Tag Archives: karate

A Martial Arts Night Before Christmas…

Newsletter 993

The Martial Arts Night Before Xmas

Here it is,
my annual Xmas poem,
the Night Before Xmas,
adapted for Martial Artists.

I won’t make apologies for it,
but I will ask one thing,
a present to me for Xmas,
if you will.

If I have offended,
sent the wrong order,
dropped a communication,
offended you in ANY manner,
even with this poem,
please forgive.
It’s a new year,
help me start it fresh,
the world is too wonderful a place
to carry around ANY ill will.

Now,
with no further ado,
here is…

THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS!

Twas the night before Christmas
I was in my shack
primed and ready
for the red fat attack.

my weapons were loaded
the windows were barred
all would be safe
while I was on guard

The chimney was decked
with concertina wire
I crouched by the couch
ready to fire.

I had an M60
with ammo to feed
I didn’t care
if the red fat did bleed.

A loaded shotgun
and grenades to spare
when red fat came down
I’d blow him out of there.

Throwing stars and knives
and a really long sword
and if that didn’t work
I knew a bad word.

Sitting there late
my eyes started to close
when suddenly I heard
a bunch of ho hos.

Off with the lights
safety off, too
I  watched the fire close
and heard a sound from the flu.

‘Ouch and gosh darn it
who put the wire here
those are my undies
starting to tear!’

Then a shower of soot
and a grunt and a groan
he landed in the fire
and gave out a moan.

He was rubbing the place
where the wire did tear
so I held down the trigger
and lead filled the air.

belt after belt
did I deal the red fat
he danced and he jumped
I knew he felt that!

then quicker than spit
I ran out of lead
but enough was enough
he had to be dead.

Boy was I shocked
to see him stand tall
stepping out of the fireplace
not bothered at all.

So I grabbed up the 16
to mow him down
he had to be hurting
cause I saw his big frown.

Then I was empty
and he came straight for me
I pulled out my knives
and sliced him with glee

He jumped to the side
moving real quick
disarmed my knives
with a well placed kick

then he dropped the big bag
he had on his shoulder
reached forth his arms
and his anger did smolder

He grabbed hard my neck
and held me up high
I tried kicks and punches
but I was like a fly

Not karate nor judo
no art did work
and he grinned a mean grin
and called me a jerk

‘Don’t you know
you stupid little man
Christmas is forever
in spite of your plan.’

Then he threw me aside
and proceeded to work
giving presents to all
and to me a great smirk

And when he left
the great big red fat
he left me a lump of coal
the big red fat rat!

HANAKWANMASS TO ALL
and to all a great work out.

Have a great work out!
Al

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

50 Years Ago the Martial Arts were Different

Newsletter 988

Martial Arts Changing Over the Last 50 Years

When I began martial arts,
back in 1967,
things were different.

At this point you expect me to say something to the effect of…
we were more ‘dedicated,’
we were willing to suffer bruises and breaks,
we walked 20 miles,
barefoot,
through the driving snow,
uphill both ways.

Nope.
Has nothing to do with that.
You see,
I have been in modern schools,
I have seen people train until they couldn’t stand,
I have seen people suffer injuries and keep going.
I have seen that uncommon degree of dedication
that the martial arts create in individuals.

I am talking about knowledge.
Let me give you an example.

Do you do the horse stance?
Can you do Teki 1 for an hour?
Can you hold a ‘horse meditation’ pose
for an hour?

Nope.

Most modern schools no longer practice the horse stance.
At least,
I have never seen them.
They don’t force themselves to do low stanced forms.
And in this they are different than
the way we did things fifty years ago.

So,
why is the horse stance important?
It’s just a weird squat, right?
so what’s the big deal?

Okay,
here we go,
see if you can stay with me.

If you stand on straight legs
you don’t work.
Your legs don’t work.
You can stand on two legs for hours,
no prob.

If you stand in a deep horse,
legs bent,
you work like a mofo.
You sweat and strain,
and…the tan tien has to produce more energy.

The tan tien starts to work.

So you do it again.
And you last a half a minute longer.
And you do it again,
and again,
and over a month or so you start to notice weird things.

By breathing deeply,
and imagining that you are breathing to the tan tien,
a ‘place’ a couple of inches below the navel,
you are able to stand in a horse longer.
Your legs don’t shake as much,
and you begin to feel the energy coming out of the tan tien.

You realize that your legs are working harder,
so your tan tien is working harder,
and you are experiencing a weird sort of body energy.
An energy that Joe from the western world doesn’t know exists.

And,
here it gets interesting,
you start moving differently.
You brace in stance and people can’t move you.
Your arms become unbendable as you wish.
You stop using muscle and start using energy,
as from the tan tien,
to do certain types of work.
Most of all,
you move differently,
energy courses out from the tan tien,
goes through the arms,
becomes an unstoppable force
that is directed through and out from
your well structured karate form.

What is happening is
if you practice low stances,
doing karate forms,
that little thing called a tan tien
will ignite.
and…

THE MOTOR OF YOUR BODY WILL TURN ON.

It will change the way you move,
the way you treat life,
the way life treats you.

But,
most schools no longer practice the deep stances,
and especially the deep horse stance.
And,
here is the sad thing,
if the instructor insists on it,
students leave in flocks and droves.
Don’t want to work.
Aren’t willing to make the sacrifice.
Can’t put up with a little pain.
It’s not fun.

So…the martial arts are different
than when I first began them 50 years ago.
People are still willing to suffer,
but they don’t understand things like the horse stance,
so they end up fighting,
going to tournaments,
softening the experience with padding,
and they never get the true karate.

And,
here is something really weird.
Gichin Funakoshi,
some 50 years ago,
said much the same thing.

He said that the karate he saw
was not the karate he learned….50 years before.

Did he just observe the same thing I did?
Or was there some super secret that they were doing
that I missed.

Uh oh.

I recommend Outlaw Karate,
because I took the most important techniques
from the two most workable systems I have ever seen,
and combined them in one system.
It really works,
and you will have an opportunity
to work that horse stance the way I recommend.

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

Have a great work out!

Al

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

How to Be Formless in the Martial Arts

Newsletter 987

How to Be Formless in the Martial Arts

Bruce Lee talks about being formless.
Zen teaches us to be formless.
This idea of being formless permeates the martial arts,
but what the heck is it, really?

To be formless is to be in the moment,
actually moving in concert with an attack,
and not in response to an attack.

It means you don’t react,
you don’t move in specific ways,
but rather in unspecific manner,
adapting to the motion of your opponent,
and not moving in specific manners
your training has dictated.

Here’s the problem,
there are total idiots out there
who hear about being formless,
and think that because they don’t study anything,
and especially a classical art,
they are formless.

Nope,
they are idiots,
trying to make their lack of learning
more than it is.

So,
here we go,
here is what it means in ways you can understand
and even adapt to your work out.

To be formless is to be like water,
pour it into a glass and it assumes the shape of a glass.
Pour it into a bowl,
and it assumes the shape of the bowl.
So it doesn’t mean you have the no shape
of somebody who knows nothing,
it means you are smart enough
to shape yourself to the attack.

Somebody punches and you block?
That’s a response form Karate.
Somebody locks you go with the lock
and figure your way out of it?
That’s a response form Jujitsu.

And freestyle is just reacting,
it is fighting,
no pouring yourself into a shape
that fits the attack.

Let’s say somebody pushes you.
How do you react?
Do you brace, then attack?
Do you grab and throw?
Those are specific responses
created by studying specific arts.

If you were formless
you would adapt to the push,
shape your body around it,
and that might entail blocking or grappling…
or unbalancing or shifting or…or…
but it would be unique to the situation…
WITH NO LOSS OF AWARENESS.

Indeed,
you would have more awareness,
because that is the result of the martial arts training…
if done properly.

If you do not study a martial art
you are certainly formless,
and a victim to the forces of the universe.

If you do study a martial art,
and then another one and another one,
you eventually become formless…
and the universe is victim to your desires.

So these fellows who study something and say,
‘I stopped studying so I could break out of that art
and become formless,’
are total and utter idiots.
They have exchanged their inabilities
for the right to sound stupid.
It’s true.

The BEST way to be formless
is to study an art,
maybe karate or kenpo or something,
then another art,
maybe Aikido or tai Chi or something,
and then another art…
and so on.
Eventually you learn ALL the options
for forcing or flowing an attack,
Then you have choice,
actual AWARE choice,
within the structure of the fight.
And that would be formless.

Here’s the obligatory ad…

Tai Chi Chuan

I put Tai Chi here because most people study hard arts,
or arts requiring great effort,
and the best way to achieve formlessness
is to study an art that take little effort,
and which makes you think
and figure things out.

Make sure you check out the video halfway down the page.

Have a great work out!

Al

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

Finding Your Soul Through the Martial Arts

Newsletter 983

The Windows to the Soul of the Martial Arts

I’ve talked about where you put your eyes before.
So let me say it again,
and give you a rather phenomenal martial arts drill.

My first school,
kenpo,
held the belief that you should focus on the chest,
develop peripheral vision when fighting.

My second school,
kang duk won korean karate,
was of a similar opinion.
My instructor,
the best martial artist I have ever known,
took it a step further.
‘Don’t look at the eyes,’
he said.
‘They will fool you.’

Well,
both schools were wrong.
Even the best martial artist I have ever known was wrong.

The eyes are the windows to a man’s soul.
The eyes are nothing but devices.
‘binoculars’ for the spirit that drives a man to look through.
What does the looking is the ‘I am.’
The spirit.
Who you really are.

I find it absolutely fascinating
that so many martial artists will hold to caveman theories
of watching the body,
and refuse to see who they really are.

So,
I get newbies pretty regularly,
and I teach them martial arts,
and I teach them to freestyle.
Shortly after they begin freestyle
I always do the following drill.

I have them stand with their back to the wall.
I tell them to look me in the eyes.
They are always staring away,
looking elsewhere,
it has become hard for man to look his fellow man in the eyes.
Used to be easy.
I met old timers and that is all they did.
Eye to eye,
a firm handshake seals the deal,
an honest day’s work,
that sort of thing.

So I have this fellow standing back to the wall,
I make sure he is looking at me,
and I punch him.
The first dozen punches are easy.
I swing roundhouses.
I punch fast,
but they are easy to see.
Frequently the student will close his eyes.
I do this easy method until he is able to keep his eyes open.
Then I speed up.
I spin and back fist,
I throw an occasional kick,
I have good control,
but the student’s eyes usually open up
as I put a little steam on the strikes.

He blocks them all.

That’s right.
the newbie student blocks virtually
EVERYTHING
I throw.

Why?
Because open eyes create intuition.

If a guy is looking away he is not seeing
and he might as well be unconscious.

If his eyes are open,
if the spirit of the man is actually watching,
there is no limit to what he can do.

From that point on I can teach him anything.
He will learn everything.
And easily.
And if he doesn’t,
I put him to the wall
and open his eyes again.

But…
don’t believe me.
Do it for yourself.
Put some bozo back to the wall,
go slow throw lazy rounders
and make sure he is watching,
that he doesn’t go to sleep with his eyes open.
Guaranteed,
you will have a fast learning student
who will staring looking at the world
in open eyed wonder.

This little drill has been brought to you
by the same fellow who gave you Matrix Karate

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

The totally scientific martial art
that opens eyes everywhere
and makes all martial arts quick and simple to learn.

Have a great work out!

Al

A WIN!

How Smart are Martial Arts Instructors?

Newsletter 982

The Educational Level of Most Martial Arts Instructors

Whew!
Hot today.
So I went to a martial arts ‘jamboree.’
Open call to everybody,
we all came into the school and worked out.
Did anything we wanted.
Lots of instructors around,
everybody had a blast.

So,
I was watching the instructors.
Some of them were freakin’ fantastic.
Some were okay.
We didn’t have anybody that was bad.
BUT…
I realized something.
Most martial arts instructors
are at the level of about a high school senior
when it comes to knowing and understanding the martial arts.

That’s right,
a black belt is,
generally speaking,
about the level of a high school senior.
He is bigger and tougher than the juniors and sophomores,
he knows a little bit,
but he doesn’t know enough to teach.

Pretty sad, eh?

For instance,
I spent some time showing a girl,
with physical disabilities,
how to punch so she could do the job without hurting herself.
I come back to her 5 minutes later
and a black belt has moved in and started teaching her.

‘Hit it harder!
Hit it harder!’

Pays no attention to the fact that she has problems
stopping her from ‘hitting harder.’
Isn’t aware of how her body is reacting to the overload.
Doesn’t really even know how to train a person,
especially how to hit somebody without hurting themselves.

And I don’t want to talk about the instruction
concerning joint locks or takedowns.

Simply, the instructor was about as knowledgeable
as a high school senior.

What should the knowledge level of a martial artist be?

A real martial arts instructor
should know three or four martial arts,
and actually understand how to teach.
That’s like a fellow who has graduated from college,
with a specialty in teaching.

Most instructors are trained in only one art,
and ‘know about’ every other martial art they have never seen.
Most martial arts instructors have never taken a course on how to be an instructor.
Most martial arts instructors think that a course in high school physics qualifies them
in the specialized physics of the martial arts (which are totally different that high school physics)
Most instructors don’t know anything about what chi is,
how to blend arts,
and they certainly don’t know anything about matrixing.

I spend a LOT of time educating people.
People who take my PMAT course are sometimes shocked
at what the real knowledge of the martial arts is.
People who take my Master Instructor course
are frequently blown away by what they didn’t know.

Think about it this way.

most instructors are about as smart as a high school senior
a real instructor would be at least a ‘college graduate’ when it comes to knowledge, and then have specialized courses on how to teach under his belt.

And, the alternative to all this, my solution to making instructors.

Get a black belt in matrix karate.
Learn 2 or 3 more matrixed arts.
Take the Master Instructor course.
Then you can call yourself a 4th black belt (master) with a master’s degree in teaching martial arts.
Then you would be actually qualified to teach martial arts.

Hey, it’s all on my site, and I’ve been saying this stuff for decades.

Here’s the Master Instructor Course…
http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/4-master-instructor-course/

Have a great work out!

Al

A WIN!

Martial Arts as a Belief System

Newsletter 978

Why Martial Arts Changed

That the martial arts have changed is obvious.
They have changed in many ways.
Arts have intermixed,
forms are looked down upon,
people want more reality in their sparring,
and so on.

For me the change is drastic,
and I always focus on a single aspect
or characteristic of the martial arts.
I think it is the real reason
for the decline of martial arts.

When I began training we didn’t know anything.
Nobody knew karate,
or any of the other martial arts,
it was all new,
and nobody knew anything.

We were told stories.
The fellow who could hold onto a horse’s tail
and run as fast as the horse.
The fellow who could catch a samurai sword
and snap it with his palms.
Catching arrows with the bare hand.
Breaking rocks with a single chop.
And so on.

Now,
we didn’t know if these stories were true,
we simply believed
because we knew no better.
And,
as time went on,
some of the stories were bogus,
and some…were true.

What I noticed
as time went on
was that less and less
had people heard these stories.
Less and less
they tried to do the tricks in these stories.
More and more they fell to fighting,
and stopped being able to catch an opponent mid technique
and do what they wanted.

In short,
people stopped believing.
And stopped striving for those mystical feats,
stopped developing mystical abilities.

Why?

Because of the people who trained before,
who had no success in achieving mystical ability
and so denounced it.

I’ve heard people say karate punches are inferior.
And they tout the endless boxing drills
as superior to karate.
Yet I have never seen a boxer
thrust a finger through a board and leave a hole.
I have seen a karate man do that.

I’ve heard people say karate blocks don’t work in a real fight.
Yet I have seen a fellow
break a leg bone,
break it in two places,
with a simple low block.

I’ve had people say chi doesn’t exist,
it is a trick.
Check out the video here…
http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/4c-matrixing-chi-power/
Or simply google such things as ’chi power.’

Here is the point.
In the beginning we didn’t know better,
so we believed that tales
just like a bunch of goofy kids.
Most couldn’t figure out how to do those cool sounding tricks.
But a few could.

But the kids of today listen to the trash talk
and they never hear of the ‘chi tricks,’
they never hear about people dehorning and killing bulls
with a single chop.

They listen to the fellows who failed,
and don’t seek out the ones who succeeded.

It seems that the fellows who couldn’t succeed,
are happy to shout their failure to the world,
and denounce the arts they failed in,
instead of figuring out the tricks
and practicing until they could succeed.

And the fellows who succeed,
they are self satisfied
and they have no reason to shout to the world.
Humility, you know.

I tell you this:
the most important element
in your success or failure
is going to be your ability to believe.
To believe that you can do.
To believe some of those old fables.
And to train in a manner
so that your belief is made stronger.

Believe.

Have a great and believable work out!
Al

Here’s that link again…

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

A WIN!

…you’ve changed the way I approach the arts that I love. 2018 marks my 40th year as a martial artist, and I believe that what you do is so important to us true believers. Please remember that innovation is always going to be violently resisted initially. What you do is absolutely logical, and it’s impossible for any sane man to argue with logic. Press on with pride brother. You ARE making history and a legacy. Best wishes and thanks ~ Sean

“The doubters said, ‘Man can not fly,’
The doers said, ‘Maybe, but we’ll try,’
And finally soared In the morning glow
While non-believers Watched from below.”
– Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee’s Secret of Formless MartialArts

Newsletter 976

Formless like Bruce Lee

There is a quote by Bruce Lee…

“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.”

Now a lot of people refer to this quote.
It is held up as an iconic concept,
a golden standard.
Be formless.

And it is almost entirely misunderstood.

I heard one fellow say,
I don’t want to study karate
because I want to be formless.

But how can you be formless if you don’t have form first?
Do you think Bruce didn’t study forms?
He studied Wing Chun,
which has forms.
And he studied the forms of the drills,
the form of the Sticky Hands.
The guy was a living,
walk and talking
form.
Then he was formless.

First comes form,
then comes formlessness.

I want you to google Fred Astair.
Old time dancer.
Probably the most graceful man who ever lived.
His secret?
He makes every thing look effortless.
Do you know how much effort it took
to make his moves effortless?

Now consider that same concept with form.

Do you know how hard Bruce studied
how hard he worked,
how he must have visualized and sweated
to become formless?

Fortunately,
you can choose from a lot of arts to study,
and you can choose from a lot of forms.
You can choose the ones which intrigue you,
which fascinate you,
which seem to be the best for self defense,
or whatever your goal is in the martial arts.

Here are some of my favorite forms.
http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/6-shaolin-butterfly/

They are incredibly simple,
very short,
very easy to translate into formlessness.
(Read the win below…)

Have a great work out!
Al

A WIN!

Al,
I’ve sped through the Shaolin Butterfly, am learning the Five Army Tai Chi Chuan and the Butterfly Baguazhang. It seems to me that now I can look at classical forms and simply understand how to do them correctly. It’s absolutely amazing. The practice and learning process basically infuses a student with the basics to make anything work. To correct the whole of an art simply by looking at the forms and playing around with them. I’ve applied this to many classical forms I learned years ago. Thanks so much for the master key to all the martial arts right in my hand. ~ Justin

“The stillness in stillness is not the real stillness;
only when there is stillness in movement does the universal rhythm manifest.”

– Bruce Lee