Thursday, October 16, 2014

FROM FOE TO FRIEND

Beginning with new school year this particular dorm, along with a few others on campus, had been converted into single mini-apartment residences. Mekkar could have gone many other places, originally followed a few of his close friends from back home to this university a couple of years prior. Now, the four of them moved into this place to be together because it was closer and less expensive than the house they rented the year before.

Most of the students in this nine story building were from overseas and older like Mekkar and his buddies. In the native from the north’s case, it was due to his shortened post-high school professional hockey career, healing process, and the fulfillment of his compulsory military service commitment back home. As a result, Mekkar got a later start to his higher education pursuit as many from his homeland do.

Mekkar was unable to attend the big universities nearest his home village because of his extra time spent in the San Diego, California area as a high school exchange student. Plus, he would have desired to attend college from away from home anyway since his parents were no longer alive. The Arctic native felt that the pressure to perform would be lessened and he was used to intense environments.

There was a big Irish guy named Colin who stood about six feet six inches tall and weighed around 280 pounds. He was a much younger college student than Mekkar and moved onto the same second story floor of the residence hall. Not long after the original introduction between Colin and Mekkar, the large Irishman began to use derogatory terms and names toward the Arctic Warrior when he saw him. For a while Mekkar disregarded these slurs by his neighbor.

However, one time the big Irishman began his verbal assault toward Mekkar after the Arctic native had a very bad day and was in a particularly testy mood. Colin was told by one of Mekkar’s buddies who were alongside him, “Don’t do this today. This is the wrong time for this type of banter.” Colin ignored the advice and continued on. Mekkar looked like his face was on fire and was having none of it on this day. The Arctic Warrior instantly fired back with a quip, “I have had enough! Say one more and you will be picking yourself off of the floor!” The Irishman heartily bellowed and seemed to think as if his large size advantage over Mekkar would quell any possible confrontation.

This was huge miscalculation on Colin’s part. The Irishman responded with another nasty phrase. Mekkar was at his limit on this day and had enough. The Arctic Warrior sprung into action and drove a right uppercut that Colin appearently didn't see coming. It squarely struck under the jaw and slightly to the left. What the Irishman didn’t know was that Mekkar already had extensive fighting, boxing, and martial arts training. Added to that was a great deal of experience in some of those areas, plus many battles on the ice.

Many of those encounters were one-on-one; right in front of each other grabbing sweaters or anything else they could get a hold of for balance. Balance is key in any fight on ice. While at the same time, rapid firing away with a free arm trying to connect your fist with the opponent’s head and body. The idea was to knock the other person down first. Next, landing on top and many times still pounding away, hoping to bloody them and make them quit before they did it to you. Once in a great while, resulting in a knockout or one the combatants’ head hit the ice first because the ice surface is at least as hard as cement.

Even if you do not get knocked out, the non-padded and exposed parts of the body can get bruised or injured with the resulting pain to follow. Some of the damage is visible to the average fan and some is not. Some is short-term and there are long-term residual effects as well. Mind you, all of this on thin blades and skates. The whole thing is that the Arctic Warrior was very adept on how to execute his past instruction into present action with authority. He was also familiar with the ultimate manual published in 1950 Championship Fighting: Explosive Punching and Aggressive Defense by Jack Dempsey. This book is available online and has been used by many top boxers, fighters, martial artists – mixed and otherwise, such as Bruce Lee.

The big Irishman never knew what hit him and absorbed the heavy blow by Mekkar. He landed with a great thud on his butt, right in the middle of the hallway floor which shook the nearby rooms and brought a few onlookers to the scene. Colin had a surprised, but dazed look on his face. It was as if he could not believe what had happened. He seemed in a state of shock that the smaller Mekkar was able to do what he did to someone his size and stature.

Colin didn’t know that the native from the Arctic grew up around wild animals and had to deal with them, at times, with his bare hands. Mekkar had even stupidly slugged a bear, near his back porch back home, in the face. Fortunately, instead of responding with aggression in return, the beast retreated into the distance. This was just how Mekkar was. The Arctic Warrior has really never stayed intimidated by anyone’s size, man or animal, including a polar bear – but, that is another story already on this site.

Now, the larger neighbor received the message, loud and clear. After this episode, Colin never uttered a negative comment at Mekkar again. They both eventually became good friends in time. The consensus of those around the situation was that Mekkar took the risk to gain respect, despite the fact that it was in a physical manner. But the question is how could the warning given beforehand by Mekkar been misinterpreted?