Wheelchairs tkd 3

Final one for now. It was just Master Worsfold and myself so we concentrated on self defence.

I tried poomsae 1-8 earlier and he is thinking about the senior dan poomsae where there are movements that could be changed.

Blocks and strikes are more effective when attacked, especially from front (open-open) and side, although Master Worsfold did a very successful wrist twist/grab against an attempted neck grab and followed up with punch which sent me flying backwards with some force. The wheelchair can also be effective with front blocks because the attack met by a block sends the wheelchair backwards (glide away rather than run away!) 

He also managed a successful combination of grab, strike & take down. I tried to grab his legs as if to pull him from the chair whilst on the ground and he simply & effectively ran me over with front wheels!

There’s lots more to think about. Hope to follow up once we have done some decent photos/video.

Brothers and sisters

Saw my nephew and niece today. Told my nephew what the Russian is for sister and also told my niece what Russian is for brother (pronounced brat!)

“yes absolutely, that’s so true!” with big smile on her face! 

Today I learnt how to say loudly and angrily in Russian – not true! I don’t know if it will come in useful but it is said in same tone of voice if loudly and angrily in English. I can’t remember it exactly in Turkish but I do remember you’re lying! in that tone of voice today. 

Roehampton eLearning projects update

Social media and blogging activity for the next couple of weeks is going to be flying outside the window off into the London sunshine because of current workload / commitments.

We are doing a small project with online quizzes in a negotiation module for the higher education institute which was started before I joined and will complete end of next week – the students have generated questions based on their comprehension and we ran the first of three quizzes this morning based on their questions. They are going into various aspects of business management & administration so whilst the art of writing questions is not high up the agenda – for communication in a negotiation setting and being able to reference a point and explain its significance to others is useful. It was interesting that the students said one question did not make sense, but when it came to student ranking of the question, it scored more favourably than others (we don’t know if other students know who wrote it or not).

We are writing a bid this fortnight for a small AI project for an autumn module and I will give more details probably in August if not before. I hope we will have the opportunity to work with international partners even if not for the pilot project but a larger follow-up project later in the year. If you’re interested, please get in touch via this blog.

Another small research project will probably be a randomised study of uses of online colllaboration in a VLE versus Yammer but details to be finalised in next couple of weeks.

I attended some copyright training which was useful particularly as areas of performance rights in dance, drama and use of copyright are now more complex as student ‘art’ is being uploaded online with the option to publish to different audiences. There is an HE copyright group who are going to investigate further and I will update when I know more.


And Yet So Much To Say

nathan constable

Last night, terror encroached on childhood.

Last night, evil robbed innocence.

Last night, cowardice struck the defenceless.

Those watching the early report of events in Manchester would no doubt have hoped that this was a small scale technical problem or an inconsequential structural failure at the Arena but as time went by, the images of ambulances racing to the scene, the sight of armed officers and then the arrival of the Bomb Squad began to confirm the worst fears.

Confirmation was a while coming but when it came, via a briefing from Ian Hopkins, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, hearts sank and words seemed impossible to find.

The images being broadcast – the brief video clips from inside – began to take on a new context. Now we knew what that noise was. Now we know why those people were running and screaming.

It is perhaps unfair to draw…

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Why Difficulty matters Professor Steven Groake, Professor of Social Thought @ Roehampton

This lecture will be recorded and available soon but some brief snippets, not immediately connected to each other:


How does difficulty fit into the picture of foundational beliefs. We care about who we are, what happens to us. 

Reasonable explanation is not insignificant but real difficulty begins after clearing things up. We can’t simply explain our way out of difficulty. We find other uses for difficulty other than finding a solution.

Do we miss larger tolerances and parameters of humanist curriculum by focus on student experience? Basic assumption – we cannot know until we measure. 

His work across sociology, humanities and clinical psychology/psychoanalysis – 2 questions – what is creation of meaning and what makes it fail / break down.

Memory of pain no less important when it comes to failure of pain. 

Body free to say what it wants within our affective and conscious fragility.

Sophocles tragedy

Is love a finite act of political justice?

Is classical tragedy sufficient to think about others in contemporary regimes?

Difficulty provides opportunity to amplify ourselves. A source of value.

Poetry – a type of difficulty. What is it about poetry we don’t get? We necessarily come up against limits of comprehension or passage. 

Poetic difficulties are extreme and cannot be cleared up. It could seem we aren’t meant to understand. Blank questions. Suggests can be used as metaphors of difficulty.

The central definitive trope of blankness in modern English literature can be read in different ways.

Trope of blankness may be creation of meaning in psychoanalysis.

Idea of poetry as language under pressure allows different perspective. 

Our responsibility to work through tragic dimension of difficulty. Relationship between political violence and the law.

Our speech can never close off from further response. Nothing we say is going to be final.

The stunning beauty of St Petersburg touched down in Trafalgar Square this evening

Rachmaninov played by London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gergiev of the Mariinsky theatre, wowing the London crowds

As LSO put it

When 7000 people listen in rapt silence to Rachmaninov in the middle of London. #bmwlsoopenair https://t.co/U4pQ7LvbcO https://twitter.com/londonsymphony/status/866362622060449792?s=09

A guy sitting behind me said it was the perfect end to a great sunny day.

Wheelchairs session 2 (long)

There are 5 of us altogether, it’s the young ones who are more interested than the older ones. I’m running it immediately after our normal session to make it as easy as possible for our students to attend (sometimes afterwards they practice anyway) but at the moment we just have a small group. It’s great that our young ones are blazing a trail for our club.

However we made some breakthroughs in our knowledge today, mostly thanks to Master Worsfold’s insights into both martial arts technique and understanding of disability. For example, he pointed out that practising low blocks is not important for someone in a wheelchair compared to higher blocks because it is less likely that someone would attack them at such a low level – they would either hit wheels or have to be lying down to have any kind of impact.

Excuse the pics, I was trying to be artistic and get an idea of angles but failed, however they show a little – or at least where arms and eyes are likely to be focusing on using a wheelchair.

b/w photos of practice

Also that a ready stance will not be appropriate with hands nearer the body, but nearer the front of the wheelchair. I attempted the first poomsae and realised that other blocks don’t work – Master Worsfold suggested that after a punch, the hand does not return to belt / waist but instead lower to be parallel with the wheel on that side. With a small adult – a mid section kick is roughly shoulder or head height for an adult in a wheelchair or chest height for child/young adult. This gives an excellent idea of adult – adult, showing the advantages that a wheelchair user has such as stability and enhanced vision at that height:

In an adapted wheelchair e.g. in wheelchair rugby, you can spin faster which also increases the options for punches / strikes but it’s interesting to note that in the wheelchair taekwondo, the student did not need to move the wheelchair too much either side in order to carry out a strike and push the attacker away.

We also spent a bit of time today looking at space on either side of opponent e.g. in a taekwondo session there are a lot of repeated drills and you don’t realise how close your foot can come to a wheel even when you think you’re doing a series of blocks in a straight line. I was asked whose fault it would be if there was a clash, I replied that it’s kind of both, but the more experienced martial artist should have greater awareness and take responsibility. You could have a least one wheelchair in our club room where we have rows of 4 and manage to avoid clashes.

Looking forward to the final two sessions.

David Harsent & Richmond Park

I had the privilege to briefly chat with David again today. He is a warm, talented man who is interesting to talk with. 

He nearly ended up briefly in St Petersburg for a TV series back in the days when BBC had more money & used more external locations.

There seems to be a common mindset around Russia from BBC writers, journalists, a fascination and expectation with stereotypes which when they don’t quite match, they don’t find it easy to define. He said a comment about what we think about politicians and then you visit countries and find all kinds of artistic expression bubbling under the surface. I would like to have pushed further on this but he has piles of marking to complete – bringing up the next lucky generation.

He mentioned there is an Ian Drury bench in Richmond Park where you can sit and listen to Ian Drury songs 

It probably doesn’t feature in this but as an aside, a beautiful film to watch at end of long week which I’m off to watch: