Martial Arts | Clarence Browley

When I was a kid, me and my two cousins were way into martial arts. My favorite martial artist was Jean-Claude Van Damme and his signature move was the flying roundhouse. I practiced this to no end, and eventually got pretty good at it.

The summer before 7th grade, I moved to Pilsen and started a new school. I was one of only three black kids at this school. I stood out like a sore thumb. My class contained the school’s bully–his name was Tony. While in gym class, Tony decided that all the boys were going to wrestle. I didn’t want to participate, but sadly had no choice. When it was my turn, I bested Tony several times, he got angry, and told me that he was going to beat me up after school.

The day dragged on and on, until finally school ended. Since it was my first day, I was not aware that there was a designated fighting area under the train tracks. When we got to the fighting area, everyone surrounded us, and while I prepared myself to fight I noticed that Tony was putting on a pair of fingerless gloves, which lead me to believe that he had done this before. This could be seen as foreshadowing.

The fight starts and it’s not going well for me. Realizing that I’m losing, I decided to execute my favorite martial arts move: the flying roundhouse. I waited for the perfect moment and executed the move to great effect but the thing is, at the time I only weighed 90 pounds and Tony clocked in at about 150. When my foot connected with his face, I lost all of my momentum and fell directly to the ground. Tony gave me a very impressed look before he started to pummel me.

roundhouse kickRealizing I was not only losing, I had lost, I grabbed my book bag and ran, bursting through the crowd into the street, where I was nearly hit by a school bus. From the perspective of those remaining, I had been hit by the school bus, but in reality the bus stopped seconds before hitting me. I ended up hitting the bus. I quickly got up and ran down the block, and when I turned to see if I was being chased I saw everyone looking under the school bus.

Unfortunately, I did not make it home before some of the kids that were at the fight. As I entered the back door of my house, my mom was at the front door being told that I just got hit by a school bus. My mom heard me close the back door, and turned to see that it as me, alive. She slammed the front and approached me with tears in her eyes. That was the second time I got my ass kicked that day.


clarence browleyClarence Browley was born and raised in Chicago. He hosts a show with his best friend Lily Be called Stoop Style Stories at Rosa’s Lounge the last Thursday of every month. He’s an easygoing guy who likes to laugh, play video games, and read comics. He lives a mysterious life of magic and wonder. At least, that’s what he likes to say to keep people from being nosy. If there is anything he wants you to know, he’ll tell you in story. Clarence is the nicest grump you’ll ever know.

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