a breezeblock during the Black Belt Grading in 2003.
amusingly by some friends as the 'black belt concert pianist'
and bemusement by others, I admit this is a somewhat unusual
I was simply looking for an interesting form of fitness.
Martial Arts is a very disciplined training of the body
and mind, which develops strength, stamina, flexibility,
concentration as well as self-defence skills. As a professional
musician I could relate to the discipline, whilst I found
being stretched in vastly different areas appealing. As
I eventually became more involved and progressed through
the belts, I realised my own personal goal would be incomplete
without taking on the supreme challenge of a black belt
like adults learning to play the piano to Grade 8 as a diversion
from demanding jobs, the extreme contrast of these two disciplines
is something I enjoy, whilst meeting people from all walks
of life adds a healthy balance to the many hours a pianist
can sometimes spend in isolation. Theoretically I am a qualified
martial arts instructor but for now I will stick to my day
Why did a pianist chop a block?
a block is one of the many requirements to obtaining a black
belt, demonstrating power in technique, as well as mental
focus and self-confidence in your ability.
Did it hurt?
a bit. (
but it hurt the block more!) I spent years
under expert supervision and progressive preparation to
ensure I could undertake destruction without damaging my
hands and my career. Obviously I made this decision with
great thought and expert advice and would not recommend
it to anyone with a concert the next day. Safety is a key
aspect in martial arts and the body is excellent at making
slight adjustments when correctly trained. This in itself,
and seeing how far I could extend my limitations, was part
of my own personal challenge.