This weekend Seni, the UK's big martial arts expo, was held in London. Exploding Pen didn't have a stand this year and the event was, of course, poorer as a result.
I did attend though, to have a look round and to see the staff on the MAI stand, especially Moira. She's the one who continues to put Fudebakudo into the magazine despite the awkard suspicion that the other regular cartoon in there, Surviving the Martial Arts, is funnier, uses full colour, and is drawn in considerably more detail by Chris Perry (the man is a cartoonist and, according to his own website, an O Sensei too — some people have all the luck). Meanwhile, back at Seni, the MAI staff treated me to what can only be described as lavish corporate hospitality by Huddersfield standards until eventually my minder returned and I had to go away.
This year's Seni had the usual inverted-iceberg of public martial arts events — a large number of disturbing people doing some preposterous things for uncertain reasons, with a considerably smaller number of people doing some quality stuff if you take the trouble look hard and deep enough under the surface. Still, no Fudebakudo tattoos on display, again.
Browse the Exploding Pen Seni reports from previous shows to see days of former glory.