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This is a mixed martial arts course, you will be taught many things, and you will be tested. But first, I'd like to know, do any of you have experience in the martial arts?”

About half the students raised their hands. Ashley didn't lift hers. Despite two previous summers of similar courses, she did not count herself as experienced.

"Now, how many of you have been hit, hard, in the face?" Sihing Shou asked.

At first several hands went up, but some were timid, uncertain.

"I mean hard, bloody nose, fat lip, black eye. How many?”

Only a few hands remained aloft.

Shou pointed to one boy and asked, "Who hit you?”

"My brother hits me all the time," he said, pointing at his brother, standing a few spaces away.

Shou and several others laughed. Ashley noticed that the boy, however, was not laughing.

"And you?" Shou gestured to another boy.

"My father," came the answer.

Shou pointed again. "A kid in my class.”

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