Archive for category Karate
Black Belt Taekwondo Training
When one reaches a Black belt in Taekwondo one has a problem. Interestingly, most people realize this problem even before they reach a black belt in that martial arts. The problem is one of reaching higher levels of martial expertise, or, in other words, getting good at taekwondo sparring.
After all, if one stays in TKD pure, they do get better, but slowly, and this is because they aren’t given any forms that drastically alter their freestyle methods. So one has to search out better forms, better methods, ways to shape the freestyle ability. And, this means often going outside the formalized art.
Now, the problem with training outside the system is that it tends to make everything sloppy. It is hard to find a system that fits together with the TKD method. Using the legs so much, and so uniquely, the art doesn’t mesh with something like savate or muay tai.
The one art that does mesh well is Kwon Bup. We are not speaking of the ancient Kwon Bup, for that has been fairly well lost, and may not even be a good match for modern Taekwondo, anyway. No, we are speaking of the art developed some forty years ago through the Kang Duk Won.
The Kang Duk Won was one of the arts that was used in developing modern taekwondo. It was powerful, used legs well, and reached its highest form when done by a fellow name of Bob Babich in San Jose.
One of the things that Bob did was create several forms to add to the Kang Duk Won. These forms were strong, very straight line, and moved the art from legs into fists, and explored certain concepts of simultaneous block and strike.
The first couple of forms of Kwon Bup are basic, almost karate, and could even replace some of the karate style basics, as they are quick and logical and easier to learn.
The middle three forms are the heart of the matter, however. These are the ones that teach a person how to stay inside and translate from foot to fist.
The last two forms are very interesting, but they tend to move into weapons and a very unique kicking form.
The weapons form is handy, as the distance of a street fight can move from weapons to feet quickly. It’s nice to play with this concept of handling weapons with feet. Though, to be honest, this is not the real intent of the form.
The kicking form, however, is state of the art. It tightens up the Korean kicking styles, pulls the power into the hips, and shows multiple kicks in a VERY realistic manner.
That about sums it up. The Kwon Bup is very handy, and if you do a little googling you might be able to find some info on it, but the data will be scarce. It is not well known, but that’s sometimes the way it is. The best stuff is hard to find.
Anyway, whether you consider it or not, it is a viable concept as far as advancing your black belt taekwondo fighting studies.
I always surprised when I don’t see exercises like the one I am about to tell you about used freely in Karate training. The following exercise cuts your reaction time down to nothing, and it does it with just an hour or two of training. Check out the video, and then I’ll tell you more.
Where I came up with this one was in feeding people punches to help them block. Being a bit insane, looking for more punches to block, wanting to do the exercise faster and more so i would get to the end of it, I decided to have two people feed the defender.
So two people would stand, shoulder to shoulder, in front of the blocker, and they would throw slow strikes.
Not fast. You can overwhelm easily, and there is no gain then. And, you don’t want to create bruises. You want the guy to input data, not refuse the data because he is getting hurt.
But feed the strikes slowly. Left or right, doesn’t matter. Just keep feeding them slowly.
Now, the two feeders should be looking for the edge. They should be trying to find the point of overload, and stay just below it. You don’t want to go so fast the blocker can’t block, you just want him to get used to it all. After a short while, you’ll find that you can bump up the speed of your strikes, and the blocker learns faster.
Now, one thing to be careful of.
The blocker will overload, and this might manifest in a number of ways, maybe just missing the blocks all of the sudden, making too many mistakes, that sort of thing. But usually the blocker will want to strike back. He’ll snap. He won’t hit hard, but he’ll be unable to stop himself from hitting back.
Well, of course. He is overloaded, filled to the top, and he needs to relieve the pressure. That’s okay.
Try to catch it before it happens, and simply rotate one of the strikers into the blocking position. Round and round we go.
Now, this works wonders. Do it during class, five or ten minutes at a time, and within a month the students will get very relaxed, their blocks will hurt more (tell them to go softer), and they won’t be overwhelmed when the fists start flying fast and thick.
If you like this training tool, check out Monster Martial Arts. I have all sorts of drills like this one embedded in the courses. I especially recommend Matrix Karate. Do a matrix of blocks and you will learn ten times faster, and know ten times as much. And make sure you pick up a free martial arts book on the homepage while you’re there.
We must be violent so that we won’t be violent.
Get it out in the dojo, and what’s left is peace in your soul when you walk around.
But, it’s deeper than that. Let me go whole hog here, and explain the actual process that is working here.
You have heard me say before: control the body to control the mind, control the mind to control the spirit. It’s true. But this is actually a condensation of the five circles surrounding a human being.
You perceive, but what is it that perceives? It is the ‘I am,’ the awareness of awareness unit that is you.
And you have dressed yourself with mind, emotion, body, and chaos.
Chaos is fighting, that’s the outermost circle, that is the world. A buunch of idiots running around and threatening and shaking their fist and getting in trouble.
Train the body and you instantly move out of chaos. You have a plan, an idea, and you are no longer subject to, or perhaps I should say victim to, the violence of a world gone amok.
But, as you train the body you begin to gain control over emotions. You stop getting angry, you lose fear, and you start being happy most of the time. And when you aren’t happy you simply move through and get happy.
Controlling the emotions is the start of controlling the mind, and now you are on the verge of controlling the world. The world, you see, will adhere to somebody who has control of their mind. Simply, the people who can’t control their mind look for some way to get their mind back under control, so they rub up against the sane.
From the mind we move into spirit, and I’m going to stop explaining now, because once you get there you won’t need any explanations.
The point here is that that is why you study the martial arts, not to beat people up, but to get rid of the desire to beat people up, and this has far reaching effects. Think about it, world peace by practicing your karate forms and elf defense moves. Now we’re talking. Drop by Monster Martial Arts if you want to dig into your sanity and learn the truth about the Martial Arts.
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.
I chuckle when I see these young kids train. They look so good in their karate uniforms, they are so proud, yet I wonder how many of them can be crazy enough to really learn the real martial art, and actually get some real karate power.
Check out the vid, then I’ll tell you more.
Look, if you want to saw a piece of wood, you don’t take a half a dozen cuts and then stop, you watch the cut, make sure it is happening right, and you continue, no matter how sore you get, until the wood separates.
Now, if you want to break a brick, a simple trick, you simply set it up and start hitting it. And you hit it and hit it, and you focus on it until you don’t even see the rest of the world, and the brick eventually separates.
Now, there is more to it, you want to be able to break that brick with one chop, but the message here is that you have to give yourself over to a fanatical mindset.
You have to dedicate yourself, and do it and do it and do it, and have the firm knowledge that you will not quit, that you will squash any ideas of quit, that you will get where you are going.
It’s funny, I see some martial artists from other countries, and they are actually a little more rabid than USers. Well, there mommie didn’t let them stay home from school if it was raining. She didn’t bring them milk and cookies and console them if the homework was tough…she told them to dry up and get the durned job done.
That’s how it used to be in America, and thats why we achieved greatness.
We can have greatness again, even if you were coddled as a school child.
Simply dedicate yourself, be a fanatic. Tell yourself you are going to do that form a hundred times a day every day for one year,a nd then do it. Belive me, you will understand that Kata, and you will have abilities that you never even dreamed of when you were a lazy school kid. It’s up to you, but you have to give yourself over to fanaticism, and that is the secret of real karate power. If you want to learn more about this mindset, pop over to Monster Martial Arts and pick up a free book. It’ll tell you how to arrange your martial arts so the fanatical mindset can really bite.
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.
To practice this you should loop it and do it in sequence maybe ten times. Don’t do it just once, keep doing it.
Concentrate on the moment of focusing energy down, and letting yourself float sideways to the next position. Have the differences between these two things firmly in your mind.
Have a partner and mirror each other. Critique each other, and get lower and longer and more explosive. Be twins in motion and structure.
Practice just standing in the horse stance (called Kiba Dachi in Japanese). This is called Horse Meditation, and if you can hold the pose for just five minutes, you will have an immensely strong stance, and you will be generating tons of pure, raw power.
Above all, do it every day.
And, most important, look for applications,a nd practice those applications until you can make them work against anybody, and in situation or environment.
Remember, when you do the horse stance you are gripping the ground, enabling yourself to move over slick surfaces, and this could mean on wet grass, oily cement, or even through puddles of blood, and yet still hold your balance and footwork.
Drop by my site, Monster Martial Arts, and check out Temple Karate. I’ve got ten forms plus the one you see on this page, fully broken down and set for combat.
You see, the idea is to get more weight in a smaller area.
If you swing a mallet with a big head, maybe three inches across, you are putting weight to nine square inches. So if you put ninety pounds into your swing, and you get ten pounds per square inch. This dissipates the force, spreads it out, and weakens it. You swing a screw driver, and maybe put only thirty pounds in it, but the force is into an eighth inch square. That means 64 times 30 pounds, and you are striking with 1920 pounds per square inch!
That’s why a screw driver penetrates, while a mallet flattens.
Now, you think there would be more to it than this, and, you’d be right. You see, time also enters into the equation, and you’ll find that this has a lot to do with a punch.
The longer the amount of time a fist is in contact with a target, the more some of that weight will go back up the arm.
So, if you punch somebody and the punch is a thrust, and travels through, and is in contact with the striking surface (his face) for a long time–let’s say a full second, which is not real, but it is a good number to illustrate what is happening–then one second times 60 pounds of weight equals sixty pounds of impact.
But if you are in contact for 1/2 second, 1/2 times 60 = 120 pounds of impact! And if you get down to 1/8 of a second, then you have 1/8 times 60, which equals 480 pounds of impact! The force of the punch, you see, has less time to travel back up the arm, and more weight is left in your poor opponent’s ugly face!
Now, that is the physics, and that is the secret of the hardest punch in the world. All you have to do is understand these physics, and then do the exercises in The Punch (a book I wrote) and your punch is going to be able to knock down a freakin’ elephant! The physics are the secret, you see, but they are just the start. There is so much more to them, and so much you can do with them, once you understand them and what you are trying to really do with your punch. So check out The Punch at Monster Martial Arts. You’ll be glad you did.
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.
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.