

After WWII Kimura worked as a Pro Wrestler in Europe and N&S America.  He hooked Mas Oyama up with some wrestling promoters here in the US and Mexico so Oyama could make some money.

Mas Oyama set his US base up in San Francisco where he could continue his training with his Sensei Richard Kim.  While not wrestling Oyama lived with Kim’s JJ student Duke Moore and taught/worked out with Duke Moore and Don Buck everyday he was in San Francisco for 4-6 hour workouts.

After a little over a year Mas went back to Japan and promoted both Duke Moore and Don Buck to their Shodan ranks.  Buck opened his own Dojo in 1957 where he only taught Kyokushin Karate making his Dojo the first Oyama Style Karate Dojo to open in the US.  ***Please note that Bobby Lowe has the distinction of opening the first Kyokushin dojo OUTSIDE of Japan.***

mas oyama,norman rha,kang duk won karate

Mas Oyama showing impeccable breaking technique.

When Don Buck opened his Dojo doors in 1957 one of his first students, and Black Belts, was one Robert Babich. A year of two later Richard Kim had a skinny Korean Black belt fresh off the boat from Korea show up at his San Francisco Dojo.  As Kim was about to leave for Japan so he sent the young Korean to his student’s, Duke Moore, Budokan dojo where Moore promptly sent the Korean to Don Buck.

The young Korean didn’t speak much English but Don Buck told him to go change into his Dogi.  When the Korean returned Buck noticed a patch with a fist on the Korean’s uniform.  Don Buck asked what the patch said and young Korean replied something like, “Kang Duk Won Kwon Bup Kong Soo Do.”

After sparring and defeating Buck’s students he squared off with Buck himself.  Buck knocked the Korean down a few times but the Korean kept getting up and he finally knocked the much bigger and stronger Buck across the dojo floor and down.  Buck got back up smiling and told the Korean, “Your hired! What is your name?”  The young Kang Duk Won fighter said, “Norman Rha” and bowed slightly to Buck!

Buck was opening a couple of new Dojo locations and he hired Rha (Rha Jong-nam) and assigned Robert Babich to assist Rha with running the new Dojo.

However, the soft whip-like Tong Bei style punching and much deeper Chaun Fa stances of Rha’s Kang Duk Won Kong Soo Do were so much different than Oyama’s power punching that sometime after Babich earned his Shodan from Don Buck it was decided that Babich should open just his own dojo with Rha so as not to create differences of style with the Kyokushin students.  So they left Don Buck’s American Kyokushin Dojo’s to open their own KDW school.

As Rha was a poor Medical School student he and Babich shared an apartment with the agreement that Rha would teach Babich KDW in return for help learning English.  It should be noted that anytime in the 60’s and early 70’s Babich promoted students to Black Belt the Tracy Brother’s would try to hire the new KDW black belts to run one of their Tracy Brother’s Chinese Kenpo Schools.

The Tracy’s only hired the BEST fighters, both as teachers and Association School Coaches (Joe Lewis & Al Dacascos for example),  as school challenges were common and they didn’t want to loose their schools students, $$$, to another challenging school.  Babich’s KDW academy in San Jose, CA had a reputation of turning out some of the toughest fighters on the West Coast.

It is interesting to note, at least for me,  that Babich didn’t include Sanchin or Tensho in his Kwon Bop Karate that he taught in the 1970’s and 80’s until he closed down his San Jose Dojo.  Why I don’t know???

Note:

Thanks, BJ, for this wonderful bit of writing.

The reason Bob didn’t include Sanchin and Tensho, in my opinion, is that there are two styles of Karate, one fixed and one fluid, or Shorin and Shorei. Bob was not a large man, he was thin and whiplike, and the heavier sanchin style stances didn’t suit him, perhaps even worked against the fluid motions he was developing through the Kang Duk Won.

If you want to find out what the truth behind the Kang Duk Won, check out the first Karate form and applications, and the bonus material on historical uses of Karate.

This has been a page about Don Buck, Mas Oyama, and the early beginnings of the Kang Duk Won Karate.

The Five Principles of a True Martial Art

What Makes a ‘True Martial Art?’

true martial art

Analyzing the body lines to find proper alignment…

Oddly, back when I was training in the Kang Duk Won, we bypassed the first few elements of a True Martial Art. As I studied other other martial arts, however, such as Aikido, Tai Chi Chuan, and so on, the importance of the items we hadn’t focused on became more important, and I began to see the whole picture. Continue reading

Using the Karate Stance to Build True Power in the Martial Arts!

Sinking and Screwing to Power Up Your Karate Stance

One of the main differences between art and sport in the arena of the Martial Arts, is the ability to sink and screw, such as in good Karate stance.

This difference, what I refer to as sink and screw in Karate Stances, is drastic. Oddly, almost nobody ever talks about it, or, if they do, they pass it off. Continue reading

Best Online Karate Lessons on the Planet!

Here’s a Course on Original Karate!

Oinkey Donkey
slop the hogs and shave the chicken,
I have something GRR-REAT for you!
I set up a website specifically for taking a person through Karate.

best karate lessonsNow,
if you have Temple Karate
or the Kang Duk Won (from Evolution of an Art)
Then you have the working pieces of this site.

I simply took Temple and Kang Duk Won,
broke them down into lesson format,
added check lists
articles,
and included various other items.
So,
buyer beware,
I don’t want to get caught out
accused of just ‘re-packaging.
So I am telling you now,
it is repackaging.

You might want to get it anyway,
because it is in lesson format.

Now,
you go through the belt levels
one belt at a time.
First belt only costs…
$2!

Then you add a dollar for each level.
You download the check list,
you read the material and watch the videos,
and you work out.

Now,
this thing is complete with original drills and exercises.
In fact,
you get some pretty AWESOME bonuses!
As you go through the course
each belt level will have a bonus.
For instance,
the Imperial Karate form applications are on each of the first three levels.
Other BONUSES include…
The Punch (with Kick and Candle)
The Master’s Handbook
Amazing Fighting Drills
The Kang Duk Won

And,
at the end of the course,
free test for Black Belt!

Now,
there are all sorts of other little things,
so you should just check out the site,
see what’s what.

And,
let me tell you,
this price is ONLY going to be for a while.

I am just taking a short time to check all links,
make sure all paypal buttons work,
tweak the text and whatever,
get some feedback and wins,
and then the price goes up.
I don’t know if I’ll go to two bucks every level, or five,
or some other scheme.
But it will go up to about $120 for the whole thing,
which is what the course and all the BONUSES add up to.

And,
as stated,
the course is Kang Duk Won.
This is the original Pre-Funakoshi,
not slanted for tournaments,
not slanted for commercial dojos (McDojos)
not arranged for school children,
Karate!

Do it the way I list on the check lists,
follow all directions,
and you will be visiting Kang Duk Won Karate
the way it was taught to me almost fifty years ago,
just a couple of teachers removed from the original Karate
that existed before Funakoshi.

So,
that is the big announcement.
Head on over and check it out,
and remember,
when the prices go up,
they go up for everything,
no matter where you are on the course,
so…
don’t waste time.
Dedicate yourself.
Take advantage of…
The Best Online Karate Course in the World!

Here’s the URL…

http://kangdukwon.com/introduction/

So I’ll tell you more about this later,
but,
right now,
I have to get to work and get this site on the map.

So,
have a great work out!
And I’ll see you over there.

Al

Al Case Martial Arts Books Hit Kindle!

Martial Arts Books Extravaganza!

Al Case, the most prolific Martial Arts writer in history, has begun loading his books and novels onto Amazon/Kindle.

Titles include:

martial arts books

Click on the cover!

Pan Gai Noon (Kung Fu system which resulted in Karate)
Kang Duk Won (unique version of Karate from before Funakoshi)
Perfect Karate
The Neutronic Motors of Pa Kua Chang (a neutronic look at how Pa Kua Chang really works)
The Bodyguard Training Manual (one of the few careers in which a martial artist can use his talents legitimately)
3rd Level 6th Sense Sword fighting (getting to the heart of real weapons training)
and more.

Some of the books are available through the author’s websites, some have been out of print, or bundled and not available separately.

Of particular interest are his novels, which show a wide range of interests.

The block buster ‘The Day the President Killed the United States.’
A tale of race war in America, ‘Monkeyland.’
The secret history of planet Earth, ‘The Bomber’s Story.’
Probably the best novel ever written… ‘Machina.’

Many of these novels have not been available, or were previously only available in perfect bound copies.

Many of the novels have Martial Arts themes or sub themes.

Martial Artists would be especially interested in the Wudan Assassin series.

The Wudan Assassin series are three volumes: Hero, Assassin, and Avatar.

The Assassin is the army of the Wudan, the world’s oldest religion. He cannot get sick, he cannot die, and he is the sole protector of hope on planet earth. He did, however, have to pay a price for his unique abilities: he has no soul.

Readers wishing to avail themselves of this unique collection of Al Case Martial Arts Books and Novels can simply click on over to Kindle/Amazon.

The Secret of Sacred Sweat

Good evening!
And a happy, hot, muggy work out to you.
I remember working out way back in the seventies.
San Jose dripping with sweat.
The gi became utterly and totally soaked.

Now here’s the odd thing.
It didn’t smell.
I don’t mean to gross you out here,
talking about body odor,
but there’s an interesting phenomena here,
and I want to explain it.

ki energy

Martial Arts Chi Power!

The first few years,
when I was doing Kenpo…
the karate gi smelled.
I would work out,
and it would need heavy washing and drying.
Even then,
there was an odor that built up over a year.

Then I went to the Kang Duk Won,
and the gi stopped smelling.
I was working harder,
sweating more,
and this was the time I would work out
and the gi would be as if dipped in a pool of water,
dripping with my perspiration.

But it stopped smelling!

Now how could that be?

But,
I didn’t have the time nor funds
to explore the odor saturation points
of a Karate uniform.
So I just kept working out.

A decade or two later,
(time flies when you’re having fun!)
I was working out in Los Angeles,
and I was doing Pa Kua Chang.
And my perspiration was silvery.
I would look at my arm,
not water,
but silver water.
It was absolutely fascinating.

These days
I don’t sweat much.
I sweat a little,
but…
I don’t work as hard.
My body is not tense,
I don’t use the muscles,
I use energy,
and…
and that is the trick.

When you are first starting the martial arts
you think it is all muscle.
You pump iron
and cross train
and do body weight calisthenics,
and you work hard!

After a while,
the muscles are in tune
and the body is doing what it is supposed to,
and you’re getting a little older,
and you figure out the easier way of doing things.
You use energy.

Now,
what does it take to use energy?
Less effort.
The less effort you do
the more energy you have.
Isn’t that an interesting equation?

< e = + E

If you read the old Taoist texts
you’ll come across this phenomena.
My favorite saying
is from the Tao.

‘Do nothing
until nothing is left undone.’

Can you see how Laotse is talking about energy?

Use less energy,
and less energy,
until you are using no energy.

How fascinating.

Of course,
it was a mystery
until I had plumbed it,
done enough martial arts,
but now I am what he is talking about.

How weird.
It’s worse than old age,
and quite a bit better.

Anyway,
to go on,
when I put out that candle
on the Matrixing Chi page,
how much energy do you think I am using?

I am actually using less energy
than I have used
for anything in my life.

It’s true.
I use the motions of the body,
to stir the energy,
but I use the mind
to project it.

I wrote all about this procedure
in Matrixing Chi,
and I threw in the Candle book
to help out.

I wanted to make sure that everybody knew that it was easy.
That they would get it.

Projecting Chi is the easiest thing I have ever done,
but I had to go through a lot of sweat and discipline
to still my mind,
so that I could actually project a thought.

Okay,
here’s the link…

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/4c-matrixing-chi-power/

Now,
have a GREAT fourth of July!
Extra work outs all around!
And don’t forgot to hoist a suds
(or soda if you’re under age)
to freedom,
and the ability to be the best you
that ever practiced a Martial Art!

Al

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/4c-matrixing-chi-power/

Working Both Sides of the Martial Arts

The Two Sides of the Martial Arts!

There was a famous karateka in Japan.
everybody thought he was the greatest.
One day he up and left for China.
While there,
he began studying Tai Chi,
and Pa Kua,
and all sorts of other stuff.
Now you’ve got to remember,
he was a karate master,
much looked up to,
but this Chinese stuff…
and the whispers started.

‘He betrayed Karate.
He lost his faith.
He was wrong.
How could he possibly stomach that Chinese stuff!’

Several years passed,
he returned home
went back into Karate,
and everybody forgave him.

People said things like
‘Oh,
he saw the error of his ways.
He was just making sure Karate was the best.’
And so on.

But what could they say?
He was better than them!
And it seems like all the little people
want to pull down the big people.
Jealousy.
Small minds.

Now,
here’s the thing,
when people actually asked him
why he went to China and studied
martial arts like Tai Chi and so on,
he said,
‘So I could understand Karate better.’

I began Karate in November of 1967.
I began Tai Chi Chuan about 1974.
Right after I got my black belt.

I started with a book,
Modified Tai Chi for Health,
by Lee Ying Arng.
Probably one of the first books ever printed in English
on Tai Chi Chuan.
Came from a publishing house in Hawaii.
Sold a few copies and moved on.
Some of you old guys might remember it.

Anyway,
the book was a mess.
The pictures were bad,
the motion was depicted with odd arrows
that didn’t always seem to make sense,
and the instructions were weird!
But,
night after night,
I kept at it.

I left the Kang Duk Won,
studied Aikido.
Kept doing that darned Tai Chi book late into the night.

Funny thing,
my wife once asked me,
‘What are you doing?’
I answered honestly.
‘I don’t really know.’
And I kept going.

So,
for years,
I was a tai chi book student,
slowly worming my way into
The Grand Ultimate Fist.

1981,
and I wrote my first article for the mags.
The article was called,
‘The Perfect Strike.’
It was in a karate mag,
it’s somewhere on the Monster now.
Want to know where I got the idea for that article?
Tai Chi.

Tai Chi concepts,
you see
were alien to Karate.
Strange things,
didn’t fit.
But I was finally figuring it out.
So I got paid a hundred bucks,
just because I was studying something
that made my karate better.

Years later I ran into a fellow
who took the time to show me real Tai Chi.
Oddly,
I hadn’t done badly
in my book learning.
And,
here’s the interesting thing,
I would do Tai Chi,
and people would ask me why I was good at it.
And I said,
‘Karate helped me understand it.’

Do you understand?

Here are two arts that are almost in opposition.
They contradict each other.
They are different.
But…
they are different only in that
they are opposite sides of the same coin.

In other words,
they are not different,
only people’s viewpoints are different.

Do you want to understand the martial arts?
Really understand them?
Then do two arts that oppose each other.
Or,
at least provide different viewpoints.
The jujitsu practitioner,
who relies on things like
force and hard leverage,
will find the doors of his art opening wide
when he studies Aikido.

both grab arts,
but one is force,
and the other is flow.

My particular path was karate and Tai Chi.
Lots of other stuff,
but those are the two that had the most impact in my universe.

Those are the two that short circuited my opinions
and gave me facts.

So,
try it.
If you study Karate,
try some Five Army Tai Chi.
If you study Tai Chi,
try some Matrix Karate.
Or,
if you really have an aversion to Karate,
do some Shaolin Butterfly.

Remember,
the old masters were not masters because they studied one art,
they were masters because they studied many arts.

Here’s the link to Tai Chi Chuan.
http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/five-army-tai-chi-chuan/

One other thing before I head out
for another work out…

If you go to the Monster,
look in the menu for the products page,
you’ll find some neat stuff.

Remember,
every time you get a course,
or a hat or mug or whatever,
you bring me one step closer to Monkeyland,
and that brings everybody one step closer.

Now
Talk to you later.

Al

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

Bak Mei Will Kill You, Dog!

Five Volume Technical History of Karate!

Funny thing, I was putting Martial Arts books up on Kindle, and I realized that I had a history going on. Here is the way the history works.

  1. Vol one Pan Gai Noon
  2. Vol two Kang Duk Won
  3. Vol three Kwon Bup
  4. Vol four Outlaw Karate
  5. Vol five Buddha Crane Karate
ruin karate

Do you know this Okinawan Karate Master?

Now, the first volume deals with martial arts in China that went to Okinawa. This is where the Bak Mei of the title of this blog comes in. He was supposed to be a renegade priest from the Shaolin Temple. Started his own style, and even killed a bunch of Shaolin priests. Supposedly. Anyway, he is big in fiction, go look at Kill Bill part two and Gordon Lui plays the nefarious Bak Mei. Or White Eyebrow, as the name translates. Anyway, this volume is not about Bak Mei, but about Pan Gai Noon, which may have come from Bak Mei.

The second volume deals with the Kang Duk Won. This is Karate as it was taught before it left for Japan. This is the style as it was taught to Funakoshi before he took it too Japan. Very interesting to see the differences, and, i have to say, this is where the internal power comes in. If I had studied Shotokan, or one of the Japanese styles that have been altered for tournaments and such I would not be able to put out a candle from a foot or so away with a punch.

The third volume deals with Kwon Bup. Kwon Bup is Karate after it came from Japan to the US. Specifically, it is the art developed by the only man in America to have ever mastered the one finger trick. The one finger trick is when you thrust your finger into a board and don’t break it, but, rather, leave a hole. True.

karate pic

Did he help Karate? Or hurt it?

The fourth volume, Outlaw Karate, is my attempt to separate the two arts of Kang Duk Won and Kwon Bup, which were taught to me at the same time, and to recombine them into a more powerful and smoother art. It is the first time I ever taught a black belt in one year, and it led me to a tremendous bunch of realizations, all of which brought me to Matrixing.

The fifth volume is called Buddha Crane Karate. It was actually bundled in with my Create Your Own Art course, as it is a perfect example of how to create your own martial art.

Now, that is the history, and a sampling of the arts it took to come up with Matrixing. I say sampling because before I came up with Matrixing I learned every form and technique from Shotokan, Isshin Ryu, Shito Ryu, Goju Ryu, and Uechi Ryu. And, I learned a lot of other forms from other styles of Karate. And I studied Aikido and Wing Chun. And  northern and southern shaolin. And many styles of tai chi chuan and pa kua chang. And I studied weapons, usually from Japan or Indonesia. And so on.

So, I did my homework, for those who think I am a dabbler, a get rich quick schemer, or some other nefarious sludge.

And, I left written records so that people could understand things about what I studied, how I studied, how I was effected, and how I actually managed to come up with some of the martial arts courses I offer.

Look, to be honest, mine is probably the largest and most comprehensive study of martial arts in history. And I say this because I was able to avail myself of things the ancients didn’t have. Magazines, books, VHS and other video formats, and, of course, computers.

Now, I have no doubt that others will be able to study more, the internet is growing after all, but I lived in unique times, when the information blossomed, but was still caught in something called ‘Closed Combat Systems,’ which means that the information of the martial arts systems hadn’t been muddied and confused by other systems, but was still in a relatively pure state.

And that’s the story behind my five volume technical (the books show forms and techniques, not a bunch of yak) History of Matrix Karate.

After one has done Matrix Karate, they should look into the history, examine the classical influences, and expand themselves.

Or, if one has no interest in matrixing, but is just eager and anxious to explore as many martial arts as possible, the five volume History of Matrix Karate is on Amazon on Kindle. don’t know where, exactly, but a little googling and you’ll find them.

Have a great day.

zen martial arts

Knowing Base Martial Art Changes People!

What is Your Base Martial Art?

Let me say it simply and plain,

you are the martial arts,

this truth is proven through

the work out.

A sacred time

in which you manifest yourself as

a brilliant fighter and humanitarian.

Let me ask you a question…

what is your base art?

A base art is that art which you study,

which you adhere to

more than any other martial art.

Could be kenpo or hapkido,

aikido or tai chi,

or any art.

For me it is karate.

Specifically,

Kang Duk Won.

It is not necessarily the first art you study,

and it may not even be the most workable art you know,

but it is the art which,

when you work out,

you tend to focus on,

to go back to,

to rely on.

Your base art is simply

that art which tweaks your soul,

wakes up the spiritual ‘I am,’

is the most fun to do.

It is the one which,

even and no matter

how much your art meanders

(hasn’t been matrixed)

your intention seems to thrive.

You simply see things more

when you are practicing that art,

you get more thoughts,

you have more realizations.

Life seems and is

better

As I said,

my base art is Karate.

I am lucky enough to have a second base art.

Tai Chi.

Now,

I have practiced weapons till they come out my ears,

and I love Pa Kua,

and I appreciate so many other arts,

but,

in those wee hours of the night,

when I can’t sleep,

it is Karate I tend to do.

It is karate which I adapted into walking the circle,

it is karate which I started doing tai chi style,

it is karate which I gave up doing other arts completely for.

Now,

if you don’t have one art

you simply need to keep looking.

It may be that you are climbing the mountain,

and the sun just hasn’t risen yet.

You are compulsed,

can’t stop yourself,

but no one art has grabbed you yet.

Well,

like the book says…

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

Except that the real saying is…

One Art to rule them all, One Art to find them,
One Art to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

You’ll be working out,

and it probably won’t burst upon you

(but it might)

but you will find one martial art

that just makes more sense to you

and which you just end up doing

more and more.

And,

as the book says,

‘and in the darkness bind them’

the darkness is your soul,

that thing which you have abused through the ages,

the ‘I am’ that is you,

and by doing martial arts

the ‘I am’ starts to give off spiritual light,

and the darkness doesn’t remain so dark.

Well,

Tolkien might not be thrilled by my metaphor,

but ,

darn it,

there is truth there.

But you might not see it

until you discover your base art.

So work out,

and,

get your matrixing down.

Putting the martial arts in order

is going to speed up the process

enlighten you faster,

bring you to yourself.

I alway recommend Matrix Karate to start with,

not because it is my base art,

but because it is the art that I used

to make sense out of all the others.

It is the art in which matrixing first evolved.

So you like some other art?

Are drawn to some other art?

Simply get Matrix Karate,

do it,

then take the graphs and exercises

and apply them to your own art.

I haven’t matrixed Hapkido

or kenpo,

or lots of other arts,

but there is no reason,

if you are aHapkido lover,

you can’t learn Matrix Karate,

then create

Matrix Hapkido.

When I drive through America

I would love to see a dojang with the sign

‘Matrix Hapkido’

on it.

Look,

I created Matrixing,

but I don’t own it,

except as the person

who encourages the rest of the world to do it.

Here’s the URL for Matrix Karate

http://www.monstermartialarts.com/Matrix_Karate.html

Do it,

then take (find) your base art

and matrix it.

Guaranteed,

do it this way,

and matrixing will REALLY work for you.

Your base art + matrixing = an enlightened being.

Okey donkey.

It’s time for the week end,

probably a bit chilly where you are,

so work out extra.

Keep your body warm,

and make your spirit glow.

Al

Doing Martial Arts Over the Edge

Doing Martial Arts the Right Way

I want to talk about making things effortless.

I talk about effortless,

about how it is so important,

but how does one actually make

physical activity effortless?

Let me explain the how and the when.

I used to be the beginner,

the newbie,

and I was always in awe

of these guys who made everything look easy.

I was working like a dog,

but it never looked easy.

I remember one fellow,

a skinny, tall fellow,

looked like a hippie,

and he had the strongest kicks

I had ever felt.

He used to say

that he did a couple hundred kicks per kick

every day

without fail

and that was just the start of his workout.

Too much for me.

I eventually left the school where Ted trained,

started with the Kang Duk Won.

These guys were even more fanatic in their training.

Still,

I would do ten kicks per kick

in the beginning of class,

do the forms,

and I was tired.

And this went on for years.

I was,

I’ll be honest,

pretty wimpy.

Still,

I kept going,

doing my wimpy work outs.

i think the big break through came

from doing the horse stance.

I would do the horse stance

deep meditation,

for a minute,

then shake and ache

and quit.

One day,

I was near black belt,

I decided that I had to do something about it.

I knew the horse stance wasn’t going to kill me,

I just had to do it

and get through the pain.

My first step was to do the horse stance

through the commercials

while i was watching TV.

Man,

that was brutal,

two minutes.

Yikes!

And I did that for a few weeks,

and realized I was going to have to step it up.

I would have to do the horse stance through the programs.

So I did,

and quit around two minutes,

and then I got pissed off at myself.

I turned the dang tube off,

hit the horse stance

and decided that I was going to stay there no matter what.

Heck,

it wasn’t going to kill me.

I could do it.

I just had to do it.

A minute passed,

and the legs ached.

Two minutes,

and the shaking started in.

Three minutes,

and the pain was unbearable.

I had to quit!

I had to!

But I didn’t,

and suddenly something weird happened.

The pain totally went away.

My mind suddenly went calm.

I was possessed of a clarity of thought

I had never before experienced.

I was there.

I stayed there for a few more minutes,

realized that I had done it,

that there wasn’t any more to prove,

so I decided to stand up.

But what I didn’t know

was that I was a little out of my body

and I couldn’t figure out how to make my body work.

I lurched,

tried to make the legs do something,

and they wouldn’t.

I was frozen.

So i tried to lean.

I leaned forward

and suddenly my body fell over.

Bang.

I hit my nose.

But I could move again.

Now i had a little pain,

but not much.

I wasn’t scared of pain anymore.

Now,

at that time

I worked in a big plastics factory.

Made heat shrinkable tubing.

I would work like the dickens,

get my machine running,

then,

while I was supposed to be watching it,

I would stand behind some big cable spools

and work out.

And,

having fallen on my face out of an eternal horse stance

I upped my work out.

No longer ten or twenty kicks per leg per kick,

I started doing a couple of hundred kicks per kick for each leg.

This was what Ted had done.

This was what I read about in the mags and books.

This was the level of fanaticism I knew I needed

to really make it in the martial arts.

And,

the kicks became effortless,

I didn’t think about them,

I just did them.

This was when I finally realized

that i needed the strength of my legs in my arms,

and the agility of my hands in my legs.

Anyway,

the point here is this…

you need to make up your mind,

and do it.

Maybe not in the horse stance,

or for kicks,

but in some area that you know

would make you a better martial artist.

You need to go beyond yourself,

put aside the designer water

and everybody’s ideas

about scientific limits.

You see,

the body doesn’t define the spirit,

the spirit defines the body,

and unless you aren’t willing to invest the spirit,

go beyond the body,

then you aren’t going to make it.

That is the secret of how to be effortless

and a whole lot more in the martial arts.

Okey dokey,
the above all said,
my recommendation
is to put yourself into punching.
Because punching is crucial to the martial arts.

Here’s the URL
http://www.monstermartialarts.com/The_Punch%21.html

Learn the truth about punching,
set yourself up a schedule,
and go for it.
Maybe breaking five bricks every day every day.
Or,
Iron and Silk, (book and movie)
punch a metal plate a thousand times a day.

Whatever you do,
don’t settle for being less than a fanatic.

Now have a great work out.

Al

zen martial arts