fighting monk

Falcon Punch, monk style

(Background:  The DM for this wanted us to bring our best Pathfinder characters for this campaign.  The party consisted of a kitsune fighter, an orc unchained rogue, a kobold celestial-bloodline sorcerer, a tiefling life-mystery oracle, and my half-elf monk.  After fighting our way up out of a dungeon we’d been trapped in — and pretty well depleting our resources in the process — the DM wants his wizard character, the recurring villain of the campaign, to mock us before we actually escape.  He does so from the other side of a fifty-foot-wide chasm with no visible bottom.)

Villain:  [Standard hammy villain monologue with over-the-top gloating and taunting]

Kitsune:  [Orc], will you shoot him to at least get him to shut up?

Orc:  Can’t.  Out of ammo.

Kobold:  Hey, don’t look at me, guys, all I’ve got left are cantrips.

Tiefling:  I can barely even see the other side.

Kitsune:  Grr.  I don’t wanna have to listen to this guy.  Does anyone have a ranged attack that can at least get his attention?

Me:  Not exactly, but…  How wide is that chasm, again?

Tiefling:  *Snickers, knowing my monk from another campaign.*  Uh-oh…

DM: Uh, fifty feet.

Me:  Okay, I spend my last point of ki for the bonus to jump and leap across.  This should be a surprise round, right?

DM:  (after nearly choking on drink) Um.  Okay, yeah, DC 50; I hope you have another character ready.  Roll acrobatics.

Me:  Don’t need to, the lowest I can roll is a 66 after the point of ki.

DM:  (almost spittakes, with the rest of the party either snickering or stunned to silence) Seriously!?

Me:  *Presents character sheet.*

DM:  *Takes a few minutes to verify the ludicrous number of bonuses.*  …Oh goddammit.  Yeah, I guess this is happening, roll to attack.

Me:  Stunning Fist, get ready for his fort save.  *Rolls 17 on the die.*  Uh…

DM:  (before I can math up bonuses) I hate you.  *Rolls a 4 on the fort save.*  So.  Much.  So yeah, he’s in mid-monologue and you launch yourself across a goddamn bottomless chasm and punch the squishy wizard in the face.  Roll damage.

Party:  *Laughing hysterically!*

Tiefling:  Falcon Puuunch!

(Cue the entire table, including the poor DM, completely losing it for the next few minutes.  I proceeded to flurry of blows the Big Bad’s right hand man into an unrecognizable pulp over the next two rounds while the party cheered me on.  I looted the body, threw him into the chasm, and then could just “take 10” to jump back across.  It was my only session in that campaign, unfortunately, but I’m told it took a few weeks for the DM to work out how to get around the damage I did to his plot.  I understand he now takes excessive precautions before letting his villains run off at the mouth, since a DC 50 acrobatics check is apparently not enough.  This isn’t the first campaign that particular monk has mangled the plot of, either, but it is the most spectacular instance, and the only time she almost wrecked a campaign during its first session.)

Peek-a-Monk

I’m the Ranger in a party of newbies with an experienced DM.
The other day, our Rogue tried to pick a fight with a monk. We told him it wasn’t a good idea, but he’s quite stupid (he has low intelligence). Anyway, the monk sucker punched him, almost killing him.

Rogue: *teletransports behind a tree*
DM: The monk already figured out what kind of man your are, and shouts loudly “MARCO!”
Party: …oh, shit
DM: Roll Intelligence.
Rogue: *rolls 3* Dammit… POLO!!!!!
Party: FUCK.
Sorceress: WAIT, I scream “polo” too! *rolls 16*
Paladin: Me too! *rolls 13*
Ranger (Me):Oh, fuck you. I scream too. *rolls 7*
DM: The ranger softly says “polo”, but all the screaming was enough to confuse the monk. He thinks you are all stupid, but he stops looking for the monk.

2

Saint Raymond of Fitero (Spanish: San Raimundo de Fitero) (*? -  1163) was a  fighting monk,abbot, and founder of the  Military Order of Calatrava which played a crucial role in the Spanish Reconquista of the Iberian Peninsula against the Muslim Moors.

So I’ve seen a lot of dystopian stories with “Everyone in the world except a few off the grid people get technology permanently embedded in them and then the world goes to hell” and like that’s cool and all, but there’s no way everyone would do that. Amish people wouldn’t. People in the orthodox Jewish community wouldn’t cause you can’t use tech on shabbos. I bet most Buddhist monks wouldn’t. Pretty much every religion has a group that can’t have 24/7 use of technology for one reason or another.

What I’m saying is dystopian worlds need much fewer motorcycle gangs and much more roaming bands of monks fighting zombies.

Context: Playing a Homebrew campaign and my Elf Ranger, along with a Half-Elf Paladin, Gnome Druid, and Human Monk are fighting against our first BBEG, but we’re getting our asses beat and running out of ideas on how to outsmart his moves.

Monk OOC: “Can I like? Throw my old quarter-staff at him?”

DM: *Sighs* “No, you can’t throw it at him..”

Me & Two Other Players In OOC: *Collectively groan*

DM: “Okay, okay, fine. You can throw it at him but you have to roll a crit to successfully hit.”

Monk: *Rolls a natural 20*

DM: *Has this ‘are you real bro’ look on his face* “Ok fine now you get to roll two d-6 for damage times 2..”

Monk: *Rolls two 6’s on two d-6*

DM: “God damn it- How do I..” *Sighs* “The Monk, with a mighty heave of his arm, sends his old quarter-staff violently flying through the air. The entire party, watches in awe as some-fucking-how, the staff manages to maneuver forty feet and smashes against the side of the prophet’s head. A loud thunk fills the air before the prophet falls over, groaning for a moment before he slowly gets back to a stand. Enraged, he snatches the quarter-staff that was thrown at him off the floor and firmly clutches it in his hand.”

Monk OOC: “Oh god, he’s not gonna throw it back at me, is he?”

a zutara parallel i rarely see discussed is that, at the beginning of the series, neither zuko nor katara are skilled in their elements; katara can’t even catch a fish, while iroh is still teaching zuko the basics. but by the end of the series, they are both esteemed masters in their own right through tumultuous work and perseverance

Who Should You Fight: Gothic Horror Edition

Mary Shelley: Are you Harriet Westbrook?  If so, consider fighting Percy instead.  If not, why on Earth would you want to fight Mary Shelley?

Bram Stoker: Go for it; the guy was sickly all his life.  Just try not to catch his latest batch of terminal illnesses.

Edgar Allan Poe: Like Bram Stoker, but really sad.  Don’t fight Poe.

Matthew “Monk” Lewis: You’ll have a fun time fighting Matthew Lewis, whether you win or not.  Watch out, though- he fights dirty.

Oscar Wilde: You think you can take Wilde?  Really?  I mean, I know pop culture thinks of him as silly and frilly, but he was also 6′3″ and Irish.  You cannot take Oscar Wilde.

The Marquis de Sade: Win or lose, there is no possible end to this fight that does not leave you feeling gross.

John Polidori: Absolutely fight Polidori.  If only his little half-assed attempt at a mustache were longer, you could pull on it!

Henry James: First, decide whether you believe he was sympathetic to the plight of women or revelled in depicting their downfall.  Then bypass Henry James entirely in favor of fighting one academic side or the other.

Ambrose Bierce: I cannot emphasize enough how much you cannot beat Ambrose Bierce.  This man ended his life by riding off to join Pancho Villa’s army, and some scholars believe he was murdered for sassing his host.  Unless you are Pancho Villa, don’t fight Ambrose Bierce.

M.R. James: You could beat James up, but then Christopher Lee would beat you up.  Choose wisely.

Charles Dickens:  He’ll be the one to fight you, for calling him a gothic horror writer in the first place.  And while I have no proof of it, I am convinced Dickens has killed men before for such insults.

Sheridan Le Fanu: On the one hand, I feel bad advising anyone to fight a man who campaigned to get the British government to do something about the Irish famine.  On the other hand, those muttonchops were meant for grabbing.

H.P. Lovecraft: You’ll win, but you won’t enjoy it.  There’s no fun in kicking a man who’s already down.

lacefedora  asked:

2. spiritassassin

#2. Please, just stop talking

Thousands upon thousands of windows glitter like scales in the morning sun. It’s so bright that Baze has to hold a hand over his eyes just to make sure he doesn’t accidentally walk off the edge of their landing platform.

Beside him, Chirrut is smiling, sightless eyes staring unblinking into the distance.

“This place is so alive.” Chirrut breathes deeply, and grips his staff a little tighter. “It is amazing.”

“It’s ugly.” Baze rolls his eyes and looks around for their Jedi escort. He misses the soft, sandy silence of Jehda already. He hopes these negotiations won’t take too long.

“I highly doubt that.”

“You wouldn’t if you could see it as I do,” Baze responds gruffly, pushing a long strand of dark hair out of his face. That’s another thing. Jehda is never this damned windy. Baze’s long hair is whipping this way and that, so much so that with a losing scowl, he pulls it up into a bun at the top of his head.

He finally spots the Jedi that will to escort them to the Coruscant Temple coming down the runway. She’s a Tholothian, wearing the typical seed pod headdress of her people. Her name bubbles up in the back of Baze’s mind: Gallia. They’d dealt with her before.

Chirrut clicks his tongue softly at Baze, still facing out over the edge of the platform. “Show me, then, before our Jedi friend gets here.”

With a sigh, Baze opens himself up to the Force. To Chirrut. He allows his blind companion to access his eyes and see through them.

“Careful, it’s bright,” Baze warns.

Chirrut’s eyes blink the same time that Baze’s do, but the low sound of amazement Chirrut creates makes the odd sensation worth it.

“It is beautiful, you liar,” Chirrut murmurs.

***

“We can only provide you with so many Kyber crystals before our planet becomes a target for the Separatists,” Baze says, again. “I’m sorry, Masters Jedi, but there’s nothing we can do.”

The Jedi Council members seated around them look towards one another, before the small green one – Master Yoda, their former Grandmaster – speaks in a low warble.

“Needed, they are. Abandon us, your Order would not.”

“No…” Baze searches for words. “But I was given strict orders. We can try, but there isn’t much either of us can do.”

Yoda stares at him with haunting green eyes, “There is no try.”

Chirrut suddenly steps up in front of Baze. “Actually, Master, there is. You’ve tried other sources. Ilum is a perfectly good one, why do you need ours?”

“Chirrut,” Baze hisses, but Chirrut holds up a hand.

“Trust me,” he murmurs over his shoulder.

Chirrut continues. “Perhaps if the Jedi stopped breaking their own lightsabers in unnecessary battle, more Kyber needn’t be necessary,” He notes with a tap of his staff on the tiled floor to accentuate his words.

Baze stays silent, watches as the small green master’s eyes widen, and then Yoda too taps his small gimmer stick on the floor, echoing Chirrut.

“Necessary it is, to fight. Sometimes.”

Chirrut tilts his chin up. “Of course it is. If you’re defending something. What, do tell, are the Jedi defending at this point? A way of life? Why? What if this is the will of the Force?”

“Defending the Republic, we are. ”

“Ah. But why? You seek to guilt trip us, but you give no reason aside from ‘It’s necessary’. What makes it necessary to manufacture men, and use special Kyber…?”

Baze doesn’t say a word, and keeps his hands behind his back and his lips tightly sealed to keep himself from laughing. By the stones of the temple back home, he loves this man.

Yoda goes quiet, and this seems to surprise the other members of the Council. The Grandmaster himself, Mace Windu, who had looked nothing but taciturn throughout their visit, looks shaken. Yet Yoda only smiles and hums, clicking the tile with his staff once more.

“Right, you are, young monk, but fight we must to protect what we care for.” Yoda leans forward in his seat. “That is why the clones we have. And ourselves. And more Kyber crystals, humbly request we do.”

Chirrut tilts his head towards Baze, but doesn’t turn away from the Jedi Master completely.

Oh no, Baze thinks.

“The Jedi should embrace their caring feelings more often, particularly when they’re the reason behind what they protect,” Chirrut says with an incline of his head. “My companion and I will speak with the Ajahn herself. You will have your Jehdian Kyber Crystals, Master.”

***

As they leave the round chamber and enter the turbolift, Baze says, “Were you told to do that?”

“No,” Chirrut says, utterly devoid of remorse.

“The Ajahn won’t be pleased,” Baze points out.

“She will understand,” Chirrut insists, as the levels of the tower flash outside the protective cover of their lift. “Yu-Phin wanted a reason to help the Jedi. I’ve found one.”

“They care about people?”

“Yes. Besides, we have the reserves, do we not? Might as well help them.”

The turbolift comes to a stop and the doors slide open.

“I get the feeling you did something you weren’t supposed to.”

Chirrut snorts as he gets off behind Baze. “Don’t I always?”

***

Chirrut retires to their apartment in the temple early, complaining of a headache. Baze goes with him.

“This place is so loud,” says Chirrut as he slips off his sandals and climbs into one of the two low beds in the room. Baze lowers the suite’s lights completely, takes off his own boots, and climbs into the narrow bed beside Chirrut.

Baze hums in agreement, stroking his hand down the back of Chirrut’s neck. “Do you want some water?”

Chirrut shakes his head and presses in closer to Baze. His breath is hot against Baze’s cheek. “I wouldn’t mind a certain… other activity, if you’re up for it.” A hand brushes along Baze’s crotch, inviting.

Baze smirks, and pulls his hair loose with one hand. Dark hair covers his shoulders as he presses his lips against the spot beneath Chirrut’s right ear. “I thought you had a headache?” he whispers, before leaving a kiss on the soft skin.

The hand at Baze’s crotch becomes a little more insistent, rubbing him to semi-hardness through the thin material of his trousers.

“I may have overexaggerated,” Chirrut says playfully. “Most of it was that Jedi Master Yoda. I don’t believe he likes me very much.”

“He’d be a fool not to like you,” Baze nips lightly down the length of Chirrut’s neck, opening up the fold in his robes as Chirrut sets to work untying his belt.

Chirrut tilts his head, and his pale eyes close halfway as he presses a kiss to Baze’s lips. “Prove it.”

***

Chirrut is lean and strong beneath him; warm and tight around his length. He moves as Baze moves, arching up when Baze pushes forward, wrapping his legs around Baze’s hips to pull him in deeper and deeper when it doesn’t seem like they can get any closer. Attempting to make them one.

At the brink of climax, Baze opens himself up to the Force and, for a moment, Chirrut sees himself, sweating and flushed, beneath Baze. For a moment, Baze feeling himself pumping into Chirrut; feels himself being stretched and filled. Made whole. For a moment, as they hit that final point in tandem, they are one.

Afterwards, as they lay side by side with legs tangled and their hands fitted together, Chirrut laughs at the ceiling.

“Do you still hate Coruscant now?” he asks.

Baze huffs. “Please, just stop talking, love.”

My editor's book

Has appeared on the Tapas app.

I’d like to say something about it, because she has been very helpful to me in a way it is difficult to explain and I want to represent her as she has done me.

The book is a lovely teenage romance and a story of coming out, but not in the way you would expect. “Cinderella Boy” is more than the fairytale. It is a strategic map for withstanding the kind of hatred and institutionalized homophobia that exists in this country. The running theme within it is that of marksmanship and Sun Tsu’s Art of War. It is an emotional love story, with a spine, to me reading like a John Hughes movie put on by a cast of fighting Monks, who sometimes prefer wearing taffeta.

If you identify as non-binary, gender fluid, transgendered, agendered, or androgynous, I recommend it to you. If you were bullied as a child for your sexuality or gender identity, I recommend it. If you need something to give you a hopeful slap on the back, I recommend it.

Please do go to the Tapas app and see about reading Cinderella Boy by Kristina Meister

everybody was kung fu fighting!

[The Shaolin Monks] pursue spiritual peace through mastery of bare-fisted murder.  – The Simpsons, 16x12 “Goo Goo Gai Pan”

To fight is a concept with which every person on the planet is familiar. From the impoverished bowels of third-world countries to the highest echelon of wealthy societies, fighting can almost be heralded as the true universal language. People fight for what they love, against what they hate, for change, for honor, for glory, for money, to stave boredom, to get fit. Every day, wars are waged against both mental and physical obstacles to success. The most personally successful individuals are the ones who brave adversity and courageously do battle with what threatens to block or distract them from their goals. 

Challenging someone to a duel is not a foreign concept in the Western world, but conditions had to be met before making such a challenge was considered socially acceptable. Bound by a set of societal mores (the essential or characteristic customs and conventions of a community, by the dictionary definition), duels were usually made over questions of personal honor. At least superficially, the point of the duel (whether it be carried out with swords, guns, or mano-a-mano) was for each participant to demonstrate a willingness to lay their life on the line for the restoration of honor, either to themselves, their families, or some entity they represented. 

In the Chinese culture (the birthplace of kung fu and by proxy many hundreds of styles of martial arts), such a challenge is called gong sau, or “speak hand.” Plainly, it is a challenge made by one individual to another to test the skills of that individual’s school or style. It was often enacted in private and under relatively civilized conditions. Bruce Lee himself notably engaged in such a fight with the still-living Wong Jack Man at Lee’s school nine years before Lee’s untimely death. The fight was unrecorded and, following tradition, held in near-complete privacy. Performed in good faith, gong sau is meant to enhance a student’s knowledge base and physical versatility, not to harm or disgrace the opponent. These days, many reputable kung fu schools will actually have written policies either barring their students from challenging other schools for the sake of martial morality or greatly restricting the circumstances under which a challenge can occur. Martial arts is a business, and while injuries are common, injuries acquired by way of an outside challenge can potentially irreparably damage a school’s reputation.

Originally posted by feiyueshoes-sizechart

So what if the challenger wishes to challenge a member of his own school? Then it is not a question of style or the skill of instruction, but of skill. When does a match between fellow students cross the line of propriety?

Martial artists live by a code set forth by their masters and the school they are trained in. In a traditional martial art like Shaolin kung fu, the mind is trained as much as the body, and attitude is tantamount to effective absorption not only of the physical material, but of the headspace critical to becoming a respected member of the school community. Those students who embody every aspect of wu de (”martial morality”) are seen as pillars of the microcosmic society that is the kung fu school. Martial arts is indeed a sub-culture of the world-at-large, operating with its own norms, rules, traditions, and mores. There is a way a martial artist is expected to behave here, and while new students typically pick it up by power of observation, elder students have been known to correct them verbally when breaches of conduct are observed. It is the duty of higher-ranking belts to do just that, politely but firmly, to school them into the appropriate role of respectful, passionate student.

Enter the Tiger

Originally posted by dannythug9

Tiger is the youngest third-degree black belt in the school, a few years my junior but two full ranks (and many chambers) my senior. I do not know the exact timeline or details of his martial arts history, but he began his kung fu training a few years ago as a child, and earned his black belt in Taekwondo before that. He is a champion wrestler and world-champion kung fu competitor numerous times over, cross-trains in groundfighting arts, and is a highly skilled sparring partner. His athletic abilities alone make him somewhat of a marvel to newer and seasoned students alike, martial skill aside. But what makes Tiger truly admirable is his humility, coolheadedness, and unwavering willingness to help any student who asks for it. About martial etiquette he maintains and encourages a historically “traditional” frame of thinking and it comes across very obviously in the way he shows deference to other instructors, treats his students, and handles conflict. Though quite serious when it comes to matters of martial propriety, Tiger is fun-loving, amicable, and always game for a round of sparring. The rest of us students love the uncommon occasions Tiger is able to break away from his personal commitments and come train for the simple reason that he is fun to watch and his great attitude makes him a highly respected, but highly accessible role model. I know of no one who has ventured to disrespect him. In fact, I know of no one who is not completely awestruck at him.

So when, one evening, a white belt walked up to Tiger and challenged him to a fight, I imagine even Tiger was himself was somewhat taken aback.

Enter the White Belt. 

He’s a young man around Tiger’s age, give or take a couple years, with short, curly hair and big, shiny glasses. So fresh to the kwoon his perfectly black uniform still gleams under the fluorescent lights, he approaches Tiger and personally challenges him to a fight. 

I was not present at the time, engaged in a class that was simultaneously occurring. The school was crowded with students that day, and once class ended at 7:30 that evening those who had attended flooded to the back of the school, on their way to locker rooms or the carpet to stretch. As I walked by, equally purposed, I saw Tiger kneeling on the floor, the white belt’s head between his legs, the rest of him all but immobilized as he struggled to buck Tiger off. Tiger, of course, looked as calm and collected as ever, if not slightly irked. Having no picture of what was occurring, as I had just entered the situation, I only got the impression that this wasn’t a usual sparring match.

Fascinated, I reached out to Tiger after the fervor had died down to try and figure out what had happened.

Goat (me): He challenged you?

Tiger: Yes, he did. The issue I had with him was that I specifically told him there was a difference between sparring and challenging someone. I made it clear that if he wanted to spar I would… make it a learning experience. But if he’s asking for a challenge, it’s completely different.

In a martial arts community, I agree wholeheartedly: vernacular is important. Challenging someone seems to imply that the challenger wishes to do the other person some degree of harm to prove a point, barring defense of honor, which was not the context here.

Tiger: I told him that it was inappropriate for him to actually challenge someone at the school, especially at his rank and lack of skill. Said that at this point, he should be seeking help and guidance rather than walking around challenging black belts.

Which is apparently exactly what the young man had been doing. Prior to making his fatal mistake with Tiger, he challenged Monkey, Horse, and a handful of other notable students. With no previous martial arts training except for some summers spent with a grandfather who was apparently proficient in some form of Aikido, he really never stood a chance. 

Goat: Challenging someone to get better sounds exactly like some old-fashioned school-of-hard-knocks bullshit instilled by an overbearing (or at least misguided) father figure. 

Monkey, Dragon, and I got on the subject of the challenge while hanging out at home a few nights later. It was then I first found out the white belt had been challenging other black belts; Monkey revealed he’d been issued (and accepted) a similar challenge, as had Horse. Monkey, naturally, prevailed in the match. I was surprised to hear that after losing to two successive second-degree black belts the young man would bother trying to win against a third-degree, but then, a lack of logic had already proven a recurring theme. Dragon, interestingly, had not been challenged, and expressed rhetorical curiosity as to why. To me, it was glaringly obvious: either he hadn’t gotten around to it, or (more likely), the student was shying from Dragon because, well, Dragon’s a big, scary-looking motherfucker. Tiger and Horse are both of average height and relatively unassuming standing a crowd of students. Monkey is tall but thin. I speculated that the white belt had shown at least some intelligence picking opponents with a body type most similar to his own. Tiger, Horse, and Monkey may have all presented the illusion of being equally manageable.

When I had the chance to introduce myself to the young man (I try to do this with all new students), he told me that Tiger reminded him of his grandfather, who was a “fighter,” but seemed hesitant to share more with me, perhaps still shamed from his encounter with the black belt. Still, he kept a smile on his face when I asked him if he’d learned anything, replying yes, I got a lesson in vernacular. Before taking my leave, I asked him if he was still on his quest to challenge black belts to fights and he shook his head abashedly. 

Tiger’s account describes giving the kid a chance to rescind, or at least to re-consider what exactly he was asking for. As always, Tiger extended the offer to spar, to help coach the young man about technique while in a practice hand-to-hand scenario, but the white belt was relentless, insisting on a “challenge.” With his great reverence for martial etiquette at the helm, as well as the honor of the school in his hands, Tiger acted in defense of both and allowed the engagement. It didn’t last long, and while Tiger was not cruel, hurtful, or punitive, he did not show mercy with his technique nor offered any of the usual encouragement or helpful criticism that a student would be blessed to receive from him in the course of a training match.

Tiger: A challenge is a questioning. It questions my rank, my skill, my training and, most of all, my teachers. As a direct representative of their teachers, a martial artist can not take a challenge lying down. Some people might see that as an old-school mentality (the entire idea of someone challenging a martial artist is, by itself, pretty old-school), but I take it very seriously.

(Tiger, center, earning his third-degree sash last year.)

In researching modern opinions on gong sau (though this incident doesn’t completely align with the definition) I came across numerous opinions about the subject. Perhaps common-sensically, many martial artists advise against it unless certain criteria are met and rules set in place governing the fight. The best advice I read was simply this: just don’t go looking for a fight, because eventually you will find one and it will not end well. Moreover, it seems to me that if one’s mindset is so narrow and linear that it drives an individual to believing the best way to achieve the goal of becoming a great fighter is to continually challenge fighters of much higher skill, that student would be more suited to a Muay Thai or boxing gym than a kung fu school.

“The most dangerous time for any student of any discipline is when the student is at a point where ambition outreaches skill. This will serve to keep the student training, but can result in some harsh lessons.” - anonymous

Needless to say, I’m keeping an interested eye on the white belt’s development.