Chapter 16

21 Oct

Shaolin Kung Fu Part 2: Lethal Weapon

The weekdays felt like years; each weekend held the promise of more new shaolin kung fu techniques, and I couldn’t wait. For weeks we practiced the first form; it was torture. I had analyzed each movement plenty of times; my stances were perfect, my form correct. When would we learn the next form? I needed to unlock the secrets to Shaolin prowess, and practicing this beginner form a million times wasn’t getting me any where.

One day, we are informed we will start a new form. I draw in my breath in anticipation…


I let it out in depression.

I wanted hand forms. I wanted to beat the crap out of people the way Jackie Chan and Jet Li did, and staff forms weren’t the answer, unless the question was “What do I not want to learn right now?”

He shows us the basics; staff twirling, manipulation, pole polishing, the works. I’m more proficient at handling the pole than any other person in class, other than this one asian girl who had been practicing much longer than I.

After a week or two, I start to warm up to the staff. Sure, it isn’t what I wanted originally, but it is still pretty cool. Staves are the staple for any Martial Arts dork, and I was no exception. After the initial let down of no empty handed forms, I began to look forward to each class. What new move would I learn today? Because we didn’t just learn motions; almost every motion had its own ornamental, flowery name to go along with it. We didn’t do palm up blocks, we did beauty looks at mirror. We didn’t slam our stick into the ground, we did toppling the oaks.

After I felt I could perform the staff forms to such a degree that I didn’t look gay, I told my friends we should spar soon. Not only that, but we should take it up a notch. We should do weapon sparring.

Obviously I was tricking them; the lack of empty hand attention meant I had to use underhanded tactics to achieve superiority over them.

The only problem was, I found out, none of them had weapons. We decide to solve it the only way teenagers could; go to Walmart, and buy things we can shape in to weapons.

I of course buy another long wooden pole, because I’m going to staff the christ out of them. One of my friend buys a garden stake the size of a sword. He watches a lot of cartoons, and says something about Kenshin. I don’t know what that is, or care, because I’m about to kick some serious ass.

Napoleon buys two sticks, and makes Kenshin feel stupid. Tall boy buys one stick, then some form of wooden block. At my house, utilizing a hammer and nails, he makes a wooden war hammer. What a bastard.

We don the fencing helmets, and let loose the dogs of war!

At first we stand around awkwardly, no one wanting to start the battle. I step forward, and challenge Kenshin. He talks a lot about sword fighting, so I figure he would be the best to test my skills against.

He holds his stick near what I assumed to be the handle, since the majority was behind him. I begin my twirling.

I inch closer, as does he. I take the initiative, and on my twirl let the staff come out a little bit. I capitolize off of the ceptripedal acceleration from the twirling, and it comes crashing down. I did this not as a means of attack, but to scare the bahjesus out of him. He thinks this is a good time to attack, but I push the butt of the staff down and poke him in the neck. The crowd goes wild.

The staff form was working PERFECTLY. Why should you even bother with empty hands when weapons were truly the answer? If a weapon can beat other weapons, and a weapon can beat someone who doesn’t have a weapon, well, screw everything else.

My new love for weapons will be put to the test against Napoleon and his dual stick style. I hold the staff like a spear, and start poking. Most of the pokes hit him since he is too damn slow to react. I start poking his feet, and he calls me a cheater. His temper takes the better of me, and I notice how hard he is swinging his sticks. I increase the distance, and start swinging my stick horizontally. He steps back in fear of my mighty staff.

I get ready to do the most bad ass thing I’ve ever done.

I swing it over my head once.

I have to time this just right.

I swing it over my head twice.

Just like in the forms.

I swing it over my head a third time, and I begin to turn.

I swing it a fourth time, this time underneath my body as I do a butterfly kick.

Everyone starts hooting and hollering because I smash his sticks out of his hands, and it looked amazing. No one saw where I clipped my shin, but I would mask my pain well.

Undefeated, I took on Tall boy. Meanwhile, Napoleon and kenshin began their own shenanigans, which I ignored.

I was out of tricks by the time I got to tall boy, but it didn’t matter. He had his warhammer, but he was more crazy than the others. Just wildly swinging. Nothing in my staff forms were really meant for this, and I just kept backing up more and more. He swings his mighty hammer, and as I parry it, it breaks on the ground. Luckily Tall boy sucks at carpentry, and his mighty hammer fell apart. I’m glad it did; I had no answer for his weapon style.

My friends leave, and I sigh a breath of relief. I would pursue this shaolin until I was a master of every weapon! I would be undefeatable; not only because I was a weapons master, but because there are improvisable weapons EVERYWHERE. Iron poles lying around in dumpsters? More like invincible shaolin staff. Pens I carry in my pocket? Why don’t you try on shaolin chopstick style. Something heavy on the end of a stick? Melon hammers. I would be invincible.


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