Today's quotes are from me, and they are inspired by the week we're about to wrap up in Orlando taking part in the WKC World Championships.

1. Your day is never complete at a karate tournament until someone's accidentally shoved their ass in your armpit.

2. There is no better way to make friends than to hit each other hard in the smacking machine.

You get in that room, and start seizing up your potential opponents. Your back is up. You are generous with your stink eyes. But as the week progresses (and as you get to know people up close and personal - see quote #1 and may I just say as an aside that for people with wonderful fast reflexes we can be awkwardly clumsy), and as you get to fight with the opponents you were previously guilty of looking at with a jaundiced eye, you start to appreciate their training, their martial arts, their discipline and dedication, and at the end of the two minutes you've gained a lot of respect for someone you were actively trying to hit before they hit you. Then you hug, shake hands, befriend one another on Facebook, and the next time you see them you're genuinely happy. Because by that point they've become friends.

Friends you still actively try to punch in the nose before they get you, of course. But friends who understand that the point of the thing isn't to beat the other but to become the very best you can be regardless of who's in front of you.