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.