Tag Archives: shotokan

How Karate Becomes Every Other Martial Art

Newsletter 939

Translating Karate into Everything

Hey Guys and Gals!
I just wrote the following newsletter,
and I just wanted to say thanks to you guys,
for being martial artists,
and making my path so worthwhile.
Hope you enjoy…

I was a black belt in Karate when I started Aikido.
I always remember the shock on the Aikido black belt’s faces,
I had a question
and I would walk right up
and ask the question.
If you’ve ever been around the classical,
that’s not how you do stuff.
You bow and scrape.
You practice speaking in a subdued manner.
You treat yourself like a humble dope
so they will take pity on you.
But I was a black belt in karate,
I was equal,
be it in another system,
so I would walk up and break the etiquette,
I would just ask.
Funny thing,
they always answered my questions.
I suppose they couldn’t figure out how to say no,
without themselves looking like a doofus.
So one day I’m asking a question,
and this black belt blinks,
and realizes.
‘You’re a black belt.’
Yup.
Then he took me aside,
we traded stuff madly,
really got into the art.
But here’s the interesting thing:
in Karate,
when you get to black belt,
you start figuring out how to use specific forms in freestyle.
Sure.
You’re intuitive,
you start reading minds,
guy thinks about an attack,
you think about a defense from a form,
and they match.
Not like today when people just fight.
Now,
at black belt I wasn’t interested in that.
Did it,
but wasn’t interested.
I was already reading everything,
looking at other arts,
and I wanted to make other arts work.
Of course,
the big problem was that I hadn’t really studied other arts.
I had read about them.
Big problem.
So doing the Aikido class,
I began to realize that I was performing the same body motions,
but going with the opponent
instead of against.
Instead of colliding with an inward block,
if I did a quick step and made the in block go with the attack,
I had aikido.
Zingo Bingo!
Then I looked at Tai Chi,
figured out the concepts,
applied them to Karate motions,
and I was doing Tai Chi.
And,
yes,
it was that simple.
Everything translated if you understood the concept behind the art.
Went through a few Kung Fu systems.
Did weapons,
and so on.
Matrixing was born,
and I wrote a million words
to describe everything
so everybody could understand it.
Do you study one system?
Silly you.
With a few tweaks you could be studying all the martial arts.
Now,
there are a few things to look out for.

First,
most systems these days
have become so muddied
they don’t have specific concepts.

Second,
most systems don’t have the right blend of forms and freestyle,
they end up with two arts…
the art of whatever their forms are
and the art of freestyle.

Third
most systems don’t stick to the path long enough
to become intuitive.
They end up putting boxing into their training,
mixing in MMA so they can advertise,
and so on.
You can recognize these systems
because people describe by using such terms as /muscle memory.’
Muscle memory is what you have until you go intuitive,
then it’s a whole new ballgame.
Then you are in the now.
And that’s a very zen thing.

The thing is,
when you have a system that works,
you can’t go hunting and pecking through other systems,
you have to do your whole system,
then you have to understand the concepts of the other system,
and you have to understand how these concepts work by physics and mechanics.
Then you have to work your butt off.

When I was figuring this stuff out
I was working out several hours a day,
even if I had no partner.
I would do air forms,
pound the bag,
work with weapons,
and write everything I did down.
And,
therein lies the difference
between a martial artist,
and a fellow who practices the martial arts.
We all start out the same,
going to classes,
blindly groping.
The fellow who practices martial arts,
however,
stops.
The martial artist doesn’t stop.
He becomes more and more obsessive,
finding new things to obsess about,
compelled to learn new things,
always dissatisfied with his progress,
always knowing that the truth is right around the corner,
if he could just see…a…little…further.
Anyway,
that’s the path from Karate to Aikido to everything else.
It’s not an easy path,
if you measure it in bruises and hours,
but it is the easiest path if you are obsessed.
Here’s to you,
I hope you’re obsessed.

Have a great work out!

Al

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

AN AIKIDO WIN!

Here’s a fellow who illustrates what I’ve been saying…

Hi,
Just wanted to take the time to thank you.  Having now watched and read through the Matrix Karate system it is exactly what I was hoping it would be when I originally made the purchase.  I have begun working my way through the material and am enjoying every second of it!  I have since also bought (I’ve been treating myself each pay day) your monkey boxing and within the last few days your Aikido course.  Both I have found instantly applicable, and although I have only watched the Aikido seminar once so far, I have quickly identified that together they are so much more than the sum of their parts!   Within just a few days of the monkey boxing course arriving, I found that I was suddenly able to lock and manipulate to restrain far higher grades than myself in the club I attend, and now have found I have members of all levels, and even my own instructor asking me to just go over techniques so they can see what I did.  Suffice to say that the guy (every club has one) that is like an immovable object was lying face down the very first time I tried a technique you had discussed… and I see no reason why my skills won’t take on a similar bound forward as I absorb the Aikido course.  ?I am sure you hear such stories all the time from people like me (over enthused with what must seem mundane to yourself) but I really felt I ought to say thank you.  One thing I am not sure if other people have found, but I want to mention, I truly appreciate you laying ‘it all’ out for people, by which I mean I appreciate the reward  (in terms of knowledge) coming from hard work and ‘flight time’ rather than an arbitrary period between Dan Gradings no matter how often one trains in that time before the next chunk of knowledge is passed on.  I will continue to follow your courses and let each build on what went before.
One more thanks for the recommendation to read ‘As a man Thinketh’ I really took a lot from it.
Anyhow, I’ll leave you be, and stop pestering you with my ramblings.
Many thanks one last time,
Adam D.

Karate Win from Studying Karate Masters!

An Absolutely GREAT Karate win!

I feel so-o-o good!
And it is all because of a work out.
Have you done your work out today?
You have?
Then do another one!
And feel double great!

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Click on the cover!

I was going through my wins
came across this one.
I meant to print it a month ago,
but things happened,
and I lost it in the basket.
So here it is now,
an absolutely GREAT win!

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

Thanks
Jason W.
I truly appreciate your win.

And,
for everybody,
as Jason indicates,
after you get the basics of Matrixing down,
what do you do?
You look for places to fill out your training,
ways to put matrixing up against the classic.
Those old guys knew things,
they are not to be discounted.
And,
the Kang Duk Won was my first real art,
and understanding it through Matrixing
really makes it work.

It’s true that a lot of people
just can’t get to black belt.
There are too many holes,
too much incorrect data,
things out of place,
all sorts of things that are gone wrong.
But if you’ve done some Matrixing,
and especially Matrix Karate
and the Master Instructor course,
then taking a look at classical karate
is more than just crucial,
it is the next breath of martial arts
demanding to be taken.

Now you can study Kang Duk Won
through Temple Karate.
It’s got several of the forms.
And you can find it in Evolution of an Art.
And I believe the book I wrote on KDW
might be available on those courses.
but you should check out the courses first.

BUT,
the absolutely BEST way
to study Kang Duk Won
is through the mail order course,
which is at:

http://kangdukwon.com

I included all the old drills,
all the theory and concepts,
absolutely everything I could remember
concerning the Kang Duk Won.

It’s inexpensive, too.

If you’re not interested in matrixing,
it is still an amazing poke in the eye.
But if you have some matrixing under your belt,
then you have the tools to REALLY understand
what those old guys were saying
when they taught this incredible art.

It is,
BTW,
one of the purest,
if not the purest,
example of True Karate in existence.

Anyway,
check it out.

http://kangdukwon.com

HAPPY WORK OUT!

Al

go to and subscribe to this newsletter:

https://alcase.wordpress.com

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

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

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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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

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

Click on the cover!

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/

Karate Puzzle Makes Martial Arts Fun and Easy to Learn!

Speed up Learning with a Karate Puzzle!

The Karate Puzzle is the brainchild of Andreas Sturm.

Now, unfortunately for non-Germanic speaking people, the website is written in German. A wonderful language that I can’t speak.

Karate Puzzle

Andreas Sturm, inventor of the Karate Puzzle!


However, a little work with the google translator, and it is easy!

The puzzles themselves are sliding images, and all you have to do is figure out which button to click to mix up the images, then slide them back into place!

Now, I found this quite interesting, and it did tax my poor brain. Even after doing the forms for over forty years, I found myself having to sort through the pictures to figure out the sequence.

And, sorting them in this fashion will help your ability to learn the forms and do them faster.

It really is ingenious, and one of those things where you slap your head and think, ‘Why didn’t I think of this?’

But you didn’t, and Andreas did, and well done to him.

There are seventeen kata on the puzzle page, a full range of the Shotokan forms. This will keep you busy into the wee hours, so when you can’t get to the dojo, you can simply open a soda pop, go through the various forms, and get yourself an armchair work out that actually works!

As for Mr. Sturm…he began his study of Karate in 1995, and began instructing in 2002.

Though the website is in a foreign language, using the translator I was able to read it pretty easily, though a bit slower than I am used to. It is a good website, fileld with solid information, and, of course, there are the puzzles.

Interested in visiting the site? It is at Karate Puzzle.

This article was written by Al Case, for more information on fantastic martial arts training methods like the Karate Puzzle, visit him at Monster Martial Arts.

Gichin Funakoshi, Dark Alleys, and Gloopy Aliens!

Gichin Funakoshi Self Defense for the Masses!

Speaking of Gichin Funakoshi…let me first say good morning.

Good Morning USA, and world, and, uh, guess I’ll throw in the universe. Never can tell, some gloopy alien with three eyes might be keeping track of those strange critters on earth. Might be reading this article right now making sure we’re not being contentious and guilty of sedition to the alien galactic empire.

Hello, Gloopy Alien. I wonder if he knows what this here finger of mine is for? Hah.

gichin funakoshi

Where is that Gichin Funakoshi guy?

Speaking of weird and Gloopy Aliens, the founder of modern Karate, Gichin Funakoshi, was about 80 years old, and was out for his nightly walk. The night was ominous, Japan was in an unsettled state, and he saw a mugger waiting on a street corner. Gichin knew, deep in his heart, that that mugger was going to try to mug him.

Hey, you think a mugger’s going to risk picking on somebody who is big? Nope, muggers want to get on with their work with the least amount of personal risk, you know? Smart guys, these muggers are.

Anyway, Gichin keeps on walking makes sure he looks feeble, and as he passes the mugger and the mugger leaps at him he whirls and grabs the mugger. Now, you might be wondering where he grabbed the mugger. A death lock on the carotid–a specialized nerve center that immobilizes totally? Well, uh, he didn’t do any of those things. He grabbed him by the, um, cajones. The apples, you know..the coconuts.

He grabbed him by the children he might sire some day, by the future, by his only source of fun on those long, lonely nights that frustrate a mugger when he is all by himself and can’t find anybody who even remotely likes him.

Now the founder of modern Karate has a mugger by the embarrassment, and what is he going to do next? Does he flick a set of knuckles to the throat and crunch the Adam’s apple…cause it to swell up and stop the mugger from breathing? Does he launch a spear hand thrust to the chest and yank the mugger’s very heart out and take a big bite while the terrified mugger watches in terror? Or does he just start to close his hand. Close his hand slowly, and watch the life blood drain out of the mugger’s face, and the very life right out of his quaking and pain infested body, and the happiness out of his future? Squeeze, until the nutty pulp runs out from between his gnarly, old fingers. Squeeze, until a loud popping sound fills the night air. Squeeze, until the mugger screams like a little girl and falls to the pavement, never to enjoy the feel of loving again.

Gichin Funakoshi called for the cops. Yep, he stood on that corner and held that man and called for help. And the mugger was totted away to think about his crimes, and the terror of having his manhood held by another man.

An interesting lesson for a mugger, eh? Another interesting lesson would be if you looked up the real meaning of the word testament and where it comes from and all that.

Anyway, the point of all this is this don’t walk down that dark alley.

Yep. My students have heard me say this, and they know what I mean. When you have a choice of a long walk down a lit street, or a short trip through a dark alley, take the long way.

You can tell you’ve made it, that you do understand what the martial arts are all about when you can see a dark alley before you reach it.

Hey, a sunny street in the heart of town might be a dark alley if there’s some idiot waiting for you. And you should have developed the extra perception, through those endless hours of practice, to know the difference between a dark alley and a well lit street.

This has been a page about Gichin Funakoshi, and here’s another page about the Martial Art behind his shotokan.

This piece on Gichin Funakoshi was reprinted from Matrix Martial Arts 2009/06/04.