Tag Archives: shaolin

Deadly Karate Hands Must Be Registered with the Police!

Newsletter 979

Register Your Hands and Feet if You Know Martial Arts!

This is one of those great myths that have followed the martial arts
ever since they began.
Seriously.

When I was starting out as a white belt,
a newbie in 1967,
I heard you had to register
your hands and feet with the police
as deadly weapons.
Zowie!
Did that sell me on how deadly I was going to be!
I would walk the streets,
impervious to harm,
beating up anybody who looked at me.
I mean,
if i had to register with the police,
I was going to be one deadly mofo!

Then,
I believe it was the pages of Black Belt magazine,
there was an ad
for registering your hands and feet!
Double Zowie!
I was going to be SUPER deadly!

And,
fifty years later,
I just heard this statement again.
So here’s the truth.

You don’t have to register your hands and feet,
BUT,
if you study the martial arts
and get arrested for fighting,
you could be charged with
assault with a deadly weapon.

It’s true.
But don’t think this is bad,
think,
instead…
ZOWIE
You are going to be such a deadly mofo!

And,
BTW,
if I was ever in a fight
and had to use martial arts,
and hurt somebody,
I would probably leave the scene of the crime
(fearing for my safety)
then consider carefully
whether I should notify the police,
or tell anybody,
and endure all the trouble that might cause.
Just talking…

Here’s my favorite course,
the one I would be thinking about in a fight,
and is incredibly fun to do…

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/3a-blinding-steel-matrixing-weapons/

Have a great (and deadly) work out!
Al

A WIN!

I was able to matrix now everything I do in martial arts, even managed to start to matrix a complete escrima system out of the basics of blinding steel. You were right, it is a totally different understanding of matrixing, once you master/understand matrix karate. The matrix blocks gave me a lot better insight into wing chun as well, mainly from the mini matrix. That was one heck of a revelation. I hit 3 flies in one go. I understand karate, wing chun and escrima now a lot better and was able to extract that out of the material. thank you very much. I really enjoy the way to the goal now.

“What you habitually think largely determines what you will ultimately become.”
– Bruce Lee

How to Empty Out the Martial Arts

The Empty of Martial Arts

Gichin Funakoshi changed the name of karate.
It was naha te, which means ‘China Hand.’
He changed it to Karate, which means ‘empty hand.’
There have been all sorts of interpretations
regarding the ‘empty’ in Karate,
and why Gichin did this.
There have also been a lot of interest
in the significance of the word ‘empty’
for the whole martial arts.

I think it is Kenpo that says something to the effect
that no matter if you have a weapon,
I come to you with empty hands.
This is not born out,
however,
because Kenpo, and karate,
and other martial arts
have a lot of weapons.
So what does the word ‘empty’ mean.

Take a look at a sentence from The Tao.

‘Do nothing until nothing is left undone.’

This weird statement of redundancy
and a sort of a ‘double negative’ concept
gives hint to the true meaning.
But to understand the true meaning
one has to study both the hard and the soft.
Study just the hard and you are only studying one half the art.
Study just the soft and you are only studying one half the art.
You have to study both,
then put them together,
then think a lot to figure out the significance
of the word,
of the concept,
‘empty.’

In Aikido,
you empty the space in front of the punch
so that the person falls into the empty.
That’s easy to understand.
Defines a concept of harmony.
though it is sometimes harder than stuff to make work.
But that is the soft side of empty.
Works for Aikido,
Tai Chi,
and other arts, and techniques, of that ilk.
and understanding that kind of empty
leads to a lot of hard to explain abilities.

The empty in the hard side of the art is harder to explain.
First you learn focus.
Your whole body becomes rigid with power
but just for a moment.
Before and after…the body is empty.
If the instruction is good,
or the student is unusually smart,
he figures out that he need not make the whole body rigid.
He makes just the fist rigid,
the rest of the body is empty.
And,
I should add at this point,
the mind learns to become empty to make this step.
It is hard to empty the mind,
to focus on one thing (an opponent)
to the exclusion of all else.
But that is what is needed.
Then,
if the student happens to be blessed,
he figures out that he need not even make the fist empty.
He can just empty his fist
and stick the sticks of his bones
through the watermelon body of his opponent.
You find out all about this,
and all the necessary drills to make it happen,
in The Punch.

And,
to reach this level you have to understand
a few rather incredible things.
Stuff like:
the body is nothing but space…empty.
Or:
the universe is backwards.
But I will leave that for another time.
The truth is that,
unless a person has figured out how to make an ‘empty’ punch,
this stuff tends to be very scary.

anyway,
the subject of ‘empty’
is crucial to the martial arts,
and really needs to be understood
if one is going to get past the pain of bashing,
and into the true sublime nature of the martial arts.

Al

A WIN!

I’ve ordered several courses from you, but didn’t feel like it was time to write in until now. When I first got Matrixing Chi, it didn’t really make sense to me. Then I got The Punch and things started to click. The two flowed together and complimented each other incredibly well. I began to feel energy inside me, and my punches were beginning to pack a bit more power. But it wasn’t until I ordered The Master Instructor Course that things really changed. I began to notice (and fix) mistakes I hadn’t seen before. The most noticeable was the back stance. After correcting it, my punches have become much heavier as I’m able to more efficiently channel energy up my leg, through my arm, and out my fist. ~ Mylan B

“The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.”
– Bruce Lee

Love and Hate in the Martial Arts

Newsletter 971

Under the Martial Arts

There are people who do the martial arts,
and there are people who wander around
on the surface of the martial arts
and never get to the real depths.

Now look,
fighting is good.
It’s got to happen.
It’s martial,
right?

But what is under that?
What is under the fighting?
Fighting is when two people communicate.
Yeah.
It’s a form of communication.
The communication is pretty basic.
‘I hate you!’
I want to kill you!’
That sort of thing.

So let me ask you,
what do you feel when you fight in the martial arts?
And,
what should you feel?

When you are doing freestyle with friends
it’s all pretty light.
It’s a game of tag.
No escalation,
but the potential is there.
And you are practicing for that potential,
for when you need it.
Except…

Yeah, that exception thing,
it’s right under everything,
nobody gets it much,
but it’s there,
and here it is.

If an insane man comes at you on the street,
wants to kill you,
should you feel hate?
Anger?
Rage?
If you do then you are lowering yourself to his level,
you are just as insane as him.
Even in the middle of a fight for life.

What you should feel is joy.
Somebody is talking to you,
and they mean what they say.
Doesn’t matter if you like what they say,
what matters is that they think enough of you
to communicate such important things to you.

And,
he is giving you a gift.
That fist,
that foot,
that knife,
is the solid part of the communication,
and it is a gift.
He is allowing you to work your technique.
He is giving you a chance to present your art,
to manifest your soul.

So let me ask you,
should your soul reflect hate?
Or should you be grateful that another human being
loves you enough to communicate his deepest desires to you?

This idea,
that a punch is a communication
and an expression of love
is underneath the martial arts.
And you should practice the martial arts
not to feel hate,
or some other emotion,
but to express love.
Except…
uh oh,
one more of those exceptional things…

when you do the martial arts
you shouldn’t feel love nor hate.
Love is a contract to express affection no matter what.
Hate is an out of control emotion,
signifying that the human has stopped thinking.

The best way to understand this is this:
there is no such thing as good,
there is no such thing as evil,
those are terms we made up
to describe things we like or don’t like.
They don’t exist,
except as concepts to describe what we are feeling.

The same thing holds true for love and hate,
love is a contract for affection,
hate is an emotion we use to attack someone.
You are going towards or way,
and to be totally efficient in the martial arts,
you put aside love and hate,
not wasting energy on such emotional expressions,
and focus only on what you are doing.

Have you ever read a book
and lost track of the time?
Or even seen a movie,
and gotten so engrossed
you were unaware of the passage of time?
That is what you should be doing in the martial arts,
that is the martial art underneath
fighting and hate and love
and all that sort of distraction.

When you fight it should be as if
you are in a tunnel,
and the reduction of the situation
is at the other end of the tunnel.
Hopefully it won’t include
the reduction and destruction
of the other person.

Oddly,
I didn’t learn this through freestyle,
I learned this,
became able to enter the tunnel,
and divest myself of distractive emotions
and concepts and such
by doing the forms.
I learned to focus and concentrate by doing the forms.

And that’s what is underneath the martial arts,
and it is easy to get to
if you just focus,
concentrate,
and dedicate yourself
to a higher existence.
Of course,
it is much easier to get there
if you have eliminated distractions from your art,
gotten rid of impure techniques,
unwanted motion and such,
by matrixing your art.

Here’s the obligatory ad;
it is one of the advanced drills I use
for teaching people how to fight without distractions,
emotions, and that sort of thing.

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

Have a tremendous work out!
Al

A WIN!

Freestyle: I have had awful instructors who do and promote a gladiator freestyle event on a weekly basis. I hated it and never came back. What really ticked me off was that it was a TKD class. I felt like he was selling TKD as a viable street defense and I did not agree. As a brown belt in jiu jitsu I would have no problem shooting a single or double leg take down on an advanced TKD practitioner and did so repeatedly but the sparring was only stand up and people were just pounding each other. When that occurs they regressed to gross motor skills and swung and kicked wildly. That being said, your method allows the student to slowly build the skill, grown the fine motor control, and get used to the time dilation that occurs when sparring or fighting. As a person that’s deployed several times I work well in high stress environments but that took years to develop. I think your method is a scientific, controlled, and best of all repeatable manner in which to inoculate a student to stressors. ~ Paul v H.

“If you don’t want to slip up tomorrow, speak the truth today.”
– Bruce Lee

Wave Good by to the Martial Arts in California!

Newsletter 968

A SHORTAGE OF MARTIAL ARTS!

A fellow showed up at our school the other day,
taught excellent kung fu at the community center here.
And now he was out of business.
After thirty years of teaching for the center
they let his class go.
It was popular,
had long time students,
but they let him go.

But the story only starts there.
I was trying to get a teaching gig at the local YMCA.
Not interested.
Used to use the Y for a feeder.
Taught a bunch of students,
when they were done with the beginning courses
I would transfer them over to the school.
No more.
The Y has canceled all martial arts classes
(and they used to have a lot of classses)
except for Tai Chi Chuan (for old folks)

Hmmm.
And it gets worse.
The city next to mine has canceled all karate classes
in their community centers.
And the ONLY martial arts allowed
are Tai Chi (for old folks, no techniques allowed)
No MMA,
no jujitsu,
no karate or kickboxing.
No judo or Krav Maga.
Just good old wave your hands in the wind
but don’t you dare use it Tai Chi Chuan.

And here’s something interesting,
we have three commercial schools in town,
almost right next to each other,
and we are all doing well.
So something that is extremely popular
and makes money
is being passed over by cities and the like.

So what is happening?
To understand what is happening
you need know only one thing.
I live in California.

If you don’t live in California
you may not understand our plight.
Think about it this way…

In a city filled with potholes…
we build speed bumps.
We tell people
don’t drive fast,
just shut up and pay your taxes.

In a city where we have crime coming out of our ears,
(and we do)
the powers that be want to discourage
the ability to fight back.

Think about it,
good, old, liberal California,
home of so many great ideas,
has decided that people shouldn’t be able to fight back.
We have more illegal immigrants
than anybody in the world,
and this includes some pretty hard core criminals,
and we are supposed to open our hearts
and unclench our fists.
Don’t fight back,
you might hurt some victim from another country.
Don’t fight back against that home invasion,
just think about how fortunate the poor are
to be able to have somebody to plunder.
Don’t fight back.

You know,
when I started Karate,
way back when,
there was unbelievable excitement.
We didn’t have anybody telling us it was wrong,
or trying to shade us into some political belief.
All we had was sweat and blood
and a massive curiosity.
We wanted to learn to fight,
to fight back,
to be proud but humble.

And that’s sort of what I wanted when I started Monster Martial Arts.
Here’s the truth about where the name of my business came from.
I used to watch ‘Monster Garage.’
I would see these gnarly mechanics,
old school dudes,
who would tear apart cars,
put them back together,
make something better,
and I was inspired.
I wanted people to understand the martial arts.
I wanted them to get out of the age old rut,
to take them apart,
to forget about the idiots telling you ‘no,’
or that you couldn’t do something for some stupid reason.
I really wanted a true Golden Age of Martial Arts.
So I started Monster Martial Arts.
And it has been one of the more successful internet businesses.
But at heart is one simple credo…
don’t pay attention when someone tells you it can’t be done.

When the school near you disappears remember this…
Monster will be here.
And when the internet goes away,
my books and vids are out there,
just waiting for somebody to pick them up,
somebody who doesn’t understand the word ‘No,’
and who only wants to say ‘yes.’

Here’s the obligatory ad.

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/evolution-of-a-martial-art/

Three martial arts for one low price!

You guys and gals have a great work out!
Al

A WIN!

Hi,
Just wanted to take the time to thank you.  Having now watched and read through the Matrix Karate system it is exactly what I was hoping it would be when I originally made the purchase.

I have begun working my way through the material and am enjoying every second of it!  I have since also bought (I’ve been treating myself each pay day) your monkey boxing and within the last few days your Aikido course.  Both I have found instantly applicable, and although I have only watched the Aikido seminar once so far, I have quickly identified that together they are so much more than the sum of their parts!

Within just a few days of the monkey boxing course arriving, I found that I was suddenly able to lock and manipulate to restrain far higher grades than myself in the club I attend, and now have found I have members of all levels, and even my own instructor asking me to just go over techniques so they can see what I did.  Suffice to say that the guy (every club has one) that is like an immovable object was lying face down the very first time I tried a technique you had discussed… and I see no reason why my skills won’t take on a similar bound forward as I absorb the Aikido course.
I am sure you hear such stories all the time from people like me (over enthused with what must seem mundane to yourself) but I really felt I ought to say thank you.

Thanks for the recommendation to read ‘As a man Thinketh’ I really took a lot from it.

Anyhow, I’ll leave you be, and stop pestering you with my ramblings.
Many thanks one last time,
Adam.

“Life is never stagnation. It is constant movement, un-rhythmic movement, as we as constant change. Things live by moving and gain strength as they go.”
– Bruce Lee

What is an ‘Anti-Martial Artist?’

Newsletter 967

Defining the ‘Anti-Martial Artist’

I get a lot of questions.
Lately,
a lot of people have been asking questions on Quora.

Some of the questions are less than serious.

‘Who would win a fight,
Bruce Lee or an Orangutang?’
So what would Bruce Lee be doing out in the jungle?
Or did he break into a zoo
just to test his abilities against a fat monkey?

‘I’m 15 years old,
what martial art can I learn really fast?’
Why would you want to learn fast?
Doesn’t ‘slow and steady’ cut it anymore?
Do you really want to miss out on the whole journey?

Or,
my least favorite…
‘Which Martial Art is best?’
And two arts are offered for the answerer to choose from.

Usually,
I’ll call the fellow who asked the question a dope.
Politely, of course.
But still…a dope.

I realize you don’t know anything…
or
For the profundity challenged…

The reason I get rude is simply that I hate the question,
and it reveals a ‘anti-martial artist.’
An ‘anti-martial artist’ is a fellow
who is opposed to the martial arts.
Rather,
he encourages people to fight,
he advocates fighting to establish worth
(now there is an oxymoron if ever there was one)
and so on.

I know,
you’ve heard me rant on this before,
but this sort of thing is so rampant
it deserves an extra say or two.

The real answer to this question,
of which art is best is that
every art is a piece of the larger martial arts.
A puncher has to learn grappling,
a judoka should learn karate,
a tai chi chuanist
should explore boxing concepts,
and so on.

There are
weapons,
kicking,
punching
kneeing,
elbowing,
grappling

Each range results in certain arts,
in pieces of arts,
and all pieces should be explored…
UNTIL THE ARTS MAKE SENSE AS ONE ART

That is the key to matrixing.

think about it.
When the Gracies won with BJJ,
it just proved that they knew something nobody else knew.
As soon as people figured out what they were doing
the advantage was canceled.
And why did the Gracies win back then?
Because people had gone too far in one direction,
explored only one piece of the pie.
So they canceled the advantage.

So remember this:
You need to know a force art like karate or boxing
you need to know a force/flow art like wing chun
you need to know a flow art like tai chi or Aikido

You need to analyze the different arts so you understand
what is the concept behind…
krav maga
hsing i
shaolin
taekwondo
kenpo
or whatever!

Choose the arts that will enable you to understand all the distances,
all the forces and flows,
and how they can work together.

And you need to dig in so deeply
into each art,
that you understand the concepts behind the arts.
Guaranteed,
once you learn the concepts
the art become a unified whole.
All the pieces become a simple puzzle,
easy to understand,
easy to use,
easy to shift from one piece to the other
depending on situation and whim.

Here’s the package I recommend
for putting together the arts as a single, unified whole.

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/5-core-package/

Or check out the kung fu version…

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

Have a great work out!
Al

A WIN!

Guru, Sabunim, Sensei, Shifu, Sijo Al Case;
I just want to tell you that I have had your Core Package plus the Blinding Steel for quite a while. I have only been looking it over until today. Today I decided to start the Matrix Karate and to my surprise I am seeing threads that lead into the other parts of the Core Matrix Martial Arts. So far I have only learned the first six moves from the White Belt form and through the movement of the Buddha palm I can see the correlation of movement within Blinding Steel. This is awesome to see how learning one thing will relate to other things within the martial arts. I am excited and jazzed about learning this new information and can not wait to continue my practice of Matrix martial Arts. Thank you. ~ Matthew F

”Obey the principles without being bound by them.”
– Bruce Lee

What I learned After 50 Years of Martial Arts Forms

Newsletter 966

Fifty Years of Martial Arts Forms

Felt like a work out the other night,
so I went out and did my forms.
I did the basic Pinan (Heian) forms.

I learned those forms near 50 years ago.
I do them near every day,
and for a simple reason:
I learn something from them.

I look at each angle,
adjust those angles according to stance,
and the surface I am on,
if the legs are spread wider
it changes the angle of the arms.
I work on breathing,
focusing on the tan tien
and coursing energy through the body,
making sure I have the correct angles
to support the energy.

As I go through the forms
I imagine opponents,
how the blocks would work,
focusing on the snap and pop
as I loosen and tighten the muscles,

The forms are calisthenics,
a lot of people don’t think of the forms like that,
they are into the mystical and such,
and I am not unaware of the mystical,
but if I am doing a horse,
I am squatting.
If I am doing a front stance I am lunging,
And together with the tightening of the muscles
I am getting a real work out.

The great thing is I don’t have to pay for my work out,
I paid for these forms near 50 years ago,
I bought them,
so I use what I bought.

Almost every day I repeat those forms,
and here is the interesting things.
In the beginning I had to remember them,
work on my memory,
and I did.
But at a certain point they became intuitive,
I could just snap through them,
very liquid.
But I find myself going more slowly these days,
feeding awareness into the forms,
and here’s the odd thing.
When somebody hits me,
they are hitting my energy,
the patterns of energy I have carefully placed in my body.
They are hitting my awareness,
an awareness that makes the body firm and solid,
and quick and fast.
Isn’t that interesting?
That awareness could be mystical?
But mystical comes from mystery,
which merely says you don’t understand something.
But after 50 years of forms I understand them.
When somebody hits me I just run awareness through my body,
to the point where I am being struck,
and energy follows it,
the muscles become hard almost without tensing,
and the fist or foot bounces off my frame.

And,
when I strike back,
I control myself,
because if I put too much awareness in my fist,
the other fellow will be hurt.
But I don’t want to hurt anybody,
I just want to practice my art.
Heck,
if 50 years of doing these silly forms has given me this much,
imagine how much I will from another 50 years!

Here are three arts,

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/evolution-of-a-martial-art/

including the one with the Pinans in it.

Have a great work out!
Al

A WIN!
Al,
When I do my forms now I find myself working less on visualization and more on listening to what the structure of the form I’m doing has to teach me. Have you ever experienced this? A kind of spontaneous learning by repeating the form over and over just being aware? I am almost certain you have, but I like chatting with you about these things cause you invariably give me something new to consider.
A good workout to you
Justin

“A good teacher protects his pupils from his own influence.”
– Bruce Lee

‘Backwarditis’ in the Martial Arts

Newsletter 956

Going Backwards in the Martial Arts

Have you ever thought about
the actual process involved in fighting?
Most people think it is hit the other guy quicker,
but that is so inadequate
so far from the truth.

You stand and face Bozo Bob.
Bozo Bob has a thought:
hit you.
First:
you have to pick up the thought,
see the technique he is going to use
Then:
you have to reverse the thought
understand the technique from your viewpoint
because you saw it from his viewpoint.
It is reversed from your viewpoint.
You need to reverse it in your mind.

You need to reverse it
so you don’t create a defense that is backwards.
Then:
you have to create the defense…and do it.

Now,
that is the simplicity.
More to it
of course
but that is the simple truth.
So how do you reverse
the thought of his attack
so you don’t make a backwards defense?

In classical karate,
and other arts with forms,
we do the forms.
We practice controlling the bodies,
we practice the defenses for the moves
until everything is intuitive.

Think back to when you first began,
chances are,
most people go through this,
you went through what I call
‘backwarditis’

Backwarditis is when you do things backwards.
The teacher says right,
the students does left.
The teacher says step backward,
the student steps forward.
The teacher says do the technique on the right side
the student does it on the left side.
This is backwarditis.
Teachers everywhere experience it
They blink,
and keep going,
and the student eventually gets over it.

But nobody knows why the student does everything backwards.
Now you know.
The student looks at the attack
and it is backward in his mind
because he is observing somebody else do it,
so he makes a backward defense.
Eventually,
he gets over it,
without understanding
he finally absorbs the data
and begins moving correctly.
Knowing this should help you
when you construct self defenses,
it will help you get over trace backwarditis
and learn new things quicker.
It will help you make the bridge to intuitivity.

Now,
here’s a couple of interesting things.
Arts where the student doesn’t experience backwarditis
are lacking something.
Arts which don’t have forms
are missing the step for getting rid of backwarditis.

For instance,
MMA doesn’t have forms,
any experiences of backwarditis
are quick and fleeting.
The bodies are intertwined,
they are positioned
so that backwarditis doesn’t happen.
BUT…
to be an art there should be backwarditis.
It is a step of evolution that is necessary
lest the student doesn’t experience proper growth,
he doesn’t go through the stages of learning
that are in the martial arts.

Don’t get me wrong,
I am not bashing MMA,
I am just describing the effects of theory
and the teaching method
and what to look for in a student.
Heck,
there are things in MMA
that other arts don’t have.
But we are just looking at the teaching/learning method here.

Anyway,
there are several ‘cures’
things to help the student make the shift
to thinking backwards in his head intuitively

First,
when doing basics at the beginning of class
do them facing the same way as the class.
Then,
doing them facing the class.
Watch carefully,
see who has got the wrong foot forward,
correct him gently.
And keep going back and forth
every few exercises,
facing the students
then facing away from the students.
This is pretty easy and good to do.

Second,
make sure they practice their techniques on both sides,
have them perform their forms on both sides,
and even have them do the forms backward.
And backwards on both sides.
The students will get over backwarditis
their minds will be quick and agile,
will duplicate what an attack is correctly,
and build a defense that is not backwards.

If you want to know something fascinating things about forms
how they are constructed,
and even construct some yourselves,
I recommend the
‘Create Your Own Art’ course
http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/2d-create-your-own-art/

Do be warned,
the videos are poor quality.
You can still see them,
but the quality of video recorders
when I filmed this course
was REALLY caveman.
BUT
the material is spectacular,
and the Buddha Crane book
is even bundled in,
as an example of how to create an art.
There is also a progression of art through Pa Kua Chang
that is simply fascinating.
Really good stuff!

Have a great work out!
Al
http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/2d-create-your-own-art/

A WIN!
Hello Mr. Case. I recently purchased the Create Your Own Art course from you. As I have told you in the past I studied Hsing-i quan. Lately I have been having lots of trouble in my practice. At one time I had what I called the Hsing -i “kernal of power” but as of recently I have been unable to do it correctly. The power was bleeding off somewhere in the transitions between stances. I looked at your book Buddha Crane Karate book and I noticed that you have the foot in an elevated position much like the Seven Star stance of Northern Mantis before the step and strike. Well on a hunch I jumped up and ran in the other room and tried it in the Pi quan form and presto! All the power was back.

Knowledge will give you power, but character respect.
Bruce Lee