Tenacity

There is that lovely moment in an instructors life when you are pinned on your back, and you can feel your arm on the verge of breaking. A younger, fitter, stronger and much more energetic student has learned all his lessons well, and has you firmly tied up and is putting a ton of pressure on you. There are tiny little openings in his position, so you can probably work your way out…except that he is wrenching your arm pretty good in an americana lock…so good you can feel the joint starting to give way. You’ve got about a second to tap or spend the next few weeks doing rehab and sucking ibuprofen. I used to run Palaestra classes back when I was at Academie Duello. One of our drills was to let our partner sink in a deep lock, and slowly increase the pressure. We’d work different body mechanics…

Continue reading

Family Day

Provincial holiday here in British Columbia today. A nice day off and what should have been a good sleep in, ruined a bit by some odd dreams. Not bad dreams, but the kind you wake up from and immediately become aware of things that have been lost from your life. Not a lot you can do about it, and not new information, but sometimes the reminder can really suck. All the more reason to enjoy what I have in life right now. I can regret money lost, but rather than obsess over losing a penny ever again, I’m better served by learning to enjoy things in life that cost nothing. I’m learning new things about my writing. Since it’s a long weekend, Courtney is home. She’s actually reading on the couch just a few feet away from me. We occasionally chatter as I write. Doesn’t seem like much, but for…

Continue reading

Saturday Morning Soap Box

Being amused this fine morning by Courtney reading out from a giant “Canadian Media Habits” survey she’s completing. Some of the questions are hilariously out of touch. “Have you used the Internet in the last year?” “Have you used the touchscreen on your phone in the last week?” “how often have you used a search engine website in the last month?” A blog is an activity you can do on the net, but not a type of website you can visit. TV viewing questions are all from a world that existed before netflix and torrents. They want to know about how often you watch “movies” compared to “video’s”…for you young ‘uns, a “video” is a thing you rented from an actual physical store. You can still the see the fossilized remnants of them in some ancient city districts. The “Internet Usage” question goes from a “few times a year” and…

Continue reading

A Klingon Walks Into a Bar…

The sublime joys of being a martial artist…Last night we headed out to a new place to enjoy some after-class beer and talking. We’d been alternating between two places. One, the Whip, had good food and beer, but was really noisy and only had limited gluten-free food for our celiac-affected companion. Also…kinda super-hipstery. Lots of raised eyebrows whenever we go in. But…good beer. Our second place was Max’s burgers, which have awesome burgers with bacon marmalade and good beer. And really nice staff who actually asked us to come back and be regulars. Nice. You have to appreciate that, but our wallets disagree. Great food comes at great price. Worth it, but we can only afford it once in a while. So last night we hit a new place, the Wallflower. Again, hipster as all f-word. It’s apparently a thing, now. More raised eyebrows when we went in, but we…

Continue reading

Moving Forward.

Kicking back a little this morning, enjoying some lovely sunshine and drinking my coffee. Got Seasick Steve playing in the background, because…Ugly, worn out old guys can rock like no one else. A lifetime of making music your own way can really pay off, but mostly no one wants to hear it because, you know…old guy. If you walk around your own town and keep your ears open, you’ll probably find a few people just like him. I know in the cold of winter on Granville street in Vancouver, there was an old guy with a guitar singing folk with a voice and presence that should have filled stadiums. But people just walked by. It doesn’t matter, really. You do what you love, every day, every chance you can. It’s enough for a good life. Audience is nice, but not required. Icing on the cake. Paying your bills is pretty…

Continue reading

Foible to Forte

I’m not sure where my strength comes from. I’ve always felt like a frail person, especially inside. I’ve never thought of myself as being particularly hard, strong or courageous. Those features always belonged to a separate class, as best I could tell. The heroic few. The handsome, the well-formed and monied types, the kind that preyed on the weak and foreign, like me. I was always the new kid, the natural prey of the hero’s. Gollum in a world of Aragorn’s, Boromir’s, and Lothlórien’s. I lacked any kind of destiny except to be despised. I could fill up a lot of pages with stories of the abuse I received, and the horrible places that made my mind go. Growing up was rough, suffice to say. People can tell you that adversity makes you strong, but those people have probably never had the joy of having a huge adult pick you…

Continue reading