Chapter 19

23 Oct

Shaolin Kung Fu Part 5: The end

I’m excited for the “surprise” this class. I talk to Asian guy while I stretch, getting ready for class. I see Mop Top drive up. Wait, Mop Top drives? I ask Asian guy how old he is; I had assumed he was 13 due to his short stature and small frame. In reality, the guy is my age. This means he went from unpunchable, to very punchable. I’m not going to take any more crap from him, because if he is as old as I am, I won’t feel guilty beating him up.

Class starts. Sifu walks in, and tells us that we are priviliged to be learning….


Wait, what?

Yes, we had come full circle. We were starting staff forms. Woop de doo. I follow through the motions, praying after we finish these staff forms, we can go on to hand forms.

These staff forms are, to be frank, crappy. I had taken real staff at the old Shaolin school, and even comparing the flowery staff form with little combat application to this….well, this would get it’s ass kicked. Honestly, there is no practical way to use this staff form. It is worthless.

After a few weeks, and a belt test later, I’m starting to feel pain in my pockets. The instructor doesn’t allow any outside equipment; I had to buy a new staff for 30 bucks, and the belt tests are 80. Not only that, but both my brother and I are enrolled, so we’re paying this twice. Seriously, he’s killing us.

He tells us as class is beginning that we’re done with staff. I almost jump for joy, hoping now we’ll really get to the heart of kung fu.

No, instead we’re doing broadsword. Blegh. Not only that, but I recognize the form we’re doing as the child compulsory form from my other school. Lame. I also have to buy a sword, since I never did at the old Shaolin place, which is 60 bucks. Ouch.

Weeks pass, and Sifu tells me I should buy some Double Hook Tiger Swords. I sigh, and ask how much. 100 dollars.

No thanks, sifu.

I buy them online for 40 dollars; out of curiosity, I look at the other weapons I have bought. Wow, I really have been over paying. What drives the nail through my miserly heart is when I’m walking out of class, I hear two crap faces (I say crapfaces because they’re assholes) talking:

“OMG (He actually says the letters o m g), I can’t believe he wants us to buy some more weapons.”

“Well, the man has to get paid.”

Hold on. What the hell did you just say? Sifu drives a BMW; he isn’t starving, he isn’t about to go under. The man is making a pretty penny off of tuition and belt tests, and a killing off of weapons. For this jerk off to say sifu needz to get paid makes me think he needz to get punched in the nut sack.

I finally get my double hook swords in the mail and bring them to class. The problem is I’m the only person with them.

Sifu takes me to the side an says, “Well, no one else has bought the swords, so until they do, I’m going to wait on teaching the form.”

God fucking damn it sifu, you’re killing me. My mom is already yelling at me every day for the money I’m sinking into his crap hole, but on top of that, you aren’t teaching me jackidy crappidy. Your staff form sucks, your sword form is for children, and quite frankly, your empty hand forms are lackluster at best. I’m honestly pissed off.

But this isn’t the straw that broke the camels back.

I show up to class the next day, and Mop Top is giving me the stink eye as usual. I don’t really care again. Class continues, and he scoffs when I perform my form. My technique is FLAWLESS, I’ve got this down. For him to scoff, well, them’s fightin words.

Class ends. He parked next to me in the parking lot, and as we both go to our cars, I hear him say something.


“I said I still don’t know why he gave you a black shirt; you aren’t that great.”

Oh, it’s on.

I walk around my car, and he bows up. It’s laughable really, since he’s stick and skin. He goes to bump my chest, but I pin him against his own car with my chest.

“Look, I don’t know what your problem is, but you don’t want to do this. You will be sorry if you do this.”

He sits there quietly, wide eyed. I guess he never expected anyone to call him on his bull crap. I’ll be damned if I get bullied by some bastage who my little brother could take.

“Are we square?”

He nods.

I get in my car, and leave. He is still leaning against his car where I had pinned him.

Next class, he says nothing, doesn’t stink eye me; doesn’t even make eye contact. This is better.

We go through the warm up as usual; jump as high as you can, land on one leg. Take a running start, jump up high, land on one leg. Take a running start, jump up high, land on one


Yes, I had landed strangely, such that the side of my ankle was now touching the ground. Besides the excruciating pain, as I sat there, all I could think was how much I hated this place. I hated the people in it, I hated the shitty weapon forms, I hated the shitty empty hand forms, I hated the shitty instructor, I hated the lack of sparring, I hated the lack of exercise. I knew at that point I was never coming back to this god forsaken place.

I limped out; my little brother had decided not to come that day. No one helps me.

My mom drives me to the ER, and it turns out I have a hairline fracture somewhere in my ankle. It takes time to heal. I’m bored out of my mind most of the time, because there’s nothing to do when your ankle is boned.

My friend tells me to read, “The Tao of Jeet Kune Do.” Says it changed his life. He lets me borrow his copy, and I read it. Quite frankly, I’m unimpressed. Use what works? Really? I’d have never guessed.

He then lets me borrow his copy of “Book of the 5 Rings”. This has a more profound effect on me.

In fact, one line in particular.

The line suggests that, with enough discipline, one can teach themselves. Not only that, but they can even surpass those that learn from teachers.

I decide that while my ankle is screwed, and for a few months thereafter, that I am going to teach myself what I wanted. Screw having to get what I could in these crappy B-rate schools; I was going to take what I wanted, take the knowledge, and become a kung fu master.


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