Kenpo Fable

by wjw on April 6, 2012

The Kenpo Master was about to begin class with his senior students when he was approached by a stranger who said he was a Tai Chi Master.

“I would like to do push-hands with you,” said the Tai Chi Master.

“I’m about to begin class,” said the Kenpo Master.

“I am a Tai Chi Master,” said the Tai Chi Master, “and I would like to do push-hands.”

“An august personage such as a Tai Chi Master is always welcome to my school,” said the Kenpo Master. “By all means come into the training area, and let us do push-hands.”

The Kenpo Master and the Tai Chi Master began to do push-hands, and the Kenpo Master picked up the Tai Chi Master and dashed him upon the ground with great force.

“I apologize,” said the Kenpo Master.  “I am inexperienced at push-hands, and no doubt I performed incorrectly.  Let us play push-hands again.”

The Tai Chi Master and the Kenpo Master began once more to do push-hands, and once again the Kenpo Master picked up the Tai Chi Master and flung him headlong onto the ground.

“I apologize again,” said the Kenpo Master.  “My understanding of push-hands is deficient.  Perhaps you should come back another time, after I’ve had a chance to practice.”

The Tai Chi Master staggered off into the night and was never seen again.  The Kenpo Master returned to teaching his class.

My understanding of morals is deficient, and if there is a moral to this story, it eludes me.

In any case this story is only a fable, and of course never really happened.

Charlie Martin April 6, 2012 at 2:18 am

You need to find some of the old films of Cheng Man Ch’ing doing push hands. I don’t think the story would go quite the way you think.

wjw April 6, 2012 at 4:17 am

I doubt that Cheng Man Ching would have barged into someone else’s class and insisted it all be about =him.=

wjw April 6, 2012 at 6:57 am

I suppose I should also add the disclaimer that I’m not attacking Tai Chi, I’m just describing some behavior by someone claiming to be a Tai Chi Master.

Who is, in any case, imaginary.

Dave Bishop April 6, 2012 at 8:28 am

The moral is simple:

Don’t mess with a martial artist!

DensityDuck April 6, 2012 at 6:24 pm

“Excuse me, I’d like to show off.”
“Sorry, I’m busy.”
“Exscuse me, don’t you know who I am?
“Yeah, you’re Mister Not Good Enough.” (wham wham wham)

Anonymous April 7, 2012 at 12:57 am

MASTER: “Observe closely, class. ‘Boot-to-the-Head.’ (THOOMP!)”

EG (drunkenly): “Ow! You booted me in the head!”

MASTER: “You are lucky, edgruberman. Few novices experience so much of
Tae Kwon Leap so soon.”

“Tae Kwon Leep”, The Frantics

Devlin du GEnie April 7, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Moral #1: Be careful what you ask for. A challenge, no matter how politely couched, is still a challenge.

Moral #2: Never assume the other guy is playing by your rules.

Ralf The Dog. April 7, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Just out of curiosity, is that bit of micro fiction something you wrote, or is it some old story, proving me to be an uneducated savage for not having known of it? It reminds me of a story my first instructor told me, many decades ago, long before you were born.

Once, long before you were born, there was a fire in the forest. All of the animals were crossing the great river in hopes of avoiding the smoke and the flames. When the frog came to the shore, he found the scorpion standing before the water, looking to the safety of the other side.

“Cross quickly before you are burned or trampled on by one of the giants!”

The scorpion said, “I can not swim, if I try to cross, I will die. If you let me ride on your back, I will spend the rest of my life protecting you, as I will owe you my life.”

The frog responded, as all good frog would, “I know of you and your tricks. If I help you cross, you will sting me, when we are half way to the other side and I will die.”

What was the scorpion’s answer? “You are a very silly frog. If I were to do this, we would both die. Think of the dangers on the far side of the river. Think of how safe you would be with one such as I as a friend!”

The frog said, “Fine, lets hop to the other side, then head out for a beer or three.”

The frog swam half way across the water when the scorpion stung him seven times in the back.

“Why did you do such a thing? Now we will both die!”

“I am so sorry, I believe I may have mislead you as to my abilities. I was captain of the swim team at university.”

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