"Okay, first I'll teach you the famous round-house kick." Blake began once we all were there. I could practically feel the excitement and anticipation in the air. This was going to be interesting.
"Oooo!" Ella and Jane squealed in unison, both of their eyes wide in anticipation.
To demonstrate, Blake squared off first before looking up to give himself space to do it. Positioning one foot firmly back, and with perfect grace and precision, Blake twisted his torso around, then flung his other leg around high in the air. He spun a full 360, coming to a stop facing the same direction he had started in. My friends looked on in amazement, each of their jaws dropping to the floor.
"Wow," said Jackie. Yeah, that pretty much summed it up.
Blake broke into an embarrassed smile. "It's not too hard." He shrugged, as if it was the easiest thing in the world to do. Maybe it was for him!
"If you say so," Jackie muttered in utter astonishment.
"Can we try that?" Jane asked eagerly.
"Yes, but I won't have you try this on each other." Blake advised.
"Aw, but that'll ruin all the fun!" Bailee said in mock disappointment, a mischievous glint in her brown eyes. She flashed him a devilish grin.
We all broke away to put enough space between us, and we each practiced the roundhouse kick. I got it down after the first few tries, and Blake saw.
"You're a natural." He told me, sounding baffled. It was all I could do not to blush.
"Thanks, I guess." I shrugged, trying to remain nonchalant.
Not far aways, Rickie and Jane were going at each other, Rickie teasing poor Jane. Again.. It was a regular hobby of his.
"I don't think you really need to learn this, Janie. If the guys you go up against are half as tall as you, it wouldn't have any effect." Rickie joked.
Jane gave him a cool smile. "I wouldn't worry," she told him. "I'll be able to reach a place that'll hurt a LOT worse!"
'Way to go Jane,' I thought, smirking at her brave comeback. Ella, Jackie, and Bailee snickered at that.
Once everyone finally got the hand of the roundhouse kick, Blake moved on to dodging.
"For this demonstration, I need a volunteer." Blake looked at Rickie. "How about you, Rick? Man to man?"
"Um, I'm not sure about this..." Rickie began, but I lightly pushed him forward, urging him on.
Jane giggled gleefully. "This outta be good," She snickered, grinning wickedly.
Rickie shrugged, walking up to Blake rather reluctantly. "Just please don't hurt me too hard," Rickie joked, though to me it seemed like he meant it, what with the way his eyes darted uncertainly.
Blake smiled. "Don't worry, I'm not actually gonna try to hurt you."
That didn't seem to reassure Rickie one bit.
"Okay, try to hit me, run at me - whatever." Blake was saying.
Rickie looked a bit confused. "Uh, okay?" He tried to swipe at Blake but he expertly darted away to the left, leaving Rickie a little dazed and standing alone. Jane giggled, clearly enjoying Rickie's humiliation.
Then Blake had everyone else up one at a time to try and see if they could hit Blake. None of us could, of course.
"I think you should be careful, girl," I grinned at Jackie, having a hard time trying to touch Blake. "You'll hurt yourself." I joked.
Jackie giggled. "Okay, I'll try... but no promises!"
As we practiced a little on our own, Blake taught Jane a few special moves with her.
"Because of your size, you're at an advantage." Blake was saying. We all stopped to watch, listening intently, interested in what he had to say. This Blake guy was a very interesting guy indeed. "Here's one move you can do using the roundhouse kick; instead of kicking high at their head, you can kick their legs.. You'll just kick them out from under them, throwing your opponent off balance. Like so..."
Blake dropped down to a crouch and swung one leg around in front of him, all in one fluid motion. The rest of us were once again amazed at Blake's awesome moves.
Jane's eyes practically glazed over. "OMG, sweet! Now I'll really be able to kick some butt!"
After a few practice tries, Jane tried it out on Blake. She managed to get him but Blake was prepared. Once she kicked him in the legs, Blake flung himself backwards, landing sideways with his hands underneath to support his body up. "Good job!" He congratulated her, getting to his feet.
"So you see Rickster, this will help me finally kick your humorous butt anytime you make a snide comment towards me." Jane told him, a satisfied smirk across her lips.
Rickie scoffed, unfazed. "Yeah, right. You wish!"
I patted Jane's shoulder, trying to keep her self esteem up. "Don't let mean 'ole Rick get to ya; he's just scared that you might actually whipp his butt really bad and humiliate him."
She smiled, eyeing Rickie with contempt. "Got that right!"
Rickie looked at me, mocking hurt. "Traitor,"
After practice, we were all exhausted. Trina came by and gave us drinks; it was quite refreshing after the kind of training we just went through.
"So what now?" Jackie wondered, looking to Blake and I for answers.
I shrugged, looking to Blake. "Got any more moves for us to learn?" I asked.
Blake thought for a minute, his expression thoughtful. "Not that I can think of at the moment. Just keep practicing a little bit every day to get the basics down, until it all becomes second nature. Then I'll teach you guys every skill I learned back at the soldier academy. It will be very helpful in the rebellion against the NGO." He said.
Jane got a mischievous glint in her eyes, eyeing Rickie. "Oh, I think I got the basics down PAT! Can I practice on Rickie-Wickie here?"
I rolled my eyes. "No. We need everyone ready and able to get back at the bad guys... The last thing we need is one of us to get seriously injured." I told her off.
Jane turned her eyes downcast, looking disappointed but only partly joking.
"Nice try Janie," Rickie smirked.
"Until next time?" Jane said, making it sound like a question when it really was threat.
"Bring it, midget." Rickie said, trying to act all macho.
Don't let Rickie's blondeness fool you; he's really smart at coming up with all sorts of ideas and gets down to business really quick when he wants. He also can be funny and sarcastic, which you've probably already gathered. That was just natural for him.
I sat down on a chipped stone bench to rest my legs; doing roundhouse kicks really beat your legs if you never used them like that before. It wasn't long before Blake joined me on my bench. "So coach, how did everyone do?" I asked.
Blake cracked a weak smile. "Not too bad. You guys have a lot of potential. Just keep practicing, and in no time at all, you'll all be naturals."
I nodded, quite please with my group. "That's great! Then keep practicing we will do."