The Down Side


You’ve done all that you could do to make yourself less of a victim. Your house, your car and your family are all as safe as you can make them without an armed guard.

You are in a bar with friends and some Neanderthal half-again your size with more booze than brains in him decides to take a swing at you.

Okay, that’s an easy one. You learned that your first month in the dojo. His arm goes up, away from your head, he spins around with the force of his punch, facing back the way he came and you give him a little push to help him along. No harm done and most of the crowd laughs at the antics.

But you watch him, knowing this is the most dangerous point in the fight, where his decision can be to let it go or up the ante.

With a roar he grabs a steak knife off a table and turns back to you, thrusting out to gut you like a fish. You slip to the side, grab the wrist, pull, and swing your hips back against the direction of his movement as you twist his wrist.

Just like in class, his feet pop up into the air and he slams to the floor on his back, his head making a loud thunk as it hits, out cold at least. You exhale, letting the tension flow from your body and mentally thank Sensei for those hours of practice. It’s all over now and everything is fine.

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