Tag Archives: shotokan

Linking Karate Techniques to make Better Martial Art

Newsletter 883

Interlinking Martial Arts Forms

Here’s an interesting little trick for you,
one that will open your eyes and expand your art by ten…

I did Kenpo back in 67,
I noticed right away that the forms
were built simple to complex.
Actually,
simple to hard to understand.

You learned your basics with the first two forms,
then everything went haywire,
the forms were lists of techniques,
no real logic behind the sequence of the forms,
or even the relationship of the forms to themselves.
Mind you,
it was fun,
but it was HARD to really learn anything.
You ended up just memorizing,
and doing the martial arts like a dance.

Then I went to the Kung Duk Won
learned the classic Karate forms.
It was still a list of techniques,
but the forms had more meaning,
the arrangement from basics to complex
took on a different meaning.

Before I go on,
here’s a clip from Pinan Five
Give you an idea of how some of this karate stuff works…

https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=Sz1asLo9ktc

Anyway,
before we were so rudely interrupted by the video…
I noticed there was a general trend,
from white belt to black belt,
and the trend went like this…

block then counter
two block and counter
three block and counter
block and counter simultaneous

Do you see the progression?
While it looks like a progression of numbers of blocks,
it was actually a progression of time,
but you might have to see the actual techniques
to understand that particular thing.

One of the things I did
when I started ‘pre-matrixing,’
was make huge lists
of all blocks and counters,
and arrange them according to belt level.
Man,
did that make things easy.

But,
there was something else I noticed at the Kang Duk Won.
The forms expanded on the footwork,
and there was a link between the forms.
Pinan two and four were similar in certain ways.
And Pinan three and five were similar.

This,
again,
I utilized in matrixing.
Not just arranging the numbers of blocks and counters,
but sequencing the blocks and counters in time,
and then…
arranging the forms to accurately represent this linkage.
Zingo bingo,
there was the roots of real matrixing.

So,
go ahead,
do it.
Take your forms,
ask yourself about simplicity and workability,
arrange the techniques,
then arrange your forms,
or rather,
as you will probably have to do,
create new forms to contain
the much more logical and easy to teach techniques.

Guaranteed,
you’re going to twist your head on this stuff,
it took me decades to figure this out,
of course,
I didn’t have the simple things
that I have laid out for you here.

And,
there is an easy way.
Instead of pounding your head in frustration,
instead of doing something with your head
that heads are not well built to do,
just take a gander at

Matrix Karate.

It’s all there.
The linkage of techniques,
the linkage of forms,
freestyle methods to go with belt levels,
AND A BONUS COURSE ON KICKING
with the forms,
the techniques,
and everything in logical order.
AND…
all the distractions of other arts,
arts that do not match up with the basic concepts of karate,
have been eliminated.

Makes for a VERY pure path.
And a very QUICK path.

But don’t believe me.
Twist your head for thirty years,
and then come up with what I already did.

Here’s the link.

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

Have a great work out!

Al

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

http://www.martialartsinstructortraining.com

http://www.amazon.com/Binary-Matrixing-Martial-Arts-Case/dp/1515149501/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1437625109&sr=8-1&keywords=binary+matrixing

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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

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.
Interestingly,
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?

Easy.
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.

But,
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.
And,
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.

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

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

Have a great work out!
Al

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

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

How to Defend Against Dogs with Martial Arts

Martial Arts Defense Against Killer Dogs

Is this going to be a GREAT week or what?
Eh?
I mean,
the stars are in alignment,
the tea leaves are propitious,
and,
if that isn’t enough…
you get to work out!

best karate kung fu chi training manual

Click on the cover!

Of all them prophetic devices…
only the work out is the sure thing,
so I think I’ll work out twice!

Oinkly doggie.
Let’s leap right into the good stuff,
let’s talking about taking out attack trained,
killer vicious curs called…
guard dogs.

I was ten years old,
was cutting across a neighbors estate on my bicycle
and a big, old weimaraner
who I had known and played with,
attacked me.
Dragged me off the bicycle
and I managed to steer the falling bike
towards the property line,
and I fell into the street.
Off the property.
The guard dog,
who I had known and played with,
petted and wrestled with,
growled and snapped at me,
but was stopped by the property line.

Okay.
Guards dogs gone wild.
you know?

So I was afraid of dogs after that.
Then,
when I was eleven,
my older brother gave me his paper route.
And,
on one of the streets,
you guessed it,
a dog.
Not a guard dog,
but he would run into the street
and chase me.
I would peddle and cry.
And I asked my brother what he did about the dog.
“I kick it.”
It’s got to reach you,
so when it jumps,
I kick it.

I envisioned kicking,
even practiced it a bit,
and,
the next day,
I was delivering papers,
and,
you guessed it,
the dog comes chasing after me!

Man,
I stomped that sucker right in the face.
He yipped and ran.
And,
a half hour later,
I rode past that house again.
I was feeling a bit proud,
maybe even a bit blood thirsty,
hoping that dog would attack me again
so I could nail his face with my
Sunday go to meeting shoes.
(They were the only hard soles I had)

There were teeth on the ground!
I had actually knocked his teeth out!
HAHAHAHA!

And,
over the years,
I think about the A$$whole
who owned that dog.
Cause it’s the owner that should be kicked,
not the dog.
I’ll bet the owner thought it was funny,
his lights were on,
he let the dog out,
laughed when the paper boy ran.

Well,
he was feeding that dog mush with a spoon now!

Okay.
That sets us up.
Let’s talk about Monkeyland.

We have dogs up here.
Truth,
I LOVE dogs.
I hike all over with them.
I throw sticks.
I even swim with them!

Nothing is better than a big, old mutt
with a wet, sloppy tongue.
Nothing.

So we’ve got three dogs.
One is a hundred pound lab.
Big frigging tongue on that boy!
The other two are Mallenois.
Mother and pup.
Mallenois are like under sized german shepherds.
And,
they are highly prized as guard dogs.
My partner brought them up,
introduced the mother,
who was highly trained,
as a killer.

Well,
that’s not really what we’re about at Monkeyland,
but he’s my partner’s,
so now we have a highly trained attack dog.

Here’s the bad news.
The mother is loving,
one of the most loving dogs I have ever seen.
It is…
over loving.
Frantic.
Desparate.
You can’t go outside without the dog leaping on you,
hugging you,
trying to curl around your feet,
prostating itself and
…just wanting love.

The trainer,
you see,
has done a number on her.
Probably a good trainer.
My opinion,
however,
is that the dog will protect instinctively.
Doesn’t need to be trained to harm a human being.
In fact,
I think the training,
to harm another human being,
is a crime.
And what it has done to that poor dog…
Lord.
That poor dog is just out of its mind.

It’s always the owner,
in this case the trainer,
you know?

Anyway,
before I rant on a$$wholes who train dogs,
let’s talk about taking out a dog
that has been trained to harm human beings.

I went out on the front porch to do a work out.
Beautiful out there.
A mile of green valley and blue skies.
High, puffy clouds wafting across the sky.
A hint of breeze to cool off the work out
and let it go even longer.

Paradise,
you know?

BUT,
the dog wants love.
Is desperate for love.
And it crawls under my feet,
tries to jump on me.
So I practice my footwork,
anticipating directions,
and the dog is falling into space,
can’t keep up,
even falling down.

Hey!
This is fun!
BUT,
somewhere in there,
the attack responses are triggered.
The dog leaps at me.

Remember that dog I played with?
And who dragged me off my bike?
Man,
here it as,
all over again.

Not quite vicious,
but the line between love and hate,
usually large,
has been slipped over.
The dog leaps at me,
snapping at my wrists.
I realize that this is one of the devices
that the trainer must have used.
Play,
slap around,
get it to go lightly vicious.
A game,
you know?

But the A$$whole trainer
obviously didn’t know martial arts.

I was doing Tai Chi at the time,
the first move,
ward off.
The dog leaped,
I shuffled back slightly,
bowed my belly in,
and held my arms out,
the dog was in my space,
and I lowered my arm so that the forearm was at the neck,
turned my hips,
and threw the dog.

Man,
you have never seen such a quick and efficient throw.
That dog just flipped on its side.

It leaped at me.
I did golden rooster,
a simple knee,
and the dog bounced off the point of the knee and fell back.
Yipping!

I smiled,
cocked my head,
and held my hand out and motioned to the dog like Bruce Lee.
Come on.

The dog went for the feet.
I was wearing soft shoes,
so I merely stepped in front of my left foot with my right,
then,
when the dog was fooled,
slapped it in the head with a left sole behind the right leg.
Came right out of nowhere,
rocked that momma like there was no tomorrow.

Now,
I was being incredibly soft.
I LOVE dogs.
Even attack trained vicious guard dogs.
It’s the owner,
you know?

But I moved across that porch,
befuddling,
confounding,
confusing,
and threw that dog this way and that.
Didn’t use any force.
Just slipped and turned,
gave the dog the target,
then withdrew it.

And,
after a while,
the dog wasn’t sure what to do.
In the game it had been trained in,
it won,
got a cookie for savaging a wrist or ankle.
Got loving for biting the padded mid section.
Here,
there was no midsection.
And the ankles bit back and were gone.
And the wrists,
oh Lord,
going for the wrists
was a fool’s errand.
That always resulted in a disappearing target,
and a dog body flipped on it’s side,
and a series of Karate punches to the belly.
Soft punches.
And,
grin,
I avoided any of the Tai Chi strikes.
I didn’t want to kill the dog.

So,
that’s how you handle an attack trained
vicious,
killer guard dog.

Karate will work fine,
or any other art,
but remember that it is play here,
and that you are,
in essence,
undoing what the dog has been trained to do.
And,
remember,
it is always the owner.

The guard dog,
any dog,
is just one of God’s critters,
and we are charged with taking care of them.
Not using them against our fellow man,
beyond their natural protectiveness.

And,
it makes me think,
there are a few people I’d like to ‘de-train’
a few politicians.
Hmmm.
Maybe that’s a story for another time,
eh?

Have a great and glorious work out!
And don’t forget to pet your dog,
and play with him every day.
especially if he’s been attack trained.
Grin.

Al

Here’s the link for Matrix Tai Chi Chuan.
That’s the stuff I use,
and I recommend it HIGHLY!

http://monstermartialarts.com/martial-arts/2ba-matrix-tai-chi-chuan/

Real Shotokan Karate versus Beavis and Butthead

The Case for Real Shotokan Karate

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Martial Arts Quiz to Find your Martial Smarts!

Take the Martial Arts Quiz now!

This Martial Arts Quiz will let you know how much you know in the martial arts. The questions cover a range of martial arts, and instructions for grading are at the bottom. Begin now and write down the answer to each question.

karate quizWho was the Chinese movie star named ‘The Little Dragon?’  What was the significant Samurai martial art learned by the founder of Aikido? What was the name of the brothers who built a national chain of Chinese Kenpo Karate studios?

Who was the founder of the Chinese martial art wherein the practitioner spends his time ‘walking the circle?’ Who was the first American President to take Judo instruction? What was the title of the movie that Bruce Lee didn’t finish before his death?

Which Karate system received the official blessing of Master Gichin Funakoshi to spread his style of karate (it was not Shotokan)? What is the name of the World Taekwondo Headquarters in Seoul? Who was the Taekwondo instructor behind the martial arts in ‘Billie Jack?’

What is the title of the book penned by the Samurai who killed sixty people and lived the last years of his life in a cave? What martial art trains one in the use of the weapon called a Parang? Who was the first owner of Black Belt magazine?

What length of time did it take Bill ‘Superfoot’ Wallace to achieve the rank of black belt? Which athlete did Bruce Lee watch the movies of in a mirror to make sure he got the movements of on both the right and the left sides? What was the title of the first book the founder of Chinese Kenpo wrote on the martial arts (listed in wiki)?

Who was the ‘spy’ who wrote the first book on Shaolin to receive widespread attention in the US, and what was the name of the book that he wrote? What was the name of the first chop sockie flick to really make it big in the United States? Who was the Chinese actor to kill a villain in a Chinese movie made in the late 70s, and then play that same villain in the movie ‘Kill Bill?’

To find any answers you don’t know do a google search. To figure out your score take the number of questions you answered correctly and divide by 18. Don’t worry if you didn’t score high, for now you know all the answers to this martial arts quiz and are a smarter person.

martial arts quiz

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!

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 Art of Karate and Three Bottles

Ancient Karate Class!

Ancient Karate Class!

The Art of Karate may be analogized to three bottles.

First, when you learn a classical art, like Shotokan or Goju or Uechi…it is like crawling up the inside of a bottle. The closer you get to the top, the harder the climb, yet the more sky you see.

Second, breaking bottles requires a higher degree of skill and artistry. You must stand an empty bottle and chop at the neck. The angle of the chop and the construction of the glass make a break possible. Make sure you have practiced much before you do this, and be careful not to cut your hands. If you want a good example of this, just check out the first karate kid movie. Though it is just a movie, it does show the art.

Third, digging up a bottle is…an entire article. So simply do a search for the title of this article…’Digging through the Soil of Human Experience…and the Perfect Karate Punch.’ Guaranteed, it is worth it.

Get an absolutely free martial arts book at Monster Martial Arts. It’s at the top left of the home page.

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.

Shotokan Martial Artist Called A Shotobot!

Calling a Shotokan Martial Artist a Shotobot is sort of mean, but only if the Shotokanoka doesn’t have a sense of humor. Here’s what my internet student was referring to.

“Thanks for the words yesterday. I enjoy your news letters. Last night at practice, we had matrix training. I love it. It allows you to think of Karate in a logical manner, rather than this rigid stuff other systems teach. My friend is a Shotokan artist or rather ‘Shotobot’ as I like to think of it. We have sparred in the past and every time, I find holes in her defense and offense. Last night we practiced pretty hard, which is what I need after dealing with a bunch of Seniors who would rather be elsewhere. Matrixing really does apply to almost anything in life. Now if only I could teach myself a foreign language in one week!”

He wasn’t really being mean, you see, he was just observing a temporary condition that students of the martial arts, especially a Shotokan Martial Artist, would go through.

Don’t want to be a Shotobot? Want to evolve as a Shotokan Martial Artist? Mouse on over to Monster Martial Arts.

Win #63