Continuing The Isle of Wight or my blogs are to long...
Sunday, July 16, 2006

Wednesday is a half day, and also marks the beyond half point of the week, which is bad. We start in the morning with Qigong and go over some of the simple Tai Chi forms in the morning, and the later session is fitness and sparring. As with the previous day I had to go back to the nurse for dressings, where I found the old dressings had slipped (obviously nothing to do with the sparring matches…) causing the Micropore tape to stick to the burnt flesh. Thus when the old dressings were removed half my arm went with them, something that is quite painful, and something I don’t recommend to anyone else.

After wincing my way away from the medical centre I decide to meet a number of other members of my club at the beach where we just generally sat around and some of us tried to learn to speak seagull. All we seemed to manage to do was spark a war between Seagulls and Ravens (seriously they even called in reinforcements). I guess this goes to prove that you shouldn’t use Kung Fu students to broker your bird peace treaties, especially between war hawks.

Unfortunately I missed the evening’s entertainment because I was teaching an American student the finer points of British humour, namely the works of Monty Python. The entertainment to which I speak was at a nearby pub where some guy had taken it upon himself to tell a group of Kung Fu instructors and students that he could kill them with his finger, leading to predictably humours results as he attempted to prove it on one of the Singapore instructors, who predictably brushed him aside with ease.

Thursday was another day of Kung Fu, but also the day we decided to go out for a meal after training. So the whole group went into town, and where else would a group of Kung Fu students go? That’s right we went to a Chinese restaurant. The food was great, the beer was great, if expensive (£5 a pint, ouch) and they tried to stiff us on the bill. For instance there were eleven people on one table, several of which didn’t drink and the restaurant tried to charge them for 46 bottles of Chinese beer, a quantity that would have surely lost them the use of their legs. In short if you’re ever in Sandown in the Isle of Wight and decide to eat at the Royal China restaurant, good food, good drink, read your bill very carefully.

Then on to a pub so I can show off my extreme (lack of) Pool skills. I lose, naturally and that marks the end of the second to last day.

So Friday, the last day of training and as such it’s quite bittersweet. The training is much the same as the other days until the afternoon, when we decide what we are to do for the demonstration later. I’m down for the Tet Bey Sum Chien (The Shuffling Three Wars) one of the fundamental routines. It’s a relatively simple routine; the only problem is that I was doing it with another person and we had to be in synch, and we only had half an hour to practice.

But in the end it all comes off alright and no one notices my poor performance of the routine…

There’s also the ubiquitous Lion dance which is one of my favourites, and the breaking really hard stuff with bare hands thing. One of the instructors proved you need to be thick skulled in this game by breaking a stack of roofing tiles with his head, and the youngest member of the group (and reining junior champion) broke a house brick in half with a palm strike. Of course there was also the guy getting hit with an axe, always a crowd pleaser.

So that’s it, my Martial Arts week is over and I will soon be returning to work, hateful boring predictable routine work. We eat the remainder of the food, collect what’s left of the drink and begin the end of the week party, predictably filled with all the substances a pagan temple needs. It’s a good night that leaves me comatose, yet thankfully without hangover the following morning as I finish my packing and prepare to leave.

With my car packed and the behaviour bond returned I leave, making the solemn journey back to Fishbourne where I shall catch another (late running) Ferry to Portsmouth and the mainland. I arrive too early so I have to take a short tour of the Isle of Wight before I’m allowed in to wait (and wait I do). The crossing over isn’t to bad though, I meet up with a few of the other group members who have happened to get the same ferry as me, which helps pass the time, but all too soon we’re back and I’m back on the road again, home.

The journey doesn’t take long, and takes me past the glorious burning woodland of the British Isles: so I can truly appreciate the majestic beauty of acres of woodland going up in smoke.

I arrive home, on Saturday the 15th of July 2006, the website is still up, the weeks still over and I’m still back at work on Monday. You know I don’t think I’ve ever been quite this depressed at the end of a holiday.

So I’ll leave this little journal where it is, at the best part of five pages, somewhat longer than the blogging system can handle and two days writing (it didn’t take two days to write, but I need to compose my thoughts and memories as well as make sure it all reads correctly), besides I doubt anyone has actually bothered to read the whole thing anyway, and no going back to do so now doesn’t count .

So now some may see why I only blog infrequently, my blogs are a fairly major undertaking, for both the reader and the writer, good night.


Monday, July 17, 2006 5:50 PM


This is a yearly thing, and I do plan on going again. Some of the best martial artists in the world attened these training weeks, it's just too good an oppertunity to miss.

And FollowMal it's never to late to start, if you really think you can't do it you could try T'ai Chi first.

Monday, July 17, 2006 7:19 AM


I found that all very interesting, even if it could have the subheading "How I Spent A Week In Agony".

Still, anything other than work, eh?

Monday, July 17, 2006 6:32 AM


Wow Citizen, that sounds like a very exciting week. Good for you!

I hope your sunburn heals quickly!

And it was a very interesting read. I feel I learned a few things that I didn't know before (Monkey beats Tiger, but TigerCrane beats Monkey-see? I was paying attention.)

I am also abyssmally bad at pool. If we ever have a chance to play, I'll prove it to you.

Monday, July 17, 2006 5:15 AM



Monday, July 17, 2006 2:48 AM


All in all, sounds like you had a good time.

Is this a yearly thing? Plan on going again next year, with better sunblock?

I can relate. Softball tournaments, while of a shorter duration, amount to a similar experience for me. Blazing sunshine, stiff competition, too much alcohol... Ahhhh life stories...

Sunday, July 16, 2006 4:45 PM


I actually did read the entire thing, Citizen ..... :P

Sounds like you had a fascinating, fun week, abeit a bit painful. Very shiny that you do martial arts. I am an older lady now and can no longer consider this, but I've always had a great admiration for folks that do.
Good vacation!


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