I am trying to get my writing and my martial arts sorted

It was the start of a new week for all of us but for me I feel a tranche of new beginnings.

The sun has begun to rise high enough above the mound at the back of my house to send direct sunlight into my back garden and not only have the spring bulbs started to run but I am newly energised too. It was great to come out here again this morning, not only to admire the view, but to have my kung fu lesson and to work out what I should and shouldn’t be doing at this stage of my recovery from brain haemorrhage.

This weekend also saw me finish the “final” (hohoho) draft of my novel and my first full-length on-line solo poetry reading which consisted of a sequence of poems that I have written over the last year and which reflect my life back to me with profound effect – an event that also gave me some extra confidence in pushing my writing forward.

This was the third performance event associated with my writing in three consecutive weeks and, I have to admit it, I have loved every one of them. If I am honest I should also say that part of the enjoyment was the performance and part was the fact that each event was seen as a success by the audience.

This push in my writing has coincided with a similar re-thinking of my martial arts practice. Ever since my last kung fu lesson, three weeks ago, I have felt that I have to be careful with it because I am still feeling symptoms in my head after my brain haemorrhage.

I wrote last week that I have decided that I don’t want to die of kung fu and this is true but I do love doing it and I also enjoy its beneficial effects on my health.

So today, at my weekly kung fu lesson with my instructor, we tackled this issue head on. If my health is not up to it then I should not keep fighting reality. There may be aspects of tiger-crane kung fu, involving the internal bodily pulling up, which may just not suit my delicate and damaged brain.

Maybe this is a good time to sort out just what I can do and what is best put to one side.

So, the plan for now is to get “brilliant” at suang-yang, our form of tai-chi, to continue with my weapons and to focus on those challenging and meditative chi-gong techniques such as the Da Mo exercises until I am well enough to concentrate my kung fu energies on the Dog Style which I first began to learn when I visited China in 2008.

Dog Style Kung Fu is, as you can see, aggressive enough and

involves enough ground work,




and grace, to keep me fit and enthused for a long time to come.

I may well return to the rest of my club’s kung fu styles but, if I don’t, then this is a good bottom line for me. All these techniques from tai chi through my sword and seven-and-a-half-foot staff patterns to the rolls and take downs of the dog style can all be done without the internal pressure of tiger-crane and they would also be a formidable battery of techniques if I ever had to defend myself on the street. Not, as we are always expected to say, that martial arts have anything to do with good old-fashioned fighting.

They are also, in the spirit of my recent writing experience, techniques that I can actually still be good at! I have had to admit to myself, and I guess to you now, that I like to be good at what I do. Sorry about that but there you go!

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