Scrapbook page 91


Photo of gingerbread shuriken at Seni 2005.

Seni was the UK’s biggest martial arts expo, held in Birmingham’s NEC, where we launched the Fudebakudo book in 2003. Bravely, we went back every year for three years (and then once more, when it moved to London). “Gingerbread shuriken” was the answer to “what do we do at Seni for our third year?”

I’m very glad we did Seni, but it was truly bonkers and a lot of it was not only weird, but also troubling... but that’s what you get when you roll the UK martial arts scene over to rub its underbelly: lots of ill-informed cultural misappropriation, variations of fetishism of combat to a degree that is Not At All Normal, and non-ironic deployment of Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger”. Or bamboo flute music. You can read some (watered-down) reports of our times there on the Fudebakudo website.

As well as the gingerbread shuriken (with chocolate-flavour tips) you can also see Fudebakudo time-wasting towels sneaking into shot on the left of this photo, each wrapped in authentic noshi-gami imported especially from Japan. We sold out of towels, but shifting 300 shuriken was pushing it a bit even for us, so we brought some of those back home.