Category Archives: Isshin Ryu

Indian fighting Ability in the Martial Arts

Newsletter 835

Martial Arts and Indian Stealth Skills!
part three

Happy work out to you!
Which is the same as saying,
be strong and well,
be smart and sharp.
Be kind.

This is the third part of a five part series.
Subscribe to the newsletter to find the other parts

The most important Martial Arts book ever written.

The most important Martial Arts book ever written.

In the first two articles
we have discussed why
the native American Indian
was the best light infantry in the world.
This included a discussion of their hunting prowess,
and their devotion to silence,
all of which combined to make truly great silent warriors.

In this part I want to discuss
motion.

To begin,
for most people
walking is a process of unbalancing.
Simply,
people are standing like clumps, and to begin moving,
they unbalance their body
and fall in a direction.
Stick out a foot,
unbalance themselves,
fall in a direction.
I can’t even begin to tell you how inefficient this is.

At rest you should be able to move in any direction,
and without the need for unbalancing your body.

Now,
consider how the Indians were raised.
The woman cared for the child until the age of six.
At six the brave took over.
The child was trained to be totally and utterly silent,
and to move with extreme awareness.
Punishment for transgression in this fields was simple:
go hungry.
If the child didn’t master the skills,
then he didn’t bring home the meat,
and he went hungry.
And the family went hungry.
No excuses.
This attitude went towards hunting,
which was the main duty of the warrior,
and which led directly to combat.
No excuses.
You learned to use a knife the right way,
or you went hungry,
or…
died.
Harsh methods,
but they resulted in amazing warriors.

Here’s something that many people don’t understand.
The white man didn’t beat the Indians.
He infected him with disease.
It’s true.
The Indian had no defense for this kind of ‘germ warfare,’
and he eventually succumbed.
He didn’t lose in battle
so much as die out from disease.

Now,
that all said,
I liken the Indian hunting techniques to Tai Chi Chuan.
To sneak up on a wild animal
you had to move so slowly,
as slowly as the wind moved a tree branch.
You had to blend with the motion of nature.

You had to have a strong body to support this slow motion.
And you had to stand in a manner
in which you were still capable
at any moment,
of moving in any direction
as if sprung from a spring.
Not falling uncontrolled,
but legs loaded and ready to shove off,
in any direction.

Okay,
if you want to move with total silence,
and yet be so balanced
that you can move in any direction
without the need to unbalance yourself
and fall uncontrolled,
check out Five Army Tai Chi Chuan.

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/five-army-tai-chi-chuan/

and make sure you subscribe to the newsletter
and read the first and last parts
of this scholarly treatise
on the methods of the finest guerrilla warriors in the world.

Have a great work out!

Al

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/five-army-tai-chi-chuan/

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

Learn how to Arrange Karate so it Works for Modern times!

Newsletter 811

How Karate was Mistranslated

Man!
Aren’t summer work outs the best?
You cleanse yourself
through the purity
of plain, old-fashioned sweat.
Glorious!

learn karate the right way

Click on the Tiger!

Okay,
let’s talk about how Karate was messed up.
I’ve talked about how Karate was
mangled by people with vested interests,
power hungry students,
nationalism, religion,
just about every thing under the sun.
So let’s talk about one specific way Karate,
and this is going to touch upon just every art there is,
was truly messed up.

When Karate was developed
people wore armor.
They carried swords.
And to use your fists,
to get your fists dirty
on the body of an enemy
was downright disgusting.
Think about it,
this is simple:
karate was developed to handle samurai,
with their swords and armor.
Karate was empty hand.

So,
do you crack armor with an empty hand?
Maybe,
but while you’re doing that,
the fellow is using his sword.

Do you block that sword with an arm?
Nope.

Do you get the point?
Now,
here is where it truly gets messed.
When the American servicemen were taught karate
they were taught a random variety of throws,
of defenses for weapons,
of specific techniques for specific attacks.

And not many of those attacks were real for this modern age!

So some instructor taught a student
how to disarm a sword.
But when you look at the technique,
there is no sword,
and the fellow the karateka is defending against
is punching the crud out of him.

Punches.

Here’s the funny thing,
Karate rose to the occasion.
All the arts rose to the occasion.
They managed to make fast punches and kicks,
and adapt to striking.

Even though striking was a small part of the whole art.

So Karate,
and other arts,
became skewed
to meet the demands of a punch crazy society.

okay,
summation:
Karate was designed for complete combat,
but then shrunken and warped
to fit the precise punches
of a different culture and time.

And that’s why Karate,
and many other arts,
just don’t work.

It’s like using metric wrenches on a 1950 Chevrolet.

So,
Karate,
and other martial arts,
are broken.
Mismatched.
Outgrown.
And here comes the funny part:
what was the solution provided in America
and in other parts of the world?

The solution was to teach boxing
and call it Karate.
Go on,
visit a few schools.

You will find people doing boxing,
or kick boxing,
or some other thing,
and calling it Karate.

I went to a school the other day,
the instructor had the children hold their hands
in boxing position.
They were taught to bob and weave.
It was not Karate.
There were no stances,
no blocks,
a few kicks,
including fancy ones that looked so cool,
but would get a person killed on the street.

But it said ‘Karate’ on the front window!
Big letters,
too.

And there are other solutions,
some pretty bizarre,
some effective,
but all deviating from what karate really is.
And,
deviating from kung fu,
or other types of arts.

What was my solution?
My solution was demanded
by the fact that I could not box
and call it Karate.
I couldn’t leave behind the energy,
the subtle throws,
the powerful way of developing the mind and body,
not to mention the spirit.

So what I did was rearrange everything,
made it 1, 2, 3 logical,
so that one step led to the next.
So that one didn’t learn a punch,
then a fancy hold,
and let’s throw in a cartwheel kick here,
cause people would really dig it!

I arranged the blocks
so they made as much sense as 1, 2, 3…
and everything is adapted for striking.

But I didn’t throw out the locks and throws.
Instead,
I teach the strikes,
classical strikes using energy,
and you end up in a specific position,
and then I show how each position ends up
in a lock or throw,
if you just continue the motion…logically.

Everybody else is teaching the classical forms,
trying to adapt them to strikes,
when they were not meant to be adapted to strikes.
Strikes were only a small part.

When you do Matrix Karate you learn everything logically,
and that includes the throws which have been put
at the end of the strike.

Think:
in a fight distance closes.
The kicks and punches are done,
the bodies come together,
and that is where the throw should be,
when the distance collapses.

I don’t teach how to fight from six feet away
with a lock or throw.
I teach how to logically close the distance,
using the punches and kicks logically,
and then do whatever throw you are in position to do.

And this is an important point:
after a strike or block,
you will find yourself in a specific position,
and there are only a couple of locks or throws possible.
That is true for every position.
So you don’t search through your mental database,
ransack your memory,
looking for a throw,
or trying to figure out how to throw
from an awkward and not appropriate position.
Instead,
you move forward logically,
and the result is a flow.

Maybe you’ve read some wins people have sent me
from doing some of my forms.
People talk about there being a specific flow
to the forms and techniques.
This is the result of logic.

Anyway,
I could talk forever,
but it’s all written down,
all video’d,
in Matrix Karate.
And if you don’t see the throw,
you can find all the throws,
logically,
so they fit into specific positions of any art,
in Matrix Kung Fu (Monkey boxing.

So,
‘nuff said.
You guys have a great summer work out,
three months working hard
in the heat,
sweating your b***s off.

HAPPY WORK OUT!

Al

For logical Karate:
http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/matrix-karate/

For logical throws:
http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/matrix-kung-fu/

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.

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

Is Kick Boxing a Good Sport?

Kick Boxing…is it for Everybody?

The exact history of Kick Boxing is pretty easily explained.

Boxing was the sport of gentlemen for hundreds of years, backed up by Marquis of Queensberry rules, and promoted to popular acclaim and lots of tickets sold. After all, this was the manly test, the proof of the pudding, and election of the true top dog.

kickboxcoverkarate kickboxing courseIn the 1960 Karate hit the shores s of the US. It took the country by storm. Dojos popped up by the score, tournaments rippled across the country, and a new sport of gentlemen threatened to take over.

Except that boxing wouldn’t go away.

And, upon examination, there appeared to be good points to both practices.

Boxing had quicker trained methods, was better for immediate self defense, improved the body in a more aerobic fashion, and so on.

Karate, however, had those durned kicks.

Kicks used to be considered ‘dirty fighting.’ But now they were in vogue. And they were MUCH better for street self defense because one well placed kick to the family jewels and a thug was bankrupt.

So, how about if we put karate kicks with boxing punches?

And Kickboxing was born.

It became popular first in tournaments, then became a popular form of defense and conditioning in the gyms of America.

Now, there are a couple of problems with Kick Boxing.

The punches are thrown in a circular fashion off the shoulders, kicks use a more linear type of movement. This is actually an awkward combination, and the result is that the kicks of karate have degraded. People now throw kicks and let the body swing around (exposing the back). Further, when throwing the kicks the energy comes from the Tan Tien, which is an energy center located in the body some two inches below the navel. Boxing does not use this energy center.

So there are differences.

So what is the solution?

Study both. Study a good form of boxing for six months. Get your cardio, pump up the muscles, learn what it feels like to be in a fight (subject to the rules of the ring and your particular kick boxing club). Then explore the classical martial arts. Look for a better relationship between punches and kicks, explore the energy centers used in the practice of Karate.

Al Case began studying martial arts in 1967. His website is MonsterMartialArts.com. You can learn more about theories such as the one expressed here in his book ‘How to Matrix Kick Boxing,’ available on Amazon.

How to Kill a Leopard with Your Bare Karate Hands!

You Can Kill with your Bare Karate Hands, Too!

Okay, I say bare Karate Hands, but it could be bare Kung Fu hands, or Kenpo hands, or whatever.

But the point is this is a true story of a man who killed a leopard with his bare hands. Complete with the technique he used, and the sense of personal self belief that is necessary to kill a wild animal that attacks you.

Picture from the Field Museum

Picture from the Field Museum

 
Carl Akeley was born in 1864. He stuffed animals for PT Barnum, went to Africa on many safaris, and one day he had an encounter with a leopard.

I believe he had just shot a wild pig, but when he went to claim it, he found a bloody trail leading into the underbrush.

He stepped up to the underbrush, heard a growl, and a leopard jumped out at him!

He couldn’t get his gun up, the leopard latched on, and Carl was in a fight for his life!

Now, what would you do?

Scream for help? Probably.

Hit the leopard with your fist? Probably, though it wouldn’t do much good.

Maybe you should do what Carl Akeley did, and punch the leopard down the throat.

That’s right, he punched his fist right down the leopard’s throat.

That hurt, and the leopard let go, but Carl didn’t.

He body slammed the beast, then leaped into the air and came down on the leopard with both knees, killing the animal.

Now, how much presence of mind does one have to have to do this kind fo thing?

Most people would try to pull their arm out of the Leopard’s grip, but that would go against the curve of fang. So the right way to go is right down the throat, hit him in the gag reflex, and then prepare a double knee counter attack!

Now, did Carl Akeley ever study Kung Fu? Probably not. But he was strong and had presence of mind, which are things that a stufdy of kung fu and the martial arts readily gives.

Get FREE martial arts books at MonsterMartialArts.com

Teaching the True Art of Karate

Spreading the True Martial Arts

I want to talk about something,
not everybody might like it,
but it has to do with growing the martial arts,
and growing your income.

Look,
here is the straight skinny,
the country is having probs,
incomes are down,
and wouldn’t you like to have a few extra bucks?
And,
wouldn’t it be nice if those few extra bucks
came from teaching Karate?

teaching martial arts

Learning Karate Changes Even Bullies

It’s one of my pet projects,
encouraging people to teach.
The thing is
there are a lot of teachers out there,
many aren’t really qualified.
They might have credentials
from big name organizations,
but that doesn’t mean they have the knowledge.
It takes a precise knowledge
of how to teach Karate.
I discovered this with one of my first black belts.
He went out and started teaching,
and when I got over to look at his karate class,
he was teaching calisthenics.
There were a few martial arts thrown in,
and he was good,
but he opted for teaching…calisthenics.
Push ups, sit ups,
a few kicks,
running around the room.
And,
finally,
as an after thought,
he might teach a karate self defense move.

Now,
why he did this,
I don’t know.
But I do know that I checked on his school a couple of decades later,?when it was under one of his students,
and it had gone to full contact karate.
Basically,
fighting and…calisthenics.

So,
I understand that martial arts change,
especially when people don’t understand the underlying reasons.
I can only conclude
that the degradation of his karate school
was my fault.
I taught him,
I was young,
I hadn’t figured it out,
I taught him well,
he was good,
but…he didn’t understand the underlying reasons,
so his school degraded,
didn’t die,
just degraded to the point
where it was teaching people how to fight.

So,
I offer underlying reasons,
and I try to fix schools that have degraded.
And…
I encourage people to teach karate, and other martial arts.
I know that the people who have done my martial arts courses
are going to understand why a technique is,
how it works,
and,
more important,
how to get the student to understand.

Want to know something interesting?
I’ve got a book
‘How to Start Your Own School,’
and when somebody write me and asks me about teaching,
I usually give them that book for free.
It’s part of the Master books,
I could sell it Kindle for a few books
(and I probably will)
but I give it away to people who say they want to teach.

Look,
the difference between man and beast is the fact that man understands.
Animals don’t.
They just fight,
and make up a reason for fighting.
Silly animals.

Anyway,
the point of this rant is that if you are hurting economically,
a victim of the money crunch happening in this country,
you can do something about it.
You could order the Master Instructor Course,
do it,
know that you know more than ANY martial arts instructor on the planet,
and then you could head down to the YMCA,
see if they need a karate instructor.
You can put up cards at a local gym.
You could gather a bunch of neighborhood kids.

You can start out low,
$10 a month for kids,
you can go high,
charge good bucks at the gym.

YOU CAN START YOUR OWN CLASS.
Be it Karate or kung fu,
aikido or pa kua,
or whatever,
and using the data that is inside
The Master Instructor Course,
you could teach that art better than it has been taught
since whoever founded it was teaching.

Spare time.
Saturday afternoon.
Evenings.

You could build it into something large!

Do you understand?
The martial arts are a blessing.
They make people better.
They make strong bodies,
increase awareness,
and they are a fist in the face of the bad guys.
But we need people who understand what they really are.

Oinky Donkey.
I hope my rant has helped.
I don’t want you poor,
and I want everybody healthy and happy,
So…think about it.

Let make a couple of other announcements
before I close off.

I’ve got a new site up.
It’s about Bruce Lee.
Can you find it through google?
It’ll be tough,
but it’s out there.
Next week or two
it’ll be easy to find,
but right now…
can you find it?

And,
we’re waiting on word of escrow
for Monkeyland.
Escrow,
120 acres on a hilltop,
and start building a temple.
And I will let you know as soon as this thing comes true.
Pics and everything.
you’ll be blown away.
incredible site.

Okay,
that’s…ooop!
I almost forgot.

If you have a website,
or a functioning blog,
let’s trade links.
I’ve got three different sites
that are chunking pretty traffic,
a link might bring you a little traffic,
and google likes links,
so they might send you traffic.
Just email me at aganzul@gmail.com
and ask about linking up.

Okay,
now that is it.
You guys and gals
enjoy the heck out of this week.
Have lots of work outs,
do what you want to do,
and live life like you were meant to!

Al

And don’t forget to go to…

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

This has been a page about teaching karate…and other martial arts.

The Ultimate Method for How to Learn a Karate Form

Learn a  Karate Form the Right Way from the Start!

When it concerns Understanding the best ways to Do a Martial Arts Form, the typical mistaken belief is that that you go into a class with twenty additional individuals, you perform kicks into the air maniacally, then you are a martial artist.

pinan one low block

No, you are a martial arts fan, and you are no place near to being an artist.

A lot of martial artists have not the faintest idea as to the best ways to do a martial arts form. The martial arts just occurred too quickly in the nation, and coaches were fresh off the airplane and either didn’t talk the language, didn’t have adequate experience, or an assortment of additional things.

So right here is exactly how you do a martial arts form.

You find out the very first motion. This typically includes something like standing in one location, stepping in a direction, and doing a low block.

Now, do not acquire the 2nd motion. Work on the very first motion. Take that very first motion home, stand in the center of your bedroom, and do it.

Do not do it quickly and maniacally, do it slowly and gradually. Work on making the hand and the foot move at the same time. Work on ensuring the hips are turning with the hand and the foot. Work on relaxing, then tightening up the fist at the moment of block. Work on breathing. Work on making that karate block or kung fu block the only thing you are doing. Rid the mind of interruptions till there is just the block. not even a thought of you.

Now close your eyes and do the motion. Feel your balance, feel your breath, feel your coordination and weight drop and anything else.

The function of a form is not to discover the best ways to block. An idiot can easily block. the function of the form is to free the mind of distraction, and to make that block the only thing that you are doing.

When the carpenter strikes the nail, is he thinking, or doing without thinking?

And, speaking of carpenters and nails, right here is an innovative, little activity to assist the novice, the other who does not comprehend exactly what I am asking right here and desires to, or also the other with thirty for forty years martial arts experience in a variety of martial arts.

Stand 3 feet away from your automobile with the keys in your hand. Close your eyes. Step forward and place the keys into the doorlock.

Within a short time, I’ll bet, your pretty, bright automobile is going to have a couple of scratches around the keyhole.

I always remember when I was doing this, but sitting in the vehicle and only placing the keys into the ignition with my eyes closed. The spouse comes out and asks just what I’m doing.

Martial Arts, I reply.

Okay, got that block down? Really good, go be taught a 2nd motion, and do the exact same thing all over once more. And do not forget to duplicate the very first lesson so you will not forget it.

I assure that discovering your martial arts forms in this way will certainly tremendously increase your progression in the martial arts. All those amazing motions, you see, are nothing but polished basics. And by utilizing the technique I explain right here you are finding out ways to polish from the get go.

Keep in mind, it is not exactly how many times you do something maniacally and with frenzied energy. It is doing it once with reduced energy and high understanding. Opt for the understanding, that’s the best ways to do a martial arts form.

Discover the best ways to do martial arts the right way, and in the privacy of your very own house. Go to MonsterMartialArts (dot) com.

Making Powerful Karate Kicks

I say Karate kicks, but the training tips of this article hold for Taekwondo Kicks, Kung Fu kicks, or whatever. There are two things that we need to analyze when figuring out the best way to kick somebody’s butt. One is holding to the basic kicks, and the other is the mechanics of the kick itself.

Karate kick

Use the whole body when kicking!


When doing Karate kicks one can get carried away with a lengthy list of flashy kicks. This includes jumping, spinning, and even acrobatic leg maneuvers. These, however, while fun and even a benefit to the student, will not work in a street altercation. Thus, when doing martial arts kicks one should stick to the four effective fighting basics: front, side, wheel (roundhouse), or spinning rear kick.

When practicing these leg tricks make sure that you raise the knee. Raising the knee involves the hips and commits the whole body to the kick. A good training tip for doing this is to practice kicking over a chair.

Always use the correct part of the foot when striking. This would be the toes, the ball of the foot, the instep, and the heel. When selecting which part of the foot to kick with, remember that the smallest striking area will focus the greatest amount of force.

Always turn the hips when kicking. Turning the hips commits the whole weight of the body into the action. This must be done liquid and whiplike, all pieces moving together.

Do not hold your leg in the chamber position. One must be like a liquid whip, up from the earth to the target, and back from the target to the earth. To hold the leg halfway between is to bleed power out of the kick, and to break it into segments.

Always do your kicking at the right distance. Just as you shouldn’t try to use a fist when at kicking range, don’t try to use a foot when at fist range. The better strategy is not to try to make something work at the wrong distance, but to get so good at the basics that you can’t be stopped.

Most important rule of all: do hundreds, even thousands, of kicks every day. The fool who thinks ten kicks per foot per kick per day is enough is just that…a fool. Only by dedicating oneself, by going fanatic and mad dog in your training, whether in Karate kicks, or whatever type of leg movement you are practicing, will you hope to obtain the best benefits that your martial arts discipline has to offer.

There are some great articles on kicking at FreeMartialArtsOnline.com

Beat Up a Karate Teacher for World Peace!

Yes, You Can Beat Up a Karate Teacher!

A 37 year old man entered a Fort Wayne Karate school and tried to beat up a karate teacher.

The unnamed man carefully disguised himself before entering the martial arts school. He ripped up a batman tee shirt and draped it about his face as a mask, then entered the school. A ‘Karate kid’ class was being conducted, but that did not sway the alleged ‘beater upper.’ He strode to the center of the mat, apparently to give a message of world peace.


karate instructor

The owner of Bowles Karate Academy politely asked the belligerent to leave, but the man refused. Instead, he held out a hand with a secret message on it. The owner refused to take the note, and instead elected to guide the man off the mat and out of the school. The man immediately swung a quick fist and punched the school owner in the face.

Big mistake.

The karate teacher quickly subdued the man. It was not stated whether he used a simple jointlock, threw the man down and sat on him, or kicked him in the, uh…juncture at the top of and between the legs.

At any rate, the man was subdued, and the sensei and one of his assistants held the man in place while the police were called. It is unknown whether the martial artssensei lectured the children on proper jointlocks, holds, and submission techniques while he perched aboard the intruder.

The police shortly not too long afterwards, and the man was passed over to them to be handcuffed. When the police asked the man why he had come into the school, the man passed them the secret message. The note said, ‘Stop the Violence.’

The police began laughing, then everybody in the school was laughing, and the attacker hung his head in shame.

The man was arrested on misdemeanor charges of battery and criminal trespass.

The teacher was cheered, and so goes the attempt to beat up a karate teacher.

 

Real Shotokan Karate versus Beavis and Butthead

The Case for Real Shotokan Karate

I practice real Shotokan Karate, and the rest of the world doesn’t.

Don’t you just love a knucklehead statement like that? I mean, the fellow who makes it has broken rule number one: he thinks he is the only one, and therefore he is knee deep in loco.


shaolin kung fu
That said, let me give you a rundown on real Shotokan Karate, and what the rest of the world is practicing.

If you are learning a tradition with respect, no matter who the teacher is, no matter what the argument is between form and function, you are learning real Shotokan Karate. And, hey, while we’re at it, this statement extends to such arts as Karate and Taekwondo and Kenpo and whatever.

And, to put it another way…are you learning, or are you fighting?

Now, here comes the part where I offend people. The UFCers and the MMAers are fighting, so they are not doing a martial art. They are doing a martial sport.

A lot of people get upset with me when I say something like this, they take it as a personal attack,and then explain how their school is different.

And that is the dividing point, is their school teaching, or is it promoting fighting?

It is a simple question, with a simple answer, and Beavis and Butthead can’t answer it.

You know Beavis and Butthead? They are the fellows with bad grammar who go to forums and sites and drop comments like UR STOOPID! (note the misspelling), and F*** U! (No asterisks)

Brilliant fellows these, and they don’t study real Shotokan Karate. They study ca ca humor and eat with their mouth open and it’s really important who won the fight.

But it’s not important who won the fight. What’s important is whethere an individual is actually learning, becoming more disciplined and aware, exploring the manifestations of spirituality that a human being is.

The real fight, you see, is not between the gladiators in the ring, it is between the edification of the human spirit, and the degradation of the human meatball.

That’s why I study real Shotokan Karate, and that is the dividing line one must find in their own art if they are to win the martial art war.

 

The Truth About Yoga, Karate, And Your Right, Big Toe

When it comes to Yoga Karateka can get great benefits.  Before you get benefits, hower, you have to understand why Yoga works. It’s an interesting question, and one which I have never heard answered. In fact, some youngster puts the question to some oriental sage type, and I see a lot of justifying and circumventing and philosophizing…and no real answer.

yoga karate

Learning Karate Changes Even Bullies


I was trying to make yoga work the other day, and I was listening to some gal on a Yoga CD course and trying to relate it to the karate that I knew, and the gal on the CD suddenly said something that made me blink. Smugly, she stated, ‘It took me three years to be able to do this yoga asana.’ I paused the CD, and ruminated over her statement.

It took her three years of discipline to make her body hold a pose. She was proud, which is okay, but is still probably the sinful version of satisfied. And I don’t think she really knew or understood Yoga.

She was stretching and being a contortionist. She wasn’t talking about becoming aware as a spiritual being, but rather being prideful about being able to pretzelize her body. What she was saying had to do with holding her body in a posture, and nothing to do with the spiritual side of the discipline.

One of my more odd martial arts tricks is to practice my karate kata in a dark room with no lights and my eyes closed. I do this because Karate means ‘empty hands,’ and I recognized that you couldn’t have empty hands without developing an empty mind. I am merely trying to reduce extraneous sensations, and develop awareness aimed at the single and concentrated practice of the martial arts form.

To understand this in Yoga, shut your eyes and become aware of your right, big toe. You must be aware of your right, big toe without the use of body perceptions. You must become aware, not be aware through body perception devices (eyes, taste, hearing, and so on).

If you can hold the body motionless, reduce sensation, and just become aware, then you are on the track of real yoga. If you can understand the different between being aware through body perception tools (sight, smell, etcetera), and just being aware, then you are on the track of real yoga. If you can become aware of yourself as a spiritual being apart from the body, then you are doing real Yoga.

You don’t have to force your body through rigid postures. You need merely assume a pose…doesn’t even have to be an official yoga position…and stop looking through your senses, and let awareness flower. The difference between perception and awareness, this is why yoga works, why karate is great, and your big toe is so cool.