So one of my brown belts comes to class and says, “I have good fight story for you!” Randy is a plumber and on the job site tempers can flare as the days get long; and, well, they definitely did that day.

Two of Randy’s co-workers had decided to settle their differences with a little fisticuffs. The morning had started poorly and by the afternoon the little verbal barbs had escalated into full-on “F-bombs” going both ways. It had become personal and the fight was on. In one part of the client’s back yard the two squared off; on one side of the small patch of lawn there was Ed, a fifty-year-old U.S. Navy veteran, and on the other side, Don, a twenty-one-year-old buck just ready to go.

Randy said they squared off fists up like boxers and Ed threw the first blow: a steel-toed construction boot kick to Don’s right shin. Don went down as Ed just stood there and let the twenty-one-year-old get back to his feet. “That’s not fair! We’re boxing!” yelled Don. “OK,” said Ed, “We’ll just box now.” They squared up again, hands held up ready to box. Pow! Ed delivered the first strike again: another steel-toed boot to Don’s same shin. Don went down and didn’t get back up to continue the fight.

Ed, the fifty-year-old U.S. Navy man could have jumped on Don when he was on the ground, but he didn’t. There was no point in doing that; Ed had made his point and order was restored on the job site.

Ed had lied to Don, and Don foolishly believed him.


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