Tales of the Kang Duk Won

His fists were large...as was his heart.

The Kang Duk Won I speak of was on The Alameda in San Jose back in the sixties. It was a Korean Karate Dojo of immense martial spirit.
The mat was dirty and ripped. Sometimes it seemed like there was more duc tape than mat.
The front window was broken, again, a testament to duc tape.
There was a hole in the roof in the dressing area. The toilet was tilted 15 degrees, there was no place to hang your…what?
Does it sound like I am complaining?
No.
I am remembering, and that as hard as I can.
There was magic there, you see.
The Hells Angels, and other bikers, came to study the Kang Duk Won for one simple reason…it worked and it was the best.
There was a wide variety of student, glass blowers to grave diggers to pilots to college students to…me.
There weren’t many schools back then, but people came from all over the bay area to study with an extremely soft spoken man. A man who could poke his finger into a board and leave a hole.
Of course, it’s gone now.
Replaced by a dress shop or something like that.
The bar across the street doesn’t see karate students come in to soften their bruises with liquid…just yuppie types whining in their beer. Not real men.
There are no longer twenty Harleys lined up in front of the school, and the air is no longer split by the thunderous kiai of a score of sweating, battered, energized maniacs.
Now it is peaceful, and that is a shame.
Political correctness? Ha! I laugh.
The truth is not political correctness, that is just a method for cowing people into voting politely.
The truth is sweat and bruises and blood. It is being young and not saying no. It is staying out too late and enjoying life with your friends.
Ahh, it has all been said before, but that’s okay.
There is a purpose to life, you see.
There is a spirit to be forged and that is in every man.
The Kang Duk Won is gone…but it will come again.
That is inevitable.
That is the magic.
Check out Learn Karate Online if you want some of that magic in your own life.

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