“I’m the sort of guy who looks like he knows NOTHING about martial arts…”

Domo arigato, 

Chris here, and i’m pretty nervous today. I’ll tell you why in a min.  First, some context: I write teen spy thrillers, and to do that you need to be able to write action convincingly.

Now, back to the nervous bit. When writing the follow up book to Orca Rising about a year ago, the main character–freelance spy Ocean Daley– needed to go deep into a martial art. Now, I’m not the sort of guy people look at and think, yeah, that guy, he’s a martial arts badass and probably knows his stuff. I’m the sort of guy who looks like he knows NOTHING about martial arts. I look more like someone a librarian might keep around just to help customers reach books from the top shelves. I’m 6ft 4 (1.96m). Skinny. I played basketball at university and tennis since and about martial arts? I knew nothing, Jon Snow.

Locally there was an Aikido dojo offering two free taster sessions. Perfect! Wait? What’s AIkido? Aikido is a defensive Japanese martial art that involves weapons (a staff, sword, or knife – all wooden!) and body techniques. I was surprised by how it flowed, how much fun it was and how friendly the people were.

A year later, and i’m still going every week. Tonight i’m being examined for my first two belts (6th kyu and 5th kyu) i’ll be encircled by Black belts watching me demonstrate my sword work, staff suburis and using techniques to neutralise an attacker to the tatami.

I’m nervous and excited. Pass or fail, I wouldn’t be there if it weren’t for writing. Funny where it takes you. I still look like the skinny librarian guy though. 

I’ll let you know how i get on next time


P.S If you’ve not had a chance to get started with the Orca series with book 1, you can download for free here on this link