Archive for category kenpo
Here is what Leo DaVinci said (from his notebooks) about the perfect shape. This would be the ‘Vitruvian Man.’ In looking over these figures I find myself less than perfect, and some things can’t be corrected. At any rate, it does some wonderful food for thought as to what type of karate you should study, what your ideal shape is for the martial arts, and so on.
‘The length of a man’s outspread arms is equal to his height.
From the roots of his hair to the bottom of his chin is the tenth of a man’s height; from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head is one eighth of his height; from the top of the breast to the roots of the hair will be the seventh part of the whole man. From the nipples to the top of the head will be the fourth part of man. The greatest width of the shoulders contains in itself the fourth part of man. From the elbow to the tip of the hand will be the fifth part of a man; and from the elbow to the angle of the armpit will be the eighth part of man. The whole hand will be the tenth part of the man. The distance from the bottom of the chin to the nose and from the roots of the hair to the eyebrows is, in each case the same, and like the ear, a third of the face.’
This descirption does give me some problems. the main one is that I’m balding, so I either need to grow my body, or shrink my head. Hmmm.
Anyway, here is a further breakdown:
You should be
seven heads high
three heads shoulder to shoulder
four heads hips to toes
one head from tips of fingers to wrist
one head top to bottom of buttocks
two heads tips of fingers to elbow.
So, get out the measuring stick, measure your head, and find out if you are in perfect shape. Don’t be worried if you aren’t exactly in shape, Leo is said to have altered his measurements to suit his sculptures.
If you really want a perfect body, lean in muscle and able to move like lightening, you might want to check out Yogata (The Yoga Kata), it is Yoga designed by a martial artist for Martial Artists. Pick up a free book on the home page of the site.
First thing you’ll probably learn, when you enter into a Martial Arts training hall, is how to make good martial arts stances. This is because stances create the foundations for the fighting disciplines. How you stand has to do with how you lock the body to the ground, and make it into a class AAA machine.
Systems that don’t have stances will not generate the massive amounts of power that the classical martial arts develop. I am talking about all the systems of Karate, including Shotokan, Goju Ryu, Uechi Ryu, shito ryu and so on. The odd thing is that systems that don’t have stances could introduce stances into their systems easily, and thus increase their power tremendously.
To begin, the first stance is the natural stance, in which you simply stand with your feet shoulder width apart and feet angled to the front. Since this is natural, and takes no real instructions, we won’t go into it. Simply, this type of stance doesn’t generate power.
To build an Hourglass Stance, which does generate energy, start with your feet together. Keep the toes touching and swing the heels out, then keep the heels where they are and swing the toes out, then keep the toes fixed in place and swing the heels out again. Lower the stance slightly, push the knees together (stand pigeon toed) and breath to the tan tien (the one point located just below the navel).
To create a back stance, from the hour glass stance simply swing one toe all the way out and settle your weight on the other leg. You might have to move the foot turned out slightly to the side, as you want to be able to move without having to go around your own hips. This is an extremely useful stance for getting ready to fight, as you can crouch and launch with no discernible movement.
Next we will build a horse stance, Mabu in the Chinese martial disciplines, and Kiba Dachi in the Japanese systems. From a back stance simply keep the toes of the front foot where they are and move the heel out, and let the weight settle evenly down the legs. This is a high horse stance, and if you spread the legs further to the side and get lower you can create more energy.
Finally, to make a front stance, simply turn the toes of one of the feet in the horse stance outwards and sink your weight on that foot. You may want to move the front foot more to the side so that the feet are on shoulder wide parallel tracks. This is a great stance when you want to move forward in an attacking mode.
There are many other stances you can make, and it is simple to figure out a foot or leg motion to do these. These would include such stances as the crane stance (lift one leg), the kneeling stance, the cross kneeling stance (dragon), and so on. The main thing to remember is that you should be able to position yourself so that you can make the transition through the karate stances while conserving, and even creating, more and more power.
If you want to see graphics and a free video showing what you have learned here go to Learn Karate Online. This is an absolutely free lesson.
Using Karate and Kung Fu to handle Zombies, sounds like I’m getting ready to rib you, doesn’t it? Well, glad to disappoint, but there’s some s traight goods coming at you. I’m going to tell you about one of the best books on tactics for handling large crowds of people, call ’em zombies if you wish. Before I do so, check out the video, I’m using all sorts of different arts to handle a couple of guys. I’m controlling the distance, locking and block and…taking names. Watch, and then I’ll tell you about a book that might be better than the Book of Five Rings, or The Art of War.
The Book is called The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks. It is written tongue in cheek, many would say over the top, but it is the best and most concise overview of battle tactics I have seen. Look let me give you a scenario.
Food shortages are happening all over the world, some people say they will come to a city you live in. When that happens a couple of weeks and people will be out of food. At that point they will start wandering the streets, breaking into houses, looking desperately for a crumb.
Isn’t that how a so called ‘zombie’ works? Wanders the street looking for brains? Brains being a code word for people who have had the smarts to store up and hoard food.
So, when the starved come calling, do you know how to fortify your house so it can withstand attack? Do you know the tactics for not letting the zombies know when you are cooking? Do you know how to set the sombies up when you want to wipe out a bunch of them?
Now, this book goes everywhere, for every eventuallity, and it is better than any military manual I have ever read for straight forward urban survival.
I know it may be mean (politically incorrect?) to call hungry people zombies, let alone treat them like an enemy, but when the mob is at your door, you’ll be glad you read this book.
And, that said, there is one mistake that nearly all people who have read this book make…they don’t study the martial arts. They are reading it for a hoot, they are stuck in fantasy land and don’t know the way out.
If you really want to survive food shortages, riots, even attacks by the police (you think they won’t be hungry?) then this is the book for you.
This book, and karate or kung fu, or some other martial art, will help you handle any zombies. So get the book, and head on over to Learn Karate Online and get some absolutely FREE Karate Training. A zombie attack might be right around the calender, and Karate is the art of choice for laying waste to hordes of the undead!!
A Horse Stance is a funny thing. You see it in forms, but you don’t see it in the ring. You train for hours in it, yet you don’t use it in freestyle. You love it, but you don’t know why, and yet people say it is the secret of real karate power.
A horse stance is also called Mabu (Chinese) and Kiba Dachi (Japanese). Check out the video, then I’ll tall you the real secret behind true karate power.
It is sometimes called the ‘horse riding stance,’ and there are many legends behind it.
Some say it is used to train in close combat while riding an actual horse.
Some say it is used to fight sideways in rice paddies.
Neither theory, while romantic, is true.
The true use of the horse stance is simply to grow a ‘rooting’ power. In Matrix Martial Arts we call this ‘grounding.’
The fact of the matter is that a machine must be bolted down, the body is a machine, and the stance is used to bolt the body to the earth. This enables it to have, grow, and use power.
When you do the horse stance you should have the feet parallel, and the hips should be tucked. You should be able to sit in the horse stance for long periods of time. You should feel a glow of energy happening in the belly as a result of horse stance training.
Now, you may not use the actual and official horse stance in your freestyle, or in the ring, but the power you have built you will use. In fact, the use of this power is what makes a real martial artist.
People who use muscles, and don’t know how to use the power of the tan tien, are not really doing the martial arts. It may be fighting, but it is not the art.
But, when you learn how to use that power in the spot an inch or two below the navel, then you are tapping into the real martial art. You learn to explode, to sustain, to grind, to use geometric figures in your art. Guaranteed: you learn the secrets of the Horse Stance, and the you will be tapping into the Secrets of Real Karate Power. There’s more information on the True Power of Karate at Learn Karate Online. Take a Free lesson while you’re there.
My official beginning in the study of the martial arts was back in the late sixties. I walked into an Ed Parker Chinese Kenpo Dojo, signed a contract, and began to learn Martial Arts. The truth, however, is that I had been getting free Karate Lessons for a long time before I walked into that school. Check out the video, then I’ll tell you about it.
They weren’t much, as far as martial arts lessons went, but they did the trick. They kept my attention, and they kept me happy. After all, they were the best type of physical and mental conditioning, they were a good way to learn I could handle the bullies, and they were fun.
The first thing that caught my interest was knuckle conditioning. We used to knock our knuckles on walls and fences and boxes and anything that got in our way. That resulted in a lifelong interest in good conditioning, different types of punches, and a desire to have the hardest punch I could have.
The second thing I learned was simple arm bars. This was good, as simple things always work the best. To this day I take the most complex of fighting techniques and look for the simplest method of making them work.
The third thing I gleaned had to do with learning how the different parts of the body worked. I examined feet, hands, arms, legs, how the joints worked, the back, everything I could. I even read medical books trying to understand how the body worked.
Fourth, I engaged in a rudimentary sort of grappling. This was good because I took away from that experience the lesson that grappling wasn’t handy for fighting. You grapple, and you are tied up, and somebody else runs up and kicks the back of your head, and there might be weapons involved, and…no thanks.
The main thing I discovered from reading books, working with friends, and just having fun pretending we were big and tough, was that sweat worked. The hours we spent lifting iron, running, wrestling, and trying those techniques from out of old Bruce Tegner books and the like…they were golden hours. It was a youth that built strength, character, and the desire to go forward.
The point I am making in this article is that the martial arts aren’t for everybody. So look around on the web, Google Free Karate lessons, (I always recommend Karate as a great art to start your martial arts with) or some other like term, and see what comes up. Do a few tricks, see if they work on friends, and find out if you have the character and kind of mind to be a student of Karate.
Get a Free Karate Lesson, head on over to Learn Karate Online!
There are billions of people on this planet…how many do you know?
You probably become acquaintances with a couple of thousand during your life.
You probably know a couple of hundred by name.
You probably have about ten or twenty that you can call friends.
Here’s the interesting thing, through the martial arts I have far more than ten or twenty that I can call friends. There are people that I studied with, and we’re talking back over fortry years, that, met again, the friendship is as solid as ever.
There is just something about sharing combat with a fellow that bonds you closer than ever.
The good news is that this is the type of combat where you don’t kill people, you just fatasize and plan and strategize until you have no desire to kill, and all you are left with is friends.
Check out Learn Karate Online. It’s a good site with lots of tips and things. Make sure you get the free ebook on the home page.
I’m speaking as a martial arts teacher here, but I trust you will be able to use my data concerning the hardest thing to overcome in Karate training, or any martial arts training.
I’ve had people come in my school and tell me what I was supposed to teach them. They would lay out their curriculum, and then disappear.
And, if you think this is an oddity, consider the old Japanese zen parable (made famous by Bruce Lee), you can’t put more tea in a cup that is full…you must empty your cup.
One guy came into my school and all he wanted to do was find a temple on the mountain and kneel at the feet of the master and learn all the really secret things. It was obvious that he had been reading too many comic books; he just wasn’t connected to reality. Heck, if I had told him to do a horse stance for five minutes he would have cried and wailed like a baby.
The main thing these days is the youtube martial artist. This is a guy who has poured over youtube, looked at all the martial arts, done what he saw on the screen. He actually isn’t toobad, except that he has no idea what he is doing. The snippets on youtube, no matter how extensive, are not instruction, they are advertising clips designed to lure the unwary and easily excitable.
What? You thought you were going to find the secret of the universe on the internet? that you could just google ‘Secrets of the Universe’ and they would just flash onto the scree…instant enlightenment and all the martial arts downloaded into your brain like Neo?
Empty your cup, grasshopper, then learn how to sweat. The best things in life are not necessarily free…they have to be earned with sweat and bruises and a humble attitude.
Pickup a Free Martial Arts Book ar Learn Karate Online. In Karate training, or with any martial arts, it’s best to start at the beginning and dedicate yourself.