I wrote the first sentence to test out the new fountain pen Eugene bought me from Germany. From there, the rest of it kept flowing, impromptu, and I rather liked the result.

We lost many good men that day. True men, loyal to the covenant. Now only the faint echoes of their cries linger in the air, the last whisper of their legacy here on this earth. In time, even that will be forgotten, and all that will remain is the memories those brave souls have left with us.

I heard once that true immortality is to live on in the hearts of others. If this were to be taken as truth, then I have no doubt that each and every one of those men were Gods in their own right. Time shall not claim them whilst I am here to honour them.

I am the last testimony to those brave, true men who gave their lives for the smallest possibility, the slightest chance, at Freedom.

Soul of Rebirth

Tonight, I wore my black belt for the first time. My new uniform with the black collar fits me far better than my old- and to my great satisfaction, makes an indescribably crisp snap with every sharp movement. I look, sound and feel better than I ever have. Tonight, I recommenced training, headband and all.

I came expecting I’d lost most of my flexibility and would have to work around my injury to heal it. Not so. My injury, it seems, is mostly self-healed. I was concerned that my speed had fallen, that my reflexes had dulled. In sparring, I found, nothing had changed, except perhaps I was a little too confident when testing my peers. Had I been partnered with higher belts I’m sure my arrogance would have resulted in pain. At any rate, the lesson Senpai (Sherms-daddy) imprinted upon me is not to over-train this time. I’ve been given, as far as I can tell for the moment, a clean slate. Although I’m not quite what I once was, I’m certainly not complaining, and in the weeks to come, I anticipate only improvement.

There are a few changes to the club. Unfamiliar faces- white belts and yellow belts I’ve never seen before. I felt a pang of regret I hadn’t been there to welcome them in to Taekwondo Oh Do Kwan, but as time continues, I’ll do my best as a black belt to make them feel welcome. Those I do know have changed the colours or stripes on their belts- it seems while I’ve been resting, they’ve been training to better themselves. It gladdens me to know they have not slacked off, though Osman is slacker than ever. The other major change is the new paddle they have. When it’s kicked in the right spot with enough force, it makes a boing nice, or yells out "Well done!" or some other encouragement. I thought it was hilarious, and perhaps I pushed myself a little harder than I should have to hear praise shouted at me.

Little rusty on my poomsae (patterns) but not too shabby. It’s only up from here. It really was remarkable to hear Carmella referring to the "black belts" and to consider myself included. To stand with them and be amongst them… It’s like getting a promotion with better pay and an ocean view. But of course, with great power comes great responsibility, and at present, my ego is holding me far back. Something I’ll have to work on as of now.

So that was my evening. After thinking about returning every single day since I’ve left, I finally got my wish granted. I bet I’ll be sore in the morning, but hot diggedy dog, it sure was worth it. Peace all!

Number Five: Invisible

I just wanted to blog because I felt like telling someone. This is going to be a useless, pointless entry that won’t matter if I can cheerthefuckup in a few minutes, but I thought I’d write it anyway.

My hands don’t seem to be attached to my body. Have you ever felt that? Like, you look down at them, and you can see them, and you can see them moving and typing, but they’re definitely not a part of you. Like someone’s replaced your arms with robots that you control with your brainwaves that move according to how you want them to. But they’re definitely not part of your body, you know?

So in this prison, this sanctuary, this Hall of Doom, I can do no work. Attempting to study at home only increases my anxiety and the longer I spend here, the more I feel I’m wasting my time. Even actually doing work doesn’t feel like doing work- like that work is a waste of time that worky work work and the work work. If you didn’t get that, you’re stupid.

Nah, that’s mean. So here, in my cloak of black shadow borne from the inky black tears of the emo king himself, I wait.

No matter what I do, it feels like I’m wasting time. So I need to escape and do something, before the feeling of uselessness overwhelms me and I write a nonsensical blog entry about it.

I should just go do something before I stressthefuckout again.

Standard run of the mill pimpin’ blog entry

A good day in the life of Xin.
12:00am: Watch the Olympics.
12:10am: Read "The Ninja".
12:45am: Sleep.
9:35am: Rise. Mmm cheese.
9:45am: Don "Cake is Awesome" shirt and go driving.
11:15am: Arrive at uni in one piece. Success.
11:30am: Organise study schedule for the following two weeks.
1:20pm: Stroll around leisurely and meditate.
1:30pm: Damn good vegie burger. Unite with Bethwyn.
2:15pm: Commence work.
2:30pm: Reunite with Bethwyn. Lay on the grass and duel with styluses.
3:30pm: Bump into Cloverfield and Jocelyn and not get recognised.
3:30pm: Feel devasted.
3:31pm: Cloverfield wakes up and says hello. Jocelyn compliments shirt. (Ahh Jocelyn, you will forever have a special place in my heart for being the first to do so. Like that guy in Al Kharid who was the first to address me as "My Lord" in Runescape. I asked him to follow me to the bank where I promptly gave him 10000 gold pieces.) Cloverfield yells out "I’m sorry Xin!" as I walk out of sight.
3:48pm: Writes overdue blog entry and checks time nervously.
3:49pm: Drags self away from computer and resumes work.


So I saw a specialist today about my legs, ne? Went to St John of God and waited for an hour to have a five minute session where he, perhaps a little coldly, tells me that I’m perfectly fine and that there’s no need to see him again. Certain people are more flexible than others, and because I’ve grown a great deal recently (he assumes), that’s what’s halting my flexibility.

I do not believe any of the above. I trust myself more than I trust him, and all I’ve gained from the encounter is the knowledge that, maybe I should stop waiting around for people to fix me. If I’m broken, I will fix myself. Patiently, with my knowledge of the human body and spirit. Kind of like Bruce Lee, who defied the people who said he would never walk again after taking a flying kick while his back was turned. At any rate, if there’s nothing wrong with me, great. If there is, I’ll deal with it.

Unfortunately, the wound from my stitches isn’t healing yet (it should have healed last week or so) but once that’s recovered, it’s back to training.
And from there maybe I can find time for kenjutsu.
And aikido.
And tai chi.
And yoga.
And swimming…


I’m going to take a moment now to write seriously. This is not something I do very often, but lacking access to my diary, I need to write about something personal, and very real, in my blog.

Although in my last two entries, I said I’d rage against the dying of the light, it’s really something I’m quite scared of. Losing "it", I  mean. Part of "it" is my invulnerability. My fearlessness which allows me to jump off balconies and move in high-risk ways just for the heck of it. Most people who love parkour love the rush of being able to move basically anywhere and the adrenaline that comes with the danger. I realise now that yes, I can get hurt. It’s something most people pick up fairly early in life- mid-teens or so, but something I’ve been resisting. Now that my leg has stitches in it, I know that I can be hurt. I feel pain, and I don’t like it, I do my best to avoid it. I thought my stitches were infected yesterday, which meant possibly getting them redone, and that was just more than I was willing to handle. Another two weeks of keeping the bandage meticulously dry, washing it with saline etc. etc. and suffering the pain all over again. True it’s not extreme pain- it’s not like I had shards of bone spraying everywhere- but it’s pain I wanted to avoid.

I watched Ong Bak yesterday. I used to envision fight scenes- the most glorious fight scenes- pretty much every couple of hours. I’d imagine getting into fights with strangers, or thugs, or even terrorists of various descriptions. Watching Ong Bak, I know I can fight, but I know that I’d probably get hurt trying. And since my leg’s been paining for over a week now, I can’t bear to imagine myself kicking- it would just hurt, so all of my imaginary fights for this past week have been purely hand combat. But even hand to hand, I’m going to suffer a few blows. I don’t want to lose teeth, or get black eyes, or a broken nose, or have people smash chairs, tables and bottles on my arms like Tony Jaa. There’s nothing to gain from fighting but pain, on one or both parties. And pain is something I avoid. I’m not so much scared of pain as in loathing of it. It just sucks, and when it can be avoided, probably should be.

Yesterday I willingly backed down from a challenge for the second time I can remember. Rather than contort my way into the car as I usually do, I didn’t want to risk banging my leg on something so I let Dad reverse it out of the carport before I climbed in. I’m not sure what’s going to happen in the future- whether I’ll give up fighting, imaginary and or real, free running and every other high-risk, adrenaline-fuelled sport I love. But I just wanted to say, I’m not invulnerable, and it’s a sad, sad thing for me to come to terms with.

PS: I once wrote about being elbowed in the face at McDonalds. When I saw the blood on the tissue, I took it home and kept it for a little while (gross, I know, but hear me out). I wrote "MORTAL" on it in big, blue letters. It was the first time anyone had made me ‘bleed my own blood’ since I decided I was a ninja. I kept it as a reminder that I wasn’t the hotshot I talked myself up to be.
The second time I bled was at school when I tried to butterfly kick over a wall. While I’d cleared it previously, I wanted to keep as low as possible. I scraped my chin on the bricks and bled. When I was late for class, the excuse I gave was "I was confronting my mortality." Mr Shackleton didn’t accept it and made me apologise.