Archive for martial arts

Litterbug

Posted in Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience, World Myths with tags , , , , , , , on June 4, 2012 by javedbabar

After work Sophie often went for a stroll in the Botanical Garden. The West Coast flora belonged there of course, but the Amazonian Rainforest, Egyptian Oasis, and Babylonian Hanging Gardens had been nurtured by the Zoological Society of Lucerne. Still, once they were established, they would develop interrelated environmental factors and form a functioning ecosystem. She loved pristine nature, even if it was in the wrong place.

Nature wasn’t always pretty, she knew, but it was perfectly self-regulating. A thin layer of gases, held in place by gravity, were the key active factor sustaining the planetary ecosystem. They allowed life on earth. The price of that life was the occasional hurricane, tornado, tsunami, and flood (in addition to geological effects like earthquakes and volcanic explosions), but beneficial atmospheric effects outweighed harmful ones. Life hung in a fine balance though; living organisms interacted with other elements in local environments, and must be careful not to overwhelm them.

Sophie noticed a man standing on the main path ahead of her. He was fumbling in all his pockets for something, which he found in his left hand trouser pocket. He withdrew a packet of cigarettes, unwrapped the cellophane, and threw it on the floor. He flipped the lid off the pack, withdrew a cigarette, flicked his lighter, lit up and began puffing.

Sophie couldn’t stop herself – she ran right towards him and said, “Excuse me; I think you’ve dropped something.”

The man had seen her running towards him, and rather than smile – either innocently or with embarrassment – he had stared at her breasts bouncing. He said, “No I haven’t.”

Yes you have,” said Sophie insistently. “You’ve dropped something.”

“I don’t think so,” said the man and turned away, and took a long draw of his cigarette.

“I saw you unwrap your cigarettes and throw the plastic covering on the ground.”

The man turned to face her. “So what? It’s not your business. If you don’t like it, why don’t you pick it up?”

Sophie didn’t back down. He saw she was fuming and tried another tack. “It’s biodegradable. I think it says on the…”

Here was a chance to engage further; he was stepping back; they could negotiate; end things nicely together.

Sophie’s confidence was due to her being a practitioner of One-Do, a rediscovered martial art. It integrated all other styles into a higher level of performance. She was scared of no one, not even if they held a weapon. The mind of a One-Do master triumphed over physical threats every time.

However Sophie was not yet a master. Her one year of training had made her a next-level novice. There was no real hierarchy in One-Do. Just levels and next levels.

“Throwing litter is disgusting!” she shouted. “It ruins the environment. You’re disgusting! Some people improve the places they visit. You make them worse. You’re a disgusting person!” She stormed off before she’d have to hit him. The man was bemused by her ferocity but continued smoking.

The Botanical Garden’s creator, known as The Gardener, had observed these events from the far end of the main path. He called his pupil Sophie over, and said, “Watch this.” He whispered something to the small silver monkey on his left shoulder, and it jumped up into the trees.

A moment later, the disgusting man was hit by a banana, then a coconut, and then a heavy palm frond fell right on his head. His cigarette and his life were extinguished. It was a natural occurrence. It seemed inevitable. This is the way of One-Do.

One-Do

Posted in Lucerne Village, Mystical Experience, Unknown, World Myths with tags , , , , , on April 13, 2012 by javedbabar

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.