One afternoon, two teenage girls named Valencia and Anna are walking down the hallway of their school. They are both thirteen years old. “Don’t being in middle school make you feel weird than being in elementary?,” asked Anna. “What do you mean?,” replied Valencia. “Well, when we were in elementary school, we played with Barbie dolls, ran, jumped and played and boys chased us and we hated them and now that we’re in middle school it’s all about wearing make up, dating, parties and “Teen Beat” magazine,” said Anna. “Doesn’t that feel weird to you?,” asked Anna. “Yeah, but we have to grow up sometimes,” said Valencia. “You’re right, but not too fast. We don’t wanna mess up like a lot of girls our age do,” said Anna. “Tell me about it,” replied Valencia.
The girls walk into the girls’ gym where Valencia is going to take her gymnastic lesson. Later, Valencia is dressed in a spandex suit and ready for her lesson. “OK, Valencia, first thing I want you to do is work on your rotation on the hoops,” said the instructor. “Valencia jumps up and grabs the two hoops that were suspended from the ceiling. She vertically rotates her body counter clockwise three times and lands on her feet. “Way to go, Valencia,” yelled Anna from the bleachers. “Why don’t you take this class?,” yelled the instructor to Anna. “I’m not interested in this kind of stuff, but when you have cheerleader tryouts, let me know,” yelled Anna. “Maybe I will have that, I would like to get her involved,” said the instructor to Valencia. “Now I want you to practice on the spring board and do some flips,” said the instructor. “Can we skip that for today?,” asked Valencia. “You have to learn how to do that if you wanna be a professional gymnast and just think about the extra credit you’re getting in P.E.,” said the instructor. Valencia walked into the path of the spring board. “OK Valencia! Get ready! Get set! Go!,” yelled the instructor. Valencia runs, does three side-way somersaults, runs again, dives off the board into the air, flips three times in a balled up position and lands on her back. The instructor and Anna run up to her. “Valencia, are you alright?,” asked Anna as she and the instructor lifts Valencia’s upper body. “Yeah, I’m OK, but I fell down,” said Valencia in disappointment. “You’re doing good, you just need more practice on your landing. That’s all!,” said the instructor. “Yeah, last time you fell on your face,” said Anna. Valencia gives her a dirty look.
Later that day, the girls are walking down the hallway of the apartment building they live in. “I’m gonna quit that class. I’m tired of falling down,” said Valencia. “You’re doing good in it. Don’t give up,” replied Anna. Valencia unlocks her apartment door, opens it and the girls walk in. “Another reason I want to quit the class is because you like to make fun of me,” said Valencia. “What do mean?,” asked Anna. “Let’s see now! “Last time you fell on your face!” You always tease me when I fall,” said Valencia. “I’m sorry, I had no idea it bothered you so,” said Anna. She then hugs Valencia and said, “Just hang in there, you’ll get better.”
The next day was a Saturday afternoon and Valencia was sitting on the couch moping about herself falling in gymnastic class. There is a knock at the door. Valencia got up, looked through the peephole and opened the door. It was Anna and she came in. “I got the solution to your problem,” said Anna with a videotape in her hand. “What! A movie?,” asked Valencia. “Not just a movie. Bruce Lee!,” said Anna. “How is karate gonna help me in gymnastics?,” asked Valencia. “You’ll see!,” said Anna as she walks to the TV and VCR. She puts the tape in the VCR, turns on the TV, changes it to channel four and pushes the “slo-mo” button on the VCR. “Come here!,” said Anna. Valencia comes up close to the TV. A clip from the movie appears on the screen. “You see how he landed?,” asked Anna. “What?,” asked Valencia in confusion. “I’ll rewind it,” said Valencia. She rewinds the tape and replays it in slow motion again. “You see how he straightens out his legs when he lands?,” asked Valencia as she points to the TV screen. “Oh yeah! I see!,” said Valencia. “Are you saying that when I land, my legs are crooked and that’s why I fall?,” asked Valencia. “Yeah, I noticed that yesterday. When you’re on the hoops, you’re higher in the air and have time to straighten your legs, but on the spring board you’re lower and you don’t have much time. I think that’s the problem,” said Anna. “What should I do then?,” asked Valencia. “When you jump on the board, do it hard as you can and you’ll be higher in the air and will have time to straighten out your legs. “I’ll try that,” said Valencia.
That Monday, Valencia was in her gymnastic class for another lesson. She is warming up on a pommel horse by rotating her legs around in circles. “Alright Valencia, it’s time to practice on that diving flip,” said the instructor. “Do I have to?,” asked Valencia. “Yes you do and I’m not going give up on you and I’m not going let you give up in this class. You can do that flip without falling. No student of mine is a failure and I don’t think of you as one. You’re a star, Valencia!,” said the instructor. Valencia walks into the path of the flip board. She day dreams about the Bruce Lee clip she watched and the advice Anna gave her Saturday. “Get ready! Get set! Go!,” yelled the instructor. Valencia runs, did three side-way somersaults, dives off the board into the air, flips three times and lands on her feet. She was in shock. “Yeah, you go girl,” yelled Anna to Valencia as she and the instructor run up to her. “I’m proud of you,” said Anna as she hugs her. “Very good, Valencia. I told you that you just need to practice more and it paid off,” said the instructor as she puts her arms around Valencia’s shoulder. “You psyched yourself about that Bruce Lee movie and you remembered what I told you about straightening out your legs,” said Anna. “I did,?,” asked Valencia and she faints and fell down.
Valencia is now taking a Martial Arts class. Her and another student were in front of the class to give some demonstrations. “These two young ladies have volunteered to show you how to seize an attacker. First their going show you how to avoid a back attack. Let’s begin,” said the instructor. Valencia grabs her opponent from behind, the girl elbows her gently in the stomach, grabs her arm and flips her on her back. “OOOOOOHHHH!,” yelled the class and applauded. “Very good and now how to block a punch in a frontal attack,” said the instructor. The girl threw a punch at Valencia, she couldn’t stop the punch in time and she punches her in the jaw and she fell down. “AWWWWHHHHH!,” yelled the class and laughed. Valencia got up holding her jaw. “Are you OK, Miss Landeros?,” asked the instructor. “Yes I am,” said Valencia. “I’m sorry,” said her opponent. “We’ll work on the punch block later. Finally, we’ll show how to prevent a charge attack,” said the instructor. Valencia charges at the girl, her and girl wrestle for a moment, then the girl pushes Valencia over her leg and she falls on her back. “WOOOOO!,” yelled the students and applauded.
Later that day, Valencia was at home sitting in the kitchen with a frozen steak on her bruised jaw. “That girl made me look like a fool in class and made me feel like a door mat. I’m quitting that class,” said Valencia. “You were the one that played the attacker, so you can’t blame that girl for what happened. ….plus your reaction was too slow when she threw the punch at you,” said her mother. “Tomorrow I’m gonna turn the tables on that girl,” said Valencia.
The next day in class, Valencia and the girl were in front of the class again to give some more demonstrations. “Today, we’re gonna have a recap of what these young ladies showed us yesterday. Let’s begin,” said the instructor. The girl grabs Valencia, she gently elbowed the girl in the stomach, she grabbed her arm and tries to flip her. Valencia wasn’t strong enough to do so, the girl gives up and flips on her own back on purpose just to make Valencia look good. The class applauded. “Very good and now the punch block,” said the instructor. “She won’t be able to avoid a fast punch,” Valencia said to herself. Valencia throws a fast punch at the girl, she blocks it, pushes Valencia in the face and she falls on her back. The class laughed and applauded. “Excellent! Now the final demonstration will be the charge attack,” said the instructor. “I’ll rush her like a bull and see if she can stop me,” said Valencia to herself. Valencia charges at the girl fast as she can, they both wrestle for a while, the girl grabs Valencia’s arm, tied it around her back, pushes her in the butt with her foot and she falls down. The class laughed and applauded. “Very good and that completes our demonstration,” said the instructor. The girl squats down over Valencia and said, “You are weak.” “What?,” yelled Valencia. “Face it! You’re weak,” said the girl. “I’ll show you weak,” said Valencia. She lifts her legs up over her body, clamps them around the girl’s neck and flips the girl on her back. “WOOOOO!,” yelled the class and applauded. The girls got up, Valencia then grabs the girl’s arm and flips her on her back again. “WOOOOOO!,” yelled the class and applauded again. The girl gets up and Valencia kicks the girl in the stomach and she falls flat on her back. “WOOOOOOO! AAAAHHHHH!,” yelled the class and applauded.
The next day Valencia and Anna were at school. “What did the instructor say to you?,” asked Anna. “He said if I attack another student, I’ll be expelled from class,” said Valencia. “What did he say to the girl?,” asked Anna. “He told her if she teases another student, she’ll be expelled too,” said Valencia. “That ain’t right, that girl had it comin,’” said Anna. “Yeah, but you know the rules. You can’t put your hands on somebody just because they say something you don’t like,” said Valencia. “You’re right in my book, she got what she deserved trying to embarrass you in front of the class,” said Anna. A boy walks up to them. “Hi Valencia! How’s it going, Anna?,” he greeted. “Hi Pedro!,” greeted Valencia. “What’s up, papi?,” greeted Anna. “Do you two girls wanna go to that new pizza place with me after school?,” asked the boy. “You mean Raymond’s Pizza Party House on 32nd Street?,” asked Valencia. “Yeah, that’s the one,” said Pedro. “On TV, I saw all those arcade games and pool tables they have. It sounds like fun. Yeah, I’ll go,” said Valencia. “That’s great! How about you, Anna?,” asked Pedro. “I’m game! I’ll go to,” said Anna. “That’s wonderful! I’ll see you after school,” said Pedro and walks away. “He’s a nice guy, isn’t he?,” asked Valencia. “Yeah and he’s cute too and all mine,” said Anna. “In your dreams,” said Valencia. “If he chooses you, I’ll steal him away,” said Anna. “Over my dead body,” said Valencia. “No problem, it won’t be a nasty job for me,” said Anna. A rough-looking girl and her friends walk up to the girls. “May we help you?,” asked Anna arrogantly. “I saw you two talking to Pedro and he’s my man and you better stay away from him,” warned the girl. “Excuse me!,” said Valencia. “He belongs to me and if I catch you around him again I’m gonna peel you two like a potato,” threatened the girl. “I know you ain’t trippin,’ heffa,” said Anna. “You just let me see you around Pedro and you’ll be trippin’ into Mount Sinai,” said the girl. “Whatever, tramp!,” said Valencia. “I hope you can fight as good as you talk trash, because there’s gonna be two beat downs if I see you talkin’ to my man again,” said the girl and she and her friends walk away. “What’s up with her? Is she jealous or what?,” asked Valencia. “I don’t know but she’s messin’ with the wrong people,” said Anna.
Later that afternoon, Valencia, Anna and Pedro were at the new pizza parlor eating pizza and drinking soda. “She does bug me to be her boyfriend, but I can’t stand her and I always tell her no. She doesn’t take no for an answer so we have an Urkel and Laura relationship,” said Pedro. “She thinks she’s gonna keep every girl away from you until you start seeing her,” said Valencia. “True that!,” said Pedro. “She don’t be telling us who we can or can’t hang out with, especially me,” said Anna. “Yeah, that girl is skating on thin ice,” said Valencia. “Yep, that girl’s gonna get hurt if she bothers us again and my home girl here is taking karate. She’ll whip her good,” said Anna.
One week later, Valencia was at a karate tournament one evening at a school gym. “Welcome to the NYC Inner City Karate Tournament. We have four matches from eight schools and the first match will be between Valencia Landeros of Marquez Martial Arts Academy and Allison McDowell of Judo Jack’s Ju Jitsu College,” said the referee. Valencia and Allison steps onto the middle of the floor. “This will be a three-minute round and just like boxing whoever gets knocked down and stays down for ten seconds loses the match. “Get ready! Begin!, said the referee. The girls circled around the ring facing each other. Valencia throws some punches at Allison, Allison grabs her arm and flips her on her back. “OOOOOHHHHH!,” yelled the spectators. Valencia got up and the girls circle again. Valencia waves some sidekicks at Allison, she then throws a punch at her, Allison blocks it and trips her over her leg and Valencia falls on her back. “OOOOOOHHHH!,” yelled the spectators. Valencia gets up and her and Allison circle again. Valencia does a roundhouse at Allison’s head, she ducks down and pushes Valencia down on her back with her foot. “OOOOOOOHHHH!,” yelled the spectators. Valencia lays on the ground in weakness. “Oh no, get up mija,” yells her father. Valencia day dreams for a moment about the student who said she was weak in class. “One! Two! Three! Four! Five! Six! Seven! Eight! Nine!,” counting the referee standing over Valencia. She immediately gets up. The girls circle around the ring. Allison waves some sidekicks at Valencia, she then tries to kick her head, Valencia blocks the kick and pushes Allison down on the ground with her foot. “OOOOOHHHHH!,” yelled the spectators. Allison get up and the girls circle. Allison throws some punches at Valencia, she grabs Allison’s arm and ties it behind her, pushes her in the butt with her foot and makes her fall down. “OOOOOOHHHHHH!,” yelled the spectators. Allison gets up and the girls circled again. Allison runs up to Valencia, Valencia grabs her arm and flips her on her back. “OOOOOOHHHHH!,” yelled the audience. Allison lays on the floor in weakness. “One! Two! Three! Four! Five! Six! Seven! Eight! Nine! Ten!,” yelled the referee standing over Allison. “AYYYYYYY!,” yelled the spectators as they applauded. “The winner, Valencia Landeros of Marquez’s Martial Arts Academy,” yelled the referee as he raised Valencia’s arm in the air. “You the girl, Valencia,” yelled Anna. “That’s how we do it,” yelled Valencia’s father. “That’s my baby,” yelled her mother.