Tag Archives: uechi 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.

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…

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.

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.

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)
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.

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.

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.



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!






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New Pan Gai Noon Black Belt!

The Value of Pan Gai Noon

Good morning!
Hmm, afternoon.
Well, good whatever.
It’s easy to lose track of time,
you just sink yourself into a work out and
zingo bingo,
where did the time go.

sanchin kata pan gai noonBefore we talk, I want to announce
Will Stockinger!

Will completed studies on Pan Gai Noon.
I think he might be the first
Pan Gai Noon black belt
I’ve awarded.
He’s been sending me videos for a while now,
and he made it look good on the videos.
So well done Will!

A word about the PGN.
Karate is my base art,
I collected a lot of systems over the years.
As I went through these systems
I began to understand certain things
about how Karate evolved.
I understood these things
not from people writing about them,
but from doing the forms myself,
and feeling the changes.
Mind you,
there were a lot of holes,
but Matrixing enables one to find
and fill up the holes in a martial art.
long ago I came across the saying,
that if you don’t know sanchin
you don’t know karate.
And it’s true.

Once I realized this I began to research sanchin.
I collected the various forms of it,
and I realized something:
Uechi Ryu sanchin is for dynamic tension.
Goju sanchin is for breathing.
Shotokan sanchin is for technique.
As you can see,
this represents how sanchin developed from China.
And I began to wonder,
what sanchin looked like in Pan Gai Noon.
But I couldn’t find much on it.
So I relied on matrixing principles,
and set the thing to concepts
which are in buddhist belief systems,
and I wasn’t doing sanchin as a karate form any longer.
Yes, there was still the pop and power,
but there was also flow and emptiness,
and this made the form different in a lot of ways,
opened my eyes to a lot of different concepts.

One of the things I realized
is that you don’t need people to pound on you
to make your form work.
You need gentle pressure
that will make the chi in your body respond.
Pounding doesn’t make the chi work,
it makes the muscles work.
But if you do body testing
the way I describe in
The Master’s Handbook,
then it is different,
and the form is different,
here’s something interesting,
the techniques become different,
and you start to see a logic of technique
that I haven’t see in any other art.
The techniques flow,
and there is a progression of technique
that is startlingly matrix-like.

So these old guys,
back in China,
had designed a system over the decades
and centuries,
that described a closed combat system
that had an inherently matrix-like
progression of techniques.

Mind you,
the student wouldn’t see it,
it’s hidden in the form.
But if you do it long enough,
then it sort of pops at you,
and you start doing the principles of the martial arts,
and not just the techniques.

So that is how I structured
my Pan Gai Noon.
to represent the principles,
to establish the more matrix-like
progression of techniques.

And I wrote about this
in a variety of places.
The Matrixing Chi book
uses Sanchin as the starting point
for developing chi.

I’ve also done a video course,
which is available as part of
‘Evolution of an Art,’
at Monster.
I think this is the only place
where I’ve recorded Sanseirui.

Then there is the book
‘Pan Gai Noon.’
I think it is based on the course book,
with a few things added.

there are lots of places
where I’ve touched upon the art,
written articles about it,
and so on.
Here is one of the best…


So there is a lot of things you can do
to examine my work,
and make up your own mind.

At any rate,
I do consider Sanchin,
and the other two forms,
seisan and sanseirui,
as extremely important.

if you’re interested,
I recommend the Evolution of an Art course,
it’s got three arts in it,
Pan Gai Noon, Kang Duk Won, Kwon Bup.
That’s three books,
and three sets of video tapes,
for the price of one course.
And the books on those courses,
are also in the books I’ve
put upon Amazon.

Here’s the link

that all said,
oinkly donkey
time to move on.

congrats to Will,
thanks for your hard work.
Yours is an amazing journey.

to everyone…


Have a great Superbowl sunday!
And don’t forget to work out
after you pig out!

Defining the Ultimate Karate Form…Sanchin

The Real Truth of Sanchin Kata

Guest Blog by Alaric Dailey

It has been said that if you don’t know Sanchin, you don’t know karate. I suppose there is some truth to this.

Sanchin is taught in many variations, the least modified version of which, appears to be the Pangainoon/Uechi-ryu variation.   This is because of all the Naha-te styles, Pangainoon has been “out of China” the least amount of time.  This also happens to be the version I know, so I will be comments from the point of view of how it was taught to me, and why it is that way.

sanchin kata pan gai noon

Release of NEW book on Pan Gai Noon! Click on the cover for more data.

Sanchin means three battles, those three battles are “order”, “form” and “breathing”.  These are the same 3 battles that you fight every time you learn a form.  You learn the order of the moves, how to do them properly, working out how they flow together (the form), and how to extract every ounce of internal and external power, both of which are enhanced with breathing.

Part of the proper form is “loose-tight”, which is quite the trick in Sanchin, since it is a dynamic tension form.  However, you have to loosen, your muscles to strike with force, to block with speed, and to tighten them as you are struck with the body checking.

Part of every form is to clear your mind and attempt to perform it with “mushin”, the “no-mind” of zen.

Truly Sanchin, is a very difficult form.  Pangainoon/Uechi-ryu, teaches it as the first form, and expects you to test on it at every belt, and to improve on it.  Other styles, such as Isshin-ryu, Goju-ryu, Kyokushin, and Okinawan Kenpo treat it as an advanced kata, in some cases styles have made it the shodan (blackbelt) kata.

It is interesting, that you also see the “aikido unbendable arm” as the guard, or Wing Chun stylists would recognize it as Tan-sao. I see many people holding their sanchin arms much lower than I was taught, Sensei always said your fingertips should be eye-level. My Wing Chun Sifu says the same thing about tan-sao, of course NOT holding the tan-sao at this level meant that Bruce Lee found it useless, so he through it out of JKD.

Just for a point of interest, here are a few different versions of the form.

And here is a White Crane form named the same thing that appears to be the same form



I personally don’t believe that the unaltered white crane form was the one taught to the Okinawans, we see far too much tiger in the Okinawan karate versions, a greater emphasis on external power, tiger claw strikes etc.

About the Author: Alaric Daily began practicing the martial arts in 1992. Martial Art she has studied include Pangainoon, Karate, Kenpo, Wing Chun, Krav Maga, Judo, Jujitsu, Aikido, Bagua Zhang, and Tai Chi Chuan

Whatever Happened to Dojo Kun?

Politeness in the Dojo…What Happened?

I remember the first time I took a Karate class, I THOUGHT I knew what I was in for, I had watched many martial arts movies.

That first class surprised me in so many ways.

karate master requirements

Click on the cover for the latest book in the Matrixing Karate series.

“Kiostske!” and everyone ran to position, I was signaled to go to the last spot and we all faced the front of the dojo (shomen).

“Seiza! kneel at attention right leg first, then left, knees 1 fist apart” Sensei started.

“Me wo tojite! Close your eyes, and meditate, lips slightly open, jaw relaxed, breath in through your nose and out through your mouth.   Let the worries of the outside pass away.  Clear your mind, this is training time.”

I sat there quietly wondering what this was all about, I had some other thoughts that were arrogant and rude, I must say that in hind sight my association with this particular sensei may have been the best thing to ever happen to me, but that is another story.

At this point Sensei said “me wo akete, open your eyes” and after a brief pause yelled “dojo-kun!”

The most senior student in class loudly proclaimed the single word “titles”, and everyone responded the next line


“Be humble respectful and courteous above all!”


“Observe the way of peace and teamwork!”


“Practice with all the drive you have, and strive for more than you think you have”


“Have true courage in all facets of life”


“Strive for individual achievement for the benefit of others”

There was more to the beginning ceremony, but at this point I was very confused.

I found out later that it is the morals of the school, repeated before and after class to drill it in to our heads.  Morals is probably a bad translation, but “rules” doesn’t seem to fit either.

The more I thought about it, the more sense the opening ceremony and dojo-jun made.  After all it is karate-do, not karate-jitsu (link to the do vs jitsu article).

In the years since then I am amazed that more styles don’t include dojo-kun, and more mind-settling ceremonies.  As an example, a few years later, I switched to Kenpo Karate and was struck by the blatant rudeness of the instructor.  Gone was Dojo-kun, gone was the humbleness of the students, gone was the friendly atmosphere, gone was the Japanese, even referring to Sensei as such, it was just “Sir”.

The “Kenpo Creed”, written by Mr. Ed Parker Jr., sounds more like a half-hearted apology for having to beat people up, than it does a set of rules to live by.

I come to you with only Karate; “empty hands.” I have no weapons, but should I be forced to defend myself, my principles or my honor.  Should it be a matter of life or death, right or wrong, then here are my weapons, Karate; “empty hands.”

This has always rubbed me the wrong way, of course, the fact that he dropped “do” and “jitsu” from his arts name may indicate something.  His choice of “empty hand” in the creed is also interesting, since the character on the patch is the homonym for empty, but it means “Tang Dynasty China”, so it literally means “Chinese hand” not “empty hand”, but that is another story.

Kenpo isn’t the only style to eliminate Dojo-kun, and of the schools I have studied in, those that eliminate Dojo-kun, are always less friendly, they are less patient, ruder, and generally not as well behaved.

The “Tao Te Ching” says in poem 38

Failing Tao, man resorts to Virtue.
Failing Virtue, man resorts to humanity.
Failing humanity, man resorts to morality.
Failing morality, man resorts to ceremony.
Now, ceremony is the merest husk of faith and loyalty;
It is the beginning of all confusion and disorder.

I have to think that we have drifted so far, that ceremony is our first step to get back on the road.  Dojo-kun shouldn’t be necessary; we should all be wonderful people without having to repeat it.  I feel strongly though that dojo-kun should continue to be part of every school, especially those teaching children, because we can all use the reminder to be better people.

119 Karate Lessons, all the way to Black Belt, for only $50!

Outlaw Karate Training Book Released!

The Release of Outlaw Karate

Time for a March work out!
all March
when April comes
you will just laugh.
You’ll be powerful,
light on your feet,
and having so much fun…
you’ll be laughing.

I’m releasing the Outlaw Karate book on Amazon.
So let me tell you about Outlaw Karate.

My son came to me,
he was around 16,
and he said,
I want to learn Karate.’

There is a particular joy
about passing the art
down to one’s own flesh and blood.

It continues the saga of enlightenment,
and improves the race
on a VERY personal level.

So I told him to get a partner.
He got his friend Josh.
Then Mike called me up,
one of the first guys I taught in Los Angeles,
and he was actually mad at me.

“What do you mean having a class
and not letting me know?”
And he brought his son, Tracey.

Then a guy called me out of the blue,
asked if I taught Karate.
So I gave him directions to my house.
the very first night,
Charles knocked on the door.
He had been one of my models
for one of my early videos.
He had just dropped by to see what was up.
He looked past me
at the guys stretching.
He didn’t even ask me,
just said,
you’re teaching again.’
And he walked past me and took his place.
‘I knew there was a reason I wore my gi today.’
And he laughed.

out of the blue,
not a plan,
but it was started,
and here is the thing…
have you ever had a class
where not one single person
missed a class
for an entire year?

I have to say,
I was a bit inspired.
I was absolutely and delightfully brutal.
Toughest class I ever taught.
If somebody didn’t punch hard enough,
I stepped in and knocked somebody up against a wall.
‘Not hard,’
I would say,
‘but thorough.’
Don’t damage,
but make sure you push him hard enough
so that your punch will work!’

If a throw didn’t work,
I would step in
and bounce somebody’s body on the floor.
‘Merge with the planet!’
I would say.
And I would grin.

the class responded.
Mike had broken fingers for a solid year.
Every time they started to heal,
somebody would break them again.
I just laughed and said,
‘you’d better learn when
to keep your fists closed.’

Tracey ended up crying almost every night.
He hates it when I tell this story,
but we broke the little boy
and ended up with a man.

don’t know who,
cracked my son’s sternum.
Got an X ray
and it was actually chunked in
about the size of a knuckle.
Doctor said,
‘No more Karate.’
Aaron ignored him,
told me to go shove it
when I tried to keep him out of class,
and continued.

Everybody was hurt,
and grinning.

I always remember the night
Josh had had enough,
he actually turned around,
ran out the door,
and ran up the street,
tears streaming from his eyes.

He was back for the next class.

The weirdest thing I ever experienced
during that year,
was when working with my son,
I would look at his body,
and think,
I’m doing this with my own body.
Really freaked me out.

lots of things happened
to the guys because of that year.

Josh went to a party,
a riot started,
and he positioned himself,
and stood there
in the middle of a total riot,
and nobody attacked him.
Nobody came at him.
Everybody left him alone.
They just looked at him,
in control,
level eyed,
and they went away.
He became a rock star,
was in several bands around the LA area.
Said he loved to pound the drums,
reminded him of Karate,
and that Karate inspired him.

he was on his way to work one day
and he got jumped by two muggers.
He knocked one to the ground
and totally one.
One punch.
Then turned and kicked the other one so hard
that he flew through the air
and hit a parking meter
and bent the pole.

All the guys had something weird and wacky happen to them.
Five of them made it to Black Belt.
Charles was already past Black Belt
from his previous studies with me,
so it didn’t matter with him.
He was just there for the class,

You could probably find things about Outlaw Karate
if you searched my blog.
Some rewrites of this,
some other stuff.

Outlaw Karate was a combination of arts.
I took Kang Duk Won
and Kwon Bup,
and I threw out the repeat techniques.
I boiled the forms down to six,
very simple,
direct to technique
here’s the thing,
this happened about 1991.
I had written most of the graphs for Matrixing,
I had sorted through hundreds of arts,
looking for the best stuff.
Inside Karate had asked me to write a column for them,
simply because they liked all my articles.
They liked the way I phrased things,
gave things the earthy feel,
and communicated to the individual.

So I was on the edge.
It was still a few years,
but Outlaw Karate
was the toughest Karate I ever did.
And it was sleek and powerful,
and there was no fat,
just brute, raw power.

Most important,
it was probably the ‘spring board’
to matrixing.
Right after that,
I put together the perfect forms of Matrix Karate,
and evolved the art.

But I had to get down and dirty,
roll in the mud and the blood and the beer,
so to speak,
to evolve out of what everybody thought
Karate is supposed to be.

I named the system Outlaw
not because of all the Hells Angels and other bikers
I trained with back at the Kang Duk Won,
but because I was going outside
what people thought Karate was.

that’s the story.
I am releasing,
the book I wrote on Outlaw Karate.
Includes all the forms and techniques.

It was previously only available in PDF
with the Outlaw Course
at the Monster.

It’s right here on Amazon at…


Check it out,
and have a great work out!

Beyond Western Muscles in the Martial Arts!

How to Find this Ki Energy in the Martial Arts

When I was in 6th grade
I decided I wanted to be the world’s fastest runner.
Absolutely loved running.
So I started running,
in class,
we had these human body charts.
They had pictures of the muscles,
the bones,
really laid out the human body.
the page on sexual reproduction
was very worn.

I took off my shoes in the middle of the class,
took off my socks,
and started looking at the pictures
and comparing them to my foot.
Very interesting.
Until the girls all said EW!
And held their noses.

I was obsessed,
and I started examining how the foot arched,
I figured out that the arch was a spring.
I looked at which sides of the legs the muscles were on,
and then angled my stance
so I could get the fastest start.
I pointed my toes,
so to make certain my feet
made the most
of muscles and springs.
I was careful not to run
on one side or the other of the foot.

when I reached the seventh grade,
and decided I wanted to be
the best baseball player in the world,
I started the whole process over again
but analyzing which muscles swung the bat,
why you had to shift the weight with the swing,
how to set myself
so I could follow the ball
the best and easiest way possible.

And so on through a lot of sports.

In 1967,
I found Kenpo Karate,
and I did pretty good.
They made me an instructor,
I wrote an instruction manual,
and I thought I was the cat’s meow.
All that study of the muscles and the body and all that
helped me out pretty good.

Then I went to the Kang Duk Won.
Imagine my surprise
when they said,
‘Gonna take a couple of years.
You look good, but…’
But what?
Fortunately for me,
the martial arts were proving a lot harder
than sports.
I mean,
the muscles and the angles and all that
there was more to it in the martial arts
than any sport I had ever done.
I started to realize something.
Being able to use muscles
had nothing to do with ki.
All of my American sports
were concerned with muscles.
Karate was concerned with…something else.
What was this ki thing?

So I went through Karate,
and then I started playing around with Wing Chun,
and found this extra sensitivity
in Sticky Hands.
Not reacting,
but sensing when somebody was going to do something
before they did it.
A mental telegraph through the arms.
An ESP that traveled through the body
when it was in contact with another body.
His mind was my mind,
as long as I had physical contact.

Then I went to Aikido,
and I found something truly spectacular,
this extra sensory perception
didn’t need physical contact!

I had had glimpses of this phenomena
in Karate.
And I had experienced a more scientific method
and had several very intense experiences
in Sticky Hands.
And then figured out the truth about this stuff
in Aikido.

And I was slow,
because it wasn’t part of my culture.

I was faster than most guys
because I had analyzed the body so thoroughly.

here’s the funny thing,
you can figure this stuff out
in most any art,
if you understand how the body works.

there’s a catch.
You don’t analyze the body
from the viewpoint
of the muscles.

That’s what screwed me up at the Kang Duk Won.
They wanted me to use mental energy,

I was used to using muscles.
But muscles are last in the chain.
They are reaction time.
Reaction time is action
after something else has happened.

It means you’re not in the moment,
but you are after the moment,
always responding to,

Think about it this way,
there is a rule in chess,
if two people each play a perfect game,
white always wins.
That’s because white makes the first move.
And that’s true in the martial arts.

So you can’t analyze the body from the viewpoint of muscles,
you have to analyze it from the viewpoint
of energy.
Second on the chain,
and closer to the moment,
to the thought that creates the action.

here’s the trick,
nobody has ever analyzed the martial arts
from the viewpoint of energy.

They haven’t.
That’s the truth.

So why do you think I get such great wins
from the people who take the Master Instructor course?
Because they have analyzed the muscles,
or at least used the muscles,
and then…nothing.
There is no place for them to go!
There is no second step!
And then they find the Master Instructor course.

The instructors of the martial arts
in the united states,
for the most part,
just sort of wallow.

The Master Instructor course,
offers the second step.
When you go into the six secrets
and learn how to make any technique work,
then mysticism dies a quick death.
It is killed off by logic and physics.
But the real joy is when
you learn how to do your forms
from the viewpoint of energy.
I use a simple trick,
show how the body works,
energy flows.

You won’t go back to the old ways,
you can’t,
because that would mean doing the martial arts wrong.
You can’t argue with what I’ve said,
because it is the truth.
Proven by the fact that it is simple,
and because it is different
than what anybody else is doing,
and the simple knowledge I present
makes it happen!

You can go become a doctor of sports medicine,
you can study nutrition and biomechanics and all that,
you can study the body till you’re blue in the face,
but it won’t tell you the extremely simple truth.

Oh, you’ll learn lots of little truths,
but they won’t have anything to do with energy and intention.

muscles are the first level.
Energy is the second level.
Intention is the third level.
Western science stops on muscles,
the body,
push ups and sit ups.

there’s no place to go.
I show you energy,
a little work on that level,
and the third level,
the spirit,
the truth,
just opens up.

And you don’t have to struggle
and use large amounts of energy!
you have to relax,
and learn how to use
smaller and smaller amounts of energy.
That’s how you open up the third level.

Okey dokey,
I’ve said as much as I can.
You can lead a horse to ki…

got a new book out.
This is the book on Pan Gai Noon,
and you can check it out at the Monster,
if you simply click on the book cover in the right column.
Or do a search for Pan Gai Noon on Amazon.

this book is part of the evo of art course,
you can get it as part of that course,
but it will be electronic.

This is a real book.
A neat smell to it.
I love books.

two things you can do this week.
think about the Master Instructor Course,
it’s available at MonsterMartialArts.com
under the courses.

get yourself a very interesting book
on Pan Gai Noon.

PGN connects Karate to Kung Fu.
It is a connection to Chi.

you guys and gals have a FUNtastic work out!
And I’ll talk to you later.


Pan Gai Noon Instruction Manual

The Merger of Tongbei Kung Fu with Karate

How Tongbei Influenced Karate

The two styles of Karate are Shorei and Shorin. One of the styles of Karate is for large people, and the other is for small people. Another way to look at it is one of the styles of karate is for heavy handed power, and the other is for quick, light people.

To be honest, the distinctions between these two martial arts variations have largely disappeared. This is because, in this writer’s opinion, there has been a lack of teacher ability, and a general obsession for power. This has resulted in a loss of the quick footed style, and a degradation of actual power in the heavy footed art. 

tongbei karate

Tongbei blocking drill done Karate style.

I first began martial arts in Kenpo, back in the 60s, and the teacher (Rod Martin) was short and light footed. As Kenpo was more intent on hand motion, and less on stances, there was virtually no development of power. Speed, however, was there aplenty. The best teachers had a natural speed.

When I went to the Kang Duk Won I encountered tongbei speed and power. Tongbei refers to internal Kung Fu, much like Tai Chi Chuan, and it had been injected into the Kang Duk Won.

The teacher at this school (Bob Babich) was short and fast. He had the same natural speed, but there was a difference between the two teachers.

The Kenpo teacher was quick and fast, and when he hit you you knew you were hit. Fine and good, what everybody expected from Karate.

The Kang Duk Won teacher had the same quickness and speed, but everything was totally different.

When he moved there was a whiplike motion to him, and you could feel the very air crackle with power.

He was speedy and light, perfect for a light art, but he was injecting Tongbei power into it, internal power.

As I said, the air would crackle with his motion, and when he stomped his foot to emphasize a technique you could feel the floor shake…and the timbers in the building would actually shiver.

Further, he had a sixth sense in everything he did. He would anticipate and move before, seriously before, any attack. He had immaculate control, able to actually touch your eyeball with his finger in the middle of freestyle. Most important, and probably crucial to it all, he was polite.

I know, doesn’t seem to fit, but there it was, and it took me decades to figure out the significance here.

He was doing less for more.

He was exerting less and less effort, and getting more and more power.

And this made him not hungry for power, but polite.

When I explain this to people, even quoting The Tao to them (Do nothing until nothing is left undone, etc.), they don’t understand.

The large misfortune is that I am large person, over six feet.

I tapped into the tongbei power, but in a different manner than Bob. I can do things, but because of my frame I can’t do them the same as Bob, and I have different abilities. It makes it difficult to teach in the same manner as he.

Still, the Tongbei influence is alive and well, just manifesting differently in a different person with a different body.

The good news is that I wrote down many of the pertinent exercises we were doing at the Kang Duk Won.

Some of these had no names, we just did them.

Most of them I have never seen in any other school. They simply don’t seem to exist outside the Kang Duk Won of the 60s and 70s, nor in any style of Kung Fu I have seen.

I often wonder if they were a simple invention of the fellow who ‘invented’ the Kang Duk Won. A fellow name of Joon Byung In. He was at the crux, he learned Kung Fu, then twisted it into the style of Karate he learned.

Well, it is something to wonder about.

Anyway, I wrote down many of these exercises, put them in a book called ‘Amazing Fighting Drills.’ It is possible to get that tong bei power, which is no longer taught in any style of Karate I have seen, if one reads that book and does the drills listed in it.

The person would have to change his style of Karate, eliminate the obsession for (false) power that has become the hallmark of Karate, but it is possible.

I make no guarantees.

I put that book up for sale, and sold almost no copies.

The problem was probably in my marketing, maybe even in the title itself.

What if I had called it something like, ‘Tongbei Fighting Secrets of the Ancient Masters,’ or something else like that. Hmmm. I’ll have to think further on that.

And, if I was really good at marketing, maybe that would have helped.

I eventually took that book off the market, let it gather dust while I thought about it. Then I put in as a freebie on the course offered at KangDukWon.com.

That’s where you’ll find it. Three or four belt levels along, in the best online Karate course in the world.

This has been an article about two styles of Karate and the Tongbei Solution.

Working Both Sides of the Martial Arts

The Two Sides of the Martial Arts!

There was a famous karateka in Japan.
everybody thought he was the greatest.
One day he up and left for China.
While there,
he began studying Tai Chi,
and Pa Kua,
and all sorts of other stuff.
Now you’ve got to remember,
he was a karate master,
much looked up to,
but this Chinese stuff…
and the whispers started.

‘He betrayed Karate.
He lost his faith.
He was wrong.
How could he possibly stomach that Chinese stuff!’

Several years passed,
he returned home
went back into Karate,
and everybody forgave him.

People said things like
he saw the error of his ways.
He was just making sure Karate was the best.’
And so on.

But what could they say?
He was better than them!
And it seems like all the little people
want to pull down the big people.
Small minds.

here’s the thing,
when people actually asked him
why he went to China and studied
martial arts like Tai Chi and so on,
he said,
‘So I could understand Karate better.’

I began Karate in November of 1967.
I began Tai Chi Chuan about 1974.
Right after I got my black belt.

I started with a book,
Modified Tai Chi for Health,
by Lee Ying Arng.
Probably one of the first books ever printed in English
on Tai Chi Chuan.
Came from a publishing house in Hawaii.
Sold a few copies and moved on.
Some of you old guys might remember it.

the book was a mess.
The pictures were bad,
the motion was depicted with odd arrows
that didn’t always seem to make sense,
and the instructions were weird!
night after night,
I kept at it.

I left the Kang Duk Won,
studied Aikido.
Kept doing that darned Tai Chi book late into the night.

Funny thing,
my wife once asked me,
‘What are you doing?’
I answered honestly.
‘I don’t really know.’
And I kept going.

for years,
I was a tai chi book student,
slowly worming my way into
The Grand Ultimate Fist.

and I wrote my first article for the mags.
The article was called,
‘The Perfect Strike.’
It was in a karate mag,
it’s somewhere on the Monster now.
Want to know where I got the idea for that article?
Tai Chi.

Tai Chi concepts,
you see
were alien to Karate.
Strange things,
didn’t fit.
But I was finally figuring it out.
So I got paid a hundred bucks,
just because I was studying something
that made my karate better.

Years later I ran into a fellow
who took the time to show me real Tai Chi.
I hadn’t done badly
in my book learning.
here’s the interesting thing,
I would do Tai Chi,
and people would ask me why I was good at it.
And I said,
‘Karate helped me understand it.’

Do you understand?

Here are two arts that are almost in opposition.
They contradict each other.
They are different.
they are different only in that
they are opposite sides of the same coin.

In other words,
they are not different,
only people’s viewpoints are different.

Do you want to understand the martial arts?
Really understand them?
Then do two arts that oppose each other.
at least provide different viewpoints.
The jujitsu practitioner,
who relies on things like
force and hard leverage,
will find the doors of his art opening wide
when he studies Aikido.

both grab arts,
but one is force,
and the other is flow.

My particular path was karate and Tai Chi.
Lots of other stuff,
but those are the two that had the most impact in my universe.

Those are the two that short circuited my opinions
and gave me facts.

try it.
If you study Karate,
try some Five Army Tai Chi.
If you study Tai Chi,
try some Matrix Karate.
if you really have an aversion to Karate,
do some Shaolin Butterfly.

the old masters were not masters because they studied one art,
they were masters because they studied many arts.

Here’s the link to Tai Chi Chuan.

One other thing before I head out
for another work out…

If you go to the Monster,
look in the menu for the products page,
you’ll find some neat stuff.

every time you get a course,
or a hat or mug or whatever,
you bring me one step closer to Monkeyland,
and that brings everybody one step closer.

Talk to you later.



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.

Bak Mei Will Kill You, Dog!

Five Volume Technical History of Karate!

Funny thing, I was putting Martial Arts books up on Kindle, and I realized that I had a history going on. Here is the way the history works.

  1. Vol one Pan Gai Noon
  2. Vol two Kang Duk Won
  3. Vol three Kwon Bup
  4. Vol four Outlaw Karate
  5. Vol five Buddha Crane Karate
ruin karate

Do you know this Okinawan Karate Master?

Now, the first volume deals with martial arts in China that went to Okinawa. This is where the Bak Mei of the title of this blog comes in. He was supposed to be a renegade priest from the Shaolin Temple. Started his own style, and even killed a bunch of Shaolin priests. Supposedly. Anyway, he is big in fiction, go look at Kill Bill part two and Gordon Lui plays the nefarious Bak Mei. Or White Eyebrow, as the name translates. Anyway, this volume is not about Bak Mei, but about Pan Gai Noon, which may have come from Bak Mei.

The second volume deals with the Kang Duk Won. This is Karate as it was taught before it left for Japan. This is the style as it was taught to Funakoshi before he took it too Japan. Very interesting to see the differences, and, i have to say, this is where the internal power comes in. If I had studied Shotokan, or one of the Japanese styles that have been altered for tournaments and such I would not be able to put out a candle from a foot or so away with a punch.

The third volume deals with Kwon Bup. Kwon Bup is Karate after it came from Japan to the US. Specifically, it is the art developed by the only man in America to have ever mastered the one finger trick. The one finger trick is when you thrust your finger into a board and don’t break it, but, rather, leave a hole. True.

karate pic

Did he help Karate? Or hurt it?

The fourth volume, Outlaw Karate, is my attempt to separate the two arts of Kang Duk Won and Kwon Bup, which were taught to me at the same time, and to recombine them into a more powerful and smoother art. It is the first time I ever taught a black belt in one year, and it led me to a tremendous bunch of realizations, all of which brought me to Matrixing.

The fifth volume is called Buddha Crane Karate. It was actually bundled in with my Create Your Own Art course, as it is a perfect example of how to create your own martial art.

Now, that is the history, and a sampling of the arts it took to come up with Matrixing. I say sampling because before I came up with Matrixing I learned every form and technique from Shotokan, Isshin Ryu, Shito Ryu, Goju Ryu, and Uechi Ryu. And, I learned a lot of other forms from other styles of Karate. And I studied Aikido and Wing Chun. And  northern and southern shaolin. And many styles of tai chi chuan and pa kua chang. And I studied weapons, usually from Japan or Indonesia. And so on.

So, I did my homework, for those who think I am a dabbler, a get rich quick schemer, or some other nefarious sludge.

And, I left written records so that people could understand things about what I studied, how I studied, how I was effected, and how I actually managed to come up with some of the martial arts courses I offer.

Look, to be honest, mine is probably the largest and most comprehensive study of martial arts in history. And I say this because I was able to avail myself of things the ancients didn’t have. Magazines, books, VHS and other video formats, and, of course, computers.

Now, I have no doubt that others will be able to study more, the internet is growing after all, but I lived in unique times, when the information blossomed, but was still caught in something called ‘Closed Combat Systems,’ which means that the information of the martial arts systems hadn’t been muddied and confused by other systems, but was still in a relatively pure state.

And that’s the story behind my five volume technical (the books show forms and techniques, not a bunch of yak) History of Matrix Karate.

After one has done Matrix Karate, they should look into the history, examine the classical influences, and expand themselves.

Or, if one has no interest in matrixing, but is just eager and anxious to explore as many martial arts as possible, the five volume History of Matrix Karate is on Amazon on Kindle. don’t know where, exactly, but a little googling and you’ll find them.

Have a great day.

zen martial arts