I flew back from Sydney Writers Festival last week in time to make the national seminar for the Australian Jujitsu Association, which was being held in Brisbane. (Quite an abrupt cultural change, let me tell ya). I missed the second day of the seminar, because of a filthy head cold that came on Saturday night. I spent Sunday on the couch absolutely pulverised by the snot monster. And having trained for six hours on Saturday with only a few nicks and dents to show for it, while lazing around on my arse all Sunday, I somehow pulled a hammy!
Like seriously. Trained for a whole day in all sorts of gnarly hand to hand combat shit. No probs.
Watched a bit of Netflix with manflu – hammy explodes.
This hardly seems fair.
But it's even weirder than that. Wednesday night in Sydney I skipped a cocktail party to do some training with the UTS Jujitsu club. It's a great dojo, if you're in Sydney and looking to train. But of course 95% of the students are, well, students. Apart from the sensei I was the oldest bloke there by a couple of decades. It's a relatively new club, too, so at least half of the students were novices. Of seniour belts there were two blues (very sharp, very committed) a few greens and some orange belts.
It's oddly foreboding to walk into a situation like that as an outsider, a brown belt in my case. Everyone is checking you out. Every mistake you make is out there in glorious cinemax and surroundsound.
Still, I had a great night. They had good technique and excellent spirit. They were also very welcoming. But training with teenagers and twenty year olds? Man, I was very glad to have had a couple of months of core strength and cardio sessions with Darren Rae, one of the black belts from our dojo who works as a personal trainer. The UTS warm up was pretty intense and the self defence training used the old circle of sudden death. You stand in a circle of attackers and they come at you one after the other. All night long. You execute your technique, or you get plowed under.
I was fine on the technique, but I'll admit to huffing and puffing a bit as the night grew long. Still, at the end of it, I walked off to cocktails with only a few minor aches and pains for my trouble.
Did I mention pulling my hammy while watching fucking Netflix with a cold though?!?
Because that's what happened when I got home.
Probably the universe trolling me for bragging about getting my flu shot early while I was down south.