One-Do

Kenneth felt sorry for the boy walking along the Lucerne Valley Road. He was always out, regardless of weather, scampering home alone. He seemed brave and fierce like a guard dog, while Kenneth floated past in his car. Kenneth had twice stopped to ask if he wanted a ride, but he’d declined politely. He didn’t stop to ask again, as he may get accused of being a paedo. That was one of the sickest things about the world today. Now adults feared children they didn’t know. What a perverse situation.

The boy’s face was often bruised. Was it another kid, Kenneth wondered? Was it a parent? Should he ask him what happened? Should he get involved?

Kenneth waved to the boy as he passed him, but he never waved back. He seemed to be moving his arms about, but more like dancing than waving. He must be listening to music. Was he alone by choice, Kenneth wondered? The kind of boy who was shy, and not yet ready to handle the world. Or was he alone by rejection? Someone who yearned for company but was denied. Kenneth had been the former when younger, but now as an old man he was the latter.

He didn’t see the boy for a while. He must have moved on like they all did eventually. This place is too small, thought Kenneth. Kids need a bigger town, maybe with a hockey rink or a swimming pool. However a month later the boy returned. On a silvery full moon night, there he was again, walking up the Lucerne Valley Road, but this time on metal crutches. Kenneth pulled up and said, “Hey son, do you need a ride today?”

The boy said, “No thanks, I’m building up my strength again.”

Should he ask him? He decided to. “What happened to you?” Then he made it a less pointed question. “A sporting injury?”

“Yes it was, but I’m almost healed now.” He indicated his legs.

“What sport do you practise? I used to play cricket.” In his mind Kenneth heard a leather ball smack a willow bat.

“I’m a martial artist,” said the boy. “It’s a style called One-Do.” As soon as he said that, Kenneth felt his limbs burning. He shivered slightly and then grimaced. “Are you feeling alright, Mister?” Kenneth said yes. “You know I think I will take that ride after all. Thanks for asking. Is that ok?” Kenneth said yes. “You can drop me at the Golden turn-off.”

They drove in silence initially, and then Kenneth said, “Please tell me about One-Do.” He felt that he should know already, but didn’t, or couldn’t remember.

“It’s an ancient martial art developed by the Golden King in 3,000 BC. Some say it developed in Arabia or India, others say China or Japan. It requires internal and external training.” Kenneth asked him to elaborate. “Internal practice like awareness and focus. External development of muscular flexibility and cardio fitness. Are you interested in martial arts?”

What could Kenneth say? He had watched a Bruce Lee film but that was it. Yet the moment the boy had said One-Do, Kenneth’s body came alive. “Yes I am,” he said. “But I’ve never tried any.”

“Would you like to start now?”

“Are you serious?” said Kenneth. “At my age? I’m seventy-seven you know.”

The boy said, “I think you’re much older than that.”

“Cheeky bugger!” said Kenneth. “What a thing to say!”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to be rude. I was trying to be funny. It’s a One-Do joke.”

“There’s One-Do jokes too?” said Kenneth. “It must be a truly holistic system.”

“Yes it is.” The boy said that he was fully conversant with Techniques, Forms, and Stances, but needed to practice Applications. If Kenneth wasn’t too busy, he would like him to become his practice partner. How about it?

Kenneth was speechless. He didn’t know what to do. But there was also another explanation. He knew exactly what to do, so there was nothing to say. Somewhere deep inside, this was what he had been waiting for. He knew it would happen. It must.

For the next week he practised rudimentary techniques, conditioning exercises, and simple movements performed repeatedly. The second week he focussed on stretching and meditation. The third week was striking, throwing, and jumping. The fourth week he worked on adapting the techniques he had learnt to hunting and military applications, by fine tuning his muscular strength and flexibility, breath and energy management, and proper body mechanics.

The boy worked with him daily, with endless patience and full support. It was clear that the boy was not just a martial artist, he was a Master of the Art. He taught Kenneth the wisdom of animal mimicry, the powers of religious ritual, and hidden meanings of legends. They practised with curved and straight swords, fighting knives, bamboo sticks, and bladed nanchuk. For closer work there were brass knuckledusters, Cretan cestus gloves, D-shaped tekko fist extenders, and Indian push daggers. For longer distance they used four-pointed shuriken throwing stars, Aztec atlatl spear launchers, 3-balled bolas, and ebony knobkierrie. The boy taught Kenneth both Hard and Soft techniques. It was clear that the boy preferred blocking head on force, and diagonal cutting moves – Hard techniques. Kenneth’s inclination was to yield, and turn an attacker’s force to his disadvantage – Soft techniques.

Within one month Kenneth had re-learnt everything that he had known in his previous incarnation 2,000 years ago as the Floating Turtle Warrior. He now fully recognized his cyclic foe, the Thunder Dog Brave. His noble opponent had retrained him well, for it would not be a fair fight otherwise. And following this auspicious full moon of the ninth quarter their time had come. As soon as the boy’s leg was fully healed, they would engage in mortal battle once more beneath the holy peaks of Mt. Alba and Mt. Negra. Kenneth also had the benefit of his current knowledge. He could lead his opponent into a disadvantageous position and then snap his weak leg, exerting of course only minimum force.

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2 Responses to “One-Do”

  1. Where can I learn this One-Do o Thunder Dog Brave?

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