Thursday, 19 May 2016

From Small Foot To Meeting Superfoot

A couple of years ago I was fortunate to be able to meet a gentleman that had entertained me in films and the competition arena. Growing up I was always glad to see Mr Bill Wallace in a film containing martial arts. A very potent left leg owning a right leg that he couldn't kick with hence the name 'Superfoot'

Mr Wallace was very centered and full of one liner and quick thinking humor, holding a pair of eyes that seemed to brim with a solid old skool energy. The reason I am sitting here writing this is because if you were to say I would meet the guy years ago Id laugh it off. Of course I'm thankful to be considered for such an event, I also try to stay away from the details as I'm just a student of life and nothing more, not even close to these people yet we are all human. I grew up in a place that had pros and cons I suppose, a place that could swallow you if you surrender or a place to improve yourself from. I chose the latter but in no way am I saying I'm where Id love to be yet. What i'm saying to you now is that I was a pale skinny kid, a bit weird at times but to survive the ledge of insanity you must push the edge of sanity and own yourself. There is so many people that quit or allow themselves to be no greater than the decay around them, thing is with the internet these people could make the moves to reach out to people they hold in high regard. Sometimes you will get nothing back and sometimes you will but you have to do some work either way. We are all humans and can sicken or inspire each other and everybody can summon something positive to offer. So just by having an interest in martial arts as a boy led me to some cool people, yes some of us just communicate via Facebook world but as long as you are real and honest then that's all that matters. We all can be naughty and nice.

My main point here is that I do wonder what else would have taken my focus had I not enjoyed the odd scribble of punch and kick, regardless of if it was spent with others or myself. That didn't matter as I was always so self sufficient that way. A bit older now I don't really put others above me or on a platform, because why would I want to shift the focus off myself? I don't really feel the need to reach out to be accepted because I know myself and accept myself. Back then I didn't really understand that I was work in progress and that I was creating myself.

 I guess the lesson I have learned is that we all need to practice on ourselves and not expect anything in return, because our own improvements are just that. Enough of I, I, I...its how we treat others but more how we treat ourselves, so I will continue to work on myself while everybody else is "Too busy looking good."

You know where to find me.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Make Sense?

Traditional martial arts training may involve some sort of blindfold work, I found this to be very useful when I was doing Karate Do. You would have to try and use your other senses, such as hearing and if their feet stunk smell. By standing in a circle of your peers they would all come at you one at a time and then together. Yes it got scrappy and clumsy as no sight is a difficult view to go without. Some times you fluked and other times you looked like a ghost had upset you. I tried to carry these drills over into Kick/Thai in my personal workouts, they was fun and I loved testing myself. It is a deep personal thing trying to strengthen your other senses so I first tried it on the bag and speed ball. Prior to this I tried to hit the pads and speed ball by looking away, bit like some fighters do. Don't look away when sparring though especially if you owe your mate a tenner. Finally I did a bit of sparring, noway could I make it look like the movies, but with some patience things came together. Sensitivity in fluid movement and once you sparred without the blindfold on everything just looked so much clearer that it actually made some sense?

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Good ol Cuppa?

We all know the saying,"Have a nice Cuppa." 
Me for one loves my tea and has since very young, tea has been around for years and is believed to be healthier than Coffee. What I have noticed is people who drink tea, or plenty of it seem to live longer? Now I know unhealthy people slurp the chaa of life too and it's not magic, but I firmly believe tea is good for you. It's claimed it contains Antioxidants and is grown natural. I think what we add to it is the main factor, over doing the sugar and milk. Tea can warm us up or cool us down, or be consumed with a meal. There is decafe options and the low caffeine helps wake you up. I have drank tea before bed and slept fine also. So let's all raise our mugs (faces too) and salute to the chaa of life... For it is a real cuppa!

Friday, 3 October 2014

Find what we can Create on, Create to be Found?

Life moves and so do we. Our experiences build or break us, people let us down or leave us taking bits away or adding them. We find what creates and we can create on the found.  Both sides of the above quote can be true however, but I find we find out more things about ourselves and others as we become. This requires an awareness of knowing who we really are meant to be. The Sun and the Moon, Light to Dark. suicide to killing, from healing to giving. So to me the question is never answered. Do we find or create, or are they one and the same?

Monday, 25 August 2014

When are pull ups or chin ups good and bad?

Why are pull ups or chin ups good or bad?
Well if you are talking about body building or developing the lat muscles, pull ups can be bad as they are difficult, therefore most of us will be thinking of getting ourselves up there opposed to working the muscles properly.
However, they can be good as a contradiction because the sheer work required to lift yourself will strengthen the back plus more. If you was to do say 3 sets of 3 really slow then it still will be good.

Another way they can be used is just getting the numbers in. This will be more plyometric and good for sports or martial arts by way of conditioning. I can see why bodybuilders may opt for options but truth be know that it is neither good or bad... It is simply bad or good depending on your chosen requirements.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Day & Night

Day ends when Night begins and this can be said about our own light and dark feelings. Nothing can sustain without closure or the death that becomes rebirth, we ourselves are that cycle on earths cycle. Happiness will become tainted by sadness and sadness will fade with happiness. Nothing co-exists because the fullness would really be a void. Energy will travel in weak and strong currents and life gives us new battles to replace old ones. Into this/Out to that...Peace follows as noise ends silence.
It may be sunny if but a few days but it can't rain all the time either...

Monday, 6 January 2014

Jim Kelly...Right Out Of a Comic Book!

Often over shadowed by Bruce Lee in Enter The Dragon, there was one martial artist who like Ali opened the door for the black community and all races for that matter just as Bruce Lee did, his name was Jim Kelly.
To me he was Mr 70’s, his trademark afro and the air of his martial arts was a part of the old skool era that stood out. He was inspiring and cool, also a little hip like Bruce from what we can see on screen. Let’s look at some areas of this gentleman and join me in paying respects.
Attitude – We can only go by what we have seen and read about his personality as in film he was acting, while his skill did the talking. In his interviews I observed him as humble and polite, he always seemed to make time to answer people. This was either at events or via email; I had a great chat with him about Tennis. (Cross trainer alert right there.) I’m sure the editor in chief Bob Sykes can recall some nice conversations on the phone. If there is one quality he will be remembered for is this, his personality. For it is how we are as a person to ourselves and others that leaves a heart felt legacy, not what you have. Even today there are martial artists who will only give you their time if you can bring them a profit. He was very clever how he would answer a difficult question too, at times just leaving it hanging...
“That’s a really good question, I must think about that one.”
The one element that shone through was his ability to hold supreme self confidence in his ability as a Karate Champion and striker without sounding cock sure. He had the martial warrior spirit and was the right type of human for the martial arts.
Ability - As we are aware Jim studied The Shorin Ryu System of Karate Do, and it is evident that he remained loyal to his chosen style. It is documented that he and Bruce had the same ideals regarding their training, and in many ways the use of the lead side kick and back fist was present in his movies such as Black Belt Jones. Jim Kelly was one of the few people to block Bruce Lees back fist, and Bruce would speak highly of Jim’s back fist also. Although they never faced off as enemies on film, Jim stated when asked about Bruce Lee...
“He would have smashed me up. It didn’t matter if he was sparring a much bigger guy, at our era nobody could touch him, he seemed one step ahead of us all.”
I for one feel Jim Kelly had enough arsenal and class to make any body work hard against him. I like the fight with the guards in Enter the Dragon, how effortless he blends what looks to be a side kick into a powerful sweeping hook kick against the first baddie. He was light on his feet and moved like Bruce in other ways. He also had his own war cry or Kiai. Not so much like a Cat, but more of hyperactive Owl. But what about his physique? It looked natural but impressive, perfect for martial art. He had a low body fat, due to his Tennis and Karate. Strangly enough when I asked his about his conditioning he said he did calisthenics, kata, pad, bag work and sparring. He never mentioned weight lifting. So I’m unsure to whether he used a gym or not. Even so he was quick and lean and had similar qualities to Bruce Lee, but with Jim Kelly you could tell he was a Karate man and I feel this was a nice quality as he used it in the movies just as well as Bruce Lee did with his Jeet Kune Do. I think it’s safe to assume that Jim enjoyed the dynamic tension kata’s too. Let’s face it nobodies going to tell him to come inside, not even a human fly.
Fighter – Jim Kelly was a real fighter. By that I mean he competed in Karate back in the day and become the Middleweight champ. Now I’m not going to put facts or figures up or peep on the net so I’ll just add here the competition qualities of an artist. Jim knew fear, or adrenalin. He faced other Karateka’s in an era where full contact or not, if you got got hit. So he was tough, tough in body and mind. Tough enough to stay in shape, and tough enough to study other arts into his mature age. Jim Kelly was tough enough not to allow his achievements make him greedy or mean. I feel all styles of martial arts need someone like him that stands out, someone who can represent a style well. That’s true respect for yourself and your fellowman. Competing against other skilled athletes allows you honest feedback of your own talents low or high, so Jim had become humbled by the humbled. This must have helped him work some fight scenes with John Saxon who also had a Karate past and of course his fight with Han. A good judgement of distance can be king. A big factor with Karate training is the Kata practice, you have to look in a lot of directions and in Black Belt Jones, he faces more than one adversary. Evident he could hold his own on film and off.
Jim Kelly will live forever on film, he was a great martial artist who captivated the 70’s in his own charisma. He did well in his films and in his Karate and I like many will hold him dear as a childhood movie hero. So I’ll close with a quote from the son of Lee, and feel not sad for his passing as he left us the ultimate goal in humility... “We will be too busy looking good!”
Because we do not know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. And yet everything happens only a certain number of times and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon, of your childhood? An afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you cannot conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more? Perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty...and yet it all seems limitless.”

-         Brandon Lee.