Tag Archives: karate bunkai

Will the Real Karate Stand up?

Got an interesting email.

Fellow asked me which version

of the basic forms in matrixing

are the real ones.

The reason is that there are small differences

in the forms over the years.

And, he’s right.

So, what’s my excuse?

Aw, heck. I don’t have an excuse.

I just kept tweaking and tweaking.

The first version is going to be just as good as the last version.

So how can I say that about a science?

Because there is an art to the science.

I don’t break certain rules, 

the body has lines of energy,

the body must be mounted on a base,

and so on.

But I do things like tweak entries,

explore different set ups,

that sort of thing.

And I expect you to do the same.

Back in the fifties

Gichin Funakoshi made the remark

that he didn’t recognize Karate as it was done,

that it bore no resemblance to the art he had been taught.

Well, of course.

Young turks in the colleges took it and ran with it.

Power was more important to them.

To an old man like Funakoshi

technique would have been important.

This would result in a MASSIVE shift

in how forms and techniques were done.


I have said this:

that the karate I see in schools, on youtube, and so on,

bears NO resemblance to the art I was taught.

And it is obvious why,

I have spoken of this many times.

Karate has been adapted for tournaments,

for politics and children and vested interest.



once people are done exploring the arts,

playing with this concept of styles,

once they undo the silliness of politics,

of being watered down for children,

and so on,

they will reach the same conclusion I did.

All martial arts are the same.

The physics of the body work only one way,

and so a body will eventually be tweaked to what works,

and what works is physics.

So much for the argument of which art is better.

They are all good,

but only as good as the man who

understands physics can make them.

All right,

One of the last versions of classical Karate I did was…

Temple Karate

Check it out.

It isn’t the perfect matrixed forms,

but it is classical karate

as seen through a physics filter.

Should make you think.


have yourself a great work out!


And don’t forget to check out the interview


I’m always pushing my novels,

did you know I write other stuff?

If you want to know the truth about government,

you will find some startling matrixing going on in


How to Fix the Martial Arts

Matrixing the Martial Arts to Make them Work.

As you know
the internet is a great place to share ideas.
I recently ran into a thought,
rather well stated,
and certainly believed in by many,
concerning one of the moves in Pinan 1.

In that form,
specifically in the movement
where you are going up or down the center of the form,
you reach the end,
and you are expected to turn the head
and look to the side,
then spin the body the other way to handle a threat.

I disagree with this
for the simple reason
that it is important to trust what you know,
to build ‘knowingness’
not to turn the head in the wrong direction
and waste time looking
when you should have been doing.

here is my response.
It is on the ‘Martial Arts’ group
on Linkedin.
I like this group because they are pretty smart,
they say things well,
and they do make lots of good points,
and they seem to be really thinking about stuff.
here is my response,

….If you look, then you didn’t know, and that means you weren’t doing karate. Real karate is when you know what is going to happen, or, worse case scenario, you move without knowing and what you do is still correct.

If you smack granny in the gums then you were reacting, not knowing, or doing something other than Karate.
Or just doing Karate from a beginner’s viewpoint.

People with reaction time look.
People who trust their ‘knowingness’ don’t react, they are intuitive.

You can actually break this thing of reactivity to knowingness on a scale.
A white belt sees, then thinks, then reacts.
A green belt sees, then reacts.
A brown belt reacts.
A black belt acts.
A master acts before. Or…acts between the time thought becomes action on the part of his opponent.

A great analogy to this is the fielder who takes off ‘at the crack of the bat.’ Not after he sees where the ball is going. He takes off because he has assimilated enough data and knows where the ball is going.

It is actually easy to get from having to look to knowing, but most martial arts I see are not that advanced yet. All my courses are designed with this in mind. The idea is to align the postures and motion correctly, thent he mind can start to assimilate fast enough to become intuitive.

For instancet…let’s consider that first move of a beginning form where you look before you leap, or turn and block.

If you look first, then you have instigated action in the wrong direction, you have turned the wrong way with one body part, and now you have to fix that and make the whole body go in the other direction. Thus, this first screws up the coordinated motion of the body.

And, to be honest, the move is stupid anyway. Who, among you, is going to see somebody to the right and go BACKWARDS to the left? Honestly, the old master who thunk that one up didn’t put on his thinking cap.

The correct way to do it,the way to fix this bad motion, is to push with the leg that is bent (not the leg that is straight out behind), go to the left, AWAY from the attack. This increases distance, which gives time (time is distance), and enables better strategy and positioning.

And, my points having been made, we judge harshly those who don’t turn their heads in the wrong direction and breaking up their coordination by splitting the directions they are going in, and acting with lookingness instead of knowingness.

Okay. I’m done. Got some toe balm if I’ve stepped on any, and I’ll even apologize if I have said this all too impolitely.

But consider my points, do the motion, figure out the difference between physically looking and spiritually knowing.

Have a great work out!
Al from monstermartialarts

There you go,
thoughts in action.
The thing is
this stuff is on one of my courses.
Don’t remember which one,
but what we are trying to do here is enlighten.

There are a LOT of people who do things like this,
looking the wrong way and then spinning,
and not really understanding what the move means,
and they aren’t bad martial artists,
but they have just bought into martial arts systems and thinking
that are lacking in logic and other details.

Okay dokey,
don’t mean to type and run,
but trying to get out of town for the weekend.

So check out Temple Karate.
I fix a LOT of the classical moves.
It’s how I look at the forms after almost fifty years in the arts.
Mind you,
I am gentle in correcting classical forms.
I believe in classical forms,
but mostly I believe in fixing them.
That’s what matrixing is about,
fixing things.

Here’s the link to Temple…

So have a GREAT work out!
And I’ll talk to you later.

Bicycle Defense Bunkai Number One

Happy Monday!
And it is happy.
I get to start the week of with a work out.
I took the dog out,
and while he was sniffing out gopher holes
I was doing Sanchin.
Again and again.
we were a pair of happy hounds!

Okey dokey,
probably time to tell you about my recent altercation.
And I will,
let me report on the State of the Monster.

I do this every few months,
let people know what is happening.

Monster is stronger.
Stats are up,
complaints are down…
maybe once every couple of months.
And we handle those within 24,
or as soon as is humanly possible.
speaking of which,
my wife set the record,
she handled a complaint in exactly 46 minutes.
From arrival of unhappy email
to a remailed order,
46 minutes.
That’s truckin’!

the Great Matrixing Tour grows closer.
I need to save a large chunk of money,
and have the Monster to a certain point,
and the show goes on the road.
I travel the US,
doing quality control throughout the 48 states.

we will be looking for a place to put Monkeyland.
where people come to learn the True Art,
to study Matrixing and Neutronics,
A temple
Shaolinesque in nature,
but neutronic in design..

the Monster is in good shape,
there is so much blankety blank work to be done!
Of course,
it ain’t work if you love it.

so I’m driving down the street,
and a bum on a bicycle
jumps off the curb and into the street.
I hit the brakes,
the dog flies into the dashboard,
and I’m a wee bit irritated.
I’m not to happy about this,
and I honk.

It’s a funny thing about honking,
people in Los Angeles are terrified to honk.
They think a crazy terrorist Arab
is suddenly going to leap out of his vehicle
and shoot you with his AK47.


So most people don’t honk.

being the Master Founder,
am above such considerations.
I honk.
After all,
God wouldn’t have put horns in cars
if he didn’t want you to honk.

And the bum on the bike,
who is talking to another bum,
turns around and gives me a dirty look.
‘Go around!’

Now this guy is oblivious.
He doesn’t know that I had been hemmed in,
couldn’t have gone around him,
he is so oblivious,
he is sitting in the middle of the street arguing with traffic.

as our eyes met,
two things happened.
he saw me for what I am,
an old guy.
And his look of disdain was total…
And he thought:
‘F him,
he ain’t gonna fight.’

when I saw his attitude,
I went calm.
for me,
is a bad thing.
It means that I have made up my mind,
and the universe is about to happen.
What I say goes.
Mountains will fall,
the oceans will dry up,
I drove over his bicycle.

He had to jump,
but I knew he would make it.
let’s face it,
what I did…well,
A couple of things come to mind.

I wasn’t too smart,
I allowed myself to be pushed past law
and worse,
common sense.
No excuse.

as a technique,
running over a fellow’s bicycle has to be number one.
I mean,
somebody bugs you,
run over him.
A concept and a technique
which can’t be argued with.

But the morality of running over some idiot’s bicycle…
I had really lowered myself to his level,
and maybe a few basements under.
I mean,
I could have been arrested,
thrown in jail,
had to buy him a new bike,
and so on…
here’s the kicker,
I got away with it.
I pulled off
Bicycle Defense Number One
and drove down the street.
Scott free.
Of course,
I live in fear of kharma.
Not a day passes that I don’t look over my shoulder
and wonder when God’s big trike
is going to leave it’s footprint
across my hood,
over my lap,
through my brain,
and down the street.

Oh well.
That’s life.
I apologize to you all
for not controlling myself.
I’m supposed to be the Master Founder,
I’m supposed to stand for something…
and I let myself act like a two year old with a guided missile.
I’m not immune to stupid.
No matter how hard it makes me laugh.
did that make me laugh.

Okey doke,
now you know,
human foibles in the shape of Al.

I’ll try to do better.
I’ll work out twice as hard,
I really will.
And you do the same.

I don’t have a book written
on how to do
Bicycle Self Defense Technique Number One,
but it’s not a hard one to figure out,
and maybe this link is a better alternative…


You know,
cultivate a calm mind
find a peaceful alternative,
maybe even drive around the idiots.

You guys and gals have a great week now,





Inside Kung Fu is going to have an article on me. November issue, which is on the stand on AUGUST 24TH!
Feel free to buy five copies, and write to the editor and tell him you want more.
If they get a sell out, and letters from across the country from a wide variety of people,
they are going to do more.

To hold another art in disrespect, even though its tenets be improper and its practice be a sham, is worse than foolishness, it is like holding your hand upon the head of a child and saying, “You will never grow to be a man.

Send me your wins!


Using Bunkai Applications to Define the True Art

To find and develop Karate as a True Art, and this would include Shotokan, Goju, Uechi, or various other types of the art, one should always look to the techniques. The bunkai are the kata made real, they are concepts made to work. They are the heart of the monster that is The True Art.

The first step, in making your art work, is to make your stance work. The forms teach how to get into stances from a variety of directions and previous postures. So one should practice the movements of the kata until this concept of transitioning from stance to stance can be done without thought.

The second step, if you are going to make the karate forms real, is to make sure your limbs are set in positions that are functional. There are many arm positions in the martial arts techniques where your limbs cannot support weight, and therefore can’t really make the technique work. You must examine your patterns and altar arm positions until they become functional in real world situations.

The third step is to have proper body alignment between the floor and the target. The body is a chain of muscles and bones from earth to strike (block), and you must make sure that every piece of the body is properly aligned. The old wisdom, a chain is as strong as its weakest link, is certainly important here.

The fourth step if you are going to make karate moves become significant, is to work on your breathing. Breathing should be relaxed, but intent upon keeping the abdomen taut, especially upon striking, or getting struck. Breathing simply for the sake of breathing, as is done in the art of Goju Ryu Karate, must be inspected for real function, and possibly altered if you are going to have real martial arts self defense.

The fifth and final step, and ultimately the most necessary, is that you must have Coordinated Body Motion (CBM) when you use your body to do martial arts. You must harmonize all motion, taking into account the length and mass of every muscle and limb. You must understand how this all relates to real world timing, and you must make your body motions respect this concept of harmony.

An intriguing tidbit of data is that martial arts fighting has very little to do with finding The True Art. As a matter of fact, fighting tends to disrupt the mental processes that are necessary to put the pieces together that will resurrect your martial art. This piece of information is something that the old masters understood, and not just because they were old.

Any art can be a great art, but it always requires a great sensei, and a great student. The purpose of this bit of writing has been to educate students to be their own great teachers. Ultimately, your progress is up to you, and if you understand that then it will be easy to use Karate techniques to find the True Art.

You can get a lot more data on how to make your art perfect at Monster Martial Arts.