We join our two friends, Max and Dexter, as they walk along the streets of a semi-large city in Canada, looking for something to do. They banter back and forth about martial arts for a while, when Dexter notices a martial arts school called "Master Lee's." Immediately thinking "Jeet Kune Do", they sally forth to the school, anticipating good, clean self-defense to fill their abundance of time.

They enter the school, and are greeted by a small oriental woman, dressed in a kimono. She bows to them, further purveying a sense of authenticity to Max and Dexter.

"Hello, and welcome to Master Lee's School of Samurai Ninja Asskick-Ryu Karate. Are you interested in joining the dojo?"

Dexter, now a bit confused, speaks on behalf of the two guys.

"Samurai Ninja Asskick-Ryu Karate? Is that for real?"

"Oh yes, our style has carried us to numerous martial arts tournament titles, and world-renowned recognization."

Now Max and Dexter are getting hooked on the idea. Their interest must show on their faces, because the woman speaks again.

"Would you like a free trial class?"

Max is slightly ahead of Dexter in acceptance of her offer. She walks to a small desk, where she looks at a schedule. She studies it for a moment then makes a surprised sound, and approaches them with a smile.

"You're in luck! Master Lee himself arrived at the dojo this very morning to conduct some classes. Would you like to join one of his classes in progress?"

The boys agree again, and they follow the woman down a hallway. As they walk, crashing noises can be heard, as well as "Ki-yah's" and various moans from practicing students. They reach the last door in the hallway, and the woman shows them in. Inside, a one-eyed shirtless teacher missing two fingers and covered with scars -- Master Lee -- stops what he was doing and smiles as Max and Dexter are led in. Introductions are made, and the woman leaves. Master Lee looks at the two boys, and calls up Max before him. Max complies, and the teacher begins in an instructional voice.

"Now, Max. Just stand there and let your mind clear itself of all thought. Float in the empty calm, and let your inner energy show itself. Close your eyes, and relax your muscles..."

As Master Lee talks, two students sneak up behind Max with kendo sticks. Master Lee slowly steps closer to Max...

"Feel your energy rising. Channel the power to your muscles. Feel the power infuse you... TENSE!"

Master Lee and the two students each hit Max at the same time. Master Lee strikes Max's nose, while one student cracks Max across the knee. The third gives him a shot across the back. Max crumples to the floor, moaning loudly, and coughing. Master Lee looks at him scornfully.

"Did that hurt Max?"

Max can only nod his head.

"That's because you don't have a high enough PAIN TOLERANCE! Tolerance is key! If you can't take the hits, you'll never be an effective fighter! The more you get hit, the less pain will register in your mind. This is the conditioning that you will go through! We shall have to work on your pain tolerance first and foremost! Once you have strengthened, we will issue you swords and shuriken to increase your reflexes.... Hey, where are you going?!"

Dexter picks up Max, and they bolt out the door, and run down the street as fast as they can. Master Lee walks back to the front lobby, and speaks to the woman, while he dresses in a business suit.

"Wow, that felt great. What do you call that again?"

"Stress relief therapy."

"Amazing. Far better than a punching bag..."

"Same time next week?"

"Of course."

"Would you like to be Master Lee, or would you rather settle for a student next time?"

"I think I prefer Master Lee. Definitely much more fun than being a student."

"Alright then. Do not forget your lines, or we could get into trouble."

"Don't worry, I've got it all under control. See you next week."

"Master Lee" pays the woman in a fair sized wad of cash. He leavs the "dojo" and enters the large accounting building next door...

This was my response to a nodeshell challenge, issued to me by Prophet4. Thank you...

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