BACK

Its been a while (a couple of years in fact), but Parkinsons has not been kind and typing Blogs and the like has been a fun but time consuming chore.

However

much has happened since then…

I have, at the momemt, separated from my wife and moved into a flat.  Sold my previous property (my wife and daughter) now having found something elsewhere to live.  David Cameron, I understand, is no longer Prime Minister but has resigned? Therese May is now PM?  The UK voted to leave the EU??!!!  Donald Trump has been elected President ……and most of all I have undergone a brain surgery technique to help deal with my condition.

The latter was a 5 – 6 hour operation the success of which I will elucidate further at another time BUT the fact that I have even shown an interest in this Blog could be construed as a positive step and a move in the right  direction.  We shall see.  But just to finish this post and make quite a few green with envy I have added these couple of pictures…that helped me get through a particularly difficult time….

PERFECT

….and to follow the last post, and in conjunction with it.

I recently attened a Level 2 Coaching in Taekwondo Course run by the NGB, British Taekwondo.

It was a good course, with excellent tutors and pleasant Taekwondo associates (fellow Instructors).  There was much debate and discussion and one the Tutors (a very nice guy who’ve I’ve met on many occassions) made a very up-beat statement.

He said (especially when having to talk to non-Taekwondo people – funders/councils/local officials)

“I do the best sport there is!”

(and I won’t get drawn, for now, into the discussion about ‘sport’ and ‘martial art’)

He went on:

“everything you do in any other ‘sport’, you do in Taekwondo!”

“You can’t name an activity that isn’t served by training in Taekwondo!”

“I do the best sport in the world”

Flexibility, Strength, Focus, Meditation, Concentration, Aerobic exercise, Reactions, Balance, Poise, Anearobic exercise, Courage, Memory, Agility, Adaptability, Motivation, Competition, Relaxation, Breathing technique, Massage/Manipulation/Acu-pressure, Health, Posture, Right/Left brain dominance, Ampidextrocity, Logic, Problem solving, Cardiovascular exercise, Respiratory exercise, Hormonal control, Empathy, Sympathy, Linguistics, Philosophy, Ethics, Morals, Self-Control, Etiquette, Endurance, Perserverance, Modesty, Humility, Indomitability, Spirituality, ….to name but a few…

…Oh! and you can learn to kick-ass too!

BALANCE

This post is going to have a long thread into the future.  So much so that I’m even thinking of writing it up as a book.  Wow! you might think but it’s about time I wrote something of note.  Secretly I’ve always wanted to be an author but as Sue Townsend once said.  You are either a writer or your not.  There is no such thing as a budding author or potential writer.  You either write or you don’t

So to all of you out there.  Get out and get stuff down on paper.

But I digress

I teach Tai Chi to a U3A group (University of the 3rd Age)(Old people to you and me….and I don’t mean that as in insult either).

The director/CEO/boss whatever came along to one session to check it out.  Afterwards we usually stop for coffee/tea and it was then that he quite directly asked me what I and everyone else hoped to gain from Tai Chi and want was the point!

No there was a slight pause as I thought about it.

What is the point of any Martial Art?

I could give the usual answers of, fitness, self-defence, health, etc etc etc. But this time, maybe because of Parkinsons’ (energy is limited, so lengthy conversations as avoided) and thought about giving a simple, easy answer; and as always the more I thought about it the more the world and everything that’s in it came raging and crashing through my mind.  Ideas and thoughts rushed through in na torrent.  So much so that it, also as usual, becomes diffcult to pick out the relevant bits.

Then it popped into my head…..

Balance

pure and simple

Balance

Tai Chi is about Balance…

Martial arts is about Balance

Life is about…

Balance!

Physically, morally, metaphorically, spiritually, emotionally, mentally, metaphyisically, socially, psychologically, aesthetically, economically, ethically….

The list goes on and on.

In every aspect, it’s all about Balance. Being grounded, being immovable, untouchable, being so strong that the time and tide of life breaks on your shores, being comfortable, secure and in control of your own ‘space’ and the environment around you.

So this is just for starters.

When I asked some of my students, later that day, what one word they would use when asked the same question.  No-one could think of anything.  When I explained my thoughts, most, afterwards, agreed with me and thought it was the perfect answer.

No my mind is racing again I have to much more to write; so this Blog will have to be followed up….

SIR

I attended a Taekwondo Coaching Course last week (I have the practical in a months time!!) and between us we counted about 500 years of Taekwondo experience and at least 350 years of Taekwondo Instruction!!

Later on Day 2 the subject of respect came up and the requirement (or not) of Instructors being addressed as ‘Sir’ (or Ms).  Naturally there were differing opinions and some lively debate.

In the days of Old, failure to show respect and address your Instructor with due reverence was met with suitable, dire consequences and various physical punishments were meted out.

Things have changed somewhat (although by repetition and indoctrination I cannot address my Master by any other term…but then I don’t want to!!) and imposed discipline and required etiquette are no longer instilled or demanded.

..but is that so bad??

Should we ‘command respect’?

or should we ‘earn respect’?

My feeling is the latter.  hence my desire to address my Master as ‘Sir’.

Surely earning an accolade is better than commanding it?

I notice the course is a ‘coaching’ course not an ‘instructors course’.  A small change in wording but then I think it says heaps and illustrates a better and more enlightened way of teaching.

….and surely…. I look forward to the day when I am able to call my students ‘Sir’!

Then I have truly, succeeded and I have not failed in my task!!!!!!

MELONS

I must give a special mention to an ex-Stage Manager of mine who for some masocistic reason decided to run the London Marathon today…carrying a ‘Water-Melon’

Ours is not to reason why suffice to say my mind reeled with sarcastic comments

…and that it was not an easy task and she suffered greatly!!!

….but on the bright side she has raised over £12,000 for Cancer relief!!!!

Need I say more?

E=mc2

The most famous equation!

The most important!

Matter is Energy!

We are made up of Matter; the stuff of Stars.  Star’s are the source of all ‘life’, all energy, all light!

In a subjective way we are the centre of the Universe and everything else revolves around us.  We are Stars!

….and what do Star’s do?

So if you’re depressed, cold, alone and in a ‘dark’ place…

you’ve forgotten to get out there and bloody……..

SHINE!!!

GAZETTE

Am pleased to see that I have another article published in ‘my’ Regimental Magazine, the Grenadier Gazette.

Too bad most of you won’t ever get to see a copy.

It was about our ‘Three Men in a Boat’ trip, but then I have already copied the article on this Blog, so you’ll have to go back a few pages.

WHY

Interesting article in BBC Wildlife magazine by Bill Oddie about why conservation is so important.  He often get involved with opening this new Nature Reserve or that Conservation Project, and invariably there is always the local reporter who always ask’s the same question, “why is this project so important or why that reserve is so vital”, and he has to reply, invariably, “it’s because too many human’s don’t care”.

It made me think of a planning application that is going in, in our locale.  It is for 2,100 houses on a Green Belt site, next to an SPA, SSSI, LNR, SNCI near  a Conservation Area and AONB.  It means over 300 acres of Grade 3 Arable land will be tarmaced over and the former areas degraded or damaged.  All in the name of profit.

Disappointingly the local population have not objected in the numbers that are needed as there is a general apathy towards ‘rocking the boat’.

There are comments like “Ah well it is going to happen anyway” or “that’s progress”.  Not to mention the “We need the jobs and houses” or “what’s the point.  It’s a done deal between the developers and the powers that be”.

This then led me to think about the work supported by Save the Rhino.  This charity raises money to support Rangers in various parts of the world who are the front-line in the ‘war’ to save the rhino.

Often they are bare-foot and ragged.  Ill equipped.  Un-educated. Risking their lives on a daily basis. Spending long periods away from their family and friends.  On low wages.  All because…

They do care

They are willing to do something and stand up and be counted

They believe in the struggle against the criminals and gangs

They want to help save the rhino for themselves, their children, their future, their country…and for all of us!

We call them the Third World, but I feel they have a thing or two to teach us about Humility, Perserverance and Indomitable Spirit.

We can sit in our ‘ivory towers’ and throw stones but we can’t even be bothered to write a letter to save what little we have left

End Stanza