In the early seventies, kung fu was big.
Bruce Lee had every kid jumping and mewling like felines before pouncing on their prey.
Dojo’s popped up everywhere and kids name Kyle and Trevor were all of a sudden badasses.
I would learn my own lesson from a kung fu practitioner years later, and I remember taking ONE lesson at a martial arts studio. It seemed to me that you had to have a willing supplicant to allow you to get in just the right adjusted position to allow you to use your skills on them.
It doesn’t happen in real life.
I was visiting my parents in western Massachusetts and their best friends’ kids were my mates. Donny was closest to my age and we hit it off great, even collaborating on our guitars successfully.
His little brother Wally was always jumping and spinning, kicking imaginary Ninjas all over the place, as he practiced his own unique brand of ass-whipping. He was sixteen and already a senior in high school. He was really quiet and very polite and respectful.
The three of us head to a pool party where Donny and I were successful in hooking up with a couple girls. We left the party and headed for the woods. I was driving my stepfathers’ Chrysler New Yorker and the big boat was barely rounding tight curves as we searched for a straight piece of land on which to park. Chugging down bottles of Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill wine and having fun with willing girls.
Life was good.
We somehow navigated the labyrinth of trees and bushes and made our way back to the pool party.
We were laughing and passing around a big spleef and we start looking for Donny’s little brother.
We see him in the middle of an old school circle that had formed with Wally and David Smith in the middle.
David Smith was the local all-everything All-American athlete of the local high school. He was six-feet three inches tall with broad shoulders and a tapered waist. His arms were large and powerful and on top of all that, he had just been accepted into an accelerated Green Beret program and was headed to West Point at summer’s end.
We arrived late and did not know what the fight was about, but evidently Wally was not all that impressed with David.
We just knew we were getting ready to witness a massacre.
David had won the State Karate Championship. He had won many tournaments. He had not missed even one tournament and he won them all.
The other thing is David was a very cool guy. I didn’t even know him and I liked him.
I also knew little Wally, five foot nothin’( like Rudy), could be a pain in the ass like all little brothers, so Donny and I both stayed back and watched.
Just like in the movies, the boys squatted and circled around each other, preparing for battle.
David started with a three-punch barrage delivered so quickly, Wally literally didn’t know what hit him.
He shook his head to clear it, and as he did, David slipped on the grass, falling to a push-up position. This also happened to be a field goal position for Wally who kicked David in the face as the imaginary football sailed through the uprights some fifty yards away.