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The Best Martial Art

 

A Budo Fable

 

 

 

One managed to sign the bear as instructor for the big martial arts training course. He was renowned for his power, his strength, his tenacity, stamina, tactics, speed, and a worthy ambassador for Bear-Do, the way of the dynamic paw. Many animals set off for the event.

 

After the official welcome, the warming-up began. Here the cats shone at stretching but achieved only limited success with push-ups. While the flamingos excelled in keeping balance, they failed at leap frogging with the chimpanzees. A moment later, the cows capitulated when being confronted with somersaults. Lateral rolling made the snails panic, and the ostrich was floored by climbing. Facing handstands, the giraffe sneaked out of the gym, accompanied by the scorpion, who had stung himself attempting sit-ups. All routines left the crocodile cold, and the relaxation part pushed it to the edge of composure.

 

The techniques performed by the bear were first-rate, and the participants strived to emulate them.

Exercises for quick acceleration and sudden changes of direction generated self-doubts in earthworm and spermwhale. Explosive bite attacks were not part of the butterfly's repertoire, and the pelicans foundered on claw techniques. Feisty paw swipes left the hare beaten.

Bobbing and weaving baffled the tiger, the bull waited for using his horns, and the kangaroo dreamed of long leaps. In his pool, the frustrated shark swam in ovals, and the eagle sat depressed in a corner next to sobbing penguins, while elephants and piranhas were discouraged by the bear's artfully executed foot sweeps. The attack principle of a fast approaching hulk was received by the duck with academic interest and showed hamster and jellyfish their limits. Sheep and frog tried relentlessly to copy the battle cry, and the owl focused on mental aspects.

 

Only the hippo followed the bear's explanations up to the point where he put special emphasis on the philosophy of smooth transition from four paw running to two paw upright walking. Thereafter the evasion moves from sloth and koala created unforgettable moments, which were only surpassed by the partner training between pig and peacock.

 

The class concluded with gymnastics, which immediately demoralized the mussels, while the prospect of further stretching exercises daunted the water buffalo. Soon after, cat and blowfish refused their mutual massage. Breathing techniques brought the dogs close to unconsciousness, and the chameleon meditated itself invisible. Just in time for bow off, the tortoise finished her ten lap run from the warm-up. The training seminar ended with bidding farewell to the bear and presenting him with an assortment of honey specialities, which caused an affront to the bees.

 

The event left mixed feelings, even though no one doubted the bear's qualification. Subsequently one could witness the emergence of many interest groups. One of the largest formations was the water league, helmed by Shark-Do, the way of the empty jaw. Although anxious for integrating as many factions as possible, the break-away of corals and sea urchins became imminent.

 

Over time, the question was raised what the best of all fighting systems would be. There were elaborate comparisons and passionate ideological debates, primarily regarding the two leading doctrines Shark-Do and Bear-Do.

 

In order to settle the dispute and to determine the best fighting style, it was suggested to stage a match between bear and shark. The bear lobby offered the place in front of the great cave as a battle arena. The shark lobby declined and proposed to throw the bear into a near water, where his opponent would be waiting for him, which was refused by the fur camp. Soon it became evident that one needed a neutral venue not favoring one contestant. Thus the idea was born to toss the shark and the bear together high up in the air, where neither of them could benefit from the terrain.

 

The seconds of Bear-Do and Shark-Do considered the tempting logic of this thought with some scepticism, whereas the ranking list addicted masses anticipated the event eagerly.

 

And for the first time in years, in centuries, probably since the dawn of evolution, a big grin took shape on the face of the eagle.

 

 2011 TDI

 

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