Friday, April 16, 2010

diary of a husky kid

My boy had his first run in with a school yard bully recently. Which took me back to my days as a “husky” (read: chunky Chicano) kid. Before my first real run in with such a tormentor, I remember my old man showing me how to defend myself. I am not the smartest person, but I can take directions. “Put your fists just in front of your face, Frankie.” Ok? “No, look at me. Hands at temple height with your left leading your right. Get in this stance. Bend your knees and jab. Jab, jab, jab. Fast and hard. Like Ali and Mando Ramos.” So I did and practiced in the garage regularly.

Then the day came at Driffill Elementary when I was in the 4th grade. An even fatter, shorter, and mean (half Mexican-Japanese-American) Jimmy I. started picking on me in the hallway in front of girl classmates. Feebly, I said, “Stop it.” Emboldened by this weak protest, Jimmy I. was getting ready to attack. Without saying another word, I methodically staggered my stance, bent my knees (à la Bruce Lee), and raised my dukes just like dad showed me. Fat Jimmy I. rushed forward. Jab. Jimmy I., stunned, stepped back. Nose reddened and angered, he tried again. Jab. Jab, jab. I struck on target. Jimmy I. retreated looked at me, for a moment, and those around us and ran home crying.

I held my own. But I felt kind of bad since Jimmy I’s. mom was my Little League team mother. Well this is how I remember it.

Con Safos,



Christina Nuwanda Cabral said...

Heh, this reminds me of the scene in A Christmas Story when Ralphie defends himself against the bullies in that movie. Good story.

Kevin Volkan & Neil Rocklin said...

Awesome story Frank!

Frank P. Barajas said...

Thanks, Kevin. For starters, we are both buying wrestling shoes so he can learn the basics of grappling. And in the summer he will start some form of self-defense classes.

This, I hope, will build his self-confidence. Which goes a long way in discouraging bullies and spills over to other aspects of life, such as facing up to other forms of adversity. I think.

Jose Juan said...

Great Story! I am contemplating on starting my son on some sort of self-defense classes, just in case. But I don't know if he is too young? By the way, thanks for your guidance on the Ross book. It will surely lead me in the right direction and guess what, we have it at CSUCI. As part of the Irene and Jorge Garcia Collection. Again, Muchas Gracias!