A Life’s Work.

I grew up to the movies of Bruce Lee. My father died before he was 40 but in my formative years I was fortunate enough to have martial arts instructors who proved to be excellent role models. Other than that, my role models were to be found in the pages of Blackbelt Magazine. Yesterday I was lucky enough to meet one of them, a man who has spent his life in the honest pursuit of his art. At 71, Guro Dan Inosanto conducted his seminar with the energy and enthusiasm of a 25 year old, yet with insight and clarity that only a life’s work can provide.

I enjoyed the Silat drills, I was delighted we drilled knife work (as a leftie in a world or right handers this is always a challenge) what I wasn’t prepared for was seeing Guro Inosanto spin and twist from guard, to butterfly guard, rubber guard, triangle choke with such grace and fluidity all the while firing off punches and elbows.

At the end of the seminar I went over to ask if I might get a photo. Before I opened my mouth Guro Inosanto said “Hey, you’re Pavel’s guy, you’re the Scottish RKC”. (I wore an RKC t-shirt but I didn’t expect him to notice among a group of 120 or so people, by the way, thanks for sorting that out Rif!) We shook hands. I mentioned my correspondence with Mark Cheng in Los Angeles. He spoke about Pavel, the man who “keeps me moving”. It was an honour and a privilege. He signed my copy of “Philipino Martial Arts” to Pete, my eldest son, in honour of the next generation.

I hope to see him back on these shores again soon, next time Pete is coming too!

As a foot note – Once again I realised what a small world we live in. I met the wonderful Bob Breen, whose excellent book “Fighting ” is a primer for any martial artist and who is swinging a KB after his double hip replacement. Bob and I chatted with Steve from his Academy in London. Steve is off to the RKC in Denmark in May 08. Then there was Mark Hayes from Sheffield who has trained with Mark Cheng in LA. We talked KBs and the possibility of a workshop at his club. Feels great to be back training. Tactical Edge class next week with Marcus, workshop in a couple of weeks. Good stuff, really good stuff.

What a great day, thank you!

About the author

I am a movement maverick, exploring beginner's mind and beginner's body through mobility, bodyweight training, breathwork, mindfulness, kettlebells and martial arts, focussing on self care, pain free movement and resilience. Find suggestions to get you moving over at http://100repchallenge.com Want to move with ease and imagination? For individual or group instruction please contact me.
  • Mark Reifkind

    my pleasure Rannoch! you should make a tshirt out of the blogs logo, I love it!I would buy a bunch. cafe press perhaps?

  • Rannoch Donald RKC


    Just wanted to say thanks again for getting the t-shirts for me!


  • CrossFitCS

    looks like you had a blast!

  • Rannoch Donald RKC


    I can’t wait. It will be incredible to get out there and see you guys in action. Not sure when but it’ll happen!



  • Dr. Mark Cheng

    Rannoch, if you think that’s good, wait ’til next time you bring your family to L.A.!

    I’ll make sure you spend plenty of time training with some of the best & brightest in the martial arts world, and STILL enjoying friends, family, and some seriously fine wine!


  • Franz Snideman

    rock on man! Life is good and you are growing and experiencing some amazing things!!!

  • Rannoch Donald RKC

    Thanks Mark. I’m a lucky guy. Spent last evening, tired but content, with my friends and family eating good food and drinking excellent wine. Some day’s are almost too good!

  • Mark Reifkind


    great picture and great blog! good to see things are going well.

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