Thursday, 6 November 2008

MMA and the writer

There is a long tradition of warrior poets and in my own fanciful moments I like to think of myself as one. Some of the great samurai warriors and those knights gathered about the round table were as much about writing as they were about fighting. Throughout my life, my spare time has been spent equally between writing and learning various martial arts. Over the years I've been a boxer, a Shotokan karateka, a Kyokushinkai karateka, a Ju-Jitsuka and a Kempo student, and have attained 4th Dan in Ju-Jitsu and Kempo. About 12 years ago I was one of the first generation to embrace the new style of martial art that has since swept the world and is now the fastest growing combat sport bar none. When I fought in Knockdown Budo as it was known then, it was bare knuckle and little art, but the sport of MMA (mixed martial arts) is now all about skill and olympic level athletes. I am not violent, I was just at that stage in my life when I needed to challenge myself even more. Anyway, as I've likely mentioned before, this training in violent ways tends to open your mind and makes you a deeper thinker and I believe it has helped my writing no end. My books contain quite a lot of hand-to-hand combat, and I'd like to think that the experiences I've picked up over the years lend them a lot of realism.
Besides training, I have also been a teacher for many years and have turned out a few blackbelts in their own right. One of my most recent blackblets is called Stuart Hall and he has taken over the running of my classes after my workload became too much. Stuart has gone on to prove himself as a very good martial artist and has built the classes up to a very succesful venture. Stuart organises MMA cage fights, the next being on Saturday 15th November 2008 at the Hilltop Hotel, Hilltop heights, Carlisle. Anyone from Cumbria (or anywhere else for that matter) would do far worse than look up Stuart's classes. Who knows, I might even pop up there time-to-time because I still like to keep my hand in (usually somebody's face!) and re-instate my fantasy of the old warrior-poet who can still do the business as well as write a blog or three.

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