Punch Lines by Renshi Kidby

Who has been around long enough to remember the CFTS magazine we had way back called 'Punch Lines'? It began in December 1994 so you need to have trained with us for a long time to remember it.


It began with nothing much more than a newsletter requesting articles and matters of interest for fellow students. My guess is there are less than a handful that can remember that first edition printed. It was to be a free quarterly 'publication' given to all our members to communicate and interest students before we had a website. The editor was Linda Mansfield who used to train in Bletchley club.


I thought it might be interesting seeing we are drawing to the end of our 25th year to relook at some of the articles we had and put them up on our website.


These were some of the comments and articles in the second issue. Just before Christmas the following had graded for Shodan (1st Level Black belt) Simon Abele, Alan Moss, Geoff Older, Trevor Hall and James Kidby. Michael O’Reilly (Shihan O’Reilly’s father, now sadly deceased) graded for Nidan and Cathy Shepherd was awarded Sandan. What a pity none of them are still training.


The first article was basically the CV of Sensei Bernard Coppen, co-founder of CFTS. Another report was of the visit by almost a hundred students to the almost new Wembley arena to see the Shaolin monks. These monks are transcendents of the original Zen Buddhist monks who, over 1500 years, came from India to China. They perfected their fighting system to deal with the bandits who were constantly robbing and terrorising them. Entering the temple, sometimes as young as three, they step their training up to an amazing six hours every day. The results are awesome. It is not possible in words to explain in detail the extraordinary feats achieved by these monks but suffice to say it truly was a spectacular evening out. If you have not seen them, or their capabilities, may I suggest you look for them on the internet.


Other articles included the results of our inaugural competition day, an appeal for funds for guide dogs for the blind, a crossword, a request that each club put forward a 'reporter' for future editions and even a recipe for a biscuit!


I shall select articles of interest from subsequent editions to put up here on the website so watch this space!