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Martial Ink

 

Episode 1

 

 

 

Hello, I am X, the founder of Budo Ink, a tattoo shop specialised on martial art motifs. Together with some associates we create traditional and also unusual images. Much of our work can be viewed in gymnasiums, showers, and locker rooms.

 

In the past we practised different martial arts. When the situation deteriorated more and more, we made public what's going on. After some time it became clear that many people aren't worth the effort to come through for them. However, there are exceptions, and we hope that they won't go down. But as for me, I will not waste any more time for those backing a contaminated system and its custodians.

 

From now on, I will do something else; I will rip people off myself. That is, if they want to be taken for a fool by all means, then it must not be left to some low-end amateurs and their masters. There are many possibilities to fleece people, and as of now we will claim a major share in profits. 

 

One way to put this into practice are our very special martial art tattoos. Of course, we also deliver serious work, but the most money and the most fun we have with the pseudoka, the followers, the new generation idiots, and the offspring of a consumer society who can be sold any crap. Through our tattoos their cases are eternalized on their bodies. We are very optimistic for our business, since the market is huge.

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Today we expect A, a pretentious wimp who received one undeserved rank after the other.

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Hello, guys !

 

Hi, A.

 

How are you ?

 

Hi.

 

What can we do for you ?

 

I would like a tattoo on my back, right in the middle. In everyday life at my job as an executive manager, it will be covered. But everyone can see it in locker rooms, in showers, and in the S&M studio.

 

Do you fancy a special motif ?

 

Not really. Well, I intend to get my next higher rank soon, and I want to honor my instructor and club president. Maybe something showing me and him together.

 

OK, the antisensei - devotee connection is one of the most popular themes. How many rank promotions have you got ?

 

Five over the last two years.

 

That is quite a close relationship to your upgrader.

 

Yes, without him I would probably still be in a beginner's course.

 

Right, I will make some concept drawings, and we can talk about it tomorrow.

 

Yes, great, thanks.

 

See you.

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The dialog with the customer is an essential part of our work because finalized tattoos cannot be altered. Sometimes we have to talk clients out of their ideas and convince them to consider something completely different.

 

One of those people is B, the queen of hypocrites. Originally she wanted a neck tattoo displaying adulation for her anti-dojo, but now she will get the web address of a computer virus. It finishes off any system and then fills the screen with B's name and address. So far B always claimed that one has to adjust to new situations, and now she gets ample time to practise.

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 is arriving.

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Hello, A.

 

Hi, have you made a layout ?

 

Yes sure. Have a look.

 

The Brown Noser

 

Awesome, a dream. This is dead on.

 

The shading provides proper depth, so it can be recognized from a distance.

 

The symbolism is mind-blowing. Maybe a belt should be included ?

 

Rather not. Your rank is continously changing, and the finished tattoo cannot be modified any more.

 

Yes, that's true.

 

Therefore you are already completely colored in black, in anticipation of your coming master grades.

 

Well, but first I've got to work real hard to earn the graduation fees.

 

OK, then have a seat, and we will begin.

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Maybe I will have my fingers completely tattooed with different belt colors.

 

No problem.

 

My wife celebrates each new rank with a colored circle on her back. Meanwhile she looks like a target. On the beach she is usually pelted with all kind of things.

  

Interesting. The tattoo you already have seems to be somewhat old.

 

Yes, I made it myself with a hot highlighter to save money.

 

What does it represent ?

 

It is a page from an encyclopedia in order to express the intellectual part of my life.

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After having finished the new tattoo, we suggested A to keep up with modern technology by adding hyperlinks to his old dictionary tattoo for making it internet compatible. He agreed enthusiastically, and next week we will start off with the project.

 

Indeed, we do bear responsibility for our clients, but if some are not only used as canvas but have also got the same mentality, it is something we cannot change. In such cases we stick to the 3E philosophy: Exploit - Encash - Enjoy.

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While I worked on A's bootlick memorial, our colleague Y had to serve another customer.

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Today the infamous antisensei C from a local club got an appointment.  

 

Hi, I am C, the president and master of the *** dojo.

 

What can we do for you ?

 

I am deeply established in my club, and I want to show it to the outside.

I've got no idea what to do, but it is imperative that everybody sees that I am the boss. 

 

Understood, then I will make a few sketches and we meet again.

 

Yes, that's fine.

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In preliminary talks the antisensei had already expressed some wishes. Initially he wanted a clip frame tattoo for different occasions. After being explained what a tattoo actually is, he refrained from that idea.

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The antisensei is approaching.

 

Everything cool ?

 

Yes, here are some templates.

 

Weather Vanes

 

Um, yes, that is very good. What is it ? 

 

Those are weather vanes turning in different directions depending on climatic conditions. This symbolizes opportunism and brown-nosing. We will coat you with it so that everybody sees immediately whom he is dealing with.

Of course, we did not tell him this, but:

Those are white training suits with black belts performing different techniques. This symbolizes versatility and talent. Where do you want the tattoo ?

 

Exactly, my club is one of the biggest and most beautiful ones. Everybody must see that. Therefore I should get something at my head, preferably on a cheek.

 

But then it can be seen from one side only.

 

Well, right, then I take one on each cheek.

 

Ok. Here is another design.

 

Weather Vanes

 

This is also good. What is it ?

 

This is a Japanese koi fish with black belts. It symbolizes tradition and deep insight.

 

Exactly, I take two of them, one for each arm.

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Then I made the illustrations, with lots of paint and really thick so that they cannot be erased, and everybody can make fun of it. And when the charlatan started boasting about his new beginner's course, I enhanced the lines even more.

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Later on, we continued planning our own martial arts association, which is by far the most effective method to manipulate members. Money, power, and fame, all in close reach and soon at our disposal. It is one thing to unmask the current window dressing dilettants, but their market share has to be seized by us. Consumers do have the right to be deceived by the best. As a special service we tell people in advance that we are going to exploit them. This increases the fun part and does not change the success.  

 

In order to acquire some money in the short term, we send the rank donees of recent times bills from the BSA, the Belt-Supervision-Agency, reminding of the renewal of their belt-color carry licence. Most people transferred the required fee directly to our offshore account. 

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In the next episode of Martial Ink we will meet D, who suffers from being exploited but nevertheless volunteers regularly as a helper. D would like a tattoo expressing her personality. She will get a cow filleting itself with a chainsaw. This symbolizes the "minion syndrome", that is the pathological loyalty of a victim to its tormentor.

 

Until then ....

 

 2008  HAW + TDI

 

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