Wednesday, December 17, 2008


1. Perspective

Throughout all 3 days of the seminar Rodney shared some of his views with us and I got a lot of mileage out of that. I really appreciated having the opportunity to look at things in a different light and see what was old become new again.

2. A bunch of cool techniques

Not “cool” as in “flash”, but really more as in “simple”. Martial arts are at their most beautiful to me when they are kept really simple, and Rodney embodies that kind of economical, pragmatic, “just the facts” approach. No messing about, just functional training.

3. A new title

Rodney moved me to full Trainer status in the Crazy Monkey Defense Program. Also, Vince was promoted to Pro Trainer status. I’m very happy to have achieved this, and also for Vince, who thoroughly deserves the recognition.

4. Inspiration

I’ve not met very many martial artists who are as skilled as Rodney, even less who are as well read, and less still who combine these with intelligent and effective coaching. I’ve got so much to learn from him, it’s amazing. Just the fact that it’s humanly possible to achieve that level of skill is enough to make me want to go train right now.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Was shopping for exercise gear today and I picked up some balance balls. I had to ask a store attendant a question about their stock and then put three boxes up on the counter.

"Oh, that's quite a lot", said she. "Are you a trainer at a gym?"

"Yes", said I, "I am".

Now I know that's not amazing to some of you, but it was pretty cool for me to be able to say. You know, finally.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


It’s 5.50pm and open mats has been over for almost an hour. Everyone went home and I was outside KDT chatting with Tommy and Fidael for a while. They have just left and I’m sitting alone typing in my Macbook.

It’s hard to believe that 3 years of my life have passed, just like that. 3 whole years. All I can think of are various random memories of my time here. It’s all quite literally flashing before my eyes. No, seriously, when I look through the windows I can almost see myself training.

There, by the windows, where I got choked unconscious for the first time. Over there, next to the wall, where I had a bad fall (my collarbone has been slightly misaligned ever since). Here by the door, where Adam personally cooked and fed me a 10-course meal’s worth of body shots. Right in the middle of the room, where Vince let, I say LET, me tap him.

I remember my first core strength class here. I remember the first time I met John Will. I remember getting my blue belt. I remember training for competitions. I remember birthdays, promotions, and talking loads of nonsense while drinking can after can of 100 Plus.

My kettlebells are where I usually keep them, chained up by the wall with the other privately owned kettlebells. I think I’ll leave them there for a little while. Just the thought of taking them out of the gym is making my eyes mercilessly well up.

I’m just amazed I made it through this open mats session, never mind the annual gym dinner last night, without crying. I’m trying really hard to think of ways to describe how I feel, but all the analogies I can come up with are all massively inappropriate in some way.

When I move I’ll be leaving a huge part of myself behind. My chest feels kind of – I don’t know – ‘hollow’ is the first word into my head.

Since I have no idea how to properly end this post, I guess that will have to be that.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Lately the upcoming opening of my gym has been the biggest thing on my mind. It's not too bad yet, but I'm starting to get more and more nervous. It's kind of an awkward combination of "wow, I can't believe I get to do this for a living" nervous and "I really wonder if I can get away with this" nervous. I suppose that's a good thing.

I'm looking forward to leading classes and I'm already thinking of cool stuff to do. I recently had a chance to put a little bit of it into practice, as Sam was away for Yulius' wedding (congrats man!) and Vince asked if I wanted to do the classes. I got to lead 3 of them over 2 weeks and while it started off slightly choppy, it definitely picked up steam. My favourite was the third class, I got the guys to do drills using balance balls which, as far as I know they had never tried.

I've also been doing a few private training sessions with Vince. I've almost never done any PTS with anyone, being that I usually never know what to ask for. Or, when I know what to ask for, it turns out I don't know how to ask the right questions. Either that or I just articulate myself in a manner that only serves to confuse the guy. I really get annoyed with myself when that happens.

It turns out that all I really wanted was to get a bunch of ideas to get my mind going, so I can come up with my own stuff. We spent a few sessions working on my guard, a couple on kicking drills, and still more using club bells, which are pure madness on my wrists and palms.

I thought kettlebells were bad, now I have to get used to a whole new torture. At least it's a cool torture. My normal kettlebell weighs 20kg, or 16 when I feel lazy. Right now the 4kg club bells are whooping my butt good. I can't wait to see the effects this has on strengthening my shoulders, forearms and grips!

KDT is also gearing up for a visit from Rodney King, who will be in town next Monday through Wednesday for a series of seminars in CMD, BJJ and MMA. I'm expecting a great time for all, and I'll be getting my notebook ready!
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