For nearly 10 years I studied Sekkyoku Tai Jutsu at the Sekkyoku Combat Academy in Banbridge, trained by some of the finest human beings on the planet (check them out https://www.facebook.com/sekkyoku.taijutsu). Martial arts has become a big part of my life in that time and I will discuss that aspect in a later blog post.
Tai Jutsu is a blend of Boxing, Ju-Jitsu and Muy Thai, Sekkyoku (translated from Japanese as “Forward Positive Force”) helps gel these differing arts with attitude, into a highly effective self defence (seen John Wick? Bit like that, less guns and stuff). Again I will talk about this in a future post. Somehow I managed to earn a black belt in 2018. Unfortunately with the time pressures of life and now in the midst of a pandemic, I struggle to travel to Banbridge to train, but still want to maintain what I have been taught and keep some condition in this 48 year old husk. While training alone is never a replacement for a class based session, I try to do something everyday, even if only 15 minutes, but aim to do half an hour a day and full syllabus run through at the weekend.
So I needed a training partner, to help keep the core Atemi (striking) skills honed. It almost seemed predestined that the house I bought had a dead tree in the back garden, branchless, barkless, about 6′ 10″… and so the Sekkyoku Kick Tree was born! My daily training partner, this is stage 1, a dead tree with some old pads from the class strapped to it in a rough representation of the human body, using bike tubes. It looks like f-all, but it works really well! The tree itself has strong roots, but is not so thick that it doesn’t react to strikes, it gives feedback with spring. The sickening thud of bone on wood helps to sharpen accuracy when I miss the pads occasionally (apologies to my neighbours for any expletives!).
It’s that simple! 1 x dead tree, some pads, few bike tubes and 1 Mike, is all I need to maintain a certain level of training. However I have some ideas of how to extend this beauty! Stay tuned for stage 2, now in development…