“Why are you here?” asked Leo in clipped English. The slight Asian looked the larger American up and down.
“I’ve come to fight the master; to prove that my Karate is stronger than his Kung Fu,”
Leo, dressed in informal Chinese slacks and toggle jacket, pressed a hand against Chuck Palmer’s chest. “You should leave; now, before the master awakens.”
Palmer pushed against Leo’s arm with the full weight of his body. The smaller man’s fingers met with rock hard pectoral muscles.
“Move! I came to fight the master but I’ll squash you first if I have to!” Chuck leaned in a little more and growled long and low to emphasise his point.
“Will the master know who you are?” asked Leo as he stepped aside.
“He should do; I’m the 1974 Pan-American Karate Champion.”
“But the master doesn’t read the sporting magazines, he may not care.”
“I’ll make him care. I’m not leaving without my fight. I’ve flown from Texas all the way here to Hong Kong to test this supposed master of masters out for myself.”
Palmer rolled his bull neck and vertebrae cracked like a card players knuckles. “Now, go get the master.”
Chuck Palmer had attained notoriety in the Martial Arts world by several publicity fights. In one bout he fought the Japanese Wrestling champion and
knocked him out in seven seconds.
In another he fought a wild bull in an arena, the bout ended with the bovine having its neck broken.
More recently Palmer was featured on ESPN choking out a grizzly bear with a Judo strangle hold.
All bullshit and ballyhoo aside; Chuck Palmer could beat anything he came across.
Then he’d heard rumours about an elusive Chinese teacher in Hong Kong.
Master Yim could, if the stories were true, kill man just by thrusting his hand towards his opponent; no contact necessary.
Palmer had beaten every shyster, wannabe and Chi secreting Kung Fu expert he’d ever fought and was sure to add the Illustrious Master Yim to his record of wins.
Leo took a step to the side and allowed Palmer to enter the sheltered courtyard.
At the far end of the courtyard sat an elderly Chinese man.
He didn’t look up as Palmer made his entrance. He looked to be staring intently at some unseen item on a low table.
“Go on in then if you must,” said Leo, he tapped Palmer’s back and motioned to the centre of the yard.
As Chuck stepped in, Leo bolted the door behind him.
“Last chance; are you serious about your challenge?”
“Deadly serious!” Palmer rumbled in his southern drawl.
“You may wish to limber yourself for the challenge…”
“Huh,” grunted Chuck but he moved into a Karate Kata anyway.
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Palmer’s punches, kicks and blocks snapped into the air like pistol shots. His speed was blinding and his skill in the combat arts was
far above the rank and file of the black belt world.
A bestial roar ended the Kata as he performed a full Kiai, the terrifying warrior’s spirit shout made famous by the Samurai of Japan.