The Scolai

“Just a Good Guy…With a Few Bad Habits”

Martial Arts vs. Old School Brawlin’

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 (This piece was originally posted on on March 15th.)

The last line of my “Physical Update” post got me thinking. There seem to be two types of kids these days; those who get their violence vicariously through video games, and those who are UFC fans. The video gamers are nothing to worry about. The UFC kids are usually training in some type of discipline and as a Father you need to be aware of this in order to properly respond to any situation that may arise with them as it relates to your daughters.

Anyone who is training in the martial arts has my respect. The discipline involved to become proficient is admirable. Old guys like me who haven’t the time, inclination, or discipline to learn a martial art, fall back on the old stand by “Hit ‘em with whatever you can lay your hands on.” Acceptable items include, but are not limited to: Axe Handles, Baseball Bats, Whiskey Bottles, Beer Bottles, Cue Balls, Shovel Head Tops, Cast Iron Frying Pans (never aluminum), Bricks, or Lap Top Computers. I once ended a fight with a Chuck Norris wanna be by slapping him in the face with a wiffle ball bat. He must have been a punk, because he went from warrior to diplomat in about half a second. I was given a great lesson in this philosophy while in the Army.

One night, towards the end of basic training, I was in the dayroom watching T.V. with six guys from East St. Louis. For those of you who aren’t familiar with East St. Louis , it makes Compton look like Scarsdale. If you really want to know how tough you are, I suggest walking around there after dark. You’ll have an answer in about 30 seconds. These guys liked me because I was the only non-black guy in the company who knew what a “deuce and a quarter” was, and because the government had classified me as a Native American.

The guy that ran the East St. Louis crew was a guy I’ll call “Deon.” Deon had played inside linebacker for a small Division One school in Missouri, but lost his scholarship due to poor grades. At least that’s what he told everyone. I find it hard to believe, as most scholarship athletes I have known are lucky to have the mental acuity to handle 4th grade math, yet they all seem to graduate. Deon was not the kind of guy who liked questions.

Another character in our company was a guy from California I’ll call “Kung Fu Charlie.” Kung Fu Charlie was a big guy. Well over six feet and a legitimate Black Belt. Watching him go through his kata was an impressive sight, and a little intimidating. On the night in question, there were seven of us in the dayroom when Kung Fu Charlie walked in with a girl he had picked up on post. He sat his girl down on one of the chairs, walked to the front of the room and stood in front of the T.V. He looked at us and said “I need some privacy, go find something else to do.” I decided quickly to be guided by the actions of the East St. Louis guys. I realized there wasn’t much I could do at 140 pounds soaking wet. I was surprised when five of these guys got up and started to walk out.

I got up to follow them, but noticed that Deon hadn’t moved a muscle. I went to the back of the room with the rest of the guys to see how this would play out. Kung Fu Charlie looked at Deon and said “Did you hear me?” Deon didn’t even look his way. Kung Fu Charlie asked again, louder this time “Hey Motherf%*#er, I said, did you hear me?” Deon sat motionless and still said nothing. Let me say something about the chairs we had in that dayroom. These were the old Army issue, straight backed, hard wood chairs. You could have broken rocks with those things. Back to the story. At this point Kung Fu Charlie was riled up. No doubt looking to impress his girl, he looked at Deon and said “Fine N***er, if you won’t move, I’ll move you!”

Kung Fu Charlie immediately launched a textbook spinning back kick that caught Deon on the side of the head. I thought “Game Over.” To my surprise, as he spun out of his seat, Deon grabbed the chair next to him and managed to throw it back over his head catching Kung Fu Charlie full in the face, knocking him out cold.

What happened next was something I’ll never forget. The five East St. Louis boys in the back of the room with me ran to the front and went to work on Kung Fu Charlie. I had seen plenty of fights in my life at that point, but I had never seen someone stomped by a gang. I don’t mean they went up and kicked him a little, this was an old time “Stomp a mud hole in your ass and walk it dry” kind of stomping. It was over quickly. I remember helping one of the guys get Deon to his feet, and getting out of there before the Drill Instructors showed up.

The investigation went nowhere, as no one saw anything. We graduated the next week without Kung Fu Charlie. He graduated, although he spent his graduation in the infirmary.

So what’s the point of this story? Just This: Martial Arts are great…but they only work if you’re conscious.



Written by thescolai

April 20, 2007 at 2:42 pm

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