Our Perth Trip-Prologue

Dear Boys,

We decided to go to Perth, because your 弟弟 looked at us one day and say, ‘can we go to the place where kor kor saw the dolphins?

Every now and then when we look through the photographs of our Perth trip with Ian back in March 2007. Ian will regale those memories (honestly, he was 18 months then, I don;t really think he remembered anything in Perth!) he had, and Wayne will always have to see Perth through his big brother’s memories.

So this time we decided to make it to Perth, again, because our youngest son wants to have the same experience as his elder brother.

I think this year is a particularly good year to go, well, we have 2 excuses to splurge on this:

  1. The Exchange Rate
  2. The Perth Winter

The Exchange Rate

The Singapore dollar has been doing great against the Aussie. Typically the Aussie dollar is the stronger of the 2 currencies and we will always have to pay a bit more to spend in Australia, but this time around the currency rate has been in our favour!


So effectively, we can spend a lot more over there, as there are things cheaper in Australia compared to Singapore. Well, there are also a lot of things, a heck a lot more expensive too! More about that later.

The Perth Winter

Well, this one, pure excuse. Winter in Perth is usually a respectable 20°C. So it is akin to our air-con room temperature, and your mum loved and remembered fondly the Perth weather when we were there back in March 2007. Ironically, in March, it is usually a warm Perth, but during our stay there in 2007, it was a freakish 20°C too! We learned over the radio back then, it was a cold spell that lasted our entire stay there. Cool! (Pun intended!)

So we wanted to go back there for the winter, cool air, frosty weather, we can only get in Singapore if we go to a shopping centre. But this time, we get Air-con, even when we are out in the open, how awesome is that?


The secret’s out!

We did our bookings through Expedia, as we have done so for many of our trips, even to Bali last year. The cost savings is unbeatable, when they combined flight with hotel. Perhaps they are so huge on the Online Travel Agency sphere, they can get massive economies of scale. Whatever. We usually get a good deal out of it. This time is was no difference, we went in checked and happily realised that we can get flight and room for about S$1,400 for a 5 night trip. So we casually plotted and planned, in a non-committal manner, unbeknownst to us, the price went up the next day!

as at 18 April

Your mum Whatsapped me the piece of shocking news. S$2,877.80. S-H-I-T.

We missed the boat!

So we sat up and paid attention to Expedia like how we are supposed to play the stock market. Everyday we will check for the best deal, and hoped that we can get back the S$1,400++ we saw days ago. Thankfully, we did.

So we book and confirmed it pronto. Final damage?

S$1,354.40 for a trip Saturday May 28 to Wednesday 1 June for 4 happy travelers.


So with our trip confirmed, we look forward to it excitedly!




Becoming an Aikido Teacher

Becoming an Aikido Teacher

I think I can see my role slowly evolving. Usually, I repel at the thought of me being a ‘sensei’, an Aikido teacher. I am usually the ‘relief’ teacher, and rarely do I take classes.

Every class I take, it is about sharing. not about me imparting my skills, because I choose to see everyone as peer, and everyone has just as much to contribute to the class as I do, there is not student, there is no teacher.

I held on to this view and I think this view is obstructing my vision. I came to this realisation when I took last Friday’s class, and shared a lot of Aikido knowledge that is quite unique to me, as I’ve yet to see another Aikdioka do what I do. Just three to four small little details I shared with the class.

…it is about Applied Aikido

These are things I do as an Aikidoka, and for those who practiced with me will know; that I am quite hard to throw when I am a uke for irimi nage. Simply because my nage doesn’t hold and control me properly, I will always see that opening and escape the throw. Not a lot of nage knows why and how I did it. I share that with my nage and hopefully the nage can understand and learn. (usually they don’t!) This time for Friday, I shared that with a class of about 20 odd students.

Arrest the commander. (My other Martial Arts friend, Steven Lim will remember this!)

I learned this move from a shihan many many years back, and its was the single most effective move in irimi nage, because the move makes a lot of sense, and it is practical. I share this with the class, and showed them that, when effectively done, there is no opening, you can skillfully bring down anyone larger than you. And I’ve not seen anyone used this move anywhere else.

Ikkyo pin.Elbow facing up.

I never knew I know this finer details of the lock, until I brought the whole class closer for a macro examination. More often than not, as a uke, I can escape quite a few pins, it is also because the nage’s movement does not keep a constant pressure on the lock and there are gaps and lapse. I will always escape, even when the pressure is being applied.

So I showed the entire class how I get out of a lock and how to effective pin so that even I, cannot escape. It was a good learning lesson, even for me.

Rolling your uncooperative partner aka ‘flipping the fish’

This one, tried and tested. I called this ‘flipping the fish’. Sometimes in Ikkyo, the person will end up facing up, and with the lock, you have to rotate the person to a face down position. I can be notorious in being uncooperative, and many of my nages cannot roll me from face up to face down.

Again, I managed to show the class the finer details of the shoulder rotation and many of them got it, and some got interested to delve into the finer details.

After class, I realised that these  are all my ‘trade secrets’ actually. And these tricks makes me unique and gave me an upper hand as an uke. But I realised that there is a lot of my tricks and techniques that I can share with people.

Not I’m not formally trained to take an Aikido class, I sort of grew into the role. Strictly speaking, I’m not a person who knows the Aikido pedagogy by heart. I have mistaken many moves and tried some other more adventurous ones. For me, it is about Applied Aikido, things that works. And I realised I know a lot of things in Aikido that works, and worked well against other Aikidokas. If the students I impart my experiences to can learn them quickly, they will be able to get out of many locks and when they apply their locks, not many people will be able to escape them!