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The words 'koshi nage' flashed through Vance's mind as Randell landed on his back. He suddenly remembered aikido was less of a favourite discipline.

Randell struggled to his feet. Vance leapt clear in case his opponent tried any dirty moves. Experience taught him that Randell was not opposed to attacking his adversaries unawares. As he once again hopped from the ball of one foot to the other, Vance revelled in the spongy security of the mat beneath him. It felt comfortable and familiar. He felt truly at home here.

After giving Randell the time to stand and retrieve his weapons, Vance prepared for another attack, quickly deciding his moves. Just before advancing, he glanced up at the wall behind his opponent. The glowing clock read 11.45, nearly chow time. Smiling at Randell, Vance decided they'd had enough for one day. Somehow Randell sensed what was coming and, determined not to be embarrassed further, he screwed up his face in anger and charged. Vance had little opportunity to react to the unexpected attack. Weeks of daily beatings must have left Randell pretty sore, in more ways than one. It now appeared he'd reached his limit.

The first blow came in high. Vance could hear the hum of the shockstick, like a pesky insect. Driving the flat of his palm upwards, he hit Randell in the forearm before the attack struck true. The shockstick flew from Randell's grip. Instantly, Randell's other weapon came flying in at head height. Vance ducked, forced to bend backward as Randell quickly reversed his strike. Randell's fury fuelled his exer tions beyond anything Vance had seen from the big man. Another swipe, then another thrust, was followed by a backhand attack. Each time Vance found himself straining to avoid the humming baton. The attacks, driven by Ran-dell's anger
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