Thomas had always been an odd boy. He was rather short, thin, with brown scruffy hair. He was invisible to girls but a lighthouse for bullies. His only hobby was playing videogames, something that his parents didn't approve since his grades weren't good either. Highschool had been hell for him and he still had two more years to go.
There was this guy, Jeff, who made his life particularly miserable. The blond guy, with his 6' 2'', was much taller than Thomas, and even though he wasn't exactly the muscular type, he was quite able to beat the shit out of him. The continuous presence of his friends Ronnie and Calvin just made things worse.
One day, he was walking home with Darryl, the school jock who had just saved him from what could have been a gruesome beating.
"Why don't you take self defense classes? There's a karate class at school that you could take", said Darryl.
"I don't know. I've never been good at sports. Is that what you practice? The way you kicked their butts was awesome"
"Nah, I'm into jiu-jitsu. There's a dojo on my way home. You should go."
"If it's around your neighborhood, it must be fancy, and I cannot afford fancy. But you're right, I'll take karate ASAP."
Thomas followed Darryl's advice and started his karate classes. The first days were great. It was tougher than he expected, but he was so enthusiastic about it that he didn't care. He was exhausted but happy. Even his parents encouraged him. Then, it all went down the drain. The second week, Jeff and his buddies showed up in class. It turns out that the beating they got from Darryl made them think they should become martial artists themselves.
Thomas got there first, but a week was not enough advantage and when they practiced with each other, he always had to be the partner of one of them, resulting in a beating every class, besides the ones he got from them regularly. It was more than he could take.
Next time he saw Darryl, he asked him about his dojo. Given the support he got from his parents on that karate thing, he was sure he could get some help to start his jiu-jitsu classes.
"Sure. They give you one free class. Come today. We are having a special lesson on something called hojojutsu. It's only for advanced guys, but you'll find it entertaining.", Darryl said, enthusiastically.
Thomas got there and spoted Darryl talking to some of his friends. He was kind of nervous, but he decided to approach. He noticed all of the students had some rope with them. Darryl explained to him that hojojutsu was a special technique used by the samurais in the ancient Japan to immobilize their prisoners.
The sensei entered the room and after the mandatory warm up, he announced they would have some combat practice with the techniques they had learned so far. Thomas moved to a corner. The combat area was cleared and the sensei called Darryl and David to it. It seemed a quite uneven match. Darryl, with his muscles and light tan, together with his perfect short brown hair and light brown eyes, looked like a modern greek hero. David, however, was thin, pale, with big brown eyes and black scruffy hair. He even wore glasses, for God's sake. He was around 5' 9", some five inches shorter than Darryl.
"Don't let his Harry Potter looks fool you", said another guy to him, like he was reading his mind. "He can get anyone trussed up like a turkey in a blink of an eye".
He was right. As soon as the match began, he started moving fast, avoiding any attempt of Darryl to catch him. Darryl threw some punches, avoiding himself David's grasps, but didn't connect any. He finally did it with a low kick and sent David to the mat in what later proved to be a mistake, because David turned quickly and grabbed Darryl's left leg, tying the rope around it and making him loose his balance. Once Darryl was down, David moved to the other side, taking Darryl's leg with him. The big guy was caught off guard, so he couldn't put any resistance when his leg was bound to his neck. The rest happened so fast that Thomas couldn't believe it. In a matter of seconds, Darryl's hands were tied behind his back, and his right leg joined his left one, putting the jock in a tight hogtie. All of his efforts couldn't stop the little guy and soon enough, he was completely defenseless, defeated and bound at his feet.
Thomas contemplated his friend, the strong boy who smashed the school bullies just a couple of weeks ago, lying on the ground, unable to do anything but wait for his release. He knew it then. All that punching and kicking was not for him. He had to learn how to tie someone up like that. He could see himself stepping on Jeff and his friends, just like David was right now on Darryl.