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Krav Maga, etc - Suffering From Elation
A Survivor's Tale
Krav Maga, etc
I've been doing Krav Maga for the past few weeks, three nights per week, under the tutelage of Tony. Aside from being a... I don't know, epic snake man? What would you call someone who does what he does? Reptilian spokesperson? Anyway, aside from the reptile stuff, he's well-versed in a bunch of martial arts and the main one he's into is Krav Maga.

Krav Maga is a martial art in the technical sense (it is quite literally a "fighting art") but not in the pop-culture sense; it doesn't come from China and there are no belts or special outfits. It's a form of extremely commonsense self-defence / hand-to-hand combat developed by the Israeli military. Among other things, Krav Maga teaches throws, holds, kicks, punches, and knife and gun defence. It's been designed so anyone can do it, regardless of size or gender, but strength helps - so every lesson starts out with about 40 minutes of weights in the gym.

You'd think after three nights per week on top of my full freelancing schedule I'd be getting tired of it, but it's the highlight of my LIFE right now! Every time I go through my weights routine I can lift more, do more sets. The strength in my abs has increased by an insane amount; I went from being unable to do situps to being able to do them without limit (or at least I'm yet to find my limit). I can hold myself with my arms and curl my knees to my chest while dangling, in three sets of ten... I'm not even sure what the exercise is called, but I can bloody well do it, and that's a big deal to me. My arms feel stronger already. I have more energy. My kicks and punches are improving crazily. Punches seem to be my thing, which is surprising, as I never thought I was much for arm strength. I dropped Joe with a throw in Subway the other day (sorry Joe) and I'll tell you, to be able to control the movements of someone bigger and stronger than yourself - that feels fantastic.

So I think I'm addicted. I'm okay with that.

In other news, we got a new house over at Mount Nelson. It's just what we were looking for, with a bedroom for Joe and I, a bedroom for Mum (who is moving down at the start of May) and a spare room for guests. It backs onto a huge swathe of bushland and of course the beautiful Mt Wellington, and is just under 6km walk from the City and my new office in Hobart. We move into the new house (and I into my new office) this coming weekend. I have a funny feeling the office will be delayed by a few days, but that's for the best, really.

I've been working under contract with 3rd Sense in Sydney for a couple of weeks now. They're fantastic, really easy to work with. The work itself is taking longer than I'd hoped, but this is probably down to the fact that we're doing all the really BIG tasks first; subsequent to this, everything'll run through faster. I'm being paid more than I know what to do with, to be honest. I should probably employ someone full-time to keep me away from Booko, Amazon.co.uk and Book Depository - in the long-term it would be a saving. ;P Pay aside, I'm just plain ENJOYING the work. It's been a long time since I've been paid to do what I do well, which is simple cartooning. The work I did for the gaming industry was fun and challenging but I always felt as though I was pretending to be someone I'm not. Digital painting isn't really my thing.

I'm still writing, and still loving it. It's slow going right now. Lately whenever I've had a moment to write I've put it towards working on feedback for my writing buddy Mark's novel, and chatting with him regarding the feedback, and when you do that for an entire novel it's a long, slow process. I'm planning for the second draft of my own novel on those occasions when I've got spare time and Mark hasn't. Draft Two is going to be stronger, but I had to gut and rewrite the second act (and greatly expand upon the first act) to bring that out. It has been a slow, yet exciting, learning experience. My trademark impatience is beginning to twitch. When I drew, the payoff was so fast - I'd spend maybe a day on a piece and be done. This has been an investment of six months so far (years if you count all the planning before I put fingers to keyboard) and I still don't have anything I feel ready to show the big wide world. The good thing about investing so much into it is that I know I can't give up. I've come too far, and my own momentum is carrying me.

So as far as you guys are concerned, I haven't had anything new to show you in a long time. I apologise for how boring that makes my once-arty journal! Actually, my entries in general are pretty boring these days, I guess - who wants to read about life when it's all smooth sailing? CONFLICT is exciting. DRAMA. Knocking on wood now... I don't want to wish any of that on myself.

Man, you guys, Tasmania is so great. I feel like I should stop talking about how great it is in case everyone moves here and ruins it. It's like this little secret paradise is hidden away down below Australia, like someone looked at Australia and said, "Fine, pretty good, but how can we do this BETTER?" And thus: Tasmania. I'm reminded of the depiction of Heaven in the Narnia books. Everything the same, but the colours are brighter, the fruit is jucier, the air is purer, everything is itself but MORE of itself.

Let's see... Chris and Jess are doing well, Kye is about a year and a half old now and looks just like Chris at that age. Chris is currently making me a pair of Nkyimkin earrings to match my tattoo. This could either be the awesomest thing ever, or a little trashy. I come from good bogan stock, I never can tell.

Mum's doing well too (and soon to be better; she's moving to TASSIE after all). Through the wonders of the Internets she's met a professor down here who is a Romantic Possibility. He works on government policy and freelances as an editor. He sounds like a lovely guy. I hope that he works out for her.

Right, back to the digital drawing board, I'm putting in a bit of a late one tonight.
1 has fought ~ fight the power!
rahball From: rahball Date: March 23rd, 2010 09:43 am (UTC) (Link)
Jolly good, wot!

Looks like I'm staying in Sydney for the forseeable future, having scored my grandmother's three-bedroom house, which is about ten minutes' drive from where we live now (and for the same price), on one of the ridges next to the Berowra Valley Regional Park. It's about five minutes north of the street where I grew up, and thus blessedly far away from all the unit blocks around the train station.
1 has fought ~ fight the power!