The Sato Clan: A Family History - Ch. 1

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Previously…

Takuma Sato is a Martial Art’s savant trained in the combat style of Jeet Kune Do from the age of five by his now deceased father. The technique was taught to Sato’s grandfather by old Chinese master during his worldly travels and was then passed down to Sato’s father, who then passed it down to Taku himself. After his father’s suicide, Takuma was recruited by Ivan Stricker to join the Ultimate Wrestling roster under his managerial guidance. Sato agreed in order to help pay off the debt left behind by his father. Sato quickly became a rising star in America’s number one sport of Professional Wrestling.

Sato was well on his way to pulling himself and his mother up by his bootstraps and save their home in Detroit from foreclosure until he was framed for a crime he didn’t commit. He was sent to jail in Fort Worth Texas penitentiary and in the process lost the house he’d been fighting so hard to save. It was there while imprisoned where he became recruited and then radicalized by the “Red Vest” movement also known as the Rebels of Society. An extremist socialist group fighting against the wealthy 1%, fascism, racism, and the corrupt man sitting in the White House…Ronald McStrump.

Sato was released from prison after agreeing to be part of a halfcocked spy mission concocted by President Mcstrump and Dr. Summeroff to North Korea. He and the rest of the roster traveled to the dictator’s country under the guise of putting on a Friday Night Clash episode for the Emperor and his nephew. The mission was doomed from the start. As soon as the roster landed the entire plan went awry. Rupert Mudcock’s Vice President of Operations Robert Eltiestios was shot and killed by the Emperor himself and the roster was immediately imprisoned. There would be no Friday Night Clash, instead the Ultimate Wrestling roster was forced to participate in a barbaric tournament called “Death Sport” where opponents battled to the death in sadistic match types.

Sato escaped the tournament with his life unlike many of his fellow roster mates and was part of the group that helped put a stop to the Emperor’s planned nuclear missile onslaught of the United States. Sadly, the hero’s returned home to an America with a Vaporized Los Angeles and Seattle wiped clean from the U.S. Map. The first two missiles of a planned dozen were launched before Valora Salinas and her comrades could put a stop to the launch. Much to Sato’s surprise the tragedy united the country, but only for a short while. Once again the evils inside and outside of the country have begun to move in on the weakened worldwide beacon of democracy that is America.

Even worse still now his mother is missing having left for Japan during his incarceration leaving no contact information or forwarding address. Abandoned by his only known living relative Sato’s role within his adopted family the Rebels of Society has grown to an elite status since he joined. He and Ares defaced a McStrump hotel in Detroit and participated in a street brawl in front of a confederate monument against Neo-Nazi’s holding a rally.

Four weeks ago after successfully defending his Submission Specialist Championship title at Brawl at the Wall 2, Sato participated in an insane mission with Valora Salinas and R.O.S leader Ares Metaxas to free women and children who were being abused and held captive at an I.C.E detention center. During the mission Sato was shot in the back with tranquilizer darts and blacked out during their fight against a masked star spangled vigilante named the Reaganator.

Valora Salinas was able to defeat the Reaganator and carried Sato unto a specialized bus with which the Rebels then used to smash their way through the southern boarder wall into Mexico. However, the mission was not a total success as Ares Metaxas the leader of the R.O.S was left behind bleeding out from a buck shot to the gut and was later found by federal agents. Ares has now been imprisoned without trial in Guantanamo and has been labeled a domestic terrorist by President McStrump.

*Sato and Valora had a big falling out after their mission and later that week the two of them participated in a triple threat match with Jeremiah Vastrix in which the Cyborg wrestler won. Valora and Sato went at it so hard it opened a doorway for Jeremiah Vastrix to take a step close to realizing his lifelong dream of becoming the top dog in professional wrestling. With Jeremiah now set to face Huckleberry in the main event at Ultra Slam for the Ultimate Wrestling Franchise Championship, the spotlight has returned back to Taku and Valora who have been schedule to do battle one more time for the Submission Specialist Championship. A title belt Sato took from Valora only eight weeks ago… *

Imperial China, Foshan
River Port of the Dongping River
October 29th, 1903

A young Japanese teen with barely any facial hair stood at the bow of a large steam boat that was about to complete its long voyage from Osaka, Japan across the East China Sea to the Imperial Dynasty of China. Having stopped in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, the hardworking steam boat had traveled up Shizi Ocean into the port of Dongping near Foshan which was its final destination. This young thirteen-year-old chap was the grandfather of the now world famous martial artist and Ultimate Wrestling fighter Takuma Sato. This is the story of how Jeet Kun Do was truly inspired and passed down to Taku and how one famous man perverted the art for his own wealth and gain.

My name is Yori Sato and I am thirteen years’ old traveling to China for the first time in the place of my father to trade artifacts and customary Japanese made goods for exotic Chinese products that can be sold in my father’s shop for great sums. My father has grown too ill to make this annual long voyage himself and so I have been sent in his place while my younger brothers and my uncle tend to our farm land and our trade shop in the village.

In my large back pack are goods that I plan to trade and so I’ve been on guard forgoing sleep to make sure I am not robbed. Call me paranoid if you wish, but there’s been a growing surge in thefts across the region since the turn of century. Many people find themselves out of work from the technological breakthroughs made in machinery and have been replaced by machines that can do fifty times the amount a work a human can. The unemployed find themselves hungry and their bellies force them to take desperate measures to stay alive and one must be on his guard at all times.

China was a strange land to me, but luckily my father had taught me the language well as a child and I was able to communicate with people relatively well. This made my life easier when asking for information or when needing to communicate something important. Little did I know that it would also save my life in the coming hours…

The steam boat finished docking at the port and then dropped anchor before letting the travelers depart from it. Yori made his way down a ramp and onto the port where he quickly found directions to town and began trekking in the direction of Kulo Village in the province of Foshan where he would be staying the night. After stopping for lunch at a noodle house, Yuri now found himself in a large lush forest on a trail to Kulo Village. However, since leaving the noodle house he couldn’t shake the feeling that he was being watched and followed.

Suddenly the forest went silent and the chirping of birds ceased as the young Yuri found himself surrounded by a band of hooded thieves hiding their identity with balaclavas. Most of them were armed with daggers and their tattered garb indicated they’d been in many a scuffle over the recent months. Yuri stopped dead in his tracks and held the straps of his large heavy back pack filled with his family’s goods. Yuri knew his family was depending on him to be successful in his trading mission in order for them to have the money needed for food and seed for next year’s crops. Being robbed was not an option…

Brigand Leader: Not another step further boy… hand over your back pack and will let you leave with your life!

Yuri: No! Please! My family does not have very much! I need what’s in this pack!

Brigand Leader: You speak good for a foreigner boy! I’m afraid my friends and I care not for your family back in Japan! We only care to fill our bellies and to satisfy our needs! Now hand over the back pack and go back to Japan where you belong!

Yuri: I go… where I want to go… Chinese dog!

In a crazy last ditch effort to escape with his goods on his back, Yuri lunged forward, and attempted to bust through the gang like a fullback in an American football game. The attempt was laughable and the gang leader easily avoided him tripping him down onto the ground. Yuri crashed to the dirt road face first and then the gang began to kick and stomp on him relentlessly. Yuri screamed like a banshee in Chinese for help as the dastardly filches took out all their lives problems on the poor kid.

Suddenly an old man with a long white beard appeared from a treetop and screamed at the brigands to stop. The gang halted their beating on Yuri and turned around to see the strange man up in the tree above them. The old man was dressed in a black Tai Chi martial arts uniform and looked unafraid of the men holding their knives steadfast beneath him.

I had taken a severe thrashing from the thieves and I had been cut deeply in the right arm by their leader’s dagger while falling after he had skillfully tripped me. I was covered in blood and contusions as I laid on the ground staring at the strange man in the tree. Little did I know that this was the legendary master of Wing Chun Leung Jan, the earliest pioneer of the fighting style that would later become to be known as Jeet Kun Do. Apparently the 70-year-old man was on a morning stroll and by some chance had heard my screams echoing in the forest.

Brigand Leader: Mind your own business old man, unless you want join this Japanese weakling on the ground!

Leung Jan: Hah! I’d like to see you try arrogant fool. Leave the boy alone and leave now or I’ll be forced to break you!

Brigand Leader: Hah…hahahhaha oh that’s a good one you old fart! Why don’t you come down here and make us!

The band of thieves continued to laugh at the old man in the tree until he launched himself off of the tree branch and kicked the brigand leader straight in the mouth. The impact instantly broke his jaw and shattered the majority of his front teeth causing him to choke on them as he collapsed to the dirt. Blood exploded out of his mouth as he continued to choke gasping for air. His allies looked on in shock until they realized the old man was not through with them.

I watched as the old man took a side stance and began to one by one annihilate the men who had attacked me moments ago. It was like watching an elegant veteran samurai disassemble an opponent only his weapon was not a sword, but his own hands and feet. The old man eviscerated them with masterful punches and kicks that struck like lightning and left each one of them crippled on the ground. The last thing I remembered before losing consciousness was the old man picking me up in his strong muscular arms and carrying me away from groaning band of thieves.

I woke up in a small room all bandaged up on some bedding laid out on a hard wood floor made of bamboo. As I gingerly sat up and got onto to my feet I limped over into the hallway to find myself on a large property that looked be some sort martial arts training school. Outside master Jan was teaching a class to at least two dozen young men ranging from my age to into their late twenties. Once the old teacher saw me out of bed he ended the training session for the day and then bowed to his students before making his way toward my direction.

Master Jan: I see your finally awake, you were unconscious for three day’s young man. You gave us all quite a scare. I am Master Jan.

Yuri Sato: Thank you for your help my name is Yuri… my backpack…

Master Jan: Your things are safe. I made sure my students tucked your bag some place where it would not be disturbed. I’m guessing you were here to conduct some sort of business? A bit young aren’t we?

Yuri Sato: My father is very sick and could not make the trip. I’m here in his place to conduct some trade before heading back home to Japan. If those thieves would have stolen my backpack, I’d be heading home with nothing except debt. We’d probably all being starving to death this spring, my family and I owe you a great bit of gratitude.

Master Jan: It was nothing… riff raff like that have no place in or around Kulo Village.

Yuri Sato: Where did you learn to fight like that?

Master Jan: From my teacher, a Shaolin Monk who was named Wong Wah-bo the King of Wing Chun.

Yuri Sato: Wing…Chun? Is that the fighting style you used to cripple those deviants who beat me half to death?

Master Jan: Yes, and no… Martial arts is always evolving. I took what my teacher taught me and over my many years I’ve improved upon it. Mine is the way of the intercepting fist. Now I am the old master and here at my school I pass down my knowledge to those I deem worthy of it.

Yuri Sato: Fascinating… how many generation does this fighting style go back?

Master Jan: No one is really sure, but it’s been developing for centuries. Each generation improving it and bringing different schools of thought to the practice. I believe your people have a martial fighting style known as Karate?

Yuri Sato: Yes, but I don’t believe it’s quite as effective. I’d be hard pressed to see a man skilled at Karate take out a half dozen armed attackers!

Master Yuri: Hahahaha! This is an astute observation young man! You are welcome to stay here until you are fully healed. In the meantime, feel free to eat and train with us.

Yuri Sato:Thank you for your kindness and hospitality Master Jan.

I decided to stay until I felt a hundred percent back to normal and with the free room and board I figured it wouldn’t be bad idea to try to learn a little self-defense from the old Martial Arts teacher while I could. Little did I know that this decision would end up causing me to be stuck in China for over a year. Two months after my attack the Japanese Imperial Army launched a surprise salvo against the Russians at Chemulpo and Port Arthur. The Russo Japanese War had ignited and the South China Sea was deemed too dangerous for civilians to travel.

What had been planned as a short stay until I felt up to completing the task my father set out for me ended up turning into a twelve month stay. During that time, I became an official student of the school and learned the way of Wing Chun and the way of the intercepting fist as I awaited the end of the conflict between the two powerful nations. It was during these twelve months where I befriended Yip Man, Master Jan’s star pupil and the man who Master Jan had chosen to inherit the school after his soul had left his physical body. Without Yip I would never have reached the level of mastery of the fighting style I managed to achieve in such a short time.

Two months before the end of the war Master Jan grew ill with a similar illness much like my father had been suffering from when I’d left Osaka. Within the month the old man passed away and left Yip in charge of the school. His death made me very concerned for my father and my eagerness to return home had hit an all-time high. Once the war was over Yip decided he would move the school to Hong Kong in order to thrust the school into the 20th century. I told him that I would seek him out one day, but that I would not be able to follow him there as I needed to return to my family.

Sadly, when I returned home the farm was abandoned and my family gone. A neighbor explained that my father had passed not long after I’d left and the mysterious illness had been contracted by the rest of the family as well. To say I was devastated would be a tremendous understatement, but after a month had passed I boarded up the farm house and sold the trade shop to a local merchant. With nothing left for me in Japan I left Osaka again and would not return until I was married and had a son.

When I reached Hong Kong I was welcomed Yip Man and became his number two at his new martial arts school. Together we trained some of the most talented young people of Hong Kong and our students began to be incredibly successful in the art of sport combat. With their success in fighting tournaments around Asia the school’s prestige grew and together we built a life in Hong Kong many would be envious of.

To be continued…

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Oh yeah, I saw Ip Man too. Thought it was a good tribute to martial arts in Chinese culture. The action and actors were top notch too.