Master Al Case' Matrix Martial Arts

Discussion in 'General Self Defense' started by TaiChiTJ, Dec 18, 2010.

  1. oftheherd1

    oftheherd1 Senior Master

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    Looking forward to it.
     
  2. clfsean

    clfsean Senior Master

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    I'd go for dinner myself...
     
  3. TaiChiTJ

    TaiChiTJ Brown Belt

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    Not to resurrect a year dead thread, but I have just purchased one of Mr. Case's programs out of curiosity and will review it and let folks know what I think first hand.



    Good! I have just recently worked through his entire "Forty Monkees". It would be great to hear your analysis.
     
  4. clfsean

    clfsean Senior Master

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    Still say better spent $$$$ is on dinner.

    Sent from my Thunderbolt on Tapatalk. Excuse the auto-correct spelling errors.
     
  5. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    Maybe you can tell us what you thought about that program?
     
  6. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    that's the trick of it. Make the price low enough that if people are not happy with it, they are more likely to just walk away and don't bother to collect the refund. One can get rich off that approach.

    I sometimes consider talking to a fortune teller, under the same notion. Hey, it's not really that much money, I'm just morbidly curious, what the hell, give it a go just for giggles and *****. But again, that's probably what the fortune teller is hoping for: someone who is just morbidly curious and willing to part with a few bucks.
     
  7. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    what the hell are "forty monkees"?
     
  8. clfsean

    clfsean Senior Master

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    -Several watchings of the Brad Pitt/Bruce Willis movie

    -What happens after drinking with the Beastie Boys

    -A buffet from "The Faces of Death"

    Any of the above really.

    Sent from my Thunderbolt on Tapatalk. Excuse the auto-correct spelling errors.
     
  9. TaiChiTJ

    TaiChiTJ Brown Belt

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    Here is my take:

    The forty monkees are an organized collection of forty self protection actions that are practiced with a partner. They come from a wide variety of traditional martial arts, encompassing chinna (joint locks), aikido projections, kung-fu / kenpo techniques, and probably some other traditional arts I don’t know the name of.

    Case’s organization of these techniques, as they flow from one part of the body to another, has a logical progression to it. Nothing new has been invented, Case just rearranged existing techniques from traditional arts in a manner that respects what fighting range they are performed at and, he feels, makes logical sense and is therefore easier to learn.

    Consider the curriculum page on Bill Parson’s Triangle Kenpo site. At the top of the page is a table called “Techniques by Belt”, with the color of the belt on the far left and the techniques belonging to that belt on the right.

    Now, scroll down past that section and you will see another table, “Techniques by Attack”, with “strikes”, “grabs”, “sparring”, “kicks” etc., on the far left and a further delineation one column over with “right inside”, “right outside” and what technique the IKCA teaches for that attack and the last column showing just exactly what kind of “right inside” punch it is.

    http://www.trianglekenpo.com/curriculum.htm


    Al Case’s word for “table” is “matrix”.

    I am showing my age here but let’s also consider the original hardbound edition of “Aikido and the Dynamic Sphere”, first published sometime in the mid-seventies, I think. Some of my fellow ma elders may remember the book and especially the pull-out section that was bound in the middle of the hardbound edition of that book. This was another table that showed the particular Aikido wrist or elbow lock on the far left and then, in columns on the right, specific Aikido neutralizations or projections that lock was used in. The book is still published, I think, but only in paper back, and that table is no longer included. I looked on the web, hoping maybe somebody had put up a picture of that pull-out section but could not find it.

    These two examples are ok, but they don’t quite show the “nth degree” to which Master Al has gone into the analysis of human motion in the execution of a wide variety of traditional martial arts.

    His analysis favors large chunks of a particular system, not the system in its entirety. For example, the footwork of a shaolin system, or an analysis of motion in Tai Chi push hands.


    hope that is understandable
     
  10. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    It's understandable as far as you describe it, but the approach is fundamentally flawed.

    the movement of the technique is not what is important. Each system has a foundational method in how techniques are delivered and used, and this method can vary widely from one system to another. Simply mimicking the movement of the technique, without understanding and properly using the foundation for that system, will not give you a viable technique. So if this is a collection of techniques taken from many different systems, then I can guarantee the proper foundation for each system is not being used. What is happening is he is presenting physical movement, without understanding what it is that actually makes that movement effective. Those different techniques from different systems are being forced onto one common foundation that is improper for many of them. Square peg, round hole.

    It's a collection of unrelated movements. Each technique may be viable when placed within the proper context of its system. But taken outside of that context and training it without the proper foundation, the usefulness and effectiveness is severely reduced, even to the point of being useless.

    The fact that someone would create a method in this way tells me that he has very little understanding of how this stuff works.
     
  11. clfsean

    clfsean Senior Master

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    Brilliant... simple, direct, brilliant.
     
  12. TaiChiTJ

    TaiChiTJ Brown Belt

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    You make good points! Keep in mind I don't claim to be skilled at his system or understand everything. There are other "chunks" to the system I know a little about, however I cannot speak with authority.

    I just have a sustaining interest in those ma's on american soil who have in some way created offshoots, such as Tak Wah Eng's "New York Nan Chuan" Shifu Mancuso has written about, Tony Annesi's bushido-kai, Sullivan and LeRoux, etc.

    With Case, we have something decidedly different, and as you believe, his matrixing has left important foundational elements out.

    I did describe it as far as I understand it, and meant it in that vein.
     
  13. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    I understand, and I appreciate your description. My comments are not aimed at you; I understand you are simply taking a look at what he is doing.

    The approach that he is taking, at least as far as you have been able to describe it, reduces the effectiveness of a technique to a simple factor of one's physical strength. The technique relies primarily on physical strength, and ignores the physical efficiency that the mother system builds into the methodology. If one is physically strong, he can still find certain things effective because his strength carries him thru. But this masks the fact that he doesn't understand how the technique is really meant to function, and fails to reach the true potential of the technique.

    It's not difficult to hurt someone. You do not need to have superior technique, or a sophisticated martial system to do so. One can be a "tough guy" and be able to hurt someone, even tho one's martial skills may not be very high. It's important to recognize the difference. Being a tough guy who can fight and beat people up is not automatically the same thing as being a skilled martial artist.

    Personally, I'm looking for a higher level of true skill.
     
  14. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Yeah, I'm with Michael here as well. The description you proffer, TaiChiTJ, just matches the issues noted earlier in the thread, and leveled directly at Al himself. Based on his blog, the descriptions from both himself and yourself, Al's youtube clips, and so on, he seems to be missing quite a fair bit of what makes a martial art work, instead looking at them as collections of techniques, rather than bodies of congurent knowledge, and is angling towards people who want a 'quick fix' answer. He'll get customers, sure, but I'd be very hesitant to call them students (his, or even in general, honestly) as I don't think they'd get what I'd consider an actual martial arts education.
     
  15. Edward F

    Edward F White Belt

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    Okay, I'm not much into forums, but I feel obligued to Mr Case, so here is my take on this subject.

    This was one of the sites I stumbled across when I first learnt about Matrix MA and was looking for some info. It all seemed a gimmick, so I was cautious. To my dismay, there were not much info on the net, so I decided, relying on my instinct, to give it a try and buy a couple of courses so I could have an opinion myself.

    I am no martial vet, nor do I hold any degree in Classical Martial Arts Comparated. The only thing I can tell is that those courses made me thought and helped my martial development, which was mostly stagnant at that moment. Mr Case seems to me an insightful and interesting person, with whom you can agree or disagree, but whose opinion in these matters is worth listening to, furthermore, he has been very kind and helpful with questions or even whenever there was any problem with the delivery. So, I am thankful to this man, because he has helped me growth. I do not know if Matrixing is for everyone, but I do not regret having decided to give it a try.

    I'm Spanish, so forgive my bad English, and, though I don't know if I'll hang around here again, if someone has some question just send it to me and I'll try to answer from my experience.

    Edward
     
  16. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Hmm. I'm glad you got something out of his courses, but to tell the truth, when questioned here, he was rather sparce in his ability to give any actual answer, instead relying on almost "marketing" speech, dancing around the question but not actually answering it in any real way. It can sound impressive and insightful, but honestly, it's neither.
     
  17. oaktree

    oaktree Master of Arts

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    Hi Edward

    Can you give more details on how this
    Matrix system worked for you.
    Examples why someone should do it
    Or highlights about it.
    Your endorsement sounds like an informical
    Rather then an educated review so
    Hopefully you can give a more thorough account.
     
  18. Supra Vijai

    Supra Vijai Black Belt

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    Hey Edward,

    Welcome to MT. IF you do decide to stick around, I'm sure there's lots of information you can gather and discussions to be had :)

    That said, quick questions: You say you are no martial [arts] vet, nor do you hold any degree in Classical Martial Arts. I'm taking the latter part to mean no formal ranking? If these are both true, how can you know you truly managed to learn something or gained benefit from it?

    Have you in fact had other training of a more classical nature (classical in this sense meaning at a school or studio rather than strictly traditional martial arts) for you to compare your experience with? Why do you feel your martial development was stagnant?

    I'm glad you had a positive experience with this and that Mr. Case was helpful when you needed it however I think the questioning in this thread is the viability of this system on a large scale and indeed the distance learning approach used. The initial claims as I remember them were clearly designed for marketing purposes and not really indicative of the quality of the training presented.

    EDIT: Seems I've been beaten to the punch, so to speak!
     
  19. Edward F

    Edward F White Belt

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    Thanks for the welcoming, Supra Viaji. I don't know if I will be able to stick around because I have no regular internet access.

    I am aware that this sudden burst is suspicious and in fact, I have no way to prove that I have no financial interest in this. I'm doing this out of my gratitude and wishing to be of help.

    I have had formal training in Muay Thai (about half a year) and Aikido (a year). My rank in Aikido is white belt, but I would appreciate anyone not looking down upon my opinion because of this fact, which was caused by some accidents, cancelled exams and things of the sort. By some personal reasons I had to leave my school and was unable to come back (my teacher was a Sandan, so everything was official), but continued to study in every way I could find.

    My school was classic style instruction, therefore, not a word was spoken during the classes. This is viewed by some as a good thing, but truth be told, slows down and in some cases even impossibilitates, comprehension of the art. Someone could say that this use encourages individual thinking, etc, etc, and I cannot disagree. But the fact is, I realized, the transmission of some techniques had been corrupted because this lack of comprehension in some students who later became teachers and when asked about something they didn't manage to figure out, answered criptical pseudo religious concepts. Matrixing helped me approach the art ina scientifical way, so to speak, and encouraged me to look within the art, to the point where I could clearly see which technique sprouted from another and the reasons behind the movements. This, in turn, boosted up my learning rate, to the point where even the vets in my class started noticing this change.

    I know Mr Case sounds like an informercial, and well, he makes a living out of this, so it is understandable, but the fact is that I read all his stuff in the blogs before ordering and found some advices valuable, which was the main reason why I decided to give it a try.

    This things are harsh to speak about, and in no way I disrespect the different ways of teaching MA out there. Matrixing is a tool of many, and to me still serves a clear purpose.
     
  20. Supra Vijai

    Supra Vijai Black Belt

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    Thanks for taking the time to post a detailed reply.

    Interesting that something like Aikido would follow that approach of teaching. Were you learning in Japan? If not, I might say that particular school may not have been for you or their approach might not have been tailored for the audience they were teaching.

    Again, I'm glad it worked for you, just as I'm glad you acknowledge it's not for everyone. I'd dare say though that for most people on here, it's not the best approach.123
     

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