Today I wrote zero pages and I spent six hours collecting bruises. All in the name of writing. In my most recent novel, The President's Henchman, the protagonist, James J. McGill, becomes the first private eye to live in the White House by virtue of being married to the woman who becomes the first female president. Among McGill's talents is his mastery of a martial art called Dark Alley which was devised by his uncle. Dark Alley is described as organized street fighting: anything goes.
When I was looking for a self-defense course for my daughter before she went off to college, I happened to meet an interesting fellow by the name of Jim Sullivan. He taught what he called a practical self-defense course. You'd learn something in the very first lesson that could be of help to you the moment you walked out of the class. Through Jim, I came to hear of Kelly Worden, who if he doesn't know every martial art in the world certainly knows most of them. Not only knows them but has mastered them. He's taught close quarters combat techniques to U.S. special forces soldiers. He is the real life version of what I'm writing about with Jim McGill.
Yesterday, Kelly Worden came to town. I signed up for his two-day seminar, figuring anything I learned would only make my fictional hero more believable. Oh, man, did I get an education: instruction in tactical knife fighting, modern arnis, jeet kun do and other martial disciplines. Along the way, I picked up that assortment of bruises I mentioned.
So right now I'd like to offer an unsolicited testimonial. If there are any other writers out there who'd like to get an up close and personal introduction to just about any style of fighting imaginable—to help their literary efforts, mind you—take a look at www.kellyworden.com. See if he's coming to a town near you. You won't be disappointed.