Tag Archives: Martial Arts

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

Secret Martial Arts Techniques Found!

Newsletter 933

Finding the REALLY Secret Martial Arts Techniques!

Happy Father’s day,
Mother’s day,
son’s day, daughter’s day…
Happy Everybody’s Day!

And it really is Everybody’s Day for the martial arts.
Cause you can celebrate EVERY DAY!
Just by working out!

I had the most interesting conversation the other day.
I was talking with a fellow instructor,
he has lots of experience,
and he told me about when he was a beginner in Brazilian JJ.

“At the end of the beginner’s class the instructor came out and told us we had to leave. The doors were being locked, and we had to be on the other side. I asked him why. And he said, ‘because we’re going to have an advanced class. These are the secret techniques, we don’t want to risk them getting out.’”

Woah.
Secret Techniques.
So secret only a special few can know them.
Woah!

Then my fellow instructor laughed,
and he said,
‘I went through that school,
I learned all the ‘secret techniques,’
and then,
to make sure I was doing them right,
I looked them all up on the internet.

So there’s the story on secret techniques.

Now,
there are techniques that people don’t know.
You’ve heard me rail about the Okinawan Karate Masters,
who made a secret pact,
not to teach karate.
What a bunch of boneheads.
And I think that,
whenever I see a picture,
or a write up,
on one of these sacred fools.
Karate is suffering to this day,
other arts are more workable,
just because of these boneheads.

The good news is that,
with a little work,
you can figure out what wasn’t taught.
You can’t learn much on the net as a beginner,
but if you’ve put in some quality work time,
you can use the youtube.

You can figure out all the stuff
the boneheads didn’t want you to know.

And,
of course,
there’s Chiang Nan,
my book,
and all the stuff I’ve put together through matrixing.
No secret,
just hard work,
a little thought,
and those secrets aren’t secret any longer.

Heck,
it’s better than suffering through a class
where they kick you out
if you are about to learn anything.
Huh!

Here’s the Chiang Nan link…
https://www.amazon.com/Chiang-Nan-Al-Case/dp/198767765X

Now,
you guys have a great summer,
put those work outs together,
and make yourself something to be truly proud of.

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/

Why You Are Stupid

The Reasons for Your Stupidity!

I could go into your parents wanting to be your friend instead of taking responsibility. 

Or I could talk about how school is designed by government to make you a stupid but more compliant citizen.

I could go into drugs or electronics or any number of things.

But the fact is that 98% of the people on this planet are stupid. 

To be precise: they are dreaming that they are awake.

Instead, I would like to tell you the solution, or how to wake up, how to make the dream give way to reality.

First, get rid of the GMOs, cigarettes, Parma prescriptions, food additives, vaping, obsession with playing a stupid video game, and so on.

Live now.

Second, begin a program for putting your body into good shape. Being overweight, while touted as ‘sexy’ by ad executives who know better, is unhealthy and puts you at risk.

Start riding a bike, join a dance class, learn yoga, or, my favorite, start doing the martial arts.

Third, throw the F-bomb TV out the stinking window!

You are not watching programming, you are being programmed.

Fourth, start reading, look for things that will undo that terrible (but oh so veddy expensive) education the government gave you.

Fifth, matrix.

What the heck is matrixing?

Matrixing is logic, pure and simple.

It is taking all the factors, comparing them, and boiling them down to the essential concept.

I use matrixing, I developed matrixing, in the martial arts.

Consider your garage, a hopeless mess. You couldn’t find a lawnmower in there if somebody ran it over your toes. That garage is like your mind. And your mind, because of drugs, education, and all the stuff I’ve just told you, is an F-bomb mess.

Consider a bookshelf, the one in your room. Everything is thrown on it. Shirts, ties, plants, even a book or two. Although the books are upside down and shoved into a corner. Heck, there’s even a cat turd on the top shelf!

Consider your mind, everybody tells you what to think, education fills you with weird concepts, and TV lies to you as a matter of perverted honor.

And you buy it all!

So, do what I said earlier. Get rid of drugs, electronics, your bad education, and everything else that has contributed to the mess of your mind.

But the question, really, is how do you get rid of it.

My solution was to do martial arts. They put my body in shape, put me in control, and started the procedure of cleaning out my brain, my mind, my spirit, whatever you want to call that clusterF-bomb you call a mind.

Now, there is still a problem.

You can do karate, or any martial art, and get in good shape, and even be thinking at a halfway decent rate, but there is still a mess.

You see, the martial arts are a put together, a combination of techniques, a build up of what everybody thinks is right and works.

Do you honestly think the martial arts are immune to the BS I listed above?

They have been put together by raving lunatics! People with vested interest! Religious wackos! Anybody who can beat somebody else up thinks they are smart.

Right.

They never heard that ‘Might doesn’t make right!’

So you figure out this matrixing thing.

You put the martial arts techniques in order.

As you put the martial arts in order you start to put your mind in order.

You start being able to think, to make correct decisions not based on all that crap that everybody and their uncle has pushed down into your mind.

Your mind becomes quick and fast, lean and mean, and you are able to think, and…to observe reality.

You awake.

You look around and ask yourself (I kid you not) why is everybody so stupid?

But now you know.

And now you can go find matrixing, and do it, or you can stay asleep.

You can stay just as stupid as you like.

A Master Instructor Martial Artist from Greece!

Newsletter 923

One More Master Instructor

Well done and congrats to the latest Master Instructor!

Emmanouil Spanoudakis

Hello Mr. Al

I don’t know from where to begin with. I read the course and I have watched the videos. They changed most things I had in my mind about martial arts. Generally I practice on combat systems. So, I figured that most of combat systems just get the surface of  martial arts. I already applied some things, mostly on my stances and I show great improvements which need practice to be established. I thought all attacks and defenses I know and found out many mistakes. I’ m thinking correcting all my curriculum from the begging.

I liked your approach of the idea of energy because I have studied philosophy and metaphysics, but your approach made it more practical in my mind.

My win is that I show a depth in martial arts that I was feeling but couldn’t see. It is like you show that to me and I am very grateful about this. Now I have much material to work on in order to adjust on my martial arts.

About life I have the same approach with you considering martial arts. “Well, Art is beauty. It is harmony. It is when the elements of the universe are arranged in a pleasing pattern. Thus, the dawn can be great art. And, the greatest artist is merely that individual who can arrange the greatest (most significant) number of elements in the most beautiful pattern.” The idea is that I want to put this in a combat system.

I will keep practicing what I learned, thank you very much.

Emmanouil Spanoudakis.

Well done Emman,

and thank you.

And,

for the information of all,

Emman is from Greece and plans to open a school soon.

Armed with the right data,

Emman is going to be a success.

You can just feel it.

What I am particular struck with,

in his win,

is his last paragraph about beauty and harmony

and arranging the most elements in a beautiful pattern.

The purpose of the Master instructor course

is to give people enough information so that they can do this,

take all their data and rework it into a logic and profound pattern,

to break out of old patterns and make everything work

by giving enough information so they can do this.

Again.

well done, Emman,

and here’s the link…

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/4-master-instructor-course/

Have a great work out!

Al

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/4-master-instructor-course/

http://monstermartialarts.com

How a Poser Technique Destroys Martial Arts.

Newsletter 907

The Martial Arts Concept That Will Get You Killed!

Behold the Poser!

I figured out the Poser like this:

I was an instructor in Kenpo.
Thought I was the deadliest SOB walking.
Then I met a kid who showed me some stuff.
Curious, I let him introduce me to his brother.
His brother happened to be a Hell’s Angel.
His brother also happened to know something of Kenpo.

“What would you do for this attack?”
He grabbed my tee shirt with two fists.
I was shocked,
incapable,
in spite of my training I didn’t know what to do.
“Why don’t you try ‘Flapping Wing?’
My eyes were round,
that was one of my techniques.
I taught it regularly.
Surely I could make that work!
So I locked his hands in place,
brought a forearm up to break his elbows.
He lowered his elbows,
which hurt my forearm.
Doggedly,
I brought my forearm around in a circle.
I smashed down on his radial nerves,
which should have paralyzed his arms,
and started to chop him in the throat.

He threw me through a wall.
Yep.
All the way through it.

Then he told me to grab his shirt.
I did so.
And he punched me…through the wall.

Twice,
in thirty seconds,
I went through a wall.

The night then became one of the most fascinating
question and answer period,
and I started to learn about the true art.
And I started to learn about posers.

The actual definition for a Poser technique is:
‘when the attacker has to not do something
so the defender can make the technique work.’

My kenpo consisted of wide circles and slapping hands,
his technique consisted of straight punches and brute force.

Now,
this isn’t to downgrade Kenpo.
There are many arts which make the circling of the arms work,
and well.
And Kenpo,
with a little bit of analysis,
can also be made to work.

Kenpo is not bad,
but there is a wide variance of ability
in the people who teach the art.

On the beginning levels of the martial arts
one learns how to streamline the straight line,
how to make it work.
Matrix Karate.

On later levels one learns circles and how to make them work.
Blinding Steel (Monkey Boxing),
for instance,
creates speed.

But,
I recommend that one learn the beginning levels
so that one learns how to generate power properly.
That power can then be used on later levels,
later levels which do not have those types of power building drills.

So,
a Poser can be a person who is a fake personality,
acts like he is something when he isn’t.
But,
in the martial arts a Poser refers to a technique
that takes too long,
doesn’t fit in with concepts of power,
looks fancy,
is often out of place
(could work if learned later on when certain principles of power have been learned)
And so on.

And,
the news…
Matrix Karate is the ONLY course that gives you techniques in the right order,
and that knowledge will help you discover the Posers in your own art,
and fix your own art.

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

Your art isn’t bad.
Heck,
it might be pretty good,
but once you know how to fix it it will become better than great.
My guarantee.

Onkey Donkey,
Not too late to give the gift that keeps on giving
(one of my matrix courses)

And,
HanaKwanMass to all,
and get ready for the Martial Artist’s
‘Night Before Xmas.’
I read it (via newsletter) every Xmas.
People groan and throw up their hands,
but I think it is art.
So there.

Have a great work out!
Al

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

Absolute and Total Control of ANY Fight with the Martial Arts

You Can Walk Through a War Zone with Martial Arts and Never Fight!

One of the things I realized, after 22 years in the martial arts, which was almost 30 years ago, was that there must be a thought before there can be an action.
Now, while you’re grokking that, let me take it to the logical conclusion: a fight cannot occur unless you make the decision that it can so occur.
Lots of people are going to argue with this, but that is simply because they don’t see thought before action, and so can’t understand what I am saying. They have invested too much time in fighting, and not enough time in the martial arts.
I have, just for the heck of it, walked through a riot without receiving a ding. Nor even a curse word, Nor even a bad look. I did this shortly after the Rodney King riots.
I was simply curious concerning what had happened, but more important, I was curious about my ability to walk through a ‘war zone’ without being attacked.
So I drove down to South Central Los Angeles, sauntered across Normandy and Florence (the flashpoint of the riots), drove around, got out and examined businesses that had been destroyed and so on.
No problem.
Simply, I hadn’t made the decision to get in a fight.
Even if I had run into an insane person…I was safe. An insane person, you see, can’t have an effective thought (before an action). They can’t plan. Period. That is part of their insanity.
And, to tell the truth, I had played with this concept before this occurrence.
Once, in the army, I had a fellow stand in front of me, totally enraged, and tell me he was going to beat the holy you know what out of me.
I said, “No thanks,” and watched him.
He didn’t hit me, he just got madder, and louder, and finally some other fellow in the barracks got pissed at the noise and came over and fought him. While they were rolling around on the floor I went to the movies.
Now, this brings us to the most important point of this little epistle. How do you reach the point of being able to make a decision, or not make a decision, concerning people beating you up?
People who practice fighting, and think that that is martial arts, don’t see the thought before the action. They just get mad (frustrated) when I say things like what I have said here.
People who practice the martial arts, which includes forms (concepts) techniques (plans) and freestyle (translating perfection into chaos), can reach the point of being able to see the thought before the action. They usually don’t, however, because though their art is classical, it is random. Not logical. It hasn’t been matrixed.
So the classicists who achieve this ability of being able to see the thought before an action are few and far between. They usually end up being virtually worshipped. If they make the decision to get worshipped. Usually they prefer to live a quiet life. It is just so much more efficient and pleasurable.
When you matrix your art you put it in logical order.
Never been done in any martial art in the history of the world.
A few people have pushed concepts, and that tends to align an art, and that gives people a chance to break through. But the pushing of the concept usually dies with the founder, and the art becomes a legend, and the movements of the art become rote, then confused, then dispersed.
That’s just the way it is. Logic brings one to a pinnacle, but without the concept of logic (which is different than the concepts in the martial arts) the art descends, and usually pretty rapidly. It is not uncommon to see an art self destruct within a generation of the death of the founder.
So this matrixing thing, this logic, is of crucial importance.
It will not only align your art, make it logical and intuitive, but it will safeguard against the destruction of your art.
Watch, the simple drills and forms I developed through matrixing are going to be around forever. They can’t be improved on because they aren’t so much martial arts as a perfection of logic. People will discover them, do them, and find that, while they are an art unto themselves, and incredibly effective, the real joy is in seeing how the art one does, apart from Matrixing, suddenly rears its head and achieves the goals…and concepts…of the original founders.
And, the only other thing I have to say on this matter is this: it is important to learn an art solely so one can create one’s own art. If one doesn’t create their own art, they really haven’t learned the martial arts.
And all this, seeing the thought before the action, creating your own art, understanding the arts as one art, is only possible through learning the logic of matrixing.

Raising Intelligence through Martial Arts Training

Newsletter 874

Intuitive Martial Smarts

Happy work out!
Who cares what day of the week it is!
Any day is perfect for a work out!

BTW
a black and white version of
The Professional Martial Arts Instructor
is coming out.
If you want a color copy at the low price, order it now.

That said,
let’s talk about smarts.

The martial arts are one of the few practices in the world
that actually result in higher intelligence.

Going to school doesn’t.
Going to school is a trick of how much you can memorize.
Not a lot of problem solving.
Heck,
ask any college professor…
Does college teach you how to run a business?
Nope.

Now that I’ve offended a whole heck of a lot of academicians,
let me tell you how the martial arts makes you smart.

Real intelligence is based on
how fast you can make connections.

Intuition is the fastest connection there is.
Martial Arts works on intuition.
today’s schools don’t even talk about intuition.
And,
if they do,
it is some ‘study of the paranormal.’
Silly.

A simple class in martial arts,
be it kenpo or karate or aikido or whatever,
teaches the individual to be intuitive.
You make decisions based on the moment,
not on memory.

Even the memory training done in the martial arts,
remembering techniques,
is for the purpose of eventually outgrowing the memorization
and doing the trick intuitively.

You can go to school for a thousand years,
and the hairs on tieback of your head
will never stand up
when somebody sneaks up behind you.
(This is not to say school is useless, it always helps to have a good and large database of information, which is what school provides)

A year in the martial arts,
however,
and you’ll be spinning and working techniques,
correct techniques,
when somebody even THINKS about sneaking up on you.

Now,
there is nothing more to be said.
The proof is in your martial arts class,
it is in you sticking to it.

BUT
I’ve said it before
and I’ll say it again,
you can get there faster,
you can get intuitive faster,
you can get decades worth of experience in a few months
if you just practice something like
Matrix Karate.

It’s got the basic rules of matrixing,
it’s got the logic and common sense,
all in the right order.

So,
here’s the link…

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

Have a great work out!

Al

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

http://www.martialartsinstructortraining.com

http://www.amazon.com/Binary-Matrixing-Martial-Arts-Case/dp/1515149501/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1437625109&sr=8-1&keywords=binary+matrixing

go to and subscribe to this newsletter:

https://alcase.wordpress.com

Remember,

Google doesn’t like newsletters,

so this is the best way to ensure you get them.

You can find all my books here!

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

http://www.amazon.com/Matrixing-Tong-Bei-Internal-Gung/dp/1507869290/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423678613&sr=8-1&keywords=tong+bei