Lessons from My Masters 9

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So, in the last installment I spoke about “Fighting in the Future” and how it relates to getting ahead of another person’s movement and is the thing that all martial artists, regardless of system, are doing when faced with an opponent when they get there first. Even if they are not aware of it.

So this has been leading up to another concept that people when working with the more advanced practitioners of the art of Guided Chaos experience yet are probably not aware of. I’m reiterating the quote above from the Grandmaster because it really sums up the essence of what I’ve been working towards in this series on Lessons from My Masters.

For those who’ve attended our classes or seminars, you’ve probably noticed that when working with the more advanced folks of Guided Chaos it is as if we almost never move our bodies or if we do we seem to move very little or significantly less than the person we are working with. It is because through the absorption and immersion in the principles, over time we learn to move as little as we need within our bodies. We learn to make the most minute adjustments with our bodies and neutralize an attack before it happens.

But how?


You’re Always Going Back to the Beginning


So, I’m working out with Grandmaster Carron during one of our many workouts and he begins to admonish me for pushing or moving too much, speeding up…etc. Anyway in my frustration I say, “I don’t understand because it feels like you’re moving faster than me.” He kind of laughs and he says, “Let me show you something.” So he places his arm on top of my arm and says, “When you want to move your arm to strike don’t tell me just do it but watch what I do with my arm.” So I’m looking at his arm and when I go to move my arm around his it feels like his arm just disappears.

So now I’m like WTF? So I ask, “Can I do that again?” He says, “Sure, but watch my arm.” I go to do it again and once again while looking right at his arm it just lifts off and feels like it just disappeared. So now I’m laughing I’m like, Get the heck out of here. So I ask, “I don’t understand how are you doing that,” he says, “Okay now watch my body.”  And right there, right in front of me, I see the most minute change in his body.

Now understand it would be a long time, I mean a long time for me to understand what he was doing with his body but one thing I understood was that no matter what my eyes were showing me, he was moving his body in some fashion that when flowing was imperceptible to both my eyes and my sense of touch. Little did I know how deep this concept was.


Down the Rabbit Hole


“This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes”

–Morpheus, The Matrix


So, I’m over at our old training facility doing a class with John in Nanuet and Tim stops by and John has him work with a few people just so they can get the feel. So, anyway as the rest of the class is working John starts to work with Tim and after a few minutes calls me over and says,

“Now, I just want you to watch what we are doing here, don’t try to judge it or figure it out just watch.”

So as I’m watching John is talking to Tim and he says,

“Now see this, see how I’m playing off of this little contact point where I can feel the rise in the bone on your wrist. This is information for me so that when I’m moving with you I can use it as a point of reference to work off of. Now I know you know that I’m just saying that for Al’s benefit so he can understand what’s going on here.”

He then says, “Come here, I want you to feel what I was describing.” He then places his hands on top of mine and says,

“Just feel not only what I’m doing with my hands but listen to my body and feel what my whole body is doing because you really can’t see this with your eyes. Just stay with me.”

He then started to move slowly and right there, I could feel the earth drop out from under my feet.

And down the rabbit hole I went…

To say what he did was bizarre would be an understatement. When you’re in an environment working with John where he’s deliberately doing things to allow you to feel what’s really going on it’s a different thing that when he’s just tuning you up. Because he’s moving in a way to allow your mind and body to learn that which is not easy to explain. Or, if there’s even a way to explain it at all.

He then has Tim do it to me and, I’m like looking right at him, and then the next thing I know his fist is lightly touching my face. It’s like I stood there and watched it happen but couldn’t move.

I was like, WTF? If I didn’t experience it for myself I would have never believed it.

Now you understand my admonishments in the last installment on when working with John what your attitude needs to be if you want to learn. You want to be a jerk? Then fine, he likes getting his work in too, but he’d rather you learn. So then learn.

Later in another lesson with John under The Wisdom Tree I would go on to ask John,

“So when you’re taking my balance or cutting off my movement you’re always moving in these sort of arcing movements?”

He’s says,

“Yes, for the most part but it’s not like a thing where I’m thinking about some sort of arc or specific angle. When I say that stuff those are just to give you an idea of the kind of movement I’m talking about but it’s not exact because usually you’re moving so I have to have the ability to adjust with your movement. I don’t know how to best describe it but it’s not so much that I’m arcing or circling. Here, let me explain it like this: Your hands, your joints have their own rotation to them same as mine so I play off of all of that stuff. It’s not even so much that they are moving in a circle because you can move in other directions when you’re moving; it’s more like I have these spheres that I can move in.”

Okay, let me interject right here because I’m obviously paraphrasing this conversation that lasted during the lesson for quite some time. John says stuff like this to me all-of-the-time. But I generally get the gist of what he is saying when he’s teaching me this stuff. I have to say this because there are those who think this is stuff I just come up with on my own.

I wish that were true but what it really is, is that John is a genius at what he does and can deduce things that others just can’t see. Whether it’s a natural ability or years of experience or both makes no difference to me, I just know the end result of the things he does are dead on and that’s all that matters. I need no technical explanation to know that the stuff he does is for real. So no matter what name Matt Kovsky or I or one of the other instructors gives to something, the origins started with an understanding of the “Principles” of the art of Guided Chaos and that’s all you need to concern yourself with.

So after that he starts to demonstrate what he means by moving with me while exaggerating his movements so I can see what his body is doing yet, because of this ability he isolates around my body I can’t feel where he is until it’s too late. It’s really disorienting because his body is moving somewhere that seems out of sync to what my eyes see, versus what my body perceives. Does that makes sense? He could step in and out and in any direction and it all seemed like his body just appeared in these places. Like Tim once said to me, This is weird stuff.

No words can accurately describe what I’m talking about here so everything from this point on are mere approximations of a concept. Nonetheless as with Fighting in the Future this is brilliant stuff!

Arguably this is one of the other more brilliant concepts Grandmaster Perkins has ever come up with because it in my mind the essence of what happens when you train in the principles of Guided Chaos. This phenomenon is just another byproduct of principle development.


The Quantum Sphere of Body Movement


I present this concept to provide you with a deeper understanding of the multifaceted aspects of Guided Chaos. The “Quantum Sphere” as I like to call it has to do with the ability to move within your Sphere of Influence on the most minute level because There are no small movements with regard to the end result.

The Quantum Sphere, like The Matrix, in some ways, has to be experienced to be believed.

Now, if you imagine your body in the position like Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man,” within your Sphere of Influence your hands and feet are able to affect all aspects of your Sphere within their natural reach and range of motion.

Now, no matter where you move your Center of Gravity, it is always at the center of your Sphere of Influence, allowing you to control the space within your Sphere in every direction.

But there is something else…

Inside of your body, each one of your joints can move with–yet work–at times seemingly independent of each other and the rest of your body. The truth is they don’t actually work independent of each other as much as they play off of each other or reinforce each other depending on what you choose to do within your Sphere of Influence.

Additionally, these points of rotation are not just limited to your arms and legs but extend to virtually every joint within your body. Within reason of course.

For example, while each bone in your arm is linear in structure (including those in your hands), each joint when combined with the other joints in your arm creates a spherical range of motion. The more joints that are involved the greater the freedom of movement. This is what allows you to move your arm in a graceful, fluid fashion as if your arm were made of rubber.

One thing I need to point out before I go any further. With regard to your hands, whether forming weapons or just moving them in general, no matter what you do with them you always have a sphere that your hands move within, and because each of your fingers has tremendous dexterity, they too have a sphere of their own.

This is the reason as an instructor you must teach students how to use their hands freely yet efficiently as soon as possible. Your hands have more dexterity than any other part of your body so why would you give this up in a fight for your life?

Now the reason I call it “The Quantum Sphere” is because this concept is Fractal in nature meaning there is an exponential or compounding effect once you begin to move in this manner. For there are circles within circles within circles etc…in which the pattern repeats itself theoretically to infinity. Sort of like looking in the reflection of two mirrors facing each other where the reflections seems to repeat itself and go to infinity.

So there are an almost infinite number of possibilities within our movement as long as we move within our natural range of motion. Another reason why I call this concept “The Quantum Sphere of Guided Chaos” is because changes even at the nano or “quantum” level of movement as I like to refer to it, cause dramatic changes in your body position in relation to theirs because, There are no small movements with regard to the end result.

Oh one more thing I want to point out: while I refer to this range of motion as “spherical,” in no way does it imply you must move in a circular fashion. This is merely pointing out that all of the space within your sphere or spheres is for you to use as you see fit.

Sometimes the movement seems straight, sometimes arcing, sometimes circular, sometimes straight then parallel then straight again, and sometimes it’s just erratic or all of them at the same time.

Again, when your body changes, even at the most minute level, the whole fight changes. This Yields an almost infinite number of possibilities within this Quantum Sphere. This is how that Masters are able to move in a way that is almost imperceptible to the average person. Thus the illusion that we hardly or never moved at all.

Like I said this is brilliant stuff and so I’ll reiterate my point, while the Grandmaster won’t say it, I will!

It is concepts like this that in my mind make Guided Chaos the most well developed and greatest reality based fighting system ever devised.



Because It Needs to Be Said… Again


Quoting Musashi once again,

“Truth is not what you want it to be; it is what it is, and you must bend to its power or live a lie.”

–Miyamoto Musashi


Like “Fighting in the Future” is a real thing, the concept of the Quantum Sphere or at least the concept of whatever we call it, is every bit as real.

Because we occupy 3-Dimensional space and can move our bodies in ways that make no sense we can alter a person’s perception of time by throwing off their ability to perceive our movement and track our movement within time and space.

Time being the critical factor. For those who know how to move in this fashion it becomes the genesis of how they can get ahead of another person’s movement.

Now comes the hard part, like Fighting in the Future there is a mental aspect to this, thus for some this is a skill they will never be able to use effectively. Until their minds can get there and they get rid of the mental adhesions that make them stuck.  As the song Hotel California goes, “We are all just prisoners here of our own device…”

Until we get out of our own way we are prisoners in our own bodies in our own minds. They (the Nay Sayers) whose minds are filled with all sorts of naughty-naughty, cannot get out of their own way because they refuse to accept what is. They want truth to be what they want it to be and not accept it for what it is.

Until they invest in some “Red Pill” action it’s not going to happen for them.

Not my problem…

I already discussed in the last installment how The Universe works so I won’t rehash it here. Now for those who attend my classes every week they know that I download from The Matrix like, all of the time. So this kind of talk is not new to them. They hear me discuss / have them practice these concepts all of the time.

The reason is because I know these things are not simple to grasp and the only way you’re going to learn it is if I keep saying it over and over and over until it seeps into the marrow of their bones. Until this concept becomes intuitive it just won’t take hold.

Most eventually get it, some get it faster than others, but the vast majority of people I teach this to do eventually get it.



“And whoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when you depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.”

–Matthew 10:14 KJV


Not to get all biblical here and don’t get me wrong I’m not comparing myself or my words to the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, but there is a very important biblical precedent to this sort of thing.

Now, there are those who no matter what I say will in my view never get it. Not because they can’t, not because they are not skilled enough, or smart enough or whatever but because they refuse to accept what is. They willfully deny what is right in front of them but you can be sure they’ll be the first to complain about their own lack of growth. Typical.

You see when I’m teaching on this concept it is not uncommon for some folks to get that glassy eyed look on their faces like they’re at an “EST Seminar” like, yeah, yeah, yeah now can we just flow… and then they wonder why they can’t do it.  Or they ask afterward what I was showing folks, really?

They think they know it but they don’t. They think through osmosis, The Force or some other nonsense that if they just flow enough they’ll come to the conclusion without any further instruction, they just need to feel it enough through Contact Flow.

So while they’re willing to empty their cup to some extent their inability to discern tea from horse piss prevents them from learning the right things in the proper context. So instead of listening and learning what it really is, they’d rather swallow piss and then with a straight face tell themselves it tastes just like Granny’s Peach Tea.

Umm… Okay, if you say so…


I’m pointing this out to nip this in the bud because every time I put stuff out like this, concepts that I know have eluded students for years, concepts that may be the key for them toward unlocking unlimited growth potential, there are always the party poopers who come out of the woodwork confusing people or trying to downplay what I’m saying here simply because they don’t understand it themselves.

Or the folks who tell students, “Well, Al doesn’t teach the art right…” Or “Well he can only move like that because he’s athletic…” BTW They say the same thing about Master Watson as well.

These are also the same folks who had the stones to go around saying John doesn’t teach his own art correctly.

I shit you not!

The fucking nerve…

I only know these things because these are the kind of things students come to me about, and ask me questions over something they were told by these individuals that they didn’t think was correct.

So I tell them after correcting it,

“Well the next time they say [insert smarmy remark here], tell them I said they should come to me and set me straight… see how that works out for them.”

Hey, I have a sense of humor too. I would love for them to correct me as if they know more than the things I regurgitate almost word-for-word from my Masters. I welcome the opportunity for their input. It is my output they may not appreciate, and of that I am quite sure…

My point is I hold nothing back and if I didn’t want people to know these things that I know for sure that work, I damn sure wouldn’t be blogging about it. So when people try to in my view sabotage others learning I take offense to that because they’re stealing from their training.

Closing their minds off and shutting down the learning. Why on earth would you do that? Especially when the one thing you could share with them could save their lives?

Like I’ve said before if they get out of their own way to varying degrees they could have these things too.

This is like when Tim told me nearly 30 years ago,

“When John is demonstrating in front of the class, you need to be paying attention to what he’s doing. He’s giving away gold…”

I don’t know about you but I like gold, more importantly I like it even better if it’s free. If you want to learn this concept and others like it you have to suspend disbelief, not your common sense, but disbelief and know how to discern good from evil. If you want to know how this is done I can show you. If anyone tells you it’s not possible then challenge them to explain why. If they can’t explain it where a 6-year old could understand their answer then you know they’re full of BS. It’s that simple.

Okay enough on that…

The Quantum Sphere or whatever you want to call it is real. For the secret to developing it lies in mastering the movement of your body and getting your mind to the right place.

It is the essence of Body Unity in its purest form and yours for the taking but you need to be willing to stretch forth your hand to grasp it.

Take the Red Pill* and be done with it.


LtCol Al Ridenhour
Senior Master Instructor


*How deep does the Rabbit Hole go?
Take the Red Pill and dive into The GC Matrix, coming this Fall.


► In the meantime, explode your understanding of GC’s Universal Movement with THE COMBATIVE MOVEMENT IMMERSION SEMINAR.

Al Ridenhour

Al Ridenhour is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Marine Corps with 28 years of active and reserve military service with multiple combat tours to Iraq and Afghanistan. Although he was an instructor in unarmed combat for his unit, Al Ridenhour knew he had found the right self-defense system in 1992 when people half his size from John Perkins' school could strike him at will with "penetrating force," yet remain elusive to his own strikes. Even though he'd traveled the globe with the U.S. Marines and trained with a variety of U.S. military and Asian martial arts instructors, Al's first thought was "if this works for them, it'll work for me." He resolved then and there to become a student of Perkins' unusual, free-flowing and highly adaptive art. In 2019, after rising to the rank of 7th degree master, Al Ridenhour left the Guided Chaos organization.

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