As Ryu walks with the boy, he realizes that they’re entering a broken down slum. They walk past dirty, grey alleyways. The kid does not live in a good part of town. Pollution. Drunks. Gang members that stare him down as they walk by.
Ryu began to regret his decision. Not because this way might lead to more unsolicited fights. But from the non-stop chatter from the boy.
DEOJIN: Ryu, Ryu! How many hours a day do you train?! How many pairs of karate gis do you have in your bag? Did I mention I’m your biggest fan? Did you really fight M. Bison and Gill before?
Ryu smiles politely and takes the child’s affection as calmly as he can. A million questions racing at him, you can tell by his expression, Ryu is not used to kids.
DEOJIN: How many variations of the Tatsumaki are you working on? What is it like knowing the world tries to track your fights on camera? When’s your next fight with Gouki? Did you finish your training with Oro? Oh, did I mention I’m your biggest fan?!”
Ryu had not been met with such admiration since the days of Sakura following him around.
They finally get to the house.
From the outside, it’s grey. Cracked. Broken. The windows seem to fall apart. A cat wonders out from a trash bin by the side of the house and walks past them.
RYU: “This is where you live?”
DEOJIN: “Yeah, I know… But I’m used to it. Sorry. Maybe one day, I’ll be a strong fighter like you and have a better place to train in.”
Ryu is no stranger to poverty. Yet, the living conditions did worry Ryu for the sake of the boy.
RYU: “No it’s fine. Shall we step inside?”
Inside the house. Deojin opens the door and leads Ryu in. There are no locks on the door, it seems they were broken off a long time ago. Ryu raises and eyebrow, but the boy just walks in like it’s nothing. Ryu turns and sees a woman sleeping on the couch.
DEOJIN: “Shh! That’s my mom. She’s been sick for quite some while. She says she won’t be able to work for much longer, but I know she’s stronger than that.”
RYU: “Oh? I’m very sorry. Let’s let her rest. “
DEOJIN: ”Come on, let’s get some tea.”
In the kitchen. They sit at a small table in the kitchen. The stove is on and the tea is rich.
DEOJIN: “That’s my mom’s special blend. We may be poor, but we really do savor our tea.”
Ryu finishes another cup.
RYU: “Wow. It really is good. I really needed that. Sugoi.” (Sugoi or Suge, means Good or Great)
DEOJIN: “Please, here have some more.”
He pours Ryu another cup. Ryu sips and looks around the room.
RYU: “Deojin, you seem to know so much about me. I noticed there’s no TV here in the house. How did you begin to learn so much about me?”
DEOJIN: “Are you serious? Everyone knows about you! There are magazines about you. I go to the library and have seen all the videos on you. You’re a living legend!”
RYU: “Ah, I see. And also Deojin, don’t say that. That’s not true. I’m no hero.”
DEOJIN: “You are! Even when you’re gone for months and even years, you still seem to inspire the entire fighting world.”
Ryu looks away and reflects for a bit.
RYU: “Sometimes I wonder if fighting for myself is a little selfish. But it is truly what I love to do.”
He finishes his cup.
RYU: “Well it appears I’ve drank so much of your tea. Thank you for the drink, it was very refreshing. I think I’d better be on my way now.”
He gets up from his chair.
DEOJIN: “But Ryu, there were so many questions I wanted to ask you.”
Ryu looks surprised. He slinks back in his chair.
DEOJIN: “About fighting!”
The kid bursts into full-attention mode.
DEOJIN: “When you throw a jab, when’s a good time to throw it?”
RYU: “With a jab, you must be quick. Use it to set up other punches or guide the opponent into a throw. Make sure to tuck the elbow in, as to not telegraph your quickest punch.”
DEOJIN: “Suge na! Which is better the Sukotsu Wari (Collarbone Breaker) or the Kyuubi Kudaki (Solar Plexus Strike) ?”
RYU: “You must keep all of them in your arsenal. And gauge the situation for which one is right. Use the collarbone breaker after a feint, to deceive the opponent with the angle of the punch. The Solar Plexus Strike is much more powerful, but slow. Use it when your opponent loses focus or to crush their guard.”
DEOJIN: “Thank you, Ryu-sama!”
He jumps into the next blitzed question.
DEOJIN: “When you go, Ha! Siya!”
He hops out of his chair, and does a light tatsumaki in the kitchen. Ryu laughs and smiles, impressed. Deojin’s mom turns over, nearly waking up from the noise.
DEOJIN: “Oh! When you do the tatsumaki, what’s the best way to land it flush on an opponent?”
RYU: “You must not use it always to land flush. As with any spinning technique, it takes time to generate momentum. Think about learning to do a small one to set up for an attack or throw the enemy does not perceive.”
DEOJIN: “Ohh! Suge. Thank you, thank you Ryu-san! And the next question!”
Ryu laughs again. He hasn’t seen such an animated youngster since Mel.
DEOJIN: “When you do the avoiding angle before a shoryuken, like this Houu!!”
The kid dodges to the side, still sitting in his chair, and does a curved uppercut stance… Ryu’s smile leaves his face, as he realizes the large potential within the boy.The kid has noticed something that Ryu hides in the technique.
RYU: “You noticed the dodging angle before I do the shoryuken?”
DEOJIN: “Of course! Haha. I’ve seen all your videos! Anyway when you achieve that chance for an opening, do you do the uppercut with a directly upward motion or is the forearm curved?”
RYU: “You turn the back slightly, so that when the arm is delivered in a curved motion, the arm will travel further upward. Your traveling distance will be sacrificed, but this is how easy knockdown power is generated. Do not forget to put as much power into the legs leaping up as the arm that is striking.”
DEOJIN: “Oh thank you Ryu-sama, Thank you!”
RYU: “Deojin, when I walked into that fight today, there is no doubt in me that there was a purpose for me doing so. I see a potential in you like none other.”
Deojin can’t believe the compliment he’s getting. A dream come true.
RYU: “Stand and rise. I must leave here soon. But I’ve already decided to impart you with a small lesson before I go. Your strength in knowledge must be rewarded.”
Without hesitation, even a word, Deojin rises to his feet. He looks nervous. One would expect him to jump for joy or yell in excitement. He sees this as a once in a lifetime opportunity and takes it very seriously.
RYU: “Like this.”
Ryu gets in hadouken stance.
DEOJIN: (( It’s happening. He is…! He is teaching me the Ha-Dou-Ken! ))
RYU: “Focus, Deojin. Bend the arms like this. Be fast in guiding your arms to this stance, but drop all tension in the shoulders while gathering your energy.”
Deojin moves his arms to the side of his body.
RYU: “Pay attention to the legs. Bend low, ground yourself. Tilt your leg slightly this way. For it is with this stance that you can withstand the power of larger Hadoukens. It is something I’ve had to learn myself. Past Gouken’s teachings. Learn to put power in your legs to allow the upperbody to gather immense ki ”
The boy gets into perfect hadouken stance.
Ryu is shocked. It is in perfect mirror form. Usually there are stance adjustments to be made, but the boy’s coordination is strong. A natural.
RYU: “Good. Now gather the hadou energy itself. Empty your thoughts. Dedicate the moment to only thinking of collecting your energy. Train this until you have felt the ki in your hands. Know this feeling. Remember it and revisit it. Find the pool of energy drawing from within and use it to outwardly defeat all enemies!”
Ryu moves his hands. A ball of intense light appears in his hands. Deojin’s eyes widen.
DEOJIN: ((Is this… a dream? Am I really seeing it with my own eyes? This is the Ha-Dou-Ken. Ryu’s Hadouken! I’m frozen. I can’t move. It’s beautiful and destructive in one sight. I know I must move, but I can’t.))
Ryu diffuses his hadouken and it disappears. He nods his head, gesturing for Deojin to try.
Deojin shakes out of his daze. He puts his hands to the side again. He closes his eyes. In an instant, he transforms his nervous energy into complete focus.
Ryu cannot believe it. He’s assimilated the perfect stance for drawing in the most energy. Was it from the videos that Deojin learned this stance? A few magazine articles studying Ryu? Hours of practice can be seen in the boy’s perfect stance. What is there to be taught?
Deojin breathes out a heavy exhale.
Deojin’s eyes remain closed. A transparent energy forms around him. It guides itself into his hands. The air swelters around his palms and knuckles. Like a hot day with the humid air bending around a surface, so does the ki in Deojin’s little hands.
RYU: (( Subarashii, Deojin, Subarashii. (Very good, Deojin, Amazing.) Indeed this was the presence calling to me today ))
Deojin doesn’t even know the power carried in his two hands.
DEOJIN: “Not sure if this’ll work. But here it goes!”
He throws the hadouken perfectly. Without a prompt by Ryu. Ryu’s eyes widen in amazement.
Ryu simply moves his arm to the side, as if slowly pushing the energy to the side. And in the same motion, he moves his arms into a folded stance. He nods.
RYU: “Incredible, Deojin. Indeed, your potential is unlimited.”
Deojin does a cheeky smile and rubs the back of his head.
DEOJIN: “Heh-heh! I’ve had the best teacher!”
Ryu smiles. But suddenly, Deojin’s mom seems to mumble in her sleep. They both look over.
RYU: “Ah, it has been fun, but it appears I must be on my way. Please remember to take care of your mother.”
DEOJIN: “But Ryu! Don’t go.”