Too Busy For Words - the PaulWay Blog

Tue 19th Jan, 2010

Martial Arts for the knowless man

With a view to improving my fitness with something also useful, on a whim I went to a Martial Arts "Birds of a Feather" session at LCA yesterday evening. Cool things were seeing the different types of martial arts, from Aikido to Shaolin Gung Fu (Pia Waugh on animal styles, unlit poi balls and quarterstaff) and having a friend, dealing with a knee injury and Leukaemia, show that he can still easily demonstrate some pretty effective combat styles. Slightly painful but still fun things were having the various holds tried on me, including a surprising number of ways you can make someone's wrist really hurt (fortunately, for a short period of time). Slightly less fun but fortunately not painful was the Capoeira guys, who had a bit too much ego for their own good I felt. Capoeira is a rather curious combination of martial arts, dance moves and gymnastics, but I don't think I'll be trying it any time soon.

We started with a bit of a warm-up, and then the experienced people in the group demonstrated some of the different styles. I don't remember much of the exact details, so the highlights were:

Pia was talking afterward about setting up her own dojo for her style of Gung Fu and I immediately put myself forward. It seems to be pretty full on, but not incredibly aggressive or macho and seems to concentrate on discipline and harmony. It's going to be a question of what I give up to make time for it, and possibly the same question for Pia. But it was a pretty cool time, even for an absolute beginner. I thought of demonstrating some of the SCA fighter technique but having swords with basket hilts that are tethered to your hands is kind of vital to reducing the number of injuries...

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