Category Archives: uechi ryu

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.

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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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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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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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How to Defend Against Dogs with Martial Arts

Martial Arts Defense Against Killer Dogs

Is this going to be a GREAT week or what?
Eh?
I mean,
the stars are in alignment,
the tea leaves are propitious,
and,
if that isn’t enough…
you get to work out!

best karate kung fu chi training manual

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Of all them prophetic devices…
only the work out is the sure thing,
so I think I’ll work out twice!

Oinkly doggie.
Let’s leap right into the good stuff,
let’s talking about taking out attack trained,
killer vicious curs called…
guard dogs.

I was ten years old,
was cutting across a neighbors estate on my bicycle
and a big, old weimaraner
who I had known and played with,
attacked me.
Dragged me off the bicycle
and I managed to steer the falling bike
towards the property line,
and I fell into the street.
Off the property.
The guard dog,
who I had known and played with,
petted and wrestled with,
growled and snapped at me,
but was stopped by the property line.

Okay.
Guards dogs gone wild.
you know?

So I was afraid of dogs after that.
Then,
when I was eleven,
my older brother gave me his paper route.
And,
on one of the streets,
you guessed it,
a dog.
Not a guard dog,
but he would run into the street
and chase me.
I would peddle and cry.
And I asked my brother what he did about the dog.
“I kick it.”
It’s got to reach you,
so when it jumps,
I kick it.

I envisioned kicking,
even practiced it a bit,
and,
the next day,
I was delivering papers,
and,
you guessed it,
the dog comes chasing after me!

Man,
I stomped that sucker right in the face.
He yipped and ran.
And,
a half hour later,
I rode past that house again.
I was feeling a bit proud,
maybe even a bit blood thirsty,
hoping that dog would attack me again
so I could nail his face with my
Sunday go to meeting shoes.
(They were the only hard soles I had)

There were teeth on the ground!
I had actually knocked his teeth out!
HAHAHAHA!

And,
over the years,
I think about the A$$whole
who owned that dog.
Cause it’s the owner that should be kicked,
not the dog.
I’ll bet the owner thought it was funny,
his lights were on,
he let the dog out,
laughed when the paper boy ran.

Well,
he was feeding that dog mush with a spoon now!

Okay.
That sets us up.
Let’s talk about Monkeyland.

We have dogs up here.
Truth,
I LOVE dogs.
I hike all over with them.
I throw sticks.
I even swim with them!

Nothing is better than a big, old mutt
with a wet, sloppy tongue.
Nothing.

So we’ve got three dogs.
One is a hundred pound lab.
Big frigging tongue on that boy!
The other two are Mallenois.
Mother and pup.
Mallenois are like under sized german shepherds.
And,
they are highly prized as guard dogs.
My partner brought them up,
introduced the mother,
who was highly trained,
as a killer.

Well,
that’s not really what we’re about at Monkeyland,
but he’s my partner’s,
so now we have a highly trained attack dog.

Here’s the bad news.
The mother is loving,
one of the most loving dogs I have ever seen.
It is…
over loving.
Frantic.
Desparate.
You can’t go outside without the dog leaping on you,
hugging you,
trying to curl around your feet,
prostating itself and
…just wanting love.

The trainer,
you see,
has done a number on her.
Probably a good trainer.
My opinion,
however,
is that the dog will protect instinctively.
Doesn’t need to be trained to harm a human being.
In fact,
I think the training,
to harm another human being,
is a crime.
And what it has done to that poor dog…
Lord.
That poor dog is just out of its mind.

It’s always the owner,
in this case the trainer,
you know?

Anyway,
before I rant on a$$wholes who train dogs,
let’s talk about taking out a dog
that has been trained to harm human beings.

I went out on the front porch to do a work out.
Beautiful out there.
A mile of green valley and blue skies.
High, puffy clouds wafting across the sky.
A hint of breeze to cool off the work out
and let it go even longer.

Paradise,
you know?

BUT,
the dog wants love.
Is desperate for love.
And it crawls under my feet,
tries to jump on me.
So I practice my footwork,
anticipating directions,
and the dog is falling into space,
can’t keep up,
even falling down.

Hey!
This is fun!
BUT,
somewhere in there,
the attack responses are triggered.
The dog leaps at me.

Remember that dog I played with?
And who dragged me off my bike?
Man,
here it as,
all over again.

Not quite vicious,
but the line between love and hate,
usually large,
has been slipped over.
The dog leaps at me,
snapping at my wrists.
I realize that this is one of the devices
that the trainer must have used.
Play,
slap around,
get it to go lightly vicious.
A game,
you know?

But the A$$whole trainer
obviously didn’t know martial arts.

I was doing Tai Chi at the time,
the first move,
ward off.
The dog leaped,
I shuffled back slightly,
bowed my belly in,
and held my arms out,
the dog was in my space,
and I lowered my arm so that the forearm was at the neck,
turned my hips,
and threw the dog.

Man,
you have never seen such a quick and efficient throw.
That dog just flipped on its side.

It leaped at me.
I did golden rooster,
a simple knee,
and the dog bounced off the point of the knee and fell back.
Yipping!

I smiled,
cocked my head,
and held my hand out and motioned to the dog like Bruce Lee.
Come on.

The dog went for the feet.
I was wearing soft shoes,
so I merely stepped in front of my left foot with my right,
then,
when the dog was fooled,
slapped it in the head with a left sole behind the right leg.
Came right out of nowhere,
rocked that momma like there was no tomorrow.

Now,
I was being incredibly soft.
I LOVE dogs.
Even attack trained vicious guard dogs.
It’s the owner,
you know?

But I moved across that porch,
befuddling,
confounding,
confusing,
and threw that dog this way and that.
Didn’t use any force.
Just slipped and turned,
gave the dog the target,
then withdrew it.

And,
after a while,
the dog wasn’t sure what to do.
In the game it had been trained in,
it won,
got a cookie for savaging a wrist or ankle.
Got loving for biting the padded mid section.
Here,
there was no midsection.
And the ankles bit back and were gone.
And the wrists,
oh Lord,
going for the wrists
was a fool’s errand.
That always resulted in a disappearing target,
and a dog body flipped on it’s side,
and a series of Karate punches to the belly.
Soft punches.
And,
grin,
I avoided any of the Tai Chi strikes.
I didn’t want to kill the dog.

So,
that’s how you handle an attack trained
vicious,
killer guard dog.

Karate will work fine,
or any other art,
but remember that it is play here,
and that you are,
in essence,
undoing what the dog has been trained to do.
And,
remember,
it is always the owner.

The guard dog,
any dog,
is just one of God’s critters,
and we are charged with taking care of them.
Not using them against our fellow man,
beyond their natural protectiveness.

And,
it makes me think,
there are a few people I’d like to ‘de-train’
a few politicians.
Hmmm.
Maybe that’s a story for another time,
eh?

Have a great and glorious work out!
And don’t forget to pet your dog,
and play with him every day.
especially if he’s been attack trained.
Grin.

Al

Here’s the link for Matrix Tai Chi Chuan.
That’s the stuff I use,
and I recommend it HIGHLY!

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/2ba-matrix-tai-chi-chuan/

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.

Would Tayvon Martin be Dead if He Had Learned Martial Arts?

Would Tayvon be in the ground if he had learned martial arts?

Interesting question, eh? But I often wonder if learning the martial arts would make a difference in people’s lives. Tayvon, of course, is supposed to have punched George Zimmerman in the face, jumped on him when he was down, and bashed his skull against the concrete.

learn martial arts

Martial Arts Knowledge is the Key!

 


Did he? I don’t know, but the pics I have seen of Zimmerman’s head seems to indicate yes.

So, would Tayvon Martin have jumped George if he knew Karate, or Kung Fu? Probably not. Kids get their anxieties taken care of on the mat, they don’t take them to the street. This is not a guarantee, of course, merely an opinion.

The other side of this question is whether George Zimmerman would have shot Tayvon Martin dead if he knew Kenpo or Taekwondo, or something like that?

Again, opinion, but probably not. He would have been more alert, would have kept more distance. Heck, if Tayvon did do the jumping, he would have seent he look in George’s eyes that he was ready.

There is one thing that happens in the martial arts, in a Karate dojo or a kung fu kwoon, and that is a look that comes into the eyes. ‘I know about fighting, so I don’t want to fight.’

Bad guys see this. And if Tayvon was the bad guy, then he would have passed on george and moved on to other prey.

Well, it is all conjecture at this point, except for one thing. The practice and discipline, the respect and mental health that come from a study of the martial arts is real, and kids everywhere learn lessons that George Zimmerman and Tayvon Martin never learned.

learned martial arts

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