Tag Archives: karate class

Rape, Revenge and Martial Arts

Newsletter 985

What is Your Martial Art Ethic?

I was teaching a student the other day.
She’s over 70,
but studied martial arts when she was young
so she’s in good shape.
I showed her a technique,
and we were talking,
and she made an interesting remark.
‘If I had him down like that
I’d kick him and stomp him.
I’d kill him.’

We had been talking about a rape situation,
I usually avoid those in teaching,
but she brought it up,
and I said,
‘But you’ve already got him down.
Why kill him?’

‘Because of what he’s done.
If he’s raped one,
he’s raped another.
He needs to be killed.’

It was funny.
She’s liberal in most attitudes,
but in this situation
she was a little to the right of Ghenghis Khan.
My kind of girl.

I said,
‘if you give in to rage you give up the art.’

But she really didn’t get it.
I couldn’t dent her pissed off-ness.
We were just talking,
but the rage she held,
for a make believe situation
(that she had never been in),
I couldn’t dent.

you see,
didn’t matter
when it came to rape.

I told her that if she shot somebody
and the wound was in the back
she would go to jail.
A man with a turned back is trying to get away,
is no threat,
and shooting becomes murder
if there is no threat of harm.

She didn’t care.
She was right,
and that was it.

I kept teaching her,
and will continue to do so,
even though there is a spot of insanity
hiding in her bones.

But then everybody is insane,
they don’t realize it
or they would be sane.

Martial Arts makes one sane.
It leads,
if done correctly,
to a higher ethic.

So when I meet somebody who is off kilter,
I just tell them to keep practicing.

how about you?
If you’re female,
and found yourself in the situation
of having a rapist at your mercy,
would you do harm?
Kill him?
Cut off body parts?
Would you let your baser part rule you?

If you’re male,
and your wife or daughter is compromised,
would you kill the rapist?
You’ve already knocked him down,
he’s no threat.
Would you fall to revenge
and do bad things to him?

I’m not going to lecture anybody on this,
there is a line between civilization and savagery here,
and though I claim the higher ethic,
I can’t claim that what I think
is best for the race.

I’ll keep working out,
and hope that I find the answer that is right,

Here’s the obligatory ad,
it’s for Tai Chi because that is what I was teaching this good lady.


Have a great work out!


The Burgler and the Black Belt

Newsletter 904

Black Belt Becomes a Burgler!

Supposed to be a true story,
got it off the internet,
so it’s got to be true,

A black belt was coming home from class.
Just up the street from his house he saw a fellow struggling with a TV set.
Being a black belt,
polite and helpful,
he walked up to the fellow and asked if he could help.
‘Sure,’ says the guy.
So the black belt helped the fellow load the TV set
in the back of a van.
It was then that he noticed that the TV set
was from his own house!
That’s right,
his house had been burgled,
and he had,
in effect,
helped ‘steal his own TV set.’

When I first heard this story,
I wondered:
when the police came to arrest the burgler,
did they arrest the black belt?
After all,
he helped steal a TV,
he was an accomplice.

So don’t forget to drop by
40 martial arts takedowns,
and how to use them in freestyle!

it’s almost HanaKwanMass.
I think,
instead of Santa coming down the chimney,
we should have zombies coming down the chimney.
Wouldn’t being able to use your martial arts to destroy a horde of zombies
be the best HanaKwanMass present ever?

Have a great work out!


Death in the martial arts, and betrayal and scandal…where does it end?

Read The Man Who Killed Kenpo Karate


Five Martial Art Exercises to Make Strong Legs

Killer Martial Art Exercises!

I’m on the wrong side of 65, and by using the martial art exercises here I can still climb mountains, jump around like a fool, dance all night long, and even do marathons. If you have pain in the knees, wheeze if you have to walk across the street, or even have serious disease, guaranteed, these martial arts exercises will help you out.

Now, the only disclaimer I have, other than using common sense and starting out slow, is that if you have had operations these exercises will be harder. They will still have effect, but, use common sense when attempting them. Don’t re-injure yourself.

martial art exercises

Doing these martial art exercises since 1967!

Okay, first and foremost, the basic squat. Stand straight, squat and touch the fingers to the ground. It’s okay if you go up on the balls of your feet, but try to keep the back straight. Start easy, but work up to a hundred over the course of maybe 3 – months. This is going to be very good for your cardio.

Second martial art exercise, single leg stretch. Sit on one heel and stretch one leg to the side. Take your time and remember the golden rule of stretching…don’t bounce, relax. Bouncing can pull muscles, relaxing let’s the muscle stop resisting its range of motion.

Third, kneel walking. Step forward and kneel. Other foot, step and kneel. And so on. This is killer, but it is also gold. You will feel massive amounts of strength coming into your legs because of this martial art exercise.

Single leg squat. Spread the legs and squat down on one heel, raise up, and squat on the other heel, and so on. Start slow, but work up to 100 (50 per side) single leg squats.

Last, double leg stretch. Sit, extend your legs to the sides, and touch one toe, then the other, and so on.

Now, I say martial art exercises, because I started doing them in Karate class some forty years ago.

And, I watch people who didn’t go to karate class, and who are now using oxygen tanks, hobbling across the street in walkers, who can’t pick up a pen should it fall on the floor.

So, call them martial art exercises, or runners exercise, or whatever you want..BUT DO THEM!

Your body will thank you when you get older (or when you recover your youth if you are already older). Let me tell you, it is so nice to just hop up and head out the door, to have physical mobility…and it is hell to lose it!

Head over to Monster Martial Arts for more martial art exercises! Here’s a page of Martial Arts articles to help you be stronger and more powerful!

The Truth About Martial Arts Belt Ranking

Martial Arts Belt Ranking Made Easy

Martial Arts Belt Ranking does tend to be a little…strange. There are so many colored belts, what does a black belt mean, what is a master, and so on. In this article i will tell you where belt ranks came from, and what they actually mean.

Martial Arts Belt Ranking came from Japan, where it was originally used in swimming classes.

martial arts belt ranking

Ed Parker had a good system of Belt Ranking in Kenpo Karate


Martial Arts like Karate and Judo picked up on them because it made it easier to arrange the karate class, or judo class, and teach it.

Before then people would join a martial arts school and there were junior students and senior students, and the point was to get your Teaching certificate.

Some people didn’t want to go that far, but the serious students did. After all, why do something half way? And, of course, a person who knew enough to teach would certain have sufficient self defense skills to protect himself.

In 1967 I joined a Kenpo Karate school, and the belt ranks were eight to Black Belt, and then eight after one had achieved Dan ranking, which is what a Black Belt is.

The colors were: white, orange, purple, blue, green, three stages of brown, and black. Black belts usually just put a tip, or a strip of white on the end of the belt for each advanced dan ranking.

Later, 1969, I jointed a classical school, and here was where I experienced martial arts belt ranking as it was meant to be. Sort of.

There were three belt ranks to Black Belt. These were white, green, and brown. But, to be honest, these had been subdivided into an eight and eight system.

The theory (one of the more predominant theories, I should say), was that one started as a white belt, like an unwritten piece of paper. Then one experienced the green of spring, became worn, like autumn, and finally entered winter.

This was an interesting sort of mythos. There was a logic to it, and it did describe the growing process, sort of.

But, what I noticed as the years rolled by was this: Martial Arts belt ranking doesn’t matter to people who have been in the martial arts for a while.

Yes, they are important, if only to spur the beginning student on. And, one should take pride in an achievement. It takes a lot of work, a lot of stick-to-ivity, to progress through the martial arts belt ranking systems.

But the real measure here is whether a person makes it to teacher.

Why do things half way, eh?

And that is the truth about Martial Arts belt ranking.

Here’s a great article on reality martial arts belt ranking. You can get started on Learning Martial Arts right here.

Basic Karate Form Stands Martial Arts World on Ear!

Basic Karate Form New Method for Teaching old Martial Art!

Let’s face it, most basic karate forms are boring, and couldn’t boredom be the reason many people quite the martial arts early on?

With this in the back of my mind, I decided to create a better basic Karate form. Simply, Iwanted my karate class to be…not boring. I wanted a karate kata that would be fun to do, include all the basics, and actually involve the student.

best karate form

Does your karate form look like this?

Before we get into the form itself, consider that most forms are simply step and block. Step and punch. A piece of a karate move, and not the whole thing. Thus, in addition to being boring, the forms have little value except for indoctrination into how to learn things rotely when in a mass of people.

Can anybody spell first grade?

How about behavior modification? Both good reasons to leave aside long used methods and find a better way of teaching Karate, and the martial arts.

beginner karate

Or does it look like this?

In creating the basic form called ‘House’ I elected to use three basics, the low block, the outward middle block, and the high block. Those are easy enough for a beginner to remember, and real enough for simulated fighting.

I then placed these blocks on a line, and put a punch after each of them.

Thus, there is stance change, weight shift, basics, and the idea that you can actually block and then offer a karate punch, or martial arts strike of some kind.

Now, to tell the truth, Chinese Kenpo, as presented by Ed Parker, had a good idea in their short one basic karate kata. Unfortunately, while the idea of facing all four directions was good, it needlessly complicates the basic function of this kenpo form.

So, in line, three blocks, punches right after each of the blocks, and you have something that means something in real fight simulation, and can be learned quickly and easily, and, here’s an important element, can be upgraded into a more difficult version.

Let’s say you start the student on the first step, a low block and strike, and he can’t quite get it. That’s okay. The martial arts are new to him, and he’s confused. Let him be confused, drill him only on that one move until he gets it, then give him the second move.

Then, drill him on the first and second move till he gets it, his own confusion will keep him entertained, and, finally, he can move to the third move.

Thus, the karate student learns the whole form.

Now, want to keep him drilling? Want to make sure he does the form enough to get the deep down meaning of the moves?

Have him drill it in two man kata fashion.

This is just like one step blocking movements done at the beginning of a Karate class, except that it is a two man form, and the reality of the situation, that is to say the form, is being re-inforced with every single punch. More important, it takes no excessive instruction, you just have the student do the basic karate form and feed it punches.

He will have realization within moments concerning how to do this, and he will be off to the races!

The Karate student thinks he has it?

Ask him to go faster.

Ask him to do it without stepping, in place.

Ask him to do it with weapons! The possibilities are endless, and this simple, basic karate form is suddenly opening doors that are refused to students who learn in the same old same old mass education methods.

If you would like see how this kata works for yourself, click on Basic Karate Forms, if you would like to learn an entire karate system taught in this manner, go to Matrix Karate at Monster Martial Arts.

What is the Ideal Height for a Martial Artist

The Perfect Martial Height

According to one study I came across, the ideal height for a martial artist is around 5 foot 6. This was supposedly because when you measure mass of muscle versus weight to be moved and add in a bunch of things like length of bone, arc of movement, and so on, being 5 foot 6 was just more efficient.

The story, of course, doesn’t stop there, and we shouldn’t immediately go out and elect only five and a half feet tall men to president for eternity. There are a few more things to consider.

The average height of a  man in the US is 5 foot 10. Women are 5 foot 4. That’s up about four inches, for both species, over the last century. And, as you track back through time, man is supposed to have been under 5 feet tall, and women down around four feet tall.

The conclusion here is that we were under our ideal, and now we are over our ideal, and why aren’t our genes selecting the exact right height for us?

Well, there are many factors, and I will go into them after I tell you a short story.

One day I was teaching a karate class, and afterwards I overheard a student remark that I had the perfect body for Karate. I had to chuckle, because I knew I didn’t.

My karate instructor was 5’ 6”, and he was capable of the most amazing feats. You could go to punch him, from an odd angle with a real advantage, and somehow he would contort his body through a half twist/half somersault and somehow end up with his knuckles on your nose. And this without any gymnastic training. His body was just filled with martial arts energy, and he could pop that energy out of the tan tien and make his body do what he wanted.

I knew I couldn’t do the things he could do. I’m a feather short of 6’ 2”, and my body weighs more. My muscles aren’t sufficiently bigger to move my increased mass; I can’t spread my chi through the structure fast enough to make it do certain things.

But, I could do other things better than my martial arts instructor, things not having to do with gymnastics. We were individuals, you see, and we operate our bodies according to whatever conditions we find ourselves in. Cadillac or sports cars, there are pros and cons either way, depends on the road conditions, and so on and so on.

Now, that said, let me explain a few facts.

The average height of natives from third world countries is quite a bit below that of the United States. Why? Malnutrition. Differences in medicine. Lack of growth hormones in beef. And so on.

Some of these reasons are good, some are bad. For instance, a taller person has more social power. Standing taller, people look up, and it gives a subtle but desired advantage. Thus people want to be taller.

And, on the other hand, a taller person won’t live as long, is more prone to certain body problems, and so on. There are even studies which indicate that a taller person will endure more heart disease and cancer than a shorter person.

So we have a mixed bag here. There is an ideal, but we are leaving it in favor of social standing, diseased food sources, and so on.

Will we ever return to everybody being the correct height? And for the correct height specifically for a martial artist?

Only if parents decide that they should choose genes, order a custom baby, with the idea of perfect height as the ideal instead of social standing. And, BTW, make that baby have a complete knowledge of Kung Fu, able to speak Latin, and…hold the onions.

zen martial arts

Who Invented the First Martial Arts Matrix?

Matrixing as a Way of Life!

I was reading Black Belt Magazine, and I came across a letter to the editor in which a fellow, Jerry Beasely, claimed that he coined the term JKD Matrix back in 1988. Interestingly, I have him beat.

I came up with the first graphs for matrixing in the late seventies. I made ‘the’ matrix graph, about 1980. I used it to teach a karate class in San Francisco in probably that same year.

matrix martial arts graph

Does this describe the original Matrix?
Click on the man in the box to find out more.

I used the word Matrix because I was looking for a concept/method that would be the ‘mother’ of the martial arts. I decided upon the word Matrix because it was used to describe a cage used to hold a female wolf for breeding purposes in ancient Rome. Thus, it referred to the term ‘mother,’ and it described the actual table I was using to develop mymatrixing concepts.

Now, the matrix that Mr. Beasely is talking about probably has to do with selecting a sequence of weapons according to distances and preferences. The reason I surmise this is because he mentions that the matrix is different for every person. But if this is so, it is a guideline,and not a science.

In my Matrixing I used a table taken from Boolean Algebra. Boolean Algebra is used to describe three dimensions on two dimensional surfaces. Thus, you can describe space flight, or how objects contort three dimensionally, on TV or on a computer.

I used the table, however, to help people understand every single potential of motion in the martial arts.

This helped people organize their martial arts, discover things they didn’t know, learn faster, and become much, much better as martial arts.

And, because the table never changes, is the same for all people and all arts, it presents not just a guideline, but a complete science.

Interestingly, as time went on, I found that I was able to use the Matrix not just for Martial Arts, but for virtually every field of knowledge. And, most surprisingly of all, I found that when people used my graph for even a short length of time, the data of the field it was being applied to not only became more logical and easier to understand, but the people themselves began to think in more clear fashion.

That’s the exact story concerning the term itself. For more information about what a Matrix does, and how you use one, go to MonsterMartialArts.com.


Teaching a Karate Class to Read Minds

 Karate Class reads minds

I was teaching a matrix karate class the other night, and the subject of reading an opponent’s mind came up. Rather, I told the guys to shut up and read minds.

There was a bit of surprise. The students all wanted to talk and ask questions…the exact opposite of what I had just told them.

So I said, “Shut…in silence you can read minds. You can’t read minds if you are talking so much that all you can hear is the talking.”

The noise level went down a wee bit.

“Look,” I said, “you could do forms and techniques and fight for thirty years…or you can follow my instructions and read minds in a couple of hours.”

After a minute of waiting for them to focus more on their forms and less on my words, I began to talk softly and unobtrusively. I wanted them to be able to do their techniques and input my data at the same time. They were all good enough, had reached a sufficient level of intuition, to do that.

“There is the body, and there is the mind, and there is the spirit. Discipline the body, and the mind starts to get disciplined. Discipline the mind enough, and the spirit starts to get disciplined.”

I changed directions to surprise them and give them example and make their minds retain the lesson.

“It is true that the eyes are the windows to a man’s soul. Once you are disciplined enough you can look into the eyes and you will see thoughts. If a car was careening towards you, would you look at the car, or would you look at the driver?”

One student said, “I’d dodge the car.”

I made the buzzer sound. “AHHH! Roadkill!”

Another student said, “Look at the driver?”

“You live,” I told him. And I looked at Mr. Roadkill and grinned. “You’re still dead.”

The class chuckled ruefully at the death of one of their own.

“The car is an object, and you must look at that which thinks the car along its path. The body is a meat object, and you must look through the windshield of the eyes and see that which thinks the body along its path. Stop listening to me and do your techniques without the distraction of my voice. Don’t be fooled by the flesh…search for the spirit; search for yourselves.

The Karate class concentrated on their martial arts training, and I knew that though their minds were blinking, they would soon turn off, and the blessed silence of their spiritual nature would shine forth.

This technique only works with fully matrixed forms. I recommend starting with the Matrix Karate course at Monster Martial Arts…that is the surest way to learn to read minds through the martial arts.


zen martial artsThis has been a page on how to become a martial arts master.

The Sad Joke of Martial Arts Conditioning

Martial Arts Conditioning
“I need to be in better condition before I do the martial arts.”
I watched the fellow go out of the door and shook my head sadly. He was out of shape, over weight, his muscles were slack, he couldn’t run the fifty yard dash…and this was the way he liked his life.
Heck, he walked into a martial arts dojo, wanted to hear about the program, and then he walked out saying he needed to be in better shape!
Let me be a little stronger, and sorry if i step on a few toes out there, but he was being an idiot.
Look, people think they need to be able to do push ups and sit ups and all that sort of thing, and that is fine. But when you do one form, the first form, called pinan one, or heian one by some, you are doing sixteen leg squats on the front leg (entering the front stance 16 times), and six leg squats on the back leg (entering the back stance 6 times).
Let’s say you don’t know any other forms, so you do it ten times during class, that’s 160 front leg squats and 60 rear leg squats, and that’s only one form!
Heck, if you know five forms, do them five times each, you are doing maybe a five hundred squats with the front leg, with the rear leg, with twisted legs, and so on. And that doesn’t take into account your warm ups, and your basics, and the endless working with another partner, all of which require muscle, all of which build not just muscle, but lean density of muscle!
And the arms go right along with this, doing blocks, pushing on your partners, pulling on your partners.
Guaranteed, 6 months of karate class (or Kung Fu Class or Aikido class or taqekwondo class or whatever…) will put you in the best shape of your life!
SoI I get these fellows come into my dojo, look around, and then say they’ll be back when they are in shape. Man, they are missing the whole point. Maybe idiots is too strong a word, but…do you understand?
There are people that talk the talk…and then there are people that walk the walk.
“I’ve got to get in shape before I do Karate”…”I’ve got to get in shape so I can get in shape.” Sheeesh!
Ah, well. There are enough people who have their brains plugged in that I don’t have to worry, my dojo will survive. But don’t you wish that these others would figure it out?
Anyway, check out my sites, get some good martial arts going, and get in the best martial arts condition of your life. I’m at MonsterMartialArts, LearnKarateOnline.net, and freemartialartsonline. A few others, but those will get you started on martial arts conditioning.
zen martial arts
This has been a page about martial arts conditioning.