Okay, I do a lot of cross training in the martial arts. When I was doing Karate I did some weights, some running, basics calisthenics type of stuff.
When I did Kung Fu I did running and swimming and yoga type stuff.
And, as I went through arts, I was always looking from some new game to play, some way to wake up my muscles and find better ways to control them.
Baseball, loved baseball. Ping pong, billiards, skating, even pogo sticking and stilting.
Simply anything and everything was fair game. Wake the body up, have fun, relate it to martial arts.
But martial arts was the mainstay, this because the martial arts exercises every single muscle in the body.
And, there is a point to it all. Survival.
Now, I have to tell you I feel sorry for people who do exercises, but not martial arts. They play for a while, then they get old. I always come across old people who talk about how they loved to dance, but no longer do it. Or they loved to hike, but they no longer do it.
Do you see it? There is not only the whole body approach, but the purpose, and the desire to survive right through your old age.
Anyway, I know this is meandering, but if you aren’t doing the martial arts, start doing them. Find an art, any art, that appeals to your desire to live and love and play games and…survive. That’s what Martial Arts Cross Training is all about. Pick up a free book at Learn Karate Online. Best way to start.
Category Archives: Goju Ryu
I always liked the karate training methods for making the most powerful punch. Some of them worked…and some of them resulted in injury to the student. Here’s a quick rundown on them.
Bashing the fist against a tree. Damages the fist, sometimes badly, requiring even years to heal.
Punching a Makiwara. Okay, long as you don’t over do it. Fifty punches per hand is recommended by some.
Thrusting fingers into cauldrons of heated iron pellets. Right out of the kung fu movies. The real sequence is to thrust spear hands into sand, build up to pellets (over months and even years), and finally thrust them into iron pellets.
We used to spear hand the sand, and it worked, but it took time. I haven’t met anybody who has reached the iron pellet stage of training, but hey, go for it! Just make sure you use plenty of dit da jow hand curing herbal solutions.
Push ups on palms, then fists, then half fists, then outstretched fingers, then thumbs, then two fingers, then one finger. Fantstic training method. Works lke a charm. Takes the brute out of force and teaches that the secret of true muscularity is in balance.
And, there are others, but this should hold you for now. Gonna take a while to get on top of that single finger, right? Happy work outs to you, but this karate training method is guaranteed to give you the most powerful punch. BTW, pick up a free book while you’re on my site.
Karate Secrets, eh?
Sort of interesting, you hear about secrets, but, when you get there (black belt?) you find there aren’t any.
You find that water is wet, rocks are hard, and life goes on.
And the real martial arts secrets deal with things like geometry and math and…school stuff.
Well, you actually start to apply basic physics to the body, and you find the good stuff.
I’m not going to go deeply into this, because I don’t want to give away the store. You’re going to find the answers on the Matrix Karate Course, or the Master Instructor Course.
But, the universe is based on the square, the triangle, and the circle.
Karate happens to be the square. It creates the base, the foundation, and a rock solid platform to build all arts on.
Unfortunately, people tend to look for the secrets, instead of building the foundation.
That said, when you do Karate you should be looking for ways to apply a triangle, perhaps to angulat the stance a bit, that sort of thing.
And you should be looking for places where the circle exists, in the performing of a block, smoothing out the edges of a punch.
So the secret of Karate is to simply sink your weight into the stance, learn how to generate the explosion of the tan tien, study how the body moves, and keep doing it until you…transcend. Until you slide a bit out of the body, until you see energy, and can appreciate it, and even start to use it. At that point you can shift arts, but you shouldn’t until then, or you won’t really see all the glorious karate secrets, and the martial arts secrets, sitting in plain sight for all to see.
At first I thought it was my teaching, and maybe it was, but what it really was was that the guy wanted a more classical approach.
And, I am sure he didn’t want to take privates and spend money, he preferred the small monthly class fees.
I saw him a year later, he wasn’t very good. It wasn’t the fault of the system, he just wasn’t very good.
The upshot of this is that I began examining Goju. I found it interesting.
I found the two man drills quite nifty. I found a couple of things about the system disturbing.
Breathing is important, but you should base the system around it. You should install the breathing, make sure it was being done correctly, and just check it periodically. But in Goju they were breathing and breathing, and it seemed that breathing was more important than fighting. I know I’m overstating it, but the point is there.
And, I found a couple of other things that disturbed me. Specifically, the toe out horse stance.
I heard a high ranking master explain the toe out horse stance once: it makes the small of the back soft.
Whoneeds a soft small of the back? What is the point of that? And I’ve never found an explanation for this. PerhapsI shall some day. Perhaps someone will comment on this blog and take me to task. That’s cool. If I learn something I certainly would welcome being taken to task. Until then, the excessive breathing, and the funky horse stance are things I’ve handled in Matrix Karate. In fact, you can take Matrixing and fix Goju ryu, if you wish. Nothign wrong with the system at heart, just needs some tweaks of physics. Anyway, checkout Monster Martial Arts, particularly Matrix Karate. Who knows, you might be the one to fix Goju ryu.
Goju Ryu Karate is the invention of Chojun Miyagi. That’s right, all you Karate Kid Aficionados, there really was a Mr. Miyagi. Interestingly, however, the real Mr. Miyagi was not a Karate purist.
I’ll tell you about this after the video.
Most people think of the founder of an art as pure, he studied only one style, and never dabbled. This is because of the true believer mentality inherent in many people who learn one thing, and hold to it as the most important thing ever learned in the history of mankind. The founders of martial arts systems, however, are a varied bunch; Aikido, Kung Fu, Taekwondo or whatever, the founders invariably studied many arts before settling on the method they thought was best.
Miyagi’s initial training in the martial arts was under Ryuko Aragaki. a neighbor of his, who was considered quite the fighter. Miyagi must have done well, for Aragaki introduced him to his teacher Kanryo Higashionna. Miyagi had 3-5 years of martial arts training at the time.
For thirteen years Miyagi studied with Higashionna. Higashionna was considered to be one of the foremost Karate men of the time, and he was renowned for his Sanchin Kata. He was fond of standing and letting up to four men push on him, and holding his ground.
After thirteen years Higashionna died, and Miyagi decided that to move on in the martial arts, he would have to study with the people who trained his teacher. Thus, he made the pilgrimage to Fujian province in China, where he studied Shaolin and Pa Kua Chang.
Now Miyagi was accomplished in both hard and soft style martial arts. He returned to Okinawa and taught his system, eventually choosing a name from the bible of Karate, the Bubishi. The name was goju–’hard/soft.’
The Gojo system is thus based on hard karate, but illustrates a development of hard to soft. There are hard blocks, and yet there are drills and concepts which take the student into the softer aspects of the martial arts. Being a full bodied martial art, the style became one of the few Karate styles to rival the mainstream karate of Funakoshi.
In the final assessment, Goju is a strong system. It has resulted in the systems of Jundokan, Meibukan, Shorei kan and isshinryu. But the strength of the system lies not solely in Karate, but in the strivings of a man to understand both the hard and the soft, and who then formulated the Goju Ryu Karate System. If you want to learn the truth about Karate, check out Matrix Karate at Monster Martial Arts.