Tag Archives: kenpo

Martial Arts, lonely or friendly…

Newsletter 871

An Interesting Thought Matrix…

Happy every day to you!
The work out you do today will be special.
Gonna really rock.
Now get started!

Got an interesting email the other day,
Michael S. had this nifty way of looking at things…

I was talking to a friend earlier and it got me thinking about a couple of things. I wanted to pass along what I came up with and see what you thought.

Basically, my idea is that techniques have three main categories in relation to each other.

If we say your good friend Joe Blow has a strong jab, you might teach him a cross. Those techniques are friendly, meaning they work together in a very natural way.

Then you teach him a kick so he’ll be able to play that range too. This kick is complementary, meaning it isn’t exactly friendly with the jab but it serves to round Joe out.

Then he goes home and gets on to Youtube and decides to pick up a kimura. He doesn’t know much about grappling, he hasn’t learned any takedowns. The kimura is lonely. A lonely technique is one that needs friends to be really effective and doesn’t have them. If Joe goes down to the local BJJ school and starts learning the basics then that kimura is going to have lots of friends.

It goes without saying that this isn’t some kind of weird dig at BJJ (I know you’ll pick that up but I want to add some clarity in case this email gets shared). If a dedicated Judoka picks up a superman punch one day, then it’s the same situation. He’ll have to develop his striking base before that punch gets to ever really be effective.

One other thing I’d like to clear up about this paradigm is that some techniques can be alone but not necessarily lonely. These will tend to be straightforward basic techniques. As a matter of course, the techniques most likely to be lonely are advanced or complex moves when someone does not have a good grasp of the basics.

And of course, have a great workout.

I like the idea of grouping techniques
as friendly and lonely.
It makes science more user friendly.

Thanks Michael.

Okay,
thanks for all the orders for the
Professional Martial Arts Instructor.

Remember, if you are out of states,
meaning foreign or even Canada,
you need to order the PDF.
Postage out of the 48 kills me.

And,
here’s an interesting little phenomena…
Paypal insists on charging shipping for PDFs.
I have talked myself blue in the face,
but they make no sense.

Here’s their insanity.
I put 0 in the shipping and handling box.
They charge $4.
I complain,
they say I have to change ALL my buttons
to fix one.
What?
Are they crazy?
Why doesn’t $0 work?
They just keep repeating their insanity.
It’s a variation of
saying the same thing and hoping for a different answer.

So,
people are getting charged $4 extra on PDF orders.
Regular book is okay,
I’ve shifted to Amazon for that.
But,
I am now trying different things for the PDF,
and may be looking for a different company.
The problem is I would have to start on changing
hundreds of buttons.
Grrr.

So,
my apology.
I will try charging one penny,
if that doesn’t work,
I will try something else.

Just thought i’d let you know what is going on.

And,
I’m working on book two of the series.
Give me a month,
should have something big and great coming along.

Okay,
for those willing to confront
the PayPal insanity, (grin)
here’s the link

http://www.martialartsinstructortraining.com

Again, thanks Michael,
and thanks to everybody for helping me.

Have a great work out!

Al

http://www.martialartsinstructortraining.com

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

Remember,

Google doesn’t like newsletters,

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

The Secret of the One Year Black Belt Re-issued!

Outlaw Karate Gets a Face Lift!

‘Outlaw Karate: The Secret of the One Year Black Belt,’ was one of the first books on Matrixing. Actually, it was written before matrixing became ‘officialize.’

This is the first book to put forth the concept that people could actually earn a real Black Belt in Karate in a year of less.

This new edition includes a glossy cover. The original material,  five star rated on Amazon, is intact.

The glory of this book is that it goes belt by belt, describing all the experiences, detailing what the student should be going through, and showing all the forms and applications. Thus, the reader has a much better chance of getting through the material without error; it is actually possible to get to a Black Belt within one year.

The book is based on the author’s synthesis of two martial arts, ‘Kang Duk Won’ and ‘Kwon Bup.’ All duplicate material has been discarded, along with fluff material such as poser techniques, unworkable techniques, and so on.

The result is an extremely hard core, street workable system.

The book includes detailed instructions on such items as:

  • how to create power
  • six ways to translate a block into totally different techniques
  • promotional requirements for every belt
  • what a student goes through on each belt level and why
  • the actual written tests for each belt
  • and TONS more.

The book is 166 pages with 212 images. In includes the complete system, with all the forms, applications, and methods of freestyle.

To find out more about Outlaw Karate: The Secret of the One Year Black Belt, click on this cover…

you can get a black belt in less than a year

Click on the cover to go to Amazon and find out more…

This book is a complete system. It includes all the forms and form applications, along with methods of freestyle.

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

Remember,
Google doesn’t like newsletters,
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

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.
Specifically,
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.
Unfortunately,
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.

And,
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.

Simply,
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.
Ultimately,
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.
thus,
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.

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

Here’s the link for the Master Instructor Course.

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/4-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!
Al

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/4-master-instructor-course/

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

Bruce Lee and Ed Parker Revealed as Villains!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Five Steps to a Perfect Martial Arts Kiai!

Making your Kiai a real ‘Spirit Shout!’

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

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

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

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

Kenpo says there are 5 reasons to do a Kiai

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Karate Kata…How Good Are They?

Martial Arts Kata, Good or Bad?

in the Martial Arts Kata are often translated as martial arts forms, so I use the terms interchangeably.

Bruce Lee said in “The Tao of Jeet Kune Do” the following about forms:

“Too much horsing around with unrealistic stances and classic forms and rituals is just too artificial and mechanical, and doesn’t really prepare the student for actual combat.”

martial arts karate kataIs this true? Or is it meaningful, do forms actually teach you combat? Certainly looking at Pinan/Heian 1, or Kenpo Long 1, you have to wonder, is this meaningful? Are they honestly expecting me to drop the opposite hand when I block and punch?  And why are they having me drop my hands when in sparring they tell me to keep my hands up?

Even with something so entrenched as Sanchin, or the Sil Lum Tao those that lack correct teaching have to wonder, “how is this teaching me to fight?”.

In stark contrast are kata such as sanseirui, where it is very apparent that the kata is truly a combat scenario that captured and formalized into a form. This is evidenced by the lack of symmetry in the form, you don’t have “do the exact same thing on the other side” or “first do it on the right, then on the left”.

But do any of them provide you with anything useful? Or do they lock you into a routine.

Bruce was an incredible man, certainly what he said must have some value.  Besides, if not for forms, how do we transmit the style, untarnished, to the next generation?

The problem with Bruce, is that he was amazing. He was so amazing that somewhere along the line he seems to have forgotten that you have to explain to a new student how to make a fist, not to punch with the flat part of your fist, to line up the bones, to add CBM.  We can see that he knew this, for he said (paraphrasing here) “before I learned to punch, a punch was just a punch, while I was learning, a punch was much more than a punch.  Now, a punch is just a punch”.  However, he repeatedly wanted to throw away all the tools that are used to learn basics.

To quote my sensei, “you have to have a set of basics before you start learning to break free of the forms”.

I feel that all forms are intended to serve a purpose, but what is that purpose?

Let us start with the so simple that they are obnoxious forms, like the early Kenpo forms and the Pinans.  They are not meant to be combat forms, they are meant to be a way to train symmetry, and to familiarize you with the “alphabet of movement” that your system trains.  Think of the movements in these forms as “this is my footwork, these are my blocks, these are my strikes,  there are many like them, but these are mine”.  Symmetry is important, you need to be able to block, thrust, flick, parry and strike on both sides, these forms teach you exactly that, and they force you to practice equally on both sides.  Bruce may have been so good that he only needed five techniques and only those on his lead side, but that doesn’t account for most people, nor does it address what you are supposed to do if you get injured during combat.

So basic, boring forms have a purpose, even if it is only training.  However, when we go back to the question of dropping the hand, you do have to stop and wonder why practice something that we would never want to do in combat.   This is where I personally feel that some of these forms are less valuable than they could be.

Sanchin appears to be one of these boring beginner forms; however, it is an exceptional kata, Please see the earlier article I wrote on Sanchin (add a link to the other blog post).  My sensei was fond of saying that he could tell your belt level by watching your performance of Sanchin.

The Sil lum tao, is also a form that appears to be on the boring scale, however, it is a very internal form. It is meant to isolate the hand movements used in Wing Chun so they can be practiced separately from any foot movement, and to build Chi power.  These 2 aspects mean that it can be practiced and improved on for the rest of your life, just like Sanchin.

None of the seemingly boring kata teach you to fight, not even sanchin.  They may teach you many critical elements of fighting, blocks and strikes that you can combine, a clear calm mind, the ability to take a hit and continue. These things and more can be learned from kata.

Learning to fight from a kata though?  That is tough, there are people that have been reputed to have done so, I have a very hard time believing that.

In my mind the only way to improve reflexes, and learn to handle unexpected things is to get into sparring (at all contact levels) with as many different people as possible.  Try to get with people of different levels, different arts, and no arts.

In my personal opinion, I feel kata are very important, both for handing down the style, uncompromised. They are critical for training your body to use all the different tools in the styles toolbox.

I do not feel that they are a prison, rather an encyclopedia of motion and much more.  In my mind all kata should give you as many tools as Sanchin, Sil lum tao and Sanseirui.   However, if the form teaches you to do dangerous things, like drop your hands, you might want to re-evaluate the validity of that particular form.

If you want to align and make logical your Martial Arts Kata, check out the Master Instructor Course at MonsterMartialArts.com.