Category Archives: Korean Karate

The Truth is that Taekwondo is Really Karate!

Karate became Taekwondo!

Interesting statement, but it is true: Taekwondo came from Karate. Consider the history of the five Kwans.
Chung Do Kwan (Blue Wave School) was begun in 1944 by Won Kuk Lee. Won Kuk Lee studied Shotokan Karate with Gichin Funakoshi, and he used the same forms and called his school Tang Soo Do.
Moo Duk Kwan was started in 1945 by Hwang Kee. Kee actually studied tai chi chuan, then studied with Won Kuk Lee, but he claims he learned the shotokan forms that he taught from Funakoshi’s book.

karate punch

Karate…Taekwondo…just hit ’em!

 

Song Moo Kwan was begun in 1944 by Byung Jick Ro. He studied shotokan, and called his school Tang Soo do.
Kwon Bop Bu/Chang Moo Kwan was begin in 1947 by Byung In Joon. Joon studied Karate with Kanken Toyama, who was a classmate of Gichin Funakoshi.
Yun Moo Kwan was founded in 1946 by Kyung Suk Lee (judo) and Sang Sup Chun (Karate). While this school was original judo and Karate, after the Korean War it began teaching Shito Ryu Karate.

These were the top five schools, and they were all Karate based.
The lesser six schools were all derived from these original five.
Comes the question, how did Karate become Taekwondo?
The answer is that Korea is a very nationalistic country, and politics plays a large part. Thus, Gen. Choi Hong Hi decided to bring all the schools under one banner, and to call them by the generic term Taekwondo (Way of the hand and Foot).
Thus, some of the schools still teach the old forms from Karate, and some teach later forms. There were actually a couple of evolutions of these later forms, and so there is confusion in Taekwondo because of this.

Interestingly, probably the school with the greatest claim to being pure Taekwondo would be The Kang Duk Won. This is because the style is based upon the teachings of Kanken Toyama. This kept the system more of a pure link to Okinawa, the birthplace of Karate, and away from the Japanese influence. Japanese Karate is good, but it has been altered to fit certain cultural facets of Japan.

Interested in learning the system that came through Kanken Toyama? Go to MonsterMartialArts.com and look for Evolution of an Art. Evolution of an Art contains three complete styles of Karate, from inception to interesting and extreme variations.

How to Knock Yourself Out with a Karate Kick

Karate Kick KO!

Knocking somebody out, with a karate kick or a kung fu punch or whatever, takes a bit of practice. Getting knocked out, be it by Kenpo chop or taekwondo ax kick, is probably not a good thing. But knockign yourself out with a karate kick…that has to be low on the bucket list.


Karate kick
I was playing baseball with a bunch of guys one day, and we were all horsing around, having a good time, and in between plays I was practicing my rear spin heel kick.

A spin heel kick is not a normal kicking technique. For a rear kick, or spin kick, you turn and drive the foot. But for a spin heel you keep the leg straight and let the foot go on a long arc.

Anyway, we are fooling around, and I’m out at second base spinning in the dust, and the dust wasn’t too stable, and suddenly my foot gave way and I fell on my, uh, fanny.

Oh, I wasn’t knocked out, that comes later, but I was laughed at. And I did grow an appreciation for the art involved, the balance needed, and so on.

Knockign himself out with a kick honors actually goes to my sensei. On a beautiful summer day he was outside practicing his jump spinning kicks, and he put together a leaping beauty of a kick…right under a low hanging tree.

That’s right, he jumped and spun, and smacked his head on a low flying branch, and it was lights out in skullville.

About a half hour later one of the students found him, staggering around and rubbing his head. He was dazed and confused, didn’t know what had happened, and we had to tell him.

Yes, you were practicing jump kicks under a tree. And the tree won.

And that is the real skinny behind how you can knock yourself out with karate kick.

The Progression of Technique in the Heian Karate Form (Pinan Karate Form)

Heian Karate Form…Pinan Karate Form

I noticed something very interesting when I was learning the Heian Karate Formsequence. And I was taught them when they were still known as Pinans.

heian karate form

Mobility is its own power



Pinan one was just a basic form. But Pinan two and four seemed to be a progressive variation. The first move with the hands mid level and high level, the technique used on the return steps of the form, these seemed like interpretations of the same concept.

And, if you compare pinan three and Pinan five, you have the same thing occurring.

But it was many years before i actually started to see the similarity of technique, and to understand the basic concept the creator of this form used.

The concept is a back stance concept.

Now, the form is called Heian these days, and it is the Japanese who have deviated from this concept.

When ¬†Japanese karate students do these forms they tend to widen the back stance, making it a half a horse stance. This immobilizes the stance, and splits the intention; which way are you setting up to go? To the side…or to the front? And there is no way to do a front kick with the front leg off a stance arranged this way.

When the Heians were Pinans, however, the back stance was narrower, which enabled one to set up the legs so they would both contribute to the forward motion. This also allowed for more traction on the launch. And, one could kick effectively with the front leg out of a back stance.

These three reasons make for a superior art. Launch faster and be quicker by using more body, more leg, more traction. This would enable one to shuffle forward to throw the whole body into a technique. The Japanese, in this specific, prefer shifting into a forward stance. But a forward stance has very little ability to kick with the front leg, or either leg, and the stance is too rooted to be mobile.

For these reasons I have always kept to the ancient stance set up in the heian Karate Forms, or, as I like to call them the Pinan Karate Forms.

 

It was Unique Karate Back Then

Unique Karate, that is the name for it

The reason it was unique karate was because it hadn’t flipped for the solely physical.

I remember going to class and doing karate exercises. I was quite fascinated when I had my first student go out on his on and tach, and when I visited his class I found him teaching calisthenics.

Robert J. Babich

Bob Babich


Push ups and sit ups. Running around the room.

I don’t think I ever did a sit up or a push up in karate class. Karate was a calisthenic in itself, you didn’t need to do calisthenics to do karate calisthenics. Heck, lifting the knee to do the kick a few hundred times was better than sit ups, so why not just do the kicks?

Karate got americanized in there somewhere.

People started thinking about how they wanted their body to look, instead of what they could do with their body. And they certainly lost sight of the mind and the spirit.

It became calisthenics and fighting.

This isn’t true for all, of course, but virtually all have been corrupted in this fashion.

I guess we had push ups and sit ups in PE in school, so we figured we’d make this karate thing better with good, old American know how.

Didn’t work.

And the result has been a downslide in such things as timing, speed, and things that the karate calisthenics build naturally.

Instead, we have people taking supplements so they can beef up.

What does that have to do with Karate?

Weird.

My advice, to somebody who wanted to learn karate the old way is simple.

Stretch, and do the classical forms.

The only other thing would be to study Matrixing, because that would help you understand what you are doing.

Well, it’s interesting. Because if somebody did actually manage to learn karate the old way they would find that other arts didn’t work too well against them.

You’d find Karate making a come back in mma training. You’d find people studying the linear, hip twisting loose-tight punch of Karate.

If somebody could get over how they looked, and would start obsessing on creating a unique karate again.

unique karate

Karate Kick Harder: 7 Training Tips that Will Put the Power in Your Kicks!

Karate Kick Harder by Kicking the Right Way

Karate Kick Harder doing these seven simple tricks. Most Karate students you see, don’t really understand how to execute a proper leg kick. These students are told to kick air, or kick a bag, and that’s not much of a Karate lesson.

Karate kickFirst, you must lift the knee and thrust the foot in on a straight line when you execute a Karate kick. The foot will then travel into the attacker’s body on a straight line. It’s like hammering a nail into a wall, you have to make sure the force travels straight into the spike.

The second tip is to tilt the hips slightly upward. You don’t have to tilt them a lot, but they have to tilt enough so that energy can run between the tan tien and foot. A good karate kick will have the whole weight of the body in it..

Third tip is that you must rotate the hips slightly, making sure that the whole body goes into the kick. Your Karate kick will be harder, and and it will even be a bit longer. Not turning the hips tends to jam the kick and make it less useful.

Fourth thing you must do is turn the foot you are standing on. Turn it so that the whole body moves as one solid unit. Very important, when doing a karate kick, because using the body as one unit puts more intention into the kick.

Number five on this list is that you must sink your weight down the leg you are standing on and into the ground. Dropping your body weight while doing a hard kick will give you added solidity. The body is a motor, and it must be bolted in place to work efficiently.

Sixth karate training trick, bend the leg you are standing on. People who straighten the support leg are exploding energy the wrong way, actually ‘unbolting’ the motor from the ground. You need to send a ‘tractor beam’ down the leg to fix the body solidly in place.

Last martial arts training tip, relax all of the body except the foot being used. There is obsession with creating rigid energy, but this is a tremendous waste. If one wants to do a karate kick harder they must learn how to use energy in the body, and energy travels easiest through that which is empty.

There is a free kicking course bundled in with the Matrix Karate course, and it will make your Karate kick harder…make it hard enough to knock over an elephant. A big elephant.

Your Martial Art Doesn’t Work, and the Hells Angel Threw Me Through a Wall

Does Your Martial Art Work?

outlaw karateI had studied Chinese Kenpo Karate for two years. I was an instructor, and I had written the training manual for my school.Then I ran into a Hells Angel.

The story actually started when the restaurant I was working at hired a geeky looking kid. I didn’t like him much, but then one day I saw him kick a wall. The wall shook like the 1906 earthquake, and I knew that he knew something I didn’t.

So I got to know him, and he said he studied Kang Duk Won Korean Karate. He said he didn’t know it well, which I found hard to believe because I had seen him kick a wall harder than a donkey kicks a pervert. He said, however, that his brother knew a lot more than him, and let’s go talk to him.

So that night, I think it was a Tuesday, we went down to a house in Sunnyvale to meet his brother. As we pulled up Alex said to me, “I should probably tell you that my brother is a Hells Angel.” I blinked, but, naive me, heck…I knew Kenpo, right?

His brother was a couple inches under six feet, a little shorter than me, but he had the outlaw look in his eyes. We talked martial arts for a while, and then he boldly stated, “Your Martial Art doesn’t work.” Then he wrapped two of the gnarliest fists I had ever seen into my shirt front and told me to work my first technique on him.

I began to move. I held his fists in place with one hand and brought my forearm up to break his elbows, I struck his wrists with my nerve paralyzing downward chop, and when I went to chop him in the neck he tossed me through a wall. Yes he did…all the way through the wall.

He laughed and helped me up, and then he told me to grab his shirt front. I did, and he showed me the self defense technique from his martial arts school. He reached over and punched me in the chest so hard that…that’s right, I went right through the wall again.

This is a true story, and being tossed through a wall twice changed my life, definitely changed the way I was learning martial arts, and prompted me down the road to other martial arts and how to really make them work. I spent over a half dozen years at the Kang Duk Won Korean Karate school, worked alongside all manner of people, including hells angels and other outlaw bikers. Included in my education was why a martial art doesn’t work.

Amreican Karate

Blood Everywhere in a Karate Class!

I started thinking bout the worst martial arts injuries I have ever seen in a Karate class, and one came to the front of my mind.
Mind you, I almost never have injuries in my classes, and this because I follow the Injury Formula: Speed + Ignorance = Injury. Follow this, make your students follow this, and you won’t have injuries either.
Check out this vid of some knife disarms, then I’ll tell you about it.

Anyway, outside of a cut lip or bloody nose, and one cracked rib, injuries don’t occur in my classes. One of my instructors, however, wasn’t so fortunate. He insisted on doing a knife disarm technique with a real knife. He was fast, quick, and one of the best martial artists i have ever seen. But he decided he was going to teach this technique using a real knife.
The guy came in, he moved, and the knife cut all the way up the fleshy part of his forearm.
Man, talk about blood. It didn’t spurt, which was fortunate, and it didn’t cut any tendons. So it was shallow, and it was long, and it bled like a stuck pig.
So, because of that one experience, didn’t even happen to me, I never use real knives in class. I encourage people to handle and train with knives, but not with each other.
I tell them to use rubber knives, which are cheap and who cares if they break, or wooden knives, but never real steel. That’s what I learned because of that karate class, and that’s the recommendation I use when I teach people Blinding Steel, which is the fastest and most efficient knife training course int he world. Check it out at Monster Martial Arts. And make sure you pick up a free martial arts book while you’re there. Actually, I’m giving away two books, though I don’t mention it on the website. Got to change that. Have a great work out.

Half a Year of Karate!

Do you know how much you can get done in Karate in a half a year?
The reason I say this is because the year is half over. So if you can remember what you were doing at Christmas, or New Years, and any resolutions or things, then you could have made a lot of things happen since them.

If you are studying a classical art, you could have gone through a belt rank or two. You could have a couple of martial arts forms, had a ball doing lots of kumite, and generally be fit and healthy, and your mind would be calm.
Now, if you had been studying my Matrixing program, you could actusally have your black belt by now. Serious. It’s a three month program, but it takes a lot of work. But six months is enough time to do a lot of work. So you could actually be there.
And, here’s something interesting, if you slacked off a little the last few months, maybe been distracted by the news or something, you can realize that every moment you live and don’t do what you love is a moment wasted.
Hey, if it’s not Karate, then what is it? Kung Fu? Yoga? Ballet? If you love it, then why aren’t you doing it?
Got a dream? You’ve had six months to pursue it. Didn’t do it? It’s not too late, so get yer fanny in gear and get going!
Don’t you understand? I’m telling you to ignore everything that gets in your way, everybody that slows you down or distracts you. I’m telling you that you should pick a goal, and having a black belt is an absolutely incredible goal, and GO FOR IT!
Now, do you want to go waste another night drinking beer, or do you want to be somebody? Do you want to be strong and fit and quick in the mind?
Okay, I’ve enjoyed this rant, and especially because I know it is so right and valuable. So spend the time between now and the end of the year working out and finding the real you. If I can help you reach your goals in Karate, if I can help you get to Black Belt, drop by my site, Monster Martial Arts. My email is there, and I answer all emails. See ya.

Three Types of Flux Motion in the Martial Arts

Analyze Everything...Leave Nothing to Chance!


There are three specific types of motion in the martial arts. Mind you, I am not describing energy manifestation, merely the flux of the body itself.
The first type of motion is fast motion. Karate, Taekwondo,Kenpo, these are explosive and fast. Not much middle ground here, just move fast and beat the other guy to the punch. The trick is, of course, to expand your awareness so you can see the other fellow coming. By going slower you can increase awareness.
I used to do my karate forms slow, I could see them and learn from them. Then I found Tai Chi Chuan and things really made sense.
The second type of motion is the slower motion. In this type of flux you inspect the changing of your body position, checking out the angles and making sure the energy flows just right. This causes much awareness, and this awareness will reverse engineer back into the harder arts. The softer (slower arts) are such as Tai Chi Chuan, Pa Kua Chang, and so on. Mind you, any art can be slowed and awareness inserted, and you will find amazing amounts of perception, which will grow amazing amounts of energy.
The third type of motion is no motion. Stopped. A held position. This is the gold mine from which all else comes. To take that posture and just look at it, to concentrate not on the motion, but the awareness, that is the key.
There is something people should understand about all this…life is motion, but awareness is no motion. And only by exploring all three motions with this in mind will the being awake, will the martial art come to fruition, will the martial arts enter the golden age of which they are on the cusp of. Check out my site, Learn Karate Online, and see if the free lesson makes sense. It is crafted with concepts such as you will find in this blog, and it is designed to lead you to other motions.

The Worst Karate Dojo in the World…the Best Martial Arts Training Hall on the Planet!

He ran the Best Martial Arts Dojo on the Planet!


I often tell people about this, got reminded of it in a newsletter recently, and I want to talk again about the worst dojo in the world.
It was cold in the winter, and we had no heat.
It was hot in the summer and we had no air conditioning.
The bag was ripped and stitched together until it looked like a child of Frankenstein.
The mat was made of sail, and it was ripped and stitched and duc taped until it looked like Frankenstein’s rug.
The front windows had big cracks in them, and duc tape held them together.
There were no back windows, just bars and a shallow alley.
There was a hole in the corner of the ceiling in the changing room and rain poured in.
The toilet was slanted 30 degrees, and it was old and corroded.
Now, that was the bad. Here is some good.
The teacher knew his martial arts. There was electricity in the air when he taught.
He could get us to know his martial arts.
The students were all supremely dedicated.
Lot of hells angels, they made sure everything was kept real.
No girls or kids. They had separate classes.
No contracts, everything conducted on handshake.
The classes were so crowded we had to learn how to survive in a mob. (Imagine thirty people in a car and a half garage)
No talk about theory, just sweat until we couldn’t walk.
I frequently couldn’t press the pedals in my volkswagon, my shins were that bruised from blocking. I would drive home ‘clutchless.’
There was a golden glow to it all. This was chi energy, and it was pushed into every student there. It was irrefutable.

I stayed at that school for some five years. Got my black belt, and my life was changed.
If you want that art that I studied, it was Karate before Funakoshi came along. Check it out at Kang Duk Won.