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Preview: epredator's blog - The real life of a metaverse evangelist

epredator's blog - The real life of a metaverse evangelist



Feedingedge blog Wikipedia - yes thats right This blog is a personal set of views and should not be taken as anything else but that.



Updated: 2017-10-07T11:28:07.724+00:00

 



30th Year of Choi Kwang Do and 2nd Dan Grading

2017-07-19T19:29:37.621+00:00

This week sees the 30th year of Choi Kwang Do as a martial art. Many from the art are travelling to Atlanta for the celebrations. we were not in a position to go with this the last week of school and work commitments, but I think we managed to celebrate in our own way. A few sunday's ago predlet 2.0 and I stepped onto the floor of the dojang in Farnborough to face our biggest challenge yet in Choi Kwang Do. Together we went through the grading for our EE Dan (2nd Degree) Black Belts. We shared the floor with other students heading for their 1st Dan. It was an amazing and gruelling experience with 2.5 hours of full on effort. Also Predlet 1.0 took her tag grading for 1st Dan blue tag afterwards, which is about another year or so until she will be doing her 2nd Dan. She may well be doing that at the same time as Jan does her 1st Dan too, another family double grading. To do 2nd Dan you have to also effectively do 1st Dan again, then add another layer to that. These gradings are as much a test of mental strength as they are of physical conditioning. Remaining focussed but remembering what to do and to be as flowing as possible whilst still delivering aggressive energy is a challenge. I know during the course of my patterns my mind lots its way for one set, and in speed drills I transposed two of the kicks in the wrong order. The experience from the 1st Dan of something similar helped a great deal as that is the time to reset, acknowledge it and get on with it. There is to much to do to be annoyed or worried about mistakes. An extra problem this time ardour was the humidity. It was pushing 30C outside the hall and Doboks are heavy fabric that soak up a lot of sweat. During our spinning kicks though I kept having to move around a bit as a slippery puddle was forming under my feet and falling over risks not only losing focus but injury towards the start. For most of the grading we were shuffled around in the line up to avoid predlet 2.0 and I being next door to one another which can be a distraction. However for the 2nd Dan elements it was just us. He is so fast at his patterns that it can throw me as I he is 1 or 2 ahead but we had practiced that so I learned to try and ignore him and focus on mine. This is tricky when you are combining being a proud or concerned dad, an instructor and a fellow student doing their own thing all in one. You also have the amazing panel of very experienced chief instructors and Masters watching your every move and family and friends behind you also watching. Unlike being on stage or TV though this does not feel like a performance, it is important to try and suppress the performance elements, so I find a different me and try and work internally, but being human its hard not to look up and wonder what anyone is thinking, am I doing it right? am I letting my teacher down. These fleeting moments can interrupt the flow that one is trying to achieve whilst also managing heart rate and breathing to give maximum effort but not take everything from the tank for the rest of the grading. We all managed to achieve our goals though. These belts represent a milestone in a journey, they are called degree's because they are the result of many years of study and practice. They are as much about mental strength as physical and whilst the belt is an external indicator it is the feeling and sense of achievement that is inside that counts. It is also a reminder of how much there is yet to learn, each belt brings new challenges, chapters in a book, and the black belts are like a whole new book in a series. I remember my first grading and at white belt, thinking how can I get through this it is hard. 1st to 2nd Dan is the same feeling. Yet each technique that is learned works on the base of those very first techniques and the attitude to them. They are all equally as important, and learning new things makes the previous new things seem familiar. Familiarity doesn't become complacency though, ever time you think "I've got this" a new twist, distraction or realization makes itself known. As we say in Choi, Pil Seung! an[...]



A year has passed, but what a year!

2016-01-25T17:40:20.642+00:00

The past year since achieving the blackbelt in Choi Kwang Do has been pretty amazing one. The training has been ongoing and becoming a Head instructor incredibly rewarding. Both the predlets also gained their 1st blackbelts in CKD too, and @elemming is well not the way too.I have still been sharing and blogging on Feeding Edge, so it it seems strange to come back to my personal blog, when Feeding Edge kind of is too.One of the most significant events of 2015 came in the last quarter of the year. A few work contracts had gone away, through no particular fault of anyone. I was sat on holiday reading some books. I read the Martian (before the film came out) and thought, wow, that really is interesting how the technology and science is presented, with great depth and intelligence. That was then met with a flash of inspiration that I would try and write a book, using the technology I know and love, but push it a bit further than we can go at the moment.In September 2015, I sat down and wrote solidly,  just like any other contract or job, and created a sci-fi novel called Reconfigure, in just over two weeks. There were a few more weeks or fixing the typos, the punctuation and generally wondering how to format it and publish the thing. I settled on Amazon and the KDP Select program. With great trepidation, on Oct 22nd, just a few weeks after having the idea, I published it. Within a few days I had also figured out how to format it for a print edition on CreateSpace, a print on demand Amazon company. I had a physical version of the book in my hand less than two months after starting it. It is a full length 72k word novel too BTW :)Once that was under my belt, the tricky process of advertising, promoting and asking people to please read it began. I found that there are many fellow fledgling authors doing the same thing. Every little click and download of the book counts in moving it up the sales rank. Review count an awful lot too.It was almost too depressing to sit and watch the sales figures bumble along, sudden spikes if I made it free for a few days were interesting too.The story had a natural follow on, and I spent another few weeks in November and early December writing the follow up, Cont3xt. Christmas got in the way a bit and I picked it up again in January 2016 and went for it. I learned a lot from the first one, that I still love BTW, and found a way to pick the better parts and add to them. It is tricky trying to refer back to a previous story without making it essential to read both books in order, and without spoilers, as I have a lot of intrigue and twists amongst the twirling swirling tech.Friday Cont3xt went live and so I now have two sci-fi novels live on Amazon. They seem to get a good reception from the people that read them, so I am hopeful I am doing something right.Just to come full circle, the start of Cont3xt is heavily ifluence by the sort of moves and feeling I have performin and studying Choi Kwang Do. Write what you know ? Tech and martial arts :)I created separate URL's for themhttp://reconfigurebook.co.uk and http://cont3xtbook.co.ukThey are available all over the world, wherever Amazon is. frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=ss_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=feedingedge-20&marketplace=amazon®ion=US&placement=B01720X7F0&asins=B01720X7F0&linkId=DQKCOENVUIASD2HO&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true" style="height: 240px; width: 120px;"> frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="//ws-eu.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=GB&source=ss&ref=ss_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=feededge-21&marketplace=amazon®ion=GB&placement=B01720X7F0&asins=B01720X7F0&linkId=&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=[...]



Black Belt Experience

2014-12-10T12:18:46.103+00:00

(A cross post from Feeding Edge)Last sunday 7th December 2014 I achieved another life ambition and graded to receive my Choi Kwang Do Il Dan (1st Degree) Black belt. What is interesting about this is that the ambition and reason to get a black belt has turned out to be very different in almost every way than my initial thoughts. So this is not a post to say "look at me aren't I clever" which is what many qualifications need to be for. Instead it is about a transformation and a journey and a whole set of other ideas. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="500" mozallowfullscreen="" msallowfullscreen="" oallowfullscreen="" src="https://www.flickr.com/photos/epredator/15779525490/player/" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="375"> As a kid I thought martial arts looked amazingly cool. The 70's posters of Bruce Lee and the occasional glimpses of stylish fighting on TV certainly left their mark on me. We didn't really have much in the way of martial arts near my home. I also, and this might sound strange, wanted to avoid learning them because the techniques were so potentially deadly. I never experienced full on physical bullying for very long at school as I was always willing to fight back if need be. Being relatively mild mannered it was usually a shock to a potential bully if I retaliated. I thought I might learn things and then turn to the dark side and go and use them, or go all vigilante. As I got older I then wished I had started younger and was probably put off by the fact that the later I started the less high a level I would be able to attain. If it was worth doing something I wanted to make sure I was really really good at it. All very odd reasons and excuses not to do something. My friend Jamie and I got a self defence book from out local library when we were 8 years old and occasionally practiced what you do if someone came at you with a bat or a knife. It was all very informal, and a bit scary but us would be super heroes had to learn some stuff :) Zoom on a good few years, I was feeling very overweight (and actually very overweight) and I also wanted predlet 2.0 to get a chance at a martial art that I never had. Something father and son could do together. I thought there would be no chance for me of rocking up at a place of fighting in the state I was in, so strangely I trained for about a year to get ready to go and do a martial art. That and the tech I used features in the article I wrote in Flush The Fashion in 2012 A leaflet in Predlet 2.0 school bag for Choi Kwang Do got my attention. It was coming up to his 5th birthday and I was intrigued as Choi Kwang Do looked like something new. I like new! The trepidation and nervous excitement with which I took myself and predlet 2.0 to our first session is something I will no forget. 40+ years of wanting to try a martial art but not, plus a year of getting in some sort of shape and learning some fight moves so I didn't get whooped straight away all bundled together. Within seconds of walking into South Coast CKD and meeting Sabunim Webster for the first time, and all the other students and instructors I realised how completely and utterly incorrect my perceptions of all martial arts had been. Everyone was calm, happy and above all friendly. I had nothing to worry about with respect to getting beaten up or schooled in front of predlet 2.0. CKD just isn't like that.So having stepped into an art with thoughts of gaining some sort of prowess, a degree of domination and aggression to get something, to win something... all that was suddenly not what I wanted to do, nor happen and we were in a place where that was not what it was all about. This particular AHA! moment is only the second such one I remember. The first was when I suddenly realised what you could do with computer code and how it all worked, from just one little concept. It is when something clicks, and the excitement that there is a world of answers out there waiting to be discovered and visited. That set me on my career. It led to [...]



Halloween face painting

2013-10-25T10:19:07.759+00:00

The predlets were having a school Halloween disco and for a change I thought I would give Face Painting a try. I popped along to the local Hobbycraft and bought a small set of paints then wondered what to do. For predlet 2.0 I liked the skeletons I saw on various Youtube tutorials (of which there are many) The way the mouth and teeth are exaggerated looks very spooky. However he also wanted to be a bit zombie like. So I did a hybrid. I sketched a rough idea using a pen on my Samsung Galaxy Tab. (image) Then gave it a practice go a few days before. (image) For predlet 1.0 it was a bit more tricky as she didn't want "a lot of that stuff" on her face. I found this great example of a face like a shattered mirror width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/NLh9n7jVSBQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>So I gave that a bit of a go. (image) I had to make sure I could also do these in the time, as there was only a short gap between finishing school and getting back for the Disco too. Anyway it seemed to work Predlet 2.0 had a skeleton costume ( a hand me down from predlet 1.0 though hence the hearts) but he was happy with his hair spiked. (image) I added a bit more dirt on the green side just after this picture. The skeleton eye socket could have been better but as I had just spiked his hair (unlike in the practice) I couldn't put my hand on the top of his head to keep him still :) With predlet 1.0 I had done the original practice with brown lines, but went for black this time. White highlights for the edges. I added more blood and also used some glitter in the small breaks in the middle where the extra fracturing occurs. That was very effective. (image) They looked the part and had great fun. I was quite pleased with the results but obviously practice is needed as this is quite an art form. (image) (image)



Predpets in transit

2013-10-04T08:21:21.696+00:00

(image)
Predpets in transit, originally uploaded by epredator.

we now have 2 more members of the family. Now named Rocky and Snowy (snowy is the mostly white one). Guinea pigs/cavie, with a nice hutch outside to avoid any allergy problems with the rest the house. They are the predlets responsibility but of course we will help them :)

(image)



Very excited green belt predlet 1.0 pil seung

2013-10-04T08:18:06.447+00:00

Predlet 1.0 graded this week at Basingstoke CKD. She moved to a green belt and is very excited as this is half way to her first blackbelt. She gets some exciting new techniques and a great pattern. It seems like we only just started Choi it is amazing how time flies when you are enjoying yourself. Thankyou Master Scrimshaw and all the students and AI's at the dojang




M day approaches - update (we have moved :) )

2013-10-04T08:43:42.885+00:00

After a very, very long process of chain breaks and chopping and changing we are finally 2 days away from moving house. The loft is empty, the garage is full. Walls are bare and flat pack furniture is once again flat. On Wednesday 8th we head to the new place, though tomorrow we have the removals people come and get most of the stuff. Then it will be the slightly tense wait for money to flow form solicitor to solicitor to get the completion to happen. It also needs to happen in enough time for the removals people to be able to unload before their cut off. We are in a chain of 10 houses but as we are about 3 or 4 or the chain and the money starts form the bottom we should all be ok. None the less we automatically took out the late key waiver insurance. It is going to be strange leaving the area as we have lived here for 23 years now. Which is a long time in anyones books. It is only 35 miles up the road but there is a whole new area to explore with the predlets. After the move we have the fun of re attaching all the important utilities (water, gas and electric obviously are there) but we need the phone and internet enabled. That will take an extra week or so and we probably wont be getting superfast broadband despite the exchange being enabled. A bit of a pain to say the least but its all check and balance. I think the clocks will be ticking a little slower today as we all do the last bits of shuffling of house things around. Fingers are crossed and roll on Wednesday night when we will be installed at last in the new place. Update... We moved, it worked and there has been lots going on. The house is an older one, build in the 50's as a bungalow, turned into a house in the 70's We are busy changing things. A new front door (the old was draughty). A large workshop and 3 green houses have been removed and the concrete base broken up ready for an extension to be built. Roof tiles have been reset. Some electrics have been rewired. We had a gravel driveway with a tree in the middle as a roundabout (that's still there) but there were some raised beds with a 2 brick high wall shaped around the outsides. We all managed to bump our cars into the wall (even the ones with parking sensors, so they had to go. We got a huge grabber lorry (the same one that removed 2 loads of broken up concrete from the back, to remove the soil. The small wall was a few days of toil with a sledge hammer (but great fun and good choi training) We also built a new shed (that took 2 days) Luckily we had a very warm and dry summer as between the workshop being dismantled and the shed being constructed we had nowhere to put things (the garage was full) So I put up a large tent to act as a shed for the summer :) you can get a lot in there. We also inherited a pond with a lot of very large koi carp in so I have been busy learning how to look after these beasts. Which included going for a swim in the pond to try and find the filter pump. The pond seems stable now though. The predlets are in a new school and that seems to be going well. We walk everyday about 15 mins to get there. Life is almost settling back to normal, apart from all the building work. We have an internal wall we want to remove so have had a structural engineer do the calculations, which will lead eventually to a new kitchen layout. The current wall has a large aquarium in it, with a red tailed shark and several tiger barbs, again we got those with the house. So I will have to find a new tank location and rehouse them. Basingstoke is proving to be very nice too. The park out the back is great fun for the kids lots of frisbee throwing this summer :) We are close to town and to leisure facilities. Minutes from the station for @elemming. So we often pick her up from the station on the way back from Basingstoke Choi Kwang Do. She has also started Choi on Saturdays and recently graded (despite having a broken wrist from ice skati[...]



More upgrades

2013-04-15T09:15:24.594+00:00

(image)
green belt, originally uploaded by epredator.

It has been yet another Choi Kwang Do packed week and weekend.
After the week of lessons, helping teach and learning and honing it was time for a grading at the full time Dojang.
Predlet 1.0 had a great grading and was awarded her gold belt senior. I was able to move to green belt in my grading too.
That is the halfway point in the journey to black belt! The time has flown and there is still lots to learn, and there always will be.(That is is part of the fun).
It was also brilliant to be able to help all the other belts too in particular the people grading for the first time. Many of them from our school. There were enough assistant instructors to be able to hold all the equipment for many of the other gradings. A wall of blue doboks, all of us different sizes and shapes, but all smiling :)
The energy that everyone puts into the grading and the buzz when they get their belts is fantastic.
That was Saturday. Sunday was another day of Choi. Helping Black belt academy (the extra fun lessons for the under 12's that both predlets attend).
This is always brilliant.
I also got to experience some of the power of 3rd Dan Blackbelt Mr Liam Bicknell's kicks as he demonstrated to the kids how to go from shield to shield doing a spinning side kick.
we always train with respect to person holding the shield but I did give him the nod to kick as hard as he wanted. It is hard to describe just how hard the kick felt through the very thick shield, but the impact point felt it came right through the shield. A focussed ball of energy that then pushed all 16 stone of me back. Everyone learns to kick hard but very often as we are just all learning the force if sort of dispersed more across the shield. We all make people move back but this was something else :) I never thought getting kicked could be so enlightening :)




Official Full Time Dojang opening

2013-03-19T12:53:17.570+00:00

Today was a very good day for Choi Kwang Do in Hampshire. A full time facility has been created by Mr Evans who runs ChoiKwangDo4Health it is in the space above ASDA at West end. As with all Choi it is very much a shared family location. (image) Today was the official opening and the Mayor came along and cut the ribbon as part of a general open day. Lots of photos were taken but not by me as these doboks don't have pockets. We all took some time today to reach out to the local community, handing out leaflets for the open day and explaining the family nature of Choi Kwang Do. (image) The rest of the time was spent in the Dojang helping new people get a bit of a go at some Choi Techniques on with us and with various pieces of equipment. There were lots of visitors of all ages which was great. There were also a lot of people from the wider Choi family visiting from all over the country so it was a really fun day. The predlets had a great day too. Predlet 1.0 in particular was enjoying battering BOB. (image) (image) The wavemaster was also set up to for a little bit of fun too. A sensor counts hits so we had a play. I thought I had shot more video but apologies to Mr Keens as I only took a still of his super speedy go on the kit. (image) However I did video Mr Close (and he also grabbed my iphone and videoed my slightly rough around the edges attempt) and I thought I would try the iphone version of imovie to edit it up for a bit of fun. width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/D53q5l9OmZ0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>Mr Close is a brown belt senior, next step blackbelt. I am orange senior not quite half way :) We all work to our own levels in Choi. What a very rewarding and fun day to round of the week. Tomorrow there are black belt gradings at the Dojang. Good luck to everyone Pil Seung!



Trying some new gloves

2013-03-11T23:19:12.696+00:00

After a slightly failed attempt with a heavy punch bag and a wall bracket I invested in a full free standing structure for my Choi Kwang Do practice. (image) The good thing about this stand is the pulley system that makes it easy to lower the bag and then move the stand. After a bit of a workout using my choi hand guards it became apparent those guards are not idea with the plastic finger guides for full on uppercuts to the bag. So I ordered some gel filled MMA wraps by RDX today and I am looking forward to seeing how they get on on the bag. Usually on shields we don't wear the hand guards, though we do when dealing with Redman. However the bag is very much heavier that the shield we train on so some hand protection makes a lot of sense. (image)



The Chain

2013-03-11T23:12:39.728+00:00

Well the formula 1 season is about to begin so we will be hearing The Chain again on BBC1 very soon. Likewise our housing chain has reformed again for the 3rd time. Fingers are crossed



Orange belt senior

2013-03-09T19:06:44.120+00:00


Another great grading this weekend. This time Predlet 2.0 and I wen to Orange Senior. It was also the first grading at the new full time dojang at West End. (image) It was also my first time wearing blue and helping properly at grading. It is quite a different experience and a highly positive one.
It is great to be able to help everyone and also get to get you mind into gear and ready to grade too. Pil Seung



Still moving house - crumbling chains

2013-02-27T13:55:08.265+00:00

Our continuing saga of trying to move house edges forwards then careers backwards with increasing regularity. We are now back on the market again as the housing chain collapsed once more. This time the entry level buyer a few down in the chain pulled out.
That means the buyers of the house they were buying can't buy the house that our buyers were selling, which means they can't buy ours, we then cant buy the very specific and ideal house we found, the owners of that can buy their new place, and so on a couple more iterations!
It is a crazy system as we have all locked in (though nothing is legally binding). We have all spent money on surveys and conveyancing solicitors but we can't just go ahead with the sale. As houses are so ridiculously expensive there is no real possibility for anyone, including us to just inject the cash into the chain.
I am sure bridging loans were once possible but several hundred thousands to put into new home whilst the equity and mortgage is being held on the old home is not very doable. So we are in a half packed state, not a perfect show home state and are ready to show new people around the place in the hope it doesn't mean we lose where we were heading. It's the 2nd or 3rd collapse of the chain. Other times it has re-established.
I am also sure everyone involved is as disappointed as we are but these things are nobody's fault. Small blips and mistakes in the chain have consequences all the way along. So for now the the treasury are missing out on a huge pile of Stamp duty tax payments. It is a pity that those payments can't be used to create a fund to help long chains move with bridging loans. Though property and debt are not flavour of the month with austerity high on the agenda. Still, all these things happen for a reason. So for now my wife will have to keep commuting the 2 hours each way to London, my in-laws (whose house has sold already as we were combining households to a place with a separate annex) will have to remain camped out in the spare room. The Predlets will keep going to the same school and constantly have leaving parties with their friends.
  (image)
 The house is online here if you know anyone who needs a good family home, near a very good primary school (hook with warsash) close to corner shops, a pub and the sea then please point them our way :)



Belts, Badges and Blue

2013-02-09T17:41:48.695+00:00

Today has been quite a day in our Choi Kwang Do journey. In fact it has, and continues to be quite a week. Our home Dojang of South Coast CKD opened up two new venues this week. It means we get to go and do multiple family and then adult classes every day of the week except Fridays. So we did. That included a great class with Master Brophy who came down to teach us at the Gosport opening.
Today (Saturday) was grading day for Predlet 1.0 as she moved to Gold Belt. A great achievement and she did brilliantly.
(image)
Also though I was not grading I turned up in my full Dobok, which confused some people as I did not join my fellow belts for grading.
However just before the final white belt grading sessions the entire grading lined up, filled the hall and we got to see Sabumnim Webster (who runs South Coast CKD) get his blackbelt second dan certificate.
Then the took the floor and announce to everyone that I was now joining the ranks of the Assisitant Instructors. Those who wear blue and are called by the name Kyosnumnim. I had to dash to the form and receive my new blue dobok, then dash off and change into it straight away and get to helping with the white belt and white belt senior grading.
It was great to be able to dive in and help though to start off with I did wonder what to do first. However it became clear we all just help one another.
As it was such a big grading though all the instructors were called to the floor to hold shields and focus mitts in the drills so that broke the ice and started me on this part of the continuing and very exciting journey.
(image)
I now have to quickly sew my badges on the new uniform as tomorrow we are all heading to a massive instructor training course.
So that is Choi 6 out the the 7 days and all very intense and exciting.
Whilst I will miss my first class on Monday as I am doing a BCS presentation in Southampton (which includes Choi Kwang Do) I think I may need a moment to gather my thoughts anyway :)




Another grading

2013-02-09T17:43:52.683+00:00

Predlet 2.0 and I both graded this weekend along with about 130 other people ! It was a big hampshire Choi Kwang Do grading.
(image)
It is a year since we started CKD and it gets more interesting every week

(image)



Oh yes Housing chains!

2012-11-28T10:50:17.136+00:00

Well, after a few weeks of being back on the market it looks like our original buyers are back. So the pause button can now be toggled back to play and we can get the whole thing going again.
It seems we have a complete chain now, and a much shorter one. I am hoping no-one is going to go mad and try and do this before christmas!
Conveyancing takes a while with all the searches and supplemental questions that need answering. Have you ever let a UFO land in your back garden? Are your walls made of reindeer antlers etc.
Still, lets keep our fingers crossed that we can start the new year with not too much paperwork, and a nice simple move :)
As I am typing this I looked out of the office window to see the Sold STC sign go up too :0
It's all yin and yang of course. But fingers are crossed.





Oh no! housing chains!

2012-11-13T09:40:50.063+00:00

Our house sale looked like it was all going ahead nicely. Though we were in a chain of 5 people, we also had a short chain above us. We have found the ideal house for our plans. Unfortunately the chain broke. i.e. the people buying somewhere below us in the chain couldn't buy after all. It may have been mortgages, life events or changing their minds, but either way it meant our buyers couldn't buy. Which has the obvious knock on up the chain. In England the housing market only really has any legal lock in once contracts are exchanged, with completion, the actual transaction and swapping of deeds and cash happening sometime after that. Before exchange people have to secure mortgage offers, have lots of legal questions answered about boundaries, electrical work, planning permission, boiler servicing etc. So up until exchange any chain is completely open to breaking for everyone. It is also the case that people sometimes treat the pressure situations of the agreements made as a time to re-negotiate prices at the last minute before exchange. I am hoping that when we get to any point of exchange we don't see any of that happening and that honour will prevail. So here were are with an ideal house to buy, the loft contents pretty much sorted and packed into the garage, mortgage in place ready to go but we are back into having viewings. Close to Christmas is an odd time for people choosing to look for houses. Having said that though that may mean the house we want to buy is less likely to get sold to someone else. It's all swings and roundabouts. So if you know anyone who wants to move to Warsash, near a great school. Point them to this our humble abode. Note we are now with a much better estate agent that I can thoroughly recommend Robinson Reade. Great professionalism and efficiency and ethics, and well worth talking to if you are selling.





Gold belt senior

2012-11-10T16:26:41.733+00:00


(image)
My gold belt senior, originally uploaded by epredator.
Another fantastically exciting grading this month. We were in a huge school gym rather than the normal smaller venue. It was very load and echoey, but when the Choi Kwang Do kihaps (shouts) start it fills the room with energy.
predlet 2.0 and I graded to Gold Belt Senior. The journey continues. A great way to spend a saturday afternoon with friends and getting to let off some steam too.

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As usual a huge thanks goes out to everyone who turns up each grading and runs it. All the school owners and the assistant instructors. There is always loads of support from all the spectators and fellow students too. It is one huge bundle of positive energy.
Pil Seung!



Gold, just like the Olympics

2012-09-11T08:59:18.222+00:00

After an amazing few weeks of elite sports it was very exciting for both predlet 2.0 and I to have our next grading in Choi Kwang Do and successfully level up to Gold belts. This is the third belt so not quite the same as the years of work the athletes have been through to get their gold medals. However, it is all relative and contextual.
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Even more importantly though was that predlet 1.0 did her first ever grading. Widely regarded as the most important. It's that first official step towards the higher belts. Subunim Evans presented her with here belt.
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It was also a very exciting grading because several of of fellow classmates from South Coast CKD had earned their promotion to Assistant Instructors and moved into the bright blue uniforms. It was very cool to see this too.

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Yet another Choi event was Predlet 2.0 going along to his first Black Belt Academy. This is an extra special session run once a month for under 12's. It was great to see all the school owner and chief instructors, plus the assistant instructors come together to focus on the kids and get them doing some interesting extra things. It now means Predlet 2.0 will get some black trousers instead. These are used as an additional motivator to focus not just on Choi but on school work and a positive attitude to life.
We were also all very happy for Subunim Webster (who is our chief instructor) , Choi doesn't stop at black belt. There are coloured stripe gradings that lead to major black belt levels called a Dan. He received his brown stripe. One step away from the EE Dan (2nd dan).
So it's Pil Seung! all round (the martial arts motto - certain victory)



Predlet 1.0 joins Choi Kwang Do

2012-08-13T19:34:16.822+00:00


Another new recruit to SouthCoast Choi Kwang Do and the Choi family. Predlet 1.0 had her first two lessons and decided she liked it, so we signed her up and she was very happy to get her Dobok straight away too :)



Choi Kwag Do progression

2012-09-11T08:42:10.666+00:00

Saturday saw another bi-monthly gathering of the Choi Kwang Do family at the local school hall for a grading session. These sessions are very energetic and exciting moments in an already energetic and exciting way of life.
It is less of an exam, more an expression of what you have learned. Each belt has a set of combinations, patterns and moves associated with it.
Typically we are grouped with similar belts. In this case it was yellow and gold. Each belt has a junior and senior component. The senior belt has a black stripe.
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Predlet 2.0 and I went from yellow belt to yellow belt senior. It does not feel that any of this is done in a rush and it is not a pre-requisite in order to continue, which is why if feels more relaxed yet important than a traditional test or exam. You enter into a grading having spent 2 months of practice and growth.
In my gradings I started off very tense and in particular when doing patterns and combinations I was applying force and power more than technique. In Choi it is the balance of trying to perform the movements in a relaxed fashion, focusing on the angles and the technique, and then in other exercises to exploit that technique with either power (for the big muscle groups) or speed (for the twitch muscles).
This means that when performing a combination or pattern (as there is not a target to hit) you focus on being relaxed and flowing in the move. When it then comes the power test the muscle memory is already in place and you can up the adrenalin and induce very focussed power.
I am learning to turn down the wick on my imagination that I am having to punch or kick anything in the combination as I know have felt the difference in when you explode the power and technique, as opposed to maintaining a steady high average of power across all the moves.
It is a learning journey and just as with standing up and presenting, or talking about new tech to people there is a pace an flow that you have to feel and in many ways turn parts of your brain off to allow the other parts to do their thing.
So onwards :) just 15 more belts to go on a journey to blackbelt which of course is not an end point just part of a longer journey, long may it continue.
Thankyou and Pil Seungh to all the instructors (Assistants and Sabumnims) and to all my fellow students for making the day so good.
Predlet 2.0 is certainly very proud of his new belt and looking forward to some new choi toys in the next few weeks. He also enjoyed the fact we had Grandmaster Choi on the car stereo on the way how telling us the proper Korean terminology and pronunciation having bought the CD :)
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Choi Kwang Do Festival

2012-07-06T20:40:10.731+00:00

Last weekend Predlet 2.0 and I attended a full days festival of Choi Kwang Do set up and run by the Hampshire schools. It was an incredible experience, especially as we only started Choi back in February.CKD is a noble martial art in that it does not deal with competition, only self improvement. It is this fact that makes it one of the most friendly gatherings of people I think I have ever been too. Equally it is powered by an energy and enthusiasm that is far greater than that of each individual in the crowd of 300 people there.The event was at Henry Cort in Fareham, where we train on Thursdays. Instead of the usual smaller gym we had the massive main hall. Which was filled. This shot was taken as we all dived to take on water and lunch :)Out usual Gym was kitted out with both mats and some extra toys.It was strange to have been part of the transformation of this area as we normally just have this for our class sessions.The event had some very honourable guests, whilst Choi treats everyone equally experience is celebrated. Therefore to have Master Brophy come and give us 1.5 hours of mass training session and inspiration was in itself worth going. Master Brophy converted to Choi having studied many other martial arts to exceptional levels. It was the friendliness of the dojang that inspired him. Something he shared with us. He started back at the very beginning of Choi, choosing not to take a conversion path but do it from step 1. That was 24 years ago. Choi Kwang Do is 25 years old, and has been going 24 years in the UK and it started here with Master Brophy.I have heard a lot of people speak and motivate, sometimes I get to do it too in conferences etc. However he is a Master with good reason. He shares humbly, yet with authority and being a physical martial art shows by example. There is nowhere to hide in this if you can't actually do it.Choi classes tend to leave you feeling somewhat elated, not just from the exercise and adrenalin but from the mental workout you get too. So his session was stunning for every rank.After lunch we split into groups and got to round robin through sets of exercises and sessions. These were all superb and very varied.My first session was with Sabumnim Evans on stretching. Some advanced stretches that, after the earlier sessions were most welcome.Then we were off into the Gym and had much more with Master Brophy on close in fighting dealing with knife attacks. We were on the mats for this and it was something I had not done in Choi yet. We had covered a little on grabs and escaping, but this was pretty full on. We paired up and then too turns sidestepping incoming knife stabs, turning and dropping the opponent, with a great deal of care and respect as always.Our next session was with the Herman Digital Trainers placed on Wavemaster posts. (as in the photo above). These are 3 way accelerometers that stream data to a PC. They are intriguing. we got to do a fast light punching test, how many punches in 30 seconds, which the accelerometers are great for. Secondly we got to do three hard punches. This got me thinking about the science and how we could make it better. The units are great and certainly provide some relative indications of force, though mass needs to be considered relative to the motion for the number to mean something between training sessions. My brain was also attempting to game the device. It was directly opposite a strike pint so it made sense to punch straight, not confuse it with any lateral side movement. It[...]



Moving house

2012-06-29T12:38:56.724+00:00

We are looking to sell up and move house to get a bit closer to London and my wife's job based out of Paddington. So I have been thrown into using property sites and dealing with the estate agent industry again. It has been 6 or 7 years since we did this last time and I was looking forward to seeing how the tech can help us.Firstly selling. Well this seems to still be a slightly old fashioned approach and calendar and diary management is a bit ad hoc with Estate Agents. Not a centralised calendar and online casebook to share information. Lots of phone calls, not emails or texts. I guess the drive to apply sharing tools online is generally diminished as your house is sold by a local estate agent. But still this could do with an upgrade :)Our house does though appear straight away on Rightmove and on Zoopla. Two excellent property search sites. Though I can's edit the detail as this is all done through the agents so corrections or enhancements take a long while.Both sites are brilliant for starting the search in a new area. Each is hooked to google or bing and provides rough street areas. You have to place hunt the house usually as the address and postcode are "secret". The things that are missing are really based on that lack of address precision. I spen a lot of time checking the BT infinity broadband availability. Things like this (for me anyway) are essential and I think that would be more use than the property energy efficiency certificates that we all have to have now.As a virtual world person, having just a 2d floor plan and a few well placed still shots is not the right amount of information. I realise that creating a 3d model to walk through is complicated but with sites like Floorplanner making that much more accessible we may eventually get to that. This is obviously less of a problem when you live in the same area as a prospective place but when you hunting area is spread over a larger area the more triaging you can do the better. It is highly likely we have ignored some places because the photos were not good and the plan was unclear.Next is schools, we have the predlets. There are schools on the maps but then having to trawl through Ofsted reports which generally offer every school as a 3 it seems, all average and can do better. The reports are like the worst of any corporate performance review and seem to offer very little to me as a parent. So much for league tables, but then we have a local school in the top 10 in the country so I am guessing we will have a hard time matching that :(We have the additional challenge of looking for a property either with or with room in the garden for a good size annex. The property listings really don't help with that again as the sizes of gardens and precision is lacking. Sometimes a garden is mention as ample, spacious, or uses acres. I could just do with them being measured in the same way the floor plan is. After all that is what you are buying too.So how long before the agents have a handheld kinect powered device to wander around building a 3d model as that walk around ? Then we can go from google street view into the house (with the permission of the seller of course). It would make this a lot more interesting, accurate and fun.Let's see how it goes.[...]



Yellow belt Predlet 2.0 #ckd

2012-05-14T14:39:22.720+00:00


Our grading went really well this weekend. Our first Colour belts.
A huge thank you to all the instructors and assistant instructors who put on the grading for everyone.
Give Choi Kwang Do a go. :)
If you are down here then look up South Coast CKD and join in.



Choi Kwang Do still feels great

2012-04-24T18:58:33.886+00:00

Predlet 2.0 and I are still very much enjoying our now biweekly Choi Kwang Do sessions with South Coast CKD. We started on the Tuesday family sessions in Sarisbury Green but now regularly head out to Fareham for the Thursday family session then he takes a rest whilst I join the adult class. Yes a double session ! It is not so much a social occasion in gossip and human relationships but a social occasion in a shared goal and helping one another enjoy the training. It is a real pleasure training with everyone not to mention we have a great Sabumnim in Mr Webster - Pil Suhng Sir!
I am still mixing this with my daily dose of UFC Kinect training, which is primarily a gym workout at home with lots of press ups and weights. It does have punches and kicks of course but I now modify the straight locking punches of that code with the rolling round punches of CKD. The Kinect sensor and the application only really count the direction, which it great, if it sees a fist coming forward from the right it does not cause it problems or mark you own for rolling with the punch. The CKD patterns and combinations also give me something to focus on in the free striking sessions on the Xbox.
It used to be when doing the UFC workout over the past year that I was trying to clear my mind of the days stresses and strains. Now when I do it I am concentrating on what it means for the CKD training which makes it much more meditative.
CKD is proving to be hard work, but also very rewarding and relaxing. As with everything thing effort is relative to your capabilites. The lack of competitive tension  may seem counter intuitive if people want an art that is about winning, but it seems to fit my attitude.
I thought about this some more and I think that CKD is like Blues and Jazz compared to other arts that may be more Classical or Operatic. It has some scales and some forms but much of it is about a flow of improvisation and relaxed enjoyment whilst telling a story. In many ways it also becomes a set of dance movements too but with a real meaning and intent behind them. These are real punches and kicks after all. The technique used to wind up a punch and return to deliver the next blow seems pretty real!
We do also, in particular in the adult classes get to unleash some physical aggression though on pads and shields which makes it a real mix of relaxing Blues jams and frantic high impact Jazz numbers.
CKD has just had its 25th anniversary but it is of course built on the foundation of many years of traditional martial arts. I am sure it is regarded as slightly quirky in mainstream aggressive competitive martial arts, but then I like quirky :)