Wednesday, 7 March 2012

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to the Dojang…

I was thinking the other day about how I started writing and in a roundabout way, it was due to my other out-of-hours activity - taekwondo.  Now you may notice from my blog introduction I mention I am a martial artist but I haven’t ever elucidated on that.  Crikey, that’s a big word for this time of day.  But what has dressing up in white pyjamas, throwing myself around the room and hitting stuff got to do with writing?

I first got interested in martial arts when I was about eight, it was the Eighties and Channel Four had just launched.  They were showing repeats of the classic TV series ‘The Avengers’ and little LK Jay was hooked.  My parents would let me stay up an hour later to watch the adventures of John Steed and Emma Peel as a special treat.  I loved everything about it; the clothes, the secret world they created and the adventures they had in them and the sports cars.  But most of all it was Emma Peel kicking the baddies’ arses in her sporty one-piece zippy suits, nifty hair and karate chops.  I wanted to be Emma Peel.  I still do.  I’d kill for her hair. 

Fast forward two decades.  By then I had already spent a few years doing karate and was starting my secret career, very averagely I might add, and I was already bored.  So I started taekwondo.  I went to this particular class because it was local and the instructor had the same name as my dad.  It turned out my instructor was rather good in that he was a British squad member and again, I was hooked.  He must have been one of the most patient men on this planet as he taught a skinny loud-mouthed blond woman who looked like Bambi in shorts.  He didn’t laugh when I announced I wanted to go to Holland to compete for England or when I announced that I was writing a novel.  Eight years on and I’m a second Dan, going for another Dan (who is Dan?  Is he good-looking?  Is he single?).  I’ve got a plethora of trophies, oh Lord another big word, and quite few bruises as I still fail to break boards and I look like a hamster in flight when I attempt a flying kick.  Joking aside, it’s given me much more than the ability to punch really, really hard.  It’s given me friends, physical confidence and self discipline. 

It’s that self-discipline and that has given me the impetuous to write.  Before taekwondo, I would never have had the confidence to put pen to paper.  But after you’ve learned to spar, had a few bloody noses, fallen on my backside more times that I can remember, putting pen to paper is nothing.  The self-discipline of training three times a week transfers nicely to sitting down and giving myself a daily word target.  Can’t get motivated to write?  Just sit down and get on with it.  At least computers don’t hit back!

In other news, my old magazine Art Fist has returned!  Check out my interview with the gothic beauties ‘C L Raven’. Their anthology of stories ‘Gunning Down Romance’ really is delicious.

Interview with C L Raven
And C L Raven have kindly given me a guest spot on their blog, check out my entry ‘Love Hurts’ and expect an appearance here from the Welsh twins of terror soon!

C L Raven blog

If you want something to download onto your Kindle or ereader of choice, then check out my stories on Amazon.  I promise there won’t be too many long words.  However, in my story 'The Ghost Hunters Club' you will find some taekwondo.

L K Jay - Amazon UK

L K Jay - Amazon US


  1. LK, nice, I like it.
    You show how the path through life is not always known and you never know how doing one thing will affect other areas of your life.
    Discipline is something all writers need and martial arts certainly is a place to find it. I broke my right thumb twice doing karate and so had to stop. I keep thinking that I might try Aikido, mainly because you get to stand still most of the time.
    I grew up watching the Avengers etc (though I was a little too young to really get it) and can understand your feelings about the clothes and general style.
    Also do you know Robert Twigger and his book Angry White Pyjamas? You'd love it:

  2. Glad you liked it :-) I have heard of that book but I'll check it out now. Broken thumb, ouch, can't say I've ever broken any bones done TKD, but I'm sure there's time...

  3. Enjoyed reading thanks for posting. Wonder how many others inspired by this very English duo?

  4. I loved this post! Very funny in parts :) And it has some great advice in it. I've believed for a long time that the only way to get something written is to actually sit down and write. Simple, but true. In fact, you've inspired me to just get on with it! :)

  5. Nice post! I just wanted to comment on the note left by Mick. I have also broken my thumb doing martial arts! Mental note "always tuck your thumb in when you punch things!"

  6. Ah, now I have reached old age, I can give sage advice - don't punch things with your thumb tucked in and never, ever, mix up creme fraiche with fromage frais. Which is a post for another day.
    Thanks for taking the time to comment guys!

  7. The C L Raven interview on is really good. Don't believe me, check it out!

    - Jon,