The students from both Instructor Pang and Instructor Liu class had now gathered behind their respective instructors.
“All of you spread yourself out in this training hall. This training hall has more than enough space for all of you to hold sparring sessions concurrently. So make sure all of you have enough space, I do not want to see any accidental clashes happen.” With a simple command from Instructor Liu, his 30 students immediately spread out throughout the 4 corners of the training hall.
Instructor Liu turned to his students and said sternly “Do not forget my instructions and my teachings.” The students nodded their head before dispersing to find their sparring partner.
When everybody found their partner, Instructor Pang nodded his head.
“Now before we start, remember inflicting grievous injuries is prohibited. If the opponent surrenders, you must stop your attack. If not, let the sparring sessions begin!” Instructor Liu waved his hand signalling the start of the sparring sessions.
The students under Instructor Liu were extremely hot-blooded. Once the sparring session had begun, they immediately unleashed their attacks. To their pleasant surprise, their opponents seemed to be struggling to cope with their attacks.
All of the students under Instructor Pang were focused entirely on trying to control their inner strength to block the attacks. When the students under Instructor Liu saw that their opponents were only defending, they had a greater sense of confidence in their prowess. If they ever realised that they were being used for training purposes, their pride would be completely trampled.
At one corner, Yue Hao had already been knocked down several times, but he never failed to climb back onto his feet. “Again!” Yue Hao shouted as he gathered his Inner Strength. At another corner, Zi Long’s body was already filled with bruises. As he tried to control his inner strength to block the numerous attacks delivered by his opponent, he finally realised how hard it was to truly master the control the inner strength. Although he was already at 60 meridian points, he was still unable to control and distribute his inner strength to block the fast attacks.
Meanwhile, at Yiqi’s opponent was bewildered at how tough Yiqi’s body was. Every punch and kick he dealt on Yiqi’s body, he felt like he was hitting a steel wall. Yiqi’s face had a serious expression, as he was focused on controlling his Inner Strength. No matter where his opponent struck him and how fast the strikes were, Yiqi would have already protected that part with sufficient inner strength. Even when the opponent dealt simultaneous blows to him, he was able to split and control his inner strength proficiently.
On Muyou’s side, he was behaving very differently from Yiqi. He was leaping around his sparring area and dodging all his opponent’s strikes. His opponent was chasing Muyou like a mad dog. However despite his utmost efforts, he was unable to catch Muyou.
Muyou understood that Inner Strength could be used for agility too. He had concentrated his Inner Strength to his feet, and with simple footwork he was able to dodge attacks efficiently. Moreover, his escaping skills were incredible too. With just one leap, Muyou’s opponent had to use 3 leaps to cover the same distance. Muyou had intentionally let his opponent strike him a few times, but he was able to block all the strikes. His opponent too felt like he was hitting a rock. Muyou was disappointed in his opponent’s strikes as they were still slower than the “Interlude Stabs” executed by Yun Chen. Thus, Muyou spent most of the sparring time literally running circles around his opponent. Whenever his opponent tried to punch him, he would leap to the back of his opponent. This made his opponent spinning around on the same spot trying desperately to hit Muyou.
“Sparring session stop!” Instructor Liu called out. It had been 2 hours and many of the students were exhausted.
“I think that is enough, don’t you think so Instructor Pang?” He turned towards Instructor Pang.
“I agree. All of my students gather at our usual training courtyard!” Instructor Pang nodded his head.
Before Instructor Pang took his leave, he bowed to Instructor Liu. “Thanks for agreeing to this sparring session. If you are willing, we can have another sparring session soon.”
“Sure, no problem, but you should let your students recuperate for a while though. Your students look like they are in a pretty sorry state after this sparring session. Give them some time to nurse their injuries.” Instructor Liu chuckled before walking away. He was very pleased with the results of the sparring session. This sparring session was more like a thrashing session and it re-affirmed his students’ strength. He was smiling the whole time when he witnessed how Instructor Pang’s students were only defending and getting beaten up the whole time.
“Guess that is the extent of those commoners, the gap between my students and them is so vast.” Instructor Liu thought happily to himself. “However, this batch of commoner students had got to be the worst batch ever. Even the past few batches were not as weak as this.”
Instructor Pang smiled as he witnessed Instructor Liu’s arrogant attitude. This thrashing session was his intention all along.
As Instructor Liu gathered with his students, he could tell that his students’ confidence grew tremendously after the sparring session. This pleased Instructor Liu.
“So how was the sparring session?” He asked his students.
“Easy as beating a chicken!”
“No challenge at all! They’re so weak that there is no difference between them and punching bags!”
“They are only capable of defending against our attacks with no chance to strike back! They are no different from thrash!”
His students were all brimming with confidence and boasting about their sparring sessions. All except two, the two who sparred with Muyou and Yiqi. Their faces were incredibly gloomy as they listened to the ceaseless boasting by their classmates.
“My opponent was like a monkey. I was unable to catch him at all, his speed was something I had encountered before.”
“My opponent was like a steel wall, no matter where I strike I was unable to wound him at all. Even I who had 54 meridian points could not harm him at all.”
The two of them spoke up, silencing the rest of the class.
Instructor Liu frowned his brows. He was aware of his students’ strength and capability. The two students should not be so weak as to even fail to wound another student.
Before Instructor Liu could speak, a large burly student stood up.
“You two must have been slacking off during training. Don’t worry, in the next sparring session I will take on the guy who you say was like a steel wall. I don’t believe that with my 65 meridian points I will be unable to strike him down.” The large burly student proclaimed.
“Leave the monkey guy to me. Let’s see how he escape my speed! In this class, the fastest guy has got to be me.” Another student stood up and proudly thumped his chest.
Instructor Liu nodded his head staring at his students with pride. “Good, good! Don’t worry too much, this sparring session has proved how strong you guys are. Just continue the training I have prepared for you all. I will arrange another sparring session with Instructor Pang.”
Meanwhile at Instructor Pang’s side, all of the students except Muyou and Yiqi, were badly bruised. They were busy rubbing their wounds as they settled down around Instructor Pang.
“How was the sparring session?” Instructor Pang smiled.
“How do you think it feels to be thrashed like dogs?”
“They were obviously stronger than us, plus we were only able to defend. We were like punching bags!”
“My opponent even used stances from the Panther Fists! Looked at these scratches on my arm!”
The students grumbled and complained incessantly. To most of them, it was the most humiliating day of their life.
However, there were some students such as Yue Hao and Zi Long who gained some enlightenment regarding the control of Inner Strength. They were silent and still trying to recollect their sparring sessions.
“Remember what I have said regarding this sparring session?” Instructor Pang reminded the class. “This sparring session is to improve your control of your inner strength, this sparring session is to allow you to grow stronger. If you had put your heart and mind into trying to control your inner strength during the sparring session, then you should have gained something from that session.”
“So what if they are stronger than you? This is not a life and death battle. In sparring with stronger people, you will improve faster. While your opponents, they continue to grow more arrogant in their strength. You guys should be grateful for this kind of exercise. I had to undergo years of deadly battle in the warfront to be able to master the control of my Inner Strength.”
“If you all were to continue having that false sense of confidence in your strength merely based on your number of meridian points, you all would end up dead outside this academy. Have you ever wondered what if your opponent on the battlefield was Muyou, but you underestimated him due to his meridian points? What would be the outcome?”
Under Instructor Pang’s lecture, the class turned quiet as they became guilty of their previous complaints. Muyou and Yiqi were standing at the side nodding in admiration of Instructor Pang’s teachings. It seemed like Instructor Pang though young, was different from other instructors.
“Now, take the rest of the day to nurse your wounds and think about what I have just said. Do not let this sparring session go to waste. From tomorrow onwards, the morning shall be training of the martial art skills and afternoon will be the internal sparring session to improve the control of your inner strength. When I have successfully arranged a sparring session with another class, then I will inform you guys.” Instructor Pang said as he threw out several bottles of medicinal oil.
“Share these bottles among yourselves, they are very effective for light physical wounds.” Instructor Pang waved his hand as he left the courtyard.
That night, the students all gathered out in the courtyard to share their experiences about the sparring session. They shared what they had learnt and some enlightenment they had regarding control of the Inner Strength.
Yue Hao also successfully dragged Muyou and Yiqi out of their room to the courtyard. The other students were elated when they saw Muyou and Yiqi, and they immediately started to bombard Muyou and Yiqi with numerous questions. Muyou and Yiqi were reluctant to share pointers with the other students initially, but when they saw how genuine the other students were, their reluctant faded away. Thus the night went by with Muyou and Yiqi guiding the other students on the control of Inner Strength.
Meanwhile seated on a nearby rooftop was Instructor Pang drinking wine from his wine gourd and witnessing his class. He was very satisfied with his class newly ignited thirst for strength. The thrashing session also had another purpose, which was to cause his students to be desperate for strength. Most of the students had been protected and lavished with praise for their whole life, so being humiliated in that sparring session showed the students how weak they truly were.
“It seemed like my plan and efforts did not go to waste afterall.” Instructor Pang let out a huge grin as he took another huge gulp of wine.