|Larry Gegenheimer Jr., 3rd Degree Black Belt|
Karma Girl: According to your Facebook profile, you are a martial arts instructor at Kuk Sool Won of Gretna. What is Kuk Sool Won, and where did you learn it? Bonus points if your answer is Shaolin monks!
Larry: Shaolin monks are Chinese. Kuk Sool is a Korean art. I learned it in Terrytown (a far cry from Shaolin monasteries). It is a traditional art that encompasses every martial art Korea has. Our Grand Master put all that he learned into one system and called it Kuk Sool which means National Martial Art. It is recognized as Korea's national martial art.
Karma Girl: Your Facebook profile also states your profession as Case Manager/Misdemeanor Probation Officer. I assume you deal with criminals, and if so, do your two jobs ever intermesh? Is there a 24th Judicial District Court fight montage floating around somewhere on YouTube?
Larry: No. I thought I may have needed it once or twice because someone was getting belligerent with one of the women I work with, but they calmed down and left. We also have the Gretna Police in the building for security, so most people don't want to push the envelope with cops nearby.
Karma Girl: What was the hardest thing about learning Kuk Sool Won? Did it involve meditating under waterfalls and fighting bears?
Larry: The hardest thing was balancing on my titanium leg. I had to go back to physical therapy for months to learn how to balance long enough to bring my other leg up, then step back down again.
Karma Girl: How did you lose the leg? Other than balance, how do you think it has affected your martial arts?
Larry: A car hit me on the sidewalk when I left from work. I was waiting on the corner to cross the street when one car was trying to beat the light and the other was anticipating the change. They collided and one ricocheted off and hit me. I can do most of the moves in the art but for the few things I can't do, I just modify it a bit and continue on with what I need to do. An example: one of the black belt forms has a cartwheel in it. It's supposed to be done leading with the left hand because when you come out of the cartwheel your left leg should be in front. I can only do the cartwheel leading with my right hand, so I do it that way and take an extra step forward to get in the correct stance.
Karma Girl: How often do you fight ninjas?
Larry: Haven't come across any ninjas yet.
Karma Girl: What rank (belt) are you currently, and what will you have to do to get the next rank? Meditate with bears and fight waterfalls?
Larry: I'm a third degree black belt. I was supposed to start testing for fourth already but I didn't have the testing fee. The tests are a minimum of two hours, and there is a minimum of 8 tests.
This is the part of the interviewing process I like to call The Serious Three. It includes a series of three ineradicably striking, unbelievably staid questions. You are obligated to answer them as seriously as possible.
Question #1: Please fill in the blanks:
Everybody was Kung Fu ___. Those kicks were fast as ___. In fact, it was a little bit ___. But they fought with expert ___.
Larry: Fighting, lightning, frightening, timing. Yes I know the words to the song.
Question #2: How would you go about snatching the pebble from Master Po’s hand?
Larry: Grab the pressure point in the forearm which would paralyze his arm for a second and then use that moment to snatch it.
Question #3: Where can worthy disciples go to learn the ways of Kuk Sool Won (Facebook page, twitter, address of that Kuk Sool Won monastery of awesomeness)?
Larry: 835 Gretna Blvd. in Gretna (of course).
Karma Girl: Thanks, Larry! And remember…BOOT TO THE HEAD!