Tag: karate

The ClearOut Podcast Episode 8

Drawing the Line at Madness Episode 8 of the podcast has me taking a good look at madness and placing it in a context of conflict and self-defence. My knowledge of karate and the systematised code of conduct in that world informs the discussion. I find counsel from one of the great fictional madmen – The Joker, and the words…

Black Belt

Just over seventeen years ago, I did my first black belt grading and I recently stumbled across an essay that my sensei at the time requested as part of the examination process. Although it in many ways resembles something you’d be asked to write by your English teacher towards the end of secondary school, especially with regard to the title,…

Doing it for life

I swam in horrible conditions the other day. It was not long after dawn on a mucky Monday morning and big, unpredictable swell, with huge surges of cold, dirty water, was moving me around like so much flotsam. I tried to use my usual landmarks to keep my bearings while at the same time avoiding being swept on to them.…

A little, not a lot

The change of seasons is upon us. The gasfire-warmed mornings of a couple of weeks ago have given way to more temperate conditions. Indoors, for my early-morning writing routine, I am no longer wearing a scarf or chunky neck-warmer, nor am I double-socking. (Yes, Melbourne homes really are that cold in winter and I have much anecdotal evidence to support…

No fixed address

Karate-do means The Way of the Empty Hand. The hand is empty because it is not holding anything. While this can be interpreted symbolically, it is rooted in historical necessity. The originators of karate were forbidden to bear arms so an unarmed style of fighting was developed to be a match for adversaries who did have weapons at their disposal.…

Songs from the deep

Take a moment and think about all the things you have been told in your life. All the things that have been said to you. All the heart-to-hearts, the tete-a-tetes, all the deep-and-meaningfuls. The advice, the encouragements, the admonishments. How much can you remember? And from whose mouths did the words come? Now take another moment and think of how…