The Way of the Mantis (part 3)

After five long years of solitude, Dushu reappeared before the Shaolin Temple gates.  He once again asked the monk on watch for an audience with the great Master Chang.  He was once again told that Master Chang had no business with him.  And so he waited.   At the end of three days, the temple gate opened and a young monk bade Dushu to follow him.  They came to the inner courtyard and there once again was Master Chang.

Dushu bowed saying, “I humbly thank you for your audience Master Chang.”

Master Change returned the bow and asked, “What is it I can do for you young man?”

“I still wish to become a student of the temple,” Dushu replied.

“You must still prove to me your power of discipline, and last time you could not even beat my lowest student,” said Master Chang.

“I have learned much since then,” replied Dushu.

“Very well then, I shall summon my lowest student once more.”

“I humbly beg that I many contest you myself master,” said Dushu.

Master Chang slowly studied Dushu saying, “You have at least learned humility and thus I shall grant you a challenge.  But after your first, it will be through, and you will never be allowed to challenge here again.”

Dushu nodded in acknowledgement.

They bowed to each other and to Master Chang’s small surprise, Dushu did not ragefully attack him.  So the two began to slowly circle each other.  Suddenly and with great skill, Master Chang struck out and was quickly blocked.  He struck again and again and each time, even though his blows were strong and well aimed, Dushu managed to block or parry them.  The bout went on for several hours until Dushu almost managed to throw Master Chang.  Then totally to the surprise of Dushu and the astonishment of the watching students, the great Master broke his stance and, putting his opened left hand over his fisted right hand, he gave Dushu the sign of repect.

“I do not know where or from whom you have learned this, but you have learned well.”

Dushu respectfully replied, “It is the way of the mantis, and I have learned it from nature.”

The Master accepted Dushu as a student.  Some years later he also became a great master, and the knowledge of the mantis became a part of the Way of the Shaolin Temple.

The End

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