Travels With a Master

Man of the Everglades

Based on the story, Man of La Mancha inspired by Miguel de Cervantes and his 17th-century novel Don Quixote.

written by Paul Yanuziello

My travels with a master – Part 2

Of course, when I went outside to pull the car around after our breakfast I could not get it to start. I tried a few times and then jumped out quickly, running back to the restaurant hoping to catch the hosts of the seminar so they could give us a boost or tow us to the nearest garage.

As I came around the corner I saw that sensei was arguing with a group of guys who looked rather thuggish.

Not really like sensei to get into a fight, I thought. These hoodlums were pushing our hosts around and sensei was doing his best to diffuse the trouble. I overheard him telling these folks something about strategy.

“Whatever the Way, the master of strategy does not appear fast….Of course, slowness is bad. Really skilful people never get out of time and are always deliberate, and never appear busy,” as sensei said this he pulled a set of wooden Nunchuku from his back pocket.

I rushed to his aid trying to stop him from shedding any blood or cracking open any heads.

Of course, he had seen me coming and the Nunchuku was for me. He waved his left hand in a gesture that signalled for me to come in hard; he always did this when he wanted to use me as uke. I knew I was in for a beating.

I came at sensei with a forceful attack, a jodan strike with my left hand. My good hand for stick to stick training.

Sensei had the chucku under his arm and he flipped it out at my striking hand. My hand went flying off its connector, spinning through the air and striking one of the hooligans in the face.

I took 3 steps back, shook it off and swung my arm in a powerful soto empi uchi strike. Sensei blocked and followed up with a downward strike that knocked my arm flying from my shoulder socket. I yelled as loud as I could hoping for a good effect.

The hoods yelled something like, “what the  F-ing hell. You’re a crazy man,” or some remarks like that and then turned on their heels and ran for their lives without ever looking back.

Had they looked back they would have seen me gathering up my misplaced limbs. Sensei was explaining to our hosts, who looked to be in complete shock, about my war accident, back in my Afghan days.

“Yeah, don’t worry guys, he lost that arm in an IED attack on his convoy during his tour of duty,” sensei laughed and hugged our hosts.

Sensei of course knew I had my martial art prosthesis on and that they could come off easily without damage to my devices or my body.

Our hosts slowly got over their shock and helped us out with the car. The battery was dead and we were quite low on gas. These great folks helped us out on all fronts, a new battery, gas and then sent us on our way.

Sensei and I got a laugh out of that little adventure. It was not too long into the drive before sensei was off to dreamland. He awoke as we were going through one of the strangest places I have come across. There were wind turbines all over the place. Sensei thought they were strange giants. Creatures sent here to do us harm by his nemesis, the famed martial artist Bruce Lowes.

“Pull over Poru we have to prepare to do battle with this new enemy.”

“But, sensei they are not giants, they are just mechanical contraptions. Nothing to worry about — nothing to fight with. This is not Bruce sensei doing strange magic,” I was looking at him, the road and the giant windmills with concern. 

As I pulled the car over I was trying to figure out what was wrong with sensei. I tapped him on the shoulder thinking maybe he was still sleeping or dreaming.

He put an armbar on me and pushed me out of the car and then slid over into the driver’s seat and headed straight for the first windmill. I chased after him on foot. He was gone, charging at the windmill.

We had the top down on the car and sensei was waving like a cowboy, hooping and hollering. Sensei gave a grand kiai just before he crashed head-on into the giant wind turbine.

I caught up to him only after he crashed into the structure. It was horrible. He was thrown out of the car and somehow he managed to avoid killing himself. The car wasn’t so lucky. 

The crash shook sensei out of his craziness. He blamed the eggs we had for breakfast. The car was toast and we ended up waiting for AAA. Eventually, the car was fixed up enough to carry us to the wonder of the world. The seventh wonder of the world.

We arrived. Yes, it was a castle. Thankfully it had an express elevator that took us to the top. The view was impressive. As a wonder of the world, it was just ok. The best part was the diner in the revolving restaurant.

Sensei was in a good mood he was talking like his good old self. Talking about infinite points and starting drinking clubs.

“Maybe we could open a bar sometime soon. You know, for retired martial artists. What do you think sensei?”

“Yes, Poru san. I like that idea. Let’s call it; The Wonky Windmill.”

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, events and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely and quite simply a big coincidence.

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