“I was eating lunch at a park in California. A small town, not too noisy. The park I was eating at was quiet, nothing but the birds chirping and the sprinklers watering. I was taking a bite out of my sandwich when a friend walked over and kicked the sandwich out of my hands. Keep in mind, this was not just any friend, this was one of my best friends. Raphael and I were both experienced martial artists so needless to say I felt like I was playing street fighter in real life. He had kicked the sandwich out of my hands with a hard roundhouse, and almost kicked my face off. I had owed him 100 dollars from the night before and I still had yet to pay him back. I actually had the 100 dollars in my wallet at that moment and I was planning to pay him back when I saw him. Regardless I was eating and I was ticked off, so I squared up. He followed suit.
I had gotten into a classic orthodox stance while his hands were at abdomen level. I threw three quick consecutive punches in a row only to miss and be punished with a crippling low kick to my inner thigh. We were both traditionally trained as kick boxers. The only difference between him and I, was that I liked to punch, he liked to keep his distance using kicks.
I threw a punch with my left hand and threw a low kick with my right leg, expecting him to block my blows. I sidestepped and slammed a knee into his stomach but to no avail, he blocked with a cross guard and retaliated with a left sidekick, and slammed it into my thoracic cavity. Clutching my chest I initiated a conversation.
‘We could have done this at the gym you prick. You did not have to kick the friggin’ sandwich.’ I spat.
‘You’re mad over the food? I’ll just buy you some chicken after practice!’ Raphael stated with a grin.
‘Rest in peace, bud.’ I said sarcastically reaching my hands to the smashed sandwich. My friend laughed and helped me up. He patted me on the back.
‘Well since we are out here, want to train for a bit?’ Raphael said.
Forgiving him I nodded in agreement. We continued to spar a little bit, this time a lot less fierce, a lot less aggressive. But I still tried to steal blows in whenever I got the chance. For many fighters; Going 50% still looked like 100% to the common person. Only fighters usually knew the difference.
Suddenly a sheriff’s deputy walked over. We immediately freeze into place. We both glanced and looked each other in the eye. Running was not an option, fighting was not an option, so what the heck was the other option?
He stopped into place. His seaweed green eyes scanned us with a cold stare. He looked at us up and down. The silence only bolstered his already impressive features. When he spoke I could feel my heart stop just a little.
‘I saw you both fighting.’ he stated with narrowed eyes.
Shoot. I thought. How the heck was I going to get away with battery? What if it was assault?! A thousand things go in and my head and my friend and I exchange worried looks. Knowing we were scared, he broke a smirk.
‘You guys are pretty good, ya fighters?’ The deputy stated nodding. I looked at him in surprise. Was this some form of police interrogation technique? I stayed silent knowing that he could either arrest me or leave me be.
‘Guys I am not going to arrest you. I just noticed two young adults exchanging blows. I realize you guys must have been sparring or messing around because you went hard the first minute, and then you went light on each other.’ the deputy smiled.
At that point, I could only stand in silence, stunned. It was my friend who broke the ice.
‘Yeah, yeah, we do fight. We actually compete, amateur though. We are not good enough to be professionals yet.’ My friend smiled.
‘Hah. I can see that. Your sidekick needs to be more explosive, more stiff. And Mr. Strong Silent Type over here, his left hook needs work. Some newbie could see that a mile away.’ The deputy laughed and smiled, then pointed at me. After hearing that I could only shoot back at him asking if he even fought.
Later on, we eventually had a long conversation with him. He actually competed regularly in SoCal’s battle of the badges. It was where Ems, Armed forces, police officers, fire fighters, etc, duked it out for charity. The money they raised actually got donated to miscellaneous children’s hospitals. Many fighters in the area knew what the event was so Raphael and I looked at him wide-eyed asking what it was like to fight professionally. He actually gave us some tips for a good 5 minutes and told us he had to leave. He told me if we were caught fighting in public by another officer we would probably be charged with, ‘Disturbing the peace.’ With a smile and a fist bump to both of us, he left without giving us an arrest, ticket, or warning.
A year later I got to go to a Battle of the Badges match and saw him fight. I eventually got his number and got to go where he trains.
Presently I have been training with him for a good 2 years. Still have not beat him in a fight to this day.”