James Proclaims (4)

Last night I did Kung Fu. It’s not unusual for me to do this on a Thursday night. It’s when the class is.

I say I did Kung Fu, the instructor may disagree with my assertion that what I did last night was Kung Fu. He may, in fact, suggest that what I was doing was waving my arms around in the air, vaguely imitating his actual Kung Fu, much like a toddler or a well-trained monkey might.

I’ve dipped into martial arts on and off since I was a child. In my time I’ve sampled Judo, Karate, Tae Kwon Do and now Kung Fu. I’ve become proficient at none of these. .

Indeed, I’m increasingly aware through regular training, that I’d be pretty useless in a fight. Which is good, because if you realise that you’re not good at fighting through doing martial arts, then it suggests that you don’t get into fights in real life. Which is true for me. I’m basically an upstanding citizen and all-round nice guy. Mainly what I get out of doing Kung Fu is a regular commitment to keeping fit twice a week and the opportunity to expand my social circle. And without Kung Fu it’s doubtful I would put much time into either of these pursuits.

My Kung Fu class is exactly what I was looking for at this stage in my life. It’s well taught, the group is friendly and some of the excessive formalities of other martial arts classes I’ve attempted are notably absent. I didn’t choose the class for any of these reasons however. I chose it because it’s a three minute walk from my house.

Over the last (almost) year that I’ve been doing Kung Fu, I have noticed a significant improvement in my general health and fitness, and it’s a great way to manage stress.

The warm up is a bit of a killer though. I’m still getting used to that. In my defence I am asthmatic and even with medication it can rear it’s ugly head.

Still it was a little unsettling last night, when, after a more vigorous warm up than usual, the instructor looked at me with genuine concern and said:

“Are you alright James? It looks like you’re having a coronary…”

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