Darkest chapter in my story so far, where what comes up must come down.
For as long as I can remember, I have always loved martial arts. It is my passion, pure and simple, as it is what truly makes me feel alive. Regardless of style, all martial arts bring with them a seemingly endless array of challenges and rewards – which is what makes it all worth the effort. Continue reading
The next chapter in my story, when it becomes apparent that it is time to move on.
I am far from what you would call a spiritual person, and as a happy agnostic I feel that there must be something greater than us that started it all, but until I feel certain of what that certain is I will keep myself open and accepting of most possibilities (except Scientology). But when it comes to fatalism, I do pick a side – as a big fan of the concept of ‘free will’, I put my faith in the belief that although we are born into circumstances out of our control, we are still able to make our own choices throughout our lives and influence our future. The idea that we would all be subject to a predetermined fate irks me. When astrology claims that my ‘Leo’ personality is defined by how the planets were aligned at the time of my birth, it feels like an insult to my ego and independence (which, ironically, is very much typical Leo behaviour).
Eye of the Leo
Came across this when I was digging through the troves at the local bookstore. Pretty interesting concept.
Most people probably know of the book Art of War, written by Sun Tzu. It contains his advise on how to be ‘successful’ in war, if such a term can be used. I got a copy of my own and made a brave attempt at reading it, as it is considered the quintessential piece ever written on how to come out on top from a conflict. However it’s not as straightforward as it sounds – or perhaps the difficulty lies in how straightforward it is. When Sun Tzu writes about how to deploy forces on different types of terrain, it can be a challenge to see how you can apply the strategies on your own personal level. Currently it is still enriching my bookshelf, yet to be conquered.
Read it on the train whilst muttering to yourself, and you’ll never have to share a seat again
Fortunately, this is exactly what writer Martina Sprague has done in her book ‘Lessons in The Art of War’. Continue reading
The continued Capoeira adventures in my story. If you wish to know more about Capoeira, read this.
After moving from Sweden to Sydney, I joined forces with Pipoca straightaway. Once my sister and my friend Jimmy arrived as well, we went househunting and soon rented a flat right by the famous Bondi Beach. A job had already been found for me, which was a shock compared to Sweden, and I soon got into a routine between work and training with my friends. In the next 6 months we enjoyed the beach life and went on adventures, such as snorkelling at the Great Barrier Reef. After struggling in Sweden for so long, it was a relief to be able to bask in the sun for a while. Eventually my sister and Jimmy went back to Sweden, and life settled down to a routine with just Pipoca and I. But now that I no longer had the company of people from my own Capoeira group, how was I to continue my training? Continue reading
This is a follow-up piece on Arnis, check out the main article here.
On the last day of my honeymoon in the Philippines, I found myself wandering the Quezon Memorial Circle on a very early Sunday morning. Thanks to a fellow blogger (check out her site here) I had been able to get in touch with an Arnis teacher in Manila and would now be able to participate in one of his classes. Continue reading
It’s taken a while to write this up as I’m not familiar with this style. For a better picture of this martial art check out the Wikipedia entry here or better yet, try it out yourself. I’ve also written a follow up piece with my own thoughts on this style here.
The names Arnis, Kali and Eskrima are all labels of the same family of Filipino weapon-based martial arts. Whereas the origin of the term ‘Kali’ is uncertain, the word ‘Eskrima’ and ‘Arnis’ are of Spanish origin – Esgrima which means fencing, and Arnes meaning armour. Consequently, practitioners of this style are referred to as Arnisadores, Eskrimadores or Kalistas. Continue reading
Was going through old material and found this old collection of images. We paid a fortune to have a couple of collages printed as proper portraits, don’t ask me how much we paid as I’m still upset. So I’m putting the best of the Capoeira ones up here to get my money’s worth. And don’t ask me the name of the studio – I won’t be recommending them, those freaking overpriced bloodsuckers. Admittedly, there are some pretty cool shots in there.
If you’re wondering what Capoeira is, read this.
The continued Capoeira adventures in my story. This is the part of my story where I meet my wife, and I’m publishing this on the day we’re getting married. If you wish to know more about Capoeira, read this.
Allow me to apologise – I omitted a very important part of the most recent chapter of this story, namely how I met someone most special during my time in Australia. I first met her when I was visiting one of the Capoeira subgroups out in the suburbs of Sydney, and I remembered her from that visit from the passion and joy that she just couldn’t contain during the class. Suitably enough, her Capoeira nickname was ‘Pipoca’ (which means Popcorn).
Got together with my friend Prab for a great photoshoot at Sydney’s St Mary’s Cathedral. The combination of the formal outfit and the classy nature of the Chinese straightsword just begged for it.
Over 300 pictures were taken, where about half of them were decent. I’ve picked the top 11 for your viewing pleasure. For more photographic greatness, visit his Flickr page and check out his Facebook page!
All credit to Prab Naththarampatha
FINALLY I can post this! This clip contains parts of the Kung Fu forms I have learnt so far, recorded in different locations all over Sydney. It’s been quite the challenge to make this happen, so I hope you guys like it.
Major kudos, props and respect to Sifu Randy Bennett and the instructors at the Australian Jow Ga Kung Fu Academy! Also many thanks to the friends who acted as cameramen, I could not have done this without you.