Kung Fu, that those words would have exited the American Lexicon. Nope, some of TV-Lands most ardent male fans (I've never heard a woman say the words) must whisper it around like the passphrase to an elite club of martial art skeptics.
Personally, I am not offended, nor do I feel a need to prove that Karate is an effective means of self defense when approached by a non-believer. I did not set upon this path as a means to elevate my stature, visibility, or party invitations. So I am not put off when I get the nice question, "Does it really work?", or the more confrontational, "I don't believe in that kung fu stuff."
I generally just let the comments pass, but recently for whatever biorythmic, hormonal, or sleep deprived reasons, I did respond to a slightly inebriated spokesman for the perpetually petulant. He said, and I quote, "I could still kick your butt."
As I remember it, I replied as follows:
"Possibly...., but not likely. I have been studying Tang So Do for over fifteen years, and in all that time I don't think I missed but one week of training. I was a Black Belt in 1999, a certified instructor in 2000, and a Master in 2008. So while anything on this Earth is possible, in the words of the great Captain Jack Sparrow relative to a question at hand - 'possible..., but not probable.'"
"Let me ask you a question. In all of your life, how many fights have you been in? Include Grade School, Junior high, and even college frat parties. How many fist fights have you been in. Five? Three? I fight all the time. I fight with people just like you. We call them White Belts."
"I also fight with Red Belts who have two or more years of training, Black Belts with four years of experience, and other Masters with ten, fifteen, or more years (pardon the pun) under their belts. I fight with men my own age and size, and with men much bigger and stronger, and with younger men in the prime of their lives who have more speed, flexibility, and stamina."
"I fight in competitions where emotions, adrenaline, and drive reach their peak. I fight with other Tang Soo Do practitioners as well experts in Tae Kwon Do, Karate, and arts with names I've never learned. I even practice, routinely, against trained artists with weapons including knives, swords, and hand guns."
"So let me provide you with one piece of information that might actually give you an edge. Go for the sucker punch. Pretend to look over your shoulder away from me as if to smirk to your remaining friend. As you return to meet my eye, suddenly and without warning try to punch my face. You know the drill, you've seen it a hundred times in Smokey and the Bandit."
"This, out of the blue, no warning shot to the head is your best chance to end the fight in one blow. We call it Il Kyuck Pil Sal, and in case you're wondering - we practice against this too."