Breaker, breaker…

As a kid in the seventies, that was CB talk. Truckers were the bikers of the seventies, heroic gypsy rebels of the highway. How things change… In the eighties, breaking was something the really weird poser kids did. In the nineties it was a laughable relic of the past. The advantage of getting older is that all your shame is decades behind you. Or at least, you can pretend it is. So when I heard that breaking was still happening, and there was this “Battle Of The Year” thing that was going on. I dug a little deeper…neat. I was in the middle of shaking up my personal world of martial arts. I’d had a blinding, brilliant revelation at 4am one morning, and in twenty minutes wrote out the entire 5×5 drill and teaching system. I was so excited I texted it to my fiancee, and called my best friend,…

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Kicking ass! Or not.

I had to think a bit tonight, have I ever kicked anyone’s ass? I really don’t think I have. I know I don’t want to, ever. I use the phrase from time to time, but it’s mostly because I think it’s a phrase people will understand. There isn’t a lot of reality to it. I’ve never won a tournament in my life, but I have a big string of second-places. You might think that means I kicked a lot of other people’s asses to get there, but…no, not really. Tournament sword fighting always feels a bit lucky to me. It’s always a gamble. I enjoy formulating strategies, and I’m quite good at it. If I tell a student how to beat another fighter, and they do what I say? They will win, I guarantee it. But I know it’s a gamble. When I see a fighter repeating a pattern, or…

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The monkey knife fight

Many years ago one of my best friends took an exclusive bodyguarding course. Very high level, a little hush-hush, real serious stuff. The first class was kind of interesting. At one point the instructor had them sitting around and asked them if they thought they could beat up Mike Tyson. It was a class full of hard-nosed, realistic types, and they all said no. My friend, having the double blessing of being Finnish and of the same rough and tumble martial arts school as me, said yes, he figured he could beat up Mike Tyson. I suppose the instructor might have smiled at this. Being a crazy whack job like all such instructors, it was probably a knowing smile. I imagine that he could read my friend pretty good, and knew what was coming. The rest of the class, reportedly, smirked at the cocky young fool. The instructor asked my…

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