Tag Archives: kenpo karate

Clever Little Trick to Master Karate

Newsletter 943

Defeating the Linearity of Karate

I was watching videos
of people doing karate on the internet.
This included demo teams,
old masters,
and whoever,
and I was struck
by wrong they are doing karate,
by how they didn’t really know karate.

The funny thing is
karate is one of the most powerful arts I know,
yet everybody is doing it wrong.
Let me give you one example.

Watch a video on youtube,
watch a demo team for karate.
They are fast, powerful, explosive.
It is not good karate.
Why?
Because their arms and legs move back and forth
in a linear manner,
stopping and starting.
Real karate is liquid,
it does not stop and start.
At the end of every movement there is a circle,
often too small to be easily seen.
this circle avoids the stopping and starting of the muscles.
It takes effort and muscular exertion
to stop and start muscle motion.
When you have a small circle
somewhere in the end of the motion,
which leads into the beginning of the next motion,
you are doing real karate.

Now,
those who don’t understand will argue,
that is okay,
they will remember
and eventually come around.
For those of you who are frowning,
standing up and checking to see
if you have a little loop on the end of a punch or block
(both ends)
the truth is dawning.
Karate is not linear.
It is not a rigid piston effect,
it is a looping,
neverending effect.
And,
what do you get out of it?

The loop helps change one move into the next
the loop saves energy and is more efficient
it is faster
your body becomes more liquid,
more fluid,
you start to develop ‘pulsing power.’
Pulsing power is when you…
push with the legs
turn the hips
throw the punch.
Not exactly together,
but one…two…three,
so fast that the punch becomes one motion,
each action lending power and energy to the next action,
and yet becoming more and more fluid.

Now,
I read of this concept originally
while reading books on Chinese martial arts.
And,
I observed my instructor,
who was quick and whippy,
fluid like a striking snake.
And I read about a more fluid karate in Shotokai
(not shotokan)
which is supposed to be the style
funakoshi handed down his lineage to.

And I thought about it,
and developed it,
and came to realize the truth of it.
So take your time,
practice your forms,
and search for places where you can
add a loop at the end of a technique.
Maybe it is in the motion of the hand,
maybe it’s a turn of the hip,
a sink of the hip,
and flip of the shoulder.
Whatever it is,
you’re now on the path to true karate.

And,
all these guys doing wrong karate?
They are phenomenal,
not to be disrespected,
but it is a simple matter of physics
that reveal them to be expert beginners,
even master beginners,
who haven’t made the transition past beginner,
into the real thing.

When I teach karate to newbies
I usually let them work on the piston effect.
But when they are starting to remember everything,
I shift them to the looping effect.

Now,
I don’t talk about the whiplike effect much,
I instead recommend people do Matrix Karate,
but if you have matrix karate under your belt,
you could look at Temple Karate.
I do more advanced forms there,
and you can probably,
if you have a quick eye,
see how I add the teensiest of loops
to make my karate fluid.

But your eye has to be quick,
because the longer you train,
the smaller your loops become
until no one can see your loops.

Have a great work out!
Al

Matrix Karate

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

Temple Karate

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

Following is a great win that shows one thing…you aren’t going to get the answers, you are going to get the questions, the questions that lead you to understanding your own martial art. Do you have the kind of mind that can do this?

A WIN!

I picked up Matrix Karate from you; and I definitely get it.  My area of study is Kajukenbo; and based on watching the Matrix Karate DVD last night, I am reasonably sure that matrixing Kajukenbo would be very straight forward.  Time consuming, yes, difficult no.  I think it would be best to break Kajukenbo into its 7 arts (Karate, Judo, Jiujitsu, Kenpo, Boxing, Kung Fu, and Escrima), and matrix each of those.  My questions are: do you think that is the right approach? Is there a particular order you think these should be taught in? Do you teach each matrix’d art to completion, then move to the next? And, how does sport karate fit in?  And finally; for the traditional forms, would those be one entire section? Or would you recommend splitting them into each sub-section of the art?

Gordon Liu and the Mad Monkey Punch!

Newsletter 860

Gordon Liu, Cal Worthington, and the Most Powerful Punch in ALL the Martial Arts

Let’s talk about perfection in your work outs.

I’m pretty lucky.

I grew up through the so called 

golden age of martial arts.

Though,

truth,

I think the golden age is just over the hill,

we’re on the cusp of great things,

things that the ancient masters would eat their hearts out for.

So,

in this golden age of martial arts

were some wild ass chop sockies.

Chop sockies are the name we’ve given kung movies

of the seventies and eighties.

Special effects consisted of trampoline kicks,

and the most terrible acting imaginable.

But for a country that had no martial arts

this was the holy grail.

Gordon Liu was the ringleader 

of this massive influx of kung fu.

‘Thirty-six Chambers of Death,’

you know?

And,

one night I was watching late TV.

During the eighties

late night was supported by Cal Worthington.

Stick with me now,
I’m going to take a little trip…

Cal Worthington sold cars on late night TV.

He would put a tiger on the hood of a car

and call it his dog ‘spot.’

One day I needed to buy a car,

so I headed over to Cal Worthington’s place,

kids and wife in tow.

Now Cal had a song that played on TV.

The song went…

‘Go see Cal, Go see Cal, Go see Cal!’

And I didn’t know that my two boys couldn’t understand the song,

and had replaced Cal’s lyrics with their own.

So we hoped out of the car

a bunch of sales men were leaning against a nearby car,

and one of my boys went up to them

and asked if this was really where Cal Worthington  lived.

The salesman smiled and said yes.

My boys immediately launched into their own version of the Cal song.

‘Pussy Cal, Pussy Cal, Pussy Cal!

Needless to say,

the salesman were lying on the ground and holding their guts.

They couldn’t stop laughing.

I tried to get one to stop laughing.

I said, ‘We need a car.’

Between laughs he said, ‘I don’t care!’

And the laughter started up again.

Okay,

that was a long way to go,

but here’s the thing,

amongst those bad, old movies that Cal supported

was a little gem called, ‘Mad Monkey Kung Fu.’

At three in the morning,

one summer night,

I was watching that thing,

and the hero gets his ass kicked,

and he is training in this weird stuff called Monkey Kung Fu,

and suddenly I see the training gimmick.

He hits with his outstretched fingers,

then, without retracting his hand,

he goes forward with his knuckles,

then, without retracting his hand,

he goes forward with his fist.

I looked at that.

I started going around the house,

hitting walls, doors, anything that was a surface.

Fingers, knuckles, fist…

Fingers, knuckles, fist…

Fingers, knuckles, fist…

And,

I knew it was a movie gimmick.

I knew it was bogus,

but I couldn’t stop practicing it.

Fingers, knuckles, fist…

And,

over the course of months

I tweaked that sucker into different forms,

explored different timings,

and things started to happen.

When I began kenpo,

back in 1967,

I used to hang a piece of cardboard,

and strike it with a backfist.

Eventually,

I was able to make hole on the cardboard,
but I stopped because there was no place to go.
I make a hole and…so what?

What was the next step?

Then,
years later,
I found the Mad Monkey Punch,

and this obsession gripped me again,

‘and over the months I began to put holes in things.
cardboard,
pieces of drywall,
whatever.

Now,

everything is connected in this universe.

somebody touches your little toe,

and even the hairs on your head feel it.

When I started practicing the Mad Monkey Punch

I was already at the point
where I could make holes in cardboard with a backlist,

and I could do push ups on two straight fingers.

And, I had done  a ton of Tai Chi,

Tai where I shifted the body back and forth,

causing weight to go back and forth,

causing a feeling of energy going back and forth,

like water in a  bathtub,

as it were,

and I suddenly began putting that into a fist.

Here is the equation:
Kenpo snapping backfist.

Push ups on two perfectly straight fingers.

The Mad Monkey Punch.

Tai Chi sloshing around inside my karate body.

equals

a fist that can penetrate the body.

There are three depths when striking,

strike the skin,

hitting as hard as you can,

but leaving no pain.

strike the muscle,

causing bruise.

strike the bone

causing the bones to shiver and break.

I sometimes am teaching people,

and when I want to make a point,

I strike for the bone.

The students INSTANTLY crumple up.

They jump back and rub their shoulder,

and wonder how the heck an old man can hit so hard.

I don’t hit so that the body is flung back,

in fact,

I hit and the body doesn’t go anywhere,

it is just revulsed from the introduction of total body invalidation,
invalidation that the student can feel
from the little toe
to the hairs on his head..

Sometimes you can see me do this kind of punch on videos,

but not often.

I’ll have to shoot a video on it,
showcase it for you.

it really is easy,

but it took a long time to develop,

especially since I didn’t know what I was doing.

And I really didn’t know what I was doing,

but it was like I was caught in a current,

and bouncing off significant rocks,

until an idea or two formed in my head.

Connections.

Everything in the universe is totally connected,

but it takes awareness to see it.

The martial arts grow that awareness,

but you have to have patience,

and a wee bit of faith.

Anyway,

I hope I have inspired a few of you

to explore some of these things,

snapping backfists
totally straight two finger push ups,

mad monkey punches

tai chi until you are sloshing bathtub of energy.

Or maybe something I’ve said

has connected with something you already know,

or caused a spark to happen,

or something.

You know,

if you wish to know what I know,

to tap into my 50 years of martial arts obsessing,

it’s all in the videos and books.

Try this one…

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/hard-punch/

That’s a book written on punching.

A whole book,

listing ALL the exact methods I used,

how I figured out the sequence of energies,

to make a perfect punch,

and the exact drills I did.

Actually,

there’s three books bundled here,

read about the other two at the bottom of this page.

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/hard-punch/

Thanks for being martial artists,

and have a great work out!

Al

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/hard-punch/

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

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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