Tag Archives: karate

Finding the Muse in the Martial Arts

Newsletter 16

Letting the Art Guide You

Here’s three vids…

Friday, February 3, 2017
MB 61 The Meaning of the Prayer ~ What is the meaning of that opening move in the forms? You’re going to find some interesting stuff here.

MB 62 Opening the Grab Arts ~ Really digging into he grab arts. This is specifically on wrists, but it opens the door to all sorts of other things.

MB 63 Aligning the Body ~ This is the straight skinny on how to use your body. If you don’t use it right you are inefficient, and can actually damage your body.

Sorry to be late,
I’ll get faster next week.

This week I was writing a book.
It’s funny,
when I write a book
everything gets put on hold.
I’m not one of these guys that makes an outline,
collects reams of notes,
shuffles through the mess in search of
some way to express myself
rewrite five times,
send it out for editing,
rewrite it three more times…

There are writers like that,
you know.

I can usually spot them
because they are boring.

Sometimes they are excellent,
but this is rare.
Mostly they are talky and boring.

When I write something hits me.
I run to the computer (literally)
and start writing.
I don’t stop until it is done.
I never have writer’s block,
I never have doubts,
it is like some higher power
has decided to use me.
Some people call it the ‘muse,’
and this concept is true.

I didn’t start out this way.
I started out boring,
writing the way I had been taught.
But teachers usually are telling about things
they have never done.

It wasn’t long,
just a few failed attempts,
and then I was sunk into the muse,
pushed about,
made to write
in a smooth,
beginning to end flow.

What does this have to do with the martial arts?

EVERYTHING!

The more I do the martial arts
the greater is the muse,
the more powerful is this invisible hand
that shoves and guides me.

I don’t write,
I am written.

When I am done there is almost no need for editing.

That statement,
right there,
actually freaks other writers out.
They don’t know what to do with that.
“But everybody needs to get ‘checked!’”

Not if they have experience in cultivating the muse.

Overtime I do a form
I feel a spirit.
I feel something enveloping me.
I feel hidden hands guiding me.
I feel eyeballs searching over me
finding my mistakes and whispering of them
right into the middle of my cranium.

And,
the more I feel this in the martial arts,
the more I feel it when I write.

Writing doesn’t have this discipline.
There is the discipline of forcing yourself to write,
but,
fortunately,
I have never felt that.
I just feel the love of writing,
and can’t wait to doit.

I literally RUN to the computer.
and let myself be written.

And,
I am sitting watching some stupid show on TV,
and,
suddenly,
something picks me up,
deposits me outside,
in the garage,
at the dojo,
and I move.

I am moved.

But you have to commit yourself.
You have to know what you love,
and let your love guide you.

Very hard for most people.

But you are martial artists,
so you are already half way there.
All you have to do now is…
let yourself go.
Give yourself up.
Do…and feel yourself be guided.

Enjoy your work outs this week,
every work out is precious,
a chance to commune not just with yourself,
but with…everything.

Have a great work out!
Al

Any questions or clarifications
send them me:

aganzul@gmail.com

Exploring the House Forms

Newsletter 14

Exploring the House

Here’s three vids…

MB 59 House Solo ~ https://youtu.be/w-nzddVdzQM

First I teach the form solo. I take the time to push on the form,

to make sure the body alignment is correct, and goes all the way to the ground.

I usually teach first the low block version, then the outward middle block version, and then the high block version. Then I put them together.

Sometimes I teach the two man version first, because it makes the blocks real, and shows the student how to be real in his form training right from the start.

MB 58 House One Two Man ~ https://youtu.be/8un9tgHFJxs

The two man version develops an appreciation for reality that is possible in no other two man form. This is so straightforward, so logical, and makes the student understand how to use this stuff in reality.

MB 60 House Techniques ~ https://youtu.be/OhhPYpu1ehE

Oddly, I don’t teach the techniques much, except when they go into grab arts. But the grab arts don’t start until the second house form. The fact is that the two man version of house one is so real it doesn’t need the techniques. Much better to just get into the form and drill it endlessly. You avoid a lot of talk about what works and why, situations, what ifs, and so on.

Okay,

this week we’re going to take apart the first house form.

First the two man version,

then the solo version,

then the techniques.

I created house many years ago.

You can actually find an article on it

in the articles on the Monster site.

I was trying to make a better beginning form.

One that fit in with the matrixing concepts

I was developing.

I took a look at all the beginning karate forms,

I looked at the various disciplines,

went through all the karate styles.

One of the better forms was Short One,

from Kenpo.

The problem is that everybody does the form wrong.

The blocks break the basic alignment of the body,

there is improper preparation between blocks,

and so on.

Still,

I liked the form.

It did the four basic blocks

in the four basic directions,

but then it stopped.

The next form expanded,

but not logically.

There was no continuation of the concepts.

So house one was easier to learn,

could be adapted to two man versions,

and it led to House Two.

That’s the story behind house One,

work it hard,

and enjoy.

Your art will be better for it.

Have a great work out!

Al

Any questions or clarifications

send them me:

aganzul@gmail.com

Monkey Boxing Slap-Grab Drills

Newsletter 14

Matrixing Open and Close Drills

Here’s three vids…

Thursday, February 9, 2017
MB 49 Moon Blocking Drill ~ Exploring the potentials of the Moon block through a series of realistic drills.

MB 51 Butterfly Blocking  Drill ~  Exploring the potentials of the Butterfly block through a series of realistic drills.

MB 52 Crescent Kick orig ~ I did a couple of vids on the crescent kick, a couple of viewpoints, making sure I had all the info right. Here’s the first.

Allright,
we really take apart blocking drills,
put drilling to the theory
that there is only closing and opening
when you are blocking.

And,
we double up the work by going from the stationary Moon,
to the moving Butterfly.

Should give you LOTS to think about.

The idea is that you should be able to stand
face to face,
not flinch,
because you have examined ALL the potentials of blocking,
and no one can give you
something you don’t know.

The trick behind this is to do the drill
until you can see it coming.

You see it before it happens.

The idea here
is that somebody throws a strike,
you react.

After a while
you see the telltale signs.
You see the lean,
the pre-torque,
and you don’t react act,
you just act.

And,
as you delve deeper,
you will eventually see the thought.

There is ALWAYS a thought before an action.
A person’s body does not move
until the person tells it to.
You will see the thought
that tells the body to move.

At that point you are well out in front of the attack.

The original concept here
came from Kenpo.

See/think/react
became see/react
became
react.

But this was insufficient,
it didn’t allow for growth into justing acting,
which is to say,
being bigger than your opponent
and seeing what he s going to do before he does it.

Obviously,
I’ve shortened the procedure up
by listing the matrix of open and close

open/open
open/close
close/open
close/close

But that’s what logic does.
It takes the adequate,
and makes it scientific,
and then intuition is possible.

The funny thing is that science doesn’t account for intuition.
Science talks about weird things,
and never takes into account
that there is a human being behind the action,
and that the human being always has different standards.
Differents ways of acing,
and so on.

Most people think they are animals,
so they fight or run.
The Monkey Boxer comes in touch with his spiritual nature,
so he has a lot more choices.
Threats don’t scare him,
because he has seen all the potentials.

It really is a different place to be.

Have a great work out!
Al

Any questions or clarifications
send them me:

aganzul@gmail.com

How to Control Somebody without hurting Them!

Newsletter 13

Controlling an Opponent

Here’s three vids…

MB 46 Wrist Control 2 ~

MB 47 Foot Catcher 2 ~

MB 48 Butterfly Form Again ~

The point of the martial arts is to control somebody.
Not to destroy the opponent,
but to control him.

The philosophy would be something like this:
‘if you destroy everybody,
you have no one left to play with.’

But it goes a lot deeper than that simplicity.

To control somebody
can’t be done unless you can control yourself.
If you can control yourself
then you can go forward,
spiritually and as a martial artist.

That simple,
and that difficult.

The wrist techniques,
as in the first video above,
are actually called ‘Wrist controls.’

Somebody grabs you,
you control them.
Hey,
if they are grabbing you,
you can actually close your eyes
and feel what their body is doing.

And that alone makes for a wonderful drill.
Have somebody close his eyes,
grab them,
and have them figure out the best method
for controlling the attacker.

Now,
the second video is foot catcher 2.
Footcatcher 2 is a gem.
Interestingly,
you don’t learn it on the foot,
but on the arm.
When you can apply it to the arm,
then it makes it easier to understand the joints and angles of the ankle,
and easier to apply to that limb.

And,
the butterfly form.
again.
The essence,
though,
is emphasizing how you control another person
through controlling distance.

So,
control.
That is the game.
That is the real martial arts.

Sure,
you can break somebody,
kill him,
but there is no joy in that.

Some twenty years ago
i came across an article in one of the mags.
It concerned a fellow
who had actually used the martial arts,
in self defense,
and killed somebody.
He didn’t speak of joy and satisfaction,
he spoke of how he couldn’t sleep,
how he was obsessed with the idea
that maybe he couldn’t have done things different.

He was truly sorry he had become a killer.
He hadn’t planned to,
the situation arose,
he did what his training told him,
and became a killer.

God,
was he sorry.

So,
no matter what your art,
explore it for controlling factors.
Not for destruction,
but for pain and compliance,
that people may live,
and not die.
So you can live
without the deadly weight in your soul.

Have a great work out!
Al

Any questions or clarifications
send them me:

aganzul@gmail.com

Simple Monkey Boxing Drills

Newsletter 12

Some Simple Drills

Three more videos are up!
Sorry I’m two days late on this…
but here you go.

MB 43 Push and Roll to control arms ~

MB 44 Wristlock One ~

MB 45 Butterfly Form ~

The first video, Push and Control,
is a simple drill I came up with some 40+ years ago,
while learning Sticky Hands out of Wing chun.

The point here is that,
when you fight,
you point your arms at your opponent’s shoulders,
and you assume the dominant position
no matter what he does.

Whenever he punches you can push him in or out,
as long as you control the lines
from your hands to his shoulders.
He simply has to go around,
and you shift and angle,
and override.

This relates to the Override drill.
If you haven’t seen it yet,
it should be coming up soon.

The second drill is a wrist lock drill
which I developed over 40 years ago,
while taking Aikido.

I had done the basic wrist locks in Karate,
and began searching for a faster way
to assimilate all the more advanced locks
I was learning in Aikido.

This led to the realization
that techniques are for specific, static situations.
When you do drills like this one
the situation becomes more fluid,
and you have more doors opening,
and more locks to draw from.

And,
The Butterfly Form.
This is one of those little gems
from my article writing period.

I used to put things like this in the magazine
and wait to see if anyone would get it.

Very few did,
yet you could feel people out there
blinking,
looking and wondering.

The problem is that so many people become hidebound,
unable to learn.
They simply become used to copy catting
and never use their own mind.

Oddly,
people who have been in the art,
maybe 30-40 years,
can break through this resistance to education,
but when they are young,
oh,
they know too much to be bothered
to learn anything.

Anyway,
that brings me to something I found amusing,
maybe helpful to you.

I received much kind words
on the blog I wrote on Closed Combat Systems.
I think it’s in the blog at Monster
if you haven’t seen it.
So thanks for those kind words.

Interestingly,
in that same batch of emails,
came one of those particularly useless attacks.

Now,
I don’t mind controversy,
I don’t care if somebody disagrees with me,
I’ll put those comments up.

But this guy wasn’t interested in disagreeing with me,
he was just interested in telling me
how worthless I was.

He ‘evaluated’ one of my vids,
told me how my wrist was to stiff,
my arm too long,
my head too small.

Now,
when somebody calls me an idiot,
I sort of enjoy it,
it gives me a kick.

I’ve written some 70 books,
revamped the martial arts with logic,
and been pretty honest about it all.

Here’s some beginner,
maybe 20 years experience,
and he is attacking me.

Simply,
he falls into a category of malcontent
I have already experienced,
and I have seen his type a hundred times.

But,
more than simply,
what drives him?
Why does he feel compelled to attack me out of the blue?

Not because he is saving the martial arts from me,
because I have contributed much,
tons of books and vids and articles and such,
and he has contributed,
by a quick search of the net,
nothing.

Now,
there is a truth here.
People attack others because they are scared of them.
That is the dirty, little secret of the bully.
He’s scared.

And something about my sharing the art freely,
offering science over mysticism,
has this particular fellow terrified.

He’s scared,
you see,
of losing his mysticism,
he is probably making money,
or at least getting his rocks off,
by sharing mysticism.

Mysticism is what you don’t understand,
so you elevate it,
whatever it is,
to a position of authority over yourself.

‘This secret chi thing,’
he says,
‘is a mystery reserved for the Gods,
and if you study under me long enough,
I will do what I can to help you understand it.’

Yet he doesn’t under it himself.
He might be okay with it,
even pretty good at it,
can do a few things,
but he can’t explain it.

I come along and explain it.

He freaks.

I’m threatening to take away his mystery,
his base of understanding (such as it is)
in the martial arts.

So,
when these guys come along
and tell me how worthless I am,
I have to chuckle,
sometimes even guffaw.

I know what they know,
I’ve been through the mystery,
but they have not a clue as to what I know.

Not one of them,
you see,
has ever examined my work.

That’s like looking at an apple and saying,
‘that’s rotten because I don’t like red.’

Never tasted the apple,
you see,
just terrified of red.

And,
to be very exact on this,
they say:
‘I don’t like Al’s logic,
because it is scaring me,
so I’m going to attack Al.’

They look at me as the shiny peel
around something they don’t understand.

There it is,
all of it.
Hope it helps you,
you know more than 99% of the martial artists out there,
and you’ll probably
(hopefully not)
run into your special idiot some day.

When you do,
laugh,
tell him he’s right,
admit that you’re a doofus,
and he’s right,
then go on about your business.
That’s the best way to handle an idiot.

After all,
if you get enraged by an idiot,
he’s effected you,
if you fight an idiot,
you’ve become him.

Have a great work out!
Al

Any questions or clarifications
send them me:

aganzul@gmail.com