It's been an interesting few years learning how to run a club. Dealing with internal dissent, read that as dissatisfied students who don't progress fast enough and leaving taking hordes with them. To students wanting to design the syllabus to their own ends.

Then of course there is me: The leader. I really struggled with getting a syllabus that we could teach in the time we had. I struggled with Kata, it's never been my strong point. I understand that it's part of what we do, but that is another post. A long one that is sure to raise eyebrows and a few indignant mutterings.

To me Karate was all about fighting. It was a magical kind of fighting endowed with superhuman powers and skills. Not esoteric touch point magic, but the spell of deadly dancers locked in battle. We didn't have MMA in a closed ring, when I began.  I met a man who could spin and kick. It looked beautiful and changed my life forever, he studied Kyokushin and that was 1976. In those days we were the supremely tough fighters in the karate world.  Time has certainly moved on and so have I. Gosh I am so aware of my age now at 61.

I had my chest pounded last night. I remember thinking that it was okay, I can take that, and as the next thud came ' how long will this be okay for on my body?' But the pounding is good, the heaving breathing, the thinking in advance instead of reacting. The kicks are high, feint here, aim there, switch feet, I can do that now, it took longer than thirty years. That is magic. Being able to think in the heat of battle.

What is that game of the fight? My answer: It's a game we play with ourselves. How do you do it well? You decide what you want to accomplish. Is that show dominance, to keep out of harm, retaliate and react, or take initiative, or plant an idea a technique and get your opponent to follow your plan. It's like the game of Go.

The attitude to take into sparring completely determines your outcome. Perhaps there is a metaphor here for life. As life has its battles as you know. Will you react, create and take initiative or set up a situation for what you want.

For most of us it's instinctual and never conscious. But if for a moment you stepped up to the game of the fight with your end game in mind. How would the end result be? I will let you answer that.