Tag Archives: martial arts problem

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…

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,

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.
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.

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.
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,

Have a great work out!


Here’s the PKC course


The End of Martial Arts…The End of Life

I was teaching Martial Arts one day. Had a school in Tujunga, maybe ten or twelve students in the class, and this old guy walks in. Not tremendously old, maybe fifty. And he had his arms filled with martial arts equipment. A couple of uniforms, a few colored belts, focus glove, kicking bag, some pads. I think he even had a couple of martial arts books.

I introduced myself and asked what I could do for him, and I was curious. He didn’t look like a martial artist.

“I thought maybe you could use this stuff.”

I couldn’t, but there was a sadness coming out of the guy that told me to take it and be grateful. “Sure,” I said. “We can certainly use this, and thank you.”

And he said: “My son died, you see. Couple of years ago. This stuff was sitting in the garage, and he loved to do the martial arts more than anything. I looked at it the other day, and I realized what he wouldn’t want it to go to waste.”

I took the stuff and placed it on a desk and shook his hand. He told me briefly about his son, and I could see that he had gone through the worst pain a man could go through. For a father, you could lose a limb, catch a dread disease, suffer agonizing pain,  but not the son…no. Not the son. That hurts more.

So we chatted, I tried to be very upbeat, got him to the point where I could quip, “We’ll use the heck out of it, then enshrine it.”

He laughed, a good laugh that actually bypassed the pain in his soul. “You don’t have to shrine it…just use it. Use it good.”

We shook hands and he left.

Now, I don’t like to dwell on death and despair, but I wanted to tell you this story for a reason: that fellows son died and won’t do martial arts again. The thing that he loved the most…no more.

When I was running schools I would get a visitor every single month that wanted to tell me about when he was young, how he loved the martial arts, and how he still had his uniform hanging in the closet. Didn’t fit anymore, but that uniform was pressed and ready to go.

The message is this: do what you want to do, or your life is wasted. Don’t buy an excuse; don’t buy old age as an excuse.

I suppose what made me think of all this is that my wife and I were talking about my instructor the other day, and I mentioned that he quit the martial arts when he was about forty-five. I remember him always saying that he always had a cold. I remember him slowly stopping teaching the classes, and relying on his black belts to teach, and one day he went out and bought bar…and he sold the school to one of his students.

I went through that ‘got a cold’ thing. But I went through it, now I’m 63, and I do martial arts every day, really feel like I’ve cheated myself if I don’t work out enough.

So, whatever you have to go through, go through it, and keep doing the martial arts. And if you’re reading this and you want to do the martial arts but never did…why are you wasting your life.

Enough for now. You guys have fun.

martial arts

The Problem with the Martial Arts

As the creator of Matrixing Technology, I think on the problem of the martial arts quite a bit.

Some guy has slanted the martial arts for tournaments, so how do I unslant? Or, to be specific, how do I get people to listen and care that their art has been slanted; how do I get them to learn the unslanted viewpoint. Mind you, I don’t care if they go tournament, but they need to know the principles and reality fo the true art.

Some fellow has a monkey making dojo, and he has contracts and has lengthened the time to black belt. So how do I talk to his students. How do I persuade them, without dissing the instructor, that they have been slanted in a certain direction. How do I get them to put aside the bloated teachings in favor of the true art.

There is an organization, in some cases a whole government, that is passing rules and regulations. Maybe they have good motives–they don’t want little Johnny to get hurt, but what they are doing is cutting the true art into pieces, obscuring the truth of the martial arts, and hiding the light of truth from generations to come. How do I convince people that an organization isn’t the truth? How do I get them to take off the padding and feel the real fist?

And there are so many problems like this, it is fair disheartening.

Yet, there is a true art, and the lust for truth pervades the human soul. Can I talk to that human soul before it is buried under the onslaught of lies that hide the true art?

Interesting problems. Interesting problem.

The tack I have taken, must take, is to appeal to the individual. To pry into the thought process and ask them simple questions. Do you see how your art has been fattened? Corrupted? Changed? Swollen out of recognition and workability?

And, on the other side, are those who make money, who have given themselves over to a style or system and, because they have invested so much of themselves, have become true believers.

But what is a true believer but a man with blinders on? He can see only one path, all others are false.

But the true artist can see not only the true path, but he knows why the others are mere distractions and stop signs and narrow gorges.

Well, that all said, I have faith in people to solve the problem of the martial arts.

martial arts problem