Tag Archives: jujitsu

Excellent but Brutal African Fighting System!

Newsletter 856

Armor in the Martial Arts

Happy afternoon!
and happy work out!

Did you know!
Karate burns 705 calories?
That puts it above circuit training, jogging, running, bicycling,
and a whole bunch of other stuff!

Why do old martial artists get fat?
Because they stand around and teach
and don’t actually train.

Interesting fact, eh?

Let’s talk about armor.

I was just reading an article on Dambe.
Dambe is a martial art developed in Africa by butchers.
Butchers?
Zowie.
I kept reading.
The art uses the lead hand,
which is wrapped in tightly knotted cord.
And,
the fighter’s favorite leg is wrapped in thick chain.

No grab arts,
just a club hand,
swung like a club,
and a foot that if you kick it
your skin flays,
and if it kicks you,
you’ve seen the butcher.

I’ve always liked tales of armor.
On the esoteric side there is the ‘Golden Bell.’
This is a Chinese concept,
you work the body
until it is like iron,
until you are impervious to even bullets.
Unfortunately,
it didn’t work out too well
during the boxer rebellion.

Then there is good old knight’s armor.
That might resist a bullet,
might not.
But it worked against a heavy sword,
if you were lucky
and light on your feet.
Hard to be light on your feet
while wearing 50 pounds of steel.

If you want to resist a bullet,
I just saw a news story on a cop
that lived because he was wearing body armor.
Yikes.
Now you can practice shooting your students…
and make a nasty profit selling kevlar.

Okay,
let’s get to the nitty gritty.

When I was training
we learned how to take a punch.
We did this by practicing forms
so we learned to breath right.

Then we practiced techniques
using that right breathing
and punched each other.

This lead to the ability
during freestyle
to take a punch.

It took a while to learn.
But there were guys in my school
who could take full kicks to the groin.

I never tried that,
Mrs. Case’s son wasn’t up to that.

But,
it can be done.

Unfortunately,
I rarely see anybody practicing stuff like that.
Mostly they want to fight.

I always know when a school doesn’t work on how to take a punch,
during freestyle,
somebody will hit somebody in the belly,
and the person who has been hit falls down,
can’t breath.

Two ways to handle this,
though,
again,
I never see anybody doing this.

Have them lie on their back,
grab their belt
and lift hard.

The theory is that the muscles have been paralyzed by the strike,
and this makes them work again.

The other way is just to grab them under the arms around the body,
and lift.
Again,
this stretches paralyzed muscles.

It’s a pity,
the secret of how to take a punch is in forms,
but so many people don’t want to learn,
they just want to fight.

Knowing a few freestyle tricks
does not encompass the knowledge
that is the martial arts.

Hey!
Thanks to those who have purchased the book
The Science of Matrixing in the martial arts.
It’s on Amazon.

And,
for those who want to learn how to take a punch the right way,
Check out the Temple Karate

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

It’s got the original martial arts forms
we used to learn this incredibly valuable ability.

Have an awesome work out!
Al

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

http://www.amazon.com/Binary-Matrixing-Martial-Arts-Case/dp/1515149501/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1437625109&sr=8-1&keywords=binary+matrixing

go to and subscribe to this newsletter:
https://alcase.wordpress.com

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so this is the best way to ensure you get them.

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

Things To Know About the Samurai Sword

When Is a Curved Sword a Straight Line?

I’m working on a new book.
How to Matrix the Samurai Sword.
Should be ready in a week or so.
It requires odd graphics on my poser program,
so it might take a wee bit longer,
but,
a couple of weeks is still my guess.

karate movie star

Real men use swords!


 

In my software program,
the hard thing is making a samurai sword.
I could go buy a jpeg,
but I hate getting things that way.
I’m on a budget,
you know?
And then I would still have a rough time turning it in 3d.

So what I do is take a line,
and make it into a pole,
and use the pole for the sword.
The hard thing is moving the pole around
and not having it shape shift on me.
Graphics are not my strong point.
But,
that said,
let me tell you something about graphics.

First,
I have delved into every software program in the last 25 years,
looking for ways to represent the martial arts.
One of the funnest,
but most tiresome,
was just drawing stick figures
with an appleworks program.
I wrote a whole book,
drawing hundreds of stick figures,
all the forms and self defenses,
and it was bizarre,
and it was cool.
And that was only one of the weird things I did,
in the weird world of graphics.

Second,
working on all these programs,
writing all these books,
enlightened me as to one simple fact.
Fortunately,
I figured this out early,
and it made my researching and searching all the easier.
Here is that one simple fact:

Every weapon is a straight line.
Now,
the first thought,
when considering this,
is that it isn’t true.
A samurai sword is curved,
and what about a chain?
Or a sickle?
Or a bullet that drops to the ground because of gravity?

But,
a samurai sword is a straight line that is bent.
A nunchuk is a straight line with a hinge in it.
A bullet falling to earth is a straight line being bent by gravity.
And so on.

I know,
sounds like a quibbling point,
doesn’t it?
But consider what is behind the weapon.
A human being.
Consider how a human being thinks when trying to destroy.
A straight line through the object to be destroyed.
So every weapon follows the thought of the human being wielding it,
every weapon then becomes a straight line at heart.

A sword slashed in a circle.
I am at the center of the circle,
extending a straight line,
and turning.

A bomb.
There must be a trajectory,
a straight line
(often acted upon to create this illusion called a curve),
and when the bomb explodes…
it is straight lines in all directions.

Now,
I don’t discredit other geometries.
But I consider them secondary, and made of straight lines.
A circle can always be cut into smaller and smaller segments,
until it is nothing but straight lines betweens points on the circle.

Weird, eh?

Now,
if you disagree with me,
that’s okay.
You see,
that’s what works for me.
And if you decide to believe that the universe is nothing but circles,
and you can make that work to make your martial art work,
how can I argue?

But let me tell you the real thing behind me telling you all this:

to make people think.

Most people have never considered the structure of a weapon,
let alone the geometry of the weapon,
except in the most cursory
monkey see monkey do manner.

But now you are thinking.

Straight line?
Circle?

And that difference will lead you into deeper considerations
of how to use a weapon.

Okay,
that said,
let me explain something about this new book
that is a coming.

Back in 1976
my father died,
and the house went into legal entanglements,
and I had to live there for a year
while the thing got settled.
And,
I was out of work.
The company I was at was under investigation
for using certain cancer causing chemicals.

I tell you,
it is weird to be working next to somebody
who is apparently in great health,
young and full of it,
and have them fall off a ladder,
and be dead the next week
because of some kind of cancer that works in a week.

So,
I was out of work,
living rent free,
got a little social security,
and…
what was I to do?

I decided to learn the sword.
I had haunted the movie houses around the area,
from San Francisco to San Jose,
seen all the one armed swordsman movies,
all the baby carriage movies,
all the things that that people
who only saw Bruce Lee
missed.

So I went to Chinatown and bought a sword.
It was a cheap piece of stuff,
but it did for me.
I began drawing the sword,
and cutting,
and thrusting,
and had friggin’ clue at all
as to what I was doing.
I tell you,
you would have laughed.

But,
I had a solid base in Karate,
and I understood the value of basics,
and the foundation of matrixing was in my mind,
so,
after a couple of months,
things weren’t looking so bad.
Then I came across the suburitos,
and things changed.
The suburitos (spelling?) are a series of basic exercises,
and I started matrixing them,
making long lists of potential techniques,
considering them against other weapons and methods
(straight line v circle?)
and just looking for the logic of it all.
And then I started coming up with foot patterns,
and principles that guided me into complex moves,
and,
by the end of a year,
I knew the sword.

Oddly,
it wasn’t that tough.
Matrixing, you know,
but the main thing was you had to forget a lot of other martial arts,
and let the shape of the sword guide you.

To state it Neutronically:

The secret of the sword
is in understanding the exact notion
that constructed the weapon.

Yes.

Okay,
this has all been interesting stuff,
unless,
of course,
you have no interest in weapons.
But if you do,
I would suggest checking out Blinding Steel.
Get the knowledge of ALL weapons,
and get ready for the extreme specialization
of the samurai sword.

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/3a-blinding-steel-matrixing-weapons/

I don’t care if it is a pencil in your hand,
or a ten foot long can opener,
when you learn blinding steel,
you learn the truth about extensions of yourself.

Now,
have a great week,
and a great bunch of work outs,
and get ready for Hanakwanmass.

Oh,
you don’t know what hanakwanmass?
Well,
stay tuned,
I’ll tell you next newsletter.

Al

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/3a-blinding-steel-matrixing-weapons/

Karate Improves Chances of Survival in a Real Fight!

Karate Will Help You Survive a Real Fight!

I came across these statistics about being in a real fight the other day, and they are pretty interesting.

First, 80% of all real fights had a clear winner. This is interesting because it means that four out of five real fights were taken to the point where one person was incapacitated. This means that people should be studying martial arts which are effective. Tournaments are fine, and one has to learn how to do kumite, but one also has to understand how real a confrontation can get.

real fight

Karate may be the correct answer to this type of attack!

 

10% were broken up and 5% were outright draws. This means that once a real fight starts, it’s not likely that somebody is going to come and save you.

Second, 10% ended up on the ground. Well, there goes the big hype for MMA and Jujitsu and the argument that combatants are likely to end up on the ground. This means that one would be better served by learning a stand up martial art like Karate or Kung Fu.

10% of real fighting started with a punch. But that means that 90% started with…a push? A weapon? something else? But not a kick, as we will see below. Again, the need for combat oriented karate or something that is specific to punching distance, yet adaptable to other types of attacks.

80% of first punches were with the right hand. And, follow this statistic up with the fact that 95% of the right hand punches were to the head. So you have to prepare for a right punch to the face.

And, finally, only 10% of the fights had a kick in them. This statistic deals out Taekwondo.

Now, I have made a few remarks about the statistics here, and I should probably offer some sort of explanation so that there is no misunderstanding. So here’s the conclusion:

A fight can start with anything, but they don’t usually go to the ground, and they don’t contain much in the way of kicks. Thus, you need some knowledge of grappling and kicking, but not a lot. There is grappling and kicking in Karate, but not to the exclusion of other distances or ranges.

These are the statistics of a real fight, not the rare atmosphere of the cage, or a tournament, or any other organized sort of match, and since the average person will get in three fights in his life, it behooves Joe Average to start a study of Karate. I say Karate because it deals with kicks, does have some ground work, but is heavy on fists and blocking punches. Makes it perfect for a street altercation.

Probably the fastest and most efficient way to become competent enough to survive real fighting, be it on the street or anywhere, is at Learn Karate Online. You can get some Free Karate Lessons starting here.

A Real Church of Martial Arts!

Monkeyland…Here We Come!

Great Day in Paradise!
Monkeyland may be as little as two weeks away.
Man,
that’s worth a dozen work outs!
So here is the URL so you can take a look at this gem in the wilderness.

http://churchofmartialarts.com/the-church/

Give the page time to load,
there’s a couple of large pictures.
And make sure you hit the FB LIKE button at the top of the page!

church of martial arts

The Church of Martial Arts!


Now,
let’s talk about Monkeyland.
Let’s talk about how it got started,
how it developed,
and how it is going to progress.

First, I wrote a book,
and it is called Monkeyland,
and the tagline is…
‘Another word for Freedom!’

It is a story of war and corruption and disaster and man’s inhumanity to man.
Yet,
after five books,
there is a sublime message,
one that forgives the thought of war
if we can only understand ourselves,
transform ourselves…
mankind has hope.

And,
I kept working out,
developing matrixing,
nibbling into Neutronics,
and I started thinking about a real Monkeyland.

A place where people were free to be themselves,
without the regulations and intrusions of government,
without the interference and distractions of evil people.
A place where the martial arts could flourish,
and people could experience what the true martial art was like.
A place where people could be free.

And I used to sit and wonder,
How the heck was I supposed to pull this off?
How could I make this happen?
And I mentioned Monkeyland in the newsletter.

Frank was one of the first people I ever taught matrixing to.
Back about 1984 we locked ourselves in the dojo
and worked out until he was a black belt.
Frank read the newsletter,
and he had his own bad case of good dreams.
He wanted a place where, among other things,
he could escape the grind of a society going bad,
where GMO could be defeated,
where solid stock, animal and human both,
could be raised.
And our dreams were going in the same direction.

It took a couple of years, some very intense negotiating,
a bunch of hoops to jump through,
but within a couple of weeks we will be on the land.
Monkeyland.
A ranch free from the contaminations of society.
A Church where people can be encouraged to plumb their depths,
find the true art that is within themselves,
is their inherent nature,
just waiting to come to the surface.

Of course,
there is going to be an immense amount of work,
but,
we are in the right time,
and the right place.

Did you know that people actually love to work?
The country only gets depressed when people aren’t working.

Did you know that people love to solve problems?
With a government telling them no,
with a society of political correctness,
where you have to ask permission to pee in ocean,
people are miserable.

But set them free,
tell them to build something,
tell them that nobody is going to stop them,
and you have paradise each and every single day.

Did you know that some people love the martial arts?
Yes, it’s true,
the brighter and more industrious members of mankind all LOVE the martial arts.

What better gift to the best on earth
than to give them a place where they can let loose their talents,
change the path of mankind,
elevate ALL martial arts!

So,
more to come,
I’ll probably have to set aside a separate section of the newsletter
just to deal with the happenings at Monkeyland.

But,
remember this…
if you are a true martial artist,
if you want to find the truth of yourself,
and if you are willing to work your fingers to the bone,
then you have a bed up here.

Within the month I should have some sort of plans started
to enable visits and instruction and even some possible live in arrangements.

But,
let me say this right now,
study your matrixing.
When you come to visit,
the first thing we’ll do is check out your matrixing.

If you can do your Matrix Karate,
right out of the box,
then we won’t have to spend time teaching you things you should already know,
and we can get right into the deeper teachings.

So here’s the URL for Matrix Karate…

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

And in a future newsletter
I’ll lay out the complete sequence of study.
But for now,
remember,
it all starts with Matrixing.
Matrixing led me to Monkeyland,
and it’s going to bring you here, too.

Now,
thanks to all,
and special thanks to Frank,
and I’ll be talking to you later.
Have a great work out!

Al

Martial Arts Testing and Belts and Rank and All that Stuff…

The Truth About Martial arts Testing and Fees!

I recently came across the most interesting discussion concerning Martial Arts testing for belts. It was interesting because it was well thought out, concerned, and because I disagreed with most of what was said.

Sometimes I will make a comment, but in this case I am prompted to tell the truth about Martial Arts testing. What makes this particularly juicy is that the people involved in this discussion were nibbling at the edges of what I did a lo-o-ong time ago, and which is more in keeping with the true spirit of the martial arts.

real fighting

Is Karate the answer to this type of attack?



Originally there were no belts, which doesn’t mean there were no ranks.

Gichin Funakoshi introduced belts which, I believe, came from the a method used by swimming teams.

The first two belt ranks were white and black. This expanded to white, green, brown and black.

Some fifty years ago ranks and belts exploded. Ed Parker and Kenpo Karate led the way with a rainbow of colors. Taekwondo expanded the colors even further.

Now, this is the way it happened, but, there is an incredibly valuable piece of data missing.

I began studies with Kenpo, and was introduced to the belt system, and found it valuable in encouraging people to study.

Isn’t it interesting that people have to be encouraged to study?

But, when I went to the Kang Duk Won, I wasn’t encouraged to study. We had four basic belts, white, green, brown and black, further delineated by stripes, and nobody much cared.

Simply, people who cared about flashy belts left the school, and only the faithful, the ones who didn’t need to be encouraged to study, were left.

Nowadays people treat the martial arts like a business, structure everything around sales and promotion, and the belt is held up as the goal.

Fact: the belt means nothing.

Fact: knowledge means everything.

But these two facts seem to have become twisted, and the belt means everything, and knowledge means nothing.

I didn’t understand my Kang Duk Won instructors thoughts concerning belts, and I didn’t care. I was one of the faithful. I worked out till I bled, and there was no middle ground. There was no entertainment, and freestyle while recognized as a game, was treated like life or death.

Not to beat somebody else up, but to hone your own skills.

Interestingly, this type of freestyle brought one to mushin no shin (mind of no mind), which is an intuitive method, and it was a science, and it was TOTALLY combat effective. When people say their art is not combative effective, or not useful on the street, I know they didn’t study the real art, but rather an art that entertains children.

When I became an instructor I awarded rank according to forms and techniques learned.

As I progressed I realized the inadequacy of that, and I stopped giving out belts. For years I gave no martial arts tests, simply gave a person a black belt when he had the knowledge.

This thing of knowledge is quite interesting.

The number of forms learned, of techniques done, has no relationship to martial arts knowledge.

And I could ascertain the depth of knowledge a person had by simply looking at him.

Just to mention a couple of the actual criteria:
how deeply does a person ‘screw’ himself into the ground when doing his forms and techniques.
Or, what level of intuition has the student progressed to.

And there are other criteria, all coming from the removal of the student from his body.

I know, sounds crazy, but the awareness that is a human being becomes removed from his body through the method of doing the martial arts forms and techniques correctly.

Emphasis on ‘correctly,’ as it requires an experience of physics beyond the normal ‘fist in the face’ ‘apple falls on the head’ physics. This is an entirely different set of physics which I have seen only a few dozen people demonstrate, and none of whom actually understood.

Now, fees. I charge little, if at all. The rationale here is: how can I charge somebody for what he already knows? What he already paid for, and not just in money, but in sweat and blood?

Yet I had one fellow come to me and said he was required to pay $800, plus plane fare to Japan, plus lodgings and meals and all, to take a martial arts test.

For what?

Three old guys would sit behind a table and watch him demonstrate for an hour, then pass or fail with NO comment on why he was passing or failing!

Obviously, these guys loved themselves…and wanted his money. And they called themselves masters.

Anyway, as time went on I got back into giving not belts, but checklists, and then I would just work people to the bone, making sure they screwed themselves into the ground during form and technique, that they reached intuitive levels of freestyle, and other things.

And, eventually, I made these checklists public, selling them as courses, and here an interesting thing happened. Knowledge became able to be transcribed on paper.

Yes, the student still has to work, and those students in it for the entertainment or the belt and so on will have problems.

But a student who actually reads the courses, does the courses, gets the knowledge.

And they usually stop needing to be entertained and become the faithful.

This became an immense and tremendous boon to ANYBODY who possesses these courses.

It eliminated guesswork. It gave workable knowledge.

It enabled the true art to be passed on even if the instructor didn’t have all the knowledge, as it passed on the knowledge to all involved.

Then I come across discussions on how to test.

Man, there are hundreds of theories out there, but all passed on being able to monkey see monkey do a form, and none having to do with the perception of knowledge, of how to actually increase the students awareness.

So I say this: stop entertaining. Get brutal. Search for knowledge and not belts. Award rank for knowledge and not memorized skits.

This is the only way to the true art, and it is the way martial arts testing should be.

Here is a page that will tell you how to find out your true rank without Martial Arts testing.

Martial Arts Testing and Belts and Ranks and All that Stuff…

The Truth About Martial arts Testing and Fees!

I recently came across the most interesting discussion concerning Martial Arts testing for belts. It was interesting because it was well thought out, concerned, and because I disagreed with most of what was said.

Sometimes I will make a comment, but in this case I am prompted to tell the truth about Martial Arts testing. What makes this particularly juicy is that the people involved in this discussion were nibbling at the edges of what I did a lo-o-ong time ago, and which is more in keeping with the true spirit of the martial arts.

real fighting

Is Karate the answer to this type of attack?



Originally there were no belts, which doesn’t mean there were no ranks.

Gichin Funakoshi introduced belts which, I believe, came from the a method used by swimming teams.

The first two belt ranks were white and black. This expanded to white, green, brown and black.

Some fifty years ago ranks and belts exploded. Ed Parker and Kenpo Karate led the way with a rainbow of colors. Taekwondo expanded the colors even further.

Now, this is the way it happened, but, there is an incredibly valuable piece of data missing.

I began studies with Kenpo, and was introduced to the belt system, and found it valuable in encouraging people to study.

Isn’t it interesting that people have to be encouraged to study?

But, when I went to the Kang Duk Won, I wasn’t encouraged to study. We had four basic belts, white, green, brown and black, further delineated by stripes, and nobody much cared.

Simply, people who cared about flashy belts left the school, and only the faithful, the ones who didn’t need to be encouraged to study, were left.

Nowadays people treat the martial arts like a business, structure everything around sales and promotion, and the belt is held up as the goal.

Fact: the belt means nothing.

Fact: knowledge means everything.

But these two facts seem to have become twisted, and the belt means everything, and knowledge means nothing.

I didn’t understand my Kang Duk Won instructors thoughts concerning belts, and I didn’t care. I was one of the faithful. I worked out till I bled, and there was no middle ground. There was no entertainment, and freestyle while recognized as a game, was treated like life or death.

Not to beat somebody else up, but to hone your own skills.

Interestingly, this type of freestyle brought one to mushin no shin (mind of no mind), which is an intuitive method, and it was a science, and it was TOTALLY combat effective. When people say their art is not combative effective, or not useful on the street, I know they didn’t study the real art, but rather an art that entertains children.

When I became an instructor I awarded rank according to forms and techniques learned.

As I progressed I realized the inadequacy of that, and I stopped giving out belts. For years I gave no martial arts tests, simply gave a person a black belt when he had the knowledge.

This thing of knowledge is quite interesting.

The number of forms learned, of techniques done, has no relationship to martial arts knowledge.

And I could ascertain the depth of knowledge a person had by simply looking at him.

Just to mention a couple of the actual criteria:
how deeply does a person ‘screw’ himself into the ground when doing his forms and techniques.
Or, what level of intuition has the student progressed to.

And there are other criteria, all coming from the removal of the student from his body.

I know, sounds crazy, but the awareness that is a human being becomes removed from his body through the method of doing the martial arts forms and techniques correctly.

Emphasis on ‘correctly,’ as it requires an experience of physics beyond the normal ‘fist in the face’ ‘apple falls on the head’ physics. This is an entirely different set of physics which I have seen only a few dozen people demonstrate, and none of whom actually understood.

Now, fees. I charge little, if at all. The rationale here is: how can I charge somebody for what he already knows? What he already paid for, and not just in money, but in sweat and blood?

Yet I had one fellow come to me and said he was required to pay $800, plus plane fare to Japan, plus lodgings and meals and all, to take a martial arts test.

For what?

Three old guys would sit behind a table and watch him demonstrate for an hour, then pass or fail with NO comment on why he was passing or failing!

Obviously, these guys loved themselves…and wanted his money. And they called themselves masters.

Anyway, as time went on I got back into giving not belts, but checklists, and then I would just work people to the bone, making sure they screwed themselves into the ground during form and technique, that they reached intuitive levels of freestyle, and other things.

And, eventually, I made these checklists public, selling them as courses, and here an interesting thing happened. Knowledge became able to be transcribed on paper.

Yes, the student still has to work, and those students in it for the entertainment or the belt and so on will have problems.

But a student who actually reads the courses, does the courses, gets the knowledge.

And they usually stop needing to be entertained and become the faithful.

This became an immense and tremendous boon to ANYBODY who possesses these courses.

It eliminated guesswork. It gave workable knowledge.

It enabled the true art to be passed on even if the instructor didn’t have all the knowledge, as it passed on the knowledge to all involved.

Then I come across discussions on how to test.

Man, there are hundreds of theories out there, but all passed on being able to monkey see monkey do a form, and none having to do with the perception of knowledge, of how to actually increase the students awareness.

So I say this: stop entertaining. Get brutal. Search for knowledge and not belts. Award rank for knowledge and not memorized skits.

This is the only way to the true art, and it is the way martial arts testing should be.

Here is a page that will tell you how to find out your true rank without Martial Arts testing.

Martial Arts Testing and Belts and Rank and All that Stuff…

The Truth About Martial arts Testing and Fees!

I recently came across the most interesting discussion concerning Martial Arts testing for belts. It was interesting because it was well thought out, concerned, and because I disagreed with most of what was said.

Sometimes I will make a comment, but in this case I am prompted to tell the truth about Martial Arts testing. What makes this particularly juicy is that the people involved in this discussion were nibbling at the edges of what I did a lo-o-ong time ago, and which is more in keeping with the true spirit of the martial arts.

real fighting

Is Karate the answer to this type of attack?



Originally there were no belts, which doesn’t mean there were no ranks.

Gichin Funakoshi introduced belts which, I believe, came from the a method used by swimming teams.

The first two belt ranks were white and black. This expanded to white, green, brown and black.

Some fifty years ago ranks and belts exploded. Ed Parker and Kenpo Karate led the way with a rainbow of colors. Taekwondo expanded the colors even further.

Now, this is the way it happened, but, there is an incredibly valuable piece of data missing.

I began studies with Kenpo, and was introduced to the belt system, and found it valuable in encouraging people to study.

Isn’t it interesting that people have to be encouraged to study?

But, when I went to the Kang Duk Won, I wasn’t encouraged to study. We had four basic belts, white, green, brown and black, further delineated by stripes, and nobody much cared.

Simply, people who cared about flashy belts left the school, and only the faithful, the ones who didn’t need to be encouraged to study, were left.

Nowadays people treat the martial arts like a business, structure everything around sales and promotion, and the belt is held up as the goal.

Fact: the belt means nothing.

Fact: knowledge means everything.

But these two facts seem to have become twisted, and the belt means everything, and knowledge means nothing.

I didn’t understand my Kang Duk Won instructors thoughts concerning belts, and I didn’t care. I was one of the faithful. I worked out till I bled, and there was no middle ground. There was no entertainment, and freestyle while recognized as a game, was treated like life or death.

Not to beat somebody else up, but to hone your own skills.

Interestingly, this type of freestyle brought one to mushin no shin (mind of no mind), which is an intuitive method, and it was a science, and it was TOTALLY combat effective. When people say their art is not combative effective, or not useful on the street, I know they didn’t study the real art, but rather an art that entertains children.

When I became an instructor I awarded rank according to forms and techniques learned.

As I progressed I realized the inadequacy of that, and I stopped giving out belts. For years I gave no martial arts tests, simply gave a person a black belt when he had the knowledge.

This thing of knowledge is quite interesting.

The number of forms learned, of techniques done, has no relationship to martial arts knowledge.

And I could ascertain the depth of knowledge a person had by simply looking at him.

Just to mention a couple of the actual criteria:
how deeply does a person ‘screw’ himself into the ground when doing his forms and techniques.
Or, what level of intuition has the student progressed to.

And there are other criteria, all coming from the removal of the student from his body.

I know, sounds crazy, but the awareness that is a human being becomes removed from his body through the method of doing the martial arts forms and techniques correctly.

Emphasis on ‘correctly,’ as it requires an experience of physics beyond the normal ‘fist in the face’ ‘apple falls on the head’ physics. This is an entirely different set of physics which I have seen only a few dozen people demonstrate, and none of whom actually understood.

Now, fees. I charge little, if at all. The rationale here is: how can I charge somebody for what he already knows? What he already paid for, and not just in money, but in sweat and blood?

Yet I had one fellow come to me and said he was required to pay $800, plus plane fare to Japan, plus lodgings and meals and all, to take a martial arts test.

For what?

Three old guys would sit behind a table and watch him demonstrate for an hour, then pass or fail with NO comment on why he was passing or failing!

Obviously, these guys loved themselves…and wanted his money. And they called themselves masters.

Anyway, as time went on I got back into giving not belts, but checklists, and then I would just work people to the bone, making sure they screwed themselves into the ground during form and technique, that they reached intuitive levels of freestyle, and other things.

And, eventually, I made these checklists public, selling them as courses, and here an interesting thing happened. Knowledge became able to be transcribed on paper.

Yes, the student still has to work, and those students in it for the entertainment or the belt and so on will have problems.

But a student who actually reads the courses, does the courses, gets the knowledge.

And they usually stop needing to be entertained and become the faithful.

This became an immense and tremendous boon to ANYBODY who possesses these courses.

It eliminated guesswork. It gave workable knowledge.

It enabled the true art to be passed on even if the instructor didn’t have all the knowledge, as it passed on the knowledge to all involved.

Then I come across discussions on how to test.

Man, there are hundreds of theories out there, but all passed on being able to monkey see monkey do a form, and none having to do with the perception of knowledge, of how to actually increase the students awareness.

So I say this: stop entertaining. Get brutal. Search for knowledge and not belts. Award rank for knowledge and not memorized skits.

This is the only way to the true art, and it is the way martial arts testing should be.

Here is a page that will tell you how to find out your true rank without Martial Arts testing.