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MrBadGuy
1/22/2008 11:50pm,
So, I've been lurking the forum for quite some time now. I giggle with glee as I read the various "Diary of X" postings; not only because they're funny, but because I can relate to them. I'll admit, I was, and probably still am, extremely gullible. I have fallen for every bullshit martial arts trick in the book, and been to every McDojo and shitty place in Houston. Only recently have I converted to a boxing gym, which feels almost holistic in comparison to my previous endeavors.

What I'm about to tell is not a work of fiction as most of the other diaries are. This is autobiographical, and 100% true. I remember vividly all of my martial arts; my humble beginings in Kuk Sool Won, my dealings with an extremely crappy BJJ school, my dealings with an excellent BJJ school, Shaolin Kung Fu/Wushu, then some kind of Northern Kung Fu/ Sanda place, a brief period of "self teaching" from instructional martial arts books, a wonderful Shotokan Karate pile of crap, and finally, boxing. What I hope to bring to you all is amusement at my misadventures. If I was going to give my diary a selling point, it would be the fact that it all actually happened. I can name you schools, and teachers at any of these schools (although at some I left on bad terms, as you may come to find out). If this, however, sucks too incredibly hard, I will most likely stop and pretend I never did this in the first place. Anyway, I figure I should start at the beginning.



Kuk Sool Won, Part 1

The year is 1998, and I am a young, supple 8 year old. I believe I weighed roughly 90 to 100 pounds, which made me decently husky. I was tall enough so that I wasn't the fat kid everybody made fun of when he couldn't catch up with the kids who took his pokemon cards (actually happened), but I wasn't athletic. I had, if you will, a doughy physique.
As a kid, I distinctly remember never really being picked on. I had a fair amount of friends my own age, and one kid who was 2 years older than I was. All of this will have meaning eventually.

I recall a very fateful September day, a day that would forever change my life's meaning. I had come home, and my parents informed me I was going to be taking real, bonafide kung fu lessons. I was ecstatic. I would learn how to do all the cool stuff I had seen in the movies, like jumping kicks, and fighting with sticks and swords! I eagerly dressed myself in sweat pants and a T-shirt, and my dad drove me for what seemed like eternity.

We finally arrived at the school. I was initially unimpressed; I expected one of those ancient looking houses you see in kung fu movies, and what I received was a dull gray building nestled between a golf shop, and a baskin robins. I continued inside, and instantly felt a feeling of wonderment. The front room was boring; it housed a table littered with old issues of Inside Kung Fu Magazine, a glass display case with weapons, videos, and books, and a 900 year old lady, of what I presumed to be chinese origin. She asked me if I wanted to try the class, and I eagerly replied ,"Yes". She led me through a small doorway, into the main area of the school.

Once inside, I was filled with happiness and wonder. My dad tried to follow us, but she informed him that non-students weren't allowed in! Ah, the pride. I looked around; there was one wall filled with weapons (one was noticably a giant pink fan, which I assumed was for the women practicioners), one wall entirely covered with mirrors, one regular wall, and where the final wall should've been was nothing but windows that looked into the parking lot. How peculiar, I thought. I realized that the reason I hadn't noticed them before was due to the fact that they were tinted. I later learned that this was so people didn't steal our secrets.

The head instructor walks up and greets me with a smile. We shake hands, and I instantly notice he is missing half of his index finger. He notices that I notice, and clears his throat.

"I lost in an electrical accident. It's no big deal."

I simply nod, but on the inside I'm ecstatic. My teacher is missing half his finger, and plays it off like nothing? What a bad ass.

He leads me over to a group of people. There's one tall guy and his girlfriend, both asian, the girlfriend's sister, who is grossly overweight, and another kid who is already wearing a black belt. The instructor says he will return shortly, and trots off. I look at the black belt, puzzled. Why is he in the first timer group if he's a black belt?! He must have noticed my staring and says, "Yea, I was a blackbelt in Tae Kwon Do. It got boring though, so I wanted to be a blackbelt in something else." I nod with mixed feelings. If he's a black belt, shouldn't he be bad ass? Why is he even here?

The instructor returns, and shows us when, where, and how to bow. We practice it a few times, and he informs us of school etiquette. He singles out black belt boy, and mentions that here he is just like all of the other beginners. I quietly laugh to myself.
He then tells us a little bit about our art form. It is called "Kuk Sool Won", a korean art. He tells us about the various weapons, self defense uses, and how the grand master taught it to the korean army! Despite my age, I knew if it was taught to people in the army, it was the real deal.

Next, he shows us the foundation of KSW: the stance. One foot in the front, one in the back. The front leg is bent at a 90 degree angle, and the back leg is bent in a lesser degree. Our arms our down about sternum high, both flat. If viewed from above, it looks like a U. He informs us that "You make a U to protect U!". It makes sense. We finish the class by bowing as we were supposed to, and head home. My dad asks if I like it.

I yell "HELL YEA" in the car, we both laugh, go home, and eat ice cream.


Next time, Part 2; Seeds of doubt!

MrBadGuy
1/22/2008 11:58pm,
Woops, I didn't realize bullshit wasn't allowed in a title. Although the word twinkie actually makes it better considering what's to come.

Frank White
1/23/2008 12:08am,
one wall entirely covered with mirrors, one regular wall, and where the final wall should've been was nothing but windows that looked into the parking lot. How peculiar, I thought. I realized that the reason I hadn't noticed them before was due to the fact that they were tinted. I later learned that this was so people didn't steal our secrets.




Were you aware the mirrors were one-way , and on the other side were fat sweaty korean businessmen watching you?

tatsu84
1/23/2008 6:07am,
Were you aware the mirrors were one-way , and on the other side were fat sweaty korean businessmen watching you?

So we got it all wrong...they don't make their money from shady billing practices but from making korean businessmen pay to see kids sweat... :angry2:

Jadonblade
1/23/2008 7:41am,
I liked this. Well written with enough satire to keep one amused. Roll on the next!

Lebell
1/23/2008 7:53am,
*subscribing to this silliness*

hpr
1/23/2008 9:08am,
Looks promising, keep it coming.

Ronin.74
1/23/2008 9:52am,
Subscribed!! Keep it coming!

Coyote
1/23/2008 10:00am,
There's one tall guy and his girlfriend, both asian, the girlfriend's sister, who is grossly overweight, and another kid who is already wearing a black belt.
BULLSHIDO TEAM, ASSEMBLE!!!

jkdbuck76
1/23/2008 12:38pm,
Who was your ksw instructor?

And did you get to touch the fluffy pink fans?

DHNK
1/23/2008 4:00pm,
This gets my "Niceguy" seal of approval. Great potential. If you don't continue this and leave us hanging like Running Dog, I will hunt you down and strangle you with a pink fan.

Tom .C
1/23/2008 4:06pm,
Mas por favor

CoffeeFan
1/23/2008 6:48pm,
So far I like it. Can't wait to hear more

Commodore Pipes
1/23/2008 7:25pm,
MOAR!

MrBadGuy
1/23/2008 7:33pm,
Before I begin, I'd like to point out that the names have been changed to protect the innocent. I'm pretty damn horrible at remembering people's names to boot, so it's a pretty decent cop-out for me. On with the show!

Kuk Sool Won Part 2: Seeds of Doubt

The following Tuesday I return to the school for my first real class. I line up with all of the other students, including the asian guy, his girlfriend, and the obese sister. I stand next to that trio because A), I know them, and B), they suck just as bad as I do. We do a less than energetic jog around the room, and do various stretches; the lazy man's stretch (one foot out, the other bent in, reach for the out foot), the bridge, the legs in a V, and so on. Despite never really exercising, I'm not out of breath.

One thing I instantly take notice of are the people standing in front of the mirros; in the center was the man I met with only four full fingers (Henceforth referred to as "Johnny Four fingers"), a short chubby latino man with a goatee ("Joe"), and a man who looked strikingly similar to Norm MacDonald with a goatee ("Norm"). Norm and Joe both wear black belts as well, and follow along with Johnny Four fingers as he leads the warm up. He assigns Joe to the orange belts and below, Norm to the blue belts to brown belts, and Johnny Four fingers leaves to the back room. I'm disappointed that he won't be instructing me; I kind of liked the guy.

Joe begins to show us how to switch stances; you jump in the air, and switch your feet. He goes on to explain you switch stances to confuse your opponent. This is all fine and dandy, but I hadn't learned anything combat worthy yet. How am I supposed to defend U with a U if I don't know, well, how to fight? Luckily, Joe transitions to round house kicks. He tells us to raise our legs, like dogs taking a whiz (I laughed at this part; I decide I like Joe as well), and then snap our leg out fast. He tells us to kick with our right leg, and hold it. Our left arm comes across to our right ear, and our right arm goes down to almost cup the groin. He says this is so we don't get kicked in the privates, while the other arm protects our face. We truly have all the bases covered (no pun intended).

Joe gets a pad, shaped like a tear drop, and tells us to "unleash the beast". He holds the base such that the wide part of the tear is the area we kick. I snap my kick out with a resounding krizzack! Joe comments that I did well, but I need to remember to drop my right hand. He tells it will give me more power, and that I definately don't want to get kicked in the junk. I agree.

Next is obese sister. She goes to kick the target, but misses by a mile. She lacks flexibility, and can't kick above thigh height. He lowers it, she makes a crummy thud, and I smile inside. After her is Asian guy. He kicks, and makes a kick just as sharp as mine and kicks a little higher than I did. At this point, I've decided he is my rival. Finally is his girlfriend. Her performance was mediocre, and I didn't pay that much attention.

Joe gets rid of the kicking target, and informs us we are going to learn something called "Kibonsu". I don't know what it is, but I'm ecstatic. He tells asian guy to stand in the normal stance, with his left foot forward. They look like mirror images, until Joe commands him to grab his wrist.

What happens next was so lightning fast, I didn't notice it had happened. Joe grabbed Asian guy's hand as it was coming to grab, twisted it out, turned 90 degrees, kick the back of his knee, let him fall down, put a knee on his stomach, and punched him in the face. Holy crap.

He tells us this is Kibonsu #1. The fact that there are more of these excites me, and I'm eager to practice it. He pairs me up, to my dismay, with obese sister. I had hoped for the more attractive Girlfriend, but I wasn't going to say anything. She grabs my wrist, then I grab the back of her hand. Her hand suddenly goes limp, and I'm confused. I drop it in my confusion at the EXACT time Joe walks over to us.

"No no no, try it on me."

Joe grabs my wrist, and I grab and twist. Again, it goes limp. I perform the rest of the motion, but ask him does it matter if the person relaxes or not. He says for now we should relax to train the technique, and then it won't matter if they relax or resist. It makes sense.

We end with basic kata; nothing exciting here. The normal, punch punch kick turn, block punch kick, etc. Joe told us that kata was one of the greatest parts of our art. We could practice our techniques at home, even if we didn't have a partner! I decide I like kata. This will ultimately lead to my demise in 8 years.

We bow, I head home, end of the day.


This continues for two weeks, and all is well. One day during these two weeks, I see an older guy who as a blue belt. He is practicing his kicks, but something is off. Instead of holding his hands in a U and moving one to his crotch, he has his hands in a boxing stance. I recognize this because my Mom is an avid boxing fan. Since he was a blue belt, I deduced this was some form of advanced stance. I would clearly exceed Asian guy using his stance, and I practice my kicks with my hands up, fists at the face.

Joe walks over, almost disappointed. He sighs, and puts my hands down into the U shape.

"You put your hands in a U to protect U, remember?"

"But that guy-"

"U to protect U."

I am slightly saddened, but whatever. Joe is, after all, a black belt, while this guy is only blue.


During the course of these two weeks, a friend of my Dad's visited us for the weekend. He is a crazy German fellow, who is usually always drunk. My dad tells him I'm doing kung fu, and that I'm getting good. GerMan tells me to show him some of my stuff.

I get in my U stance, and throw a few kicks. Then I tell him I'm going to show him a kibonsu.

"Kibons? What are the Kibons?"

Excellent. He doesn't even know what they are; I'll throw it on him with the element of surprise! I tell him to just grab my wrist, and anticipate his actions.

He grabs it. I grab his hand, and go to twist, except it isn't twisting. In fact, he's still holding on to my wrist. Hard. I can't get his hand off of my wrist.

He slurs out, "When does it start?"

I inform him he's holding too tight, and he laughs. As he laughs, he lightens his grip! I use this chance and twist his wrist, and go to kick his leg. Except he doesn't fall down or anything. He then twists his wrist back into place, grabs my arm, twists it, and puts me on the ground. I'm slighly afraid because he's both drunk, and in a position to hurt me. My dad says that's enough, and the GerMan walks away laughing.

Now, I chalk this up to the fact that he's a grown adult and I'm a child. Except Joe said to the kids could use this technique not to get abducted. I'm confused, and ask him about it at the next class.

"You just need to practice more! In fact, we'll spend all day today doing Kibonsu #1, and new kibonsu too!"

I was a little iffy. This didn't make sense; why teach me more if I couldn't get the first one to work? My technique was PERFECT, just like I had practiced on fat girl plenty of times!

I brood on this for a few days, until at the end of the next class it is announced that there will be...a belt test.

Not only that, but he tells me I'm ready for my yellow belt.

Next time: Kuk Sool Won Part 3: Undefeated!

PasleyPMT
1/23/2008 7:35pm,
Starting off very well!

From what you said before your "story" it seems that you've had a decent amount of MA experience (albeit bad experiences). If you were 8 in '98 then you have to be 17-18; you're only a year older than me.

I need to get on the ball and visit a few of my local Tae kwon do, Karate, or made-up weirdo YMCA martial art schools to up my experience points!