Category Archives: shito ryu

Zen Promised Fights of Karate

Newsletter 805
To Promise a Fight

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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.
he was hurting,
I had to let him recover,
give him some data,
and then hurt him some more.

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.”

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.”

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.
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.’
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.

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.

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.
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.
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.

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.

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!


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Winning Martial Arts!

Newsletter 803
Make Your Day with a Martial Arts Win!

Great Afternoon!

I was teaching this morning,
and it is almost impossible to describe
how wonderful one feels
after sharing the martial arts.


I thought I’d share a win.
I get wins all the time,
and if I’m a little busy,
so what…
I can still share a win,

Before I do,
google is figuring out
how to send newsletters into Spam folders.
So put me in your contacts,
or just go to
and sign up.
The newsletters always end up there.

here comes a win from Jason W.

I’ve trained on two continents officially hold 1 black belt, and unofficially am that level in 2 others. I am currently working through the purple belt level in your Kang Duk Won course. I have to say that the workout is as tough as anything I did in Hapkido, but I am slowly getting there. The KDW material is filling in all the holes I had in my training. It’s really amazing how much stuff the instructors leave out or don’t even know. About a year ago I was at the place where you started in developing matrixing. I was looking for ways to bridge all my training into a logical system apart from the individual styles. I am lucky I found your site. I saved myself about 40 years of headaches! Just keep up the good work.

Thanks, Jason.
I appreciate kind words,
I love your win.

Jason is doing the course at

I wrote it in attempt
to keep alive all the material
I learned at the original Kang Duk Won.

have a win,
and share the arts,
and if you have a win,
send it in.

If you want to beat the blues,
read the wins.

Okley donkley,

you guys have a GREAT work out,
and I’ll talk to you later.


And don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter at

Gichin Funakoshi and Martial Perfection

Newsletter 794
Perfection in the Martial Arts

Gichin Funakoshi talked about seeking perfection in the martial arts.
He also wrote a poem.
The two come together in a most interesting way.
Here’s the poem.

To search for the old is to understand the new.
The old, the new
This is a matter of time.
In all things man must have a clear mind.
The Way:
Who will pass it on straight and well?

So here’s some stuff to think about…

What is ‘The Way?’
The way is a method.
it is the method of the martial arts.
Done correctly,
it leads to a lessening of distractive thoughts,
and the ability to focus one’s spirit.
all too often the method changes
according to the whim of the teacher.

The key is in the words ‘straight and well.’

If you look up the word ‘perfection,’
you will find references to being free of flaw.
Free of flaw means scientifically true.
The problem is that nobody knows how to use the body in a ‘true’ fashion.

I remember being in the sixth grade,
looking at medical charts,
trying to figure out the best way to place the foot
so I could run faster.
Analyzing the arch as a spring,
and pondering how best to activate the spring.
Tracing the muscles on the legs,
trying to figure out which way to turn the legs
so that the muscles were best utilized.

I took this same method of analyzing with me into the martial arts.

This isn’t some branch of kinetics,
for kinetics studies the body without considering ‘chi.’
This isn’t western science,
though it is quite empirical.

The funny thing is that in the end
I came up with a simple method,
one that takes mere moments to understand,
and to utilize,
and one can utilize this method throughout the forms.
This illuminates the forms,
and makes them perfect.

So perfection is attainable.

the good news,
I describe and show the method in
The Master Instructor course.
I even show the seven specific ways of breaking this method down
for the individual parts of the body.

So perfection of art is possible,

Real simple stuff.
But nobody has ever written it down anywhere.
But here’s the thing.

If you walk with your feet turned out,
or inwards,
you wear the heels of your shoes in odd patterns.
Maybe the inside of the heel wears down,
rendering the shoe useless long before it is due to wear out.
Maybe the outside.
What you have to understand is that this wearing effect occurs
on the inside of the body, too.

Have you come across martial arts masters
who have knee replacements?
Or hip replacements?
Or worn out shoulders?
Or other malfunctioning body parts?
This is because they were doing the martial arts
without understanding the correct way to use the body.
All the western ‘kinetics’ they study,
doesn’t do a bit of good if you haven’t analyzed how the foot places,
how the muscles are arranged.
And people can actually tear their bodies apart.

The Master Instructor Course fixes this.

you start using the body in the right way,
according to the seven things I tell you about the body and using chi.
You start using less energy,
and having more impact.
This is true economy of motion.
the body starts working like a well oiled machine,
you start aging slower,
your skin stays clearer,
you have full range of motion,
full strength,
you just resist aging in the most delightful way.

Some martial artists have stumbled upon this,
and they age well,
but they don’t understand why.
They simply used their body in the correct manner
without understanding or analyzing why.
even though they had the truth,
they were not able to teach the way…
straight and true.
The way Gichin,
and others,
wish it to be taught.

You either want the true art,
or you don’t.
Sup to you.

Here’s the link for the Master Instructor Course.

check it out,
think about whether what I say makes sense,
and then take a mont back guaranteed chance.

Have a great work out!

In the Best Karate Training Drills the Eyes Have It

Best Karate Training Focuses the Eyes

In the best Karate Training drills one should look their opponent in the eyes. This is a very interesting and powerful aspect to Karate training, so let me give you some data about it.

First, I have had a lot of people, during karate drills, ask me where they should look. The common answer that I have found over the years, and this is from Karate school to Taekwondo school to whatever Martial Arts school (style) you are studying, is that you should ‘unfocus’ your eyes on the chest. Look at the center of the body and become aware of all the stuff on the outside.

best karate training

You can’t fight what you can’t face!


This actually isn’t bad instruction, you want to see everything, but it stops forward progress for the martial artist at a certain point.

The real advice, if you want to experience the best karate training drills, is to look at the eyes.

The eyes are the windows to a man’s soul; look at the eyes long enough…and you can actually see what a man is thinking.

Look at the body, and you stop looking at the mind, and the martial art becomes a thing of reaction, or, at the very least, slow progress.

So you look at the eyes, train hard, do your forms for discipline, and eventually you will actually pick up on the very thought of the opponent.

Tell me this doesn’t give an incredible edge in combat…to know what an opponent is thinking!

Anyway, the point is this: you can’t fight what you can’t face.

And, as you progress, if you don’t look to the eyes, attempt to see the thought behind the action, then you wo’t make the jump from fighting to handling.

You see, in the real martial arts you learn to fight so you can give up fighting.

You don’t look at an opponent and fight him, you predict what he is going to do by reading his thoughts, and then making moves that undo him rather than harm him.

Can anybody spell the word ‘harmony?’

Only idiots fight all their lives. Smart martial arts students, people who want to experience the best karate training drills, watch the eyes and learn to read the mind.

And, eventually, they experience harmony, and greater control.

Opponents become as children, and as easily handled.

And that is why, when it comes to the best karate training drills, the eyes have it.

Check out this great article on Aikido style throws. Or, you could take a look at this course presenting a more combat Aikido style.

The Truth About Martial Arts Belt Ranking

Martial Arts Belt Ranking Made Understandable!

Martial Arts Belt Ranking does tend to be a little…strange. There are so many colored belts, what does a black belt mean, what is a master, and so on. In this article i will tell you where belt ranks came from, and what they actually mean.

Martial Arts Belt Ranking came from Japan, where it was originally used in swimming classes.

blind justice

Martial Arts like Karate and Judo picked up on them because it made it easier to arrange the karate class, or judo class, and teach it.

Before then people would join a martial arts school and there were junior students and senior students, and the point was to get your Teaching certificate.

Some people didn’t want to go that far, but the serious students did. After all, why do something half way? And, of course, a person who knew enough to teach would certain have sufficient self defense skills to protect himself.

In 1967 I joined a Kenpo Karate school, and the belt ranks were eight to Black Belt, and then eight after one had achieved Dan ranking, which is what a Black Belt is.

The colors were: white, orange, purple, blue, green, three stages of brown, and black. Black belts usually just put a tip, or a strip of white on the end of the belt for each advanced dan ranking.

Later, 1969, I jointed a classical school, and here was where I experienced martial arts belt ranking as it was meant to be. Sort of.

There were three belt ranks to Black Belt. These were white, green, and brown. But, to be honest, these had been subdivided into an eight and eight system.

The theory (one of the more predominant theories, I should say), was that one started as a white belt, like an unwritten piece of paper. Then one experienced the green of spring, became worn, like autumn, and finally entered winter.

This was an interesting sort of mythos. There was a logic to it, and it did describe the growing process, sort of.

But, what I noticed as the years rolled by was this: Martial Arts belt ranking doesn’t matter to people who have been in the martial arts for a while.

Yes, they are important, if only to spur the beginning student on. And, one should take pride in an achievement. It takes a lot of work, a lot of stick-to-ivity, to progress through the martial arts belt ranking systems.

But the real measure here is whether a person makes it to teacher.

Why do things half way, eh?

And that is the truth about Martial Arts belt ranking.

Here’s a great article on reality martial arts belt ranking. You can get started on Learning Martial Arts right here.

How to have Chi Gung Power by the Barrelful!

Chi Gung power That Works!

Chi Gung power is very easy to develop in the martial arts, but it also has a tendency to be subtle. You sometimes have it, chi hung power sometimes has built up within you, but you are unaware of it. Here’s a quick primer on exactly how to build Chi Gung power. No matter if you do Karate or taekwondo or Aikido or Tai Chi Chuan, this method will work. Heck, it is nothing but a logical examination of the classical methods for building chi gung power.

First, make sure you are rooted solidly to the earth. We call this grounding in Matrix Martial Arts. The point is to focus your attention downwards in such a manner that even if somebody pushes on you (into your stance, not sideways across your stance) you can just relax and direct the energy through your body and into the ground.

chi gung power

Second, Turn the body into the martial arts movement. This can be confusing if it is necessary that a body part go in opposition to the forward motion. But the idea is to move as many body parts as possible, and at the same time, into the martial arts movement. The term for this is CBM, which means Coordinated Body Motion. This is the key, and should be put into every move you do. No matter whether you do a Karate kata, kung fu form, Taekwondo pattern, you should analyze the motion of your body for CBM.

Third, move the body into the block or strike. This is to thrust or lunge the entire weight into whatever you are doing.

Now, there is a percentage thing that must be taken into account when you do martial arts moves with these three things. How much percentage do you put into the sinking of the weight, how much into the rotation or thrust? You’ve got to figure it out for every single move in your martial arts forms and techniques.

Now, here is the glory, these three things will create Chi Gung power by themselves. But, when you put all three together, when you work this concept called CBM, Coordinated Body Motion, into your technique, and combine all three concepts, then you are going to have HUMUNGOUS amounts of chi hung power start to build. Guaranteed, it will drip off your hands, glow from your body, and permeate the very air about you.

People, when you do this Chi Gung practice for any extent of time, will start to see that you are a brighter, happier person, and they will respond to the chi hung glow coming off you. They may not even see it, but they will respond to it.

But the real joy, as far as this martial artist is concerned, is that your Martial Arts will glow like the dickens. Your Martial Arts will become filled with Chi Gung power that will make your techniques hard to beat!

Here’s a great piece of writing called Chi Energy Defined. You can also look at the book  on generating Qigong Power, it is called Matrixing Chi and it is at Monster Martial Arts.

How to Lose Reaction Time When You Do Kung Fu

Reaction time, when you do kung fu, is a fascinating monster. I say monster because it is the one thing people have that they should get rid of. It is one thing that can get you killed faster than a bomb in the diapers.

Reaction time is reaction, which means that it is something occurring after something else has happened. Do you understand what this means? If you possess reaction time, you are moving second and behind whoever is launching a punch at your face.

Now you are forced to move, and this because of the attacker’s move, rather than in keeping with what you want to do. That means you are the target, and you must get out of the way, build a good block, or whatever. It means you are not doing what you want to do.

The easiest way to understand this situation is if there is attacker A on the A spot. And a defender B on the B spot. And a third spot, maybe off to the left, which we will label spot C.

The time it takes A to move to B, B can move to C. But B MUST move at the same time. If B moves after A, then he is going to get clocked.

And, if B moves because of something he learned in a class, or because of an exercise, or because of anything else, then it is like he is moving yesterday. B must watch A ‘in this moment,’ and he must move as he wishes and not because of what A wishes. This is the only way for B to actually live to fight another day.

There is, oddly enough, how A sees this situation, and of actually being able to hit somebody. If you have seen how many misses there are in the mixed Martial Arts fights, then you will understand what I am saying. Simply, A is punching to where B is, but B is no longer in that spot.

In other words, for A to actually strike his opponent, he must strike not to where B is, because B is going to move, and spot B is where he used to be. And he must not attempt to change mid strike, for that will destroy his base and take power out of the strike. The trick is merely to understand and analyze the one sentence: in the time A attempts to move to B, B can move to C.

In summation, let me say that many people talk about timing and slipping strikes and that sort of thing, but they usually don’t really understand the equation I have given you here. To understand this equation-in the time A moves to B, B moves to C-you should write it out, along with every fight situation you can imagine, on a piece of paper. No matter what martial art you study, Kenpo, Kung Fu, Aikido, or whatever, this piece of data will enable you to shorten and even get rid of your reaction time, and elevate your martial art to a much higher level.