Category Archives: Shito Ryu

Funakoshi Says Karate Is Not The Karate It Was!

It is a well known fact that the only thing that doesn’t change is that everything changes. That is the unavoidable truth residing at the heart of this universe. That this is true in Karate (and other martial arts) was put forth by Gichin Funakoshi, the father of Karate.
Check out the video. It shows how one should examine karate form applications to find all the possibilities. The article will continue below that.

Before I tell you what he said, let me make a point through the sayings of Matsu Basho. Don’t (merely) follow in the footsteps of the masters, but rather seek what (the truths) they sought. While this bit of writing I present to you may seem like an attack on the classical approach to the martial arts, it is really merely an admonishment to look deep.

To look deep is to find the soul. To look deep is to find the true martial arts. To look deep is to find yourself.

Hoping to see Karate included in the physical education taught in our public schools, I set about changing the kata so as to make them as simple as possible. Times change, the world changes, and the martial arts should change too. The Karate that school students practice today is not the same Karate that was practiced even as recently as 10 years previous [this book was written in 1956], and it is a long way indeed from the Karate I learned when I was a child in Okinawa.

The paragraph you have just read are the words of Master Gichin Funakoshi. There may be some paraphrasing, so if you want the exact quote, simply examine his book. It is titled…Karate-Do: My Way of Life.

The point here is that to memorize the forms and techniques is fine, up to a point. And at that point one must give up the Monkey See Monkey Do type mode of instruction and start digging deeper. This is the only way to get to the heart of the real martial arts.

The Martial Arts, and we are speaking specifically of Karate here, were created for specific times to solve exact problems. Was it designed for defense against weapons that are no longer in use, armor that is no longer worn, mind sets that are no longer showing? Was it translated for children, for different cultures, for languages and beliefs and mind sets?

The answer is resoundingly yes, Karate has changed over the years, and not always for the best. Thus, one must look beyond form and bunkai, beneath words, and beyond even the imagingings of our sensei. One must look hard and deep, else one will never realize what Master Funakoshi meant when he said that Karate is not what it was, and they will miss seeing the truth of themselves.

If you want to learn more about Real Karate, and how to find it in any method or style, head over over to Learn Karate Online. Pick up a free boo on ‘How I Discovered Matrixing,’ while you’re there.

Goju Ryu Karate Weakness and how to Fix Them

Within the Karate Fist is Great Spirit

I was teaching this guy once, it was Kenpo Karate, and he quit and went to Goju Ryu. Hmmm.
At first I thought it was my teaching, and maybe it was, but what it really was was that the guy wanted a more classical approach.
And, I am sure he didn’t want to take privates and spend money, he preferred the small monthly class fees.
I saw him a year later, he wasn’t very good. It wasn’t the fault of the system, he just wasn’t very good.
The upshot of this is that I began examining Goju. I found it interesting.
I found the two man drills quite nifty. I found a couple of things about the system disturbing.
Breathing is important, but you should base the system around it. You should install the breathing, make sure it was being done correctly, and just check it periodically. But in Goju they were breathing and breathing, and it seemed that breathing was more important than fighting. I know I’m overstating it, but the point is there.
And, I found a couple of other things that disturbed me. Specifically, the toe out horse stance.
I heard a high ranking master explain the toe out horse stance once: it makes the small of the back soft.
Whoneeds a soft small of the back? What is the point of that? And I’ve never found an explanation for this. PerhapsI shall some day. Perhaps someone will comment on this blog and take me to task. That’s cool. If I learn something I certainly would welcome being taken to task. Until then, the excessive breathing, and the funky horse stance are things I’ve handled in Matrix Karate. In fact, you can take Matrixing and fix Goju ryu, if you wish. Nothign wrong with the system at heart, just needs some tweaks of physics. Anyway, checkout Monster Martial Arts, particularly Matrix Karate. Who knows, you might be the one to fix Goju ryu.

A Simple Martial Arts injury Results from Incorrect Training Methods

Within the Karate Fist is Great Spirit

I lay on the floor gasping, suffering from the simple martial arts injury of…having the air knocked out of me.

It was a simple punch to the belly, didn’t really even hurt much, but I couldn’t breath. The rest of the class gathered around, stared as my face turned red.

The instructor stepped in, pushed me flat on my back, grabbed a hold of my belt, and jerked upward. Air flooded back in, and suddenly I could breath.

This injury was pretty common back then. And the usual practice was to bear hug the sufferer from the rear and lift him up. This would stretch out the muscles, causing them to relax, and then you could breath. At least I think this is what was happening. Sort of CPR for the Karate induced injury, if you get my drift.

The second method I have described. The guy is flat on his back, you jerk up on his belt, and the muscles relax and he starts breathing.

The important thing here, however, is that we were being taught incorrectly to suffer such an injury in the first place.

Later, I went to a more traditional dojo, and we were taught to tighten the belly on impact, when punching, when blocking, when kicking. Basically, when the body expanded, or was impacted upon. Once I learned that, i never had the breath knocked out of me again.

Drop by Monster Martial Arts, there are all sorts of tips, for everything from injuries to techniques to…whatever.

I have a confession to make, I used to practice Shotokan Katas while I was going to an Ed Parker Chinese Kenpo Karate style martial arts school.

I kow, heresy, I am impure, oh sob and moan.

But, on my behalf, Kenpo was originally Shotokan. Check out the video, and then I’ll tell you about it.

You didn’t know that Ed Parker Kenpo Karate was originally a shotokan based hard style of Karate? But it’s true! If you look at the first book Ed Parker wrote, it is a sequence of techniques that, when put together, make up the forms of Shotokan.

Mind you, it might not have been Shotokan proper, might even have been Isshin ryu, or shito ryu, or something like that, but the point is made. Chinese Kenpo was originally basic Japanese Okianwan Karate.

Why did it change? Because Parker never got his black belt (Oh, I think he did, but not from Thunderbolt Chow). So he taught a bunch of fellows Karate, ran out of stuff to teach, and started teaching a type of made up Kung Fu.

Look, I know a few dunderheads will get upset with this history, but it’s fairly accurate, there are a slightly different versions out there, but it seems to hold up when you do a little basic net research, and especially when you see that first book.

So, when I say I was doing Shotokan Karate (the Heians out of the Best Karate seriess by Nakayama, while I was studying at an Ed Parker Chinese Kenpo Karate style of martial arts school, that isn’t a bad thing. Heck, if it was good enough for Ed. Right? Check out my site, Monster Martial Arts,  lots of books and courses and things, all the way back to the martial arts taught in the sixties.

The False Martial Art of Karate

The art of Karate is good, except for the false art taught with it. Check out the video, then I’ll tell you about the false art.

The True Art, the Kata and the Bunkai and all that, give one an education of the body, teaches the mechanics and the physics of motion. This is useful stuff that shold be taught in any school.

However, when it comes to kumite, what is called freestyle, there are several problems.

One problem is that the freestyle doesn’t use the moves of the forms. Yes, the forms shouldbe adjusted a bit, but the real problem lies with something I call the Joy of Combat. This is when people start liking fighting just because they like to fight.

What does fighting have to do with Karate?

Karate, or any other art, Kenpo or Taekwondo, or whatever, should be about conditioning the body, calming the mind, and finding a truth of spirit.

Yes, you have to learn how to fight to give up fighting, but it seems like too many arts get stuck in learning how to fight, and never give up the fighting.

If you agree with my sentiments here, and maybe want to find a better method, check out my website…Monster Martial Arts.

Growing Internal Power Karate Style

Within the Karate Fist is Great Spirit

It’s easy to grow Internal Power, no matter what style of Karate you do. The problem is that there are so few accurate descriptions–we are lacking directions, you see–that very few people ever make the simple connections.

Now, I read the existing descriptions, mostly Chinese, a few Japanese, and I couldn’t get it. But I kept coming across this thing called ‘Moving the body as one unit,’ and I tried to put it to work.

Unfortunately, it being alien, I screwed up a few times, but I finally formalized the procedure.

1) Start moving all body parts at the same time.

2) Stop moving all body parts at the same time.

3) Synchronize motion of the body parts, taking into account the length of the limb, the amount of weight, the musculature involved, and so on.

Now, there’s more, but it all started with getting these three things down. Once they were down, I was growing internal energy. The problem…I didn’t know it.

Internal energy, when you don’t know what you are doing, grows slowly. Fortunately, once you know what you are doing, it can grow speedily.

So, after a couple of years of following and refining the three steps listed above, a guy showed me a spinning kick out of Tae Kwon Do. I liked it, but it was not combat useful, so I changed it. I stood in a horse stance, swapped feet, and kicked with the back foot in a ‘spinning’ horse stance.

Actually, it was more of a ‘pop hop’ kick, but you don’t see the hiop part because you move fast and keep the head in the same place in space.

Zingo Bingo, internal energy exploded from the tan tien, and brother…I FELT IT!

Of course I had a couple of years of internal energy stored up from doing the forms, that helped–grin–but the explosion was just as the old CHinese and Japanese texts had described…with one difference.

The Internal energy descritions came from Tai Chi, or Aikido, or Wudan based arts, and the descriptions described a slower pace, a slower emitting of energy. So, while the descriptions were accurate, they confused.


1) Do your Forms

2) Use your body as one unit (I call this concept CBM–Coordinated Body Motion)

3) Have patience.

Just remember, it’s like cooking, sometimes you have to sit watch the pot simmer. But, following the directions above, you shouldn’t have to wait as long.

For further and very exact directions as to how to grow Internal Power Karate style, or kung fu style, or in any martial art, check out the book I wrote. It’s called, and it’s at Monster Martial Arts.


Do You Have a Perfect Karate Punch?

Within the Karate Fist is Great Spirit

Do you have a perect karate punch? Or, for that matter, a perfect Taekwondo punch, or a perfect kenpo punch?

I was learning Sanchin Kata the hard way, out of a pan gai noon book. I would look at the pics, read the descriptions, and step back from the table the book was on and do it.

And, at the same time, I was talking to a friend about how to collect and sell ancient bottles.

Sanchin, sink the stance, connect with the earth, breth, energy out, punch.

And, you tap a rod gently into the earth, when you hear the ping of glass, when the rod taps differently, you have found a bottle.

Punch not with muscle, but with the collective energy of the earth. Use your chi.

And, then you have to dig down and find the bottle, being very careful not to break the glass.

Feel the power, feel the way the frame conducts the energy, make the fist tight…find the sensation of perfection.

And, you bring the bottle up and look at it. Is it cracked? Has the bottom broken? What kind of liquid did the bottle hold? What ancient secret have you uncovered.

I was struck by how our pursuits were the same. Digging for antique bottles was no different than plumping the soul; finding the perfection of a punch through precise actions.

Later, after developing a Perfect Karate Punch, I would write a book, The Punch, inspired by the things I would find. Make sure you check out the free book on the home page.

Classical Ki Technique Taught in Pinan Three Karate Kata

Karate PowerIt’s true, Pinan Three does have a Ki building technique in it. Actually, many of the techniques of the basic Pinan Kata, or Heian Kata as they are sometimes called, have ki building techniques in them.

The specific technique is the very first move. You won’t see the ki building in the form, however, it happens in the technique. If you’re interested, check out the technique in the Monster Journal. It’s in the second issue (the first issue has a great technique in it, too), and you should just click on Pinan Three Ki Technique to get to the Journal page.

The Monster Journal is a short, free, online martial arts magazine. There are a few mags out there, but this one is pretty concise, and very martial arts oriented. You can read it online, or download it. Make sure you enter the contest, it’s a chance to win ten free martial arts books (on CD).


The Blessings of Ignorance in Karate

I began Karate in 1967. It was a new concept, this oriental fighting thing. We’d seen some terrible chops in the movies, but there was still this thing about massive power going on around.

A few books made their appearance, but they didn’t really say anythign. Even the pics were terrible.

When I finally found a school and started studying, the teacher never spoke. He’d count, or say, ‘Put your foot back further,’ or something like that. But it was real Monkey See Monkey Do.

The blessing, of course, is that nothing was said. The result of this silent teaching was that there were no intellectual distractions, nothing to misguide us.

Interestingly, as time went on, and more people spoke, less was learned. The learning happens in the bones. The learning happens in the sweat and the blood.

Now we are truly cursed. not only do we have everybody telling us what the martial arts are, what they are telling us is allmade up. It is based on their short experience, and their is no real lineage in America. Thus, arts are thrown together, techniques that don’t fit are mish mashed, and the whole thing resembles a Rubik’s Cube.

Not for lack of sincere effort, but because nobody took the time to analyze the myth and come up with the science.

Well, things are getting better. After all, you have tobreak a few eggs to make an omelet. And people will eventually get smart enough to ignore the myth, study the science, and eventually make it back to the myth.

It’ll just take a short time.

Check out Monster Martial Arts. A million words of Martial Science, and a lot more on this concept of science returning us to mythic proportion and the true blessings of the martial arts.

How to Put Mushin No Shin in the Karate Fist

Mushin no shin means mind of no mind. simply, you get rid of all the garbage going on in your skull, and you dedicate yourself to doing one thing, and one thing only. In this case, the one thing involves the use of the karate fist, and punch powerful beyond imagination.

Interestingly, attempting to understand mushin no shin can result in mystical experiences, insights of supreme clarity  and understanding the universe, and so on.

The reason is because when you get rid of the mind, and start working at a spiritual nature, you perceive the universe differently.  You perceive it without eyes.

That said, mind of no mind, can actually be expressed as ‘Time of no time.’ You start perceiving time between techniques, you see.

Now, when I first realized this, I stopped punching with muscle, and started extending my arm like it was a stick. I stopped grunting and snapping and powering up, and simply held the ground with my feet, and extended the stick of my arm (fist) through my opponent.

Man, it worked like a miracle. Right from the get go, I was having to tone down my techniques, they were just causing too much pain, and threatening to cause severe damage.

Check out this video of me and a candle from over a foot away, I am just using mushin no shin, and the arm like a stick…

Hitting without hitting.

Striking spiritually.

It all makes sense with the simple concept. Sometimes you have to go through a lot of work out to get the concept, but you shouldn’t have to. After all, if you can understand what I just said here, you should be able to do it.

Drop by Monster Martial Arts to find out more. Check out the, it’s ina  link at the bottom of the home page.