Category Archives: Shito Ryu

The Secret of the Karate Block

Newsletter 807

How Karate Blocks Make You Better

May you have the best work out of your life.
Really.

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.
Oddly,
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.

Funny.
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.

Well,
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.

Anyway,
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.
Heck,
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.
Well,
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.

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

Have a great work out!

Al

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

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http://www.amazon.com/Matrixing-Tong-Bei-Internal-Gung/dp/1507869290/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1423678613&sr=8-1&keywords=tong+bei

Entering the Mind of No Mind

One thing karate does is enable a person to enter the mind of no mind. The method of karate enables this as a pretty distinct fact. Unfortunately, society has destroyed true karate at a relatively fast rate, and so you should pay attention to this article, and implement the principles in your karate training.

Mind of no mind is also called, in Japanese, mushin no shin. While held up as mystical in the orient, it is actually pretty straightforward, but it does require a person to become somewhat enlightened. The real key here is to see things as they are, not as one wants them to be, or as they have been in the past, but as they are now.

zen karate

A perfect circle has no corners

 

The key to mind of no mind is to isolate the now, to actually exist wholly in the moment. Thus, when the punch is thrown, or the kick is launched, or the sword whistles through the air, you perceive it actually happening, and time actually slows down. Although, what is really happening is that you are becoming calm enough, being outside your mind, and seeing time as it really is, as it really happens.

There are a few things you need to isolate and cultivate this ability to see time as it happens. One of the most important things is to experience CBM, or Coordinated Body Motion. CBM is when you move all body parts at the same time, and stop them all at the same time.

Another necessary item is correct body alignment. The parts of the body must be lined up so that they are in the correct order, and this must be done with full CBM. This is something that should be built into all forms practice, and is necessary within forms practice to achieve mind of no mind, and enlightenment.

The real key here is that forms are a method to enable the individual to control his body. This is heightened, and quite different from something like ballet or gymnastics because the pieces of the form must be used to control another individual. Thus, the secret of mushin no shin, and enlightenment in the martial arts, is not to destroy, but to control.

To not destroy, although that ability is necessary, but to control. If you destroy, the game is over, and where is the enlightenment in that? And this is why Gichin Funakoshi did not hold freestyle, specifically of the tournament variety, up as part of the True Way.

To control will eventually separate the individual from his mind and body, and thus enable him to see the universe, and time, and life, as it really is. The truth is that things aren’t what they seem, they are but a shadow, and your mind obscures this shadow tremendously, and obscures methods for shedding the shadow and leaving the mind. And the truth is that this potential is within the martial arts, one of the four ways of enlightenment, but in todays tournament infested mind it is as good as lost, unless you read and apply the principles detailed in articles such as this.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Bubishi Martial Arts Book Is Recognized As Bible Of Karate

Bubishi Recognized as Bible of Karate

The Bubishi, the one having to do with White Crane and Monk’s fist Boxing, was compiled sometime over the last few hundred years in Fuzhou Province. Fuzhou is where Shaolin Kung Fu was practiced, and which kung fu became the inspiration for Naha-te, which became Karate. There is no doubt that it is one of the most influential martial arts books in history, and probably the bible of All Karate.



The Bubishi is actually a lengthy work of art, jam packed with poems, anatomical drawings, and so on. In writing this article I decided to concentrate on the eight phrases which were pivotal to the inspiration of such arts as Goju Ryu Karate and Uechi Ryu Karate. The meaning of these phrases, which are named Kempo Hakku (Eight Rules of the Fist), can be found by examining them through the Science of Matrixing

The beginning phrase is, ‘the mind exists as one with heaven and earth.’ This is a realization that the universe is dichotomous, that there is the realm of the spirit and there is the realm of material universe. This means that the universe is nothing more than a machine built between the two terminals of spirit and matter.

The next phrase is, ‘the circulatory rhythm of the body is like the cycle of the sun and the moon.’ A smaller example of the universe, the body is a minor universe. This means that, the same as the larger universe, the smaller universe of the body is a machine.

martial arts bookThe next phrase is, ‘the method of inhaling and exhaling is simultaneously hard and soft.’ Breath out when the body grows larger, breath in when it grows smaller. Always keep the belly slightly tight and ready.

The next phrase is, ‘act relative to time and change.’ This means that when the universe changes, you must change with it. One will find that the universe actually mirrors the intentions of the person, and gives one feedback on the deepest levels as to his personality and worth.

The next phrase in the bubishi is, ‘techniques happen in the absence of conscious thought.’ Practice your techniques until they become intuitive. On a deeper level, through the practice of the martial arts (Karate) a martial arts student will, in the end, find himself incapable of hiding in the mind.

The next phrase is, ‘the feet must advance and retreat, part and meet.’ This looks like a principle of fighting strategy. But if one learns how to control distance they can control the combat, and ultimately they will be able to harmonize with an opponent.

The next phrase is, ‘the eyes miss not even the slightest change.’ One should use the martial arts as a tool to grow their awareness. The superior human being does not let his awareness so much as blink.

The last phrase in the Bubishi is, ‘the ears listen in all directions.’ One must travel beyond the need for physical senses. Find out who you are, for the spiritual being is far beyond the physical.

The Bubishi is truly a Bible of Karate. To understand this work of art, one should take the Master Instructor Course. Head to Monster Martial Arts for this Martial Arts DVD course.

Martial Arts Book Deal and Merry Christmas to You!

Got a great Martial Arts Book Offer for you.

It’s my way of wishing Merry Christmas to every Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, Atheist, Scientologist, or whatever religion you happen to be. This is a special day for somebody somewhere, so we should all party, we should all be glad that somebody has found an excuse to be kind on this war torn, economically deprived, stupid planet.

It’s not your particular special day? Tough. Party anyway, and pray, chant, light a candle for world peace.

Screw the politicians…let’s have fun!

Click here to see the special  martial arts book offer!

The Big Thing Wrong with Classical Karate Training

You know, Karate sometimes gets a bad rap these days. You see all the MMA guys trashing their opponents, and you wonder why, if Karate is so good, you don’t see it in the octagon. The reason, of course, is the problem with Classical Karate training methods.

In traditional karate classes students are lined up in a mass, and they kick and punch and do everything as one unit. This is fine, for beginners. The sad fact, however, is that one rapidly travels through being a beginner, and then needs to have a different teaching method.

Class exercises are fine to warm up, but there is no real exchange of information going on between teacher and student. Oh, you think that everything is in the forms, that you just need to do the forms and enlightenment will burst upon you? Well, true to a certain extent, but there is also the fact that if you hold to this opinion too hard you are saying that karate is for stupid people.

Oh, I’m serious. Look, Karate, be it goju or shotokan or uechi ryu or whatever, depends on physics. And, once a person has mastered the first set of physics, there is a second set of physics pertinent to the mind and the spirit. But, because of antiquated training methods, methods that were used to control unruly children (not teach them) nobody in the martial arts really knows what the second set of physics is.

Let me take one point and blow it up a bit. I had a student who had the most terrible form, and he had taken a year of classical martial arts training. He was terrible, but-smile in the eyes of his teachers-he was rigid.

So his shoulders overextended, his body was always turned the wrong way, his punches wouldn’t hurt a six year old girl, but he was deemed good because he was rigid. All his muscles locked into place at the execution of technique. And, you can see this same tendency on any number of youtube Karate videos.

Now, one of the first rules of combat is, ‘a sitting duck is a dead duck.’ Heck, the reason that bully told you to stand still and face him was because he wanted a stationary target. And this goes against the real karate somebody would learn if they could get past the rigid, no information instruction that is offered in nearly every karate class in the world.

Real Karate is liquid, and the focus points are so short they can’t be perceived, and the karateka is able to move in any direction without preparation or telegraphing. True Karate is like a whip, and only the fist tightens, and that momentarily when it smacks through some fool’s face. Karate is a study in motion, not in rigidity, and that is just one of the problems with Classical Karate Training.

If you want to see some excellent karate, check out my Temple Karate DVDs. I’m old, I’ve been doing classical karate for over forty years, but I’ve still got some liquid left in me. There are eleven forms, with TONS of self defense applications.