The Yo Yo was the latest fad with the kids in the Club. All the kids came in playing with them in the reception area and whilst they were training, rows of parents were left holding them. In fact there was even an unofficial parents Yo Yo competition in the changing rooms whilst the kids were training!
All this could not go by without comment from Sensei……
As training came to an end it was time for Sensei’s little “chat”…….
“OK kids, who likes to Yo Yo?”
All hands shot up without exception.
“Who knows its history?”
No hands came up this time
“Did anyone know that it was a Martial Arts weapon?
Again, no response, but this time considerable interest.
“Did you know that it was supposedly invented in ancient China?”
A gamut of “Kung Fuey”, howls and screams combined with Yo Yo “whizzing noises”….
Sensei whipped out his Yo Yo…… The kids screamed with delight. He called over one of his assistant Instructors and told him to make an attack, as he did so Sensei sent the Yo Yo out with blinding speed hitting him in the chest, pulling it back and then catching him on the knee and once again returning it to his hand.
“What do you think of that?”
“Wow! Fantastic!” The kids thought it was great.
“Now imagine it was sharp, imagine it was heavy, imagine being hit on the head, in the eye, what would you think?”
“Yeuk!” Now the kids were grimacing.
“Ah! So now you realise that you are carrying your YoYo, you are actually carrying a deadly weapon, a kind of “returning slingshot” an oriental “boomerang”, so how should treat it?”
“With respect!” Came the trained reply.
“Exactly! A Yo Yo is an ancient Martial Arts weapon and should be treated like all your Martial Arts – with the greatest respect.
In fact the Yo Yo has been in western Europe for over two thousand years! Archaeologists have found pottery versions from that age in Greece.”
“Wow! Cool man! So how did we get them?” The questions started to come thick and fast.
“Well, explorers had introduced them all around Europe by medieval times, who knows about the French Guillotine?
“Sensei! Sensei!” Hands had shot up everywhere.
“OK Damien……” Suitably named, Damien had a propensity for anything that was a bit gory.
“It was for chopping off peoples heads Sensei.” He said with great delight.
“That’s correct, and many French Noblemen lost their heads in the revolution, some of them carried their Yo Yo to the guillotine to demonstrate their boredom with the whole affair…..”
“Wow!” The kids were entranced.
“The Yo Yo was reputedly used as a weapon in the Philippines and it was the natives who produced the first “twisted cord” versions, this was useful because it allowed the body to spin freely at the axle when the cord was fully extended. A Filipino immigrant named Pedro Flores brought this innovation to the United States sometime around 1920 where an American travelling salesman named Donald Duncan then saw it while on business and marketed it from there. It soon travelled to the UK.”
“How long have you had a Yo Yo Sensei?”
“Since the 1950’s when I was a child……. Sensei demonstrated a “few quick flicks”……. So what have we learned today?”
“To treat our Yo Yo with respect?”
“To treat other people and property with respect when we use our Yo Yo, as a Martial Arts tool it should be used only for good and with respect and safety always in mind, Sensei”………
“That’s what I was looking for, said Sensei and as a prize you may have my “antique” Yo Yo from my schooldays…….” Sensei handed over with great ceremony…..
“You are now the proud owner of the original “wind up” weapon”, he said as he winked at the parents……..