8 Japanese Kickers & 1 Stuffed Gaijin

Date: July 2000 Location: Kameoka City - Kyoto - Japan

We all like a good solid scrap now and again don't we? Nothing beats a few smacks around the face and the odd kick in the teeth to clean out all the stress built up inside. Most of us prefer a brawl on our home turf where we know what type of opponents to expect, like the guy who likes to use short jabs and the bloke who always rushes in close to pull you to the ground, but how about some fisticuffs in good old Japan?

One night the old guy I was staying with in Kyoto (any rent boy jokes end here) picked up on the fact that I have an interest in martial arts and asked if I wanted to go to a karate class later that night. In all honestly the only thing I wanted to do was to stay home and pump his daughter but I couldn't pass up an opportunity to see some real karate action in native Japan. It beats going to the classes back home where you have to pay a small fortune only to see some fat Scottish guy sitting on a mat and going on about how he can crush your bones with only his left hand for 2 hours. All talk and no action sums up 80% of martial art classes in the United Kingdom and when you finally get to see a fight it becomes less exciting than a pair of dead tuna slapping each other with handbags.

On the way to the dojo we called into a McDonalds and the old guy went to order while I checked out the ass on the babe mopping the floor. Damn even the cleaners in Japan look good! Anyway why is it that most Japanese seem to think that westerners will always eat 5 times as much as they do? Was the first westerner in Japan some sort of fat bastard or something? The old guy came back with a coke for himself and with 3 burgers and a coke for yours truly. I have to admit that it was the first piece of western food I had seen since stepping out of Kansai airport and I took it down my throat faster than a whore at the harbour. Needless to say after the meal I was well and truly stuffed and it was then that the old guy reminded me of where we were going before comically adding "we kick you butt yes?" in some dodgy broken English.
Should I have been worried?

By the time we had reached the community hall where the classes took place I had already answered my question with a big firm yes. While we were walking through the corridors the sound of human flesh painfully smacking again st hard floors was echoing all around. Mixed in with the occasional grunt and disturbing yelp, it was pretty safe to say that I was regretting my decision to come. I was trying to think of some excuse I could make to get out of the situation ahead but in the end (and partly out of desperation) I gave up and got ready to take a beating for queen and country. Upon entering the correct room I was greeted with the daunting sight of 8 beefy Japanese guys, all black belts in karate and all very amused to see a gaijin in their dojo. While the guys were all sizing me up (and no doubt making a 101 'white guys can't fight jokes'), the old man was talking to the teacher in Japanese. Then the teacher called to one of the guys, a mean looking dude and he was to be my sparring partner for the duration of the class.

The burgers were still floating around inside me, churning up every time I tried to move and I could tell you a bullshit story on how I kicked ass, but instead I'll tell you how it really was. I had spent 5 ye ars learning Aikido, 3 years learning Bushido, I had gone to all the classes and practised all the homework, hell I had even watched all of the Karate Kid movies but the second that guy kicked me in the gut, I wanted to hurl big time. I'm not a pussy, I've been in more of my share of fights but for the second time that night I was well and truly stuffed. Luckily the old guy saw that I was in no fit shape to fight and after saying something in Japanese, he took us back home so that I could spend the next hour or so throwing up in his toilet. I felt a bit of a shit for taking a kicking and not dishing out anything in return but at the end of the day I'm still a dude.
I still kept to my promise of pumping his daughter later that night.

Written By James_D