Category Archives: kung fu

An ‘Energy Free’ Karate Punch

Newsletter 820 ~ Sign up now!

Arthritis and a Martial Arts Punch!

“It’s not how hard you can hit,
it’s how much weight you can deliver.”
Al Case

I just received a great letter,
a fellow name of Damian,
said Yogata helped his arthritis,
and he talked about how
he sometimes had trouble with a fist because of arthritis.

yoga martial arts style

Click on the cover!

I recommend Yogata,
or any form of yoga,
but I really want to talk about punches,
which may impact on concepts about arthritis.

Arthritis is an interesting condition,
doctors sometimes lump everything
under the term arthritis,
and there are a lot of causes
behind arthritis.
It’s all sort of generic,
but generic with a bite.

So here’s the thing:
injury leads to inflammation.
The body is swelling.
Sometimes the swelling is obvious,
sometimes not,
but the pain,
or lack of usability,
is real.

Many, many years ago
I realized I wasn’t a breaking kind of guy.
My instructor was,
many people are,
there is something seductive
about Power,
and power is often associated with breaking things.

But I figured out that it’s not how hard you hit,
it’s how much weight you can transfer into the opponent.
So I thought about it,
and I realized something:

“you don’t have to tighten the fist.”

This is weird,
we all tighten the fist,
and it is important…for beginners.

Tightening the fist upon impact
teaches focus,
introduces one to concepts of power,
but,
at a certain point,
you don’t need to tighten the fist.
Here’s something to think about”

take a stick and poke it into a watermelon.

Did the stick get ‘tight?’
No.
It just had to be aligned,
and it required a certain amount of ‘quick’ weight.
Although,
when you think about it,
you could puncture a watermelon with a stick
using ‘slow’ weight.

So I started working on the idea
of poking the bones of my arm/fist
through an opponent’s body
without tightening the fist.

Having the idea of puncturing the body
in my mind.

It worked.
No fanfare,
no big deal,
just relax,
align the bones,
feed a little energy into the structure
to keep everything in line,
relax and throw the body.

Worked like a charm.

And…
I started holding thumbtacks in my fist
and breaking things.

And…
here is the kicker,
the more I relaxed,
the better I was able to thrust my
thumbtack holding bones
through an object.

There’s all sorts of things to think about here.
My favorite is this:

if you threw 20 pounds at somebody it would hurt.
(especially if that 20 pounds
had 200 pounds of body behind it)

So when you tighten the arm,
when you focus the fist,
the tightening of the muscles actually holds the strike back.

That’s very zen,
very tai chi,
very true.

BUT,
don’t stop practicing with a tight fist,
you need a certain degree of focus to develop internal power.
And hitting with just the bones,
as I describe here,
is not the only strike,
and focusing the energy is VERY important.

In fact,
I would say that it would be VERY difficult
to learn how to strike with a relaxed fist
if one doesn’t first gain an understanding
of how to focus the energy with a tight fist.

Anyway,
those are my thoughts,
and I want to thank Damian for making me think,
and sharing his win with me.

If you have arthritis,
or ANY condition,
there are ways to keep training.
You just have to relax your thinking,
look around,
and find what works.

And you can find what works
in Yogata,
http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/yogata-the-yoga-kata/

in The Punch
http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/hard-punch/

and if you think I’m just talking,
check out the video on this page…
http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/4c-matrixing-chi-power/

Take care…and
have a great work out!

Al

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/4c-matrixing-chi-power/

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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

Zen Promised Fights of Karate

Newsletter 805
To Promise a Fight

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https://alcase.wordpress.com

Gorgeous day.
Absolutely gorgeous.
And that means it is an absolutely gorgeous day for a work out.
So get going!

Was teaching this morning.
We were doing Promised Fights,
and my partner was grimacing,
and finally backed off.
“Ow,” he said.
And we got into a long discussion.
Heck,
he was hurting,
I had to let him recover,
give him some data,
and then hurt him some more.
Right?

First,
I started out with the old
‘Do it a form a thousand times and you know it.
Do it ten thousand times and you’ve mastered it.’
My student did exactly the right thing,
he said,
‘So if I do it 20 times a day,
then in fifty days…’
“Yep,” I said.
“You could know it.
You could be expert in 2 months.
But you have to do it right.
You have to understand the alignment,
how the feet work and why,
and you have to know the Promised Fights…
otherwise you could do it forever and not know it.”

Second,
we went into proper body alignment,
which is covered on the Master Instructor Course,
and how the feet must align properly,
and how the particular form we were doing had to be done
to make this all work.
I ended up saying,
“align your body,
make it a single unit,
then he won’t hit your body parts,
he will hit a single, integrated unit,
and it won’t hurt you.
Energy flows through a body that is a single unit,
it doesn’t flow through body parts used in individual fashion.
This is especially important in a Promised Fight.”

And,
came the look I had been waiting for.
I had been using the term Promised Fight,
and I knew he would eventually ask about it.

“What is a Promised Fight?”

A Promised Fight,
or a Promise Fight,
is a piece of the form applied.
A form Application.
It is a self defense movement.
It is bunkai.
It is the working part of the form.
But,
it is more.
In fact,
if a person doesn’t understand what I am about to tell you,
he/she is not doing karate.
They are just fighting themselves.

I asked my instructor what a Promised Fight was,
and he said,
‘The Promise of a Fight.’
And,
while the study of PFs gave great abilities,
and the answer he gave me was correct,
it was terribly incomplete.

To understand what a Promised Fight is
I need you to look up the word ‘Postulate.’

Look it up for yourself,
get all the nuances,
where it came from,
and all that,
but for this newsletter,
the short and inadequate version is this:

suggest or assume the existence, fact, or truth of (something) as a basis for reasoning, discussion, or belief

Assume existence,
put forth the truth,
as a basis for belief.

If you understand the hint here,
you should be diving for a big old Oxford Dictionary,
wanting to know why a simple karate move
becomes the basis for truth in this universe.

So let me break it down a bit,
from the viewpoint of 50 years of training.

A postulate is a thought,
which if worked on,
becomes true.

Worked on,
as continually done in a work out.

As in a piece of the form,
practiced again and again and again.

Now,
let me back up a bit,
a form is a circuit,
a pattern of moves that you practice and practice
until you just do it without thinking about it.
You strengthen the body,
you remember the applications,
you get light and quick,
and all those sorts of things.

When you do a piece of the form,
over and over and over,
you condense the circuit,
and you get rid of thought,
and suddenly there is nothing but the move.
Somebody punches,
and you don’t exist,
you just track the incoming,
and the Promise Fight,
the postulate of moves,
pops out of you.
And it works.
You punch him,
and he falls down.
And he doesn’t understand what hit him.
But here is the truth of it all…
a thought hit him.
A Postulate of thought hit him.
A Promise Fight,
clean and simple,
without distractive thoughts,
hit him.
And there is nothing purer in this universe.

Now,
I am always so busy trying to get people to understand,
offering all sorts of methods,
that i sometimes forget to go into this factor.
BUT,
in Matrix Karate there is the Matrix of blocks.
These are like mini-Promise Fights.
Very important to get these,
to understand them,
it is important to learn the small PFs
before you get to the big ones.
The big ones are on Temple Karate.
There isn’t talk of a matrix there,
because it is assumed you have done the groundwork of Matrixing first.
And the form applications are VERY pure Promised Fights.
They REALLY result in a zen frame of mind,
and the ability to hit somebody with a thought.

If you get Temple Karate
and you haven’t done Matrix Karate,
then you are taking the long route.
It will take you years,
and as distractions mount,
you can be knocked off the path
and never get there.

So you should do Matrix Karate,
work on the Matrix of Blocks,
make inroads and discover what a PF is.
And,
you can always take the pieces of the form,
they are pretty obvious,
and work on them to make real Promised Fights.

Then you do Temple Karate,
get into the classical forms,
and really go to town on the Promised Fights.

Matrix Karate is pretty simple,
it presents the movements that are pure karate,
no distractions from other arts.
It aligns you,
and sets you up for the broader moves of Temple Karate.
It is a real Closed Combat System.
You can do it by itself,
or you can do it,
then move into the classical,
and see what kinds of things
the old guys who came before us were into.
Temple Karate is a larger assortment of tricks,
it broadens the education,
and digs you to new depths.

Anyway,
that is the story on Promised Fights.
Dig ‘em…they are the real zen of Martial Arts.

Here’s the link for Temple,
if you have already done Matrix Karate.
You can just go to MonsterMartialArts and find Matrix Karate,
it is one of the first arts presented on the home page.

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

Now,
have a great work out,
and schedule yourself for twenty times a day,
and send me your wins in two months.

Have a great work out!

Al

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

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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

Book Just Published on Jeet Kune Do!

Jeet Kune Do Training Manual!

The name of the book is ‘Bruce Lee, Jeet Kune Do, and Neutronics.’

Written by Al Case, a martial artist with near fifty years experience in the martial arts, this book takes an outside viewpoint of Bruce Lee, and his martial art (Jeet Kune Do).

jeet kune do training manual

Click on the cover!

Bruce Lee is often considered, specifically as to what drove him to his martial arts theories. The main focus of the book, however, is to compare and contrast Jeet Kune Do to the more classical martial arts, specifically, the author’s art of Karate.

This is a hard core book. While it is respectful, it is obvious that the author holds Mr. Lee in high esteem, there are some very hard questions asked concerning the formation of JKD, and the real purpose of the art.

It is also an intelligent book, going into Matrixing Technology, which is the first and only science of the martial arts, and Neutronic philosophy. The author claims that because JKD is an advanced martial art only advanced methods of thought can be used to analyze it.

Which is to say that if you are Beeavis or Butthead, you may want to avoid this tome. It won’t teach you Jeet Kune Do, and it may hurt your head to actually start thinking about it.

Mr. Case has, as said, near 50 years martial arts experience. He began Kenpo Karate in 1967, quickly became an instructor, and went on to study virtually every martial art that came down the pike during the Golden Age of Martial Arts. He became a writer for the magazines in 1981, and had his own column in Inside Karate. Thus, Mr. Case doesn’t enter the picture as a newbie, but an experienced fighter and writer. His compare and contrast with JKD should provide the most enlightened student with much thought.

Bruce Lee, Jeet Kune Do, and Neutronics, will be released and on Amazon within the week, and students interested in the paperback version should do a search on Amazon probably by the last week of April 2015.

Students who would like to save $5 and purchase the instant download of the book should go to FreeBruceLee.com.

http://freebrucelee.com/martial-arts/new-book-on-bruce-lee/

Bruce Lee and Ed Parker Revealed as Villains!

I always take delight in pointing out that people like Ed Parker and Bruce Lee were bad people in the martial arts. People always get upset with me and even want to bodyslam me and teach me a lesson. Then, when I tell them what is really what, they can’t do anything but mumble a lot.

bruce lee martial artEd Parker apparently never made it to Black Belt in the system taught by Thunderbolt Chow. Heck, halfway through teaching his students, he had to go home to Hawaii because he ran out of material and needed more. And, Chow told him no.

So he made up his own martial arts, hired a kung fu fellow to help make up new patterns and techniques, redid his system (five times), and so on. The result was that he was giving out high degree black belts, hosting tournaments, inspire the starting of whole chains of schools, and some people hold that he was really only a brown belt. And the whole world was fooled into accepting him as the grand poobah of Chinese American Kenpo, and hardly anybody but a dedicated Kenpo practitioner knows where it all came from.

And if you think Ed Parker did some bad things, wait until you consider Bruce Lee! Bruce ‘The Little Dragon’ Lee apparently didn’t finish his Wing Chun training. He was apparently involved in the street gangs of his native country and his parents finally had enough of his bad ways and sent him to cool off in the United States! In the United States, though he hadn’t completed his Ving Tsun training under Yip Man, he started teaching that martial art to whoever wanted to learn.

Not knowing the whole wing chun system, he began bolstering it up with studies in boxing, fencing, and 24 other martial arts. Yes, he was a sponge, but he was teaching Kung Fu outside his community, betraying his race (according to some), and teaching stuff that went beyond the classical martial arts. He was teaching a wild eclectic Jeet Kune Do system that went far beyond the classical forms training of the time.

The end result of all this was a fight where nobody won (Wong Jack Man), and then he throws it all away to try and make it in Tinsel Town! Is that the mark of a dedicated martial arts innovator? Or is that some unbalanced wannabe giving it all up for fame and money?

Now, it is time for this writer to fess up. Most of you readers know what I am doing anyway. I am engaging in a little yellow journalism for sarcastic sake.

Ed Parker, Bruce Lee, and other true innovators studied sufficient in the classical martial arts to know what it was, then they chose, for their own reasons, their own directions. They then did better than their teachers, and expanded the field of the martial arts to the benefit of all. Yes, Bruce Lee and Ed Parker were treasonous bad guys, as are all true artists, as need to be anybody who wants to go beyond same old same old training methods and delve into the true martial arts.

Want to be a founder in the martial arts? Want to develop your own art and discover the truth that Bruce Lee and Ed Parker uncovered? Head on over to Monster Martial Arts.

The Zen Simplicity of Martial Arts

To Be or Not to Be in the Martial Arts

To the beginner the martial arts, and this includes Karate, Kung Fu, Aikido, Tai Chi Chuan, and all other martial disciplines, can be less than simple. There is simply an overwhelm of information, a ‘disgruntlement’ of the mind at the massive influx of new materials.

kenpo meditation book

Click on the cover!

The simple truth, however, is that the truth is simple.

Why these subjects, be they karate or jujitsu or whatever, would not be simple, once once absorbed, is merely the result of engaging the mind to try and describe what is ‘not mind.’

For instance, in the beginning one must wade through instructions concerning physics, anatomy, history, philosophy, and so on. This is made more complex as different arts propose different structure and on many levels, and then often disagree.

The harmony of Aikido is similar to the absorption of Tai Chi Chuan, but there is sufficient difference to argue the terminology.

The striking methods of Wing Chun and boxing, though at heart still just a strike, can be argued ad infinitum.

But in the end, proven by simple and direct experience, a human being is constructed of flesh (body), mind (memories), and spirit (awareness). Thus, all physics, which is the heart of all sciences, can be rendered to a fine simplicity.

The fact is that the discipline of the martial arts focuses on doing to the exclusion of the mind, and thus is achieved enlightenment. Enlightenment is considered, from the unique viewpoint of an accomplished martial arts discipline, to be aware of the self as awareness.

And, yes, the above statement, so simple, is the summation that can be applied on any and all levels of all martial arts.

To do a single act, a kata or technique, a kick or throw, until there is no thought (no interference from the mind), and is intuitive, opens the door to enlightenment.

For once one looks at a fist approaching the face in terms of simple survival, one will begin to look at the approach of the universe in the same way.

Not an overwhelm of factors to be adjusted through eternal tweakings of computations, but a simple ‘Is it going to hit me or not.’

Followed by a simple, ‘Do I block or get out of the way.’

Not complex at all.

The unfortunate truth, however, is that man insists on his own significance in the universe by creating endless paradigm for his actions.

Thus we have reasons of physics, disagreements of anatomy, descriptions of philosophy, and all filtered through the various misunderstandings inherent in unaccomplished and divergent martial arts.

And these are all justifications for one’s existence.

‘To be or not to be,’ placed in endless loop.

But the simple truth is if one practices the discipline, and this of widely varied arts such as Karate or Aikido,Tai Chi Chuan or Kenpo, then one is engaged in ignoring the mind; one is functioning in an emptiness of reason and a purity of awareness.

Survival blots out psychological ramifications, and puts an end to philosophical meanderings – and justifications – of the awareness trying to look at itself, but so very unable.

To sum, it is not all the reasons, but the source of reason, the ‘I am,’ that is responsible for conundrum, and the resolution therewith.

The easiest way to cut through the fog of the martial arts, to ignore the mind and to find the truth of the self, is through the logic of matrixing. To matrix the martial arts is to rid the art of silly significance, and to place all the elements and pieces in the correct and easily assimilate-able order.

Matrixing can be found at MonsterMartialArts.com. Further juxtapositions of martial arts philosophy, real as opposed to the justifications of students mired in the endless mirrors of their own minds, can be read at ChurchofMartialArts.com.

Five Steps to a Perfect Martial Arts Kiai!

Making your Kiai a real ‘Spirit Shout!’

All too often people describe it as a “spirit yell”, but this only scratches the surface, and it is a horrible translation. If we look at the word in kanji, you will see that it is made up 2 characters.  The first is Ki ( ? ), this is the character for energy, whether you call it chi, qi, or prana.  The second is Ai ( ? ) meaning harmony. Some of you may notice something here, those are the same 2 character as Aikido ( ??? ) but in a different order.  Thus “fighting yell” doesn’t enter into a proper translation.

So, a kiai, isn’t a fighting scream, but rather any sound that brings your energy into harmony with the situation.  Nobody ever talks about it anymore but this could be a sob, a laugh, a sigh, or scream to bring all your force to bear in a fight.

Kang-Duk-Won-side-ad
Since nobody ever has to explain how to laugh or cry, let us turn our attention to the application of “bringing the force to bear in a fight” or spirit yell.

If you visit enough other places you will no doubt see people, saying the word “kiai” or “kiup” (the Korean pronunciation) with no more enthusiasm than a yawn.  This is useless, utterly useless.

Kenpo says there are 5 reasons to do a Kiai

1. make sure you are breathing when you are executing a technique
2. distract your opponent
3. attract attention
4. tighten your muscles, thus protecting your body.
5. bring power to your technique.

Numbers 2, 3, and 5 will not work AT ALL if you are wimpy and quiet.

When you watch the old martial arts movies, you don’t see people giving a kiai, like a child who is in trouble being asked to confess.  It is loud, bold and proud.

More than once  people tell me “it is embarrassing to scream”, to which my response is “SO WHAT!  If I have to defend myself, I will give a kiai, and if the bad guy laughs at me, I don’t care.  Regardless how they respond, whether it is shock, laughter, or they turn to run, that is going to give me my opening”.

Did Bruce Lee care about what people thought? No!  He said (paraphrasing here) “every technique should have a life of its own, part of that is giving it a unique sound.”  This is why he was making sounds, that even other martial artists thought, were weird.

A good kiai comes from the Dan Tien (Tanden), if it helps, think of it as coming from the diaphragm. In theater, they call this “projecting” so the people in the nosebleed seats can hear you.  To go along with what Bruce said, it can be any sound, but “kiai” is not an Onomatopoeia, so please don’t use that as your sound.  Even the 1970s corny movie “hi-ya” is less annoying than “kiai”.

My Sensei says “if a Kiai is done correctly, you don’t go horse”.  This is true, but if you aren’t doing a proper kiai now, it will likely take a bit of practice to figure out how to be all “heavy metal concert” on it, without hurting your voice.

Here is a REALLY good article about what it means to bow in the martial arts.

Is it Possible to have Perfect Martial Arts?

Chess and the First Move in the Martial Arts

I recently wrote on article on ‘Beyond Western Muscles and the Martial Arts,’ and in that article I mentioned an idea I had come across many years ago: that in a perfect chess game white will win for the simple reason that it moved first.

This has obvious implications in the martial arts. Two combatants edging towards each other, the perfect gunfight, searching for that threshold of distance wherein they can strike first and without getting struck.

Some people didn’t agree with this. I thought it a simple matter of extrapolating Einstein’s theory of relativity, and the resulting corollaries in subatomic physics, but, alas, I guess I was not…the first to move.

Then I had an interesting email wherein the fellow said that if two tai chi masters fight, the one who moves first will always lose.

Lord! Now I didn’t know what to think!

Except (aha!), if one understands that the perfect state of consciousness (awareness) is to consider oneself the center of the universe, and that everything revolves around oneself, and that there is no proof that anything (or entity) exists, except as is created by the being at the center of the universe.

This theory holds up to the concept that at the center of all motion is motionlessness. This theory finally achieves the concept of perfection in the martial arts, and in the whole universe!

In this realm thought ceases to be motion, and becomes the ultimate no motion.

Which brings us to the grand conclusion.

If one doesn’t move first, then one will win. This fulfills the highest goals of the the martial arts, defines the highest attributes of an individual, and results in the cessation of all wars for an everlasting reign of peace on earth.

After, of course, one puts a big juicy, raw steak on his eyeball.

If you want perfection in your fighting abilities you have to matrix your martial arts. Go to Monster Martial Arts and find out what Matrixing is.

If you like martial arts humor you should check out the Case Histories column at Monster Martial Arts.