Category Archives: Karate instruction

Seven Karate Sayings…

What My Karate Teacher Told Me

I studied Karate for some seven years, and in that time my Karate instructor told me seven things.
I should say first that he didn’t tell me anything else.
He was a silent man, and he would sit in his office, students clustered around, and the students did all the talking. He would give a yes or no, but even a lot of that. He would just smile and enjoy.
Big difference from most people, who really don’t know when to shut up.
And, the odd thing I noticed, the more people talk the less they say; they are like radios set to some station of static and left to chatter.

‘There are many roads to the top of the mountain.’ He told me that one when I asked him which art was best.

‘A tight fist is a heavy fist.’ He was admonishing me to understand the ‘loose-tight’ concept of the fist. We of the Kang Duk Won, you see, were not encouraged to make our whole bodies rigid. The better a student was, the less tight his body was, and the more tight his fist, and only his fist, was. Surrounding that fist was silence. Emptiness. A dearth of chatter. No talk.

‘How’s work?’ He used to ask everybody that when they entered the school. It was his way to get us to start the conversation.

Once I asked him what the difference between ‘The Way,’ and a method was. He asked me if there was one, and he did it in a way to let me know that there wasn’t one. How interesting. It was the death of mysticism for me, or at least let me know that he wasn’t bent on the mystical approach.

‘I just do the forms. Everything is in the forms.’ I had asked him how he got so good, and it was part of a larger question about what he studied, how did he keep learning now that he was at the top.

‘Want a drink?’ A real ice breaker if there ever was one. But it was an ice breaker for us, not him. He was already totally and truly comfortable with himself; he lived, and he knew it, and he loved it.

‘Wham!’ Yes, he would actually say ‘Wham! when he was emphasizing a point. He would set up the technique, glancing at you to make sure you were paying attention, and then he would do the technique, liquid lightening, and say ‘Wham!’ instead of kia-ing.

That’s it.
When he taught a form he did so almost completely silently. He just showed, repeating as needed, in small sections for the white belts, and almost whole forms, and only once or twice, when we were black belts.
Past that, he instructed by example, by doing intently and with more focus than any human being I’ve ever seen.

Here’s the thing, people who talk haven’t done the forms enough, haven’t sunk their awareness into the forms deeply enough to become the forms, and to have the forms speak to them. Believe me, this is not mystical, it is hard work, and the secret to everything in life.
The simple fact is that people who teach by speaking are usually trying to explain what they don’t know. They are making up reasons to bolster their lack of understanding, and their reasons are usually wrong. I say this after almost fifty years of watching people teach.
The really sad thing is that they are going to try to explain this article, have a dialogue about it in their head.
What they really need to do is do the forms until all dialogues stop happening in their head.
They need to create silence, first of the voice, then through their forms.
This is the only way to really learn true Karate.

Written by Al Case, author of The Ultimate Karate Encyclopedia.

Two Styles of Karate and the Tongbei Solution

How Tongbei Influenced Karate

The two styles of Karate are Shorei and Shorin. One of the styles of Karate is for large people, and the other is for small people. Another way to look at it is one of the styles of karate is for heavy handed power, and the other is for quick, light people.

To be honest, the distinctions between these two martial arts variations have largely disappeared. This is because, in this writer’s opinion, there has been a lack of teacher ability, and a general obsession for power. This has resulted in a loss of the quick footed style, and a degradation of actual power in the heavy footed art.

Tongbei influence on Karate!

Tongbei influence on Karate!

 
I first began martial arts in Kenpo, back in the 60s, and the teacher (Rod Martin) was short and light footed. As Kenpo was more intent on hand motion, and less on stances, there was virtually no development of power. Speed, however, was there aplenty. The best teachers had a natural speed.

When I went to the Kang Duk Won I encountered tongbei speed and power. Tongbei refers to internal Kung Fu, much like Tai Chi Chuan, and it had been injected into the Kang Duk Won.

The teacher at this school (Bob Babich) was short and fast. He had the same natural speed, but there was a difference between the two teachers.

The Kenpo teacher was quick and fast, and when he hit you you knew you were hit. Fine and good, what everybody expected from Karate.

The Kang Duk Won teacher had the same quickness and speed, but everything was totally different.

When he moved there was a whiplike motion to him, and you could feel the very air crackle with power.

He was speedy and light, perfect for a light art, but he was injecting Tongbei power into it, internal power.

As I said, the air would crackle with his motion, and when he stomped his foot to emphasize a technique you could feel the floor shake…and the timbers in the building would actually shiver.

Further, he had a sixth sense in everything he did. He would anticipate and move before, seriously before, any attack. He had immaculate control, able to actually touch your eyeball with his finger in the middle of freestyle. Most important, and probably crucial to it all, he was polite.

I know, doesn’t seem to fit, but there it was, and it took me decades to figure out the significance here.

He was doing less for more.

He was exerting less and less effort, and getting more and more power.

And this made him not hungry for power, but polite.

When I explain this to people, even quoting The Tao to them (Do nothing until nothing is left undone, etc.), they don’t understand.

The large misfortune is that I am large person, over six feet.

I tapped into the tongbei power, but in a different manner than Bob. I can do things, but because of my frame I can’t do them the same as Bob, and I have different abilities. It makes it difficult to teach in the same manner as he.

Still, the Tongbei influence is alive and well, just manifesting differently in a different person with a different body.

The good news is that I wrote down many of the pertinent exercises we were doing at the Kang Duk Won.

Some of these had no names, we just did them.

Most of them I have never seen in any other school. They simply don’t seem to exist outside the Kang Duk Won of the 60s and 70s, nor in any style of Kung Fu I have seen.

I often wonder if they were a simple invention of the fellow who ‘invented’ the Kang Duk Won. A fellow name of Joon Byung In. He was at the crux, he learned Kung Fu, then twisted it into the style of Karate he learned.

Well, it is something to wonder about.

Anyway, I wrote down many of these exercises, put them in a book called ‘Amazing Fighting Drills.’ It is possible to get that tong bei power, which is no longer taught in any style of Karate I have seen, if one reads that book and does the drills listed in it.

The person would have to change his style of Karate, eliminate the obsession for (false) power that has become the hallmark of Karate, but it is possible.

I make no guarantees.

I put that book up for sale, and sold almost no copies.

The problem was probably in my marketing, maybe even in the title itself.

What if I had called it something like, ‘Tongbei Fighting Secrets of the Ancient Masters,’ or something else like that. Hmmm. I’ll have to think further on that.

And, if I was really good at marketing, maybe that would have helped.

I eventually took that book off the market, let it gather dust while I thought about it. Then I put in as a freebie on the course offered at KangDukWon.com.

That’s where you’ll find it. Three or four belt levels along, in the best online Karate course in the world.

This has been an article about two styles of Karate and the Tongbei Solution.

Taking Out a Mugger with One Karate Chop

Can You Defeat a Mugger with One Karate Chop?

Before I tell you about the mugger I took out with one Karate chop, let me explain something.

The Martial Arts are about extra normal abilities you gain.

karate chop

Karate chop for Self Defense!

 


You learn to feel things before they happen, to detect the presence of people sneaking up on you, and so on.

Heck, sometimes you can even read minds.

It’s pretty cool.

So I was getting close to my Black Belt in Karate, and things were starting to pop in my universe. Odd things, even having visions, it was truly weird.

But, I could feel my martial arts pushing me right up to the edge, and I was falling gleefully over…and then there was the night I took on a mugger.

It was Christmas, and we lived in a small apartment. Real small. There was a top room for sleeping, and there was a bottom room for eating and TV and living and…small.

The bathroom was under the stairs.

So I woke up, and it was pitch dark, and I felt the call of nature.

I walked down the stairs, not bothering with the lights because, heck, I was a martial artist! I could feel my way around. I was real zen, man.

I walked under the stairs, tripped on something, and suddenly…I felt it!

A large shape coming down on me! A mugger! Somebody had come into the house and was going to grab me!

With perfect reflexes i swung and executed a perfect Karate Chop…to the Christmas tree.

The thing I had tripped over was a electrical cord to the tree, and I had pulled the tree on myself.

The lights went on, and my wife’s mouth dropped open. I had killed the Christmas tree, and christmas lights were all over the place, along with pine needles, presents, and embarrassment.

Now, that’s the story of how I defeated the Mugger with one Karate Chop. And, let me tell you, if that tree had been a real mugger, it would have been one dead mofo!

Grrr.

You know, if you want some of those extra abilities, if you want to evolve yourself with a true martial art, unchanged by tournament and protective pads and mommies that hug their little babies a little too tightly, you might try the Kang Duk Won.

This has been a page about a rather dangerous karate chop.

Do Karate Forms Work?

Are Karate Forms a Waste of Time?

This question concerning Karate forms was posed on a recent linkedin discussion. There was a lot of comment, and I finally added my own, which I include below. This is the Kang Duk Won I was talking about, and thought it worthwhile to share with those truly interested in the Kang Duk Won.

Does Kata work. Hunh! So here’s your true story for the day.

Here is Bob Babich, the fellow who taught Ron Maletti.

Here is Bob Babich, the fellow who taught Ron Maletti.

I was a first brown back about ’72, and one day a bunch of us young belts were talking about whether Kata worked. The instructor, a fellow name of Ron Maletti, who nobody has ever heard of, heard us talking, and he got a tight grin.

He lined us up and freestyled us, one at a time, and said he would only use applications from the Pinans. For the next fifteen minutes he hit us, kicked us, threw us, using nothing but EXACT applications of the form. Maybe a wiggle of motion to set up his response, but he used only applications exactly as we practiced them.

Then he said, “This is too easy. Name a form.” So when we freestyled we would bow, name a form, and he would defeat us using an exact application from the form we named. Pinans, sip su, kima chodan (horse form or tekki), or whatever, he knocked us down and laid us out, and at the end of the time he wasn’t even breathing hard. And two things to note: one, he had maybe five or six years experience, and was a third degree black belt. And, he wasn’t the best upper belt in the school. He just happened to be the one to hear us in our heresy.

So, do forms work?

They do when they are taught properly by people who know what they mean, who know the drills that go along with them, who are dedicated to learning the system and don’t bother with all the new stuff coming along. Unfortunately, I don’t see the martial arts being taught in this manner, and people have pretty much forgotten the drills and real applications. Guarenteed, this is a true story, it happened to me personally. Have a great work out! Al from MonsterMartialArts(dot)com.

That’s the way it was at the Kang Duk Won, and that’s the system this site is dedicated to. The real system that resulted in real power, fantastic fighters, the ability to take a strike anywhere…and it was, is, FUN to do!

Click here to check out why you should study karate forms.

The Five Elements of True Karate

What Makes a ‘True Karate?’

true Karate

I used to search for the correct lines with which to construct True Karate

Oddly, back when I was training in the Kang Duk Won, we bypassed the first few elements of True Karate. As I studied other other martial arts, however, such as Aikido, Tai Chi Chuan, and so on, the importance of the items we hadn’t focused on became more important, and I began to see the whole picture. Continue reading

Martial Arts Influences on the Kang Duk Won Karate

What are the Martial Arts Influences on the Kang Duk Won

martial arts influences

There are extraneous martial arts influences on every art, and the Kang Duk Won is no different.

Sometimes the martial arts influences can be bad, sometimes good. In the case of the Kang Duk Won  Continue reading

Karate Training with Outlaw Bikers

Taking on the Tough Guys with Karate Training

I was a real drub when I started my Karate Training. A white boy from suburbia. A scaredy cat. I would look at a big, tough, bearded, tattooed guy, and all sorts of alarm bells would go off in my head. Then, I started my karate training at the Kang Duk Won, I met some Hell’s Angels and other outlaw biker types, and things changed. Continue reading

The Great $2 Karate Lesson!

I Got Your Karate Lesson Right Here…Only $2!

How much Karate can you learn for $2? Eh?

Well, maybe a lot, especially if you have $2 to spend on the Best Online Karate Lessons in the World.

This Karate Lesson is actually a course, and it takes a person right from white belt through black belt.

The question is…is it worth the money.

karate lesson

This guy just hasn’t heard!

Continue reading

Introducing Best Karate Lessons in the World!

The Best Online Karate Lessons in the World!

Welcome to Monday!
Welcome to the BEST workout of your life!
And,
when you think about it,
there is nothing better
than the Best workout of your life!
Nothing.

Oinkey Donkey
slop the hogs and shave the chicken,
I have something GRR-REAT for you!
I set up a website specifically for taking a person through Karate. Continue reading