I did MMA many years back with a very good school Fight G. I think it was for 3 months, once or twice a week.
It was in one of those training sessions that I realised Aikido has a value in MMA, although more often than not, using Aikido specifically to win an MMA bout would be next to impossible, well that is my opinion.
I was on the ground with this guy, or rather, he was on the ground and I was up. In terms of MMA, we were both kind of a novice. In terms of martial arts, I can tell, he has little or no prior martial arts experience.
He was a fit guy, but while we sparred, I got the better part of it, and started my ‘ground and pound’, and out of instinct, he grabbed my wrist. It was more like a ‘Gyaku Hanmi’, opposite hand grab.
That sets it up nicely for a nikyō, The MMA gloves was thick, but I knew I got the lock, and began to apply pressure. The poor guy, probably pumped up with adrenaline, has no idea what is his predicament, with his free hand, he tried to make something out of it, but it was in vain.
I applied pressure, the lock was there, but I decided to let it go. I would have severely injure him, had I continue.
That incident never left my mind.
The martial arts world is wide, there are many many moves out there that we have never heard of, or even think was possible.
Catching that guy in a nikyō, in an MMA training taught me that anything can happen in a fight. Aikido locks are almost never taught in MMA, and when someone in MMA encounters such a lock, or pin, they usually have no response or reaction to it. Which is a dangerous indication that the training has gone past the learning stage, right into dogmatism.
Letting it go
I let the lock go partly also because we are all kind of a recreational MMA students, we are not fighting for keeps. The guy was like me, just going there for ‘fun’, imagine, going home with a broken wrist, or worse, a wrist that is permanently broken. That would have been on my conscience for the rest of my life. It was just practice, so let’s not injure each other with malice.
I promised you guys a visit to the fabled SuperPark since late last year when it first opened November 2018, so we decided to visit it for the March holidays.
First of all, the park has an EXPANSIVE array of activities all in one roof, which is great because we can get to try out many types of sports, all in air-con comforts. And this come at an EXPENSIVE price tag.
As we could only make it on a Sunday afternoon about 1-nish, we were deciding on the Middle Session which was priced at S$40 or should we go for a S$48 still, despite of only being able to enjoy the later half of the day. Your mother, the better economist, argued that the One Day Ticket is still a better deal, because if we were to purchase the Middle Session Tickets; we have to exit the park by 5.30pm , and for another S$8 more, we can use all the way to 9pm, park closure.
That comes up to $195 in total for the 4 of us, inclusive of a Grip socks for Wayne.
Yeah talking about the Grip Socks, Super Park only allows a specific type of grip socks.
This one Can
This one Cannot
Both Grip sock was from a Tramopline park we went to before and we got these socks, Wayne’s sock was the one on the left, and this wasn’t allowed, perhaps the grip surface wasn’t big enough. So we have to get one pair for Wayne, that’s S$3.
Then off we go!
We were thankful for your mum’s foresight. We played from 2pm all the way to closure, and it was worth the S$48, in a specific way, as we really make sure we played all the stuff within Superpark. And there was more than enough time for us to go through everything twice or 3 times over.
And the spoiler alert was for us One Day Ticket folks, we get to enjoy a lull, between 5pm to 6pm, as there was a ‘shift change’ for those Middle Session Tickets players leaving at 5.30pm, and those After 6pm crowds coming in only at 6pm.
So if you pay a One Day Ticket and goes in the morning when the park opens at 9am, you’ll enjoy 2 lull time one when the Morning Mayhem crowd leaves at 1pm and the Middle Session Tickets crowds comes in at 1.30pm, and the afternoon lull.
Making a fool of ourselves
Personally I enjoyed SuperPark, as it was a place for me to make a fool of myself, without being self-critical or self-judgmental. I confessed I’m not a good ball guy, but I played basketball, soccer and ‘dodgeball’ just for the sake of having fun. Oh, not forgetting baseball and I managed to hit 2 out of 5 balls.
It’s basically a big activity buffet place. There is a skate park where you boys tried skateboarding ( you boys didn’t liked it) then there was skate scootering, which was good fun. You can also try rock wall climbing just round the corner, after you are bored being a skater, and then you can head off to play the slides!
So technically you can have never-ending fun, running crazy all over the place, from balls to carts to slides to more balls, trampolines, rock walls, and more balls.
With activities like these, there is bound to be injuries, as one girl had her nose broken when a baseball hit her. Thankfully nothing major of that sorts happened, but Wayne was hit by the ball a few times on the lips, and it caused some slight bleeding. I was hit in the face by a ball, and thankfully my glasses didn’t break.
But what the heck, if you want to play sports, injuries are bound to happen, just hope it wasn’t a serious one.
Little or no wait
One thing they did right was to time the activities, and most activities have a one-minute timer which the anyone playing must exit when time is up. There was a few times some folks playing ahead of us didn’t activate the timer, and continued to play (of course the system isn’t counting the points, since the timer didn’t start.) but people are usually civil and they realised that and promptly exited after their pressed the timer, and played till their time is up.
The long wait
The long wait was for the rock wall, at the Super-Climb, this one no choice as it is really up to the climber’s finesse and climbing skills. The walls are relatively easy to climb, but it still takes different people different amount of time to climb it.
Besides, the safety aspect of it cannot be speed up; everyone has to be harnessed well and hooked up properly.
Overall verdict is…Been there, done that.
Your mum and I thought through the whole thing and it was a park that we came, saw, did, and we can move on. While the park was a good mix of activities, each of these individual activities alone isn’t novel to us. We have been to a trampoline park, we have climbed rock walls before, skate scooted, played soccer (downstairs, on the field), basketball at our HDB court. Baseball? Well, yeah, hadn’t done that before. Go-cart? Not really a novelty, since the circuit was a tad too small.
But I can understand where the Finns’ argument for such a park. I guess it is cold most of the days there in Finland, and there are times it’s too cold to play basketball outside, heck it’s too cold to play anything, so you need an indoor park like such to have everything under one roof.
Here in sunny Singapore, we don’t face such cold weather, and whenever we want it, we can take our basketballs out, play to our heart’s content, changed to roller-blades and go skate till the cow come home. If there’s a sport we would like to try out, we can always go to shop at Decathlon for these games and their products are cheap and good.
Call me a stingy Singaporean, pinching every penny, I had to agree with your mum’s
Cost Benefit Analysis, comparing a SuperPark day with an Adventure Cove day, with an adult tickets costing S$38 and kiddo price at S$30, the latter would have been a better day spent. We would get the sun, sand and sea, as well as the thrills and spills too.
I hope by the time you boys grow up, you can learn a thing or two about speaking in hokkien. It is a dialect from China and the way Singaporeans says it is so different from the way Taiwanese says it.
To start off, let’s look at some simple three worded Hokkien (TWH).
Ang Moh Lang
Chinese simplified: 红毛人 ( hóng máo rén)
Caucasian, or loosely speaking, in colloquial sense, ‘red hair people’, when the Chinese first bumped into Caucasian, with their red hair, the term got stuck. The more common form will drop the ‘Lang’ and simply regard Caucasians as ‘ang mohs’
Boh Kiam Lui
Chinese simplified: 不欠钱 (Bù qiàn qián)
It means, doesn’t owe money
Boh Lui Lang
Chinese simplified: 没钱人 (méi qián rén)
Char Bor Lang
Chinese simplified: 女人 ( nǚ rén)
Woman. in some context, it can means The Wife
Huan Kiah Lang
Chinese simplified: 马来人 ( mǎ lái rén)
Malays. In the movie ‘Black Hawk Down’ the American General mispronounced them as ‘May Lay’
Inn Dor Lang
Chinese simplified: 印度人 ( yìn duó rén)
Indian, more specifically, people from the country of India
Jiak Liao Bee
Chinese simplified: no chinese equivalent
It usually means that person is good for nothing. loosely means ‘eating wasted rice’. We all eat to do something, so the rice will not be waste when eaten
Jing Kek Sim
Chinese simplified: no chinese equivalent
It is a ‘heart pain’ feeling. Like when you see your favourite team losing very badly, you feel that desolation. It is a feeling only express in Hokkien. ‘Kek Sim!’
Jiak Jiu Jwee
Chinese simplified: 喝醉酒 ( hē zuì jiǔ)
Drunk. ‘Jiak’ usually means ‘to eat’ but sometimes when you are that drunk, you wouldn’t know if you are drinking or eating your beer! ‘Lim’ should be the correct hokkien verb for ‘drink’
Keeh Si Lah
Chinese simplified: 去死拉 ( qù sǐ lā)
Go and die!
Kuah Si Mee
Chinese simplified: 看什么 ( kàn shén me)
Again, this is under a more provocative tone. An English equivalent will be ‘See what see?!’ It is usually used in a staring incident and a challenge of a stare-down
Luan Gong Way
Chinese simplified: 乱讲话 (luàn jiǎng huà)
It usually means that the person is talking nonsense, or trash
Mai Tu Liao
Chinese simplified 别耽误/不要等 (bié dān wù/ bù yào děng)
Do not delay/wait. It usually implies a sense of urgency, after a period of impatience
Mai Luan Gong
Chinese simplified: 别乱讲 ( bié luàn jiǎng )
Do not talk rubbish, or in Singlish term, ‘Don’t talk cock.’
Pui Chao Nuah
Chinese simplified: 吐口水 ( tǔ kǒu shuǐ)
Spit. This is done with a feeling of disdain, or disgust
See Beh Song
Chinese simplified: 非常爽 ( fēi cháng shuǎng)
Usually, it is crudely used to imply a very good sensation and feeling. Say after a hard day’s work, to kick back and enjoy an ice cool beer. ‘See Beh Song Ah!’
See Mee Sai
Chinese simplified: No Chinese Equivalent
It usually means crudely, ‘What the hell do you want?’ Or you can reply in annoyance “See Mee Sai???’ meaning, ‘What?! What?!’
Ta Bor Lang
Chinese simplified: 男人 ( nán rén)
Male, Man. in some context, it can means The Husband
Tiah Tian Way/ Gong Tian Way
Chinese simplified: 听电话/讲电话 (tīng diàn huà/ jiǎng diàn huà)
Answering or talking on the phone. Loosely speaking it means ‘listen to the phone’ Contextually, it means pick up the phone!
Tio Beh Pio
Chinese simplified: 中马票 ( zhòng mǎ piào )
Tau Kar Chiu
Chinese simplified: 装手脚 (zhuāng shǒu jiǎo)
Being helpful, offering assistance to your fellow human beings in fixing things and solving problems
Uu Lui Lang
Chinese simplified: 有钱人 ( yǒu qián rén)
You have an awesome big brother. Really, no bragging.
He loves you unconditionally and in such a pure and naive manner, he can never hurt you on purpose. He has seen you grown in your mummy’s stomach and he was so ecstatic when you first came out.
Born to be your Big Brother.
Honestly, I don’t know how he does it, he took on the 大哥 role like fish to water. He knows when to protect you and look after you. We didn’t have to teach him much. He has always been there to look out for you.
Your Brother the Hustler
We will never forget back in 2009 when we went to the Central Fire Station for a kind of outing. There was a little girl coming over to your pram to check you out, your big brother wouldn’t let her touch you, and he puts himself between you and the little girl.
Backing each other up
As the both of you grows up, there will be conflicting priorities and there will be conflicts, despite of our best efforts to make peace out of the both of you. You both need your space to grow and you will have your own priorities. Sometimes those priorities will clash, but whenever you can, please try to come to each other’s aid as much as possible.
A couple of evenings back, you brother asked you to accompany him for his bath, well, he is kind of a scatty cat and he likes your companionship while be bath. You were on a game or something and refused to keep him company.
He came out and did a tit-for-tat when you ask him to help him with something.
I have to intervene to find out what was going on.
The bottom line
You both are brothers, and as far as my memory serves me, your big brother has never asked of you to do unreasonable things. And he will always comes to your aid, without reservations. You have to do likewise for you.
Right now, you still have your dad and mum to come in and intervene in such instances of conflict, by the time we are dead, I don’t want the both of you to go at your throats, because of a tit-for-tat. Being brothers is more than quid pro quo, you must drop whatever you are doing and go to each other’s aid. Because like what I’ve said before, there is no one else out there, it’s just the both of you against the world.
We write notes to one another, well, not so much these days, but I think in the early days of our family lives, it is a good way to tell and encourage each other that we have love, care and concern for every one in our family.
It of course started with me writing and putting these little notes in your mum’s purse, dress, crockeries and other places where she will use, go to or touch. the whole idea was to give her some kind of a pleasant surprises that her husband loves her and is constantly think of her.
While of course, it was a romantic gestures, more importantly, I want to put these nice loving thoughts so that we constant remind each other to be nice to one another, even in a quarrel or unhappy episode, we still need to think of each other in a nice way.
Of course your mum reciprocated in kind, and we learned to put little notes in your bags and wallets, in no time Ian you’re also writing stuffs for your brother and vice versa.
Try to keep this up as there are times where words can’t be spoken enough, or we did a lousy action and hurt our loved ones, but serendipitously come across one of these notes, will help soothes any ruffle feathers.
It is not a matter of bragging, it is a matter of fact, for the records.
Your dad has never gotten drunk. Ever.
High, yes; Drunk, no.
What a Karate Master said
There was a book I read, by this Karate master, Gichin Funakoshi, he wrote in his book and one subject delved a little about drinking and that mantra stayed with me till today.
“When you drink with 20 friends, you will be drinking with 20 enemies, when they are drunk.”
Something to that effect.
It is not the enemies I am afraid of, it is me, becoming my own enemy, that keeps me sober. Given that I am trained in a specific martial arts discipline, it is important that I remain sober and aware of my senses and surroundings, so that I can remain effective. Being drunk clouds your senses, you can’t think straight, say stupid things, do stupid things and get into trouble you can easily avoid, just by staying sober.
There is also no excuse for me, since there are plenty of excuses for people, getting drunk and doing stupid things.
I want to be lucid, and in full control of my existence.
When I was high.
Being high, is another thing altogether. I know my alcohol limit, and when I reach a sensation of tipsy, I stop. Being high has a nice, light sensation, where you feel very relaxed, slightly happy and kind of like…fluid. Such a state is a wonderful tool for sleeping. I always have a good sense to know when to stop, and not cross that imaginary line. The brain just say stop, and that’s that.
So there has never been any period of my life where I am not ‘me’. Since I have never been drunk, I never knew what it feels like, or feels curious to try.
Perhaps it is how I take my alcohol. I don’t have drinking buddies, and going to bars and pubs to drink is, such an exorbitant waste of money, and time. Besides, it is my stereotype that incidents of fights are highest in those places. Well, you don’t call a ‘bar fight’ in a school right?
Trouble brews in such places, and the best way to get out of a bar fight is not to be there in the first place.
So I usually take my beer at home, probably once a month, a can or so, at dinner with you and mum. That is what ‘drinking’ is to me, a relaxed place, alone. And just a can for flavour.
There is also a short period of time I was exploring lazing in a hammock, a beer by the beach. It was a nice, chillax idea, but the problem is, you are still consuming liquid, and not long after that you will need to leave your cozy spot to look for a loo!
As much as I like my Cabernet Sauvignon, I always struggle to finish a full bottle, and it is quite pricey to get just a small one, so I end up stick with a can of beer or two.
You dad is boring as hell
So while you boys become older and perhaps taking my lifestyle as staid, just remember, alcohol like everything else, is best taken in moderation. Getting drunk and then doing stupid things after that is not the best way to live your life.
There are other ways to get a high, like going for an intense workout, mountain biking,and other activities. Sitting in a dark noisy place, with a bunch of drinking people, waiting for trouble to start, isn’t the best way to live a life.
While I am sure, there will be people who disagree with me, just remember one thing, I am entitled to my opinion, and you, when you are older. Most regrets happens when a person sobers up after a bout of drunkenness, so to take away having regrets, don’t get drunk in the first place.
You have finally move on and upwards, from Primary School to Secondary.
In our life here in Singapore, it is a big deal, the private education industry is a large one and it ‘preys’ mostly on the parents’ insecurities and aspirations for their children to get good grades. Of course, hopefully that leads to a better future, riches and wealth. It is all done in the best intention, albeit the intense stress and pressure.
You did well for your PSLE. “Well” as a matter of context, as you are not one of the 25 students who scored above the magic ‘250’. In fact you’re not even close, but you set a target and you achieved that. Which is more important than being one of the smartest lots in your school.
In fact, you did even better than your dad, who failed his maths, score “A” for English and Science, and a “C” I think, for my Chinese. You have a better score, I went to a normal stream and you are going to the express.
What’s the big deal?
Personally I am not a big believer in the PSLE score, My bottom line is either you pass or fail, you pass, how well? Well enough for express stream, okay, fine. Good for the normal stream? That’s fine as well. Life goes on, the sun will still rise and set.
But of course, that’s just your dad ranting, it is a big deal. Children went home crying, because they were 5 points shy from their target. There were some who thought they could get like 240, but end up with an odd-210. There are those who did well in prelims, only to falter in the actual exams. Well, there are some outlier even, they failed, and have to retake.
All the credit goes to your mother
Really, she did all the work, your dad really didn’t cared much about your academic grades. She was thrilled that you made your mark, and achieved what you said you set out to achieve.
She helped you, drives you, work with you, bear all the pain and angst of your studies. When you did badly, she was affected the most, and when you did well, she’s the happiest. She worked the hardest and rightfully deserves to shed those tears of joy today.
So right now, after this first big hurdle in your life, your life will have to go on. You can reward, and cheer and after all the jubilation, you will have to hunker down and work hard, once again, as Secondary School education is another new environment that puts you to the challenge.
You friends in Horizon Primary, will become your old friends. You will make new friends in your new environment, and your might be pleasantly surprised that some of your Horizon friends might end up in the same Secondary School as you, and that friendship will continue; or it might not.
Some of your old ‘nemesis’ in Horizon, will no longer be relevant, once everyone moves to their respective secondary School. Those quarrels and grudges in your primary school, will cease in relevance. Suddenly with so much to look forward to in your new environment, you’ll lose track of what happened in the Primary school. You’ll have so much new things to do, learn and friends to make, there is no time to relish on nostalgic past. Stay present and look into the future.
Your future will be a heck a lot different from mine, and it will be a very asymmetrically challenging future, no one will be sure about anything in. So now that your Primary School education has come to an end, charge ahead and learn new things in your Secondary School.
Your dad is excited about your prospective new environment, and it heartens me to see you gain independence in character and confidence in personality.