Thursday, April 28, 2005


Exceedingly quick entry here. Moods have been subclinically up, hence I've been rather busy, lots of things to do, little hamster wheel thing spinning really really fast, and hence the pulsatile nature of these entries.

What's been going on? (Besides me discovering that I am not the only bipolar individual in Hogarth House: the other sufferer is the building's airconditioner, which went from mild hypomania, giving us a temperature of 21 degrees, to a melancholic fugue today, while we all sweltered in the mid thirties and the thermostat just lay there, muttering about the futility of it all)

Well, I took my oldest son to Judo, and he seemed impressed. He seems a bit suspicious about the whole "gentle way" thing, as he watched petite girls flinging stocky bearded men onto their heads and strangling them, but I assured him judo was indeed the gentlest way that I knew of to throw someone on their head and then strangle them. I have been promoted, by the by, to the lofty heights of orange belt.

Well, Victor... I've been thinking*.

I used to do a lot of martial arts. I practiced all the time. I was one of those unfortunates who practices blocks and pivots while waiting for my girlfriend in a clothing store, so that she would take me into Myers and leave me standing idly by while she considered what brand of cashmere poncho to wear, and fifteen minutes later would look over to see me twitching, posturing and grimacing in a full length mirror as I battled imaginary thugs. And I turned on lights with front kicks and practiced wrist locks on myself in lectures.

Do you ever think that the main reason the universe prevents travel backward in time is not to prevent paradoxes where you accidentally kill your father, but to prevent floods of people surging back along the timelines to eliminate their earlier, more embarrassing self?

Anyhow, me and my Tourette Fu. Thing is, I did ten, maybe fifteen years of martial arts, minimum two nights of classes a week, training of some kind every day. You'd expect me to be pretty good at it by then, hey?

No hey. I was and remain fairly crap. Not abysmal, not frighteningly poor, just not very good at all. Here is the reason:

Four years tae kwon do - black belt

Two- three years wing chun - junior level, could fight possibly a bit

Three years tai chi / ba gua - can make impressive swirly motions with entire body, can't fight at all, good "I have achieved enlightenment" face, buggered my knees.

Six months judo - basic level competency, glorious yellow belt.

Six months choy lay fut - junior level, couldn't fight at all

Six months boxing - fit, able to punch, got smacked about in a sparring match with a half-way decent boxer,

Some more judo - sortof started again, advanced fairly rapidly to the same level, quit.

So at the end I'm sortof slightly good at a variety of things but competent at none.

Why is this so?

Part of it was moving about a lot, that penniless student thing, part of it was injuries, part of it was that cycle of infatuation and disenchantment that you get, limerance and its sequelae.

Now, that's one thing. If you like, you could call it a wasted opportunity. My hands, feet and various other body parts could be lethal weapons by now.

If I could be bothered being introspective about this I could see disconcerting similarities with me and jobs, me and women, me and friends. But I'm sure people don't turn up for this.

So, wait until I get home and I will post of what made today more than slightly disturbing.


* obscure Fantastic Four reference. If you recognised this "one of the top ten lines ever" from the immortal "1, 2, 3, 4" by Grant Morrison, proceed to the cashier and collect your winnings in geekdollars.


Anonymous Camilla said...

I quite liked it when you operated the light switch/hung out the washing/cooked a 14-course Greek banquet using your impressive range of martial arts skills. A lot more interesting being a lobster in a small white car, innit?

We recently went to see Sue flinging grown men about with gay abandon (Ju Jitsu grading). Very impressive.

12:28 AM  

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