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The Art of Self-Defense
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The Art of Self-Defense

While walking around town, Casey passes by a karate dojo. He enters and watches as the Sensei (Alessandro Nivola) teaches his class. He appears to incorporate karate into every facet of his life. After the lesson, Casey talks to Sensei and asks if he can join. Sensei invites him to the next day's class for a free trial to see for himself. Casey also meets Anna (Imogen Poots), the only female member of the dojo who is a brown belt and also gives classes to kids. She demonstrates a sleeper hold on a child before talking to Casey, where she immediately chastises him for wearing shoes on the mat. Casey begins his lessons, starting as a white belt. He meets Henry (David Zellner), who is friendly to him and is also working his way to a promotion in color ranks. During Casey's first lessons, he is taught how to punch with his feet. He spars with another student, Kennith (Phillip Andre Botello), who knocks Casey off his feet on the first try. Casey also does manage to get a good 'punch-kick' here and there. Sensei also tells the students about the dojo's late grand-master, who was killed after being shot, and this is why Sensei believes that people who use guns are weak. He also mentions a move that only the grand-master knew wherein he could kill a man by pushing his index finger through his skull. One afternoon while buying groceries, Casey goes back to his car to see some jerk in a pick-up truck door-bang his car. When Casey confronts the man about it, the man intimidates him and knocks the groceries out of his bag. Casey ends up driving home crying.
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