Tag Archives: shito ryu

How is Kung Fu Power Different that Karate Power?

Newsletter 881

Comparing the Power of Karate to the Power of Kung Fu

The instructors in Karate and Kung Fu
don’t tell you what I am about to tell you.
The reason is simple,
they don’t know,
or if they do know,
they don’t really understand.
Which is to say they surround it in mystical terms.
With Matrixing,
of course,
there are no mystical terms.
There is only the real science of the martial arts.

So,
power in karate comes from:
sinking the weight
thrusting the weight
turning the hips

This is simple stuff,
most instructors might know one or two of these things,
never all three…
AND THEY DON’T KNOW HOW TO USE THEM TO CREATE THE FOURTH POWER!
chi.

But this is covered in depth in The Master Instructor’s course.
For here and now,
let it suffice to say
that every move should have these three items,
and in the proper mix.

Now,
power in Kung Fu is similar:
dropping the weight
thrusting the weight
turning the whole body

It’s funny,
the two arts have the same principles
but they are different in a super major aspect.
That aspect is turning the hips (karate)
versus turning the whole body (Kung Fu)

Karate tends to turn the hips in a tight area.
putting the body weight into the strike very efficiently.

Kung Fu turns the whole body,
which includes the hips,
in a larger area.

Now,
don’t get me wrong,
there are going to be some arts
some techniques,
which overlap in this analysis.
And there is a simplicity here
which might be misleading.

But if you look at Shaolin on youtube,
and I use Shaolin as the example because it is considered
(by many)
to be the grandfather of the martial arts,
you will often find the body spinning in a large circle.
Sometimes it will end in a stance with an explosion,
but the power was generated by spinning the whole body,
then condensing the power manufactured in the spin
and sticking it into the technique.

I have come across descriptions of Shaolin
which talk about the axis of the body
(the centerline of north and south pole,
or crown and anus)
spinning,
and the rest of the body being a ‘flag.’
And this then gets real mystical.
I recommend Tai Chi Touchstones,
if you are interested in deciphering this.
Touchstones is not totally scientific,
but being translated by a westerner
(Douglas Wile)
it is couched in terms that can be taken as scientific.

Anyway,
we are talking two different methods here,
but based on the same principles,
with one of the principles expanded.
Which one is right?

They are both right.
You just have to know how to develop each method of power,
and then know when to use them.

So,
I usually just say
go check out the Master Instructor course.
But let me give you the two arts discussed here.
The whole arts on the courses,
forms, techniques, theory, everything.
You can easily develop the two types of power.

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

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/6-shaolin-butterfly/

Check them out,
they are easy to understand,
because they aren’t written mystically,
but rather scientifically.
Matrixing, ya know.

Have a great work out!

Al

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

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/6-shaolin-butterfly/

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

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The Greatest Strategy in the Martial Arts

Newsletter 821 ~ sign up now!

What’s with All the Bowing Stuff in the Martial Arts?

“Politeness is the greatest strategy.”
Al Case

The most polite man i have ever met
was my instructor in the Kang Duk Won.
He was also the best martial artist I ever saw,
which leads to an interesting possibility:

Politeness goes hand in hand with competence.

Think about it,
if you are polite,
honestly polite,
then you won’t be scared,
you won’t have hidden demons driving you,
the martial arts will have expunged you of all that.
You will be honestly competent.

So practice politeness
as well as seek competence.

Now,
with that in mind,
what is the purpose of bowing in the martial arts?
Aside from my little diatribe on politeness,
why should people keep bowing and bowing all the time?

On one level,
it is a sign of respect.
I respect the work you’ve done,
the level you’ve reached.
And under that is the implied question:
will you teach me.
And the teacher bows to show respect
to those who have come seeking his instruction.

On another level,
it is merely saying hi.
hi to everybody in the school.
Hi to everybody who contributed to the school,
even if they are passed on,
a simple greeting to your friends.

With those two viewpoints in mind,
here are the times you would bow.

Bow when entering the school.
Bow to senior classmates.
Bow to junior classmates.
Bow when stepping onto the mat.
Bow to the instructor,
especially when asking a question.
Bow after receiving instruction.
Bow at the beginning of class.
Bow at the end of class.
Bow before you engage in any drill,
be it sparring, form, etc.
Immediately disengage and bow
if an injury has occurred
as a result of something you’ve done.

AND,
bow to a classmate outside of school,
or,
if not considered appropriate,
give him/her some sign of greeting.

AND,
whenever entering another school,
always bow,
show that you have studied the martial arts,
and that you are aware of martial etiquette.

Sounds like a lot of bowing,
yes?
Well, it is,
but let me offer an insight.
I can’t imagine not bowing,
I strive to bow the most,
to set the best example of being polite.
I am constantly running into students
who are surprised when I bow to them.
But,
it encourages them to bow.
And,
it makes you feel good.

Imagine walking into a school gymnasium,
or an auditorium,
with 500 people present.
Imagine yelling out…
HI EVERYBODY!
And having them all yell to you…
HI, AL!

After near 50 years in the arts,
that’s what it feels like to me
when I bow.

And I like to think
that maybe I’m as competent as I am polite.
One can hope.

Here’s a link to the martial arts
I have been studying for near 50 years.
Take a look,
and see if I’ve made any inroads,
if the changes i have made from the classical
have value.

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

have a great work out!

Al

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

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

The Difference Between Tai Chi Chuan and Karate

Tai Chi Chuan vs Karate

One of my work out partners,
way back in the Kang Duk Won,
decided he was going to do Tai Chi Chuan.
He figured it would be easy,
because of his karate conditioning.
He threw his back out so badly
it took him two years to recover.

Soft, flowing Tai Chi Chuan,
and it was too tough for a young karate guy.
What’s wrong with that picture, eh?

What is wrong is simple,
when Bruce, my friend,
did Tai Chi he thought he could just do a karate kick slowly.
But karate is fast and explosive,
the leg is out and back,
in Tai Chi the muscles have to strain to keep the leg up.
And I mean a whole sequence of muscles.
Bruce’s muscles,
though karate powerful,
couldn’t support the leg for an extended period of time,
and the result of his attempting to do such a thing
disrupted the muscles
all the way back to the spine..

Now isn’t that interesting,
tai chi chuan has more ‘weight lifting’
in its moves.
Karate has the fast explosion,
and the muscle tightening (focus)
builds the muscles.
But those muscles are built
at the beginning and end of the move.
In Tai Chi the muscles must support the weight,
throughout the move,
for a long(er) period of time.

A simple difference,
but it leads to an important concept.

Karate is explosive energy.
Tai Chi is suspended energy.

The difference manifests in movements,
in timing,
in focus of concentration,
in emptiness,
in energy.

Now we could actually analyze these differences
from different points of view.
But what I’ve said here is probably the best point to start.

Not speed,
not sensitivity,
though those are important,
but defining how energy is actually used.
Because how energy is used
defines the other terms.
This concept is core.

This is not to discourage you from trying,
but to caution you,
and help you make the transition.

If you do your karate forms slowly,
and round out the edges of your motion,
you can get Tai Chi power.
Just take it easy when you begin.

If you do your Tai Chi forms fast,
you can find Karate power,
and pretty easily.
But you do have to adapt to a different mind set.

Explosive and slow
two sides to a coin,
two sides to the martial arts.
And there are many more sides that these concepts can lead to.

Here’s the link to the Five Army Tai Chi Chuan course.

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

Have a great work out!
Al

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

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

Are Old Time Martial Arts Better?

Was It Really Better in the Old Days?

You always hear the term about ‘the good, old days.’ And, in the martial arts, this is really true. I always hear people thinking back to when men were men, and sheep were…you know.

But it is a legitimate question.

On one hand, you have the great arts coming out of the orient. I was studying back in the sixties and seventies, so the main arts were judo and karate, with a smattering of Kung Fu. We studied in in dirty dojos and did manic drills. We brooked no nonsense, and we were patient with beginners.

On the other hand, you have designer water, contracts and classes in the Y, at the gym, down on the corner, and in every friend’s garage.

So, my personal opinion is that the martial arts were better. I started at a McDojo, then went to a classical korean Karate school (Kang Duk Won).

The McDojo was the state of art to come, with thick mats and air conditioning and tournament freestyle and contracts and good looking chickies.

The Kang Duk Won had a mat that had been ripped and stitched so many times it was like walking across Frankenstein’s face. The bag went to the cobbler’s every week. We packed out own bags for better texture and weight and resistance to our endless kicks. Warn’t no chickies allowed.

The McDojo had shiny trophies, high fives for points, and you pressed your gi before class.

The Kang Duk Won you did hundreds of kicks, you didn’t wash your gi, and you couldn’t press the clutch down because your shins were so badly bruised.

In modern times we have scientific achievements that enable one to get more strength in the muscle.

Of course, modern times has a lot of junk science and internet gimmicks, so…?

Now, it’s pretty obvious which way I am biased. I was there, I don’t think alzheimer’s has obscured my memories of those old work outs, and I have seen modern schools that teach 18 arts on their front sign, but are a jumble of bags and exercise equipment inside.

But, nobody made me God, and if you think otherwise, then go ahead and tear me a new one. Heck, I might even learn something!

And, if you are old school like me, then feel free to leave your memory. Heck, it might just become legend!

If you want to read more about old time martial arts and the Kang Duk Won, try KangDukWon.com!

Muscle Memory versus Martial Arts Training

Martial Arts Reaction Time…

I find that there is vast misunderstanding in the martial arts as to what mushin no shin is…people usually and incorrectly compare it to reaction time.

Now, to be precise, when people talk about mushin no shin they mix it in with not just reaction time, but especially muscle memory. The idea they are coming from is that if you do something long enough then it becomes intuitive, and even ‘on automatic.’

martial arts muscle memory

Mushin no shin…free from the restraints of the physics of the universe

Mushin no shin means mind of no mind. Another way of saying this would be time of no time.

Which is to say that there is no mind, or memory in this case, involved.

When you train in reaction time, when you build ‘muscle memory,’ then you are building memory, and memory is based on time.

But mushin no shin refers to no time…to perceiving things as they are, and not through the artifices, or demanding the reaction time, of muscle memory.

Now, the real world difference is this.

You feel a tap on the shoulder, you spin, you chop, your grandmother, who was offering you a plate of cookies, goes down for the count.

That is reaction time. It is not intuitive, it is knee jerk reaction.

Or, you feel a presence behind you, or, better yet, without feeling the presence behind you, you turn in concert with the tap of the finger to your shoulder.

There is no contact because you have merged with the action. There is no reaction; there is no moving after the fact, or moving violently because of something.

That is mushin no shin.

The first time I ever experienced mushin no shin I was 16. I was at a bowling alley, and one of the bowlers put a pencil on the slanted desk, and it started rolling.

I watched it, and watched it, and time started to stretch out and become inconsequential…I was ‘in the moment,’ free from reaction time.

The world glowed, and I felt this delicious sense of freedom. I realized that I had total control over the flight of the pencil. I could move any way I wanted to, and there were no boundaries or limits.

The pencil fell, and I reached out and plucked it out of the air.

A fellow there said he had never seen such fast reaction time in his life.

But it wasn’t reaction time…I was moving in between moments of time. I wasn’t using muscles to make motion, I was making motion directly, as an Awareness, as an ‘I am.’ And this was without any martial arts training; years before I ever started training in the martial arts.

Now, a quirk of the moment, was that experience, and the real problem came when I tried to make it happen at will. Couldn’t do it. I needed the training.

And, even with the martial arts training, it took me nearly 20 years before I started experiencing these things as a matter of course.

The point here, however, is that it is not muscle memory, or reaction time. Muscle memory trains the body, but not the awareness, and that is knee jerk out of control. Reaction time means something has to happen before you act. Neither of these are mushin no shin.

Mushin no shin is when you are aware of life as it happens, without the interference of muscle memory, or reaction time, or training, or anything.

People who are asleep use the term muscle memory, or reaction time, to describe phenomena they don’t understand.

What makes it really confusing is when you get some fellow who trains for years, then tries to explain what he is experiencing. in the western world we fall back on the inadequate descriptions provided by science, a science which, I might add, has never adequately explained such concepts as are manifested when a person is showing mushin no shin.

Terms such as ‘reaction time,’ and ‘muscle memory,’ are offered by western science for concepts they do not understand.

The term mushin no shin is used to describe a person who is free from muscle memory, has no reaction time, and is in a realm beyond the simple physics of the universe. He is in a second set of physics, the physics of sixth senses and intuition and dreams and all sorts of things.

Mushin no shin is used when a person is not confined by his memories, and other such limitations to the human spirit.

Here are some articles which touch upon the procedure for waking the person mired in Martial Arts reaction time, and endowing him with muslin no shin.

Karate Puzzle makes for Incredible Martial Arts Learning Experience!

Speed up Learning with a Karate Puzzle!

The Karate Puzzle is the brainchild of Andreas Sturm.

Now, unfortunately for non-Germanic speaking people, the website is written in German. A wonderful language that I can’t speak.

karate puzzle

Andreas Sturm, inventor of the Karate Puzzle

However, a little work with the google translator, and it is easy!

The puzzles themselves are sliding images, and all you have to do is figure out which button to click to mix up the images, then slide them back into place!

Now, I found this quite interesting, and it did tax my poor brain. Even after doing the forms for over forty years, I found myself having to sort through the pictures to figure out the sequence.

And, sorting them in this fashion will help your ability to learn the forms and do them faster.

It really is ingenious, and one of those things where you slap your head and think, ‘Why didn’t I think of this?’

But you didn’t, and Andreas did, and well done to him.

There are seventeen kata on the puzzle page, a full range of the Shotokan forms. This will keep you busy into the wee hours, so when you can’t get to the dojo, you can simply open a soda pop, go through the various forms, and get yourself an armchair work out that actually works!

As for Mr. Sturm…he began his study of Karate in 1995, and began instructing in 2002.

Though the website is in a foreign language, using the translator I was able to read it pretty easily, though a bit slower than I am used to. It is a good website, fileld with solid information, and, of course, there are the puzzles.

Interested in visiting the site? It is at Karate Puzzle.

This article was written by Al Case, for more information on fantastic martial arts training methods like the Karate Puzzle, visit him at Monster Martial Arts.

In Karate Pain Can Be a Good Thing!

In Karate Pain is Not Necessarily Bad!

Karate pain might be good, and it might be bad. It depends on the circumstances.

I know, we’ve all heard the saying, ‘No pain, no gain,’ but that isn’t what this is all about.

karate pain

In Karate Pain can be an instruction

You see, there are two types of Karate Pains.

One type of Karate Pain is the real injury. The broken bone, the accidental punch in the nose or poke in the eyes. These injuries, these types of Karate pain are real and should be attended to.

If you’re bleeding, stop the durned bleeding. If you’re nose is broken, see a doctor. A poke in the eye could result in all manner of eye problems.

So you take care of it.

The thing here is to be able to tell the difference between karate pain that is real, and karate pain that is in the mind.

A bruise isn’t usually serious. So just inspect it, take care of it if you have to, and move on.

A dislocated joint, better get that sucker looked at.

A bone bruise…hmmm.

Bone bruises, especially when they are the result of some fast and intense sparring, can be quite painful.

I remember a blocking exercise which kept me in bone bruises for years.

I remember overextending punches, and suffering bone bruises inside the elbow joint where the bones slapped together. That was painful for a long time.

But, bruises, even bone bruises, are just something you go through.

The karate blocking exercise I spoke of, it was called the eight step blocking exercise, and we did it every class, and we all had constant bruising of the forearms.

BUT, after a couple of years of this we would be doing freestyle, do a block, and our opponents would yelp in pain. Simply, we got used to the pain, started ignoring it, and got the abilities that we wouldn’t have gotten if we hadn’t persisted in our karate classes.

And there were other exercises, some quite painful, that gave us abilities that people who don’t take karate, or other martial arts like kung fu or taekwondo, would never get.

The ability to grip somebody with a hand and bring them to their knees simply by squeezing.

The ability to get calm and focused when terrible things are happening and everybody else is going into a state of panic.

There is a saying, you don’t make an omelet without breaking eggs. Man, is this true.

For seven years I broke eggs. I still have bumps on the bones in my forearms from the durned eight step blocking exercise.

But when it comes to getting things done, I’m the go to guy.

Simply, I have faced pain, and now no the difference between real pain, and fake pain, the kind of pain one should just ignore and go ahead with his work.

This is something that is not taught in school.

And, truth, this is something that makes people great.

Pioneers of America had this quality. There was nobody there when they broke a wagon or got shot with an arrow or whatever, and so they had to fix everything themselves.

In recent times this ability, to forge ahead when the going gets tough, has been weaned out of people. But the martial arts, especially exercises that result in the karate pain i describe here, bring this ability out again.

Here’s a great article on the toughest Martial Arts class I ever taught. And if you are seriously interested in finding out more about this Karate pain type of thing, and how it can help you, check out the Evolution of an Art course at Monster Martial Arts.