Martial Arts

This has been an on-again off-again hobby. I got into it because I got beat up--a lot--as a kid. As an adult, I'm as much interested in self-defense as beating up other guys. A lot.

Took Judo in college. Being 6' 4" put me at a big disadvantage, because smaller people could get under my center of gravity a lot faster than I could get under theirs.

Switched to Shito Ryu karate, where my reach is an advantage. Got as far a green belt, fought in intercollege competitions.

The summer after graduation, continued with Shotokan karate near my house.

In grad school, continued with Shotokan for a year. Got too busy to keep it up.

After moving to Virginia, restarted karate/boxing under a tournament champ (Mongoose Mike). Found myself getting left behind because everyone else was getting together to spar after class, and with a job and wife, I didn't have time. Stopped after about a year. (My Shotokan training made my super aggressive, though, and I scared the shit out of the other students--really enjoyed making 'em flinch.) For the first time, I worked against a body bag, and found that my form-perfect, gi-snapping punches and kicks were cartoon moves. Swore I'd never do more martial arts training except against a bag or a human.

Took Jujitso for a few weeks because many of its techniques are devastating in a real fight. It was a big class, and the advanced students got all the instruction attention. Dropped out. Only the senior instructor was able to throw me, though, and he said I had a natural talent for shifting weight.

In Australia, started kickboxing (bag and humans). Stopped when I went home.

Signed up for a boxing-for-fitness class this Fall (2008). ("You Yanks still say 'Fall'! We dropped it for 'Autumn' centuries ago!" - every Australian I met.)