Sunday, 13 December 2015


A very hard session - almost non-stop rigorous exercise. Sensei trying to fatigue us before the holidays... And succeding.

Thursday, 3 December 2015


We did a mixture of hard exercise and sparring today. My sparring is pretty good. I was paired up with D (who hits very hard and very fast), J (who is old and wily) and Ja (who is young and cocky) and came out on top, I think, against all of them. I'm pleased with the speed and power of my blocking above all.

After the class we were chatting in the changing rooms about our favourite techniques. It's funny how much fun for a group of blokes it is to talk about fighting. I think actually blocking is my strong suit. I don't know what that says about me (I value self-preservation above all else?) but I can deliver really effective downward and inside blocks that I think can be developed into proper bone breakers. It's really satisfying when an opponent comes in for a punch and you execute a perfectly-timed uke which makes him wince in pain. Maybe that also says I'm a sadist as well as being into self-preservation.

Exercising was tough. Sensei came up with a new double burpee technique: down, squat thrust, two press-ups, jump. Repeat x 20. The fun never ends...

Tuesday, 1 December 2015


First of December, a mixture of the tough and easy: the first half-hour was non-stop exercise (whether leg-raises or continual repetitions of kizami-tsuki); the second was self-defence techniques. Some really nasty finger break stuff left me with aches through my knuckles, but I'm reassured to see that I'm improving generally with the self-defence (or "RBD" as I've seen it called on the 'net).

Sensei gave a min-lecture at one point about aikido, which he has also practiced for years. He expressed the view, basically bearing out a lot of internet commentary on that art, that aikido isn't really for fighting. It's more a form of bodily harmony or meditation. It's not useless but nor is it for "the street". In all his long experience he barely ever employed it.