As a seasoned and experienced martial artist, I find it hard to think and feel the same as I did when I first started training. I was a scrawny and uncoordinated 14 year old who would spend any spare change he had on the coin operated Double Dragon or Kung- Fu Master. I used to watch the animated character throw flawless techniques to lay the bad guys out on their ass, sometimes taking multiple opponents out with one mighty strike. In those days I thought that if I perfected my round-house and my reverse punch I would be able to achieve the same results thinking that the digital animation of the video game was modeled on real fighting skills of martial artists whose ability far surpassed even that of my instructor. This was before the console boom of the early nineties and of the Street Fighter and Mortal Combat games with their outrageous action.
I remember watching my instructor hopping on one foot snapping out crisp head high roundhouse kicks before chambering his knee and repeating the motion over and over again as he would chase a target pad across the leisure center court. In my mind I could see the bad guys getting knocked down as they all attacked in a line. As I would slam the reverse punch into the air shield I would imagine that through constant repetition I could develop a strike that would send shock waves through an attacker’s internal organs and break ribs. As I would perform the kata I would think that through some magic the movements would take out any man who dared attack someone who knew this sequence of blocks and strikes.