At first it seemed like any other December Sunday. He'd awoken, albeit with a nagging headache and a sense of foreboding. He'd showered, made conversation with his parents and eaten a hearty breakfast.
It was only after he'd spent half an hour on his hair using the side mirror of his bike that the events of the previous evening came flooding back.
The afternoon had started the same as any other tournament; they'd travelled to the All Valley Sports Centre, donned their sleeveless gi (for intimidation) and jogged around the mats. Then it happened.
Their mortal enemy was changing alone, Tommy's mind flashed back to the beating he and his Cobra Kai had taken at the hands of the old man. There was still a dull ache in his arm from where he'd been thrown to the ground, watching as his entire quiver of cobras was dispatched. He noticed the smooth fluid moves of the man he now knew as Miyagi as he'd laid out the guys.
Before anyone could say anything, the squad sadist, Dutch, had walked into the section of the locker room that contained Daniel LaRusso. Breaking the promise they'd all reluctantly made to their sensei, Dutch was taunting Daniel, starting with their nickname for him, progressing to ridicule of his inability to don his gi and finally threats and a shove into a treatment bench. Fortunately for LaRusso a tournament official had arrived sending the boys slithering back to their own spot. Tommy wondered if La Russo would even make it to the mats.
Deciding nothing good could come of replaying the previous day's events he'd decided on a ride to the beach but it wasn't that easy to dismiss what had happened on those red mats (with white fists). It really wasn't easy.
The tournament had started in its usual way, the lesser fighters had been thinned out and surprisingly La Russo had progressed through the preliminaries to meet him and his compatriots.
The first of the cobra's to meet La Russo had been Kreese's token minority student 'Robinson'. After a practice match beating from Bobby in the dojo his confidence was shot and he was imperiously swept aside. Jimmy had offered little more resistance and then it was Tommy's turn.
The match had commenced with a trade of points, for all his sensei's usual pro-brawling bluster Tommy's style looked more scientific with an open hand style but it hadn't been much use. Despite utilising this to land a lethal looking punch to La Russo's ribcage (that could take some tape to fix) he'd lost the deciding point and his chance at revenge for the beating he'd taken at Halloween. As he screamed in frustration he'd noticed Dutch and their sensei exchanging surprised looks of concern.