The Art of Self-Defense (2019) Movie Script

[soft music playing]
Hi, there.
[in French]
Espresso. We've just got the
regular type of coffee here.
Uh... two, please.
[in French]
[car engine starts]
[woman on CD] Bonjour.
You have completed lesson 25. Well done.
At this point you should have a
firm grasp of the French language.
Let's continue.
[speaks French]
[in French]
[man 1] I wish I would've been
able to see that.
[man 2] Grant is without a doubt the
worst boss on the face of the Earth.
One of these days I'm going to
punch him in the goddamn throat.
I can promise you that.
Are you talking about Grant?
We are.
I was thinking we should pull
an office prank on Grant.
You know, put, like,
an air horn under his chair
so when he sits down it makes
a really loud noise.
Or set fire to his house.
Something along those lines.
I think Maggie gave birth
Grant's wife, Maggie.
Actually, I... I know she did.
I went to the cookout at his house
last weekend. They were there
with their new baby
and their two other children.
It was actually
a really nice cookout.
Quality meats and sides.
There was even a raffle for a gift
card to that new restaurant in town.
Most of the office was there. Some of
them even wore their swimsuits, so...
Maybe burning down
the house isn't...
the best...
[quietly] But yeah, sometimes...
Sometimes, here at the office,
Grant will give me an assignment,
such as auditing
an expense report,
and even though it's part
of my job, reports and auditing,
it can be frustrating.
What's that magazine
you're reading?
What department are you in?
So you're the one who audits
our expense reports.
Get the fuck out of here.
I'm sorry.
I didn't know we were out.
[motorcycle approaching]
[man] Do you have a gun?
[Casey] What?
[motorcycle engine revving]
[motorcycle approaching closer]
No, no, no. No, please don't.
Oh, here, here.
You can take my wallet.
There's $10 plus a gift card
to the new restaurant in town.
Why are you doing this?
[monitor beeping]
[male reporter] There was
yet another mugging last night.
This one putting a 35-year-old
dog owner in critical condition.
The motorcycle-riding assailants
are still at large.
[girl] Daddy, there's a doggy
in here.
[reporter] In an official statement,
police are urging residents
to stay indoors after dark,
adding that if you must go outside,
you should carry a weapon,
such as a gun or a large knife.
[machine beeps] You have
only one unheard message.
- [beeps]
- Hey, Casey. Uh, this is Grant, your boss. From work.
Just calling to check in on you.
See how you're doing.
I want you to know you can take
all the time you need.
We can keep you on paid leave
for another week
and then it'll just start counting
towards your vacation time.
Uh, but you've got so much of that
built up, so I wouldn't be concerned.
Hey, maybe you could take that trip
to France you're always talking about.
I hear the people there are lovely
and the food is supposed to be...
[beeps] No one else left you
a message.
I'm sorry. I can't go out there.
[grunting on TV]
- [man groans]
- [thudding]
This isn't how
it's supposed to be.
I was supposed to win.
You didn't play by the rules.
There never were any rules.
[man screams]
[gunshot on TV]
Can I help you?
I'm interested in buying a gun.
Are you a hunter?
No. It would be
for self-defense.
I need something that can fit
into my hand.
It sounds like you're after
a handgun.
How about something like this?
Yes. This is exactly
what I'm looking for.
I can hold it
in my hand quite easily.
I'll run the background check
and file the necessary paperwork.
Yeah, is there some sort
of box you can put this in?
Or a bag?
There is a waiting period before
you can legally purchase this gun.
It's so a person who is upset
with another person
can't come in here and buy
a gun to shoot that person with.
Instead, they have to wait a little
while before they can do that.
Do you have any children?
No, I don't. Just a dog.
Good. If you did have children I would warn
you that their risk of accidental death
increases drastically
with a gun in the home
but since you don't have children
that statistic is irrelevant to you.
You did mention self-defense,
Be cautious.
In a violent altercation,
an armed victim is much more likely to be
shot and killed than an unarmed victim.
Suicide is more common
with gun owners too.
You're really going
to love owning a gun.
I'm sure you're right.
[shouting continues]
Karate's a language.
It's a way of communicating.
When you were a child, you trained your vocal
chords to manipulate air to make words.
Then you learned how to combine those words
together so that they formed sentences.
Those sentences expressed
thoughts, wants, needs.
Every conversation that you had
was honing your skills.
And now,
after all these years,
you are black belts in speech.
So at this point
in your karate training,
you are learning how
to form words
with your fists and with feet.
You'll get to the point where you
don't even have to think about it.
Ask me a question.
What are your plans
for the weekend?
I am going to do some
grocery shopping
and rent a film.
Perhaps a comedy
to watch in the comfort
of my own...
Hyah! Gah!
[continues shouting]
Oh! Ha!
Did that answer your question?
That's it for today.
Bow to me.
Bow to Grand Master.
I hope it's...
I hope it's all right
that I watched.
The hardest part of your karate journey is
walking through that door for the first time.
That's where most people fail.
What was your name?
[stuttering] Casey.
My name is Sensei.
Can anyone take classes?
The first lesson is free.
So why don't you come in
tomorrow and give it a shot?
I'll try.
Higher, Manny. You must attain
the proper angle.
Remember, you're punching
his nose up into his brain.
The key word is "up."
Okay, class. Line up.
We're going to work on
a rear naked strangle.
With karate, our goal is always
to end a fight with strikes.
Snapping an opponent's arm with
a karate chop, that'd be one way.
Or shattering their jaw with a perfectly
placed spinning wheel kick would be another.
But realistically,
when engaged in combat,
it is not a matter of if a fight
will end up on the ground,
it is a matter of when.
This is called
"taking the back."
I am in the dominant position.
He is a mouse. I am a python.
I slide my arm around his neck,
my elbow under his chin.
Like a python, I slowly begin
to squeeze my mouse.
My arm cuts off the carotid
arteries on either side of his neck,
starving the brain
of oxygenated blood.
what is rule number eight?
[all] Tap or take a nap.
[Manny] Tap or take a nap.
Okay, let's give this technique
a try.
Bow to me.
Bow to Grand Master.
[Casey] Hi there.
You're an excellent teacher.
Usually it's the mothers that bring
the children, not the fathers.
Which one's yours?
Oh, I'm not a parent.
I'm actually a new student.
I'm taking my first class today.
You're a new white belt?
Is that the first belt color? White is
before color. You haven't earned color yet.
That makes sense, actually. I think
I need to borrow a uniform for class.
I was going to ask Sensei but I didn't see
him... You're lucky he doesn't see you.
You're lucky he doesn't see some
white belt disrespecting his dojo
and everything he's built.
What's the first rule?
The board is behind you.
What's rule number one? Oh...
No shoes on the mat.
Take off your fucking shoes,
white belt.
You need a gi
and you need a belt.
Is that what you're asking?
[man 1] But say I'm at an ATM
and as my back is turned,
- a man grabs my throat from behind.
- [man 2] Okay.
- May I?
- [man 1] Of course.
In this instance, the first
thing thing you always have to do
is alleviate the pressure
on your neck.
Now, your center of gravity
needs to be lower than mine,
so drop your hips.
Like this?
Now you can lift me off
my feet with ease.
See, even though I have your back,
you are now in the dominant position.
I have no control
and I can easily be thrown.
It's very effective.
Yes, it is.
What if they're resisting more?
Show me.
I see what you mean.
Probably, uh... [shouts]
I'd probably do something
like that.
There's a lot of testosterone
in this dojo.
That's the hormone men produce.
Women produce it too
but men produce much more.
Is this your first class?
It is.
Here, let me help with that.
You gotta start from the front,
not the back.
I noticed that your belt
is blue.
It is. Um...
I feel a connection to the color blue.
It suits me.
Is blue a high rank?
Blue is one
of the middle colors.
The order is white, yellow,
green, blue, purple, brown,
and black.
Some schools use different colors
or change the order of the colors
but our academy does it this way
and it's definitely the best way.
And what do the strips
of tape mean?
They're called stripes.
Stripes signify advancements
and achievements.
What does
the red stripe mean?
It means the person has killed
another person in combat.
I'm joking.
It's for instructors.
Anna, the brown belt, has a red stripe
and she teaches the children's class.
The only two people with red
stripes here are her and Sensei.
And what about the black stripe?
Sensei only gives those to select
students, green belt and up.
Today is your first day, though.
I wouldn't worry about stripes.
[Sensei] It is wise to respect the
past but foolish to ignore innovation.
Grand Master understood this.
He would say, "The only moves worth
learning are the ones that work."
Just 'cause I'm a karateka
doesn't mean that I wouldn't teach
a bow and arrow choke
from Brazilian jiu-jitsu
or an inside heel hook
from Russian sambo.
I would teach a reverse wrist
splicer from Mongolian judo
if it worked and if it wasn't
something I just made up.
Rule number ten:
if it works, use it.
Which brings me
to today's lesson.
To kick with your fists...
and punch with your feet.
I'm Kennith,
what's your name?
I'm glad you chose karate,
It's an excellent martial art
and will likely change your life.
Would you like to go first?
Maybe you should go first.
[chuckles] Okay.
Not in the day class.
I'm sorry, Sensei.
I forgot where I was.
It was an accident.
You all right?
I'm really glad you're here.
That punch got away from me.
I apologize.
Would you like to try?
Okay, that was a good first try.
It felt a little more like
a kick than a punch, though.
It felt like a kick to me too.
Your whole life you've known
that a foot can only kick.
You've known that
a foot cannot punch.
Forget everything that you know.
Much better.
That felt like a punch.
A very weak punch,
but the most important thing
is that you're learning
to punch with your foot.
Let me show you again.
Don't think of it as me punching
your body with my foot.
Think of it as you striking
my foot with your body.
That makes perfect sense.
Wow. You have a wonderful sense
of balance.
I want to sign up for classes.
That's excellent news.
I'm gonna go ahead
and enter you into the system.
Name? Casey...
That's a very
feminine-sounding name.
I turn 36 next month.
Do you know what that is in months?
The system does it in months.
- [typing]
- [calculator whirring]
Four hundred thirty-two
minus one.
- Is...
- [calculator whirring]
Four hundred and thirty-one
months old.
It sounds old
when you put it that way.
Why karate?
Um... This question's
multiple choice.
A, health and fitness,
B, career opportunity,
C, New Year's resolution, D,
self-defense/traumatic experience.
What if it's none of the above?
Should I read the choices again?
No, that's okay.
A, health and fitness.
This is the equipment room.
This room is off limits.
Do you understand?
Wait here, please.
This is your belt.
Do not come to class
without your belt.
It is yours. It is sacred.
There will be a $15 charge
to replace a lost belt.
[door closes]
[phone rings]
- Hello?
- [man] Hi, may I speak to Ms. Casey Davies, please?
This is him. I'm a man.
My mistake.
I thought it was a woman's name.
- Who is this?
- I'm calling about your gun... the handgun.
Wait, I remember you now.
Yes, you are a man. Again, apologies.
- That's all right.
- It looks like your paperwork will go through
without any complications. Tomorrow morning
you'll be able to come and purchase your gun.
Are you still there?
I don't need a gun anymore.
You're not having
a child are you?
Because we sell
child safety locks
that work reasonably well.
No. No child. I just...
- I found something else.
- Don't tell me you bought a knife.
Knives are good for self-defense
too, but nine times out of ten
a person with a knife who gets into a
fight with a person with a gun will lose.
- I didn't buy a knife.
- Well, the paperwork is valid for the next six months.
In the meantime, I hope you don't
get attacked by anyone with a gun
- Or even a knife.
- Goodbye.
- Good luck...
- [phone beeps]
Ha! Ha! Hyah!
Hmm... [shouts]
Next, go.
Ha! Ha!
Next, go.
You do that in a fight and your
opponent will laugh at you.
Next, Casey.
Very good.
[classical music playing]
[phone rings]
- [machine beeps]
- Hey, Casey. It's Grant... your boss.
From work. So, it's been two months
since you've been to the office.
How are you?
I've extended your leave
five weeks past
what I'd originally planned.
And your paycheck last week,
that actually came out
of my own pocket.
But I consider you a friend.
[clears throat]
Look, I hate to be
the bad guy here,
but I'm going to need you
to come in.
I can give you another day
but you have to come back
to work after that.
Or... I'm going to have
to let you go
and I really don't want
to have to do that.
Look, if it were up to me, I'd give you
all the time you need but my bosses...
- [machines beeps]
- The inbox is full. Please clear your messages.
Who are all the new people?
Today's the promotion ceremony.
Everyone comes
to the promotion ceremony.
Even students who take the night class.
The night class?
Black stripes.
The color black represents
As in night class.
I think I'll stick
with the day class.
Now that I think about it you're
much more suited to the day class.
Me on the other hand...
I'm getting my stripe today.
I overheard Sensei talking
about it.
Oh, congratulations.
Thank you.
I have...
I have definitely earned it.
Today's a special day.
Not only is it a day in which
we recognize those of you
who have outgrown
your belt color,
it is also
an important anniversary.
Seven years ago today, Grand Master
was killed in a tragic hiking accident
where he was shot in the face
with a gun.
He was mistaken for a bird
by a hunter carrying a shotgun,
a type of gun that fires a cartridge which
scatters 10 to 20 pellets at its target.
Unlike our karate,
which is clean and precise,
this gun was imprecise
and boorish.
Rule number 11:
guns are for the weak.
That board isn't just
for children.
The rules apply to all of us.
Grand Master is the only person
ever to wear the rainbow belt.
It's a belt color
that he created
and awarded to himself.
It is the highest honor
in all of karate.
He achieved this rank after he challenged
and defeated all three other grand masters
in the state in unarmed combat
to the death.
He finished each fight
with his signature technique,
a technique only he knew.
A technique he never
even taught me.
He punched through his opponents'
heads with his index finger.
He was the greatest man
who ever lived.
I do not award belts.
My students earn them.
And this first belt goes
to someone who...
I see a little of myself in.
He has devoted himself to karate
and he has more than earned the
right to wear the color yellow.
The progression from yellow belt
to green belt
is one of great sacrifice
and introspection.
It is filled with immeasurable
pain, both internal and external.
Thank you all for coming
to support each other.
We are family here...
[Henry] Isn't there something else?
What was that?
I just I wanted to make sure you
weren't forgetting something.
What would I be forgetting,
blue belt?
Uh... I heard there was going
to be another promotion tonight.
You heard that?
I did.
Something... black.
Something black?
you're correct.
Yeah. [laughs]
There is something black.
Well, I was saving it till the
very end for dramatic effect.
As I said before,
today is a special day.
Not only because it is
the unfortunate anniversary
of Grand Master being shot
and killed while on a hike
after being mistaken
for a bird by a hunter...
Today is the first time that I get to
promote one of my students to black belt.
This student has been
with us from the very beginning.
They are unquestioning.
Their loyalty is unwavering.
But most importantly, they know
that despite this black belt
they will always be
my student...
while I will always
be their teacher.
You're in my spot, brown belt.
Black is higher than brown.
Please move over to your left.
This concludes the ceremony. As always,
be sure to hold onto your old belts
so that if someone questions
the legitimacy of your rank,
you can prove them wrong first with
tangible evidence and then in combat.
- [man 1] Missionary.
- [man 2] That is the best position.
[man 1] I also like when I'm behind
her and she's on her hands and knees.
Doggy style.
Yes, doggy style.
That position is also
very nice.
[clock ticking]
All this stuff's yellow.
Paper, please.
[loud metal music playing]
Excuse me.
Did you door ding my car?
I don't know.
I think you did.
Then why'd you ask me?
Because I wanted to give you
the benefit of the doubt.
Okay, then no.
No, what?
I don't think I did.
But you did, though.
I say I didn't.
But it doesn't work that way.
You obviously did, I saw you...
Do you have a problem?
The part where you slammed your door into
my car. I have a problem with that. Yes.
I know karate.
What belt are you?
Yellow belt.
Your arms are holding
the grocery bag.
You have to drop the bag in order to
strike me. In the time it would take you
I would punch you
in the face as hard as I can.
So I'm gonna ask you again.
Do you have a problem?
You didn't slam your door
into my car.
So I don't have a problem.
You? Karate?
No. Bad dog.
I'm sorry.
Ha! Fuck.
Are you sure this board
isn't meant for green belts?
Here, let me try.
Here, try a white belt board.
Kicks and punches lacked
conviction today.
Maybe I was wrong.
Maybe you weren't ready
to be a yellow belt.
You're not supposed to do that.
You're supposed to stand up
for yourself.
But you're right, though.
I wasn't able to break
a single board today.
And that stops you
from being a yellow belt, how?
If a bear's forest catches
on fire,
the bear is still a bear.
Even if a boat capsizes
in rough seas
and sinks to the bottom
of the ocean with no survivors,
it is still a boat.
You will be a yellow belt
until you die
or until you're a green belt.
And you will be a green belt
until you're a blue belt.
And so on.
I wish I could wear my belt
all the time.
I feel less-than without it.
Come with me.
I want you to tell me
why you're here.
I... I told you before,
it was my New Year's resolution.
I thought it was
health and fitness.
That's what I meant.
Why are you really here?
I was mugged...
at night, a few months ago.
I was beaten...
severely, by several men.
I'm afraid.
I'm afraid of the dark.
I'm afraid of other men.
They intimidate me.
I want to be
what intimidates me.
You came to the right place.
You're learning karate.
You're a blade
and I'm sharpening you.
But there's a mental component
as well.
You mean like...
believing in myself.
Yeah. That won't hurt.
I'm talking about something
a little different.
What's your favorite style
of music?
Adult contemporary.
No. It should be metal.
You ever listen to metal?
You mean like hard rock?
Metal is much more aggressive
than hard rock.
From now on you'll listen to metal.
It's the toughest music
there is.
What about hobbies?
Is there anything you feel
particularly passionate about?
Other than your newfound passion
for metal?
I enjoy France.
I mean, French things.
I haven't actually been to France, but...
I'm learning the language and I
would like to visit there someday.
No, no, no. That's not good.
Historically, the perception of
the French is that they are weak
and that they surrender easily.
Hardly traits that you want
to embrace.
Russia, on the other hand,
is considered a tough country.
Also, Germany.
Germany is very strong
and capable.
My dog's breed is German.
Excellent. A German Shepherd.
A dachshund, actually.
Well, regardless, Germany it is.
You must start thinking
this way. Do you understand?
In every facet of life. What you eat.
How you interact with others.
What arouses you. Everything
should be as masculine as possible.
As you know,
I teach a night class.
is your invitation.
I've never opened this class up
to yellow belts before,
but I'm gonna make
an exception for you.
What time is the class?
It's at night.
It's a night class.
I don't think I can.
I won't make you do anything.
But like the color of the belt,
you've earned this stripe.
This invitation,
it will be yours forever.
Just because you ignore it
doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
Not only does this class offer you more
of what I believe you're looking for
but I guarantee you it will help
you become what you fear.
stop being afraid.
[metal music playing]
[music continues]
[music volume increases]
The usual? Chocolate croissant
and orange juice?
No. I've got a new usual.
Coffee. Hot. Black.
With nothing to eat.
That's mine.
It's mine now.
I take what I want.
I only care about myself.
[in German]
[Grant] Hey there,
Listening to music?
I'm learning German.
German. That's very
international of you.
You may want to start
on those reports, though.
That pile is getting awfully high and
I don't want you to feel obligated
to come into the office
over the weekend.
Hey, Maggie asked me if you
wanted to come over for dinner.
What do you say?
[groans, chokes]
Stop trying to be my friend. Bosses cannot
be friends. It doesn't work that way.
Instead of coming over for dinner
with you and your wife this weekend,
I'll stay home and masturbate
to the thought of your wife
wearing her bathing suit
at the barbecue.
We should do push-ups.
Hey. Shut up. Stop talking.
What did you say? You talk too much.
I don't talk, I act.
I punched him in the goddamn throat.
It felt amazing.
Our boss, Grant.
Do you want to... join us?
But there's just
the three chairs.
I'll sit in your chair.
We should do push-ups.
[door closes]
You're a good dog
and I care for you.
That said,
I won't be petting you anymore.
I've been coddling you.
This is for your own good.
[in German]
What are you doing?
You're not supposed to be here.
You don't have a black stripe.
I thought you were my friend.
A friend wouldn't say they were
a day class student
and then go to the night class
behind my back.
- I didn't.
- [door opens]
[door closes]
Our limbs get their strength
from leverage points.
An elbow can only bend one way because if it
could bend more than one way it would be weaker.
But this design is
also inherently flawed.
Henry, come on up to the front. I want
you to help me demonstrate something.
Watch closely.
- [bone breaks]
- [screams]
Leverage is a weapon. You can use
it or it can be used against you.
You earned your blue belt.
I know I could never take that from you.
So I took your arm instead.
Never come back here.
Not even for the day class.
I'd like you to welcome Casey
to the night class.
He's a yellow belt.
All right. Let's begin.
[metal music playing]
[music continues]
You're done for the night.
So is he.
[Sensei] Can you...
drag him off the mat?
Learn to love this feeling.
Your bones aching.
Your chest screaming.
This is karate.
I have nothing else.
Congratulations on
a great class, everyone.
Let's begin the cool down.
They're all gonna cool down on the
mat, but since it's your first time,
I want you to cool down away
from the others.
Come with me.
I know you're probably a little
confused about what's happening.
Just know that every one of them out
there had to do this at one point.
Again, I'm sorry to make you
cool down with her.
She's a woman so her hands are
naturally weaker than a man's.
An after-workout sports massage works best
with strong hands so I know this is not ideal.
A massage from a woman is still
better than a self massage.
Well, what are you waiting for,
yellow belt?
Take off your jacket
and sit in front of me.
I know they're not
as strong as a man's.
So this is
the women's changing room?
It is.
It's the same as the men's
in every way
only it's smaller
and not as nice.
How long have you been taking
I was one of the dojo's
first students when it opened.
And how long have you been
a brown belt?
The cool down is supposed
to be silent.
Why was he promoted
to black belt before you?
Is that why you fought him
You could have killed him.
It looked like you wanted to.
I was proving a point.
About your belt?
About why I'm here.
Never hold back.
Not ever.
It will only make you weak
and you can't be weak anymore.
Not in the night classes.
Do you understand?
I think I do.
But then again, maybe I don't.
You will.
This isn't a safe place, Casey.
My turn.
You can come in.
Your belt... it's yellow.
I had it made.
It's for everyday use
with casual clothing.
Obviously, I chose yellow
because I'm a yellow belt.
I wanted to wear my yellow belt
all the time
but I knew it would look
It really is a wonderful idea.
To be honest,
I wish I'd thought of it.
Now I can be a yellow belt
in everyday life
in addition to being one
in this dojo.
I mentioned before
that I had it made.
It was a special order.
The thing is, the belt company
wouldn't make just one.
I had to make at least 50.
The positive out of this is that I have
enough for all of the other students.
I even had them make
a black one for you.
I think it turned out
quite nice.
I don't know what to say.
I'm honored.
How much did this all cost?
Oh, don't worry about that.
This is my gift to the academy.
Although, I was let go
from my accounting job
the other day, unexpectedly.
Wait, you have accounting experience?
Oh, ten years.
Or... 120 months.
I'm looking for someone
to help manage the books here.
I can't keep up
with the growth of the academy.
There's more money coming in.
It's overwhelming.
I could use a mind like yours.
It wouldn't be permanent,
just till you get things on track.
Well... thank you. Yes.
The answer is yes.
You start tomorrow.
I'm sure you'll find another job by the
time you finish organizing the books here.
I really am excited about
the belt.
[phone ringing]
- Hello?
- Casey.
- Who is this?
- The men you told me about.
Would you know them
if you saw them?
Is that you, Sensei?
The men.
The ones who attacked you.
- I...
- Would you know their faces?
- [Sensei sighs]
- They were wearing helmets.
- Motorcycle helmets.
- So you didn't see their faces?
Why are you asking me this?
The other day, when you told me
about what happened to you...
it made me angry.
I have resources.
I found one of the men
who attacked you, Casey.
I need you to meet me.
[Casey] But I won't be sure.
It was dark.
And like I was saying,
they were wearing
motorcycle helmets.
[Sensei] It's him.
You have to trust me.
You trust me, don't you?
Did you park in the garage
like I asked?
There was a motorcycle.
I'm glad you came.
I see you're wearing
your belt for strength.
Me too.
Not only does it represent my black belt in
karate but it also helps keep my pants up.
Yeah... So, where is he?
In the bar.
I still don't under...
Are you...
Are you sure it's him?
I'm very sure.
But how?
How what? You saw the
motorcycle with your own eyes.
How did you find him?
You don't need
to worry about that.
Well, what does he look like?
He... wears a hat sometimes.
But not always.
[door opens]
There he is. That's the man
we're looking for.
Yeah, he matches
the description I gave you.
He's not wearing a hat,
but I told you he doesn't always wear one.
I just don't think we should do this.
Not like this.
Although, I do appreciate
you trying to...
I'm not giving you the choice,
Out here is no different
than in my dojo.
That belt you're wearing is
still yellow and mine's black.
I'm your teacher, you're my student
and you'll do as you are told.
And understand this:
I'm not helping you.
You're helping yourself.
Remember what he did to you.
He stole your dignity.
Take it back.
[man yawns]
Do you remember me?
I don't think.
Hey, look at me!
I'm talking to you.
Do you remember my face?
Good night.
[Sensei] No, don't touch him.
Don't touch him,
he's still breathing.
What are you doing?
You taught him a lesson.
He and his friends will definitely think
twice before messing with you again.
Why are you filming this?
I'm documenting.
Documenting what?
Your growth.
See you tomorrow.
We'll get you started with determining
which accounts are delinquent and if we
have time, we'll move on to organizing
the receipts for
the business related purchases.
[man groans]
You did the right thing.
You'll see.
I'm sorry. There was
nothing we could do.
Did he go peacefully?
No. It was likely
very painful.
There was
a great deal of trauma.
What do you mean "trauma"?
Well, the X-rays indicated
there were broken ribs
and severe bruising
to the internal tissue.
I don't understand.
Did you hurt your dog?
Of course not, no.
He was my best friend.
I left him alone in my house
and when I came back...
Did you notice anything
out of place?
I... I don't know.
I came straight here.
Do you think someone did
this to him?
We found blood
on his canines.
He bit them?
It seems he fought to the end.
He was very brave.
I tried my best not
to coddle him.
I know this is hard.
I don't want to upset you.
But it's
the strangest thing.
He died from a punch.
I'm sure of it...
Only, the bruising pattern
doesn't seem to indicate a fist...
but rather a foot.
I know,
it doesn't make any sense.
[Anna] Sometimes your opponent
will be bigger than you.
But remember this.
You're children, you're still growing.
If they defeat you in combat, there will
always be the opportunity later in life,
when you are fully grown,
to exact your revenge.
Casey, we're in the middle
of a class.
What are you doing?
I'm wearing shoes on the mat.
Also, I didn't bow.
What happened?
What is it? You can tell me.
I'm hungry.
Don't do this.
All this not bowing and eating
on the mat has made me thirsty.
Rule number nine: stay hydrated.
- [door opens]
- [Sensei] Enough.
You killed my dog!
Last night.
I was with you last night.
Casey, that's impossible.
Is this the dog you told me was
of German lineage?
He was a Dachshund,
you son of a bitch.
Dachshund. Short of stature,
long of body.
Not the most masculine
of breeds.
Unfortunately, I have no idea
what you're talking about.
My condolences.
Fuck you and fuck your dojo.
As I said already,
I was with you last night.
I saw what you did to that man. That
innocent man. You said he was one of them.
Deep down you knew he didn't have anything
to do with whatever happened to you
and yet you did
what you did anyway.
You're insane.
It didn't matter to you, did it?
You wanted to take out your pain
and frustration on someone else
and you needed to become
what you hated.
I'm done.
This isn't karate.
I have it all on tape.
The man from last night
has two choices.
Either become a better version
of himself
or succumb to his weaknesses.
You gave him that choice
and his life will never be
the same.
That night all those months ago was the best
thing that ever happened to you and you know it.
You are who you always wanted
to be.
Karate has changed you.
Channel this energy
into class tonight.
And take your shoes off.
Okay, children.
Back to work.
In the art of accounting
I'm a white belt.
And you are
a fiscal black belt.
Did you kill my dog?
Even if it wasn't a masculine
dog, I didn't kill it.
But I'm going
to make this right.
You'll see.
I've been having trouble
controlling my emotions lately.
I'm sorry.
It's a very masculine trait.
Embrace it.
Women are much cooler headed.
I want you to come work
for me full-time.
This is a part-time job
at best.
I want you to take over
the children's class.
What about Anna?
Let me worry about Anna.
But she's easily the most
qualified person for this position.
I'm a yellow belt,
she's almost a black belt.
Anna will never be a black belt.
To be honest, I didn't ever
think she'd last this long.
When she earned her blue belt, I put
her in charge of the children's class
due to her innate maternal
instincts. She is a woman.
But she let her feminine tendencies
interfere with her karate.
I realize now that her being a woman will
prevent her from ever becoming a man.
There are things in life
that men do and...
there are things in life
that women do.
There are some things that women
and men do together,
like ride a tandem bicycle
or have sex.
But even then,
men ride a tandem bicycle
to please a woman
and sex is the other way around.
Karate's a thing for men.
It's time for the night class.
I just wanted
to say thank you.
For the belts.
Oh, of course.
Yeah, I'm so glad you like them.
Like it? I love it.
Now, while I'm walking around
in public,
I can still feel like
a brown belt
by wearing this brown belt.
Thank you.
Tonight, I want you,
and... you.
How big is your head?
Regular size.
Finish getting dressed.
Meet me out in the back.
[dramatic music]
I don't think I can do this.
Did you hear me?
I can't do this.
Yes, you can. You'll be fine.
You're not coming.
I'm coming.
We don't need you.
Casey can take my place
as runner. I'll be the driver.
Otherwise you'll only have three drivers
and one runner. You need the extra runner.
Put it on. Do it.
[Sensei] I want you two
to play spotter.
[Anna] We'll do it.
[Sensei] No.
You're lucky I even let you ride
with us tonight.
[Anna] Thomas is too recognizable.
You can see his disgusting face
and bandages
even with the helmet on.
Casey has to do it.
He needs to prove himself.
[Sensei] It's time, Casey.
Go find us someone to help.
They have to be alone.
You should have never started
taking karate, Casey. But you did.
We don't have to do this.
He'll kill us if we don't.
[Anna] Everything's gonna be okay,
but one of us has to hurt him, Casey.
[Casey] I can't.
[Anna] Then wait here.
Who are you?
Police, stop.
Show me your hands!
I didn't mean to shoot
your friend. Police! Stop.
Stop where you are.
Show me your hands.
It was an accident.
[Anna] Casey!
Casey! Casey,
we have to leave now.
[police sirens in distance]
[radio static]
[officer on police radio] They got our guy.
He's dead. They got away.
One of the jobs of the spotter is to
ask the person if they have a gun.
And that man had a gun.
Why didn't you ask if he had a gun?
My kicks aren't going
to be so strong anymore.
The bullet only grazed you.
Imprecise and boorish.
Hey, this is your fault.
Remind me to put a red stripe
on your belt tomorrow.
What, the stripe for instructors?
You can keep that.
Red stripes aren't for instructors.
It's for ending a life.
Red represents blood.
There's no stripe for instructors.
A yellow belt with both black
and red stripes...
Thomas, take Anna home.
I'll do it.
So, how did you get yours?
This one, on the right.
My what?
Your stripe. The red one.
It was another student.
He was a belt above me. The highest
ranked at the time, other than Sensei.
I was better than him.
I knew it, but...
I also knew my place.
During the sparring sessions
I'd let him win
because I didn't want
to upset the hierarchy.
As you've probably noticed,
there is a hierarchy in karate.
At this point the dojo
only had one changing room.
So, I would wait until the men finished
changing, then I would get dressed alone.
And one night,
as I was getting undressed,
the upper belt came in
and attacked me from behind.
I'd always held back
in class so...
he saw me as weak.
An easy target.
I ended up strangling him
to death with his own belt.
I made him suffer.
And the last thing he saw
before his eyes burst was...
the sense of satisfaction
on my face.
He saw that I was not weak,
but strong.
I've never held
anything back since.
After that, Sensei had
the old equipment closet
converted into
the women's changing room.
He said that I had tempted
the upper belt.
That it was my fault.
But it wasn't your fault.
I know.
Thanks for the ride.
I hope I never see you
in class again, Casey.
I hope you leave and never come
back, I really do.
[dog moans]
[Anna] You're gonna kill him.
He's trying to kill him.
You think you're the only one
that deserves a red stripe?
I deserve a red stripe just
as much as you. Maybe more.
[Sensei] He looks very weak
and hopeless.
Chances of him making something
of his life are minimal.
- Go ahead.
- [Anna] Wait.
Do you hear that?
- I hear sirens.
- [Sensei] I don't hear anything.
Women are much more sensitive to
higher pitched sounds than men.
Trust me, I hear sirens
approaching. We should leave.
[Sensei] Take his wallet.
I'm going to kill you.
Do you want to know why?
I could say it's for the honor
of the dojo.
I could tell you it's because
you're blackmailing former students
into paying membership
fees long after they leave.
Or because private lessons are given
to those who do not ask for them,
like myself.
But really it's
because I hate you.
I hate you very much.
Not only do I want
to watch you die,
but I want to be the reason
that you stop breathing.
I've never wanted anything more
in my entire life.
I'm going to kill you, Leslie.
That's right.
I found out
that your real name is Leslie.
I called you that
to make you angry.
When you think about it, Leslie is a
lot more feminine-sounding than Casey.
I can make you a black belt.
You can skip all
the other colors.
You don't even need to earn it.
I challenge you to a fight
to the death in unarmed combat.
You'll lose.
I'm better at fighting than you.
Very well.
I accept.
I've been thinking a lot lately about what
I would say to you after I killed you.
I came up with two things.
And I don't want second guess
my choice later on
so I'm going to say both.
You would say that using this
makes me a weak man
and without question it does.
But I am alive
and you are dead.
So I would argue it makes you
the weaker man.
The second thing I came up
with is from a film I saw once.
I didn't play by the rules.
But there never were any rules.
I defeated him in unarmed combat
to the death.
In the tradition
of our Grand Master
I punched a hole through
his head with my index finger.
It was a move that only Grand
Master knew but now I know it too.
I did it to restore honor to Grand
Master, this academy and its students.
Does anyone have a problem with that?
Because if you do,
I'm happy to punch my finger
through your skull too.
Good. I've killed enough people
for today.
On second thought,
there is more one thing.
Everyone hold their hands out
in front of them.
Don't make me ask again.
What's this for?
I sprained my wrist.
How did you sprain it?
Playing guitar.
I didn't know you played.
I do.
How are you with chords
and scales?
I'm good with them.
I can play several songs quite well.
What type of music were you playing
when you sprained your wrist?
Soft rock.
Take off the bandage.
Because it is impossible to sprain
your wrist playing soft rock.
Only extreme metal can do that.
[in German]
[in English] This is my new dog.
We've come to an understanding.
He knows that I'm the alpha.
[in German]
- [Thomas screams]
- [bones breaking]
This is not mine.
I took it,
but I did not earn it.
Now get in line, yellow belt.
Up to this point you have been
taught that violence equals strength
and compassion equals weakness.
This ideology is limiting.
It is possible to be brutally
tolerant or peacefully savage.
Your karate mind-set is equally as
important as your karate skill set.
You're going to notice
some changes around here
but this is still the night
class and you are its students.
Do you understand?
Let's start
with some moderate stretching.
[Casey] All right, students.
Let's start with some warm-ups.
Jumping jacks.
[children together]
One, two, three,
- four, five, six...
- [Casey] Very good.
[children], eight,
nine, ten.
[Casey] Good.
Everybody, well done.
Now let's do your side kicks.
[children] Hyah! Hyah! Hyah!
[Hyahs continue]
[Casey] Very good side kicks.
Excellent form.
Okay, everybody.
Now we're doing karate chops.
[children] Hyah! Hyah! Hyah!
Hyah! Hyah! Hyah!
[Casey] Very good chops.
Hyah! Hyah! Hyah!
Great job, Manny.
You've made great strides.
All right, everybody. Now I'm going to
teach you how to kick with your fist
and punch with your foot.
Are you ready?
[soft rock music playing]