Monday, 26 July 2010

Triple Visitors

Loch Kinord
Thursdays clinic visit had a couple of repercussions I can live with. Healthwise, everything was fine although my blood pressure does remain high. It's funny because I parked the car and was feeling great but as I walked in through the entrance just below the ward I was in, I felt my stomach tense up and the stress coming on. I think my BP reading was high because of that.

The edema was talked about and I have water tablets to help. A week later and it doesn't seem to have made much of an impact. I've been tired since the trip down and really could do with a long sleep. My weight has been steady at 79.4kgs but I look like I've filled out. I've been feeling a little bit low and quite ratty. I really need to get focused again on my praxis.

The other repercussion is that I went for a test drive and will soon have a new bike to play with.

Boys love their toys!
The Triumph Speed Triple is a 1050 triple that has been top of the naked's in virtually every motorbike publication for the last 5 years. It's still there, but the one in the photo will be with me for a run soon. Hey! It's a sign when the Triumph dealer is next to the clinic!

It's a dogs life!

We have had some visitors at Aboyne manor recently. Hilary and Darren were up with their daughter Elle at the weekend and popped out with Tracey for a pot of tea on a hot sunny Friday. Then this afternoon, Paul came out with his son James and were a welcome sight on a drizzly afternoon! An old friend and an AMAG black belt is up visiting this week and will be popping out on Wednesday before heading up to Shetland to visit family.

This months Combat magazine, the July issue has an interview with yours truely. I think editing has altered it a bit and i think it was done about a year ago, but it's good to see it get in there!

I've had to monitor the comments to stop the prat who keeps posting Asian p o r n site links.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

I will be...

"First, say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do." – Epictetus

I saw the works Doctor last week as an initial assessment in order to return to work. She has requested info from the Liver Transplant unit and I see her in 3 weeks time in order to, hopefully, return to work on a part time basis. She wants my blood pressure to drop as well which does sit rather high. In the meantime I can enjoy the rest of the summer, free from the office!

This week the weather has been rather wet, which has seen me in the house a lot more. At one point I started to go stir crazy. I've pottered about with the motorbike, taking the fairing off and on several times. The weather has improved for the weekend which is a blessing.

go on! fall off!

Caz got a new bicycle last weekend, so on the Sunday we both rode to the shops with Kali running alongside. The first experience Kali had with me on the bike was just when I'd put new Shimano clips on and they weren't quite right. When I stopped, i tried to take my foot out and of course it wouldn't release, resulting in a fall to the ground. This amused Kali who licked me all over my face and since then she's associated the bike with fun and runs enthusiastically alongside, forever hopeful of another fall!

She slept for the rest of the day, exhausted.

Ive been exercising more, putting in some 30 minute sessions on my Spinning bike and the other day I did some swings with the kettlebells. It's been a mixed week where I have one day felt good and the next been under the weather. i have been sleeping heavily but I still get up at a decent time and have walked the dog a lot. I'm still carrying fluid though and sitting at 79.8kgs. I hope this will get rectified with the clinic visit this Thursday.

Cherry's from our tree

Can i give a heads up to two Mac experts who have given me advice from the goodness of the hearts through twitter.
First Jon Bradbury who is located in Chesterfield and runs Bramley computers. He does Apple Mac repairs and is a keen amateur photographer & car nut. keep an eye on his ebay shop for some bargains.
Secondly, the Mac Doctor, who for anyone in the London area should be your first call.
Thanks you two for the advise you give unselfishly!

The thinker is not separate from the thought - JKOnline Daily Quotes

The thinker is not separate from the thought


Is it possible not to name a feeling? Because, by calling a particular feeling `anger', `fear', `jealousy', we have given it strength, have we not? We have fixed it. The very naming is a process of confirming that feeling, giving it strength, and therefore enclosing it in memory. Observe it and you will see. It is possible to be free fundamentally only when the process of naming is understood - naming being terming, symbolizing, which is the action of memory; because memory is the `you'.

Without your memory, without your experiences, the `you' is not; and the mind clings to those experiences as essential in order to be secure. So, we cultivate memory, which is experience, knowledge, and through that process we hope to control the reactions and feelings which we call distortions. If we would be free of any particular quality, we must understand the whole process of the thinker and the thought, we must see the truth that the thinker is not separate from thought, but that they are a single, unitary process. If you actually realize that, you will see what an extraordinary revolution takes place in your life.

By revolution I do not mean economic revolution, which is no revolution at all, but merely a modified continuity of what is. But when the thinker realizes that he is not different from thought, then you will see that radically, deeply, there is an extraordinary transformation; because, then there is only the fact of thought, and not the translation of that fact to suit the thinker. - New York 1st Public Talk 4th June 1950 Collected Works, Volume 6

Sunday, 11 July 2010


May I send congratulations to two couples who have chosen to express their love this weekend.

Firstly Dave and Mira, former students at AMAG who now live in Norway announced their engagement whilst high up in the mountains. Dave was a great student, an instructor and a fighter at AMAG and is greatly missed.

Secondly, my Sifu and friend, Marc McFann has just announced his engagement to Jennifer, who recently travelled with Marc on his February visit. To say he was doted on her would be an understatement.

To you both, our BEST wishes!

Stripping away

Change comes from within. You can join all the protests groups in the world campaign for peace or seek security through arming yourself, but UNTIL you deal with the issues within yourself you will not achieve the changes around you.

I had a heated discussion with someone recently. It was heated for him but not me. The reason being is that the person perceived something in a way that was rooted in his own insecurity, his own fear and so that emanated to the perception of what was happening around him. Therefore his heightened anxiety coloured everything that was being seen only through his extreme anxious perspective. Stress is what the doctors tag it as.

Some of the most conflict ridden people I ever met were on the peace camps in the early 80's. Somewhat of a paradox but an important lesson for me, in that it's not just what you do but what you do with emotion behind it. So if your a pacifist and want to see peace in the world around you, then unless there is peace within yourself, it's simply not going to happen.

Somewhat bizarrely, some of the most capably violent people that I have met in my martial arts career are also the most peaceful people, devoid of conflict within themselves.

This leads me to the conclusion that violence is not the act itself, but the emotion behind the act. I can react to an attack without being 'violent' even if I strike and incapacitate my foe. Yet I do not have to actually throw a strike in order to be violent and create fear in others.

What this means is that what is around us emanates from within us. If there is chaos around our life, its a result of confusion within us. If there is shouting and anger, its eminating from conflict in ourselves.

Conflict is a result of imbalance. A tumor is a result of an imbalance in cells, between the alkalinity and acidity. So balance is very important to our well being and our perception of the world.

Now, when i think of those I know who join every protest group there is, I wonder why they keep accumulating as it seems to clutter up everything. What it would seem to need is simplification, core work that strips away the unnecessary. Now you put this concept into your fitness regime, your martial arts (where its simply Jeet Kune Do) and therefore in your life and you'll be you and you'll be certain and you'll not be confused and be much happier.

I recall Gary Snyder in Turtle Island talking about how work should not be separated from play. Once there's separation there is conflict. Theres only one opprtunity to live life, so dont spend a huge amount of it doing things you really don't want to do. Be unified, be at peace!

Is there a Divine Plan?

Question: Is there, or is there not, a Divine Plan? What is the sense of our striving if there is not one?

Krishnamurti: Why do we strive? And what are we striving after? What would happen if we did not strive? Would we stagnate and decay? What is this constant striving to be something? What does this strife, this effort, indicate? And, does understanding come through effort, through striving?

One is constantly striving to become better, to change oneself, to fit oneself to a certain pattern, to become something - from the clerk to the manager, from the manager to the divine. And, does this striving bring understanding?

I think the question of effort should really be understood. What is it that is making the effort, and what do we mean by "the will to be"? We make an effort, do we not?, in order to achieve a result, in order to become better, in order to be more virtuous, or less of Something else. There is this constant battle going on in us between positive and negative desires, one superseding the other, one desire controlling the other - only we call it the higher and the lower self. But, obviously, it is still desire. You can place it at any level, and give it a different name; it is still desire, a craving to be something.

There is also the constant strife within oneself and with others, with society. Now, does this conflict of desires bring understanding? Does the conflict of opposites, the want and the non-want, bring clarification? And is there understanding in the struggle to approximate ourselves to an idea? So, the problem is not the strife, the struggle, or what would happen if we did not struggle, if we did not make an effort, if we did not strive to be something, psychologically as well as outwardly; the problem is, how does understanding come into being? Because, when once there is understanding, there is no strife.

What you understand, of that you are free. How does understanding come into being? I do not know if you have ever noticed that the more you struggle to understand, the less you understand any problem. But, the moment you cease to struggle and let the problem tell you the whole story, give all its significance - then there is understanding; which means, obviously, that to understand, the mind must be quiet. The mind must be choicelessly, passively, aware; and in that state, there is understanding of the many problems of our life.

The questioner wants to know if there is, or if there is not, a Divine Plan. I do not know what you mean by a "Divine Plan." But we do know, do we not?, that we are in sorrow, that we are in confusion, that confusion and sorrow are ever on the increase, socially, psychologically, individually and collectively. It is what we have made of this world. Whether there is a Divine Plan or not, is not important at all. But what is important is, to understand the confusion in which we live, outwardly as well as inwardly. And to understand that confusion, we must begin, obviously, with ourselves - because we are confusion; it is we who have produced this outward confusion in the world. And to clear up that confusion, we must begin with ourselves; because, what we are, the world is.

London 4th Public Talk 23rd October 1949

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

The Chai experience

Ajarn Chai teaches in Northampton every year

I caught the flight down from Aberdeen to Birmingham on Friday morning, hiring a car to get to Ewen's house for the Thai Boxing Association UK's annual seminar with Ajarn Sirachai Sirisute. As an Associate Instructor and Scottish Director, even though I couldn't participate physically I was determined to be there and I really felt up for it.

Sairs, Bill, Richy and Chris listen attentively during the Krabbi Krabong session.

We all went out for a meal at night at a local Indian restaurant, and I managed to get to sleep at a decent hour so was refreshed for the Saturday. That begun with Fraser Kyne teaching a grappling session. An experienced instructor and Full instructor and Black belt in the UFA, Fraser's session was excellent and enjoyed by all. That paved the way for Ajarn's session that was technical and excellent. Four hours plus later we were heading off to eat at a local buffet restaurant for a well deserved meal.

Sunday started off with Krabbi Krabong with Bob Spour. This was a well received session that saw a demo at the end recreating a battle scene! Grins were evident on every one's face!! Ajarn then took over raising the pace from the day before and keeping it very technical. The day was finished with Chris Moir, still living off the adrenaline of winning the Last Man Standing competition, sitting his TBA test. This involves scrutiny over the two days, showing his form, technique, Ram Muay and two rounds of hell!

Seven or so years ago, a young guy walked into my class and started training. He applied himself and here he was achieving yet another goal in a year of great achievement for him. This is what AMAG is all about and a moment of pride for me.

Ewen and Bob on Sunday morning

During the day i had some pain in the back that was, I believe, muscular. There were no pain killers so i took a low dose of Ibuprofen that was all that was available. This wasn't a good idea and Ive had a reaction in the side affect of bloating. I went from 75kgs up to 80, and today I was down to 87.5. My legs are showing signs of Edema. I was tired after the weekend and this wasn't helping.

I saw this in the paper about Young Cancer Victims blogs. It's great to see young people standing up and fighting their affliction!
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