Monday, 30 September 2013

Reading, Writing, Martial Arts - what else is there?

Well, of course, there's many things out there. I try and write about what I know, what I have learned over the years. So as much as I enjoy reading, writing and reviewing books I have read, I will share with you some views I have about martial arts too.

I **might** just drop in the odd movie review as well. I hope you'll have a view on it too!

Currently Reading "The World According to Bob" by James Bown

Having read and thoroughly enjoyed 'A StreetCat Named Bob', it's really no surprise that this book follows in the same vein. Bob is a totally cool cat, and truly, the book's strapline doesn't lie - the duo do have many more adventures and it is a fun, if scary read, sometimes.

Fun - because anyone who has a cat will know of their little 'ways' in the manner only an owner knows.

Scary - because some of the situations they find themselves in are indeed 'what the hell?' moments and you can't put the book down because you want to know what happens next.

Anyway, it's a top read so far. I understand there are seven boos in the series, so whilst some may feel it is more of the same, I honestly feel like it's a very fresh read. It leaves you with a nice feeling inside. How mant books can you say have done that for you?

The Mentality of a Martial Artist

As some of you may know, I teach martial arts on a full-time basis. What is most important then, as an instructor, and indeed, as a student, is the mentality.

If you are an unwell, ask yourself can you push yourself through your training, even if you have no idea what the lesson on that day may entail.

If you are injured, how did this happen? You know, most of my student's injuries have come via the gym, where abnormal weights were lifted. Or it might have been at the football ground.

When I was aged 19, as well as training in martial arts, I also played ice hockey for a 'B' or reserve team. I was never professional. I played for the enjoyment. We were a team that provided the warm up for the crowd whilst they waited for the main event to start.

They would cheer us on, all the same, because some of that team played in the senior A team, and others dropped back to the C team level.

That year, in 1992, I suffered my worst injury to date. I was in a collision at high speed with one of the opposing team. I smashed into the barrier at rink-side, thinking my leg was broken but actually, my knee had been all but shattered. This shattered my theory about the knee being the hardest bone in the body.

Seven operations later, my knee was functioning again. During that time, I had many highs and lows, but I never stopped training, even from the hospital bed. I would do all manner of punch drills, blocking techniques.

I never gave up. Especially when the doctors told me I would not play ice hockey again, or throw a punch in a martial arts tournament.

And you can't, when something inevitably gets in your way.

The mentality to win, to come through, to see a future where you'd like to be, is what should consume martial artists on a daily or yes - hourly basis!

On that note, I'm off to teach now.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Book Review: A Street Cat Named Bob: How One Man and His Cat Found Hope on the Streets

A Street Cat Named Bob by James   Bowen

's review
Sep 27, 13  ·  edit

Read from July 12 to 19, 2013

What a simply beautiful book.

I have three cats of my own, but that doesn't mean I'm a sucker for a book that has a cure cat on its cover.

A Street Cat Named Bob is a wonderful, honest account of a man, James Bowen, and his cat, Bob. What makes this book superior to many other reads is how James never lets the terrible things in his life get him down for long.

Bob is clearly part of his salvation and, knowing how wonderful cats are, I can only say that anytime Bob was in danger, I felt genuinely worried something bad might happen to him.

The book is well written and super easy to read. You could read this in one sitting, or spread it out, like I did.

It's one of those books I didn't want to finish, so it's great that 'The World According to Bob' was published soon after.

If you like cats, like antiheroes like James (very likeable guy but not without his faults - making him even better in my eyes) and just a fine read, look no further than this. Then get all the 'Bob' books in the series.

Bravo James, I wish you and Bob the best.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Release Date for 'Dark Winter'

Okay. So the draft has been completed. And then re-drafted. Then re-drafted several times more. The script has been through editorial, some friends have had snippets of the script, and well, friends, we are all but there.

So I have a date for its release - 9th October on Kindle (and other devices) and printed version to be available soon after that.

I prefer the 'hard copy' version of books but can see some merit in e-books. Whichever one you happen to be, I hope you'll try this book and see something different in it.

It's my first 'official' novel, so I don't know how it will be received. Sometimes, you just have to go for it and  see what happens.
Nervous? You bet. But it won't have been the first time, and sure as hell won't be the last.