Training The Primitive Beast

( this writing i suppose would take some place before street fighter 2 canon. Ryu’s Hadouken is far from perfected.

Calcutta, India.

The sun beats against the haze of the dying day. The evening gives way to a cool breeze that settles into an aesthetically pleasing palette of navy blues and deep purples. At the point of their closest Union amongst the sea in the sky stood out the highest point of an ancient Hindu temple.

It was home to a school of philosophical thought known as Yoga. The doctrine was closely related to Samkhya Hinduism and advocated for the unification of mind, body and spirit.

Just outside and on the eastern portion of the temple, but just beneath the shade of a tree stood a man in the throes of concentration. He was of Japanese descent and had a well defined fighter’s build. Not too broad of shoulder. Not too thick of musculature, it was the type of body that instead focused on intention for the advancement of total body flexibility, muscle endurance and an overall swiftness.

Ryu Hoshi understood the significance of where he stood. He relished in the moment. Relished in the spirit of his own youthful vigor. There was not a shred of arrogance to his nature. His technique, his form, all of it. It had been forged. Tempered in the flames of hard and austere training under the tutelage of Master Gouken.

Master Gouken with axioms like,”One must train more than he sleeps. That is the true path to enlightenment through Karate.” The words rang through his mind sometimes. They poured over him at the strangest of times like a luke warm bath of anxiety. It was not the words per se, but rather the way he interpreted them inside of his own skull. Perhaps time waited for no man. Perhaps…

“Perhaps you should focus on the task at hand.” A voice called from beneath the subconscious of his mind. He knew it well enough to disregard the invasion of mental privacy provided by the intrusive voice. It was none other than his current teacher, the yoga aescetic known as Dhalsim.

Ironically enough Ryu was near a tree, practicing outside of an ancient temple in India. But It was not as if it had no purpose. Every experience was meant to be one of exponential growth. Such is life for a life long practitioner of Karate. Ansatsuken was merely a seedling to a larger branch known as Buddhism and if Buddhism belonged to a larger body, which limbs tend to do, then Ansatsuken Karate would merely be a seedling underneath the grove of Hinduism and therefore Yoga’s majesty.

It has been said that virtually all martial arts come from this main tree of theology. It was also how Ryu of the Ansatsuken style came to understand it from his master Gouken.

Ansatsuken was essentially an unorthodox blend of Northern Styles of Kung -Fu that were ferociously known for deeply extended postures like the horse, bow leg, and dragon stances. They were connected by quick fluid transitions, able to quickly change the direction in which force was issued. In Ansatsuken, roughly half of Ryu’s téchniques featured abbreviated and or derivative forms of these stances. Téchniques like the,”Jodan Mawashi Geri, “(standing fierce K in SFIV) or the “do-mawashi geri,” ( Ken’s CvS 2 Aerial wheel kick ) were modernizations of the northern stylings of the Chinese martial arts. But they had to come for

There were other techniques proper. Just south of the Yangtze River in China was a plethora of martial fighting styles. These in particular were characterized by their punching prowess. Southern Chinese martial arts featured low stable stances and short powerful movements that combined both attack and defense. In practice, the focus was more on the use of the arm and full body techniques than high kicking or acrobatic maneuvers like the north.The influence was unprecedented on Karate, his chief style.

The world warrior understood these concepts. His own quest for knowledge brought about an insatiable thirst to learn about its philosophical musings. To pick them apart. To see how different cultures interpreted the main branch of theology that birthed so many after it. Ansatsuken Karate, as he came to understand it from his master Gouken? Was essentially an unorthodox blend of Northern & Southern, cross pollenated through the Ryukyu islands, (Okinawa) and then brought to Japan where it would distill.

That quest brought him underneath this grove. One of metaphor as much as it was literal. Ryu Hoshi, winner of the 1st World Warrior tourney. An open full contact contest where styles of martial arts were pitted against one another in no holds barred matches.

Along his journey he met friends and rivals, but none were as spiritually important to him as the mystic Dhalsim. His clairvoyant/telepathic abilities were up until this point completely outlandish and out of a fairytale when it came to Ryu’s understanding of how the mind, body and spirit worked.

Dhalsim believed that Ryu was searching for an answer just beyond his fists.

“Breathe in deeply,” Dhalsim said. He continued with,”Feel the energy of life and nature surging through your body. Remember that you are simply borrowing it from the cosmos.”

Ryu’s musings during his training felt like a life time ago. But out here in the realm where mind, body and spirit can become one? A life time can merely be a spec of dust in the grand ultimate of things.

“Now internalize this energy just as we practiced,” said Dhalsim. Ryu could not see the Shaman. But he knew the limber yogi was nearby. Perhaps practicing exactly what he preached. The older gentleman had a habit of generating spiritual energy or ki, right in front of himself as a feat, and for training purposes. The purpose was mainly for healing. He would take the ball of spiritual energy and consume it. The light would travel down the indian’s throat and esophagus and down through to his torso where it would come to rest inside his stomach. The idea was that through much practice even one such as himself could perfect such a technique. Ryu never believed he could have that much control over his spiritual energies. Instead he focused on what he knew.

He was aware of his past. The kiba dachi or horse stance from Northern styles. Feet planted firmly. His legs were bent, his posture perfect in lieu of the straddling of legs beneath an imaginary horse. One arm had been extended fully. The wrist and hand were straightened. The big knuckles on his fist shown signs of callous build up. Very much the makiwara training made famous by brutal Karatekas the world over. As Ryu left the left arm extended, he pistoned the right arm forward. It had originally been located at his side until it moved ever so slowly to the front and with tension.

“Breathe out using your diaphragm Ryu.” Said the yogi, and not a moment later did the exhalation of breath coupled with dynamic tension, release a small surge of blue electricity. Ryu’s brown eyes brightened underneath the shadow blue that exploded from his fist. Behind him, the pupil-less dhalsim’ otherwise unshakable expression cracked a wide birth of a smile.

“How was that?” Asked Ryu.

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