This is a very weird post to write as, to be honest, I thought I’d never do it.
I’ve decided to retire from teaching kung fu and running classes.
Lockdown, and a year (plus) has made me reconsider a lot of things, and how I live my life and use my time and while martial arts will always be a major part of it (it probably literally saved my life, let alone changed it) it isn’t the driving force it once was.
I’ve been doing this since April 1988 (33rd anniversary and! 🙂 ) and training or teaching anywhere between one night a week and five since then …until this year (or illness 😉 ).
…and I didn’t miss the time off like I thought I would.
That told me something.
I also don’t know, being honest, if I want to build a class from nothing again and commit to training and teaching on a schedule.
So, yeah, finally stepping off the mats …at least mostly; there will be a toe or two hanging on.
I’ll still be involved in martial arts in different ways*, and maybe even Imperial Deagon itself in gradings and popping into classes (if you guys will have me 🙂 ) but nothing ‘full-time’ or committed.
Martial Arts is not something I’ve done, it’s been a way of life, for the majority of my life. Its given me health, knowledge, wisdom, and courage. They will never leave. It’s where I’ve met some of my closest friends, so I will never, ever, regret a single moment on the mats (even the painful ones 😉 ) and the journey – that many people, doctors included – said wouldn’t be possible: to be 5th Degree Black Belt.
It all, like any journey, started with a single step.
With thanks to Sifu Frank Murney and especially Sifu Steve Timblin who are no longer here but guided me on that journey.
*I’ve already been approached by a black belt about private lessons, so I’m considering 1-to-1 coaching again, possibly short self defense classes, and I’m definitely (once Covid is safer) popping into other people’s classes; already got some new Escrima/Kali sticks coming so, Courtney, hopefully will get to train soon 😉
New novel from Chair of the British Science Fiction Association is a thrilling sci-fi page-turner with heart, centered on a paraplegic protagonist in outer space.
“The depths of outer space test the strength of a dynamic heroine’s inner resolve in Stroud’s smart, introspective space opera […] With an attention to detail that will please hard science fiction fans, Stroud raises fascinating questions about the politics of space exploration. This is one to be savored.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Fearless is a brilliant achievement […] Stroud has produced a tense, atmospheric and masterfully written title with a thought-provoking and engaging plot supported by a cast of colourful and unique characters that all combine to create a thorough enjoyable experience.”
— The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Reviewer
“Fast-paced, gripping hard SF with death in hard vacuum waiting at every turn.”
— Arthur C. Clarke Award winner Adrian Tchaikovsky
AD 2118. Humanity has colonised the Moon, Mars, Ceres and Europa. Captain Ellisa Shann commands Khidr, a search and rescue ship with a crew of twenty-five, tasked to assist the vast commercial freighters that supply the different solar system colonies.
Shann has no legs and has taken to life in zero-g partly as a result. She is a talented tactician who has a tendency to take too much on her own shoulders. Now, while on a regular six-month patrol through the solar system, Khidr picks up a distress call from the freighter Hercules…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Allen Stroud is Chair of the British Science Fiction Association, Editor of the British Fantasy Society, and was Chair of Fantasycon 2017 and 2018. He has a Ph.D. and a Masters in Science Fiction and Fantasy world-building. Stroud has written video game novelisations such as Elite: Dangerous and Phoenix Point) and his short stories have appeared in 2001: An Odyssey in Words and 2017 Year’s Best Military & Adventure SF.
FLAME TREE PRESS is an imprint of Flame Tree Publishing dedicated to full-length original fiction in the horror, science fiction & fantasy, and crime/mystery/thriller categories. Launched in 2018 the list brings together brilliant new authors and the more established; the award winners, and exciting, original voices. Learn more about Flame Tree Press at www.flametreepress.com and connect on social media @FlameTreePress
Southern Area Hospice Services provide INVALUABLE specialist palliative care and support to patients with life limiting illnesses including Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Motor Neurone Disease, HIV and Aids. Their services are available to patients who live within the Southern Health Board region in Northern Ireland.
Due to COVID19 they’ve had to postpone ALL of their planned fundraising events and with all their services are provided free of charge and relying on 73p in every pound coming from fundraising this is a massive impact.
Currently they are even very short on protective equipment such as masks, gloves, and gowns, to keep their staff short and as they buy more this will obviously come out of their already stretched budget.
I realise that everyone will have their own issues to deal with right now, and money may be one of them, but if you can spare something, anything, then PLEASE consider donating to this very excellent cause!
OK, because Prime Minister Boris Johnston didnt use theword ‘lockdown’ I’m not sure that everyone will get the message, especially not the ones who were still congregating at beaches or parks in their masses, but people NEED to listen: the UK is basically on lockdown and we all need to do what we can to slow the spread of Coronavirus to help stop the strain on the NHS and, ultimately, save lives.
This means, where humanly possible, only leaving your house as little as you can fir very limited purposes:
– shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible;
– one form of exercise a day – for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household;
– any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person;
– travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home.
No social gatherings. No family gatherings. No trips to the mountains en masse. No open air markets.
Full details about the things that are being stopped, and consequences, are in the link.
With huge thanks once again to Flash Fiction Armagh, Byddi Lee, and Réamonn Ó Ciaráin for allowing me to read my work at their wonderful event, held at the Armagh County Museum, and for looking after me when I wasn’t sure that I would make it to (or through) due to illness.
Such a great night with amazing talent in the room and i’m humbled to share the space with so many awesome writers!
Excuse the voice, pneumonia & pleurisy plays havoc with the breathing.
Enjoy my story, ‘Hero Worship’ …oh and if you’re expecting a happy ever after type thing you came to the wrong writer 😉