In the courtyard of his clan’s sanctuary, the master held his hands behind his back and paced back and forth as he trained the three hundred members of the tiger claw clan. Each member stood before a pole with a straw dummy attached.
“Claw!” the master shouted.
The students held out their hands as if they were claws.
The students slashed their clawed hands through the dummies’ chests, allowing straw to spill out everywhere.
Each student grabbed hold of an orange.
The students twisted their hands back and forth, though in this simulation, there were no guts to fight through.
The students removed their oranges and held them up victoriously.
“Disciples,” the master said. “All kung fu clans have been trusted with one signature move, a move that when utilized, can devastate an opponent. We have been trusted with the most deadly of moves, not just because ours is the oldest and most revered clan, but because the Staff of Ages has always kept our Infallible Masters on the path of righteousness. It has done so with my predecessors. It has done so with me. It will do so with Junjie when he replaces me.”
The old man stroked his beard. “Swear to me that you will never use the Sacred Yet Inscrutable Tiger Claw for evil!”
“We swear!” the students shouted in unison.
“Good,” the old man said. “That is all for this morning. Continue to practice, and we shall resume our studies this afternoon.”
The students formed small groups and showed off their moves to one another as the master hobbled into the temple. Slowly, the old man made his way to his room, sat upon the floor, closed his eyes, and began his meditation.
“Body and spirit become two,” the master repeated over and over. “Body and spirit become two.”