The Tranquillity of Kumite (sparring)

Some use rage to win in Kumite,

It leaves them open to over confidence,

It diminishes their awareness and they are vulnerable to attack,

Some use fear to give them the ability to survive,

It leaves them open to under confidence,

They will be aware of the danger but too timid to react to it,

Fear can lead to pain and rage can lead to injury,

The truth of Kumite lies in the path in between these,

You need the rage to give you the spirit to not let life take you down,

You need fear to help protect yourself and those that you love,

Everytime I have been too confident I have always wound up hurt,

Everytime I feared too much it was like a mountain to climb, and drained the soul,

To succeed in Kumite you need to embrace both feelings,

To win the battle of mind body and soul,

The real truth and trick to sparring,

Is don’t think about sparring,

You are simply sparring,

The fear relies on over thinking,

Over analysing the possibilities

The rage relies on no thought but winning the battle,

To prove something of yourself,

True Kumite embraces both these feelings these aspects of your soul,

It is like a form of meditation,

Qigong if you wish,

Going through a flow,

A pattern of you and your opponent,

You become part of the rhythm,

The dance between two friends or foes,

Accept the rhythm,

Once you stop thinking about sparring,

Stop thinking about winning,

Stop thinking about injury,

And just simply spar,

Time slows down and your awareness increases,

Pain is reduced and the fear is gone,

Just except that you are simply sparring

Let your training take over, let the animal inside you,

Your spirit guide you,

Accept the rhythm and find peace,

When you’re in the battle of life of Kumite.


A Journey of Feelings

I can tell that she liked me,

She could tell I liked her,

I can see potential,

And I can see why it wouldn’t work,

After three days of pure nervous

I feel tired but in a good way,

As the tension leaves the body,

I feel relaxed,

I felt very comfortable around her,

She liked my sense of humour,

Whether anything happens I don’t know,

But at least I know that she won’t mess me around,

As I already know if she wanted more,

Why she wants more,

And if she didn’t,

Why she doesn’t,

So I feel relaxed,

I am no longer fretting,

As I have in the past,

When girls play the game over a man’s feelings

His heart,

I know she will treat me right

Why Boris Johnson should become Prime minister of the Uk

No I am not mad and I am not delusional I believe that Boris Johnson should become the next prime minister, and I also believe that he has the potential to be one of the best Prime Ministers we could have in decades. I have four main points in this article which shows my argument in question.

The first point is that he has more experience, than not only the current Prime Minster and the two previous incumbents but also the liberal democratic leader and labour leader. The current generation of politicians are known as professional politicians, they’re whole career after leaving university been solely politics, and this has lead them into a sheltered life away from normality. How can they even relate to the people whom, they are supposed to represent, when they have no experience of real life. How do they have the audacity to believe that they should govern us without earning the right to.  Say what you will about Borris Johnson, but he does have real life experience, he was the editor of the Observer, and still writes articles for the Daily Telegraph.

Borris has gained leadership and managerial skills whilst being the mayor of London, which is no easy task. In many ways you could argue that being mayor of London gives him the skills required to become prime minister, a sort of apprenticeship into the larger role. David Cameron, Gordon Brown and tony Blair did not have any leadership/managing experience outside of parliamentary politics, what real life experience did they have, what was on their CV that made them the best to become the leaders of our beloved country. Except for Cameron’s and Blair’s charisma presentation and oratory skills (and we have seen what good they do to the country, sarcasm is full tilt) they have had no experience in  governing prior to their election, whereas Borris Johnson has had governing experience for over four years.

What could be argued as a weakness of Borris Johnson, I view as a strength, and that his perceived persona of being a buffoon in public. How many politicians could get away with the antics that Borris has been involved in, half of the events that has happened to Borris would destroy the average politicians career via ridicule. By being seen as the eccentric uncle of the Britain he is able to go about his business with relative ease as he is constantly underestimated. What people have to realise is that it’s a persona and nothing more. He is a lot stronger and smarter than people presume, which allows him to implement the views he holds without the resistance most politicians receive.

One characteristic that I greatly admire in Borris and a few other politicians his integrity to put his values first.  He stands up for what Londoners want at the expense of part politics, he will do what he views is right, then to bow down to part pressure via the whips. Most politicians who stand up for their constituency get punished and will never progress far in the political kingdom, a politician has to climb the greasy pole (named for a reason) in order to be able to be in a position of power. Borris is one of the rare politicians who is able to follow his principles, put the people represents first rather than be forced to bow to pressure.

In conclusion I believe that Johnson could be the next Winston Churchill in the making, with both men standing up to what they believed was right, being underestimated because of their appearance and being considered idiots by the elites of politics. But most politicians live in an elitist political bubble, do we really want another shell of Prime minister who is all appearance ad no substance, or do we want our future Prime Minister to have the right qualities to lead us into a better world.

Finding my martial path, my discovery of Goju Ryu

I’ve always wanted to study a martial art, from when I was a little boy, watching the shaolin monks on television performing all their superhuman feats, and training every day. I was jealous, I wanted to do that. As it happened I spent my teens playing rugby (which has helped me in my martial arts but that is for another article) and didn’t get to try martial arts until I started university. I was stoked, there were so many choices, I tried out taekwondo and jujitsu, but I had only one in mind Jiu-jitsu.

I had a lot of fun in my taekwondo session; it was very fast, lots of hitting and striking and some pretty girls as well. But I had already ready chosen the martial art I was going to train in, Jitsu. I wanted to be like a modern day Samurai, “the last Samurai” was my favourite film at the time, and I wanted to emulate their honour, strength and discipline. I know, I chose it for the wrong reasons; I didn’t do it because it was fun, but because I should do it.

Jitsu gave me a lot of grounding, a foundation if you will for my future Goju Ryu. I learnt to throw, fall, do basic locks and react to multiples, basic knife training etc. Jitsu did me a lot of good, and to this day my locks and throws are some of my strongest aspects, thanks to a large part to Jitsu.

I should of seen the signs that I was in the wrong martial art, I always asked about if we did some kind of kata/form, because I am a slow learner (I’m not an idiot, I just need to study it at my own pace)and I liked the idea of practicing a sequence by myself, I knew I would progress at a much faster wait, rather than wait for the next session. Combine that with the fact that some of the mates I enjoyed training with stopped going, my enthusiasm waned and I would put seldom appearances for the two years I was there. I would say in total I had about one full year of training out of the two years, but my heart wasn’t with it anymore, new faces were already ahead of me in the belt system.

So while Jitsu gave me a great foundation, I no longer enjoyed it and needed to search and find a martial art that suited me, It was time for me to go. For the next 6-9 months I did yoga with my sister, and let me tell you this, I don’t think its girly, and I find it extremely painful, flexibility is not a strength of mine, especially back then! It helped me to stay in stances over a period of time, and to use my breathing to help ignore and diminish the agonising pain I was in. Two qualities that I didn’t know at the time, but would help me build a strong foundation for my path into Goju Ryu.

I also tried to encourage a friend to be more active and we both did historical fencing at the university sports centre. While he enjoyed it a lot, he lost his motivation when I was giving it up. The problem was that they kept getting new people every week so the beginners would do the same drill all the time, while the advanced did their own thing. It was quite frustrating progressing for a few weeks, then literally starting from scratch again.

I tried Ninjitsu for one day, and while it gave me a eureka moment that made me discover how to do hip throws (I could never do them in Jitsu) they were a very cult like group that I didn’t fit into.

One day as I searched the university sports and societies website, I discovered a newly formed club called combat karate. The main association was at another university, and they had just set up this branch at my university. On its webpage its description was that of punching and kicking, throwing, weapons, self defence etc. I was excited I could learn a new martial art, while still developing my Jitsu skills, I had to try. I never knew that you could do a martial art that did striking and throwing and locks, this seemed mystical to me, I wasn’t aware of martial arts like this, nor really MMA.

Let me set one thing straight I was never interested in Karate; I always assumed it was just a commercial half assed thing for kids, not a real martial art. Boy was I wrong.

My first session I learnt to strike, do throws, and learnt the first 5 bunkai (bunkai is the self-defence aspect of kata, broken down into a realistic situation for training and practice). I had a lot of fun in the session, and it scared the hell out of me. I realised that it must be the real deal, it was the first martial art I had come across that scared me, and I wanted to do something that was realistic. Also it was the first martial art that I really enjoyed, since my few taekwondo sessions, I finally found the right martial art for me, I finally took up a martial art for myself, doing the things I wanted to do in it.

My sempai realised how motivated I was for it, when he finally taught me the whole of the first kata (which is really simple, but looks very complicated to someone who has never done kata before), then we had a three week break during Christmas, and he was surprised that I memorised the kata, because most people wouldn’t of bothered to practice during the holidays. Of course it wasn’t very good, I was a beginner, but I had the pattern and the sequence down. I was a Karate man now. It has been nearly four years since I started Goju ryu Okinawa karate, and I haven’t regretted it.

Goju Ryu Karate

This part of my blog will be about my martial art experience and my perception as I continue to grow and develop in it. I am currently 2nd kyu Brown Belt Studying Goju Ryu karate a style that I enjoy and believe suits my needs in the martial arts world. I also trained for three months in studying White Crane in China, a style that influenced Goju Ryu’s development, and which I believe has me to not only progress more in Goju ryu, but also understand more of its history. I don’t claim to be an expert, but since China I have be going through more eureka moments (karate people will knows this as doing moves and having a general understanding, but then something clicks after months or years of practicing that one move, and its meaning, motion and its purpose suddenly jump at us) and I want to start writing these moments down, so that I can (and maybe others) have something to remind me of the progress I’ve made and recall anything I may of lost through time.

Hello world!

Hi, I wanted to start a blog to talk about about some of my interests, Like writing, poetry, Goju Ryu karate and other martial arts, strength training, movies, philosophy, oh dear this list could just carry on!