Monica scanned the program packet quickly. There were a wide range of activities, from the relaxing hot mud baths to the active martial arts courses. She definitely was going to get a massage, or a couple. She’d never heard of this “Yawarakaku soko Massage”.
“Embrace your inner tenderness’s as this hour long massage works out your physical, psychological and emotional stresses.”
She had never heard of a massage working out my psychological and emotional stress, but it seemed much better than paying a therapist.
“I want to do this yawaraka soko massage,” Monica told the concierge.
“Oh, excellent choice.” The concierge commented, entering Monica’s request into the computer.
Monica flipped a few more pages, entering to the more active programs. For some reason the “Hot Jujutsu” program seemed interesting. It was open to all levels and she had always been interested in martial arts. She also thought it would be nice to know how to defend herself. New York City could get a little rough on a single woman.
“And this hot jujutsu,” she said looking further through the catalog. “Can I also add this Chokai Yoga?”
“Yes ma’am. You can sign up for five programs at a time.”
“Hmmm..” Monica contemplated what other two courses she wanted to sign up. Josei no Kiritsu Spa and Dojo was turning out to be everything her coworker Julie had said. The place was beautiful, especially wonderful view of the Cascades mountains from her room. Even the two and half hour ride from the Portland airport was luxurious. A week here was definitely worth a month’s salary.
Monica awoke later than normal to the sun streaking across her room. The feather-top cover on the queen bed felt better than anything she had ever slept on and made getting out of bed all that much harder. A quick trip to the bathroom though was essential. On her way back she remembered what the concierge had said about breakfast being available downstairs or via room service. Room service sounded nice right now.
She picked up the TV remote and a few simple clicks later, breakfast was on its way. Next her focus shifted to the elixir of life. A K-cup coffee maker sat on the counter above the minibar next to a diverse selection of flavors. Wild Mountain Blueberry sounded like it would pair well with her garden crepes.
She contemplated a shower while she waited for breakfast while taking in the densely wooded valley sprawled out before her private patio. The knock at the door surprised her, though not as much as the bellhop with her breakfast already.
“Good morning Ms Van Dergess. Would you like breakfast at the table or on your patio this morning?” the bellhop asked, wheeling the small cart into her room.
“Ah, the patio would be great.” Monica took her coffee with her to fetch a few dollar tip while the bellhop setup the table setting. She tucked the
“Sorry ma’am, but the staff here is not allowed to take any gratuities.” The bellhop gently stated, waving off the tip.
“Oh, ok.” Monica said a little stunned. She tipped every servant in New York, it was the least she could do for them.
She enjoyed the spinach and tomato filled crepe while over pine forest. She found it relaxing to watch the sun slowly lower its curtain of light down the mountains and into the valley as it rose on the other side of the lodge.
Beep. Beep. Ran the phone with the reminder for Monica’s first program of the day. She started to put on her workout clothes when she remembered the resort’s prohibition of workout clothes in the main lobby. Well a nice sundress would work instead. She tossed the change of clothes into one of the resort duffel bags and made her way downstairs to the locker rooms.
The locker room had the standard country club feel to it. Hard wood lockers, soft carpeting and ultra plush chairs. Directly attached were shower facilities and a wet and dry sauna.
“Hmm, I’m supposed to have the same locker number as my room.” Monica mumbled to herself as she made her way into the locker sections. “205, 224, 304, there 307.” She put her thumb up to the scanner on the locker door, opening the locker. Monica was still amazed at the cutting edge technology everywhere in this place.
She changed from her sundress into cotton shorts and a tank-top. She was started to put on her tennis shoes when she realized she didn’t know how to get to the Dojos.
“Pardon me, but do you know where Hot Jujutsu is at?” Monica asked the only other person around her locker.
“Oh, Hot Jujutsu is though the door to the Dojos. This your first time here?” The Asian Lady answered Monica with a bright smile.
“Ah, yea, why?”
“Hot Jujutsu is done all natural. You’ll feel quite embarrassed going in there like that.”
“Hu? Your kidding me.”
“No, I’m actually going to the next class also. If you hurry, we can go together.”
The revelation shocked Monica. She hadn’t planned on walking around naked. She felt she had a good body, but there were still problem areas she’d rather not show off to strangers.
While Monica contemplated her next actions, the Asian Lady stripped off her top and bra. It wasn’t until a pair of naked women walked by the end of the row of lockers did Monica decide to play along. Anyways, no one here knew her back in New York and it might be fun.
Monica hurried to catch up, stripping away her bra and top in one motion. Watching out of the corner of her eye, she waited until the other lady was nude before lowering her shorts and panties together.
“Don’t worry about shoes either.” Monica was told as she started to sit down. She returned her tennis shoes to her locker and turned to face the Asian Lady.
“Come on, lets go.” Asian lady said closing her locker. Monica followed suit then took off behind her. “I’m Kaori.” she said, providing a hand without missing a step.
“I’m Monica, nice to meet you.”
Monica quickly became more comfortable with the whole nakedness when she entered the Dojo to find two dozen other women in the exact same outfit. The wall of floor to ceiling windows caused her some apprehension, however the dojo was located on the effective third floor and the windows appeared tinting likely preventing anyone from seeing in anyways.
The concierge’s comment last night about gym OUTFITs being prohibited in the main areas of the resort made more sense now. The hundred degree room temperature though made being naked much more comfortable.
Senei Hirsha entered the Dojo and immediately commanded everyone attention. The Hirsha may have been in her late sixties, though glided about with the ease and elegance of a twenty year old beauty queen.
“Good morning,” Hirsha spoke softly. “Please Seiza in straight line, advanced students on my right and novice on my left.”
Monica wasn’t quite sure what the instructor meant, but she knew she belonged on the left end. The more advanced students started sitting in a line from the windows, facing the sensei. Monica just followed suit, trying to sit in the odd kneeling position like rest of the students.
“Welcome to Hot Jujutsu. I am Sensei Hirsha. Today we will be working on take-downs.”
Hirsha said some stuff in Japanese which Monica didn’t understand, but just followed the lead of the other students. Most of it consisted of bowing this way or that and she did pick up that one particular bow was called Kowtow.
“Good, good. Practice time. Novice students,” Hirsha said, pointing towards Monica and the door. “Beginner students,” she said pointing at the center of the room. “Advanced students.” Hirsha told the advanced and beginner students a couple of things in Japanese before coming over to the novice students.
Hirsha showed Monica and the three other novice students two simple arm-bar take-downs, then asked them to practice the maneuver on each other. The four novices rotated fake punching or pinning each other until they felt they had mastered the simple maneuver.
“Ok, practice done, now spar time.” Hirsha told the three groups. “Seiza in a circle.”
Monica was a little concerned about sparring already, since she knew a total of 2 moves where rest of the students surely knew dozens of moves. Nonetheless, she lead the other novice students to the center of the room and quickly got down into a seiza. She may not know much yet, but she could at least show off the simple things she had learned.
Hirsha started with the novice students, acting as their partner for a structured sparring situation where the students demonstrated the two take-downs they had learned from the three basic attacks by Hirsha. Monica felt she did very good, especially since it was her first time. She successfully put Hirsha on the ground five of the six times, even if a few of the times were a little awkward.
Monica was quite impressed by the skill level of some of the beginner students. The advanced students definitely knew what they were doing, pinning each other after a considerable number of moves and counter moves by each student. Monica promised herself that she would be that good by next summer.
“Ok, class done, now cool-down time.” Hirsha said breaking into the circle of students. A couple students let out soft sighs, which Monica took to mean they would relax now. “Everyone Kowtow.”
The students knelt forward, pressing their foreheads to the floor. Hirsha said a couple more commands in Japanese which Monica didn’t recognize. She simply followed the lead of the other students through pushups, the upward dog yoga position and into the downward dog yoga position.
Sensei Hirsha paused the cool down at the downward dog position to leave the center of the circle and go off to Monica’s left where she couldn’t see the instructor. Monica closed her eyes and relaxed while she waited for the next command. She heard the sensei return, walking slowly around the outside of the circle this time.
“AHH!” Monica screamed when sting of the rattan biting into her bare bottom reached her brain. She had no warning, collapsing instantly onto the floor, grasping at her poor bottom.
“Back in position! You no good! You need discipline! Discipline mean cane!” Sensei Hirsha yelled at the blonde.
“What the hell!” Monica yelled back. She was not going to stay around here and get caned. That old lady was crazy to think she would allow herself to get canned! She was a grown woman!
Monica got a single foot planted before Sensei Hirsha used the cane to simultaneously knock her off her feet, and land another strike to her bottom, before the new student landed face down on the mats. “Now in position or you get more demerits!”
“No!” Monica cried out pushing her torso off the floor. The defiance was met with another taste of rattan, this time at the top of her thighs.
“AHHHHH!” Monica screamed out as the new intensity of pain shook her brain. “Stop!”
“You get in position?”
“No, but…” Monica sputter between a few sniffles.
Senei Hirsha sent the cane to work twice more before asking “You get in position now?”
“Sniff, yes, sniff I am!” Monica cried. She could would take the few strokes then go straight to the management.
“Good, good! In position and I come back!”
CRACK! CRACK! CRACK! The old sensei worked her way around the circle of students, delivering up to 12 slices of the cane to their upturned bottoms, depending on their sparring performances. Most of the women took their discipline well, vocalizing only soft groans. A few though responded with high pitched yelps. One of the beginner level students though couldn’t take her discipline and broke position like Monica.
“Bad girl! Back in position!” Sensei Hirsha yelled at the younger brunette. The brunette wiped away a few tears before rolling on to her stomach then pushing herself back into downward dog. Monica could see a tear fall from the woman’s face as she held the position. Two strokes later, she was back on the floor, grasping at her ravaged bottom.
“Bad girl! No discipline! You move hands now!” Sensei Hirsha commanded, which the brunette slowly complied with. Hirsha didn’t even allow her to get back up this time, simply resting a foot on the woman’s lower back then dishing out four quick, hard strokes while she kicked the floor and cried.
“You not disciplined girl! You come back tonight for Yobun’na supankingu!” Sensei told the student.
“Yes Sensei,” the brunette cried from her prostate position.
“Now back into position!” Sensei told her before moving on to the next student.
Monica, like most of the other students turned their heads to watch the bitter exchange, though the other students saw it as appropriate, while Monica was completely appalled.
“Now, Jakuhai, you accept discipline?” Sensei asked Monica.
“Yes sensei,” Monica responded, as was expected. She could take the few more strokes then she’d go straight to the manager. Well, get dressed then straight to the manager.
Monica gritted her teeth as the cane bit her bottom four more times. Her bottom felt like she hand sat on a curling iron.
Sensei Hirsha started pacing behind the class as she directed the students through the remaining stretches and other cool-down activities. The class was released to the locker room and Monica made her was to the locker room as fast as she could without looking like she was running.
“I’ve got to talk to the manager!” Monica grumbled to herself as she broke into the locker room. How dare that crazy old bat cane me!
“What? you got a little spanking now your going to cry to the manager?” some one said from behind Monica.
“Damn right! That crazy bat can’t be canning students!” Monica spouted off as she turned to face the other woman.
“You probably rule your little slice of the world back home, right?” the advanced level blonde confronted Monica. “Well here, everyone is equal. Everyone participants and everyone gets disciplined for their faults. It is how this place is so rejuvenating. You are rejuvenating your body, mind and spirit! That is why you came here right!?”
“Ah..yea” Monica stammered. The sudden outburst from the blonde who looked to be barely a year out of college surprised her.
“Well then you need to participant in all parts, the fun, the entertaining and the discipline! It is a full program and in order to get the effects you must participate fully! You may have been given the choice of which programs to participate in, the programs themselves are not a-la-crate! And the discipline would you good. I know William would agree.”
“William?” Monica asked, trying to remember meeting a William during her brief stay. There had only been a few men and she couldn’t remember if any of them had been named William.
“Gattry, YOUR boss.” the blonde responded curtly. “You don’t know who I am, do you?”
“Other than being self-righteous smart-Alec, no,” Monica retorted.
“This week better fix you attentiveness at work. I’m Valerie McConnell, and yes that McConnell,” Valerie stated shaking her head then turned towards her locker. Monica seemed like the type to take a moment to realize the obvious and she needed to grab her robe for before the hot bath.
Monica ran through every Valerie she had ever heard of in her mind. A couple politicians, a news reporter, a former colleague but no McConnell. “Who is Valerie McConnell?” she quietly whispered to herself. Then she remembered the company which owned her firm was called McConnell Longford, and that the annual report emails came from the CEO, one V. McConnell. The V must have stood for Valerie.
Monica dashed after Valerie, catching her at the door to the baths. “I’m so sorry Ms. McConnell. I didn’t mean to offend you. I really want to do better and I’ll show you, I’ll…” Monica apologized while trying to kiss up to her company’s head.
“Don’t kiss my ass,” Valerie cut her off. “You came her to re-center yourself and that is what you will do. You will embrace the program and gladfully accept every part. Understand?”
“Yes, ma’am,” Monica responded a little too eagerly.
“And I expect to see you tomorrow morning in class. Now you should get to your next class. Tardiness is not taken lightly around here.”
“Yes, ma’am” Monica answered before returning to her locker.
Monica made her way back to her locker to get her clothes when she ran into the Asian lady who’d spoke to her earlier.
“Hey, don’t worry about class. Its always a little bit of a shock for first timers.”
“Oh, yea..” Monica mumbled focusing on her locker than the half-naked woman behind her.
“I remember my first time here, I thought all the staff hated me. I got it at almost every program for the first couple of days. I then started to relax, accept I wasn’t going to sit for the rest of the week. Everything got much better. I even started to enjoy the whack here or there.”
“Enjoy it? You like that?!” Monica rebutted pointing towards the door leading to the workout rooms.
“Yea, it is all in the aftercare.”
“Do you have anything scheduled right now?”
“Ah, not until lunch.”
“Give me a moment and we’ll go over to the jacuzzi. Fifteen minutes in there and you’ll be begging for another canning.”
“Pure ecstasy! Just be glad you did get yoobuna soopkangu,” the Asian lady stated, exchanging her bra for a robe.
“Why? What is yubanna soapkingu?” Monica asked.