Tag Archives: shorin

Monster Newsletter #298–A New Master Instructor!

When it rains it pours!
Another new Master Instructor,
talk about making my day!
So here are the words of the latest…

Dear Al,
I have purchased your courses on Matrix Karate, Butterfly Pa Kua Chang, Matrix Tai Chi Chuan, The Master Books, The Punch and the Master Instructor Course. I do not know why I waited so long to purchase the Master instructor course because it should have been the second course I purchased. Either way I have learned from each course. I am surprised at how much information and detail I have been able to absorb. I now can look at Pa kua forms for example and without being shown any application can already see the applications. My brain starts to process applications faster than I can say them.
Studying your Master Instructor coarse has taught me so much that I almost do not know where to begin. It has helped me to realize any shortcomings in my teaching methods. The coarse has given me a greater appreciation for my instructors and Masters. There were things in the Master Instructor course that I remember having been taught. As a result there are specific instructors I feel compelled to go back to and just say thank you!
Being taught by many different instructors has allowed me to first hand learn the importance of showing proper application of technique to a student. There were times I would learn a form but not know how to apply it. Another instructor would show application and I would look at the movements in the form with a newfound understanding and appreciation. They now had purpose. I like that your forms have application upon application. There is nothing mystical, just pure science.
The four powers were enlightening to me. After I purchased your book on The Punch I began to explore the powers. Seeing it in the Master Instructor coarse made me examine how the four powers work in all my techniques.
Looking at my Tan Tui forms I now understand and recognize them clearly.  I can now honestly say that I can take any move from my forms and apply it directly to my sparring. I’ve used techniques as simple as springing Leg form 2 to move guys across the floor. I was the guy you spoke about who would CBM by accident. I had a lot of lucky accidents. Now there is no accident. I have been able to move guys twice my size with ease.
The six (secrets) are amazing concepts and ways to analyze my techniques. Chin Na Fa techniques and any joint locking techniques are now easier to breakdown. There is so much technique to analyze that I can give myself a headache. Yet I cannot think of anything else worth getting a headache over. Thank You Al for your knowledge and experience!
Luis Bonnet

You’re welcome, Luis,
and I thank you.

there are a couple of points here
that we should take note of.

One, applications as the key to understanding the art.
We can understand this from several viewpoints,
and Luis has summed them up beautifully.

After the Master Instructor Course
you should be able to make a technique out of anything.

the speed of absorbing the information.
Matrixing is not a system,
it is a method for absorbing systems.
Done properly,
and it is hard not to do properly,
you don’t learn with it,
it enables you to absorb,
which is not just an advanced method of learning,
but the way human beings are supposed to input knowledge.

children are taught to read
a time.
And hardly anybody
actually considers
how a grown up should learn.
that’s where matrixing comes in.

and I think this is incredibly important,
Luis has increased respect
for his instructors.

You know,
I get hate mail every once in a while.
It’s always from people
who have never taken a course,
and have judged me without knowing what I am doing,
and they miss the point…
I love and am in awe
of the instructors,
the masters,
the guys who started systems
who went before…
they were giants.
They ignored the gaps of knowledge in their own minds,
created their masterpieces,
and passed on the data.
Do you know how much strength of character it takes
to do something like this?

So they should be respected.

people often overlook one other thing,
I am not out to destroy the art,
I merely want to enhance the arts.
Make them not a mystery,
make them so anybody can achieve
the incredible abilities
the martial arts have to offer.

compared to Joe Normal,
you are stronger and longer lasting,
you have patience and an ability to see
to the heart of things.
When bullies arise,
so do you.

Wouldn’t you want
everybody in the world
to be like you?

You should.

get the rest of the world to do the martial arts.
Confidence and competence
leads away from fighting.
Being calm and patient
makes human beings.

The concepts of the martial arts
leads one to solutions in real life.
Wouldn’t you like people to solve problems
and stop the whining and fighting?

I could go for hours on this,
I need do only one thing,
get somebody out there
to do the Master Instructor Course.
One person.
One more idea in the world
that people are good
and we deserve better
and we CAN get along.

One person.
Which one of you is going to step up to the plate?
Which one of you has read the Master Instructor Wins
and wants some of those wins for yourself?
Which one of you wants the abilities,
like being able to make an application out of anything,
the ability to absorb whole fields of knowledge,
the gratitude for those who have gone before,
the ability to take students
and even entire arts,
and transform them
into something the planet needs,
that mankind needs?

Which one of you?

The MasterInstructor Course

Master Instructor Luis Bonnet,
and thank you for showing the way.



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A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge.
Thomas Carlyle

The Effectiveness Of Communist Kung Fu Strategy!

I’m just finishing a book by Clay Blair, entitled The Forgotten War, which is about the Korean War. It is an eye opener, and extremely interesting. It is of particular interest to martial artists.

The Korean War consisted of a charge by the North Korean People’s Army, which pushed the US almost off the peninsula. A push back by the United States to the Yalu river. And a push back to the 38th parallel by the Chinese Communist Forces which almost worked, but which was countered by the US, expanded by UN, forces.

The Chinese combat strategy consisted of three principles. Charge if the enemy flees, and retreat if they attack. If the enemy is doing nothing, probe for weakness.

This is a wonderful strategy…for single soldiers. For millions of men, it doesn’t work. This strategy doesn’t hold up to the complexities of modern warfare.

The communists, you see, in embracing this strategy, were willing to trade bodies for bullets. They would charge, hundreds of thousands of men, and trust that they had more bodies than the US had bullets. They didn’t.

While the communist strategy is a wonderful one for man on man combat, it falls all apart on a modern battlefield. When the NKPA, and later the CCF, charged down the Korean Peninsula, they did so with no thought for supply lines. They couldn’t feed their soldiers, rearm them, or even get the wounded out.

What I find most interesting, in light of these lacks, is to apply the strategy of Matrixing to the battlefield. Getting an overview of national geography, specific terrain, freezing winters, muddy springs, and boiling hot summers, it is fascinating to consider whether the Chinese Communist Forces could have won if they had been a little less exuberant and a little more thoughtful in their planning. What if the CCF had established methods of resupply, applied their millions of men in manners that didn’t waste them, had taken the time to think their way through the terrain and opposition?

I recommend this book, it’s a lot of fun, and a real thought provoker, if you have a mind for combat strategies, the martial arts, and that sort of thing. I especially recommend looking into the matrixing strategies of Matrix Martial Arts, and seeing if you could win, at least on paper, one of the great undecided wars of this last century. For myself, it offers a terrific method for exercising martial arts strategies on a grand level.

Monster Newsletter #295–Tales of the Kang Duk Won!

Monster Newsletter #295–Tales of the Kang Duk Won!

Good morning and Good Work Out to you!
The very best work out, you know?

Let’s talk about work outs.
Let’s talk about the Kang Duk Won.

I had a fellow wrote me an email
that he really enjoyed those classical forms,

I train in it every day and I like it a lot, I like the way you break it down, it has really made it simple for me to learn

and it made me think.
Memory lane,
you know?

In the following description of the Kang Duk Won
I want you to remember
that I was a white boy from suburbia,
didn’t even see a black person until I was 17,
was very protected,
not very intelligent,
and really ready to meet something of the real world.
Also remember that before I went to the Kang Duk Won,
I spent two years
in a classy dojo.
Full length wall mirrors,
the best in matting,
rows of kicking bags,
the shelves lined with trophies…
and I gave it up for the Kang Duk Won

The Kang Duk Won was born in Korea,
and had a unique lineage line to the founders of karate.
I wrote a bit about the lineage on the Monster Martial Arts site.

The San Jose Kang Duk Won was located on The Alameda,
right next to the Towne Theater,
which was a filthy theater,
physically and morally.
It showed a movie starring some gal
name of Linda Lovelace
for a couple of years.
Men in grey overcoats came and went.

To the left of the Towne Theater was the Kang Duk Won.
The big front window was cracked and duc taped.
There was a box office that had been covered up on the left.
Walk through the door onto indoor outdoor carpeting
that was, you guessed it, duc taped.
Bob’s office was on the left.
A beat to crap desk
a few business cards.
A lamp.
A radio that was always kept so low you couldn’t hear it.
When I started my own school I found out why the radio was so low.
Sitting in that office with nothing going on,
you get hypersensitive to sound.
The lowest volume tended to blare and irritate.

He had a pic on the wall,
don’t recall exactly what it was.
At one time I think it was a blow up
of the artwork on a version of
the book of five rings.
I think there was a calender on one of the walls.
The office was small, cramped,
and there was barely room for two chairs.
If you didn’t unfold them.
I always remember standing around before class
with six or seven very large bikers,
laughing and joking.
Really golden moments.

Visitors sat on a picnic bench under the front window.
The mat was actually made from sailboat canvas.
It was filthy,
and there was a wicked stitch up the side of the thing,
and where forms turned
the mat had ripped and been duc taped together.
There was a small mirror in the front of the room,
you could do one pose,
and if you stepped to the side
the mirror lost you.
Above the mirror was a pic of Norman Rha,
who taught Bob KDW.
To the sides of Norman
were mismatched Korean and American flags.
To the sides of the mirror were planter boxes,
one with sand,
one with pebbles.
Before class people lined up and thrust their fingers
into the sand and into the pebbles.

Waiting to pound sand,
other students would do their forms,
or do their hundreds.
Doing hundreds meant
doing hundreds of kicks before class.
Not ten or twenty,
but usually around two hundred kicks
each kick you knew,
right and left,
was considered a good warm up.
While we did forms and hundreds
the building would shake rhythmically.
and a dull pounding sound
came from the back room.

The back room was the changing room.
The kicking bag hung there.
Bob packed it himself,
and he was always taking it down
and getting it restitched.
The thing looked like Frankenstein’s manhood.

There was a bag of sand on a ledge
against one wall.
Somebody was always pounding on that.

To the left and rear was the water heater.
It had fallen over and was propped up.
When it fell it apparently ripped some piping loose,
and you could see sky.
The amount of sky you could see
became larger
with every rain.

To the right was the bathroom.
The toilet was the first toilet ever built,
and the floor under it had broken,
and it was slanted so bad
you had to do a one legged squat to, uh, squat.

Back out in the front,
I have to tell you
about the physical dimensions.
If I stood in the middle of the mat
and did long stances in pinan one
I could take up almost the whole room.
It was maybe 15 wide
maybe 22 or 23 long.
And the people crowded on.

Classes were usually 15 to 20 people.
I remember one class
over 30 people.
You’d think there was no room to stand,
we all did our forms.
as the class progressed
we did different forms,
beginners beginning forms,
and up through twenty different forms.

I learned how to navigate
by doing forms in such crowded conditions.
You just learned how to move
and where to place your feet
and nobody ever tripped or stumbled.
We just didn’t.

you’d think,
from my description…
who knows what you think.
Beat to crap.
And filled with joy.
Dirt can’t suppress a spirit.
And we would have a machine of twenty people
moving in unison,
working together,
feeding their energy
in a way that no other school had.

I know every school is unique,
and there had to be energy like this somewhere,
but I couldn’t find it.
I went to various schools and watched,
and nowhere was there this energy.

That filthy,
dirty room

It got warm.

In the summer,
San Jose being a bottleneck,
the temp would hit 130 in that room.
In the winter
we would not suit up
until just before class,
then we would run out there
and do our forms maniacally,
just to get the blood going in our freezing feet.

the most important part.
The people.
There were so many people over the years,
College students,
the glass blower,
a couple of grave diggers,
the Ames Research Center Scientist,
the gas station owner
the reserve cop
and all the bikers.
Lots of bikers.

I should probably write a single newsletter
about these guys,
they really made my art real.

If you did your technique weak,
they frowned,
and you suddenly got a little worried and tried to hit harder,
and yet were terrified to hit harder.
Only after a couple of years
and finally learning how to put some oomph in my strikes,
did they stop frowning.
a few times,
I really remember the first time,
I hit too hard,
knocked this big Hells Angel to the floor,
and he got up grinning and shook my hand.
He just said,
‘Yeah, man. Yeah!’

I survived.
In fact,
I flourished.
People would come to class
and leave.
Nobody hit them too hard,
we all had good control,
but there was just this dedicated feeling
that frightened people.

You have to be a zealot
if you want to learn the true art.

You have to be willing to experience
a controlled craziness,
be willing to learn how to hurt people
so that you never hurt people.

here  a link.

Kang Duk Won

I always think this is the best deal I have.
Get it as part of the Evolution of an Art,
a monstrous amount of sheer, pure
right from the ancients information,
and you have the heart and soul of me.

No matter where I go,
no matter what I do,
my bones have been imprinted
with the fists of the kang duk won
and the wonderful people
who gave me their best.

I know you all have your own stories,
your own experiences as to how you learned the art,
write me a good one,
maybe I can use it for the newsletter.

You guys have a great work out.



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History is not a burden on the memory but an illumination of the soul.
Lord Acton

Supercharging For The Most Powerful Punch!

There is a trick that is used to give you the most powerful punch in the world. This is a trick from classical karate, and students frequently struggle with it for years. I think if you understand the physics I give you here, you will be able to do this trick.

This trick is from the third move in the form called Pinan One. It is called Heian One in Japanese. This is the move where you block and kick at the same time, then stomp your foot as you block in the other direction.

To understand the physics you have to understand that bending your leg makes you create more energy. The deeper the stance, the more you bend your legs, the more your legs work, the more energy you have to create. This energy locates from the Tan tien, which is an energy generator located just below the navel.

When you stomp your foot in precisely the right manner, you have a sudden increase in weight. A sudden increase in weight is going to trigger a sudden increase in the energy produced by the tan tien. This energy can be channeled out to you kick, block or punch.

To make this work you must not stomp the foot too hard. Stomping the foot too hard is going to result in damage to the foot. It can also cause long term damage up the leg and into the spine.

To make this work, then, does not require excessive strength, it requires exquisite timing. The arms must come back at the same time the leg comes back. The hips must turn at the correct rate of speed so that the body is moving as one unit.

Moving the hips is crucial, they must turn with the whole body, and support the alignment of the legs and arms. The hips must be able to stop at the right time. Stopping is done by emphasizing, gently, the stomp of the foot.

Not too much strength, perfect timing, using the body as one unit. This is the key to supercharging your punch, kick or block. Guaranteed, if you can do these things, and especially with the move from Pinan One, then you are going to have the most powerful punch in the world.

How Karate Died for Tae Kwon Do

Karate did die for Tae Kwon Do. Let me relate an anecdote, then offer my sacred and inviolable opinion.
My instructor and one of his top students were sitting in the office one day, and two Korean fellows walked in.
“You join new organization, we give you new forms, promote all balck belts one grade.”
My instructor shook his head, and things actually looked a little tense, and then one of the Koreans nudged the other one and looked at the writing on the wall.
Well, actually it was the writing on a business card.
“Kang Duk Won,” he said.
The two bowed and left.
True story.
The organization, actually system, that they were pushing? Was something called Tae Kwon Do.
General Choi Hong Hai introduced Tae Kwon Do to the masses, under the guise that Korea needed its own national art.
Would you study an art designed by Barack Obama?
Shut up and stop laughing. It was a fair question. Sort of.
But the point is this, the good general had his reasons, he needed people to show more fervor for their country, and he used karate, for such was, and to a great extent is, the Kang Duk won.
That’s right, used. He didn’t pursue an art, he used one for political purposes.
Is tae kwon do terrible?
Nope. It can be pretty darned devastating, depending on the students degree of insight and common sense.
Having watched the changes of that art, however, for over forty years, it is not as strong as karate.
Karate has had hundreds of years to come to a focus, to weed out the bushwah, to generate internal power and become zen savvy and deadly as the dickens.
And I am not saying karate is all there is, Karate, Tae Kwon Do, other arts, they are all just stepping stones when you start to matrix your art, as described at Monster Martial Arts.

Tai Chi Chuan is Great for Curing Injuries!

When I feel pain, I do Tai Chi. Moving slowly, I can edge through the pain filled area. As I move through the injury I focus my awareness on it, and, most important, I take the tension out of the area.
Pain is the result of a collision of some sort. Every injury in the universe is the result of a collision of some sort.
All you have to do to ‘cure the collision’ is look at it in slow time. All you have to do is look at the injury, and make yourself relax that area.
For short term injuries this works quicksnap and like a miracle. But even for long term injuries, the concentration of awareness works wonders. There are instances of people overcoming some of the most vile diseases known to man.
Awareness is the light of the human being, and it cures.
You can learn all sorts of stuff like this by visiting Monster Martial Arts.

The Only Perfect Karate in the world

I actually didn’t realize what I had done for a while.
You see, I first matrixed an art I call Monkey Boxing. It is influenced by kenpo and silat and all sorts of things, and it takes into account all the martial arts, and it is perfect.
But I didn’t know it was perfect.
I didn’t realize what I had done until I began reverse engineering other arts using the data I had learned from the Monkey Boxing project.
I was working on Karate, working on some forms which I had created, and suddenly it struck me: this karate is perfect. It doesn’t wiggle, there is no corruption…it is true to the concepts of karate, it uses only karate, and i blinked.
Yes, Monkey Boxing was perfect, but I didn’t know it, and it wasn’t apparent until after I had made Matrix Karate, and realized its perfection, and then could reverse engineer the reverse engineering.
That’s why I say that the only first and perfect Karate in the world was Matrix Karate.

The First Time I Ever Used Karate to Hit Somebody

I had trained in karate for near seven years. I had thrown a million punches, caused bruises and split lips, made people fall down gasping, even made them hold their, uh, cahonies.
But I had never hit anybody.
My body had hit other bodies, but me, the ‘I am,’ had never actually struck anybody.
One night we were doing two on one. One fellow grabbed one arm and held tight, the other fellow pummeled me in the ribs.
It was a massive problem, every time I turned to shake loose I got hit. Again and again and again, and my attention was split, and there was no solution and…several things happened so quick and fast in the world, and yet so incrediblly slow to the ‘I am’ that is me.
My foot felt heavy, it felt like somebody had stuffed a car in it.
I couldn’t move my foot. The guy hitting my ribs was coming in to thump me again. I couldnt’ move…I couldn’t…
I was far away from my body, looking at it. something happened, and then I was back in my body.
The guy who had been hitting me was lying ten feet away, crumpled up in a heap. The other fellow was jumping away fro me, his arms up, palms out…he didn’t want any part of this action.
And my foot,it felt light again. I dimly remembered, it had been heavy, and then…I remembered kicking.
I had gone out of my body, I–the ‘I am’–had thrown my foot, and knocked my opponent twelve feet into a wall, and then he had collapsed on the floor.
I had always known what the martial arts were about, but this was the first time I had ever experienced it. This was what, thirty-five years later, I was trying to get people to be able to do with my Monster Martial Arts courses.

The Value of a Martial Arts Certificate

“There’s my name.”
Teddy was a new instructor, who had known the head instructor for years. He was a Green Belt.
He was pointing at the head instructor’s bBlack Belt certificate.
A Green Belt had signed a Black Belt’s certificate?
There was more to the story of course, and that more was purely political in nature.
My instructor did deserve his Black Belt, and he had had to leave his school, and organization, and promote himself to get it.
But, though I knew the value of my instructor, I had just learned the value of paper.
Paper doesn’t matter, ornate certificates don’t matter. What matters is the competence of the instructor.
I always chuckle inside when people relay their lineage…as if it matters.
And I make sure that my signature means something when I put it to a piece of paper.
Competence, honesty, ability…those are the things that matter at Monster Martial Arts.

The Truth Behind the Discipline of Zen Karate!

What joy do you get out of doing the Martial Arts? What strange abilities can you really discover and make real? Is there a reality that could be called Zen Karate…or zen kenpo, or zen whatever other martial art you might study?

There is a discipline referred to as zen, and the best book for describing it is Zen Flesh, Zen Bones. Past that, zen is the method by which you experience yourself, as discovered through specific discipline. My specific discipline and experience was through the martial art of Kang Duk Won karate.

The discipline is achieved through the practice of kata and bunkai, and through this discipline you learn to control your body. People who fight just because they like to fight, as in MMA, never experience this discipline. They might know how to do the martial, but they don’t know how to do the art.

And, if you can learn to control all the intricacies of your body, you realize that it took control of mind to do so. The struggle to make your body do the things that you want it to do exactly as you want comes from you making your mind do exactly what you want. And now we come to the crux of the situation.

Why doesn’t life happen the way you want it to happen? Why can’t you drive that fast car, have the cheerleader for a girlfriend, get that great job? The reason, for most people, is that they haven’t learned the secret of controlling themselves.

I am not speaking of controlling your body, nor even that weird thing you call a mind, now. I am talking about the fact of controlling you, controlling the person who tells your body and mind what to do. You.

You want to be as snazzy as Bruce Lee, as rapid as Jet Lee, able to jump through hoops better than Jackie Chan? Learn to control your body, then learn to control your mind, and, ultimately, learn the secrets of controlling yourself. Learn to control that person who is controlling your body and mind.

I advocate a study of the martial arts as the the best method for learning to control yourself. Karate, tae kwon do, krav maga, they are all valid paths for learning how to control yourself, and to see yourself as separate from body and mind. Learn to do this, dedicate yourself to the gladiatorial method that will make you have zen karate, or zen pa kua chang or zen whatever, and you will be able to control the universe, and all the fast cars and cheerleaders therein.