Tag Archives: karate

Why Karate Masters are Wrong

And what to do about it…

Defeating the Linearity of Karate

I was watching videos
of people doing karate on the internet.
This included demo teams,
old masters,
and whoever,
and I was struck
by wrong they are doing karate,
by how they didn’t really know karate.

The funny thing is
karate is one of the most powerful arts I know,
yet everybody is doing it wrong.
Let me give you one example.

Watch a video on youtube,
watch a demo team for karate.
They are fast, powerful, explosive.
It is not good karate.
Why?
Because their arms and legs move back and forth
in a linear manner,
stopping and starting.
Real karate is liquid,
it does not stop and start.
At the end of every movement there is a circle,
often too small to be easily seen.
this circle avoids the stopping and starting of the muscles.
It takes effort and muscular exertion
to stop and start muscle motion.
When you have a small circle
somewhere in the end of the motion,
which leads into the beginning of the next motion,
you are doing real karate.

Now,
those who don’t understand will argue,
that is okay,
they will remember
and eventually come around.
For those of you who are frowning,
standing up and checking to see
if you have a little loop on the end of a punch or block
(both ends)
the truth is dawning.
Karate is not linear.
It is not a rigid piston effect,
it is a looping,
neverending effect.
And,
what do you get out of it?

The loop helps change one move into the next
the loop saves energy and is more efficient
it is faster
your body becomes more liquid,
more fluid,
you start to develop ‘pulsing power.’
Pulsing power is when you…
push with the legs
turn the hips
throw the punch.
Not exactly together,
but one…two…three,
so fast that the punch becomes one motion,
each action lending power and energy to the next action,
and yet becoming more and more fluid.

Now,
I read of this concept originally
while reading books on Chinese martial arts.
And,
I observed my instructor,
who was quick and whippy,
fluid like a striking snake.
And I read about a more fluid karate in Shotokai
(not shotokan)
which is supposed to be the style
funakoshi handed down his lineage to.

And I thought about it,
and developed it,
and came to realize the truth of it.
So take your time,
practice your forms,
and search for places where you can
add a loop at the end of a technique.
Maybe it is in the motion of the hand,
maybe it’s a turn of the hip,
a sink of the hip,
and flip of the shoulder.
Whatever it is,
you’re now on the path to true karate.

And,
all these guys doing wrong karate?
They are phenomenal,
not to be disrespected,
but it is a simple matter of physics
that reveal them to be expert beginners,
even master beginners,
who haven’t made the transition past beginner,
into the real thing.

When I teach karate to newbies
I usually let them work on the piston effect.
But when they are starting to remember everything,
I shift them to the looping effect.

Now,
I don’t talk about the whiplike effect much,
I instead recommend people do Matrix Karate,
but if you have matrix karate under your belt,
you could look at Temple Karate.
I do more advanced forms there,
and you can probably,
if you have a quick eye,
see how I add the teensiest of loops
to make my karate fluid.

But your eye has to be quick,
because the longer you train,
the smaller your loops become
until no one can see your loops.

Have a great work out!
Al

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

Temple Karate
http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/temple-karate/

Following is a great win that shows one thing…you aren’t going to get the answers, you are going to get the questions, the questions that lead you to understanding your own martial art. Do you have the kind of mind that can do this?

A WIN!

I picked up Matrix Karate from you; and I definitely get it.  My area of study is Kajukenbo; and based on watching the Matrix Karate DVD last night, I am reasonably sure that matrixing Kajukenbo would be very straight forward.  Time consuming, yes, difficult no.  I think it would be best to break Kajukenbo into its 7 arts (Karate, Judo, Jiujitsu, Kenpo, Boxing, Kung Fu, and Escrima), and matrix each of those.  My questions are: do you think that is the right approach? Is there a particular order you think these should be taught in? Do you teach each matrix’d art to completion, then move to the next? And, how does sport karate fit in?  And finally; for the traditional forms, would those be one entire section? Or would you recommend splitting them into each sub-section of the art?

Little Girl Uses Dreams to Catch Two Crooks

Newsletter 941
Catching the Crooks

When my grandmother was a little girl
the family was very religious,
went to church every Sunday.

One Sunday her younger sister was sick.
The family decided that just this once
she could stay home.
Sniffling and snuffling,
the young girl went to her room
at the end of the second floor hall
and went to sleep.

Shortly after the rest of the family went to church,
a car pulled up in front of the house.
Two rough looking fellows got out,
looked around,
and hurried up the walk.

In the house they quickly checked for occupants.
One fo the crooks ascended the stairs
and walked down the hallway,
looking in every room.
He stopped right before he reached the young girl’s room.
Heck, there wasn’t anybody home.
He turned around and helped his friend ransack the hosue.

They took jewelry,
silverware,
anything that wasn’t nailed down.
They put the swag in several pillow cases
they had taken out of a closet.
They walked down the front walk
got in their car and drove away.

An hour later the family returned home.
Shocked,
they went through the house,
the mother broke down in tears
and the father called the cops.

The cops came and looked for clues,
and talked to everybody.
But everybody had been at church,
nobody had seen anything.

‘I suppose it’s a good thing nobody was home,’
said the officer.
‘But somebody was home!
Our little girl is sick,
she’s sleeping upstairs.’

The cops asked to speak to the young girl.
The young girl was feeling better,
but she still sniffed and snuffled
when she walked into the room.
And she wasn’t surprised to find out
the house had been burglarized.

‘Oh, yeah,’
she said.
‘I saw them.’

‘But you were sleeping!’
protested her mother.

‘I know,
but I saw them in my dreams.
I watched them take everything.’

One of the cops snorted.
The older one,
the chief,
merely said,
‘Tell me what you saw.’

So my grandmother’s younger sister
told of the crooks driving up,
how they looked around,
how they checked the house for people,
but stopped before they reached her room.
She then described,
step by step,
how the crooks went through the house,
what they took,
how they carried it out the front door.

At the end she said,
‘When they reached their car
one of the men turned around,
saw me looking out of my window,
and he waved to me.
Then he got in the car and they drove away.

The family figured the girl had been hallucinating,
had made up a dream to match what had happened.
The younger cop thought it was a crock.
The older cop asked her to describe the two men.
She did,
and the old cop said,
‘That’s those two boys living on the outskirts of town.’

The cops went off,
broke down the door of the shack the two men were living in
and arrested them.
All of the stolen goods were recovered,
except for a few pieces of silverware
that had already been melted down.

The two crooks confessed,
and their descriptions of their crime
matched everything the younger sister had said,
except for the waving of the hand at the end.
One of the crooks said,
‘I would wave at nobody I had just stole from!’

Now,
this story is absolutely true.
It happened to my grandmother,
who relayed it to my brother and sister and I.
A bit of the Case family lore.

So why do I tell you now?
Because there is something very important you should understand
if you are ever going to learn the truth of matrixing,
and the truth of the martial arts.

There is a sixth sense,
and there are abilities in your dreams,
and they exist,
but they only exist for you
if you believe that they can exist.
Don’t believe and you never get those abilities,
believe and you will find them.

I was raised in a family where we believed in such things,
in the power of imagination and hard work,
where people could have special abilities
if they worked hard enough.

Many of you out there know what I say,
you probably have your own family legends,
your own experiences in imagination and abilities.
But for those of you who are weak in such things,
read this story again,
and realize that this is the stuff of martial arts.

You can learn them fast,
you can have intuition,
you can be superior.
Really,
there is nothing that you can’t do.

You just have to believe.

Have a great work out!
Al

Tai Chi is great for developing intuition and abilities,
here’s the link, and below it a great win!

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/2ba-matrix-tai-chi-chuan/

A WIN!

Al,
Great news! I have been working with the Matrix Tai Chi basics performing each one dozens of times and holding the finished posture for three breaths each. This has made my Five Army form so much better! My power has increased in my karate forms as well. Just need to work on Shaolin Butterfly to get the basics down for the Bagua stuff. Well hope you’re having a great 2016 so far.
Justin

Finding the MMA Locks and Throws in Karate

Newsletter 940

Finding MMA Jointlocks in Karate

I teach at a school near my house.
The school is predominately MMA,
and I teach things like Karate, Kung Fu, Monkey boxing.
So how do I get away with it?
Let me tell you…

One day I was helping one of the mma instructors.
He’s showing takedowns and locks and such,
and then,
because he knows I have limited MMA,
he glances in my direction,
makes sure I am helping him in the right way.
I’m working with one of the students,
no problem,
Except there was a problem.
I had done the takedown,
but couldn’t figure out how to get to the lock.
The instructor is about to come over,
and suddenly I roll up the student’s body.
Just roll,
like sideways,
using my weight.
The student under me tries to push me back,
I alter a bit,
and zingo bingo,
I have myself a kimura.
The student under me slaps the mat.
The instructor says,
how did you do that?

huh,
isn’t that the best question in the world?
How did I do that?
We weren’t working on kimuras,
he hadn’t shown anybody kimuras,
and he mentioned that he had never seen anybody
apply a kimura like that.
You see,
in MMA,
which is heavy on Brazilian Jujitsu,
there are certain sequences you use
to get a kimura,
but I hadn’t used one of those sequences.
I had done something he had never seen before.

The way I did it was straight out of karate.
When somebody punches
you execute a downward crossed wrist block.
Then you push the wrist one way,
manipulate the elbow by placing a finger behind the elbow,
and snake into a kimura.
When the student had tried to push me back
I had treated it like a punch.

The other instructor thought my technique was great fun,
he practiced,
showed it to other instructors,
and,
of course,
he showed me the technique I should have done.
But here’s the thing:
we (karate, kung fu, whatever) have all the locks and throws
that are in MMA,
we just do them standing up.
They do them lying down,
Same lock.
But because mma usually does a takedown first
they sometimes don’t understand the version
where you lock while standing up.

Now I’m not making a statement,
I respect all arts,
there are blank spots in every art,
and that’s what makes it so much fun
to train with people from other arts.


The above link is an unlisted one,
it shows the lock I used.
Now it is a downward kimura,
not an upward one,
not an official ‘chicken wing,’
as it is sometimes called.
And,
to tell the truth,
I have no idea what the name is in other languages or arts.
Downward kimura?
upside down elbow lock?
Anyway,
it is part of the upcoming Monkey Boxing epic I am working on.
For the last couple of years I have been working on
a website,
a series of videos,
presenting Al Case Monkey Boxing.
Which is the world’s first complete and perfect
BRAND NEW martial art.
Sure,
you can make karate perfect,
or kung fu or whatever,
but this art,
ACMB,
is new from the ground up,
and I thought you might enjoy a taste of what is coming.

So far I’ve got over 200 videos presenting this art,
it will be the best video course
in the history of the martial arts.
VERY comprehensive.
And,
interestingly enough,
I’ve got 7 guys I have been showing it to.
They signed up for the MB vid course
a little over a year ago,
so the whole thing will be proofed by them
by the time it is released.

Anyway,
I thought I would show you one of the videos.
You can see that I am not interested in beating people up,
but rather teaching them.
Mechanically, scientifically, philosophically.
Enjoy,
and remember what I said earlier,
stand up arts have all the MMA locks and such,
but only if the instructor understands the difference
between standing up and laying down.

Have a great work out!

Al

This course is the original,
it will stay the same when I present
the whole Monkey Boxing art…

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/matrix-kung-fu/

A WIN WITH MONKEY BOXING IN IT!

I wanted to share this with you: this last Saturday I was in my Brazilian Jiujitsu class and it dawned on me. Many of the  submissions are similar to techniques from other arts. An arm lock in Jiujitsu is a block in Muay Thai, and a movement from Monkey Boxing is a lockdown (or pin) in Jiujitsu. Doing the Matrixing courses has begun to bring things together in a way I hadn’t ever noticed before. But it isn’t in a confusing way. It just fits.

Thanks,
Mylan B

Rules to Learn the Martial Arts

Newsletter 938

Martial Arts Rules to Live By

We are born and we don’t know the rules.
the result is that for the history of man
we have been making up rules

Over 4,000 years ago
Hammurabi set down his rules.
280 rules on 12 stone tablets.
These rules dealt with everything,
from contracts to murder.

Then there was Moses,
10 rules on two tablets.

And throughout history everybody has made up rules,
rules to trade,
rules for criminals and punishment,
rules for marriage.

In your martial art there are doubtless rules.
Funakoshi wrote that there were six rules.
then only gave us five.
My theory is that the missing third rule had to do with matrixing.
But maybe that’s just me.
Grin.

In the school I am currently teaching
we have rules.
The head sensei came across these rules somewhere,
and printed them up and posted them
on the front door of the school.
Just to let you know,
before I reveal the rules,
his school specializes in kids.
He has no problem with specialized needs.
We even have a girl who is blind.
Every kid in there gets to help her,
and they all love it.
And she is actually learning some good martial arts.
Anyway,
here are the rules he posted.

In this studio…
We do second chances
We apologize
We forgive
We respect each other
We keep our promises
We never give up
We encourage one another
We laugh often
We belong…

I find it interesting to compare these rules
with the rules of other schools,
with rules posted by Funakoshi,
Hammurabi,
or whoever.

Obviously,
these rules were crafted by somebody
who wanted to reassure parents,
maybe was a social justice warrior,
maybe not,
and that’s okay.

My rules are pretty simple,
I write about them occasionally,
especially in my books on Neutronics.
They include such things as…

‘Be polite.’

and…

‘For something to be true,
the opposite must also be true.’

There are lots of rules in the world,
but they usually come back to such things as these.
I believe in simplicity.
Life is simple,
there is right…or wrong.
A simple choice,
that doesn’t need a lot of explanation.

The thing is this…
if you want to know the rules,
work out harder.
The rules of life are self-evident.
Simple truths.
Only crooks make them difficult.

Anyway,
I recommend ‘Chiang Nan’ this week.

http://monstermartialarts.com/how-to-translate-karate-into-tai-chi-chuan/

This book holds my thoughts on the original karate form,
how to translate karate to Tai Chi,
and the techniques deliberately hidden by the old masters.

The reason is simple…
if the old masters really hid the real techniques,
they were likely breaking their own rules.
Either that,
or they hadn’t worked out hard enough
to understand the real rules of living
and of the martial arts.

Have a great work out!

Al

http://monstermartialarts.com/how-to-translate-karate-into-tai-chi-chuan/

WIN!

Here’s a couple of wins I received. What makes them interesting is that two different people came across my ‘Buddha Crane’ book, and they reached similar conclusions, and had a heck of a lot of fun doing it.
The Buddha Crane book is bundled into ‘how to create your own art,’ and also as a book on Amazon.

Hello sir.
It’s going well. Really well. Once I was able to connect Buddha crane with shuri ryu, the pieces began to fall into place all by themselves.
The Buddha crane is the foundation of the kihon waza, ippons waza and came into their own flow drills(taezus naru waza).
Making changes to the Kata isn’t as easy, but I have done the first few Kata. Even crazier, I found someone who has already blended shuri ryu with something. So, it came rather easy.
Upon showing him how I’ve made changes opened his eyes and he’s asking me to give him pointers on how to make his karate be more ‘alive’.
My shuri ryu master is dead and I never got the chance to get my black belt. So, I’ve gone thru these people I’ve run into and just from what I showed them they are willing to bring me to the black belt in shuri ryu.
I’m not sure if that’s even important now, being that I matrixed the whole art, but I do hope to bring this understanding of shuri ryu to the table. Thus, starting a new (sub) ryu to the family.
I couldn’t have done it without you. Osu ~ Timothy G

Master founder,
How are you doing. I hope all is well. Happy belated fourth. Been busy with creating the art to make it my own. Honestly, I’ve been  working on some things with the arts. Oh yeah, I found a way to matrix the shuri ryu style. Quite interesting to see an existing art turn into something really workable.
Thanks to you sir, I’ve gained an understanding of true art. What turned it to be a great help was Buddha Crane Karate. Some fine points in that book. ~ John L

Martial Arts Become the Problem

Newsletter 936

What’s the Difference Between a Martial Art?

Why did you sign up for the martial arts?
What reason was ticking away in the back of your skull?
If you’re like me it was probably to get tough,
to be strong enough to fight back against the bullies.
And that is the secret of selling the martial arts.

To sell something you have to find a problem,
and offer what you’re selling as the solution.

The problem the martial arts addresses
is the student’s poor opinion of himself,
his desire not to be victim to all the people who bully him.
And this problem/solution has been selling the martial arts
since time was invented.

I remember a book in the fifties/sixties,
‘Super Karate Made Easy.’
And you don’t have to look for it,
it’s here…
http://monstermartialarts.com/free-martial-arts-books/

In this book situations were presented
in which the reader was addressed as being helpless,
but has fortunately studied a mysterious art.
Here’s a sample…

Your opponent tip-toes behind you and grabs your hair. To stop the hair pulling throw both your hands above your head and grab his hand. Follow thru with repeated smashes of the foot to opponent’s shin or down hard on his instep. That will be the last time this ingrate will get into your hair!

Do you see it?
You were a victim,
now you are offering the punishment.
This book sold…MILLIONS.
Wasn’t a very good book,
but it had the formula down,
present the reader as victim,
offer the solution.

When I signed up for Kenpo
I was fodder for the sales guy,
because I had just come through high school,
which means I had been bullied for four years.

In fact,
my parents told me to
shape up,
listen up,
shut up,
toe the line,
don’t fight back,
do what you’re told
and so on.

Then my teachers said to
shape up,
listen up,
shut up,
toe the line,
don’t fight back,
do what you’re told
and so on.

Even the other kids told me
shape up,
listen up,
shut up,
toe the line,
don’t fight back,
do what you’re told
and so on.

I wasn’t being raised…or educated,
I was being prepared for a life of
shape up,
listen up,
shut up,
toe the line,
don’t fight back,
do what you’re told
and so on.

So when I walked into that karate school,
and they offered me a solution,
man…I JUMPED AT IT!

Want to know a bad secret?
If you want to make money in the martial arts,
start up a website,
put a few techniques down on paper,
and surround them with descriptions of mayhem,
and sell them as a book.
And advertise the book by telling people they are weak,
and your ‘system’ are the solution.
Guaranteed.
You are going to get rich.

You don’t think so?
Go back through the internet scams
of the last few decades.

The guy
(who is described in a way that reminds you of you)
walks into a dangerous situation
(a bar, a party, a convention of skinheads)
accidentally offends
(bumps, is shoved into, makes a joke)
a bully
(a biker, a skinhead, a big drunk)
and uses a secret technique
(fight ender, prison elbows)
taught to him by a mysterious person
(monk, nun, spetznatz operative, green beret)
and he will share this system with you
for a price ending in 7.
(37.00, 47,00, etc.)

So why am I telling you this?
Because the other day I came across a website,
it was selling the same old same old,
a new and efficient system,
tossed out the slop,
focused on brutalizing the opponent.

I want you to think about that.
Brutalizing the opponent.
Isn’t that why you started the martial arts?
To stop being brutalized?
And now people are being sold on brutalizing.
They have become the problem.

The truth is that the martial arts have shifted.
They have gone from ‘defend yourself,’
to ‘beat the crap out of somebody.’
We have stopped seeking the solution,
and started seeking the problem.
Weird.

Now,
here’s the truth.
When I walk into a martial arts school,
I meet people who are not competent.
They don’t know how to teach the martial arts,
so they push fighting.
Not the martial arts,
but fighting.

Instead of drilling until one is aware of how a technique works,
the student is taught to fight…fight…fight!

Instead of learning how to control his body,
and thus the body of an opponent,
the student is taught how to brutalize.
Sure,
it’s all in the name of justice and humanity,
but it’s not in the spirit of justice and humanity.

What’s the solution?
Present the truth,
as best you can,
and hope you can penetrate to the human being
before he catches on fire.

The martial arts are not about fighting,
they are about not fighting.
About stopping the bully without beating the crap out of him.

It’s not about hitting the bag so hard you bust it,
it is about investing yourself with awareness.

Here’s the truth:
it’s not about beating some bully up,
it is about beating yourself up,
working out until you are so strong and competent
that the bully doesn’t come near you.
That is the way you create a peaceful world.
Not by pounding it into shape,
but by pounding yourself into awareness.

Here’s a win to encourage you.

Hello sir, I hope this email finds you in good spirits. I just wanted to give you an update on my progress with the Butterfly Pa Kua Chang training. I have kept up the 3 hours a day training, adding in some training elements such a lion holding the ball and the serving tea cups exercises. On the weekends I’ve been training at the parks here in Philadelphia, while my kids run around playing.

As previously mentioned I have a lot of martial experience, but Pa Kua Chang is unlike anything I had ever done in the past. It took me a good couple of months to get used to, but I have a real firm grasp of all of the basics and have even worked on my own double changes, three in total. I am absolutely addicted to it!!!

I can’t thank you enough for putting the course out there for people like me, who have no access to learning it in person here. I’ve even had several people stop me at the parks and ask to follow along with the movements as I walk the circle!

Thank you sir,
Fred

Have a great work out!

Al

Here’s the PKC course

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/butterfly-pa-kua-chang/

Small Steps to Make the Big Leap to Black Belt

Newsletter 935

Problems with Promoting People to Black Belt

Just to warn you,
there is a lot of meandering this newsletter,
so get your head ready
to turn left or right
on a whim or a blink.

I was talking with another instructor,
and he told me how he got black belt.
He spent five years at the belt below black belt.
He was in his mid thirties,
and he finally went up to the head instructor and said,
‘Promote me,
I’m not getting better,
I’m just getting older.’

Just getting older.
How grim.
Which brings us to the point of it all.

In the beginning,
a person was promoted when he finished
the requirements necessary to promotion.

Chuck Norris did it in a year and a half.
Mike Stone did it in 7 months.
Joe Lewis earned THREE black belts in a year.

Sure,
they are superstars,
but why can’t we finish our requirements and get promoted?

It was Kenpo that established the standard,
they introduced the famous ‘car contracts,’
which were contracts designed by an Arthur Murray dance instructor.
Kenpo spread out the material
so the contract would last four years,
keep the student paying tuition for four years.
Survival, man.
And within a couple of years
all systems of martial arts lasted four years.

Then we have people like my friend,
who are kept at a belt level,
brown or purple,
or whatever,
for five years plus,
until they finally confront their instructor
and demand to be promoted.

Or,
let me digress a moment,
I knew a fellow,
it was kenpo,
who set up a program for his students
to reach black belt in…17 years.

That’s right.
His students were signing up for
SEVENTEEN YEARS!
Zowie.
What’s funny is that,
at the time,
he had 12 years experience.
That’s right,
he had never completed his own system.
But he was demanding students do…what he hadn’t.
Can somebody spell ‘crazy’ for me?

Anyway,
back to the issue at hand,
when should a person be promoted?
When he shows competence at the level he is at.
If he is required to do a form,
a certain set of techniques,
he must show that he understands
the form and the techniques…
and can do them.

So how long does it take to become competent?
If your system is properly arranged,
3 – 6 months per belt.
If your system is matrixed
1 – 3 months per belt.

And some individuals can go faster.

The test is simple.
If you are doing a form…
do you understand what the moves mean?
Can you take a move and apply it?
Without thinking?
To anybody?

You don’t need Bruce Lee’s speed.
You don’t need to pluck arrows out of the air.
You just need to know what something means,
and show that you can do it.

It’s like a plumber.
He knows what length to cut the pipe,
how to connect the pipe.
And that’s it.
for one level.
No mysterious standards,
just simple level
after simple level.

I remember somebody telling me
to sail a boat they needed to take a course,
read a 500 page book,
take a test,
and hope they remembered enough to pass.

But I was told that there is a rudder,
and a sail.
Two moving parts…plus the wind.
500 pages and a test to learn how to point the rudder
away from your destination,
and fill the sail with wind.
Hmmm.

My ultimate instruction for karate is…
don’t get hit…hit the other person.
Sure,
it is sadly lacking,
but once the person fills his sails
you can tell him about currents.
And once the person is looking at a fist in his face,
you can tell him about blocking.
Really.

Now,
with all these sad understatements,
let’s talk about what you are really looking for.

You are looking for control.
Not whether a person can remember a pattern,
or a series of techniques,
but whether he can control his body.

Is he falling over…
I like to call this falling off the floor…
because his stance isn’t being used to sink his weight?

Is his butt wiggling because
he is putting power in his butt instead of his fist?

Is he out of breath because
he isn’t breathing properly?

Do his blocks collapse under impact?

These are the simple questions I ask,
and I ask them of ALL belts.
No hidden standards.

Sure,
a white belt is sloppy,
and a black belt is snappy,
and in-between there are gradient steps,
never too big for the student,
never so small.
Just a staircase of simple steps
leading to more and more body control.

I once observed that white belts and black belts,
in a class,
were doing the same things.
The black belt just looked better at it,
didn’t get out of breath,
and so on.

Nothing mysterious,
no hidden tricks.
Just…a slow climb to competence.

Now,
let me make some points.
These are the points I usually lose readers at,
they read this stuff,
disagree so loudly,
that they immediately cancel the newsletter.

There was a rumor,
once upon a time,
that a student had to fight,
AND DEFEAT
100 other black belts
to earn his black belt.

This was a rumor taken from Kyoshinkai,
where they have a 100 man kumite.
Nobody ever defeats all the 100 men,
in fact,
by the time they are in the last 50,
they are pretty badly bruised and beaten.
By the time they reach the last 10,
they are usually getting beaten pretty regularly.
But the question is…do they finish?
Or do they quit?
It is a matter of spirit.
Do they have it or not?

Interesting reality behind this rumor.

I have seen schools
where they do demand a brown belt
to defeat black belts before they are promoted.
But there is a severe wrongness to what they are doing.

To beat somebody doesn’t show any degree of competence,
it just means you can beat up people.
And beating up people is not the point of the martial arts,
learning how to be a competent human being is.

And,
when somebody is enrolled in a type of school,
where they are expected to ‘roll’ for four or five years
on a single belt level,
before getting a black belt,
that does not show competence.
It shows endurance,
and a variation on 100 man freestyle,
and…
proving that you can beat somebody up
to qualify for black belt.

But I just told you,
if you are learning how to beat people up
you are not learning martial arts.
Sure,
you can beat people up with the martial arts,
but the martial arts are really about…competence.
Achieving a skill level.
Not proving that you can ‘take it.’
Or endure.
Or beat people up.

And,
the people i lose?
They are the ones stuck in a belt level for half a dozen years,
they are stuck,
can’t take any perceived criticism,
need to beat those people up,
and quit the newsletter.

The people who need this advice the most
are the ones the most put off by it.

Ah,
well.

My advice is this:
select a system with standards,
even steps between the belts,
without dominating personalities
demanding you to beat people up.
Find a system where you can see
the small differences between belts.
Where you can see people taking small steps
to make the big leap to black belt.

And,
if you can’t find one,
better learn some matrixing.
Learn how to understand the martial arts,
it will be ten times easier to learn an art then.
Even an art that demands endurance instead of competence.

Here’s the first course on matrixing…
http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/matrix-karate/

Have a great work out!

Al

Here’s a link for an article about when I first started doing this book on Kenjutsu.
I intended to finish it quickly, but it’s actually been five years!

https://alcase.wordpress.com/2013/12/02/new-book-about-the-samurai-sword-is-coming/

here is the page on the new book on Matrixing Kenjutsu
http://monstermartialarts.com/matrixing-kenjutsu/

competence not politics
intuition v figuring out
teach FS w/o losses

The Key to Becoming an Original in the Martial Arts

Newsletter 934

Outside the Martial Arts Box!

I used to ask my instructor
what he did to get better.
What did he work on?
What were his training methods?
He answered me:
‘I just do the forms.’
But he could stick his index finger
through a board and leave a hole.
Obviously,
there had to be something more.
It took me a while,
but I figured out the ‘extra ingredient.’
Going outside the box.

For instance,
I’ve written about his kicking bag.
We couldn’t go to a store and buy a bag back then,
we had to make our own.
I bought a duffle bag,
packed it with sawdust,
used it for a while.
It was a true piece of…stuff.
But it worked,
and I practiced,
and my kicks got better.
He did the same thing,
sort of.
He was able to find the canvas ‘sleeves.
He filled it with sawdust,
and the thing was too light,
didn’t pack right,
fell out of shape after a few hundred kicks.
So he experimented,
going ‘outside the box,’
and packed it with sawdust and water.
It got moldy.
He tried adding bleach.
Got soggy,
and he tried other methods.
His stroke of
outside the box
genius?
He cut newspapers in circles,
and stacked the circles in the bag.
Rock hard,
never fell out of shape,
light enough to hang without bending the rafters,
and so on.
This is true ‘out of the box’ thinking.
He did something totally unique,
nobody had EVER done anything like this,
and likely haven’t since then.
But his kicks were truly…
outside the box.

So,
let me describe the trap you are currently in,
which stops you from thinking outside the box.
I came across a fellow on the net,
and he was talking about if bags get too hard
you can’t kick them.
And he’s going into the physics,
and how it is physically impossible
according to the rules of the universe,
and so on.
If my instructor had ever paid attention to the physics…
he never would have made that bag.
He would have been trapped by,
not the physics,
but the belief system surrounding physics.

I was once told that a bumble bee can’t fly.
His weight is too much,
his wings too stubby,
according to physics,
the bumble bee can’t fly.
Thank god the bumble bee doesn’t know physics.
Thank god the bumblebee has his own belief system.

And we get all these athletes
training by physics,
eating the food,
using the training devices,
following regimens described by people
who know physics.

Before the four minute mile was cracked,
it was considered impossible.
No human could ever do that.
Now,
on the top tier of runners,
you’re sort of a wannabe
if you can’t break the four minute mile.
But the physics didn’t change.
What changed was people’s belief in physics.
Or,
they didn’t accept the physics,
and they went ahead and broke the rules.
Went outside the box.
Did something that nobody believed they could do,
just because,
in their supreme moment of ignorance,
they believed in themselves,
and ignored the idiots.
They went outside the box.

When my instructor kicked that bag,
it was too hard,
he should have broken his foot.
But,
he figured out how to kick the bag a little,
and his foot got stronger,
but more important,
his belief that he COULD kick that bag got stronger.
And,
as he kept kicking that bag,
his kicks slowly improved,
and his belief system,
his idea of what it was possible for him to do,
changed.

So that is how you go outside the box.
You get an idea,
you chip away at it,
you look at it,
and you expand your belief system
beyond the belief system
of those that are trapped by belief systems.

Now,
you don’t have a unique idea?
Yes,
you do.
When the instructor has you do ten kicks in class,
do eleven.
Go home and do a hundred.
I noticed that the fellows in my school
who had the best kicks,
were practicing 200 kicks per kick per side.
So I went home and started practicing
250 kicks per kick per side.
And,
man,
am I glad I did.
I’m 70 now,
and when I practice with these young kids,
my front kick is still faster,
and they really don’t like blocking it,
it hurts them to block it.

And,
what about forms?
Do you do your forms twice or thrice
and then call it?
How about doing your forms ten times?
Or,
have you ever done a form100 times in a row?
It changes you.
It changes the way you think about forms.
It changes your belief in forms.
Something I used to do,
I was practicing Tai Chi,
and I decided to pile stance it.
There are about 108 moves
in the classical form,
I took a full minute to do each move.
Took me two hours to do one form.
But,
Lord,
I was different after that.
My Tai Chi was different,
and I started to really understand
what the old Tai Chi masters were talking about.

Anyway,
I hope this gives you an idea on how to think outside the box.
The only advantage you’ve got is your imagination,
imagination IS thinking outside the box,
so put in a little extra sweat,
and put yourself outside the box.

And,
obligatory ad,
The book,
Chiang Nan,
is definitely outside the box.
I combined Karate and Tai Chi,
and got some interesting results,
results not covered by the fellows spouting their physics.
Here’s the link.

https://www.amazon.com/Chiang-Nan-Al-Case/dp/198767765X

Have a great work out!

Al

Here’s a link for an article about when I first started doing this book on Kenjutsu.
I intended to finish it quickly, but it’s actually been five years!

https://alcase.wordpress.com/2013/12/02/new-book-about-the-samurai-sword-is-coming/