Tag Archives: traditional martial arts

Creating that Zen Stillness Within

Zen Stillness, Bruce Lee, and You


When I started the martial arts,

back in 67,

and had my first lessons in freestyle,

I quickly realized one thing:

right side or left side.


Is the guy going to attack right side or left side,

realizing that,

I realized I could,

by turning the body or shifting it,

make him go on one side or the other.

Which enabled me to predict

and allowed me to win most of the time.


But I started thinking,

and I asked myself the question,

is there a way to predict

without turning the body,

without moving,

without doing anything?

Was there a way to know,

before he moved,

without moving yourself,

which side he was going to go for?


if I could do that,

zingo bingo.

you know?



while I was in kenpo

I made no inroads on that question.

But when I got into the Kang Duk Won

the answer was sitting right there.

The answer was to be still enough.


Kenpo had the moves,

but not the discipline to make this happen,

Kang Duk Won had the discipline.

And the discipline had been honed over hundreds of years.


And I realized that

if you were moving,



looking for an angle,

then you were doing something.


if you were doing something,

then you weren’t looking.

Even if I was only moving 1%,

it meant I was doing something,

and not actually looking.

And I realized this:

You can look out,

or you can look in,

but you can’t do both at the same time.

You have to achieve total stillness,

without and within

before you could actually see anything.





The only way to be able to predict

when and what somebody is going to do

is to look at him.

To be so still

that all motion could register,

and then,

you could see the thought behind the motion.

Thought comes first,

so if you could see the thought,

you could see what was coming,

then you could predict.


And I realized something.

The ‘gunfighter’ mode of freestyle

practiced by the Japanese,

was an attempt to get to this state of mind.

This silence

of standing and staring,

inching forward with only the slightest of motions,

was an attempt to be still enough

to listen,

to look,

to see the thought before the action.



one of the events of the time,

back in the seventies,

that got in the way of this

was Bruce Lee.

Bruce had a thing about defeating the Japanese.

And he did it by being busy,

not by edging forward slowly

and building an intuition,

but by dancing and flicking,

and making sure that the gunfighter attitude

never had time to get started.



in fairness,

Bruce was quick,

he could see what was happening,

he could predict,

natural superior intelligence

couple with an astounding amount of hard work.

But he beat the Japanese not by playing their game,

but playing his own

and making sure that the Japanese couldn’t play theirs.





he didn’t leave a method whereby intelligence increased,

whereby the ability to be still increased.


the method that did increase stillness within

began to wane.

People looked down on the gunfighter modes

in the traditional martial arts,

and they stopped looking for stillness,

for zen,

for increased awareness through discipline.


Mind you,

I am not judging the art of Lee,

or the students of Lee,

I am merely observing.

If you disagree,

leave a comment.


I base my arts on the old discipline,

I don’t think one should throw out the ancient methods,

which worked,



improve them.


Hard to improve them,


when you live in a fast food society,

where gratification is an ipad away,

where you can google trinkets of information,

instead of earning the stillness

behind the information.


Okey dokey,

I sent out the second level user and password

in the last newsletter,

if you still have trouble getting past the second level of security,

on any of your orders,

email me at




speaking of that,

I’m looking around for a better webhost.

I’ve tried web.com,

and webhostinghub,

and they were good in the beginning,

but I am spending more time fixing my internet

and less time spreading martial arts,

and my sites are taking too long to  load,

and so on.

Got to change all that.

So send me recommendations.

I’ve got a half dozen sites,

wanted to put them on share server,

unless somebody has a better idea.

And thanks in advance.



if you want that old time discipline,

if you want the arts that are designed to increase stillness,

and increase awareness,

then try Temple Karate.


It’s a fantastic method

for increasing stillness,

building awareness,

and getting better at the martial arts.



have a funomenal work out!


Classical Martial Arts Originated in Life or Death Combat!

Had a guy say something interesting today, he said that MMA originated in the ring, as a way to beat people up under certain conditions.

His point was that Classical Martial Arts, Shaolin or Karate or Aikido or whatever, originated under life and death circumstances.

Check out the video, it’s my classical take on the Iron horse form, and then I’ll finish up this point.

The priest had to defend against cutthroats with knives.

The Samurai had to fight armored men with long swords and spears on the battlefield.

Aikido was born of Aikijujitsu, which was from those same Samurai battlefields.

Life and death, rolling in the mud, training for all manner of weather, all manner of terrain.

Sometimes traditional martila arts get the razz, but the truth is, dig a bit, uncover the origins, and you have something with much more potential than a mouthpiece and referees.

No offense to anyone, there’s some tough guys out there, and tough arts.

I just prefer the Classical Martial Arts. Love the tradition, the training methods, and the idea that there is a zen beyond war.

Pick up a free ebook at Monster Martial Arts. Top left of the home page.

The Six Best Methods to Learn Martial Art

There will be preferences if you want to learn Martial Art, but there are also a couple of things that are fairly obvious, and that we will be able to agree on. Interestingly, I came across this data many years ago, and have used it myself. It deals with analyzing the value of media in transmitting data.

The worst method for absorption of data is the movies or TV. This is because the martial art techniques that you will see on the screen, whether it is the art of Bruce Lee, Jet Li, or whoever, has been altered for the camera. Yes, it may look good, but stuntmen and camera cuts are making it look good.

Almost as bad as movies, and it might even be considered a toss up with these two, is the internet. While there can be gems out there, the dreck is abysmal. Dial into the internet for the purpose of actually trying to learn something (as opposed to just surfing for fun) and you dial into a common brain that doesn’t know any better, pseudo experts, massive amounts of data with no real instruction or even organization of data, what’s cool, advertising that hasn’t and can’t be tested for worth, and so on.

The third weakest method would be to read magazines. Now, this is not to be discounted, it does give you an overall viewpoint of what’s happening–and not just in the traditional arts–and can afford a good education as to what is out there. Good writing and the eye of the magazine to find out what the reader is really interested in, and the tendency of the worthwhile ads to stay, makes this a viable source of finding out about different martial arts.

Fourth weakest would be martial arts DVDs. Now, I should say weakest, but third strongest, because one can dial into a specific art, delve into that art in detail, and really get some great instruction. Honestly, it’s a toss up between this and the next item on the list, almost a tie, but I settled on the order you see because there are just so many bad DVDs out there–it’s just too easy to string some fighting techniques together, slap a pseudo scientific label on it, and use internet marketing to blast it past common sense.

Second best,status, when it comes to the learning procedure goes to martial arts books. With books you might not get the visual, but if you have any instruction in a dojo, books will work. Furthermore, you can get the most detail, the best theory, the most thought out concepts in books–and if you can get a DVD to go along with it then you really have something.

The best method for learning the the combat discipline is to take a martial arts class at a good dojo, one where they teach not just the blood and guts, but the heart and soul. You’ll find friendships that mean something, systems of combat that have been proven over thousands of years, and some pretty darned good times. Add to that that you can ask a question about the most minute detail at any time, and the worth of this method is undeniable. People study according to their opportunity and means, thus, none of the methods I have mentioned can be totally discounted. And, the smart student will do a mix and match and educate himself so that there are no weaknesses in his arts.

In the end, every man is self made, and learning Martial Arts is the best method for making oneself. If you want the absolute best when it comes to learning martial arts at home, head on over to MonsterMartial Arts. Most courses are a mix of book and video, and the instruction is the absolute best in the martial arts world.