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Chicks and Vampires

October 31st, 2015 by Sifu Brandon Jones

Students often ask, “How do I know if I really know Kung Fu?”

My answer: visit a haunted house.

One October, my church youth group went to the Louisiana State Fair. My girlfriend, Leslie and I walked the entire park arm-in-arm, intoxicated with the alluring aroma of funnel cakes, corndogs, and cotton candy. We rode every ride and saved the haunted house for nightfall.

As Michael Jackson’s Thriller played over the loud speaker, we stood in line with a hundred other people and anxiously waited to step through the web-covered door into the dark monster-filled house. Boards covered the windows and the full moon cast eerie shadows across the roof. I caught a glimpse of a gargoyle peering down at us from the second-story balcony.

Leslie squeezed my hand. “Promise you won’t let go of me,” she said.

“You’re safe with me,” I bragged.

Vincent Prices’ diabolical laughter from Thriller seemed to mock me as we advanced in line.

I never did like that song.

As we neared the entrance, I grew a bit nervous. Every time the front door opened, I could hear the wicked buzz of chainsaws and the victims’ screams coming from inside the house.

Leslie hugged my arm. Her body trembled. What a rush. We were standing at the edge of a nightmare, ready to cross the river Styx. With all the bravado I could muster, I handed Freddy Kruger our tickets. He pointed to the darkness.

My heart pounding, we ducked under the webs and stepped inside. Total blackness. Blindly, we shuffled forward, the floor creaking beneath our feet. Anguished moans and hideous laughter echoed throughout the house.

Suddenly, a candle lit the entryway. It’s flamed floated in mid-air.

As my eyes adjusted, I could see the silhouette of a ghost woman behind it. She instructed us to follow her. With Leslie practically on my back, we followed ghost woman down a narrow hallway and squeezed into a tiny room with fifteen other people.  The smell of sweat and fear was thick.

“You’re about to step into hell,” Ghost-woman said. “Follow my commands and you survive.” Her candle went out. Everything went instantly black.

Something pounded on the wall next to me. Leslie screamed and dug her fingernails into my arm. The haunting kill, kill, kill, sound effect that’s on Friday the 13th started playing. Then, strobe lights flashed and the painted images of demons on the walls began to dance. The floor shook. Devils shrieked. Wolves howled. More chain saws buzzed in the distance.

Instinctively, my hands curled to fists.

“Bellazar, the vampire demon is deeply disturbed,” Ghost Woman’s voice cried. “One of you must die to appease him.”

A man behind me said, “Oh, hell no.”

Suddenly, two arms grabbed my shoulders and began to slide around my neck. I didn’t think; just reacted.

I pulled free from Leslie and drove two elbows into the attacker’s stomach. I heard “umph”, and felt his hot breath on my neck.

I clutched his elbow with one hand, his shoulder with the other, and flipped him over my back. A loud crash, something ripped. My attacker howled and cursed. I had no idea vampires knew so many curse words.

Ghost-lady demanded to know what was going on as she tried to relight her candle.

My attacker paused long enough in his profanity marathon to scream, “Someone tried to kill me,” and then he continued with his demonic vocabulary.

I grabbed Leslie, pulled her close, and pushed toward the exit but she screamed and fought me away. I had grabbed the wrong girl. In absolute darkness, I spun around and groped for Leslie but the effort was futile. I was caught in a tangle of bodies as everyone searched for the exit.

Women screamed. Men shouted. The noise level was deafening.

Then the lights exploded on and everyone froze—until they saw, whom I assumed was Bellazar, the vampire demon. He was lying on the floor in a pool of blood. He had a black curtain wrapped around his ankle.

When I had flipped him, his foot apparently had snagged one of the curtains the staff had hung from the ceiling to help black out the room. Now it draped around his body absorbing the blood.

Whether Bellazar’s blood was fake or real, no one cared. A woman cried, “Oh, Lord in heaven!” and then everyone rushed the exit.

Outside, everyone scattered. Sirens blared. Security rushed into the house. Michael Jackson had stopped singing.

I bolted. I wanted as much distance between Bellazar and me as possible. I met up with my youth group at the entrance gate.

Leslie was there. She wasn’t happy.

Neither was anyone else.  I learned that park officials had shut the house down and poor Bellazar had to receive minor medical attention. Luckily, no one knew who was responsible.

We boarded the church bus and headed home.

Leslie refused to speak to me except for saying she wanted to break up.

I didn’t get it. I’d saved us from Bellazar. What was her problem?

I decided it was the allure of chicks to vampires. Girls always chose the vampire.

But the real the moral to this tale? If you want to know if you’re learning kung fu, see how you react when you’re frightened.

No, I don’t condone trashing haunted houses. I suggest not going in the first place.  Beating up cursing demons, however, I’m OK with.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just like Bourne

October 29th, 2015 by Sifu Brandon Jones

The power of a book.

I vividly remember my father handing me the thick hardback and saying, “Read this. I think you’ll enjoy it.” Dad had no idea that he’d just laid something in my hands that would set the course for my life.

I was fourteen and had never heard of Robert Ludlum or The Bourne Identity, and I had no idea about the plot of the book. I immediately read the dust jacket and was mesmerized by Bourne having amnesia, and yet his body “knew” all of these special skills.

That one thought totally consumed me. The idea that the body could be trained to do something so well that it actually becomes an internal part of your being, something you can do without thought, as natural as breathing or sleeping.

I devoured the pages like a starving dog attacks a fried chicken leg. I read so much I even forgot about watching MTV. (That was a big deal for a teenager 1982, when MTV was a new phenomenon and actually played music videos.)

When Dad gave me the book, I was considering signing up for a summer Kung fu program. By the time I finished the first couple of chapters and Bourne had wiped out a group of fishermen with his “mentally buried” martial arts skills, I knew right then I had to learn kung fu. I wanted my body to know it…just like Bourne.

Now, over thirty years later, I continue to strive for that perfection in my own kung fu. I want to instill that same passion into my students and hope that they will believe that kung fu can be just as natural to them.

Lola and Lone Wolf McQuade

September 23rd, 2013 by Sifu Brandon Jones

Ever remember something from your past and say, “What was I thinking?”    Unfortunately, I have many. One event that comes to mind happened on a Friday night in the spring of 1983.

Mom had just dropped me off behind the Cinema (In the pre-driving days, to retain your cool-kid status, you could never allow anyone to witness your parents dropping you off at the show. Parents had explicit instructions: drive around back, slow down enough for the kid to jump out, then quickly drive away. Don’t look back, no honking, and certainly no shouting, “I’ll be back in two hours”).

Mom drove fast, so luckily, with my kung fu training, I could maintain my balance whenever I sprang from the speeding car.

Despite the heat that evening, I strutted through the parking lot feeling very cool as the sound of Sammy Hagar’s “Your Love is Driving Me Crazy” blasted from opened-car windows. I waved to some friends then looped around the tan bricked-building.

My pulse quickening with each step, I passed the marquee, squeezed through the crowd, and—BAM—there she was, standing with a group of her friends, smiling at me.

My heart leapt to my throat.

Her name was Lola, the love of my eighth-grade year. She looked fantastic. Big hair, Flash Dance clothes, Madonna wristbands—wow!

Said hi to her, her friends, and then made my move for the big hug.

The timing was perfect. The moment we embraced, a car drove by playing “Hard to say I’m sorry” by Chicago, the ultimate love song of junior high.

Of course, thinking about it now, it was also the biggest break-up song.

A foreshadow of the evening.

“So, what are we seeing,” Lola asked. (In the city of Marshall, it never mattered what was showing. Friday night meant show night. However, on this night, the movie I’d been waiting for had arrived.

 “Lone Wolf McQuade,” I said, barely able to contain my excitement.

“OK,” Lola said. “Who’s in it?”

“Chuck Norris.”

“Who’s that?”

I winced in pain and suddenly felt short of breath. Who’s Chuck Norris!

 To say that I was a mere Chuck fan would be a colossal understatement.

Up to Lone Wolf, I’d seen every Norris film. I knew every title, every character, every line of dialogue; I could even mimic every fight scene.

I know. You’re thinking, sad-case-of-no-life, right?

Wrong. You’d be amazed at how many people I’ve helped over the years who needed some quick Chuck trivia.

Staring into to Lola’s stunning blue eyes, I regained my composure, smiled, and said, “You’ll like it.”

We bought the tickets, went inside, grabbed Cokes and popcorn, and found our seats.  The theater was packed. I was smiling ear-to-ear. I was with the perfect girl about to watch the perfect movie.

The lights dimmed. The previews rolled.

I held her hand.

Foreigner’s, “Waiting for a girl like you,” played in my head.

The movie began.

Western music played while a grey wolf sprinted across a dusty prairie.  Chuck’s name flashed on the screen.

I held my breath, counted to three, then eased my arm around Lola’s shoulders. She scooted closer. I could feel her heartbeat against my side. She smelled wonderful. I think she called the scent, Chloe.

Working up the nerve to kiss her, I moved closer, quickly chewing up my breath mint. The armrest bit into my ribs. You can do this, Jones.

My heart was racing. I pivoted in my seat when—what the heck!

There were like fifty bad guys shooting at Chuck.

With my eyes riveted on the screen, I snatched my arm from around her shoulders and gripped the seat in front of me. Come on, Chuck!

Chuck didn’t let me down.

He kicked a bad guys’s teeth out then blasted everyone else with a pair of Mac 10 submachine guns. Pure awesomeness!

Lola fidgeted in her seat.

Oh yeah, I’m on a date.

I settled back in my seat, smiled at her and whispered, “Sorry.”

After moments of awkwardness, I slid my arm around her again.  I’d wait a while before I attempted another kiss.

As the movie played on, we moved closer together, almost cheek-to-cheek. We even shared a Coke, which I took as a sign that she’d forgiven me.

Time for the Big Move.

As fast as I could throw a snap-kick, I kissed Lola on the lips.

Wow! Her lips were soft and warm and they had the combination taste of watermelon lip-gloss, salty butter, and Coca Cola. A taste bud explosion. I definitely had to do that again. But this time . . . I was going for the French kiss.

Not to appear too eager, I decided to wait five minutes.  I glanced at my Casio digital watch. The countdown had begun.

Minute four and a half, my heart was in my throat. My nervous system was near shutdown. I was tingling all over. Thirty seconds more was an eternity.

I closed my eyes and counted.

Twenty … Nineteen.  

My ears roared from my rushing pulse. I’d never been so nervous.

Lola’s hand was on my thigh. (Actually, not. Her arm slipped off the armrest and her pinky-finger grazed my leg). I actually saw fireworks.

Ten … Nine.

I opened my eyes, turned toward her, but first, glanced at the screen.

What the—

Bad guys had buried Chuck.

But not just bury him. They buried him in his truck. I mean, who escapes that?

Freakin’ Chuck Norris, that’s who!

He drove his truck right out of that hole.

I was on my feet. “Go Chuck!”

Chuck killed everybody, saved the cops, then raced to find David Carradine, the main antagonist of the movie.

Still standing, I reached blindly behind me, plucked the Coke from Lola’s hands, and gulped it down.  I was parched. The tension was overwhelming.

Finally, Carradine, showed up, faced Chuck. Oh yeah, it was on!

Carradine swung. Chuck ducked. I ducked.

Carradine, kicked. Chuck blocked and countered. I blocked and countered.

I was in the zone, one with Chuck.

Three minutes later, Chuck killed Carradine then blew up his house. The perfect movie ending.

The credits rolled.  The lights came up. I was standing in a puddle of sweat.

I turned, reached for the Coke again. No one was there.

Lola was gone. Actually, the entire row was empty. An elderly couple in front of me (they were probably pushing thirty) asked if I was OK.

Outside, Lola was nowhere in sight.

Mom drove up. She had the windows down. Lynyrd Skynyrd boomed from the speakers. Mom was cool like that.

“Hey!” I hear behind me.

I turned, hoping it was Lola.

It was her friend. She handed me a note. It was folded into fours with smudged fingerprints on it, remnants of buttered popcorn.

I opened it.  Read it standing next to the car.

Brandon,

Thanks for the popcorn and Coke. Not the movie!

I want to break up.

Lola.

 Awe man! I crumpled the note. How could she not like the movie?

Fortunately, years later, Lola forgave me. We even laughed about it. But I’d bet, to this day, she still hates the movie.

Who’s Yo Daddy? A Chuck Norris Tale

August 22nd, 2013 by Sifu Brandon Jones

In past blogs I’ve portrayed Sifu Fogg as a hard-nosed, no-nonsense task master. At times it felt like he was, but truth is, Mr. Fogg is very laid back and has a great sense of humor.

While sweating blood to earn my bachelors at Stephen F. in Nacogdoches, Sifu Fogg was there as well completing his masters. Perfect timing. During those two years, I was able to absorb lots of kung fu from The Man himself.

On Friday evening before summer finals, I dropped by Sifu’s apartment on North Street. We were going to train then grab a bite to eat. Entering the apartment complex, I was welcomed by a group of girls dancing in the parking lot. Welcome to college life.

The entire complex was one big party. A sea of happy people, all with drinks in hand, moved in rhythmic waves across the parking lot and walk ways to a grotesque mixture of country, head-banger, and rap that boomed from car stereos and open apartment doors. I eventually found a parking spot, locked down the car, then headed to Sifu’s apartment.

To my left, the pool overflowed with bikinied beauties, while in front of me, empty pizza boxes blocked my view of the stairway.

Declining lots of beer and party invites along the way, I finally located the stairs, pushed my way up to Room 227, and stepped inside. Cigarette smoke was thick and the music even louder. People were elbow-to-elbow. I asked the girl closest to me if she had seen Sifu. (It’s crazy. Everyone calls Mr. Fogg, “Sifu”, even if they’re not his students). The young woman took a sip of whatever was in her 64oz Coke cup and just stared at me, along with her two other friends. Figuring she didn’t hear me over the music, I asked the question again.

No response, just more staring. I soon noticed that everyone else standing close by was staring as well. What’s the deal?

I suddenly felt nervous, wondering if a piece of spinach or a raisin was stuck in my teeth.

Finally, the girl asked, “Who’s yo daddy?”

“What?” I asked. Surely I heard wrong.

At that moment, if a tribe of Amazonian cannibals had suddenly burst through the windows, stuck a sharp spear to my throat, and said they’d eat me unless I told them what I thought the young woman had just asked me, ‘Who’s yo daddy’ certainly would not have been it.

“Who’s yo daddy?” she asked again then slurped from her cup.

Before I could respond, Sifu suddenly appeared out of nowhere. (He did that quite often).

“I already told them Chuck Norris was your daddy,” Sifu said, “and that he sent you here to learn kung fu from me. It’s okay, you can admit it.”

Another girl wearing a tight sleeveless shirt and short-shorts stepped really close to me. Her alcohol breath burned my nose, “He sure looks like Chuck Norris.”

“Well, I-” I felt my face turning red.

“Chuck Norris knows kung fu.” The 64oz girl said to Sifu. “Why he gonna send his son to learn from you?”

Without a beat, Sifu said, “Chuck knows karate, not kung fu. He’s embarrassed about that. He knows kung fu is better and he knows that I’m the best. He secretly sent his son to train with me.”

By now, a large crowd had encircled us.

Short-shorts girl cocked her head at me and said, “So show us something then.” The crowed stepped back, every eye on me.

You need to know that I was a Chuck fanatic and I did mimic many of his moves, particularly his kicks.

I made a show of warming up then jumped and did a spinning back outside crescent kick, the kick that Chuck made famous in his tournament days. My baggy KF pants popped and my leather shoe slapped against my hand. I landed in the splits.

“Damn,” a guy behind me said.

“See, I told you.” Sifu shrugged and vanished back into the crowd.

Before we left, I actually signed a few autographs as “Chuck Norris’ son”. It was crazy.

Little Boy to Young Warrior

April 4th, 2013 by James

Most of you probably know me as the tall, always smiling, confident guy at Tyler Kung Fu and Fitness.

If so,  I understand why, because that is who I am. I’m always happy to meet new people, and 99% of the time I’m in a good mood. I’m laid back and go with the flow (like the FU). The children that I teach look up to me. These are just some of my many influences that make me the person I am.

However, buried deep inside me is a little boy struggling to prove that I am the best.

When I played basketball for my high school team I was always trying to prove that even though I was less skilled and naturally gifted I was the hardest working player. In fact, during the summer I would go to the gym close to my house at 1 p.m. and play basketball until 11 p.m, only because the staff made me go home.

I loved basketball more than anything else in the entire world and it put me in a depression when I saw all these kids that had natural talent that I had to work my butt off just to have a sliver of.

Of course, I’m a determined person and I wasn’t gonna let anything get in the way of pursuing my passion. Then I moved to Terrell for reasons discussed in one of my previous blogs (Never Quit Never Lose Hope), and I just stopped playing basketball.

Then, on January 11, 2011 I started doing kung fu and I found my joy and passion. With my competitive-always-got-something-to-prove- mentality, I found something that is for me. I struggle with kung fu as well, because I feel I’m not good enough. I’m always training with people way above my level and experience, and of course, I get thrown around a lot. However this just makes me push harder.

Defeat is NOT an option, not even to someone better than me.

I’m competitive in everything I do and I hate losing more than anything. I’m confident because I have to be. I’m always smiling and happy because there’s no need to be in a bad mood all the time.

I am the little boy ever struggling to become a young warrior.

Kung Fu is Everything

April 4th, 2013 by David DeWalch

One night my eight year-old asked to read Sifu Fogg’s book before bed. Awesome, I though. My son loves Kung Fu as much as I do.

We started at the beginning where Fogg talks about our history, where we came from and how the Mantis System was born and developed. As we read, I try to imagine what it must have been like in the beginning. 

 A monastery in China, Kung Fu, two friends, two Kung Fu brothers. Wait, friends? OK, hold that thought….  One is continually being bested by his Kung Fu brother, long hours of training and work aren’t helping. His brother leaves for a year and Mantis is born by a river from simply being there and through observation. 

 Our art is deadly and highly effective. We learn techniques that can maim and kill. We learn strikes that can effectively stop an attacker cold. We are warriors, we train to fight, we train to protect ourselves and those that we love. What struck me was HOW our system came to be. My son and his love of Kung Fu showed me that our art was developed by two friends. Friends, not through war or battle but two friends with a mutual love of Kung Fu.

As the story goes the monks’ friend came back after his travels and fought his Kung Fu brother, much to his surprise his Kung Fu brother bested him that day. He was not insulted by this defeat, he was excited. Mantis Kung Fu was born that day and it was born out of friendship and the love of Kung Fu. 

 Throughout life we develop friendships and relationships with others. We all have family that we are attached to and we love deeply. The relationships that are formed through Kung Fu are some of the deepest bonds that I have seen.

We fight for fun, we hit each other and laugh, we discuss with enthusiasm the technique that just threw us to the ground. Why do we do this? We make each other better, we motivate each other to excel and train harder. We correct each other and accept criticism no matter what rank we hold. We do this with mutual respect and admiration for each other and for the art.

We are the carriers of centuries of knowledge and we have a responsibility to uphold the principals of our Mantis System both internal and external. Everything we do is Kung Fu; how we act, how we accept defeat, how we train, how we treat others. 

 Two friends developed a deadly art out of mutual respect for each other and the love of Kung Fu. I write this after having spent nearly 3 hours training with friends. We help each other and we critique each other. There is no room in our training for pride or ego, we respect each other as we respect the art.  

These are my brothers and sisters and I am ever in their debt and I owe them more than words could express. They are my motivation, my direction, my teachers, my role model, my friends and my family

 

November 11

November 12th, 2012 by Sifu Brandon Jones

As I write this, the morning rain outside my window is pounding everything in its path. The creek running alongside my house is beginning to flood my front yard and strong winds force huge pines to bow. The sky is a purplish gray. I’m cold.

I find myself wishing for a sunny day, feeling down only because of the weather.

That’s when I notice the date.

November 11.

How selfish and spoiled I am. Here I sit, completely protected from the elements, writing on a computer, when thousands of United States Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines, are carrying out their duties despite the weather. I watch the rain. The wind has changed course and is now slamming bullets of water into my windows, yet I am still safe and dry.

I can’t imagine sleeping on desert floors in 150 degree weather as sand granules burrow their way into every cell of my body and mortar rounds hum through the night somewhere above me.  Nor could I imagine running through jungles with snakes and snipers ready to kill me.

I can’t imagine flying a jet with a MIG on my tail, or being aboard a ship as huge waves crash against the hull and pelt my face with salt water and soak my clothes, all while an enemy sub aims to blow me up.

I can’t imagine fast-roping from a Blackhawk Helicopter into a barren, war-torn village as men, women, and children fire their A-K 47’s at me.

I can’t imagine being part of a four-man special ops team, dropped off in the black of night a mile away from my target, swimming in shark infested waters only then to crawl through dense tropical forest to infiltrate terrorists’ camps.

I can’t imagine going through all of that and then Americans, the people I so proudly swore to protect and to defend, treat me as a leper when I return.

Hollywood makes fun of me. Stupid actors—who have no clue what I do and what I stand for—publicly denigrate me yet portray me on the big screen. Politicians use me as pawns. The media calls me a killer, a murderer. Protesters show up at my buddies’ funerals.

But you know what? I don’t have to imagine any of that. The United States Warrior has already done it for me . . . for real. These men and women do this day after day because they see the bigger picture. They understand the threat.

U.S. Soldiers are the epitome of servant hood. They love this country and we should love them.

The storm has intensified outside but suddenly, I feel warm, safe.

Thank God for you Veterans.

We honor you this November 11.

Life After Black . . .

October 30th, 2012 by David DeWalch

It seems like so long ago that I walked through the doors of Tyler Kung Fu & Fitness…..  a life long goal to be realized, obtain a Black Belt.  Now that I that I have achieved this goal things have changed, in a good way.

1 in 10,000, that’s the number that sticks in my head.  Sifu wrote that only 1 in 10,000 of individuals that start martial arts achieve the Black Belt level.  Why is this important to me?  Little did I know when I started Kung Fu that it would touch every aspect of my life.  Kung Fu has changed everything; the way I feel, the way I act, the way I treat others.  The importance of Kung Fu for me was a slow incremental change in myself that I can only see in retrospect.  Every little step along the way has changed me for the better.

The months leading up to August 11th were filled with intense training often times loosing sleep in order to train twice a day.  There was excitement and anxiety, fear and self-doubt.  I am so thankful for the support of my Kung Fu brothers and sisters during this time, we forged a bond that can never be broken by distance and time.  A bond forged through combat, pain, and honor.  I often thought to myself – how will I feel after I am a Black Belt, how will achieving this goal change me?

How I felt before August 11th and how I feel now has surprised me.  Prior to the test I told myself that this was it, this is the goal.  After the test I thought that I’m just going to train.  I wasn’t planning on testing further; I was planning on learning Kung Fu and having fun with it.  All of that has changed; I am now a Black Belt in the 7 Star Preying Mantis System.  What does that mean?  To me it means that I represent my system, my school, my master and my lineage.  As a Black Belt I am held to a higher standard, the students in our school will look to me as a source of guidance and inspiration.  I feel that I owe it to my school, my master and other students to be the very best that I can be.

Testing post Black Belt?  Wasn’t planning on it, really.  In my mind I’m working through this, and I come to the realization – why train and not test?  I owe it to myself; I owe it to my system.  The second realization I come to, I know so little.  Is this a bad thing, absolutely not!  How great is it that there is so much more to learn!  Motivation at it’s finest, the travel on the path of Kung Fu is endless and the journey is a gift.

So what is life like after Black Belt….  I know it is different for everyone, for me I am more motivated and excited than ever but the mindset has changed.  Before the test I was training for me, to get the belt.  Now I am training to honor the system, to pass down the knowledge to those who come after me, to honor my master and school.  My Kung Fu has become selfless.  In the intense weeks before the test I was talking to a Kung Fu brother about the time and sacrifice that we pour into our training and he said something that just made sense, “Kung Fu, it’s what I do…”  That simple yet profound statement summed it up; IT’S WHAT WE DO AND HOW WE LIVE.  Kung fu is woven into the very fabric of my life and every day I get to train is a gift.

Train hard!

 

The Box

October 30th, 2012 by James

I’ve been teaching kung fu for a little more than a year now and I have gotten a much better understanding of it than most people (average Joes). However, having a good understanding comes at somewhat of a price. You could call it a limitation. I have to stay inside the box.

What is the box you ask? It’s the boundaries that let me know whether or not I’m giving too much information about a particular technique or form. This makes it much easier to avoid getting carried away and teaching everything that I know all at once.

I teach the kids classes so it’s hard to get my fix for the Fu when only going over the basics. Don’t get me wrong, the basics are essential to your kung fu getting better. It’s just that I strive to learn more and more kung fu everyday. That’s why I love going to the advanced level classes.

The hardest part of being an instructor is that I have to stay within the confines of the curriculum when helping beginners with a particular technique or form. The reason being that if I show a beginner too much too soon they’d freak out!

I love teaching and learning kung fu more than I can express with words. It has become a challenge to find that balance of teaching a beginner something new and staying within the curriculum (The Box). You could even say that finding a way to teach inside the box yet add stuff to the contents of the box without confusing the student is the conundrum that we all as kung fu instructors face. We will face it proudly and to keep the generations of students learning and getting better.

 

Kung Fu vs. Dracula – Part II

October 14th, 2012 by Sifu Brandon Jones

…Something started pounding the wall next to me. My girlfriend screamed, digging her fingernails into my arm. Strobe lights went berserk, flashing the walls with images of demons. That haunting kill, kill, kill, sound effect that’s on Friday the 13th started playing. The walls pounded again. The floor shook. Demons shrieked. People were cursing, begging to get out. A human stampede was imminent. Ghost-lady’s voice told us Bellazar, the vampire demon was deeply upset and one of us had to die. A black man behind me said, “Oh hell no, not me!” and he bolted from the room. Suddenly, two arms grabbed my shoulders and began sliding around my neck. I didn’t think; just reacted. I twisted free from my date and drove two elbows into Bellazar’s stomach. I heard “umph” and felt his hot breath on my neck. I then clutched his elbow with one hand and his shoulder with the other and flipped him over my back. I had no idea vampires knew so many curse words. A loud crash followed by more cursing and groaning, then something ripped. Ghost-lady’s lighter flicked on and she demanded to know what was going on. She didn’t sound very ghost-like anymore. Bellazar paused long enough in his profanity marathon to scream, “Someone tried to kill me!” and then continued with his demonic vocabulary. I grabbed my girlfriend, pulled her close, and moved toward the exit but she screamed. I had grabbed the wrong girl.

In absolute darkness, I spun around groping for her. People were falling down, running into walls. Others stepped on Bellazar; he cried. Women screamed. Men shouted. The noise level was deafening. The lights burst on and everyone froze–until they saw the vampire demon lying on the floor. He had part of a black curtain tangled around his ankle, which had ripped down when he fell. It flared around him like a cape. Five other demon-dudes had been hiding behind the curtain. Now they just stood there slack-jawed staring at their slain leader covered in blood – whether it was fake or real, no one cared. Someone shouted “Oh, Lord he’s dead!” then a frenzied sea of people stormed the exit. I had to move or get trampled.

Outside, the fresh air hit me like a blast of cold water. Everyone scattered. Sirens blared. The cops were running to the house. Michael Jackson stopped singing. Children were crying. The people waiting to get in started cheering. They thought it was part of the show. I joined some friends then hooked up with my girlfriend.

She was not happy.

I didn’t get it. I just saved her from Bellazar and she wasn’t happy. Neither was anyone else, however. I learned that park officials shut the house down for an hour and poor Bellazar had to receive minor medical attention.
So, the moral to this tale? If you want to know if you’re learning Kung Fu, see how you react when you’re frightened.

No, I do not condone trashing haunted houses. I suggest not going in the first place. Beating up demons, however, I’m OK with.

Oh, my girlfriend ditched me after that. What’s the deal with chicks and vampires? Forget it guys, the girl always chooses the vampire.

 

[reposted for the holidays!]