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  • Writer's pictureMatt Powell

Sally can wait….

Updated: Nov 1, 2022

During my first year at college the Battle of ‘Brit Pop’ was a big deal. Oasis and Blur were battling in the charts and Manchester United won the Premier League after epic battles with Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United.

What’s the Story Morning Glory was the second studio album by Oasis, and it was released in October of 1995 to great anticipation.

I remember that it seemed that everyone had the album on cassette or compact disk and Wonderwall became an anthem that was sung on a Thursday night at our favourite club in Portsmouth (5th Avenue).

The first of my college friends to pass his driving test was Gareth who we all affectionately called ‘G’. Gareth was a laid-back character from Gosport who mostly kept himself to himself but was great fun to be around once you got to know him.

Gareth drove a red mark two Ford Fiesta Popular Plus with an epic 1.1 litre engine. 😊 It was now our taxi to McDonalds, and we loved it. For some reason I can clearly remember that a Big Mac Meal was £2.88 at this time. I think that is because on one occasion I sacrificed my bus fare for a meal and had to walk the five miles home from college.

Gareth’s car had a cassette deck but through the incredible innovation (at the time) we could plug a portable CD player in via an AV cable. Again, I can clearly remember these kits selling in Argos, they were a white cassette with a cable that you plugged straight into your Walkman.

My Job was to sit in the front seat and hold the cd player above my lap so as not to allow every speed bump or pothole to cause the songs to skip or jump.

One of my favourite college memories is driving around in that Fiesta with a car full of design and Technology Students. I was balancing the CD player and we were all belting out the lyrics of the song that became the favourite on the album for many.

Don’t look back in Anger!

Sing it if you know it…..

‘And so Sally can wait She knows it's too late As she's walking on by’

Back then we all loved the song. In fact, I still do now. But I can honestly say that when I sang it, I didn’t process it. I didn’t think about the words, their meaning, or their sentiment.

I just sang it and I enjoyed it!

“Don’t Look Back In Anger”, I Heard You Say

A year or two ago I was talking with one of my great friends who is a tough character with a direct approach to life, work and defending himself. He quite simply gets stuck in, and he is formidable!

Over a cup of tea, we were discussing some of his life decisions and the path he now found himself on. As he told me about a choice he had made that altered his life he must have noticed my face change to a look of sympathy or concern. His eyes widened and he stopped me and said;

‘But Matt, it's like I always say…. The windscreen is bigger than the rear-view mirror for a reason! ..... We must keep looking forward!’

My friend is a wonderful character and one I should really spend more time with, but somehow, we both always seem to be so busy. (It's time to better manage my priorities again I think).

Everything we do in life has an impact going forward. Some small, some big or bigger. At the time we do not necessarily recognise or realise the significance. But the people we meet and the experiences we have mould and shape our futures.

It is therefore inevitable that we won’t always get things right!

Need To Start A Revolution From My Bed

Presently I am battling with an injury. I got a little too competitive in training and a fresh dislocation awoke some issues from a competition over twenty years ago. Just as I think I have moved on; I get a little too enthusiastic and tweak the ligaments again. It needs rest, but my problem is I am having so much fun.

I have caught myself reflecting on my injury and cursing my state of mind and decisions back in June.

If only I had conceded to the throw.

What if I had warmed up differently?

Maybe I shouldn’t have gone training at all!

And then I have also found myself slipping further and thinking ….

If only I had been better prepared back in Slovakia.

What if I hadn’t of gone to that tournament

It is when I find myself in these spirals of frustration that I reference my friend’s mindset and look away from the rear-view mirror. I must learn from my past mistakes but focusing on them will not take me forward to where I want to be!

My Uncle Hughie has a wonderful take on injury.

‘Matt, it’s like anything…. When things get old …. They break!’

How true!

I guess the answer is preventative maintenance and looking after ourselves.

The only way to do this is to look forward and plan.

Slip Inside The Eye Of Your (Karate) Mind

Earlier this week I took a call from one of my adult students who has suffered with back and ankle injuries he angered during some sessions with his personal trainer. He is really frustrated but is a dedicated and intelligent guy.

He has realised that to move forward he needs to consolidate. Rest his body now and then invest in his health and wellbeing to take his karate further forward into the future.

I respect that and equally I need to learn from it!

I find it easy to blame my inability to rest on the need of my students to see me in action.

But the reality is that I have others around me who I can use to showcase correct form, timing, and technique.

It is my ego and sense of fun that demands I am the one leading the inspiration physically.

I have now realised that my role is often to lead the inspiration academically. I have students who can provide the performance and show.

We soon have some important gradings approaching and I now have a few students who will miss these due to injury. In the short-term this is frustrating for them and also for me as their teacher. I love seeing people progress and enjoy providing the opportunities for the dedicated to showcase their talents.


True karate is not finite. It is infinite!

Karate is a pursuit we can engage in for as long as we wish, and it offers varied challenges along the way. Personally, I find karate increases my awareness of self and therefore allows me to offer similar benefits to others.

The rear-view mirror is smaller than the windscreen for a reason.

Cause You Ain't Ever Gonna Burn My Shotokan Heart Out

Occasionally we can look back, back only for reference. We should adjust our focus, look forward and plan our journeys.

Injuries happen. Experiences good and bad happen, but tomorrow is another day. Training when you can, as well as you can, is like singing along to the lyrics of a wonderful song. Enjoy the moment and don’t overthink things.

And if you are currently unwell or injured…….

don’t look back in Anger…… at least not today!

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