As a 10-year-old boy, I believed the grown-up world revolved entirely around fighting. Not bickering, or conflict, or war -- but actual, literal, martial arts-style dueling. Ninja, samurai and street fighter were real, honest-to-god occupations in my mind. But even non-fight based professions still required martial prowess: Half of Jackie Chan's movies were about store-clerks having to kung fu through a sea of thugs just to flip over the "closed" sign in the morning.
As a result, I, like many males my age, grew up half-lost in a delusional action movie world. To this day, every line at the grocery store is interrupted by an imaginary fight to the death with the man in front of me. But this makes it sound like I was kind of a badass as a child. That statement is hilariously wrong, because this is what my 10-year-old self understood about fighting:
Awesomeness = Power
Any jackass can just punch a dude, but even the most powerful, expertly executed straight is nothing next to even the most half-hearted of jump-kicks. But if you add the words "spinning," "leaping" or "sweet-ass backflipping" before that straight, it inexplicably adds untold dimensions of power and damage to the move. Just try it yourself: Give that evil cyborg that replaced your stupid math teacher a quick jab, and it will laugh in your face before flunking you out ...
"Ha. Ha. Ha. If. Only. You. Had. Spun. First. Your. Family. Might. Still. Be. Alive."
Oh, but if you spin around first, duck down and then jump in the air while jabbing, he'll probably explode into a fine, red-tinged mist of former a*****e-teacher-robot-that's-probably-pretty-sorry-he-wasn't-nicer-to-you-now. This is why I spent a good part of my childhood dizzily spin-kicking at water-filled milk-jugs that I had suspended from the roof of my back porch, well before I'd even learned how to make a proper fist. Awesomeness always adds power.
Build Your Arsenal
Every little boy loves his parents, and we were fully prepared at all times to murder an entire regiment of rogue samurai in order to avenge their tragic deaths. That's why we needed that extensive weapon collection we had stashed somewhere -- under the bed, at the bottom of the closet beneath the toy chest or just wrapped in an old blanket down by the creek. If you were rich and, consequently, your affluent parents were too busy making money to love or supervise you, those weapons may have even been manufactured: illicit ninja stars forged in the darkest heart of those touristy areas in Mexico, a pocket knife ordered from the back of a comic book or possibly even the dreaded butterfly knife (by the properties of Lesson #1, the wimpiest butterfly knife was always more dangerous than the wickedest hunting knife, by virtue of that spinny s**t looking really cool.)
On rare occasion, you may have even known that one lucky child who possessed the ultimate weapon: a pair of red, hard-plastic nunchucks purchased from Ancient Chen, the revered weapons master who ran the convenience store across the street from the arcade, and stored them in their sacred place: a glass case next to some bongs.
"This case? No, young one, this case possesses a power you are not yet prepared for. Stick to ninja star."