Tag Archives: Ian Fleming’

Plans and Schemes

I am now completely confident on what I am going to teach and how I will run class next month.

At some fascinating point in my personal history I became the kind of person who likes to plan everything out and make lots of notes before attempting anything different. I’m fairly certain that didn’t used to be the case. In fact, I think it was quite the reverse a few years ago. I have no idea at which point I started to become like my mother, but I guess it was inevitable. For that matter, I have no idea when I started to enjoy physical exercise, since in high school I skipped nearly every gym class. Weird…

Anyhow, here is my basic plan;

First of all I am going to alternate high intensity training with technical, strength building exercises during the workout portion. I haven’t decided whether I will alternate weekly, bi-weekly or monthly yet, but I will ponder on that over the next few days. Both approaches will be challenging, one in a go-go-go sweat a lot and fall down way and the other in a ‘oh god, how much longer to I have to hold this l-sit?’ way. I think the latter is something we have been often neglecting during class.

As much as I enjoy the intense, fast-paced workouts, there are some intermediary steps in the gymnastic portion that we have been occasionally overlooking. I think it would be much more beneficial and rewarding to build up some of the skills a little slower so that our progress is more tangible. Otherwise it can sometimes seem like we are throwing ourselves against a brick wall by trying to perform positions we haven’t built up the strength for yet. Therefore, I will definitely be doing technical workouts at least once a month, if not twice.

As for the fast-paced approach, I designed a gymnastic circuit routine that I wanted to try out. However, after attempting it on my own I found that it was, well, nigh impossible. Two-thirds of the way through the circuit my arms literally gave out and I found it very difficult to actually get up off the floor. So that idea has to be scaled back a bit, though the principle was sound and I think after some more training it could be possible.

I have also decided that, in order to maintain my own confidence, I will spend the first month or so concentrating on my own strengths in term of teaching. Boxing and Rapier will be the main focus for a little while, since those are two things I know I can do well, especially the fencing. I will still insert some time for wrestling practice, but I will refrain from trying to teach any specific techniques until I am sure that I know what I am talking about.(I have a bit of a problem with ground fighting, which is mostly mental. It will take a some time to get my confidence back in that area.)

I will also be leaving at least forty solid minutes for sparring and fighting at the end of every night. Fight’n is good.

Oh, and as a little reminder to all – Bow ties are cool. Here is Ian Fleming, Naval intelligence officer and author of the original James Bond novels. If anyone tries to claim that Ian Fleming was not cool then I think there may be fisticuffs.


Bow Ties Are Cool

Recently I have had a few naysayers attempting to establish an opposition to the obvious fact that bow ties are cool. This is a preposterous claim with no scientific credibility, and I hope to present the evidence that proves the cult-cool stature of this fashion accessory. So, let us begin with one of the great classics of suavity;

May I present none other than Sean Connery as James Bond. Connery’s first appearance in the character of Ian Fleming’s immortal 007 had him wearing the classic bow-tied tuxedo that would later, and forever, be associated with the role. Connery very quickly became an international superstar and an icon of charisma for generations to come. It would be pretty hard to argue the fact that Sean Connery’s portrayal of Bond is a byword of cool.

The iconic image of James Bond sitting confidently at a table in classy casino is now an indelible part of pop culture that had spanned nearly fifty years, and the success of the recent films with Daniel Craig seem to hint that it isn’t going anywhere.

My next piece of evidence is an equally iconic character in cinema history; Indiana Jones, personified by Harrison Ford. The scruffy, hat wearing, whip cracking, right hook swinging, adventuring archaeologist did not spend all of his time knocking out Nazis, and during his academic hours would often sport the stylish bow tie. The classic look of the 1930’s university professor is a dignified one, hinting at a man’s wealth of knowledge and confidence in scholastic pursuits.

Where, some may wonder, did Indy get his classic lecture hall look? It was from no a lesser person than his own father! Professor Henry Jones, played yet again by the previously mentioned Sean Connery, also rocked the tweed and bow tie to match his authoritative Scottish accent. I must assert then that the combination of being Han Solo and Indiana Jones has given Harrison Ford more than ample credit in the department of cool, as does Connery with all of his own memorable accomplishments.

And so we arrive at the next example of those who were known for the bow tie. Here we have Buckaroo Banzai. Banzai was a physicist, brain surgeon, rock star action hero. Balancing his work as a scientist with his celebrity as a musician, he still found the time to outwit and outfight the dastardly red-lectroids from planet ten. Sneaking in by way of the eighth dimension, these hostile aliens would have done some serious damage to our own planet Earth.

In conclusion we have the one and only Doctor. Well, one and only apart from being played by eleven different actors. Intellectually indefatigable and morally superior in nearly every situation, the Doctor is another fictional character that has survived almost half a century of popularity. The most current incarnation of the last of the Time Lords has exonerated the bow tie right from his first episode, and has stuck by his convictions ever since even if he occasionally gets distracted by fezes. Even before Mat Smith’s oft-quoted statement that “Bow Ties are cool”, previous Doctors were known to look very eccentric-dapper in the garment. Smith’s popular predecessor, David Tennant, is seen here doing just that.

Thusly I reach my conclusion, supported by the documented evidence I have displayed. The undeniable truth is this: While it is true that bow ties are not for everyone, those of us with daring and a good sense of how to push the boundaries of conventional style are able to carry it off with aplomb. The equation runs something like this: Bow ties are cool because bow ties SHOULD not be cool, but they are made cool by the people who have the courage to wear them regardless of the dangers.

A final word of warning, however – Be cautious with your bow tie. The tie in of itself can be used for evil as much as it can be used for good. It’s virtues depend largely on knowing what other garments to wear with it. Tweed is always good, or a nice waistcoat, maybe with some suspenders. One must be cautious, though, not to look too much like a butler or waiter.

So good luck, and let may the world come to accept the glory of the bow tie!