Pretenses Chapter 3


Ann Coulter

Jada Pinkett-Smith

Wicked Wisdom

Phillip Thomas Duck

Alisha Yvonne

Laura Schlessinger

Dr. Frederick K.C. Price

James Patterson

Eric Jerome Dickey

Jackie Collins

L.A. Banks

Brandon Massey

Kendra Norman-Bellamy

Pretenses Cover
PRETENSES Part 1 Coco Nimburu

I FELT THE PRESENCE of the two FBI agents who had just entered my dojo. I recognized the cologne of agent Patrick Flynn. That meant that the other presence I felt was that of his partner, Dick Ford. Something terrible must have happened for them to contact me when I was off duty.

I was going to have to return to my day job as FBI Special Agent in Charge, Phoenix Perry. But first, I had something far more important to think about-my mind and body in perfect harmony. I was making a videotape of my training session with four of my best student-teachers. We were sparring at full speed, and each student-teacher was armed with a lethal weapon.

As a Grandmaster of Shaolin Kung Fu, I knew I had to take it easy on them, but not too easy. They had all earned the rank of black sash, but if I didn't use at least fifty percent of my chi, they wouldn't push themselves to master the art. For safety purposes, I had told them that once they were knocked down or were off the mat, they were considered knocked out and could no longer participate.

Armed with two knives, Earl Johns, the most aggressive of the four, lunged forward. I spun toward him faster than he could bat an eye. His knife just missed me, and I back-fisted him in the forehead. As he fell, I could feel a fighting stick coming at the back of my head, and I ducked out of the way.

The three remaining student-teachers were in front of me now. I advanced toward Valerie Ryan, who had a chain. Sensing when she would swing, I angled in to the left and hit her with a palm strike to the sternum just as she started her swinging motion. She flew backward about five feet with the chain still in her hand. Had I hit her anywhere above the shoulders, she would have been seriously injured.

Greg Fisher swung a staff at my ankles. He had the best technique, but he wasn't the best fighter. I jumped just high enough for the staff to pass under my feet. Then dropping to one knee, I spun around and swept both of Greg's legs out from under him. He fell hard onto the mat, and his staff flew up in the air. I caught it and spun it like a majorette twirling a baton.

Only Karen Monroe, who was close to mastering the art, remained. I initiated the joust by feinting at her feet. She came forward, rapidly swinging a pair of fighting sticks. We attacked back and forth without success for either of us. Then I waited for her to come forward again. When she did, I hit her wrist with Greg's staff, knocking one stick out of her hand. I could tell from her eyes that she was wondering, with her level of training, how such a simple move could have worked.

Seeing another opening, I knocked the other stick out of her hand, partly to show her it wasn't luck, but mainly to satisfy my own vanity. Having disarmed her, I tossed the staff away and advanced, throwing a series of quick strikes and kicks. My attack was fast but nowhere near as fast as it could be. The idea was to lull the opponent into a rhythm and then break that rhythm by striking at full speed. I closed the distance between us. Then, without thought, I stepped in and delivered a powerful palm strike to Karen's chest, which sent her sailing across the room.

The match was over almost as quickly as it had begun. In less than two minutes and with minimal effort, I had dispensed with four armed Kung Fu artists. The student-teachers and I bowed to one another.

"What are the pillars of our philosophy?" I asked them.

In unison they said, "Emptiness, awareness, fluidity, totality, simplicity."

"Where do these lead us?"

"To freedom."

"Where does freedom lead us?"

"To no technique and to all technique."

I turned to Karen Monroe. "You were thinking about the simplicity of the move I executed in disarming you of the first stick when you lost the second, weren't you?"

Her head dropped. "Yes."

"What should you have done?" I asked, giving her a chance to learn from the mistake.

"I should have trusted my feelings. Somehow I knew what you were going to do. And when you did it, I was surprised at how simple it was."

"Good. You are not far from true freedom."

Addressing all the student-teachers, I said, "How many of you felt the presence of the two FBI agents behind me?"

Startled, they looked over my shoulders and saw the two men dressed in dark suits and ties. Then they looked at each other, wondering if anyone knew other than I.

"When true freedom has been attained, you will know without knowing." I let what I had just taught them sink in for a moment or two before I dismissed my students. "Okay, I'll see you all next week."

I faced Flynn and Ford and asked, "What's happened?"

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