Category Archives: kenpo karate

The Secret of the Karate Block

Newsletter 807

How Karate Blocks Make You Better

May you have the best work out of your life.

karate black belt

Kindle version of Matrix Karate (vol 1 of 6)

Speaking of blocks…
When I was in my teens I was studying Kenpo.
I learned all these neat tricks,
was excited about fighting,
and I kept having these weird ideas about strategy
and how the martial arts were shaped.
I couldn’t make these strategies work.
I could fight well,
but these things I was thinking about,
they just eluded me in combat.
And it was because there wasn’t much
in the way of blocking,
in Kenpo.

In my twenties I joined the Kang Duk Won,
I bashed my arms for years,
and I learned about pain.
I learned that pain is a warning device.
And it was all because of blocks.

Most people won’t use a real block in freestyle.
I can,
and do if I am teaching somebody
and there is a lesson in it.
But it’s easier to just hit the other fellow
than it is to block.

But I never would have learned
how to slide in and hit somebody
if I hadn’t learned how to block.

I always remember the specific technique
where it all came home.
It was the technique
from the first move of Batsai.
Batsai is spelled a few different ways,
but it means
‘defending a fortress.’

In that technique I had to do three blocks.
And I had to do these three blocks with hips twists,
I had to twist the hips
to align the body
so it could support the impact
without collapsing.
And I had to do it faster
than somebody could throw three punches at me.

For months I tried to get that technique.
I would practice it and practice it,
get guys to give me that attack,
but I just couldn’t move my body fast enough.

One day,
I did.
Just like that.
One second I couldn’t,
and the next second I could.
Like a switch had been thrown.
But here’s the interesting thing:
I felt like I was behind my head.
I felt like I was out of my body,
just a little bit,
and watching my body move without me.

it was moving because I had mastered
the thought pattern behind the blocks.
I had practiced that mental circuit
until it broke,
and what was left was me.

From there I moved into other things,
hitting without blocks because,
darn it,
I had gotten so good at them I didn’t need them.
And I moved into concepts
of how to move the energy in my body
just by thinking about it.
Which is understandable if you realize
that learning how to block
had taught me how to influence my body
with just thought.

I began to be able to accomplish
all those odd ideas I had had
way back in Kenpo.
Which led to Matrixing.

Nowadays people don’t practice the blocks.
And if they do,
they don’t practice them with the proper hip movement,
the proper alignment,
the proper breathing and thought.

I know this because when people
come to me for lessons,
they show a complete lack of understanding,
no knowledge of the drills,
of how blocking works.

The thing is
there is a whole realm of thought
that goes with learning how to block.
You learn all sorts of things,
and it builds a springboard
for moving into other concepts.

Think about it,
you can box,
and learn how to take a punch,
but that doesn’t teach you
how to run energy through your body.

Nothing wrong with boxing,
it’s actually pretty good stuff,
fills in a few gaps
that are in the martial arts,
but it just doesn’t have the energy theory
that goes along with the martial arts.

I’m working on the Matrix Karate
for a Kindle version.
Kindle is very unfriendly to photos,
so I have to take some out,
and rewrite the thing.
It’s be good,
but not as good as a book,
or a video.
even the other electronic readers are better,
because they take PDFs easily.

But one of the things I focus on
to make up for that lack,
is the specific blocking in the forms.
Not the matrix of blocking,
which provides a logic
which blasts one to intuition,
but the old way,
learning the blocks,
making them work,
until the art does you,
and you become the art.

You guys are lucky.
You understand something the Kindle readers
may never understand.
You get everything on these courses.
On the other hand,
the kindle readers may understand something you don’t
because they will be seeing the art
in a more bare bones viewpoint,
that will let their mind fill in the blanks,
which is very healthy for a student.
who’s to say.
The real lesson is in the work out.
Getting the material and doing it,
thousands and thousands and thousands of times,
until it becomes you,
and you become it.
That will teach you the art,
no matter which of my books or courses you get.

Here’s the full Matrix Karate course.

Have a great work out!


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How the Ignorant Defend their Ignorance

Ignorance in Kenpo, Karate, and other Martial Arts

what a wonderful month.
I’m going to work out every single day,
right into April.
You do, too!

I was checking my stats on Amazon,
and reading the reviews people write about me.
Interesting reading.
But crazy.
Let me explain.

I’ll get two reviews for a book,
one is a five star review,

VERY Interesting.. and I like the “creation” theories and methods… JUST what I was looking for.
and one is a one star review.

Waste of time if you are a serious martial artist…poor illustrations…bad

The five star talks about interesting ideas.
The one star just says ‘stupid.’

How could one book provoke two such dissimilar reviews?

let me tell you.

I received an email a while ago,
the fellow said:
I don’t understand all the writing,
but when I see the pictures (videos),
then I get it.

of course,
a picture is worth a thousand words.
the real key here
is that he didn’t understand the writing.

Here are some frightening statistics.

50% of adults can’t read at 8th grade level.
45 million people are functionally illiterate.
one that is very important,
6 out of 10 households don’t buy a single book in a year.

Let’s consider the implications of these statistics
as they relate to my books.

Out of the 50% adults that can’t read at 8th grade level,
there are going to be a substantial number
who are passionate about the martial arts.
They are going to read what some people see as five star material,
but because they don’t understand it,
because there aren’t enough pictures,
they are going to perceive it as worthless.
At best,
they are going to sense that something just passed them by,
and they are going to be pissed.
Pissed enough to give one star.

Out of the 45 million that are functionally illiterate,
some are passionate,
they live in blogs with small words,
and they are,
A rich life is passing them by,
and though they feel that something is happening,
they can’t see it.

But here’s the kicker,
6 out of 10 don’t buy a book in a year.
But they do read on the computer,
and they are vocally upset,
when they don’t understand what somebody has said.

This is the defense mechanism of the ignorant:
get upset when you don’t understand something.

why do I bring this up.
Because I get a few low reviews,
that discourages others from buying,
and the vey valuable knowledge
that is in my books,
is then removed from the hands of the consumer.
The intelligent consumer who needs to know,
but is being waylaid by the ignorant.

Feel free to give a review.
I prefer nice,
but honest will do.

When you see a bad review,
especially if you have read the book,
and disagree,
answer them.
I can’t,
but you can.
Set the record straight.

make sure you are literate,
that your children are literate,
and that knowledge can be passed down.

This world is not Rep v Dem,
it is not haves v have nots,
it is ignorant v intelligent,
and if the intelligent don’t set the ignorant straight,
then the intelligent lose.
So do you want the world to get more intelligent?
Or more ignorant?

Here’s the book which received the reviews I listed above.

Have a great work out!

Karate Before You Were Born

Zen Karate Summed up by One Question

It’s hot here in LA,
and you can really sweat those toxins out.
The best way to sweat?
Work out!

I was driving down the street the other day,
and I saw all sorts of martial arts studios.
MMA, Muay Thai, Boxing,
Karate, Kung fu, Kenpo,
Judo, Aikido, Taekwondo,
and on and on and on.

When I began,
in 1967,
which is near 50 years ago,
there was judo,
which was taught in a few places,
and there was Karate.
Karate was undergoing a boom.
This was just before Bruce Lee,
and the Tracy Brothers had breathed fire into marketing,
and Karate schools were opening every where.

I began Kenpo,
went every day,
became an instructor,
and so on,
and I had a lot of questions,
and nowhere to get the answers.
The only magazine was Black Belt,
and they sort of circled the arts,
talking about,
but never delving in.

And there weren’t many books.
There was the outlandish Super Karate Made Easy,
Ed Parker had a book out,
Robert Smith wrote his book on
Shaolin Temple boxing.
But these books were either techniques books,
or they talked in mysteries,
and there was no way to understand what the heck
the martial arts were all about.

Then I came across a book called
Zen Flesh, Zen Bones.
I had left kenpo by then,
and was in the Kang Duk Won,
and this book was a Godsend.

Not a book about technique,
not a dissertation of mental tricks,
rather questions and tales
that made you blink,
and look for the real you.

One of my favorites was the old question,
‘Who were you before you were born.’

Now you might be wondering,
how can an art built of physical routines
answer that question?

The answer to that wonderment
lies in the simple fact
that we were not distracted.
Karate was not infected by boxing,
throws weren’t an active part.
And so on.

On the surface,
looking back,
reading these words as I write them,
I can understand
why people might wonder,
how can you call that an art?
How can you think of that stripped down sapling
as a wondrous forest of spirit?

We weren’t distracted,
and we practiced those few techniques we knew
until we could make them work.

Enlightenment is when you do one thing
without distraction,
until you see the truth of that one thing.

You have heard people like Bruce Lee say,
in the end,
a punch is just a punch,
a kick is just a kick.

here’s the bad news,
if you haven’t found that out
through doing a simple kick,
or punch,
without distraction,
for tens of thousands of times,
then the truth of the statement evades you.

You know about water,
but you’ve never been wet.

That is why,
except for a few logical changes,
and the nudging of matrixing,
the karate I do now,
is virtually the same
as the karate I did way back when.

Pinan one through pinan five,
the iron horse,
a few others,
I do them almost the same as I learned them.
here’s the interesting thing,
the way I learned them was only a couple of generations
removed from the way they were taught before Funakoshi.

I go into modern schools
and I don’t see what I learned.
I see forms infected by boxing,
distracted by MMA,
slanted by tournaments and kick boxing.
I see techniques discarded because people can’t make them work.
I see people fighting,
instead of painstakingly being taught the drills that lead to…not fighting,
to scientifically assessing an opponent and shredding him without waste.

Most of all,
I don’t see the calm of mind,
the calm that comes not from knowing about lots of arts,
but from knowing one thing well.
And, in these modern times,
if people do know one thing well,
it has been slanted by ‘reality fighting,’
by the desire to beat up your fellow man,
not to calm yourself,
and find the truth of yourself.

Not to find out who you were before you were born.

Here’s the art that I was taught,
unchanged except for a few logical tweaks,
and the ‘de-slanting’ of matrixing.

Hope you enjoy getting back to the ‘zen’ of it all.

Have a great work out!

Karate Breaking Will Smash a Man’s Skull!

Break that Sucka!

Karate Breaking Techniques were the rage back in 1967. This was because Karate, and other martial ars like Kung Fu and Taekwondo were new to the land. Nobody knew anything back then, and darn, if you could break a board…why, you could break a man’s skull!

There are some interesting things about a skull, and let me preface this article on karate breaking methods with a rather fascinating datum.

karate breaking technique

It takes Great Karate technique to break a skull!

While a skull is hard and rigid, it is easy to break. To prove this take an egg out of your refrigerator, hold it in your palm, and…without using the fingers!…squeeze.

As hard as you squeeze, that egg is going to laugh at you.

Now, use your fingers, and clean up the gooey mess. If you squeeze a skull it ain’t gonna break. If you poke it soft enough, it will. How soft? Fifteen pounds of pressure per square inch is enough to break a skull.

There are a lot of variables, of course. The skull bone differs in thickness. Hair cushions. And so on. Which puts the real force required somewhere between 16 and 196 pounds. Hit a fellow in the side of the skull, right behind and above the eyes, and the bone is thin, and it might take only 15 pounds of pressure to break that puppy. But thee are some places where the bone is thick and the pressure could take 200 pounds easy.

But, that said, a karate strike, properly done, will range from 300 to 400 pounds of pressure. That should be more than enough to crack up a skull.

So what stops a skull from being cracked when a karate punch is applied to it?

First, a skull in motion is harder to break than a skull in place.

A karate punch will frequently glance off a head moving frantically out of the way. In other words, you have to have the intended target hold still so that a perfect karate strike can be focused exactly if you wish to increase your breaking chances.

Second, speaking of moving out of the way, if a surface is pliable it will resist breaking much more than a surface that is rigid. This is to say that a skull being karate kicked will move back, thus dissipating force; which is to say that if you want to do your karate breaking techniques on a human style head, it would be nice if that skull would lay down on a concrete surface with no give.

And, speaking of karate breaking techniques, we come to the juice of this martial arts article. If you want to break a cranium, you need to practice your martial arts breaking techniques on similar objects first.

Start with Karate board breaking.

To build your break a board technique, start with one board. Number two pine, an inch thick, 12 by 12.

Once successful, go to two boards, three boards, and so on.

And, do not put pencils between the boards. Putting pencils at the edges creates space in the material being broken, and while a bunch of boards makes it look like karate breaking is awesome, the truth is that you can only break five or six boards with no spacers, but you can break up to 20 boards with spacers.

So be honest. Don’t go for the yell of the crowd at a karate breaking demonstration…go for the inner satisfaction of being able to break only a piddling five or six boards with no spacers. This presents the question of whether you wish to impress impressionable young minds, or build your inner strength of character.

And, speaking of honest board breaking techniques, don’t go leaving your boards out in the sun for a few days prior to your breaking exhibition. Dried boards break easier than regular boards. Like kindling, as a matter of fact.

But, on the same token, don’t let your boards get wet before you break them. Your iron hand kung fu technique will turn into mushy hospital visitation rights.

And, that is about all there is to breaking boards, and, if you insist, upon karate breaking human skulls.

But…if you wish to do karate breaks on skulls, let me offer the obligatory caution: detached retinas, brain hemorrhage, fractured bones, and permanent neurological disorders. All of which translates to slurred and halting speech, let alone cauliflower ears and big, old puffy noses and…over 6 deaths a year in the boxing ring.

So practice your karate breaking technique, and do it for real, as if you really had to break a skull, but settle for perfection of character by resisting the urge to violence.

Here is an hilarious anecdote about a fellow who knocked himself out with karate breaking techniques. If you want to actually learn Karate well enough to break skulls, click on Matrix Karate at Monster Martial Arts.

Here’s a great article on Karate Breaking Techniques. If you want to start work on really advanced Karate, here’s a book on how to Build Chi Power.

Basic Karate Kata Revolutionizes How to Teach Karate!

Basic Karate Kata Introduces New Teaching Method!

Let’s face it, most basic karate Kata are boring, and couldn’t boredom be the reason many people quit their karate class early on?

With this in the back of my mind, I decided to make a better basic Karate Kata. Simply, I wanted my karate class to be fast and fun. I wanted a karate form that would include all the basics, and actually involve the student.

best karate form

Does your karate form look like this?


Before we get into the form itself, consider that most forms are basically step and block drills. Step and strike. A piece of a karate technique, and not the whole thing. Thus, in addition to being boring, the forms have little value except for indoctrination into how to learn things rotely.

Can anybody spell second grade? How about behavior modification? Both good reasons to put aside long used teaching methods and find a better way of teaching Karate, or kung fu, or whatever your martial art is.

beginner karate

Or does it look like this?

In making the basic Karate Kata called ‘House’ I decided to use three basics, the low block, the outward middle block, and the high block. Those are easy enough for a beginner to learn quickly, and real enough for simulated fighting.

I then placed these blocks on a line, and put a punch after each block. Thus, there is stance change, weight shift, basics, and the idea that you can actually block and then offer a karate punch, or martial arts counter of some kind.

Now, to be honest, Chinese Kenpo, as presented by Ed Parker, had a good idea in their short one basic karate kata. The unfortunate fact is that while the idea of facing all four directions was good, it needlessly complicated the basic function of this kenpo form.

So, in line, three blocks, strikes right after each of the blocks, and you have something that works in real fight simulation, and can be learned quickly and easily, and, here’s an important element, can be upgraded into a more difficult variation.

Let’s say you begin the student on the first step, a low block and punch, and he can’t quite get it. That’s okay. The martial arts are new to him, and he’s confused by all the data. Let him be confused, drill him only on that one move until he gets it, then give him the second piece. Then, drill him on the first and second movements till he gets them, his own confusion will keep him entertained, and, finally, he can progress to the third move.

Thus, the karate student learns the whole kata.

Now, want to keep him learning? Want to make sure he does the form enough to get the deep down essence of the moves? Have him drill it in two man fashion. This is just like one step blocking movements done at the beginning of a traditional Karate class, except that it is a two man form, and the reality of the movements, that is to say the form, is being re-inforced with every single strike. More important, it takes no excessive teaching, you just have the student do the basic karate form and feed it strikes. He will have realization within minutes concerning how to do this, and he will be off to the races!

The Karate student thinks he knows it? Ask him to speed up. Ask him to do it without stepping,  while standing in place. Ask him to do it with a (rubber) knife or stick!

The possibilities are endless, and this simple, basic karate Kata is suddenly opening doors that are refused to students who learn in the same old same old mass education manner.

If you would like to do this form yourself, click on Basic Karate Kata, if you would like to learn an entire karate system taught in this manner, go to Matrix Karate at Monster Martial Arts.

I Use Karate to Kill People!

Using the Martial Arts to Dismember and Maim?

I got the idea for this title from a fellow who said, ‘What do we say when people ask us why we study karate?’

Well, I gave sound advice, tell them it’s good for you, tell them it gets rid of your hostility, tell them whatever, but who cares…you do them because you love them.

karate punch

A fast Karate punch…the only cure for a zombie!

But…inside my insidious cranium, I was thinking something else. Tell them you do karate so you can more effectively hurt people. Tell them you like pain. Tell them it’s better than a knife or gun because you won’t leave evidence.

And then I started thinking about Zombies.

The zombies are big on TV today (walking dead), and World War Z is coming up on the big screen, hmmm.

When I was a kid zombies were slow moving. You could outrun them by breaking into a fast walk. But now, zombies are hyped up druggoids that can outrun a cheetah and are stronger than an elephink.

But what if they new Karate, too!

I mean, that would be killer diller zombies! I mean, the human race would be blotto in the time it takes wind a solar watch!

So now, when people ask me why I study Karate and all them other durned martial arts, I tell them it’s because of the zombies! I know the zombies are learning karate, so I figure I better learn Karate better! You know?

Zombie Karate, where your fist becomes so fast it is like a bullet to the brain!

Zombie Karate, where your kicks are so powerful you knock the head off a zombie!


Anyway, I don’t say those things, when people ask me why I learn karate, but…I should!

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.

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.


What You don’t Want to Do to A Karate Black Belt!

Karate Black Belt is Looking Good!

I earned my karate black belt in 1974. Back then we didn’t have all the karate equipment and martial arts supplies and stuff.

I was in Chinese Kenpo Karate at first, and we received neat, new belts with each promotion. I had an Orange Belt and a Blue Belt and Green Belt and all the other rank symbols.

karate black belt

Peter Urban properly dressed


Then I went to the Kang Duk Won, and belts weren’t the issue there. Knowledge was the point of it all.

I had gotten a white belt with my uniform, and my sensei told me, when I got my first promotion at the Kang Duk Won I was told to dye it.

So I put it in a pot, added dye, and the thing shrank a litte, but it was still workable.

For some belts we had to go into ladies fabric shops (blush) and get iron on strips of cloth.

By the time I reached Black Belt I had a beaten up short strip of belt that looked like it had been through the ringer.

So, I admit it, I bought my first real belt. It was long enough, it looked good, but it was…stiff.

Well, I had done enough already, actually buying a belt was a bit proud, so I just worked out hard and hoped nobody noticed the overly prideful guy with the NEW belt.

And it eventually work it’s way into a comfortable rag.

Speaking of rags, I should tell you about the artificial aging of belts. Some guys bought belts, and to make them look old, they would take a razor blade and shred the edges of the belts. They would have half a dozen belts, all artificially aged and cool looking.

Unfortunately, the karate these guys practiced wasnt’ aged, and it looked artificial.

And there were guys who would drag their belts in the dirt, scuff them by walking on them, and so on, just to look cool and official and aged.

I actually don’t wear a belt anymore. And my classes are so small that I don’t need to have people wear belts. So we actually practice in street clothes, which is what we would wear if we were attacked on the street.

Still, I remember my bouts with pride, and my first karate black belt, and the honor it was to wear it.

He Used Karate Kumite to Beat Me Up…and I loved It!

Karate Kumite in Yer Eyeball!

My first experience in real Karate Kumite was back in 1967 in a Chinese Kenpo Dojo.

I had signed up for five lessons in Kenpo Karate, and I had liked it, but it was pretty much dry instruction. Still, it was pretty heady, I was going to be able to stop kidneys, squash adams apples, and end the life of any fool who messed with me. I was, you might surmise, a bit young.

karate kumite

Karate Freestyle is a special type of discipline


For youth, a good lesson in hard fists is always the best antidote.

My sixth lesson, i had signed a contract, and the instructor lifted my hands up and said, ‘Don’t try to hit me, just see if you can stop me from hitting you.’

Well, that was a blinker.

And he proceeded to wail the tar out of me.

Great control, the bruises wouldn’t even show, but…there were bruises. There were especially bruises to my 19 year old ego.

You mean…I can get beat up? I am not immortal?

And, when some fifteen minutes of me being pummeled around the mat ended, we sat and talked, and that was when the real lesson commenced.

Learning how to puncture lungs and stop hearts from beating is fine, but that is just the anatomy lesson. The real lesson was in learning how to move, and…learning how to be polite.

He beat me up, without really damaging me, and smiled gently the whole time. He knew he was changing my outlook on life. He had gone through it. It was time for him to pass the message down.

Sure, you can hurt somebody, but what’s it going to cost you? And, wouldn’t you rather get along? Be on the same path? Share a brewski at the end of the day?

One of the saddest things I see, these days, is when people are taught how to freestyle in the wrong manner. The instructor doesn’t take the time to give the lesson thoroughly, and with understanding.

Instead, kids are thrown into karate tournaments and told to win, win, win.

The real lesson is in the back of the dojo, when few are looking, and it consists of sweat and bruises, and learning that there is a real human being on the end of your fists. Both ends.

If you wish to learn how to freestyle the correct way, I suggest Matrix Combat. It’s a short course, but has all the progressions of freestyle presented, how to do them, and–here’s the bonus–how they fit together so that you know when to do what. That is something that NOBODY goes into.

I do , and it’s an inexpensive way to get to the back of the dojo and get that friendly, little fists on education in Karate Kumite.