Tag Archives: kang duk

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.


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


As I said,

my base art is Karate.

I am lucky enough to have a second base art.

Tai Chi.


I have practiced weapons till they come out my ears,

and I love Pa Kua,

and I appreciate so many other arts,


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.


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.


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.


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.


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,


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.


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


Do it,

then take (find) your base art

and matrix it.


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.


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.


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.


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.


that was brutal,

two minutes.


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.


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.


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.


at that time

I worked in a big plastics factory.

Made heat shrinkable tubing.

I would work like the dickens,

get my machine running,


while I was supposed to be watching it,

I would stand behind some big cable spools

and work out.


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.


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.


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

Learn the truth about punching,
set yourself up a schedule,
and go for it.
Maybe breaking five bricks every day every day.
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.


zen martial arts

The Back Stance Mistake that Ruins Karate!

Karate Back Stance!

The big karate back stance mistake is that nobody uses it. This means that they don’t understand it, and this is one reason why Karate takes a back seat to other arts.

I was at a tournament a few years back, and one of my students was pointing the shotokan stylist he was fighting. He kept hitting him and hitting him, and the refs wouldn’t call the point. Why? Because he was in a back stance.

taekwondo back stanceCommon opinion is that you don’t have power if you don’t shift into a front stance and drive the weight forward. Common opinion is that the back stance lacks power. Common opinion is wrong.

In the Kang Duk Won we trained extensively in the back stance when sparring, and the reason was that it worked. And, when my student used it against a shotokan ‘must hit out of the front stance’ fellow, it still worked.

And my student could break a brick with a punch out of the back stance, but he was polite enouhg not to break a few ribs.

And, you can move forward, shuffle, if you want to commit more weight to the technique. Though you normally don’t have to because if he is close enough to hit you, you are close enough to hit him.

And, on top of all that, the fellow in the back stance can move away easier, and he has a ready and efficient front kick just rarin’ to go.

So why do so many people insist on the front stance when punching?

Because basic training methods instill it. Because they don’t understand how to sink the weight in the back stance and create power. Because the smaller bodies of the Japanese needed to throw the weight into the front stance to generate enough power. Because…because of a dozen other reasons.

And, here is something interesting, if you examine such arts as Bak Mei, which is likely one of the big influences behind Pan Gai Noon, which is the art behind Uechi Ryu and, again, a major influence on Karate…they work out of a back stance.

Go on, find one of the basic Bak Mei forms. You’ll see some very interesting back stance work.

Of course, to start using the back stance as a fighting standard would require some retooling of the current methods, and a lot of things that have been lost over the years would have to be regained, but it is all possible. Just requires an open mind willing to look at the potentials.

At any rate, check out the Matrix Karate course at monstermartialarts.com, it’s got a lot of stuff, including the house forms, on the karate back stance.

karate back stance

A Martial Arts Closed Combat System

Martial Arts System

When it comes to martial arts systems, one should study a Closed Combat System.

The reason is very simple. The thing is old, and it has been practiced by generations, and the impurities have been more or less weeded out.

close martial artIt doesn’t make for perfect, but it makes for pretty darned good.

Now, let’s consider systems that aren’t closed combat, which is just about everything out there.

The Japanese systems, such as shotokan, have (had, I believe they have finally been discarded) certain compulsory forms which were added AFTER the art came out of Okinawa. The Okinawa masters at the time, and this was some eighty years ago, and the masters were very significant people in the history of Karate, complained mightily, and they were basically told to go take a hike by the political body of the shotokan at the time.

Would you go tell a fellow with fifty or sixty years of martial arts experience to go take a hike? Would you tell ten or twelve such fellows, who all agreed in what they were saying, to go take a hike?

So Shotokan ceased being a closed combat system.

Or, as long as I’m picking on people and arts, how about Tai Chi Chuan? Tai Chi Chuan was basically killed off by the People’s Republic of China, then, when they realized that they could make money off it, they hired a bunch of people who were physical education coaches, often with no martial arts experience, to resurrect it.

Yeah, I think I’ll have Hillary Clinton teach me MMA, too.

Now, the things I have said here are true in EVERY system of martial arts in the world.

I should say, at this point, that I did make a record of Kang Duk Won, which is taken from before Funakoshi, and before Shotokan told the old masters to go take a hike. It’s in Evolution of an Art at Monster MArtial Arts.

And, I should say that I put together my Tai Chi after going through the PRC versions, and then throwing them out for all the old classical that I could find. It’s at Five Army Tai Chi Chuan at Monster Martial Arts.

But the point here is not to sell stuff, the point is to educate you that you have been sold a bill of goods, that if your system was once good, it was a closed combat system, it was CLOSED TO OTHER SYSTEMS! It did not accept data from other martial arts, except through very strict tried and true methods used for ascertaining the workability of any technique, and whether it actually fit the logic of the system.

Well, I seem to have gone off on a rant, I can even see that I have lost the thread a couple of times. I’m not going to go back, though. I’m just going to say that there is a logic that permeates arts that have gone through the ages without much alteration. Unfortunately, you aren’t going to be able to find those arts. But, fortunately, you can always matrix your art and make it back into a closed combat system. That’s the real solution, really.

Take your art, matrix it, look at it, make it pure again…then you will have a closed combat system that will work ten times better than the stuff currently being taught in the world.

closed combat systems

Why Your Martial Arts Doesn’t Work in Combat

Why Martial Arts Don’t Work

I get this question every once in a while…why does a martial arts system fall apart in combat. It’s an interesting question, because people put countless hours into their training, and then they forget how to use it when the SHTF.

horse stance

horse meditation

The first and foremost reason martial arts don’t work is because they are complex. Too many instructors adding too many techniques.

When I first learned Kenpo I was expected to memorize half a thousand random techniques. To be honest, the only way I managed to do this was because they had nifty sounding names. There simply was no logic behind the moves to enable me to memorize them without the nifty names.

Then when I learn the Kang Duk Won, I found that my instructor had doubled the size of the system. He had added seven forms he had created, plus a few odds and ends he had learned over the decades.

Too many techniques, too much data: how the heck is the mind going to sort through that in the middle of combat.

And EVERY instructor is guilty of that. And, to be honest, they can’t be blamed. After all, they are trying to train for any posssibility, striking or kicking or takedowns…whatever.

The solution is to boil your system down to the core concepts, and then grow a limited number of workable techniques that are easy to learn, therefore easy to remember. Then you just drill the holy heck out of those techniques until they are part of your very bones.

And, the fun part, once you figure out how to do this then you can learn multiple systems, you can learn all the systems you want, and not get bogged down in memorizing endless techniques.

It’s not how many techniques you know, it’s how you boil all the arts down to a few simple concepts, and then put them in logical order.

Yeah, I’m talking matrixing here. Take something, make it logical, practice it until you’re dead several times over. I mean it.

Anyway, when somebody asks why martial arts don’t work in combat, this is the first reason that comes to my mind. There are several others, and I will write about these later. But for now, look at your system, boil it down to concepts, and work on what works. That is the Matrixing method for making martial arts work in combat.

martial arts don't work