The Dojo

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A tall young man in his mid-twenties looks out the lightly tinted window of his expensive black muscle car at the very building he learned martial arts from. The style of the dojo was a highly Japanese design; wooden framed a walled with slates on the roof and a large overhang that barely stopped any light from entering the few small windows. The door was the only thing out of place for the building style – it was a swinging door instead of a sliding door.

Up until a few years ago, this was were he had learned from, where he had challenged the master and was humiliated by not once admitting defeat and was beaten time and time again.

So, he swore as he left to ever return until he was ready to fight and beat the master and redeem his honor by winning. Really, it was to fix his bruised ego. After a few years, he had returned.
As the brown haired man stepped out of his car with a knowing grace of well-developed coordination, he looked at nothing but the door. His eyes locked on it barely taking in the sound of the loose rocks under his shoes in the gravel lot or the thud of his feet again the deck surrounding the dojo. He got to the door and his tanned muscle arm reached out as his gripped the handle and with a push it opened.

The light chiming of a bell rang out inside the light tan colored and highly decorated dojo, which was all too familiar to him despite the time that had passed. All of it the young man took in, the same designs of cherry blossoms, rich strong scent of dragon's blood incense, and the fair even lighting of ceiling and wall lights that were hidden behind shades. The sliding doors leading to the dressing rooms and the master's private quarters. The shoes all at the entrance beside the straw mat at the door and the mats in the middle of the wooden floor with both students and he master on them; all of it was exactly as he remembered it. All of them were in similar looking outfits, all loose and flowing with all of them white, save the ancient Japanese man standing before the rest, his gi was black.
The gray haired Asian, the master looked at the young man, his brown eyes peering into him, “So, you have returned, Richard. Have you come for forgiveness? You will find none here. Arrogance and an inability to realize the truth can not be forgave.”

Richard bowed his head, his green eyes never once leaving the master as he kicked off his shoes, as was the custom, “I did not come for your forgiveness, I came to redeem myself.”

The master looked deeply at Richard, “How do you propose to do this?” His eyes never once wavered from Richard's body and face as if he was fully inspecting him for some minor twitch or movement from Richard.

“How else, I am going to beat you for humiliating me five years ago when I left. I am here to regain my honor.”

“Very well. Clear out; take a breather. This will not take long.” The master's students glanced back and forward between the two before they moved out of the way, feet clattering on the ground as they walked towards the locker rooms.

As the two moved to the center of the floor where a blue padded mat was, they faced each other about five feet from the other, the master then began speaking again, “You will only cause history to repeat itself on your current path.”

Richard's facial muscles tensed as he dropped his torso into a quick bow, which the master returned, signaling the start of the duel between them.

Just barely were the bows done before Richard's arm and fist lashed out towards the old Asian with surprising speed and what would normally be deadly accuracy.
The master's body had moved so suddenly and had evaded the attack so easily it might have been a slow flying butterfly, and the master having Richard's arm so close to him for the punch latched his strong fingers around it.
As he started to add force, yanking Richard forward, he pulled Richard off his feet and face first into the dojo's floor. “You have not changed – still the impatient little child that does not know when it cannot win.”
Richard began to yell his face muscles tightening as his body quickly rolled to the side before he jumped up like an oversized wolf fighting for dominance onto his former master. His fist snapped towards the master's stomach.

It connected but not how or where he had intended for the punch. The old Asian had caught the fist in his hand, his strong limber fingers wrapping around the fist and as he squeezed, pain shot up Richard's arm.

Richard yanked his arm back to escape the pain being inflicted by the master. As his hand broke free the bones and joints audibly popped as they were pulled out of place. He yelled as he begun to spin, swinging his leg around in whirlwind, the infamous roundhouse kick.

It was nothing for the master to duck underneath the kick. He used the chance to dash forward enough to punch Richard squarely in the stomach.

The force of the blow forced Richard to double over as the air escaped his lungs. He promptly fell to the ground, lacking the balance to stand from his own kick and the force of the punch.
Laying on the ground panting, he began speaking,” I can not win... I am sorry for wasting your time... Because of my arrogance, Master... I shall leave.”

As he got up and turned to leave, the master placed his hand on Richard's shoulder, “For that you are forgiven. You have learned to admit defeat and see your flows. You may join us again.”





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