Chapter 5

21 Oct

Kuk Sool Won Part 5: The End

Two weeks have passed since the KSW tournament and my losses. A blue belt test comes as passes, just like the previous; same format, different kata, breaking two boards with a palm strike. At this point, I’m losing interest; I haven’t learned anything new since the tournament, and I hadn’t learned anything new a good long while before the tournament. With the passing of my blue belt test, however, I am informed change is coming whether I like it or not.

Joe tells me I’m going to the “Adult” class. This is a monumentous occasion, considering most kids don’t get there until Red belt (Red is after blue, but before purple). I show up to the adult class, which is an hour after the beginner class. We perform the standard warm up routine, except this time it is led exclusively by Norm. He counts out the seconds during the stretches, and I quickly become bored again. It could be his monotone voice, or the fact I’ve done this countless times before.

Instead of breaking into kicking the target pad, we are going to practice kicks…on each other. He informs us we’re going to kick at areas on a partner’s body, but not make contact. This sounds fine to me; it’s the first time we’ve done this exercise, and I’m excited since I can hone my sparring roundhouses. Another bonus is that the trio of Asian guy, Girlfriend, and Obesity are absent, so I get to partner up with a new body.

I’m partnered with what can only be described as a rejected Shaolin monk. His head is shaved, eyebrows pointy, with a goatee. He looks as if he doesn’t have an ounce of fat on him; of course, he doesn’t have an ounce of muscle either. Probably 18 or so, he takes this VERY, very seriously. Completely focused, he walks up to me. Not a word is uttered between us as we get in our U’s. We pair up, and begin kicking. I pull my kick well before hitting him, block my crotch, and all is well. He, however, lacks restraint, and ends up kicking me in the shin. This hurts intensely.

It was fine, I understand. Mistakes happen. I throw my kick, pulling it before I hit him. He kicks; hits me in the shin AGAIN. On the same spot! What is this man’s problem? He’s a brown belt; he should be able to not kick the crap out of an 8 year old. This continues for 10 more minutes, until I say “Ow, you’re hurting me”. He smirks and kicks, this time making an extravagant stopping motion. What a tool.

The class is finished off with some Kata, and I head home pissed off. I’ve got bruises for christ sake! I don’t like the adult class, and I don’t like that jerk off. Who picks on an 8 year old?

The next class is almost identical to the previous, except we pratice kibonsu instead of kata. Shaolin reject twists my arm too hard, and I yelp a little. He sighs, and rolls his eyes.

What the hell?

After class I tell Norm the goings on of the adult class.

“Well, if you can’t stand it here, maybe we should put you back in the kids class.”


I go home in disbelief. Bruised and battered, I’m pissed off at everyone in that god forsaken place. However, this is not the straw that broke the camel’s back.

The straw happens a week later. For those of you who remember, I had a friend who was two years older than me. He was extremely short, and had a Napoleon complex rivalling that of Napoleon himself. We are walking down the street, arguing about something. Now, at this point, I’m a decently sized kid, while he is skinny. He punches me in the arm when I call him a gay fairy boy. I throw all my body weight into it, and punch the christ out of his arm, knocking him off the sidewalk into the street. He comes back, and I expect him to punch me in the arm. He punches me in the eye. It’s on.

He goes into a wild flailing frenzy, punching every which way. I tried to use the U, but it is worthless. I punch him in the face, and we’re both crying and flailing our arms. I kick him in the balls, and run home.

At home, I’m feeling defeated. Not only has my best friend betrayed me, but I felt how worthless KSW was. It didn’t help me at all; I knew to kick people in the balls BEFORE I took that class. The U didn’t protect me, and I just got socked for it. Combined with the fact that the class had gone from fun to getting bullied by some 18 year old jerk off, I was done. I told my dad that I wanted out, and he was glad to do it, saying they were “bleeding him dry”.

I distinctly remember my last moments there. I walk into the school with a black eye. The 900 year old korean lady gasps and asks me if it happened in class, half joking, half not. I say no, but that’s not why I’m there. I hand her the medal joe gave me. “Give this to Joe. Tell him I said good bye.”

My dad and I walk away, and I never see any of those people again.

A year later, my friend and I patch things up and become friends again.

I sit docile in my house from the next few years, until I’m 13 years old. My mom wants me to take up a sport, due to my laziness. I’m 13 years old, 170 pounds, and I’m a little…husky. We look in the phone book, and less than 5 minutes away is another martial art place. It’s called, “Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.”


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