Recently I wrote an article called ‘You may not be a Black Belt.’ In that Article I discussed a concept called CBM (Coordinated Body Motion). I was fairly sure people would take exception to the Article, and I also felt that it wasn’t quite fair for me to find fault and yet not offer more of a solution for the things I believe detract from the True Art. For those reasons I have prepared another Article, one which I hope will show how to correct those faults I have previously mentioned. In this article I will expand upon the original diagram I used to illustrate my concept that people left the True Art for other paths, and I will take each path point by point. The method I will use is to first discuss the problem, then refine the problem, then offer solution for the problem. Please refer to        for original article.

	CBM stands for ‘Coordinated Body Motion.’ It is when all parts of the body support one Intention. Some examples of physical CBM are: excessive wiggling of the butt when punching, shoulders out of alignment with the hips or feet, moving body parts out of synchronization, not synchronizing individual masses of body parts when moving, not connecting to the ground, and so on.
	Interestingly, CBM can be applied to almost any aspect of life. For instance, when you take too long a lunch break you are ‘Out of synch’ with the CBM of your company. You are a ‘Body part’ of your company and you should strive to align with the Intention of the company. When you yell at your children you are not pursuing CBM in family life. You are a ‘body part’ of your family and you should strive to align with the Intention of your family.  This type of thought can be applied throughout your life, though one shouldn’t force oneself into molds that are not right for themselves (if you don’t agree with the stated Intention of something, go elsewhere), and one shouldn’t force others, except through calm reasoning, into the CBM concept. CBM has to be by choice.
	CBM, simply put, is the pursuit of the ultimate harmony in whatever you are doing, and can extend into any other area of life.

	 The purpose of a tournment is to have contest between man. The very concept tends to undo CBM at the outset. To CBM a tournament one needs to increase control of self and others so that the contest doesn’t get out of hand. By out of hand I mean talking back to officials, yelling at people in the crowd, not getting into actual fights with fellow contestants, and so on. This idea includes the idea of manners.
	One also needs to alter the reality of the contest so that the person understands the difference between a point and a real life situation. Nothing is worse, in my opinion, then a fellow who studies the Arts for years and, when finally put in a situation where he has to make his Art work, executes a perfect point.
	Interestingly, one can solve lack of control by having no protective gear. Unfortunately, while this is a perfect solution it is very hard to make work. First, people make money off of protective gear. It is very hard to undo a concept which makes people money. The second reason is even tougher, because it deals with parents who want little Johnny or little Janey to be well protected, and who think that protective gear is the answer.
	If one has no protective gear one tends to feel the effects of a real punch or kick, and because of this they tend to take responsibility for their actions. As for little Johnny and Janey, as the child becomes more involved in the Art one may need to have serious discussion with parents as to what Karate is all about. You might be surprised how many parents are willing for their children to risk a few bruises in exchange for a lot of responsibility. 
	Lack of Reality is also affected by having no protective gear, but the best cure is to change the rules. When I entered my first tournament I was told that the only rules were no kicks to the knee or pokes to the eyes. In a short time I knew what fighting was all about, yet I was not injured. Nowadays rules are always changing because people are trying to slant rules so that they have the best advantage. This means that they are trying to protect their weaknesses without facing them.

	When I first began Karate I came across the concept that it would take Americans several generations to learn Karate because they couldn’t understand (absorb) the concepts. I agree with the need for the Art to be Absorbed, but over the years I have found this particular concept to be a total lie. Things that I was told Americans cannot understand I have understood myself, and I have seen others understand. Usually understanding was accomplished with a little research through pertinent books, discussion with knowledgeable people, and even (especially) the dictionary.
	Here is an interesting little conclusion. People who said that Americans couldn’t understand were Racist, and lacking in their understanding of the English language, and the inability of the Americans to grasp concept was directly attributable to the teacher’s inability to communicate. Think about this next time somebody tries to tell you you are ingnorant or unable to learn.
	When learning Karate, or any other Art, the culture is a background, not the substance. The Art, when viewed correctly, is quite empirical. It is based upon what works, not which hand is used to dish cut sushi or the corret way to suck noodles out of a bowl. Please don’t misconstrue what I have said here to mean we should give up politeness or good manners. 

	Bad teaching is when the teacher is ignorant and doesn’t understand what he is doing, or when he has become so slanted in his view of life that the Art he teaches is slanted. The cure for this is to leave. You could straighten a bad teacher out, of course, but then he should be paying you.
	The other side of this is that if you find that you have been learning from a bad teacher you have to straighten out the data he gave you. This means analysis in the form of research, applying resistance to your form (Body Testing), analyzing function, and otherwise applying CBM concepts to your Art.
	The real problem here is how does one recognize a bad teacher. The fine virtue of loyalty, in this instance, can sometimes obscure perception.

	A bad system is one in which the data of the system is either unaligned, illogical, or just incorrect. Here are some examples of Bad systems.
	Forms of differing concepts are combined. For instance a Wing Chun form might be included in a Shotokan system.
	Forms are out of sequence in gradience of ease to difficulty.
	A student is told to breath at the wrong time throughout the system. (I once observed a classical Japanese system where the students inhaled with every outward movement. Very interesting.)
	And so on.
	The cure for a bad system can range from dismantling it in part, rearranging, that sort of thing, to chucking the whole thing. The problem with this is that the Instructor has to have enough viewpoint and perspective to accurately analyze the system. This is usually difficult because the Instructor will have much time and effort invested in a system, and it is difficult for someone to toss out something that they have invested with such time and effort.

	This is a tough one, because so many people don’t even understand English, let alone a foreign language. However, if one does a little research one can change any difficulty with both languages into a plus. The mere fact of cross referencing meanings through two languages can shed much light on a concept. Remember that the next time you get counted through your paces in Japanese.

	I know these are dangerous times. I know people are getting mugged and beaten and so on, but doggone it, the cure can be worse than the illness in this case. The purpose of the Martial Arts is to build character, to enable one to learn to live a calmer, more beneficial life, and so on. I have seen people that gained from more intensive training methods, but I have also seen people who gained in paranoia. I have seen people who were a little too eager to fight, a little too hair trigger in their emotions as a result of this type of training.
	There are several ways to change an Art that has been overly street oriented. The best way is to find a new school and a new teacher. The most important thing to change, however, is attitude.
	Look, for one person that trains to the point of paranoia there will be a hundred people around him that get nervous, but for one person that trains to the point of calmness there will be a hundred people around him that relax. This all has to do with a human being’s sphere of influence. 
	In conclusion I would like to say that CBM can be used to align individuals, entire Arts, and society at large. The real key is to be honest when analyzing what it is you are attempting to change.

About the Author: Al Case, the owner of Quality Press, has nearly 30 years experience in the Martial Arts. Be sure to read his column, ‘Case Histories,’ in Inside Karate.

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Monster Martial Arts


This article appeared in the November 1994 Inside Karate.