Thanks y'all. I have a meeting with my boss on Monday regarding my return date so I hope to be back in the bush soon. That being said, I intend on bringing some "tools" back with me based on my experiences there. I will bring my modified walking-stick that I use for bartitsu\vingy sparring, which is 1"x40" laminated rattan, and. a pair of Indian Clubs to keep fit ye olde style.
Additionally, it wasn't really blog-worthy but I had a curious experience worth writing here since it's MA-related. I got into a fight a few days before new year's eve with a friend of mine who had a little too much to drink. I've never actually gotten in a fisticuffs fight with someone outside of a sparring match so it was a real interesting experience for me. My friend, who happens to be a welter-weight boxer, decided it would be fun to rip up our hotel room and hulk out because we took his phone from him. I got pretty fed up quick so some shoving happened and it turned to blows shortly thereafter. I nailed him with a right uppercut to the stomach, which staggered him and I followed it up with a right straight. He tried to a feint and clinched with me, causing me to take him to the ground with a back-heel. I got on him and hammer-fisted him in the floating rib and that was the end of that. So what I took from the experience was that sparring IS useful for learning to throw blows and defend yourself, and that whoever said you need to kick as a martial artist is silly. Makes me want to be more serious about boxing (or other combat sports) when I return to the States after my service is up.