SNF 2018.11 - SNF: Clocked Tower

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Description: Up in a stone bell tower, two honorable giants clash--a meeting of traditional English boxing and Kyokugenryuu Karate, as expressed by the inimitable Gentleman Dudley, and Marco Rodriguez, of coarser but no less strong stock. What will befall the two as they test their fists, their skills, and their resolve against each other?

Safety equipment. Safety equipment!! Marco scoffs at such things. Even hundreds of feet in the air. The bell tower--tall stonework, lanterns and all--is crossed with wide wooden planks as flooring, between the great bells that give the place its name.

But not too wide--enough for a person with good balance, but not much more. This will be a pretty linear battle. Fortunately, Kyokugenryuu has tools for that, especially Marco's own variant. The burly, dark-skinned Brazilian stands at his assigned end of the platform, going through a slow series of movements, almost like tai chi, save for the sharp, percussive attacks at the end of each movement.

Then he calms himself, taking up a squared stance, breathing outwards, orange-yellow chi flaring along his hands and forearms as he focuses himself for the task at hand. Representing Kyokugenryuu means charging into a fight... and he's prepared for that, now.

COMBATSYS: Marco has started a fight here.

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Marco            0/-------/------=|

Marco's opponent has not yet arrived. But the distant sound of a helicopter's engine heralds his arrival. As it draws closer, Dudley patiently waits gazing out towards the belltower, adjusting the fit of his gloves. The British champion is a relatively new participant in the SNF fighting circuit, but he is eager to fight some new opponents. It would, at least, take his mind off the stress of re-organizing the family estate.

The helicopter hovers several feet from the belltower, but does not drop a ladder. Instead, Dudley, without a trace of hesitation, leaps out of the open door and drops onto the other side of where Marco stands. The moon is full this night, behind the boxer as he looks towards his opponent. "A karate man, eh?" he remarks stiffly. "Excellent. I'm eager to see what you're capable of, Mr. Rodriguez. Without further ado..."

Dudley assumes his stance, arms raised, one leg back, core tight. "Let's fight, like gentlemen."

COMBATSYS: Dudley has joined the fight here.

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Marco            0/-------/------=|=------\-------\0           Dudley

Marco watches Dudley alight from the helicopter, the added winds whipping at his gi, making the stiff, durable fabric flap in the wash of gusts until the vehicle pulls away. And he smiles, a broad, simple smile--one of acknowledgement and pleasure. At Dudley's words, as the boxer assumes that ever-so familiar stance, Marco slides into his similar-but-different stance, his feet more aligned front and back, the center of gravity ever so slightly different.

"I'm looking forward to it," he replies, and then, fortuitously, the bells ring. It's a loud clamor, almost distracting in its intensity--but men such as these are not put off by simple sounds like that. Or, at least, Marco isn't, as he bursts into action--almost literally, surging forward into a rush of motion, carrying him directly towards Dudley with his right fist cocked.

Just at the perfect range, Marco stops all that forward momentum, absorbing it through his feet, into his trunk-like legs, then into his torso and finally sending it through his right fist in an explosive straight punch, his kiai nearly lost amongst the ringing of the bells even as they fade away.

COMBATSYS: Dudley blocks Marco's Ryuusen Ken.

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Marco            0/-------/-----==|==-----\-------\0           Dudley

Dudley is also not too perturbed by the bell ringing. He stares Marco down with a calm expression, even as the karateka flies charges him. As Marco aims his punch, Dudley moves both arms to absorb the blow. The impact of the fist slams into Dudley's arms, pushing them slightly against him, and causes him to grunt, but he weathers the blow. He responds swiftly, aiming a swift punch to Marco's chin - perhaps to dissuade him from remaining too close.

COMBATSYS: Dudley successfully hits Marco with Medium Punch.

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Marco            0/-------/--=====|====---\-------\0           Dudley

Boxers are known for powerful punching technique--what they lose in range of diversity of techniques, they seek to make up for in the power of a relatively limited arsenal. Nowhere is this more evident than in the way Dudley's swift punch connects with Marco's chin, the blow snapping his head back, actually lifting him off his feet, or nearly so, for a moment.

It is only with a supreme effort that he doesn't go flying backwards and onto his back--as it is, it rocks him back a couple of steps, his feet shuffling on the thick wooden planks.

Marco meets the man's eyes and nods, acknowledgement of that power and skill evident in his expression--as well as that particularly brand of Kyokugen defiance and stalwartness that the art breeds in its practitioners. After that moment, he's back in his stance, and once again moving forward, both hands jolting outwards--grabbing for Dudley's arms, intending to grip them, plant his right knee into the boxer's stomach, then fall back, hauling him overhead and throwing him back down to the planks.

COMBATSYS: Dudley counters Combo Grapple from Marco with Cutting Upper.

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Marco            0/-------/=======|====---\-------\0           Dudley

Dudley's fist retracts and he's back in his ready stance in a flash of movement. Even while idle, he moves his feet back and forth in a shuffle, as if ready to spring into movement at a moment's notice. His face remains serene as he stares at Marco, never taking his eyes off his opponent. He is waiting for Marco's next move.

Which comes when the man moves to grab Dudley's arm. But the Brit isn't having that. No sooner do Marco's fingers graze his arm, Dudley sways backwards - Marco snatches only air. Dudley then moves forward, throwing out a swift uppercut as his fist becomes enveloped in a chi aura resembling fierce winds. These winds disperse on impact, but the breeze is enough to make one of the giant bells sway.

Once again rebuffed, Marco is smacked solidly in the chin once more, his head rocking backwards again. Fortunately, as any of his students or fellow karateka can attest to, he has a solid head--and a strong chin. No Glass Joe he, but still, he feels it, that cutting punch. The all-out assault approach isn't... working, and that's fine, at least in some sense of the word fine. It means he needs to reevaluate his approach. Despite what people may think of Kyokugenryuu--or of Marco--he isn't all brawn no brain.

After that impact, he backs off--not too far, really, enough distance for Dudley to have to come after him if he wants to engage again. He doesn't need too long, really, just enough time to clear his mind, to center himself. And center himself he does, almost seeming to settle into himself a little, a long breath pulled in then released slowly, his brown eyes narrowing slightly. It isn't about winning or losing, he tells himself; this is a match for show. It's about making a good accounting of Kyokugen. A win would do that, but to demonstrate the tenets of it--to express Kyokugen completely and utterly--that is the best way to do it.

COMBATSYS: Marco focuses on his next action.

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Marco            0/-------/=======|====---\-------\0           Dudley

Dudley feels the impact and is impressed that this man, at least, can take a few hits. In the ring, sometimes, he finds opponents who have bite but can't quite take it themselves. This would not be the case, clearly. He continues to shuffle in place, the boards creaking from the movement. Though the fighting space was narrow, he felt he could deal with it.

Marco backs off and re-centers himself. Dudley shadow-boxes a bit as this happens. "Come along now, it's all in good spirit," he remarks, as if reading Marco's mind. He can't, but fighters can sense some things between each other. Of course, he isn't going to lay off either, and he suddenly moves in to close the distance. He throws out two jabs, then a right hook, and then leans for an uppercut to the side of Marco's torso, before he backs off again as swiftly as he did coming up.

COMBATSYS: Marco counters Mix-Up Combo from Dudley with Joudan Harai ES.

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Marco            1/------=/=======|=======\-------\1           Dudley

This time, it's his turn to react--and Marco's moment of centering pays off. It's like a dance, Marco moving fluidly, evading the jabs--then, when Dudley comes in for the hook punch, Marco moves forward, a brief blur as he charges in, whipping a forearm up to deflect that hook punch--and that's not all.

He doesn't just blow the hook away from him--he finally tags Dudley with his own uppercut, uttering a deep, nearly-wordless grunt, a low-voiced kiai as his fist makes contact with the man's chin.

Given the way Dudley's hit him, he expects the man can take a punch, and so he considers this only his true opening salvo in this match. He does disengage a moment later, though, again, not far--a little over an arm and a half's length away. His expression is a smiling one--not *quite* friendly but not menacing either. The smile of a man who enjoys what he's doing and the challenge before him.

There's a hard thud as Marco's fist connects under Dudley's chin. The boxer's head snaps back as he earlier did the same, spit flying from his mouth and stars erupting in his vision as he staggers back, reeling from the powerful blow. The power in it was surprising, and Dudley slowly recovers back to his usual position, moving his jaw back and forth to make sure it's still intact. Good show, that, he thinks. He cricks his neck.

Dudley dashes forward, with greater speed than before, and unleashes three jabs to Marco's body, followed by another hook - this time with his left. He lets out sharp breaths with each swing of his fist, with a stronger exhalation at this last punch.

COMBATSYS: Dudley successfully hits Marco with Machinegun Blow.
- Power hit! -

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Marco            1/---====/=======|=======\=------\1           Dudley

Marco finds himself pummeled, Dudley working his body in a manner reminiscent of Kyokugenryuu training methods. Only, during those training methods, one is enduring open palms, not weighted boxing gloves, and one is also prepared to take the blows. This is sudden and powerful, and Marco is briefly pummeled breathless as Dudley blasts those punches into his body. The final hook twists him around, drops him to one knee--and then he sweeps backwards, turning the drop into a disengagement and using the moment to rise up to his feet.

He's still smiling, though it's not quite the same smile--of course it isn't, because pain changes things--but he's still enjoying the fight. This clash of wills, of fists, of spirits--this is why he loves Kyokugenryuu. Loves testing himself against others.

And maybe it's time to return the favor? Marco clamps his elbows to his abdomen, releasing a deep grunt, then jolts forward--just a step, there isn't much distance to go, really--and starts firing his own welter of punches, a combination of jabs from both left and right hands, intended to tattoo Dudley's torso in much the same way, ending with a long right uppercut.

COMBATSYS: Marco successfully hits Dudley with Zanretsu Ken ES.

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Marco            1/--=====/=======|=======\====---\1           Dudley

Dudley works like a surgeon, landing each blow precisely where he wishes, with the right amount of power. He steps back a bit after Marco goes down, wondering what he will do next. He does not have the same grin on his face, but he does have the slightest smirk - he is not given to outwardly showing his emotions, but this smirk also betrays that he is enjoying himself. Seeing Marco take his stance, Dudley prepares to defend.

But, now, Marco manages to blow past his defenses. Dudley lets out a startled cry and is then assaulted by a series of punches to the chest, shoulders, stomach. Each blow like a hammer to his flesh, and the final uppercut smacks into his cheek and nearly lifts him off his feet. Fortunately he doesn't fall off those planks, but he does stagger backwards again, feet stamping the boards as he shakes his vision clear and 'hmmphs'. "The Japanese karate arts...are always a thing to behold," he remarks.

He punches his fists together and power seems to radiate from him. The bells begin to sway again, and the British boxer ducks low as he comes forward. He performs a rising uppercut to send Marco slightly airborne. "ONE!" he yells. If this connects, he will perform a second jumping uppercut that goes even higher. "TWO!" Finally, he ends with a final, even higher, rising uppercut as he spins around, surrounded by that wind-like chi to pummel Marco thoroughly. "THE END!"

COMBATSYS: Marco blocks Dudley's Rocket Upper.

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Marco            1/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|===----\-------\0           Dudley

That first uppercut--powered not only by Dudley's strong, thewed arms and legs, but his aura in that form of a swirling, cutting wind--slams into Marco's defenses. The wind rips at his clothing, and yet he stands firm, arms crossed, sinking back on his hips slightly to lower his center of gravity. The second whirling uppercut slams into his guard, and the third threatens to break it entirely--but he holds, his arms sure to be bruised on the morrow.

It's a powerful attack, and one that Marco can only acknowledge by showing Dudley his own techniques. The lunge is timed to meet Dudley just as he lands, Marco's power exploding around him in a nearly-invisible aura, kept tightly restrained as he seeks to meet Dudley on the battlefield, to trade technique for technique.

It truly is a storm of blows, an intense pummeling that will happen at incredible speed--not just punches of all sorts, jabs, straights hooks and uppercuts, but Marco incorporates knees and kicks as well, low kicks to the legs and higher kicks to the chest, a withering stream of attacks that will finally find its end in a powerful leaping uppercut not unlike Dudley's Rocket Upper--though timed for the maximum impact to strike on the ground. It is only there that the pent-up energy is released, a swirling, flaring column of that yellow-oranage power erupting from the flooring underneath Marco as he leaps, intended to wash over Dudley as he is pummeled by that uppercut.

COMBATSYS: Marco knocks away Dudley with Ryuuko Ranbu.

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Marco            0/-------/----<<<|=======\=------\1           Dudley

Dudley, safe to say, was not expecting such a swift and fierce answer to his assault - his attempts to shore up his defenses and block Marco's counterattack fail due to the man's oppressive speed. He blocks the first few hits, but the repeated strikes quickly overwhelm him. He gasps and can barely muster out a grunt of pain from each hit on his body, body jerking right and left as he is pushed backwards, blood flying up to splatter the nearest bell. Even his finely tailored outfit is ripped from the force of the strikes. Finally, Marco's massive uppercut sends him soaring into the air after impacting his chest, causing the boxer to fly up...and crash down hard, bouncing once on the boards before lying flat on his back.

Groaning, the dazed boxer struggles to his feet, whole body acheing. So this was the power of SNF fighters? He realizes the world he's been missing. Suddenly, stepped out of the world of the ring, he realizes he is one fish in a vast ocean. He breathes hard, on one knee, looking at Marco silently. Then he rises, and adjusts his collar, still trying to look like a proper gentleman despite the side of his face getting swollen, a bruise forming under his chin, and a cut by his forehead. "Well that all?" he asks. He sounds like he's daring Marco to come at him again.

COMBATSYS: Dudley gains composure.

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Marco            0/-------/----<<<|=======\-------\1           Dudley

Marco's smile shifts. It becomes... not mocking, exactly, but something almost like it. But that sort of casual malice isn't there. Instead, it's an acknowledgement of his opponent's toughness, a trait Marco is well-equipped to understand and appreciate. "I'll have to thank the Saturday Night Fights organizers," he remarks, to his opponent, as he resumes his stance, stalking forward with a balanced walk, "for giving me such a strong opponent. To fight like this--to face boxers, kung fu artists, swordsmen--this is the heart of Kyokugenryuu!" He may not look it, at least to the untrained eye, but that attack took a lot out of him, and he does need to recover.

But he can't just take a breather. He's got to finish the fight--that's wht Kyokugen _does_. So he closes in on Dudley, arms up, then fires a quick spearhand strike. In a 'real' fight, this might be aimed at the throat, to cut off breathing, to make the opponent choke, to disable them, if not to collapse their airway entirely. But this isn't a life-or-death fight, and so it's aimed lower, perhaps to strike at the collarbone area instead.

COMBATSYS: Dudley counters Aggressive Strike from Marco with Cross Counter EX.

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Marco            0/-------/-======|=======\-------\1           Dudley

Dudley nods slightly. "Just so, good fellow." Bit rough, but the man had some decent manners, at least during combat sport. Then, he does something unusual.

He drops his arms entirely as Marco moves to strike, leaving himself completely open. It looks like he's going to just take the full brunt of the hit. But as soon as Marco's fingers strike, gone. One moment he is there, the next he is blazing past Marco to smash his fist into and past him, putting him behind the karateka. "CROSS!" He then doubles back with a second strike to the back, putting him right back where he started. "COUNTAH!"

"HNGH!" is Marco's response. The counterstrike pummels him, and he's woozy for a moment, staggering--but recovering himself. Indeed, a formidable opponent. He could stop now, and it would be a fight well-fought, no shame to either side. But...

But that just isn't the way of Kyokugenryuu. Go beyond one's limits. Don't stop. Fight until the fight is finished. Don't back down. These are all lessons Marco Rodriguez learned through learning Kyokugenryuu from Ryo Sakazaki. So even now, on the verge--he fights.

It doesn't take him long to 'find' Dudley again, and Marco drops his stance slightly, sliding his right leg back a touch. Chi flares and pulses, and even if Dudley is not particularly trained in the spiritual arts, the visual evidence is obvious, as Marco, from where he's standing, thrusts an open right palm out at the boxer, releasing a pulse of that energy. His voice is still strong, as he utters a focusing cry.

"KOOH KEN!!" The pulse of energy lights up the bells in the bell tower as it passes them, the Kyokugenryuu practitioner faltering after throwing that technique, clearly panting now.

COMBATSYS: Dudley blocks Marco's Kooh Ken.

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Marco            0/-------/=======|=======\=------\1           Dudley

The boxer knows of the spiritual arts, even if he doesn't throw projectiles himself. So he has some idea of what's coming when Marco moves, and raises his arms accordingly, bending slightly to protect his face and his core. The energy pulse slams into him and bursts in a brilliant display of color, but for Dudley it feels like a hard blow from a fist, causing him to grimace in pain. Sweat trickles down his face - he can't take much more of this. But he just needs that one good hit in...

Dudley dashes forward, keeping himself low to avoid any more fireballs that might be thrown at him. When he's right up on Marco again, he unleashes another uppercut, this time more or less aiming for the chest.

COMBATSYS: Marco interrupts Ducking Upper from Dudley with Kohou.

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Marco            1/-------/=======|=======\====---\1           Dudley

In a moment--a moment that stretches out for him, at least, to his perception--Marco is faced with two things: an oncoming Dudley, whose power he has come to know, and a choice: whether to attempt to evade this oncoming punch, or whether to face it head on. It's not just a tactical choice--it's a philosophical one. He doesn't play out the scenarios in his head; he simply asks himself one thing: What would Takuma do?

And then his answer comes to him, and before he knows it, he's meeting Dudley's charge--with another uppercut. No spiritual power in it this time, just pure, brute strength, channeled into a cannon-like fist through a crouched body that explodes upwards, brushing aside Dudley's incoming uppercut to crack into the boxer's chin. It sounds like a gunshot, almost, reverberating off the bells, as Marco spirals upwards, turning around once before landing, once again--and dropping nearly to one knee, before he catches himself, forcing his body to rise, to be strong.

Dudley has a brief second to realize what is coming. (Good show) he thinks, just before Marco smashes into his jaw with the uppercut. Dudley flies backwards, spinning in the air until he lands face down onto the boards of the makeshift arena. There is nothing further from the boxer - it's a complete knockout. Strangely, rose petals fall down around him as if Marco's hit knocked them all out of him.

COMBATSYS: Dudley takes no action.

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Marco            1/-------/=======|

COMBATSYS: Dudley can no longer fight.

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Marco            1/-------/=======|

Marco breathes heavily, watching as Dudley falls ever so picturesquely. After a moment, it becomes clear that the man is not going to ffer to continue the fight, and Marco does the most honorable thing he can; he bows to the fallen warrior, deeply, from the waist. Knowing that the man won't hear him, still, he says, "You were a worthy opponent. I would be glad to match fists with you once more." Then, noting the arrival of the ever-prompt medical team, he turns and walks off the platform to the side of the tower, clearing the way for them.

COMBATSYS: Marco has ended the fight here.

Log created on 18:48:14 11/07/2018 by Marco, and last modified on 14:38:55 11/11/2018.