About Me

My name is Aedh Carrick. As you may have guessed, this blog is about martial arts, specifically Zheng Man Cheng’s Taiji.

I was exposed to martial arts early on, have 11 uncles who used to pick on me relentlessly. One of my uncles, David, was/is a judo instructer. As the youngest of 11, he sympathizied with me and gave me my first lessons. It was mostly falling and groundwork with my being too small, 10 years old, to practice throws. At 12, I began taking Tae kwon do. Stuck with it for about 2 years, before being kicked out for beating up a brown belt in a fight over a girl. (She was a blue belt at the school.)

At 15, my parents told me to get a job or move out, so I did both. After about a year,I got tired of it and threw/gave all my stuff away and I wound up travelling the country, sleeping in the street, hopping freight trains and doing/saying/taking/smoking/screwing just about everything that came my way. I got into fights on a regular (read: daily) basis. Some I won, some I lost. It was mostly just something to do. I think by that point I had turned self-detruction into an art form. My motto became ‘Drink, Fight and F@$&’.

During this period I came across several martial artists and teachers. Some kicked my @ss! Most avoided me like the plague. A couple though tried to reach me through their art. While most were unsuccessful, some disasterously so, I did learn a bit and in the ‘end’ one finally succeeded. Whether it was because of his style/teaching method/charisma or just because I was finally ‘ready’ might make for a good discussion.

Don’t get me wrong though. My life on the street was fun while it lasted and funny enough, what brought it to a close wasn’t prison, overdosing or rehab. I was living on 5th and A, in front of the ConEd, doing a bundle and a half a day. After a chance incounter with a beautiful woman, a year long relationship (think: Sid & Nancy) and more criminal mischief than I feel comfortable sharing (statute of limitations and what-not), I got more than lice from her. No not herpes, worse, a conscience. My life was pretty sweet up to this point, but suddenly I found myself feeling bad when I threw bottles at cars or stole sh!*. My ‘condition’ quickly worsened and developed into full-blown introspection, making it damn near impossible to lie with a straight face. Needless to say, it quickly began to drive me nuts. I once got in to it with some dude and wound up just standing there while he wore himself out hitting me. I wasn’t hurt, but that’s not the point. I simple couldn’t bring myself to ‘flip the switch’ for fear of hurting him. Fear, I believe, was not something that bothered me all that much before.

Fast forward to 23. I was living in New Orleans and had a good job at a trade I had picked up years before. Everyday consisted of wake-up, go to work, come home, get trashed and go to bed. I had lost most enthusiasm for most everything. I no longer felt comfortable in social situations. I was somehow left with only two options for every circumstance:
1. Shut up and take it.
2. Find a weapon and…..

Unfortunately, neither of these work well. At least for me anyway. (See: prison)

Enter Dave… I was sitting in a coffee shop around 11 pm, avoiding my girlfriend at the time, when I overheard someone say something about martial arts. I turned to look and saw an old man, caucasian, skinny. He was dressed like a bum (when I say that it means something!), and smoking a rolly. After a quick chat, we agreed to push hands. Now I had no intention of pushing hands, at least not the way it’s done by civilized people, so I squared up and attacked. Or tried to….

If you’ve ever seen a kung fu movie you can well imagine what happened. Having watched several kung fu movies myself and dismissed them all as fantasy, I found myself a bit perplexed at the outcome. It might have just been the landing on my head, but I still can’t remember what happened exactly. I do however remember following (read: stalking) him around for 3 months begging him to teach me. He refused repeatedly. (Something about me being an @ss?) Finally my perserverance payed off and he agreed to show me the form- if I would then leave him alone. I agreed.

So now, years later, I’m the guy doing taiji in the park. And suffice it to say, my life is a lot better for it.


3 Responses to “About Me”

  1. Wow, great of you to share your story with us. Glad you found taiji and even gladder that taiji found you 😉

  2. This is Rick from wujifaliangong.com

    Thanks for the link to my page

  3. Interesting affair, I did not thought reading it was going to be so amazing when I read your title.

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