By Mike Ilderton
Published on Feb 23rd, 2009

As you are all aware, due to the deadly Man Flu (which only attacks the male), I missed Christmas and New Year. Dee therefore decided to take me out of the doom gloom and snow ridden UK for a week of sea, sand, sunshine AND WAIT FOR IT....sharks!!!!!!!!!! No word about them in the holiday brochure.

Any way as is my custom, I headed to the gym, leaving Dee to go --- chocolate brown and looking lovely. I met up with the gym instructor who wandered over to ask what I was doing; Short Form Two and KU SHAN KU as it happened. He then asked if he could watch and after a while joined in. I explained about Kenpo and the martial arts in general. He in turn told me that all of the resort staff loved Kung Fu films and wished to learn some martial arts. I responded by saying that since I would be there only a week, there was not much point in trying to do something meaningful but was willing to demonstrate some basics including blocking set and kicking set.

The up shot of all of this was that Hamid Mohammed went back to his room, sourced blocking set on the internet, and came in the next morning on his day off to show me. He was well into the moves and as you can imagine, I was pretty impressed. I decided we would train every morning in the basics and try and learn each day a part of yellow belt syllabus .Each morning he came back into the gym, giving up his free time and showing me what he had learned that day, as well as what he picked up on the internet. Hamid is a fit guy, as well as an excellent gym coach, and picked up the basics quite quickly.

As an aside that evening over dinner, Dee and I overheard the people on the next table talking about the English Karate Teacher and how they were going to his class in the morning. Whoops. They turned up and it became a regular thing

He and his work mates have told me there is no martial arts history in the Maldives, and whilst Judo was tried once in the capital Male, it never took off. Here is a guy really willing to learn and no outlet to do so locally. I am sending Hamid a DVD with the yellow belt requirements for Kenpo and will keep abreast of his progress via a web link. One way, as Dee suggested, was to have the MALC held on the Island next year. WE ALL WISH!

Photos to follow!

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Author Bio :: Mike Ilderton

My time in martial arts stretches back some 50 years. I began my involvement as a 15 year old and took up Judo. At the age of 21 I took up Wado Ryu karate and trained in that art for some 30 years gaining a 5th degree. In tandem to Wado Ryu at the age of 35 I began to learn Tae Kwon Do gaining a first degree in that art More for good attendance than ability I often think! At 50 and finding myself with out a good and or credible Wado Ryu Instructor, I took up Chinese Kempo and after some 5 years gained a black belt in this system.

Finding American Kenpo was a revelation to me and for the past number of years I have attempted to learn the Ed Parker system and continue to train under the guidance of my peers in the MALC organisation. I would be the first to admit that I am not an expert in Kenpo, rather I am a willing student. If I have any skills in the arts it's the ability to link speed and power with economy of motion. I was and hasten to add WAS a proficient free stylist in my younger days. In teaching, be it with the BE SAFE Programme to which the MALC is now linked, or in free style I think that I can offer an articulate and non biased opinion on the merits of the four arts that I have studied.

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