Sunday, 11 April 2010

The Making of a Butterfly: Traditional Chinese Martial Arts as Taught by Master W.C. Chen





I brought this fine book by Phillip Starr on Friday, it’s now Sunday and apart from training and a bit of gardening, I have not been able to put it down.


It is quite simply one of the best books I have ever read and should be required reading for all martial art students.

This book is absolutely crammed full of little gems.

Regards

Richard

Saturday, 3 April 2010

A bad hunter chases and a good hunter waits




I was trained by Len Killick, simply one of the best hunters in the world. One of Len’s common comments during training was “a bad hunter chases and a good hunter waits”. Like most wise words, this has many meanings and levels.

Many years ago, my friend and I set off on a mission, along the way we came across a high priority target. We watched for a while, say half a day, suspecting a trap. It soon became clear that this was a wonderful chance to pass on some kama that was way over due i.e. a 7.62 bullet to the head. However this would be a shoot and scoot and it would be a foot race to get back over the border before we were caught by the chasing force. The hunters would become the hunted.

The shot was made and we bugged out, the enemy had lost a principle VIP and was soon on the follow up. The native trackers picked up our hasty trail.

We had two day run to win and as we came out of a valley we realised we were being cut off with a pincer movement.

We crossed a long plateau and set up on a small hill. For people who know about such things, the plateau started just out of 7.62 range away, from our hide. We now had an hour or so to prepare and we did the best we could, moving rocks around and covering our hide. Most of the waiting time I spent thinking about my life and also hoping I would go out like a man.

The enemies follow up party and their trackers reached the edge of the plateau. They were a seasoned team i.e. all the unlucky ones had been killed already. They know the terrain well, which was partly why they had caught up with us so quickly.

They had us!

There was no escape and they probably had a good idea as to our location. We had no back up and there was no cavalry coming over the hill. I could see the trackers pointing in the direction of our travel across the plateau. We were off to the right of our tracks, have looped around the hill and back tracked from its rear. This meant the follow up party would be in range for a long time before they figured where we were.

Even the birds had re settled on the plateau thanks to my South African team mate’s old hunting trick, which I will never show.

I would like to write that we fought like mad dogs and picked off the enemy but the truth is they stopped on the edge of the plateau and we slipped away.

I have thought about those four hot and intense days a lot over the years and I can only guess as to why they gave up the chase but I think that the wise old heads knew that a bad hunter chases and good hunter waits.