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Mabuhay! I'm an Asian American writer (Back Kicks And Broken Promises, Abbott Press, 2012), martial artist and teacher who was born in The Philippines, raised in Hong Kong and ended up in New Jersey.

23 September, 2013

My Darth Vader Moment

I love the Star Wars movies and I can't wait for the new ones to start coming out in theatres and, I believe, there's also something going to happen on television. In the meantime, however, I can get my fix from watching DVDs with my son and catching the marathons that happen on TV during Memorial Day Weekend.

This past weekend, however, I got to have a real life Star Wars moment, of sorts. I call it 'my Darth Vader moment' and it refers to Darth Vader's showdown duel with Obi Wan Kenobi in Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope. In that scene, Vader says, "We meet again at last. The circle is now complete. When I left you, I was but the learner. Now, I am the master."

My Darth Vader moment came, of all things, during a volleyball tournament. I've been a volleyball coach since 1999 (I took time off from 2002-2003 and 2007-2008) and I got my best education under legendary multiple winning state champion high school coach Christine Drevitch, now the coach of Warren Hills, when we coached the Hunterdon Central boys team in 2001. I worked under her for just one season but I learnt so much that, to this day, I still use many of the principles she taught me. And, when I've had a rookie volleyball coach work  under me, I've taught the same principles to that person. I worked with Christine in the spring of 2001 and, after changing jobs, I'd had one or two occasional contacts with her. That was until Saturday when our schools were placed in the same pool of teams for the round robin part of the tournament. 

The way the pool rounds were set up, each match between schools ran for twenty-five minutes or best of three sets, whichever came first. If each school won a set after playing two and there was still time on the clock, they'd continue to play until the time ran out. Well, that's what happened between us. Christine's team beat mine 25-12 in the first set and we beat them 25-22 in the second. With time running out, Christine and her girls won the third set 11-9. Having lost, maybe I didn't get my Darth Vader moment. He won the duel with Kenobi after all, albeit at Kenobi's willingness. Maybe I was more Kenobi than Vader on Saturday and the next time Christine and I meet, as in the Star Wars films, I'll be the victor; although in the movies it's not Kenobi who triumphs over Vader so much as it is good beating evil and neither Christine nor I are evil.  Either way, there was a little bit of that classic student versus teacher moment and, while I did lose, I did give a good showing of myself and, without having asked her, I'm sure she was proud of her student on some level.

So, what about you? Have you had a Darth Vader moment like this? Do share.