I first began to discover that I have some allergies in London when I went to the Mind Body Spirit Expo in London sometime in the 90s. I wasn’t the essential oils that set me off, I think it was the crystals, or the smugness.Cat allergy - by Andrew Goloida

It caught me a little by surprise, not so long before I’d traveled around India with a chillum, my hair was long and I meditated daily. Why did I want to punch these smiling people?

Sometimes the immune system learns ‘this is not a threat’ and an allergy subsides with time. Sometimes the opposite happens. The immune system notices the links, the similarities between different substances. Sensitivity increases.

That’s what been happening with me.

It started with crystals, and spread to certain kinds of chakra speak. It was more manageable then. I just had to avoid overtly new age people, which was easy enough because of the way they dress.

I began to find myself sneezing and occasionally vomiting when exposed to titles - sifus and  grandmasters and stuff like that. The cosplay didn’t help, whether Samurai dress up, Wudang silk and man buns or Spetsnaz (tactical) camo. Before I knew it I could not open many of the facebook martial arts groups I was subscribed to without my eyes streaming and skin rashes.

I realise that some friends will be worried by this, that I’m missing out on a great source of entertainment and unintentional comedy.

It's true that the ability of people on forums to leap on any comment as an opportunity to show the depths of their knowledge/ego is hilarious.

These days it’s really bad. It’s not just the self aggrandizing drivel people write while one upping each other on forums because only they understand true internal power/Street fighting/lineage x. It's not just the mindless faith they display in their ‘systems’, and not even the selfies.

These days I‘m having trouble reading my own website. You can expect a re-write. It will have fewer words and I’ll cut out the salesy descriptions.

I’ll tell you what I’m not allergic to.

It’s people quietly getting on with their practise, alone or in groups, learning from bruises and mistakes and helping each other improve.