Description: While pondering how to keep the Kyokugenryuu Dojo afloat, Ryo and Yuri are interrupted by Marco, one of their best and brightest students, to inform them that the King of Fighters is beginning, and that it's up to the three of them to bring Kyokugenryuu glory to the world! Then, Ryo and Marco fight.
The sun is starting to set in Southtown, with the sky slowly turning orange as long shadows starts to fall across Kyokugen Dojo. In one of the main training rooms sits Ryo Sakazaki, the Invincible Dragon, his legs curled up underneath him in a meditative pose. He breathes deeply, his eyes closed. Inhale. Exhale. Perhaps this is the mindset of the true warrior. Is this the type of focus it requires to master Kyokugen? Perhaps he is seeking to achieve the No Mind, or to focus his chi to such a degree that he transcends to a new level of martial mastery.
"Why are things so expensive?" he sighs. "Maybe if we just implement a no refund policy for students who don't stay for more than three months..."
Just at that moment, Marco walks into the dojo, a towel hung about is neck--clearly damp, his thick black hair is gleaming with residual dampness as well, and that well-worn gi is spotted with sweat stains. In other words, he'd just been on a run, though he's breathing fairly normally by the time he's stepped into the dojo, barefoot.
"If only we could live in the mountains, providing for ourselves, as the ancient masters did, sensei," he replies, in his deep voice. He turns, hanging his towel up on a peg, then seats himself in front of his master, sitting in the proper dojo way, on his feet.
"The only true answer is that we must boost the popularity of Kyokugenryuu to the whole world." And then, from inside his gi, he pulls out a folded sheet of paper. Clearly ripped off something, and sweatstained, nonetheless he slaps it onto the floor. It is...
An advertisement for the King of Fighters tournament. 'Starting soon'. "Master, we must enter. With the full force of our best!"
While Ryo is busy practiicng meditation, Yuri is a bit more active, doing some air sparring to keep herself active while making sure her skills are still at the highets of quality (in her opinion anyway.) As the self-proclaimed Queen of Kyokugen Karate, Yuri always makes sure that she keeps herself in tip-top shape no matter what. Of course, out of consideration for her brother, she's standing a good distance away so she doesn't disturb him. They may not always see eye-to-eye, but Yuri does respect her brother's wishes when he's doing something that requires concentration.
After a few moments, Yuri stops her practice and makes her way towards the exit of the dojo for a drink of water, but she happens to hear what he's saying. About how things are expensive and the no refund policy. Yuri frowns a little, then makes her way over to her brother.
"I agree with you," Yuri says sympathetically. "We can't have people coming here for a short period of time and expecting free classes! We have to--"
Just then, Marco arrives and Yuri turns to face him. "If only it were that easy," She says. "Unfortunately, dad insists on remaining here permanently." With a sigh, Yuri kneels down as well, albeit perpendicular to the two men and off to the side. Just then, she hears the mention of boosting the popularity of Kyokugen Karate and her ears perk up.
"Marco, did you say we should promote our style to the world?" Yuri asks, looking to him with wide eyes, before seeing him slam that advertisement down, and then she realizes what it is. "The King of Fighters tournament? It's happening again?"
Ryo opens one eye, looking down at the flyer out of the corner of his eye. Once he gets a good look, both eyes are wide open. "What, really? They're having it after all that mess last year?" He asks this despite the mess that seems to come with almost any King of Fighters tournament. "Who's even the sponsor?" Ryo squints, taking the flyer in both hands. "Lightning Spangles? Isn't that--"
"A-anyway. If there's still a prize involved, we definitely have to go." Ryo hops up, planting a hand on his shoulder and rolling his arm to stretch. "But Robert's back in Italy on business, and the old man took off a few days ago saying something about visiting an old friend of his..."
"Yes, Yuri-san. The whole world!! This is not merely a tournament. It is a chance for us to... evangelize Kyokugenryuu! To show it off to the world!" Pause.
"To bring more students to our door. Of course we'll have to renovate the dojo some, but the increase in fees should account for that..." Marco trails off, then looks at the two Sakazakis. Takuma is... well, he's off doing Old Man Takuma stuff, and Robert is busy with stuff on the Garcia end of things, so.
"It is up to us, my friends." Marco springs up to his feet, bouncing on the balls of his feet, then offering that wide, white-toothed grin of his.
"Up to us?" Yuri asks as she quickly springs to her feet with a literal jump as she tucks her lower legs under her while doing so. "I'm all in favor of it! I'm sure it would be perfect for us!" A pause, then a frown as she remembers what's going on with Robert. "Unfortunately, Robert has things of his own to deal with. And dad... I dunno about him..."
Yuri shrugs a little then smiles. "I'm all in favor of it! This would be a chance to take the style of Kyokugen Karate on tour and show off just what it's truly capable of!" She taps her fists together and looks to no one in particular. "Look out, world! Kyokugen is coming to get you!"
"Hmmm..." Ryo rubs his chin, crossing his other arm to rest his elbow on it. "It could work...surely we'd get a lot of new students with a good showing if that Spangles woman doesn't have a big cash prize..." Ryo is taken back with a start with the enthusiasm from both Marco and Yuri, his foot thumping back on the insulated mats on the dojo floor.
"Okay, okay. It's settled then, but..." Ryo thinks back to his own showing in World Warrior in the last few months. "--but if we're going to compete, I'm expecting nothing less than the best from the both of you. We're going to double-down on training until the first round! Starting now!"
Ryo backstepped away from Marco, putting one foot back and turning it to the side, then sliding his other forward into a wide, low karate stance, his knees bent. One hand was raised in front of him, fist open and palm forward with the other was clenched in a fist out and to the side.
COMBATSYS: Ryo has started a fight here.
"Hah! I'm always up for a spar, Sakazaki-sensei, you know that!" Marco leaps to the challenge, -almost- literally, moving to position himself against Ryo, but also leaving Yuri room to join in should she decide to--essentially, finding the equidistant point between Ryo, a potential Yuri, and himself--and bringing his hands up.
Those beefy, hairy forearms blaze with his intense, overflowing energy, briefly, as he breathes out a centering breath, then they tighten into fists and he assumes his stance, relaxing his hands into open palms, held straight but loose. And he is rocking back and forth on the balls of his feet now, a gentle movement that leaves him ready to respond or to act.
COMBATSYS: Marco has joined the fight here.
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Marco 0/-------/------=|-------\-------\0 Ryo
"Oh, sparring now?" Yuri asks with a slight smirk. "I'm sorry, but I'm going to sit this one out." She steps back and sits on her heels to watch the show. "I know you've got this, Marco!" She says with a grin.
"Hah! That's the spirit!" Ryo says, muscles tensing as adjusts his stance. "We'll show the King of Fighters why Kyokugen is the strongest style!"
Ryo steps forward, snapping into a straight right punch to test Marco's guard. His arms and flex, Ryo's blond hair shifting a little in the wind from the sudden burst of movement.
"It's fine, Yuri. Just don't slack off on those katas!"
COMBATSYS: Marco endures Ryo's Medium Punch.
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Marco 0/-------/---====|=------\-------\0 Ryo
Instead of letting Ryo test his guard, Marco instead finds himself testing Ryo's strength. It's been a while since he last fought with this scion of the Sakazaki line, and so Ryo's fist lands true, or so it feels to Ryo--and, in truth, mostly to Marco. It's a last moment twist of the body and a rotation in his feet that keeps him from being thrown off-balance completely.
Using that momentum he spins away from Ryo, towards his right, changing his line of attack slightly, and plants his right foot as an axis to spin around on, bringing his left foot up and around in a snapping hook kick that he hopes to use to push Ryo into the center of the dojo.
COMBATSYS: Ryo blocks Marco's Medium Kick.
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Marco 0/-------/---====|==-----\-------\0 Ryo
Ryo shifts his footing, sidestepping to mirror Marco's circling. The hooking kick comes high, and Ryo raises his low-arm in a sturdy side block that catches Marco's shin against his forearm. Even with the block, Marco's strength sends Ryo sliding across the mat toward the center of the dojo.
"Good!" Ryo says, "Looks like your conditioning's paying off!" But as he speaks, Ryo stomps forward, putting out his right foot and then pivoting on his left hip. He brings his hand down in a strong overhead chop packing enough punch to rattle Marco even if he's on the defensive.
COMBATSYS: Ryo dazes Marco with Hyouchuu Wari!
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Marco 0/-------/-======|====---\-------\0 Ryo
A grunt, a loud sound not too far from a coconut getting chopped in half, and Marco reels back, shaking his head. A powerful hit indeed, and Marco actually -can't see- for a moment. But he can't take a moment to just clear his thoughts and get centered again. Ryo is -out there-, somewhere. He does take a moment--maybe half a moment, really--to get a 'feel' for where he might be. And then he lashes out, reflexively, but not wildly, applying a very Kyokugen technique and philosophy--when there's trouble, head for it.
To wit, he lashes out with his forehead, thinking Ryo must still be close, aiming to tag Ryo with the hardest, toughest part of Marco's head--the crown of his skull.
COMBATSYS: Ryo just-defends Marco's Medium Punch!
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Marco 0/-------/-======|====---\-------\0 Ryo
As he delivers the chop, Ryo is already on the move again. He stands up on the balls of his feet, twisting his left as he backsteps onto it. Marco staggers, and Ryo can tell. Reading the impact of the blow from how it felt and how Marco responded, he knows he has a moment of opening. The blind punch comes, and Ryo flexes his fingers of his extended hand before rolling his neck.
The reaction is instantaneous. Ryo steps to the side and plants the flat of his hand against Marco's side, pushing against him to redirect the headbutt into a near miss instead of a direct hit. He meets the blow from the side rather than taking it head-on and getting clobbered for his effort.
He doesn't slack off on the opening, however. Coming out of the aggressive block, Ryo grabs the folds of Marco's gi and drops back, trying to plant a knee and transition into a sacrifice throw.
COMBATSYS: Ryo successfully hits Marco with Tomoe Nage.
- Power hit! -
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Marco 1/------=/=======|=====--\-------\0 Ryo
It's a reminder -why- Marco--a big bruiser, possibly more physically intimidating than Ryo himself--thanks society--calls Ryo 'sensei', and does so with sincerity and honesty. Size isn't everything. Strength isn't everything. In the martial arts, skill--ability--can trump all. And Ryo is just that much more skilled than Marco.
Marco's no slouch--he *earned* that black belt around his waist--but the years of experience, of being born into the art, as it were, show. Marco's grabbed by the gi, the knee is planted, and he's thrown, tumbling across the mat, slamming into a wall of the dojo before he can stop himself. With a grunt, he rises.
"Sensei, your skills have not dulled in the least," the big man acknowledges, with a respectful smile. Yet still he advances, a couple of slow steps--and then he bursts into action, almost literally, from a near stand-still. His legs tense, and he lunges, uttering a powerful kiai as he flies towards Ryo in a flattish arc, bringing his right heel up and around--flaring with a blue-white aura of energy that cuts an afterimage through the air as he seeks to land it right into Ryo's jaw.
COMBATSYS: Marco knocks away Ryo with Kohsen Kyaku ES.
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Marco 1/-----==/=======|=======\=------\1 Ryo
"Hah! I don't know about that. I still have a ways to go!" Ryo retorts, thumbing his nose before settling back into his high-guarded stance. He seems ready for the follow-up, prepared to take what Marco has to offer--but the big bruiser of a black belt demonstrates deceptive speed. From Robert or Takuma--or even Yuri--he might expect that kind of motion. From Marco? Not as much.
Ryo backsteps, making a short hop away. It's mid-jump that his eyes widen, the Kyokugen senior realizing he's not going to get the distance he needs to clear the hit.
The kick catches Ryo clean across the jaw, sending spittle flying as it launches him bodily across the dojo to land on his back. He lays there for a moment, blinking, before pushing himself up and wiping his jaw. "See? That's more like it. All it takes is hard work. As much as I might hate to admit, Robert and Yuri are the naturals here." Ryo glances over at his sister on the sidelines. "You and me, we have. We have to give 110 percent!!"
Ryo stands up straight, crossing his arms in front of him in an x-shape. He snaps them to his sides with a mighty kiai as he gathers his strength. Muscles tighten and his blond hair stands on end.
COMBATSYS: Ryo gathers his will.
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Marco 1/-----==/=======|=======\======-\1 Ryo
Marco roars, not to intimidate, but to agree. Ryo's response to getting kicked in the face--to congratulate his assailant and then focus himself, well... that's familiar. It's the attitude of a teacher towards their student, and even though Marco's 'graduated', he will always, in some sense, be a student to this man, just as Ryo will, in some sense, always be a student to Takuma, and so on and so forth.
"Yoooosh!" Marco cries. He knows--that when Ryo does this, he gains a guard that's harder to break than usual--but he doesn't falter from it at all. Instead, he dashes in, displaying more of that unexpected speed, reaching out to clamp his big, meaty hands around Ryo's head--and hold him in place for a crushing knee up into the midsection, which would then be followed by a spinning toss towards the mats.
COMBATSYS: Ryo guards against Marco's Combo Grapple.
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Marco 1/-----==/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2 Ryo
Ryo can clearly remember when he was a boy who hated fighting. A boy who was bad at it, whose father had to push him to work hard where Robert was the prodigy. It took the loss of his mother and his father's disappearance to push him be strong--more so to take care of Yuri than for any of his own needs. That drive is what lead him to become the breadwinner for the family when he was barely a teenager, but also what pushed him to hit the streets of Southtown to shape himself into the strongest man he could be. Ryo sees that same drive in Marco, perhaps more than other of the dojo's students.
But in that brief moment of recollection, Ryo almost lets down his guard. Marco gets in close, grabbing the smaller man by the head and pulling him in for a grapple Reacting in an instant, Ryo snaps his arms forward low to intercept the knee with both forearms. The hit still reels him, and Marco follows up the grab even if the blond karateka manages to roll through the landing and get back to his knees.
"Good!" Ryo shouts, his voice full of excitement. "But what about this?!" His hand snaps back behind him, that surging energy before gathering as an orange glow in his palm before he thrusts it forward with a flashing fireball of chi.
COMBATSYS: Marco blocks Ryo's Ko'oh Ken.
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Marco 1/----===/=======|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2 Ryo
The blast slams into Marco's crossed forearms--but, just as importantly, into his marshalled energy. Both serve to soften the damage--but the signature chi projectile of the Kyokugenryuu still pushes Marco back across the mat, which may be entirely what Ryo intended. It's a fair amount of distance; the more 'tactical' tack to take might be to close the distance slowly. But Ryo will have had time to prepare his responses in any case, and so Marco simply marshals himself...
And charges to close the distance, leaping from about halfway out--very similarly to how he attacked before, but this time, reaching up to the ceiling, his hands planting there for a moment, allowing him to alter his trajectory and speed, pushing himself diagonally down towards Ryo, suddenly diving at him with a side-on kick aimed not for Ryo's jaw, but to land in the pit of his stomach!
COMBATSYS: Ryo interrupts Diving Kick from Marco with Tenchi Haoh Ken.
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Marco 1/<<<<<<</<<<<<<<|>>>>>>-\-------\0 Ryo
Ryo's Ko'oh Ken may lack the range of Yuri's or Robert's, but it makes up for it with the powerful impact it makes up close. With the distance between him and Marco widened, Ryo spreads his feet, grinding his toes into the mat to get better footing as he bends his knees and sets himself steadily on the ground. His arms snap out--both in clenched fists with one up near his face and the other extended down and forward. Sweat beads down Ryo's brow. His muscles tense, a well-built bruiser of a man if not quite Marco's size. He inhales sharply.
And then Marco comes at him with the flying kick. Ryo maintains his posture, not moving to block or dodge. Instead he closes his eyes and focuses, waiting for the proper moment. When Marco gets near the kick impacts him in the ribs, but Ryo clenches his abs and maintains his posture, standing like a mighty oak in the face of the onslaught.
"HIYAAAAAAH!" The punch snaps forward like a cannon as one of the strongest of the Tiger style of Kyokugenryuu is brought to bear, Ryo taking the kick head on to stop forward and deliver the devastating single punch in return.
Marco doesn't tumble. He doesn't collapse. He just finds himself flung backwards into the dojo wall, impacting so hard that he'll have to grab the spackle later and fix it. He is, in fact, implanted into the wall for a few seconds, before gravity and his own mass work in concert to peel him out of it and he lands on the floor, thumping down like a plank of solid meat.
For a moment, a half-moment, he doesn't move, but then he rises, a meaty phantom covered in plaster dust. He sucks in a breath, and it is a big breath, and painful, and he is fair glowing with battle aura. This is how 'sparring' always ends up with the Kyokugenryuu--it's not a restrained testing of skill. It's just an all-out fight, no holds barred, just like the name says.
And that's why Marco can't do anything but give Ryo his best, uttering a roar and driving himself forward, pure adrenaline and endurance training powering him past his would-be injuries to let him move smoothly and sharply. As he closes in, if he manages to strike, he'll unleash a flurry of powerful strikes--elbow strikes, punches, knees, low kicks, a blizzard of blows ending with a powerful uppercut, yellow-white chi erupting from the floor to follow up to his fist.
But first, he's got to hit it.
COMBATSYS: Ryo fails to interrupt Ryuuko Ranbu ES from Marco with Koho EX.
- Power fail! -
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Marco 0/-------/---<<<<|=======\====---\1 Ryo
Ryo maintains the posture of his Tenchi Haoh Ken for several moments after delivering the punch. Only when Marco drops from the wall does he step back out of it and stand upright with a deep exhale.
"Want to get going?" Ryo asks, just to be sure. He knows how hard that hit. Marco may be ready to call the match. Maybe. The man is notoriously hard-headed--far more than Robert.
But Ryo gets his answer when suddenly Marco is moving like a phantom, slipping in with a flurry of blows. Ryo has to readjust suddenly and adapt his position, backstepping as he goes low and gets ready to rise with an uppercut--
An uppercut that is too slow on the draw. Ryo's eyes widen as the unexpected elbow catches him right in the face and knocks him back. A fist impacts his stomach. A low kick takes his knee out from under him. The elder Sakazaki sibling is caught in the tide of hits like a ship tossed in the storm before the uppercut connects with his chin in seeming slow-motion, taking him bodily off his feet before dumping him unceremoniously onto his back.
"That was good," he groans. It takes him several moments to manage that much, after which he rolls up onto his elbow, cupping his hand under his jaw and working it. (Possibly back into place.)
Success breeds success, and after landing that powerful combo--another signature of the Kyokugenryuu style--Marco lands maybe just a few seconds before Ryo gets up, but Marco waits just a moment. Because this -is- sparring and not an all-out match per se. Just long enough for Ryo to be on his feet.
Then he brings his right elbow around and down, using it like a club, almost, intending to smash it downwards through Ryo's guard and into his face. An attack hopefully to end the spar--because Marco knows that he can't take more damage, not at this point.
COMBATSYS: Ryo just-defends Marco's Kyokugen Hiji!
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Marco 0/-------/----===|=======\====---\1 Ryo
Ryo can't help but chuckle once when Marco gives him his moment to get to his feet. He plants his knuckles on the ground, vaults himself up, then rolls his neck before resuming his stance. With a nod, he gives Marco the go ahead and to cut loose again, but the bigger Kyokugen fighter is already on the move. The elbow smashes down, but Ryo's knees bend. He draws a fist back, raising his other hand in front, fist open, palm sideways.
The elbow comes toward Ryo's head and he steps into it. The back of his hand collides with the side of Marco's arm and redirects the blow away to give Ryo the breather he needs. In the next movement he snaps forward with a flurry of rapid-fire punches, delivering them so quickly that his fist blurs into a series of fuzzy images before he delivers a final, regular speed uppercut to complete the volley.
COMBATSYS: Marco breaks through Zan Retsu Ken from Ryo with Kohou!
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Marco 0/-------/--=====|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2 Ryo
As was once done to you, do to others. That's the proverb right? ... right? Well, in any case, Marco feels the deflection of his elbow, can sense Ryo lunging forward to begin that familiar flurry of punches. It's a technique Ryo himself taught to Marco. And he knows how to... well, to stop it short. He doesn't counter it, because several of those punches get through, but in the briefest of pauses before Ryo throws the uppercut...
Marco seizes the initiative, and just before Ryo's punch starts, Marco's fist is colliding with Ryo's chin, powered with a twist through his shoulders, his hips, and his legs, launching him into the air in a quick half-rotation that he completes on the downward descent.
It's a miracle he's still standing; his breathing is harsh, pained, and clearly he's running just as much on willpower as he is on actual stamina.
Ryo staggers back, caught off guard by the sudden Kohou. It catches him under the chin and launches him up, once again giving him the familiar experience of being uppercuted in the jaw hard enough to launch him airborne. For a moment, it seems like Ryo is going to be down for the count without a fuss.
But then his hand snaps out, trying to find purchase on Marco's gi. If he grabs hold, he snaps forward with three swift, snapping kicks, trying to deliver enough to punch to take Marco down with him before he falls flat onto his back.
COMBATSYS: Ryo can no longer fight.
[ \\\\\\ <
COMBATSYS: Marco endures Ryo's Hien Shippuu Kyaku EX.
Marco was actually not aware that Ryo still had fight in him. So he closes his eyes. Then they snap open as Ryo grabs his gi. "Se--" It's as far as he goes before *WHAM* *WHAM* *WHAM*
A perfectly executed Hien Shippu Kyaku throws Marco back into the wall. Not hard enough to dent it again, but... well.
Yuri will probably have to wake the two up, as they're both out like lights. Not a great look for the dojo if potential students were to come in, but... well, if they're delicate, Kyokugenryuu is not for them.
COMBATSYS: Marco takes no action.
COMBATSYS: Marco can no longer fight.
Log created on 18:46:41 05/30/2019 by Marco, and last modified on 01:30:49 05/31/2019.