I guess you could describe my maternal grandfather as a man's man.
I can tell you some rather interesting stories about Ernest James Davies. Some'll make your hair curl, some'll make you laugh out loud.
He was what you'd call 'a character'.
It was Ernest James who first introduced me to the world of 'unarmed combat', having been an instructor in the army. 'Course, it was a little more brutal then, being wartime and all.
By the time I was 7 I knew how to kill a sentry silently, rip someone's ear off and win a fight before the other guy even knew he was in it. All true by the way. My grandfather was a meticulous teacher, even for me at such a young age.
By 7, I could also tie a bowline, sheep shank, lorryman's hitch and reef knot with practiced ease. He even taught me how to back splice rope before I was 10. Having gone to sea when he was 14, he was well versed in knots and basic seamanship skills. To that end he also took me through his world atlas and showed me how to search for far off places via the latitude and longitude readings listed in the index.
Very interesting times.
By the time I was 12, I was fed up of football and was drawn into the world of martial arts. And like reading the longitude and latitude on a map, precision was important if you wanted to get to your destination without getting lost in the Bermuda Triangle.
The same is true of your daily practice as well. To be skilful in movement and effective in interaction demands that you design and execute your moves with precision and depth.
To be effective, pay close attention to every part of your body (including your mind). If your goal is to become elegant, graceful and powerful, ask yourself if what you're doing is achieving that goal. Is it?
If not, then you're not being effective and you'll need to change what you're doing to realise your goal.
For you martial artists out there, when you fight or spar, are you effective? Do you realise the goal of "To Hit and not Be Hit"? Or does your partner / opponent keep catching you with the same moves, time after time? If they do then you're not effective, right?
Whether your goal is health or martial, pay attention to the small details, leave nothing out…
… and, realise your goals…
PS The new beginners class starts next week in Port Tennant and there are officially only 3 places left. If you've been leaving it till the last minute, you're gonna miss out. And I don't want to see you disappointed :-(
Best hit reply and book your place now, before it goes…
PPS Don't forget about the Summer Social on 30th July in the Shang restaurant at Swansea Marina. I'll need to let them know numbers soon so let me know if you're in or you want more details. Everyone's welcome and partners are invited!