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!