Tag Archives: aikido

The Zen Simplicity of Martial Arts

To Be or Not to Be Martial Arts Style

To the beginner the martial arts, and this includes Karate, Kung Fu, Aikido, Tai Chi Chuan, and all other martial disciplines, can be less than simple. There is simply an overwhelm of information, a ‘disgruntlement’ of the mind at the massive influx of new materials.

The simple truth, however, is that the truth is simple.

martial arts discipline

The answers are in you…if you have the discipline to look.


 
Why these subjects, be they karate or jujitsu or whatever, would not be simple, once once absorbed, is merely the result of engaging the mind to try and describe what is ‘not mind.’

For instance, in the beginning one must wade through instructions concerning physics, anatomy, history, philosophy, and so on. This is made more complex as different arts propose different structure and on many levels, and then often disagree.

The harmony of Aikido is similar to the absorption of Tai Chi Chuan, but there is sufficient difference to argue the terminology.

The striking methods of Wing Chun and boxing, though at heart still just a strike, can be argued ad infinitum.

But in the end, proven by simple and direct experience, a human being is constructed of flesh (body), mind (memories), and spirit (awareness). Thus, all physics, which is the heart of all sciences, can be rendered to a fine simplicity.

The fact is that the discipline of the martial arts focuses on doing to the exclusion of the mind, and thus is achieved enlightenment. Enlightenment is considered, from the unique viewpoint of an accomplished martial arts discipline, to be aware of the self as awareness.

And, yes, the above statement, so simple, is the summation that can be applied on any and all levels of all martial arts.

To do a single act, a kata or technique, a kick or throw, until there is no thought (no interference from the mind), and is intuitive, opens the door to enlightenment.

For once one looks at a fist approaching the face in terms of simple survival, one will begin to look at the approach of the universe in the same way.

Not an overwhelm of factors to be adjusted through eternal tweakings of computations, but a simple ‘Is it going to hit me or not.’

Followed by a simple, ‘Do I block or get out of the way.’

Not complex at all.

The unfortunate truth, however, is that man insists on his own significance in the universe by creating endless paradigm for his actions.

Thus we have reasons of physics, disagreements of anatomy, descriptions of philosophy, and all filtered through the various misunderstandings inherent in unaccomplished and divergent martial arts.

And these are all justifications for one’s existence.

‘To be or not to be,’ placed in endless loop.

But the simple truth is if one practices the discipline, and this of widely varied arts such as Karate or Aikido,Tai Chi Chuan or Kenpo, then one is engaged in ignoring the mind; one is functioning in an emptiness of reason and a purity of awareness.

Survival blots out psychological ramifications, and puts an end to philosophical meanderings – and justifications – of the awareness trying to look at itself, but so very unable.

To sum, it is not all the reasons, but the source of reason, the ‘I am,’ that is responsible for conundrum, and the resolution therewith.

The easiest way to cut through the fog of the martial arts, to ignore the mind and to find the truth of the self, is through the logic of matrixing. To matrix the martial arts is to rid the art of silly significance, and to place all the elements and pieces in the correct and easily assimilate-able order.

Matrixing can be found at MonsterMartialArts.com. Further juxtapositions of martial arts philosophy, real as opposed to the justifications of students mired in the endless mirrors of their own minds, can be read at ChurchofMartialArts.com.

In the Martial Arts Men are Robots and Women are…

Do Men and Women Really Understand the Purpose of the Martial Arts?

I posed a question for a martial arts forum a couple of weeks ago, self defense I think it was, and it got a lot of interest. The precise question I asked was: You Killed Him…Do you Turn Yourself In.

A lot of interest, and let me tell you, what I say here may seem cruel, but that is not my intention. It’s just that I was struck by the responses of some very intelligent people, and my conclusions may seem harsh.

Martial Arts men

Are you seeking enlightenment?

Let me preface this piece by recounting an incident that happened to me back about 1974.

A bunch of us black belts were sitting in a bar called ‘The King’s Table.’ Wonderful place for winding down after intense work outs where you were pushed past the limit…of spirituality.

One of the fellows asked my instructor, a fellow name of Bob Babich, what Karate was really all about.

Bob didn’t even hesitate, ‘Karate is about survival.’

We all sat and sipped our drinks (no sissy beer for us) and pondered his answer.

Oddly, though he had been fast in his answer, I didn’t think it was the kind of thing he ever thought about. He was a fellow who did. Didn’t talk much. And I just didn’t think he had thought about it, and I realized that this was likely one of those rare instances when you saw the forms at work. Simply, his intense study of Karate, especially through the forms, had afforded him that intuitive, innate answer.

Yet, I thought the answer wrong. At first I didn’t know why, but upon reflection over his answer I finally, after many months, realized what it was.

I believe that Karate is to seek existence as. Survival is fine, but that doesn’t necessarily lead anywhere. Animals survive. We should expect more of ourselves as men.

So I came to believe in Karate, and the martial arts, as a method to seek existence as…as awareness.

Decades later I posed the question for a forum: You killed him…do You Turn Yourself In. The responses reminded me of that long ago conversation, my purpose in the martial arts (to create more awareness). The responses to my question in the forum were often of two varieties.

The ladies engaged in a deep discussion regarding teaching people with ADHD. Very interesting. Not Bob’s purpose, not my purpose, but a purpose intended to aid thedisadvantaged. Noble, but…interesting. But it made sense because women are of the nest, and men are of the spear. A generality, I know, but a truth of mankind. Though I should say that this generality held true more before the introduction of the pill.

The men seemed to slant off into what the law was.

purpose martial arts

Fighting? Or freedom?

But the intent of the question I posed included the condition that law had broken down and was not to be trusted.

But the men kept spouting things about what the law required, and so on.

I was struck by how far from survival the Martial Arts had become, and dismayed by how far from ‘to seek existence as’ (awareness) they were.

Now, you can check out the discussion on linkedin, it is quite interesting, and you can see if you reach the same observation as I did, or even dare to make the same conclusions as I.

But let’s get to the point of this little diatribe. Or, prepare for the left turn.

We can divide mankind into three classifications.

Sub human.
Human.
Superior human.

A subhuman is going to be a criminal type, one without morals. Very unaware, except as to how to twist the moment to his own advantage, and then he might or might not be incredibly brilliant.

A human is your average go to work oaf. He makes payments, he votes as he is told to, and he is mired in normalcy bias (loosely – hold to the least threatening path). The odd thing is that, because he removed from the immoral survival level of the subhuman, he is often (but not always) less aware.

A superior human is going to be a fellow or gal with morals, an upward plan, and the personal drive to make that upward plan work. He is going to be aware, or at least on the path to awareness. Enter the Martial Artist.

Now I don’t have much argument with the ladies. They rise above culture and its expectations, and though I think the martial arts used to reach ADHD students is far afield, who can fault their motivation?

But the men…when the question posed calls for survival…they argue over what the law says. And here is a point of fascination for me.

The law is a bunch of made up rules so men can get along. To temper their ‘spearlike nature,’ as it were.

Now I know this could possibly just be my disagreement, and you are certainly free to hold to your own opinion as to what the purpose of Karate, or whatever martial art you study, is.

And you could even attack me for being anachronistic…having trained with men who dated women ‘before the pill.’

There would even be cause for that.

But to allow yourself be bound by any law can become immoral itself.

Yes, law is a bunch of rules to allow warlike oafs to live in some semblance of peace. But laws can be immoral, or immorally applied, as was implied in my article. In which case it is actually one’s duty to rise above the law.

Not in mob, but in individual initiative and action.

Can you see yourself achieving perfection?

Can you see yourself achieving perfection?

Anyway, while you grok with that concept, or not, let me return to my thesis, my purpose, that the purpose of the martial arts is to seek existence as.

My specific, as intimated, is ‘to seek existence as…awareness.’

When one does a Karate Kata, or a Gung Fu pattern, or any such type of exercise, one is building a circuit in the mind.

Done not long enough, and the circuit is binding, actually slows one down, mires the person in automated responses that are not always even logical. This, incidentally, is why many people attack Karate, or like arts, as unworkable…it simply has not been done long enough to work.

Done long enough, however, and the circuit pops…disappears, and the person achieves enlightenment.

The enlightenment is sometimes qualified, slanted to a particular method of art, but it is enlightenment, and there is more awareness. Thus, one has sought, and achieved, existence as…awareness.

My problem is that if a person is a knock on wood, solid citizen, concerned with the law, that he is bound…and that means that he has not achieved the enlightenment offered by the martial arts.

And here is the tragedy, a person can be VERY advanced in the martial arts, and unable to break the binding, unable to pop the circuit, unable to reach enlightenment.

Why? Poor training. Poor instruction. Not enough time being instructed by a qualified person.

Usually achievement of enlightenment has to do with one of these three items.

Poor training, of course, includes any slant of the martial arts, such as for tournaments, for the training of children (sorry, ladies), commercialism, and so on.

Commercialism is the big bugaboo, of course, and I constantly wondered at how many of the people who entered into the discussion, who held to the law as so important, even over their own survival, were instructors.

But what were they instructing?

A system based on the memorization of random techniques. Circuits.

Yet they had not broken through their own circuits!

One of the things that matrixing a martial arts does is break through the circuits, and it does this by the simple fact of introducing logic. Putting the techniques in order, causing understanding to happen.

Understanding always breaks a circuit.

But here is the cruel trap. A person still in circuit will hold to the circuit no matter what. He will resist logic and all other intrusions.

Well, of course he will. He has invested time and money in the devil…a belief system. And, believe me, most belief systems are the devil. They are like The Law, binding hopelessly, not to allow men to live together, but to control them.

You’ve heard of the Golden Rule? He who controls the gold rules?

The more insidious cousin is: he who controls the rules rules.

Do you seek to understand yourself as awareness?

Do you seek to understand yourself as awareness?

That bit of juice observed, and under threat of wandering far afield, let me return to the point of it all.

Normalcy Bias is when a person holds to his path tightly, no matter the signs of impending doom, because…because he can’t deal with the coming disaster.

Yes, it’s a prepper term, but it holds true in this instance because, for person to devote his life to seeking enlightenment, and then to get sidetracked with concern for the law, or tournaments, or commercialism, or even the raising of children, is a tragedy.

Simply, you must not stop seeking existence as (awareness) for any reason. That would be to stunt your growth, and return you to Human, or even Subhuman existence.

A person guilty of normalcy bias will not see his own normalcy bias, and will not complete his search for existence. He has become comfortable as a superior man, without ever making the final leap to that exalted status, and will become nothing more than (he will return ‘down’ to…) a normal, knock on wood, do your job and vote as you’re supposed to oaf.

Thus, I was struck by the responses to my article. Sometimes gratified, even surprised by the depth of perception and the proof that individuals were seeking existence as.

But I was also dismayed by people who held to the rules, could not think outside the box, were obviously still ‘in circuit.’

Final word, remember, Matrixing WILL teach you to think outside the box. It WILL create more awareness. It WILL break the circuits of the martial arts and allow you to understand the martial arts, and life, to an enlightened extreme.

Remember, it takes discipline in the proper method to achieve enlightenment. Random discipline, as in current martial arts, takes twenty or thirty years, if it can be done at all. Logic, through matrixing, can speed up the process by as much as ten.

But to hold to the current course, doing random series of techniques with no logic, and certainly without the understanding that understanding the whole picture that logic brings, is to risk disaster…a lifetime spent spinning your wheels and never achieving enlightenment. Never achieving an existence as…awareness.

Please, if I have stepped on toes, apply lineament and remember that my purpose is good…to seek existence as awareness, and to cause others to find that same purpose.

Have a great workout!
Al from MonsterMartialArts(dot)com.

MonsterMartialArts.com for matrixing.

ChurchofMartialArts.com for further enlightenment.

Old, decrepit, but still searching…and able to put out a candle from over a foot away without using force. This is one of the many incredible things matrixing can do.

Greetings from Monkeyland!

Monkeyland is Now Open!

I’m here! At Monkeyland! The Church of Martial Arts has actual physical presence and location!

I’m sitting in a small cabin, the wind is howling hard enough to blow monkeys out of the trees, if there were any monkeys in the trees. Heh.

Martial belief system

Official Emblem of The Church of Martial Arts


And, I have no clue what is going to happen.

I just knew I had to get here, had to have a perfect place to work out. Had to have a place where there weren’t any low grade human beings, and only the faithful to train.

I know what Mas Oyama felt like when he disappeared into the mountains for two years to train himself.

I know what people who removed themselves from the world to pursue the ideal of perfection felt.

But, enough about me. I’m not one of those ‘me, me, me,’ personalities. This is about you.

Do you want perfection? Do you want the real martial arts? Do you want…Monkeyland?

So what’s stopping you?

Heck, hop a plane for a couple of hundred, live cheap, work hard, and dedicate yourself to training.

You know, I don’t want to just turn out martial artists…I want to turn out people who can train martial artists.

There’s one of me and millions of martial artists. I need help if I am going to spread the true arts, fix the corrupt arts, and elevate the martial arts to the highest level on this planet ever.

Heck, if you live in California you could come for a weekend.

If you’re out of California you could fly/drive/swim in over the weekend, spend a week in heaven, and leave the following weekend.

Seriously, this is the best deal, monetarily and martial arts wise, you could ever find.

How much does it cost you to live for a month? $1000? So spend half as much and live here!

I’ll work you, I’ll train you, and you will walk out a matrixed human being. You will walk out with a complete system or two, totally jazzed, and wide awake!

So, seriously…what is stopping you?

Here’s a series of articles that will tell you about the Martial Belief system at the Church of Martial Arts.

Learn Pa Kua Chang Crowd Walking Method

Martial Arts Crowd Walking Method

Many years before I did learn pa kua chang crowd walking methods, I was reading a martial arts journal, I think it was Black Belt, and I discovered this anecdote involving Morihei Ueshiba. O Sensei would go to different towns and put on Aikido exhibitions. I have no doubt the exhibitions were spectacular, however the thing that inspired the heck out of me was the story his uchideshi (inside student) provided involving O Sensei’s crowd walking procedure.

learn pa kua

Learn Pa Kua Chang Crowd Walking


When traveling across a train station (for example) O Sensei would just walk straight forward, emanating his chi, and the masses would part. Individuals might turn and stare at this imperious titan, then the masses would close up. The Uchi deshi, loaded with trunks and bags, would struggle through the closing people.

The thing that awed me about this relating of occurrence was not that a man could easily emanate effective chi and sweep back a masses, but that it reminded me of my very own crowd walking experiences.

When I was in eleventh grade I used to love to run through groups. I might be late for class, or simply playing tag with someone, and unexpectedly something would come over me and I would be in complete sprint. The halls would certainly be jam-packed, and I would be turning on the nickel, hurrying full tilt, not able to be tripped (and a couple of the teenagers might make an effort). Young women might gasp and also offer little shrieks as I ran full tilt towards them, then turned and spun around them. The ground resembled a magnet to my feet, I never ever slipped, it was like I was flash, yet with magic glue on my soles.

O Sensei’s crowd walking blew me away, however it was so different from mine.

Radiating chi like he was a walking heating system. It was the start of my martial arts calling, and control of chi in such splendid way was yet a dream. Still, I had my very own strategy.

As time went on I obtained the capability to emanate chi, though not to the degree of O Sensei, yet, remarkably, I started to hold my very own procedure up as perhaps not so scruffy.

The key, of course, was in engaging in Pa Kua Chang, in walking the circle. Especially, I would focus on walking EXTREMELY slowly. I would feel the chi go up and down the legs, and I started to comprehend a few things.

One, there was even more finesse in my strategy than simply turning it on and blasting individuals back.

Two, Pa Kua Chang in fact didn’t instruct individuals to crowd walk like I was doing it. Classic Pa Kua Chang was more into tricky hands, and not into fine tuning the walk itself. Walking slowly, concentrating the mindset on the generation and control of chi in the legs, made lightening in the legs. And this lead to the next understanding.

Three, I could guide individuals ways to walk through crowds ten times more effortlessly and effectively, and there was a WHOLE LOT more pleasure in the teaching.

Chi blasting a group is entertaining, however it is pretty much a bully strategy.

Understanding ways to worm through the people at high speeds thrills the creative imagination, it is subtle, it needs more entire body method. And this last is fascinating, and actually essential to the expanding martial artist.

Contrast it to a musical instrument. Chi blasting such as O Sensei did is comparable to the opening chords of’ 2001: A Space Odyssey.’ (Thus Spoke Zarathustra). Crowd walking such as I explain and explain with my particular Pa Kua Chang resembles playing Flight of the bumblebee.

One is spectacular, the other is elaborate. One is outstanding, the other is subtle. One is overpowering, the other is shading subtleties of hue unto infinity.

And, of course, when it concerns crowd walking martial arts methods, one should study both. Have the ability to be subtle, and blast at a second’s notice.

This page has a real short cut to learn Pa Kua Chang method for crowd walking.