Sifu and Tudi

Posted on Sat Apr 16th, 2022 @ 2:08am by Commander Kurn Derling & Commander Loreni Jelora
Edited on on Sat Apr 16th, 2022 @ 2:46am

Mission: Episode 1: This is Where We Begin
Location: Starbase 642, Deck 16, Officers Gymnasium 1
Timeline: Current


Kurn stepped out of the communal locker room after changing out of his uniform and into his workout clothes, light gray towel draped around his neck. He was mulling over what kind of sparring he wanted to do as he began walking over to one of the sparring rings.

“Commander.” To the left, a deep, rich, female voice called. “A word, if you would?”

Loreni had already changed, the tight-fitting workout gear showing both feminine curves and a strong, muscular frame. Her long, black hair was tied and plaited in a less elaborate fashion than normal, though it was entirely pinned up behind her head. She had clearly been exercising already, though no sweat shone on her pale, scaled skin like it did on the others around her. If anything, she seemed more comfortable and alert in the warmth of the gym.

“Good morning, Commander,” Kurn said, his basso easily heard in the loud gymnasium as he stopped and turned toward her. A slight smile crept onto his normally stoic face as he reached up to grab both ends of the towel. “How are you this morning? Working out I see.”

"Indeed." Loreni gave a slight nod of her head. "I am quite well. I trust you are the same?"

“I am, thank Kahless,” he exclaimed, nodding as well. “I am about to start my morning sparring.”

"I would ask something of you, if you are so inclined." Loreni stated simply, dispensing with the small talk. "I understand that you are quite adept in multiple forms of Klingon martial arts. I am most curious to see how they would compare to my own training. Would you care to spar?"

“Yes I am,” he said, nodding in acknowledgement. “I am also proficient in several other species’ Martial Arts: Human, Vulcan, and Romulan. And I am always up for a good spar! Please”, he said as he lowered his right hand from the towel and motioned to the nearby empty sparring ring. “Step into my office.”

Turning from Loreni, he walked over to the sparring ring, took the two small steps up to the ring floor and separated the ropes, making a gap for her to easily slip inside.

She slid between the ropes with a serpentine grace, straightening and stepping aside to give him space to enter. "I am, admittedly, not in regular practice in hand-to-hand combat, however I was trained, in my youth, in several techniques native to Cardassia, Bajor, and Romulus. There are, as you may imagine, few in Starfleet who possess similar training."

Sliding between the ropes, he stepped into the ring and bowed in respect of the ring that will soften his falls, then stood, draping his towel over one corner and turned to face her.

“I am familiar with the Bajoran Martial Art of Talinara”, he said as he began stretching to warm up. “And have heard of Tarojahn, the more offensive style, as well. I have also fought several Cardassians who were proficient with your cultural Martial Arts… but I am at a loss as to what it is called. You are all so secretive.” He chuckled at that last, knowing that ‘secretive’ was putting it mildly.

Loreni gave a rare smile at that, the corners of her black-painted lips curling up with clear amusement. "It is a racial and cultural trait, I fear, one as instinctive as it is trained. Perhaps, should you defeat me, I shall reveal the name that we use for our form of martial arts. I did train in Tarojahn and Talinara as a child, though I have not used these skills in some time."

He arched his right eyebrow in a most Vulcan-like way at her back-handed comment about defeating her and smiled fully at that. Let the sparring begin, he thought to himself, even though they physically haven’t yet begun. “Well,” he said, his tone very mildly acerbic, “I shall do my best.”

With that, he stopped stretching and began bouncing in place on the tips of his toes, windmilling his arms to loosen them up, then stopped. With one fluid motion, he dropped into a neutral stance and raised his hands in a slightly defensive posture. “When you are ready.”

Loreni lowered herself to a similarly neutral position, putting her side to him. She raised her hands between them. "I have learned to always be ready."

Taking a moment to center himself, he took several slow deep breaths to connect himself intimately to this moment and debated how to proceed. After a few more moments, he decided that he would ease into it, taking one quick step towards her and threw a left hook aiming at the right side of her face, knowing that she would easily intercept it. He wanted to feel her out - see what her level of competency was before he really got into it. He wanted to avoid any unintentional injuries.

Her head easily dodged to the side, missing his hook, even as her leg swept out toward his own. It was a simple movement easily avoided, but Loreni, too, wanted to feel out Kurn's abilities.

With a deft efficiency of movement he lifted his front (left) foot from the floor, planting it down again solidly as her leg swept past and he quickly stepped off his hind foot toward her while she was recovering. This quick step put him inside her middle guard and he fainted with his left hand, but instead threw his right elbow straight at her left temple, switching his style in mid motion to that of Muay Thai.

She dodged that, just the switch in style did throw her off a little bit. She flashed a quick look of approval as she stepped to the side and sent a quick jab of her fist toward his side. "Interesting technique." She said, her other hand reaching for his arm.

“Muay Thai” he said, as he quickstepped to her left, avoiding her bow to his left side, inviting her grapple on his right arm. As soon as she grabbed him, before she could apply any leverage, he spun on his right heel around her left side and snapped a devastatingly quick roundhouse kick to the back of her head. He pulled his blow enough that if it did indeed connect, it wouldn’t cause any heavy damage.

Before his foot could connect, she squatted low, twisting and pulling his arm across her body to try to throw him off balance. His foot missed, but only just - she felt it brush the piled braids behind her head. That had been closer than she would have liked. Kurn was good, there was no doubt about it. "That is a human technique, is it not?"

“It is, yes,” he said as he threw his considerable weight into her throw. He had anticipated that she would attempt that maneuver, but she likely wasn’t expecting him to move along with her willingly, albeit with more force and speed. With his momentum played out, he hit the mat in a controlled roll, stood up and turned to face her once more in a neutral defensive stance; the whole maneuver taking less than 3 seconds from roll to stance.

“From the Earth country of Thailand,” he said changing his position from a relaxed defensive to an erect offensive stance; feet solidly on the floor, back straight, arms up protecting his head and torso. His hands were balled into fists, ready to block, dodge or strike. “It is a hard style. Heavy use of forearms and shins for both offense and defense, and lots of knee and elbow strikes for quick damage and submission.”

He demonstrated the style to her by shuffling his feet on the mat in perfect balance, left foot forward as he moved closer to her, hands still in the neutral offensive position, his left hand forward. He looked almost like one taught muscle, poised to strike, defend or move, radiating an air of contained destruction. Once he was back in range, he snapped an extremely deft and powerful left front kick, his leg almost curling against his abdomen and lashing out in controlled fury faster than the eye could see, body and hips snapping the kick toward her abdomen/lower chest.

She dodged, stepping backward as her hands came up in a defensive posture. “A favourite style?” She asked, moving around him, just out of range, waiting to see what he would do next. “Or perhaps simply the one you deem best suited to fighting me?”

“A style that I am able to instruct,” he said as he stepped back from her, resetting his stance from the Muay Thai front kick. He then lowered his hands, his body losing the tautness of the Muay Thai style; shoulders seemingly relaxed, both knees bent slightly to lower his center of gravity and his feet on the floor set wide apart, right foot toward her and his left up in the toes. Exhaling, he raised his arms and closed his hands into loose fists, left almost immediately under his chin to protect his chin and neck and right hand forward towards her in Bai Jong.

“Now try this one!” He said as he burst into motion quick as a snake, right hand springing forward directly toward her face, too quick to see. His feet, hips, torso, and right shoulder all snapped forward simultaneously with incredible strength and speed in a straight lead punch in one of his favorite styles. Jeet Kune Do, created by none other than Grandmaster Bruce Lee.

She avoided the worst of the strike, his fist connecting lightly with her nose. She gave a small grunt. “Effective.” she said, stepping back and gingerly touching her nose. A small drop of grey blood rolled down toward her lip, and she wiped it away. “You moved much more quickly than I anticipated.” With a quick lunge forward, Loreni reached out and sent a lightning-fast jab toward Kurn’s chest.

“And that is the point of Jeet Kune Do”, he said with a lightning quick movement of his left arm, deflecting her blow and with the same movement, repeated the straight punch, only this time, stopping inches from her face.

The entire time they had been sparring, Kurn had shifted from one stance and style to another, almost like changing a set of clothing. His forms and movements masterfully executed, flowing as naturally as a waterfall. His level of expertise and knowledge of the different Martial Arts styles truly was a thing to see; a true expression of physicality. Grandmaster Lee called it “The Art of Expressing the Human Body”.

He also took note of the way that Loreni moved; stances firm and well planted when they needed to be; loose and fluid when not. Her strikes were energetic and precise, and they belied a strength that was hidden within her lithe frame. She was well trained in hand to hand combat and a skillful sparring opponent. He could not but think what she could do under the tutelage of a true master.

Loreni couldn’t deny his skill. After a bit more sparring, she stepped back and gave a small bow. “I must give you praise - your skill is exceptional. Perhaps you would consider teaching me some of your techniques?”

He turned to face her and bowed, his hands coming from his sides as he pressed them together, right fist against his left palm. “If that is your wish,” he said as he straightened, nodding once. “Then I shall take you on as a student. I believe that Jeet Kune Do is well suited to you, as you shall do doubt find. I can be found most days here in the gymnasium before Alpha shift and every evening at 1800 hours.”

Loreni bowed her head. “I shall see you prior to Alpha shift, then. I look forward to this arrangement. Perhaps, as time progresses, you shall learn some techniques from me as well.”

“Excellent”, he said then turned to where he left his towel, took it up and wiped the small amount of perspiration on his ridged brow. “We are agreed that I shall be your Sifu and you my Tudi, the Cantonese words for Master and Student, respectfully.” He then hung the towel around his neck, holding it with his hands, one on each side. “And I am certain that I will learn some from you as well. It is Sifu's duty to learn from his Tudi as well.”

She left the ring, sliding between the ropes as gracefully as possible. “Satkodaal.” She said, looking back at Kurn from outside the ring. “I concede your victory, and reward you with this name as your trophy.” She gave a small smile, bowing her head before turning away.

“Satkodaal,” he said, a small smile curing one side of his mouth. “Thank you. I shall endeavor to look it up and learn what I can from the style. Perhaps soon I can learn enough to give you a demonstration”. He then followed her out of the ring and headed for the locker room and the showers therein.

Loreni simply smiled as she walked away. She knew exactly how little he would actually be able to find on Satkodaal. If there was one thing Cardassians were good at, she mused, it was keeping secrets.


Commander Kurn Derling, Executive Officer/Chief Strategic Tactical Officer


Commander Loreni Jelora, 2nd Officer/Chief Science Officer