Best of the Best (1989) Script

Out of the darkness Something is waiting.

Something you must overcome No time for weakness or hesitating

This time it's got to be done

Tales of power Tales of power Tales of power all around you Into the void you've been hurled Tales of power will surround you Now is the hour for you to stop the world

Sammy, how you doing?

Hey guy, where you been?

Say, why don't you wait outside and we'll go out for a couple of beers?

I can't, Sam, I gotta pick up Walter.

How is my godson?

Walter's great, Walter is always great.

Are you ready for this?

Yeah.

Are you holding on?

Yeah, are you holding on?

I got you, Walter.

I'm right here.

Keep peddling.

Keep peddling.

Okay, Walter, you're on your own.

You got it?

Dad.

Look, I'm doing it!

Attaboy, Walter, you got it.

I'm riding alone.

I know, I know!

Whoa!

Four.

Get serious.

Five.

Six.

You guys, stop, stop, stop.

I said stop, stop.

I said stop.

He started it.

Stop it, I said break it up.

Now what do I teach you guys?

To be nice to people.

Yes, and?

Not to use what you teach us to hurt people.

Good.

So do you guys want to beat each others' face in or do you want to shake hands and be friends?

Friends.

Okay, I want you to be best of friends, understand?

Yes sir.

All right, let's continue.

Left and reverse punch one.

Mr. Lee.

Excuse me, I think you should see this.

Everybody.

Elliot, take over.

Ma, I've been asked to try out for the US National Karate Team.

Can I see it?

Yeah.

Are you seriously considering this?

Don't they know about your shoulder?

Ma, my shoulder's all right.

Yeah, if you call plastic cartilage in a steel pin all right, it's all right.

Your shoulder's junk.

What happens if you get hurt again?

You could be paralyzed or something.

Calm down.

Mama, I got nothing here.

Nothing.

Competing was the only thing that made me feel...

You saw me.

Yeah, I saw you.

Dad, I'm in bed.

And Walter, he's only five years old.

He needs his father at home.

What about your son?

What about my son?

Mama, I love you.

Walter and I will work it out, okay?

And they were both wounded, but they would not stop.

Lancelot and Arthur battled for a full day, finally defeating the evil Mordred.

And the kingdom rejoiced as they rode through the land together again as two friends.

Da da da!

Wow.

Wow.

So when would you go away if you go away?

That's up to us.

What do you think?

Can I come?

No, you've got school.

How long would you be gone for?

If I make the team, maybe a couple of months.

Like two?

Or more like three.

What do you get if you win?

A medal.

Can I have it?

Yes.

Then you'd better win.

Okay, I will.

Promise?

I promise.

So I guess it's all set then, huh?

Okay.

You sure? Yeah.

You positive? Mm-hmm.

Really, truly? Yes.

Absolutely? Yes.

Okay.

Here you go.

You have sweet dreams.

I love you, daddy.

I love you too, Walter.

Night night.

Goodnight.

Dad?

Hmm?

You better win.

You got it.


Kim Yung.

Cho Han.

Tung Sun.

Kwon Sae Jin.

Korea! Korea!

Goddamn circus.

Mind if I borrow your tape, man?

Matter of fact, I do mind.

Here you go.

Thanks, man.

Point.

Point white.

Shouldn't block with your face.

His mama probably didn't breast feed him.

Breast feeding is actually very high in iron.

I was very fond of it as a child.

I'm still fond of it.

Sonny, Sonny Grasso.

My friends call me Sonny.

I'm Italian.

I'm Virgil Keller.

I used to be Italian, now I'm a Buddhist.

I'm just kidding, I was never Italian.

I knew that.

Sonny Grasso and Travis Brickley, please report to ring three.

Look, the cowboy.

Have a nice day, knucklehead.


Point red.

What are you talking about?

He hit me in the arm!

He hit me in the arm.

Are you blind?

Hey, it was a good fight.

We can fix that.

He's a fighter.


I don't know about you guys, but I'm impressed.

Good lord, half the board of directors are out there.

They went completely nuts.

Frank, believe me, you'll get anything you need, first class.

I expect no less.

This is your team.

Frank.

Are you absolutely sure about this kid Alex Grady?

I saw him take quite a beating a couple years back, Frank.

And he's got a gimpy shoulder, you know that.

Mr. Jennings, your expertise is business.

Mine is choosing and training champions.

No offense.

On behalf of the sponsors, the US Karate Federation, Coach Couzo and his staff, it's my pleasure to announce the names of the five young men who will represent the United States of America in competition against Team Korea.

When I announce your name, please rise and approach the podium.

Travis Brickley, Miami, Florida.

Virgil Keller, Providence, Rhode Island.

Sonny Grasso, Detroit, Michigan.

Thomas Lee, Fresno, California.

And the final selection, Alexander Grady, Portland, Oregon.

Congratulations, men, and welcome to the US National Team.

It's been a long time.

How you doing?

How you doing?

Alexander Grady.

Tommy Lee.

Excuse me, fellas, fellas.

Can I get...

At ease.

Anybody not a member of this team or staff.

You are dismissed.

Okay, listen.

My name is Frank Couzo.

To you I'm either Coach or Mr. Couzo.

Starting tomorrow, you are mine for the next three months.

That means no women, no alcohol, no drugs.

You will eat, sleep, and shit competition.

There are only two other rules.

Number one, don't be late.

Don't ever be late.

It shows disrespect to me, to the sport, and to your teammates.

Two, we expect you to function as a team.

I'll say this only once.

A team is not a team if you don't give a damn about one another.

You are now members of the US National Karate Team.

You represent the United States of America.

Remember that and we will accomplish our objective.

Our only objective, which is to win.

Yeah.

One more thing.

When you get settled into night, Don will escort you into town.

It's your last night in three months.

If some of you are lucky, you might even get laid.

Knowing the high standards of the local females, I seriously doubt it.

But that bus leaves at 1900 hours sharp, gentlemen.

1900 what?

7:00 PM, pinhead.

I knew that.

Frank, there's somebody I'd like you to meet.

Someone I met last year on a trip to the far east.

Quite an extraordinary person, really.

Trained in all kinds of things.

Psychology, sports medicine, kinetics.

Has a new book out now on the power of the mind.

Something of a sensei, actually.

Look, Mr. Jennings, I was hired by the board to do a job and I intend to do it.

Nobody's questioning that, Frank.

I don't need any damn sensei.

Frank, there's a trainer's position opening and we would like Wade to fill that position.

No offense.

I see.

Right this way, boys.

Oh, so sorry.

Well, this is us.

Is it okay if I take this one?

Yeah sure, man, go ahead.

You have a kid.

Yeah, well that's an old picture.

Walter's five now.

Five going on 30, huh?

Yeah, how'd you know?

I work with kids, teaching.

Your wife's very pretty.

Yeah, she was.

She died when Walter was a baby.

I'm sorry.

Yeah, me too.

Man, this definitely ain't Detroit.

I never been to Detroit.

What's it like?

What?

Detroit, what's it like?

Well, it's what you might call urban.

It's kind of post urban, you know, like those movies of Berlin after the war.

Well that's the view out my window.

Ash tray?

Sure.

You sure have a lot of gear, man.

What's that you say?

What?

Oh, I said you sure have a lot of gear.

Oh gee, I got every major tournament the last five years.

Oh do you?

Right here.

If you want statistics, lookie here.

Hell, I got statistics on every major fighter in the world.

That's right.

I'm something of a collector, you might say.

Yeah, me too.

Check this out.

This is rare shit.

That's fantastic.

That is fantastic.

Virgil, I've seen some fine looking local snapper out there and I think they could use some of this sweet Miami love muscle, if you know what I'm talking about.

Virgil, what the hell are you doing?

You can do that for three months.

We're talking about young things.

We're talking about inner and outer labia here.

We're talking about the bus leaving if you don't get up and get dressed.

You look like a pinata.

Virgil, what are you going to do?

Sit around and play with your ball all night?

Virgil.

Virgil!

All right, I'll go it alone.

Travis.

Inner and outer labia?


Simple enough, Frank.

That's right.

You going number one or number two?

Drop dead.

Later, sport.

Excuse me.

I'm sorry!

I've got a thing here.

You all right, did it burn you?

No, no, it's okay.

Bartender, this isn't hot enough.

Irish coffee is supposed to be hot.

What did he say?

I'm kidding.

I thought you were serious.

No, I'm Virgil.

Carol Anne.

Hi.

Hi.

Carol Anne.

Would you like to dance?

I'd love to.

Good.

You burned her hand and she'd love to dance?


Want to dance?

Love to.

Well let's go.

Nothing.

Nothing.

Vodka.

Vodka.

How you doing this evening?

I don't understand it, man.

What?

I mean, women love me.

Not tonight.

What?

Not tonight they don't.

Yeah, but I'm Italian.

You know, well Virgil's doing great.

Maybe you should become a Buddhist.

What could they be talking about?

Buddha.

It's one of those conditioned automatic response patterns that just gets in the way of our natural abilities, you know?

I know.

Sweet bellybutton.

I'm going to give it a shot.

He's a dog, an absolute dog.

Hey Burt, you might want to check the dance floor.

Yes, uh, a collect call from Alex.

Where do you live, Kelly?

About a drink away.

That's a nice neighborhood.

That's as far as you go.

Oh god, it took you until now to realize I was gone?

Go away, Burt.

Yeah Burt, go away.

Hey.

Shit baby, I'm sorry.

Well that's a good move, Burt.

Don't take any lip from her.

Didn't take Mr. Personality long, did it?

God, I hate this.

Don't you go.

Keep in touch, fellas.

Hey!

We're out of here just like that.

Who's this asshole?

Hey, hey, hey.

He said he was sorry.

Hey, who the hell are you?

Very impressive.

I don't want to fight you guys.

We're out of here.

I want him, I want his balls.

I thought you were missing a pair, asshole.

Shut up, Travis.

You're dead, pal.

Get him, Burt!

What?

No.

No, Walter, you cannot drive the car, no.


No, no, there is nothing to discuss.

Put your grandmother on.

Uh, ma, I gotta go.

Give Walter a kiss.


This is just like Detroit.

Okay, gentlemen, break it up.

Let's go, Virgil.

Come on, Grasso.

Let's go, gentlemen.

That's enough.

That's enough, Brickley.

Good move, man.

I didn't want to fight.

All I wanted was a beer, shit happens.

Excuse me, Coach Couzo?

Yes.

I'm Catherine Wade, I believe you're expecting me.

May I sit down?

Say, I'd like to introduce myself.

I'm Don Peterson.

How do you do.

Would you like some coffee, Miss Wade?

No thank you.

Look, Miss Wade, I'll get right to the point.

This was not my idea.

I was hired to coach the team, and quite frankly I don't need any help, particularly.

From a woman.

Well, I am a woman, Mr. Couzo.

But in spite of this handicap, I'm hopeful that in the next few months my usefulness to this team will become apparent.

What exactly do you intend to do here?

Train, Mr. Couzo, I'm a trainer.

Don Peterson is my trainer.

Why do I need you?

Well, I was raised in the far east.

I've studied eastern philosophy all of my life.

This includes Buddhism, Hinduism, Yoga, and meditation.

I also hold a belt in Tae Kwon Do.

I'm sure that makes you a very well rounded person.

I would like to share what I've learned with the American team.

Look, Miss Wade, Mr. Jennings hired you and I have to accept that, I just don't know where you fit in.

Coach, even with my help it will be difficult if not nearly impossible to defeat a team from Korea.

As you know, their training is as much mental as it is physical, and they've been doing it for most of their lives.

We only have three months.

Excuse me for saying so, Coach, but without my help, all of your modern training techniques and high tech equipment won't mean shit.

Good morning, gentlemen.

At my side are your new team warm up uniforms and jackets, courtesy of our official sponsor.

However, until you become a team and have earned the right to wear them, what you have on will suffice.

Okay, I want 20 laps around the track.

20?

That's five miles.

That's right, Grasso.

I knew that.

Let's go.

Move it.

Something so strong driving me on, never tire

Something so strong, born of the sun Like a fire, sea of fire, burns inside me so strong

How you feeling?

This is kicking my ass, man.

I don't think I can do it.

Hang in there.

163.

164.

165.

Trainers out.

At ease, gentlemen.

They're listening.

Good morning.

My name is Catherine Wade.

I'm Mr. Couzo's new assistant trainer.

You are all very talented athletes and chosen for good reason.

However, talent alone is not enough.

We have a very powerful adversary in the Koreans and very little time to prepare.

So while Coach Couzo and Don work with your fighting technique, I will work with your concentration.

At the end of the three months, you will have a balanced mind, sharp as a razor, a body of perfect health and strength, a spirit of peace and clarity.

This is the final conditioning needed to win.

Are there any questions?

What's your phone number?

I'm here to teach you how to win.

Winning isn't a sometime thing.

Winning is an all time thing.

We don't win once in a while.

We don't do the right thing once in a while.

We do the right thing all of the time.

Winning is a habit.

Unfortunately, so is losing.

Hey, that's good.

That's Vince Lombardi.

Coach.

Tommy.

Yeah?

How old were you when you started training?

When I was about four.

Four? Shit.

You got any brothers or sisters?

No.

Goodnight, Alex.

Goodnight, Tommy.

And one.

And two.

Put your shoulder into it.

Three.

And four.


Gentlemen, you'll be competing using eastern rules.

In the event of a tie, the winner will be determined in a competition of strength and focus.

The objective is to break as many as you can in one blow using the hand or head.

Center yourself.

Thought and action must be one.

There can be no hesitation.

Who wants to go first?

Miss Wade will demonstrate.


Impressive.

Okay, who's next?

Sit down, man, take a load off.

Hey, spare ribs.

Now that's a white man's meal, Virg.

Real food.

You keep eating that shit, you'll end up like Hop Sing over there.

Your eyes will slant, dick will shrink up.

You'll open up a laundry.

That's harsh.

Hey, you don't eat that raw fish shit do you?

Travis, why don't you shut up?

Does it look like I'm talking to you?

Alex, it's all right.

You're damn right it's all right.

You're damn right it's all right.

Hey, get your own ribs.

Are you scared?

Alex.

Please, sit down.

Yeah, sit down, Alex.

What do you boys think?

Think he's yellow?

So what about it?

You yellow, huh?

Obviously.

These are your opponents, gentlemen.

If you were to fight them today, you'd all be carried out on stretchers.

Losing would be the least of your worries.

This is some of the Asian training.

Remember this when you think Coach Couzo is being too tough on you.

The Koreans train 12 months a year and enjoy the full financial support of their national government.

Don.

Study these briefs carefully.

The more you know about your opponent, better prepared you'll be.

Wade.

Yung Kim, 155 pounds, gold medal 1984 world championship.

Silver medal, Tokyo Invitational.

He's yours, Sonny.

Ah, great.

He's crippled more than one fighter with his strength.

Wonderful.

That's why we're going to make your moves smaller and more focused.

Travis, meet Mr. Tung Sung Moon.

Gold medal 1985 world championship.

Virgil, this is Mr. Han Cho.

Gold medal 1986, Hong Kong invitational.

They are completely singleminded in their pursuit of excellence.

Alexander, meet Mr. Sae Jin Kwan.

Currently weighted number one in his division.

The best fighter of his generation.

Gentlemen, many fighters have died in the ring from such blows.

Tommy, you win the prize.

Dae Han, 176 pounds, 35 years old.

Winner of every major invitational for the last 10 years.

Whatever you may think of his age, never underestimate his ability.

He's won gold medals for the '84 to '88 world championships.

He's still rated number one in the world.

No problem.

Gentlemen these tapes are always available to you.

Watch them, observe strengths and weaknesses.

Knowing them can mean the difference between victory and defeat.


Tommy look, there's David.


Someone will lose, someone must win Only the strong will survive Reach for the best You have within There is no compromise You have to stand up and fight When the challenge is right Through your tears and the pain Still the glory remains You see the vision in sight Put yourself to the test Be the best of the best


White two, red zero.

That's not a point, Tommy.

Punk!

Bow to each other.

That's enough!

All right, gentlemen, hit the showers.

Hit the showers.

Quickly.

What the hell is wrong with you?

You better shape up or you're going to be hisrory, boy.

You got it?

That was quite an exhibition.

I'd be lying to you if I didn't tell you it worries me.

Tommy, a man of your talent.

What's on your mind, coach?

You had a chance to take Travis out and you didn't, you're holding back.

That worries me.

Coach, I'm fine.

Then why didn't you finish it?

What are you afraid of?

What's that supposed to mean?

Dae Han won't give you a second chance.


Anybody else seen this?

Nobody.

Let's keep it that way.

Tommy, Tommy.

You okay, man?

Yeah.

It's kinda late, buddy.

Dae Han is working just as hard.

Bet your ass on that.

But even Dae Han sleeps.

You sure about that?

Yeah, I'm sure about that.

Let's get some sleep.

Let's do it.


Visualize the energy radiating from your abdomen out to the world.

Breathe deeply.

Inhale joy, courage.

Exhale fear, doubt.

Visualize the energy radiating from the center of your being out into the world.

This is your key, your life force.

This is where you will find your greatest power.


Hey Travis, you're gonna be late.

It's for you.

What?

You want it? Get it.

Hello.

Ma.

When?

Push it, come on.

Get your butt in here, Grady.

Hey coach, we gotta talk.

I'm not interested.

You're out of uniform, Grady.

Coach, I gotta talk to you.

Hey Alex, what's wrong.

Outside, Grady.

Okay, in a minute.

Coach, my boy Walter, he got hit by a car.

He was on his bicycle.

He's so small they didn't even see him and he's hurt really bad.

I'm sorry to hear that, Grady.

Anyway, I gotta go home.

I'll be back as soon as I can.

You know the program.

Three months, no distractions, no exceptions.

Those are the rules.

Don't talk to me about rules, coach.

My kid might lose his leg.

We all have our priorities.

What?

Are you telling me that if I leave I can't come back?

That's right.

What is wrong with you?

What the hell is wrong with you?

Put yourself in my place.

I'm not in your place, Grady.

We leave for Korea in three days.

It's your choice.

There is no choice.

I'm outta here.

Alex, what's up?

My kid's been hurt, I gotta go.

Don't worry about this.

We will be here when you get back.

You heard him, I can't come back.

Just get back here.

We'll deal with Couzo then.

Look, you're here.

I gotta go.

Hey, hey, hey.

Thanks.

Mr. Grady, I'm Dr. Weisman.

How is he?

Well, he'll wear a cast for six weeks, but the leg is not the problem.

What do you mean?

Mr. Grady, your son is in a coma.

There appear to be no other complications, but I must tell you he could remain unconscious for an hour or a month.

Oh my god.

I want to see him.

Walter.

Walter, can you hear me?

It's daddy.

Daddy's here.

Walter.

Don't leave me.

I need you.


Walter?

I crashed myself.

Yes you did.

We're here, Walter.

We're right here.

That's my boy.

Recoil, Travis.

Okay Travis, go for it.

It's 57 mile per hour, 195 pounds pressure.

That's pretty good, Brick.

One more time, Travis.

Coach.

Don't bother, Grady, you're off the team.

I need to talk to you for a minute.

Nothing to talk about, Grady, you made your choice.

Coach, I caught the first plane back.

I had to go, can't you understand that?

Well, do you want me to beg?

Do you want me to...

Hey Frank!

You want me to beg?

Okay.

I will beg.

I need this.

This is the only thing I know I am good at.

Don't take that away from me, please.

Don, line up the alternate.

Who's next, Tommy?

Tommy.

53 mile per hour, 184 pounds pressure.

Where the hell do you think you're going?

We leave for the tournament in two days.

You're still pulling punches.

Holding back won't change a damn thing.

If you want to be here, you've got to give us 100%, no less.

Now do it again.

Coach.

I said do it again.

Do it!

Is he okay?

Don't know yet.

Pulse is okay.

Breathing.

Virgil, Virgil.

Hey, hey.

Big stretch.

Hey, how are you, man?

He's just taking a break.

Tommy!

Let him go.

Virgil.

He's all right.

Virgil, you know where you are?

Do you know where you are?

On the floor.

Hey, hey where you going?

How's your kid, Alex?

He's gonna be okay, thank god.

Where are you going?

I'm quitting the team.

Bullshit.

Why?

Because I can't fight Dae Han.

Why?

Because I can't fight Dae Han.

What are you talking about, man?

Dae Han killed my brother in a tournament just like this one.

Why didn't you ever tell me this?

It wasn't your problem.

That's bullshit, man.

What do you want me to say?

Say something.

I want to kill the son of a bitch.

Then kill the son of a bitch.

Alex!

I'm afraid.

If you don't deal with this right now, you never will.

You'll just shove it inside like I did.

Melissa died and I just packed it in.

I took all that pain and I just packed it in.

I was wrong.

You are wrong.

Your brother is gone, man.

Melissa is gone.

You need this fight bad.

You need this fight for you, man.

This is your chance.

Don't blow it.

That's all I got to say.

Except you're an asshole.


Hey, what are you doing in Coach Couzo's office?

You're not supposed to be doing that.

What is it, Don?

What is it I don't know?

I don't have the faintest idea what you're talking about.

What is it about Tommy?

Look, I really think you should leave here before Coach Couzo gets back.

Don, there's two pages missing from Tommy's file.

Yeah, that's right, I can't discuss it.

Look, I really think you should...

I'm not leaving until you tell me.

Oh boy.

You're not responsible for this.

Look, I know I'm not responsible for this, Miss Wade, I just could lose my job because of it.

Now, you did not get that from me, right?

No, no, come on now, you didn't get that from me.

You know the enemy is waiting in the ring Fate is riding on the fight

You'll have to find a way to keep a good man down He'll take the challenge on with all his might

Though a little part is burning in his soul The thought of it is heavy on your mind

Pick it up.

Why didn't you tell me about Tommy?

This is how you deal with people, Mr. Couzo.

What are you talking about?

You know what I'm talking about.

I've just seen the videotape.

So?

So?

How could you send him to the ring with Dae Han?

Because Tommy's the only fighter on this team who has a chance against him and you know it.

So it's only about winning then, is that it?

Win at any cost, right coach?

Back off, Wade.

I don't have to listen to this.

Yes you do, Frank.

If you pull one more stunt like you just pulled with Tommy, you won't have to get on a plane because I will personally kick your ass from here to Korea.

None of this had to happen, Frank.

Did you ever stop to think what it might be like if you cared as much about these guys as you do about winning?

This has nothing to do with winning.

If those boys do their best and fail, I'll still be proud.

But if they don't give me their all and if I don't give them mine, that is my failure and my disgrace.

Matter of fact, that's exactly what happened to Tommy's brother.

You saw that tape.

I was the coach of that team, Miss Wade.

I carried the burden of his death for 15 years.

Those boys didn't know what they were getting into.

I did.

It was all just a game to them.

I didn't know enough then to give them rules, to drive them to the edge, to the breaking point, to where they hated my guts.

Tommy's brother died because I failed.

He was not prepared.

And I will never let that happen again, ever.


Coach.

We, um, we need to talk to you.

I'm listening.

Coach, um, we all thought that...

What is it, Grasso?

Well, we uh...

We hope you change your mind about Alex.

Since when did you give a rat's ass about anybody but you?

Since now.

Coach, we need Alex and we need Tommy to win.

That all?

Yes sir.

Plane leaves tomorrow, 2000 hours.

I'll be damned.

May I come in?

Mr. Jennings, if you're going to fire me, then damn it, fire me.

Nobody's firing you yet.

Until I am relieved of my duties, I'll continue to make all decisions concerning the conduct of this team as I see fit.

Great, you're back!

That includes the participation of Alex Grady.

I have a lot to do before we leave, so if you don't mind.


Come on, boys, hop in.

You, Coach.

Tickets.

This way.

Travis.

Where's Virgil?

He's in the bathroom.

Hey, what do you think?

About what?

He shaved his beard.

It'll make me faster, don't you think?

Yeah.

Tommy!

Coach, I, uh...

No apologies offered or accepted.

Welcome back.

Thank you, sir.

Yeah!

Hey, Virgil.

I'm all right.

I'm glad you're all right.

You kick hard.

Hey buddy, how you doing?

Here's your coat.

I owe you one.

Yeah you do.

Yeah.

It's good to have you back.

Good to be here.

Sonny, Miss Wade.

Travis.


Hello everybody, I'm Ahmad Rashad and welcome to Seoul, Korea and the Jamsil gymnasium for an invitation tournament between the national teams of the Republic of Korea and the United States.

This afternoon we'll be watching the United States team under the leadership of Coach Frank Couzo, himself a veteran of this often perilous sport leading his youthful warriors in a sport traditionally dominated by Asian powerhouses.

You've worked very hard, all of you.

You've grown as athletes and individuals.

You've learned a lot.

We've all learned a lot.

As Catherine might say, the teacher also learns from the students.

Today you have a chance to be the best martial artists in the world.

It's up to you.

If you give everything you've got, everything with all your heart, you'll be winners.

That I promise you.

You can be the best of the best.

A capacity crowd of 15,000 spectators has jammed Jamsil arena for this traditional sporting event which is held every three years.

The pageantry you are witnessing shows the importance of Tae Kwon Do to Korean heritage.

They are as passionate and wild about Tae Kwon Do as the Americans are about baseball.


And here they come now, the United States national team, Coach Couzo and the assistant coaches Catherine Wade and Don Peterson.


Grandma, I see him!


And now the Korean national team makes its entrance.


For you viewers new to the sport, this is a full contact match, the object of which is to win points or knock out your opponent.

Styles include a combination of Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Judo, and kickboxing.

Each match consists of three two minute rounds with accumulated points added to both side's totals.

Hey Coach Wade.

What's my son doing here?

Thank you.

We now direct your attention to center stage for the first match of the afternoon.

Yung Kim of Korea versus Sonny Grasso, a second degree black belt hailing from Detroit, Michigan.

Our referee is Mr. Chang Park Kim, a veteran of the Korean Tae Kwon Do Association.

And it looks like we're about to get underway.

The Americans heavy underdogs against their Asian counterparts.

Come on, Sonny.

Come on, Sonny.

Come on!

Power counter!

Point good!

Here in the third and final round, Grasso is beginning to fade, Yung Kim relentless.

He lands with a vicious jump spinning back kick!

Grasso is down.

Korea takes the first match.

The score stands Korea 11, the United States seven.

Here in round three, Virgil Keller capitalizing on his speed and scores with a spinning roundhouse kick.


An elbow to the spine and Keller is down again.

Come on, Virgil!

He appears to be dazed.

Stay focused, stay focused!

That is the end of the second match.

The winner, Han Cho, giving the Republic of Korea a total of 20 points against nine for the USA.

It's not a pretty sight, ladies and gentlemen.

Both fighters bloody.

Travis Brickley of the United States going on every last ounce of strength as he fights blow for blow with a seemingly exhausted Tung Sung Moon.

Come on, come on!

Come on!

This partisan crowd showing disapproval of Brickley's conduct.

Travis, behave yourself!

It's a full count, kimchi, and I'm going to hit home run on your fase, boy.

This might be exactly what Brickley needed to fire him up.

He scores heavily with a quick and sending Moon to the canvas.

It should be a score.

Yes, it's all time of the three piece.

An incredible comeback from Brickley.

USA!

A demonstration of strength will determine the winner of the Travis Brickley, Tung Sung Moon match.

The fighter breaking the most bricks will be declared the victor.


It appears as though Tung Sung Moon is using a very unorthodox technique, something called the ridge hand.


What are you counting them for?

Only one concrete block separates the fate of Brickley and Moon.

Tung.

But the match goes to Tung Sung Moon.

Now remember, this is a team competition where total points rather than individual match scores decide the overall winner.

Coming up next, another long shot, the veteran fighter on the team from Portland, Oregon, Alex Grady.

Alex, it's up to you and me.

You and me.

We're taking home the gold, Tommy.

Yeah!

Do it!

This is a real test for Alex Grady after a three year layoff from the tournament circuit he makes his comeback against Sae Jin Kwon, considered to be the top ranking fighter in his weight class.

Watch the shoulder.

You can take him, Alex.

You've got the tools.

Yes sir.

Go get 'em.

This crowd is really into this one, anticipating a major battle between these two tough competitors.

I'm gonna kick your ass.

And here we go.

Alex Grady measuring.

Sae Jin Kwon attacks, Grady counters with a down and scores.

Down, down, down!

For you, Travis.

Take that.

The Korean bounces right back.

A point for the Korean team.

In the earlier matches today, the Koreans have built up a wide lead, but because of this outstanding performance by Alex Grady, the Americans are closing the gap.

But it is way too early to write off Sae Jin Kwon.

As we approach the end of round two, this match is really starting to heat up.

Ooh, Sae Jin Kwon explodes with a vicious aerial back knuckle.

As if this physical confrontation weren't enough, he seems to be taunting Grady.

You're mine.

No, no!

The athletes are starting to lose their composure.

Clearly both teams are more determined to win, but that determination doesn't affect the score.

Alex Grady has thus far defied the odds and is leading in the second heaviest weight class of the competition.

Alex, when he comes in, side step and use your ridge hand.

You're going to use your distance.

Set him up and sweep him.

Yes sir.

Take it to him.

Yes sir.

I'm gonna take your head off.

Thank you, folks.

With one minute remaining in the third round, both athletes are landing some incredible combinations, although neither fighter seems able to seize the advantage.

Grady is down.

He's hurt.

An injured shoulder forced Grady into retirement three years ago.

It now appears he's re-injured that very same shoulder.

What a blow for the Americans.

Alex Grady, hurt.

If he can't continue, the match will be forfeit and the American team will lose the valuable points that Grady's earned so far.

You want to quit now?

No, I don't know.

Two minutes.

Two minutes.

Pop it, pop it, pop it.

Listen here, Alexander, we can't let you go on.

Your shoulder's dislocated.

We're going to have to stop this thing, right coach?

You did your best, Alex.

Catherine, take him to medical.

No!

Pop it, Tommy.

Shit, Tommy, pop it!

Forget it, Alex, it's over.

Do it! Do it! Do it!

Grandma!

God damn it!

Tape it up, tape it up.

If I'm out, it's over.

I can hold him off or 30 seconds.

God damn it, I said tape it up!

Ladies and gentlemen, I've just been informed that there will be a two minute injury time out to determine if Alex Grady can continue.

Now there's just 30 seconds left on the clock.

If he can hold on, he keeps the points and the Americans are still in it.

Put your mind somewhere else.

Let the pain go.

There is no pain.

There is no pain.

You got 30 seconds to go, Alex.

You go out and do it.

Let's get up.

Yeah!

This is unbelievable.

What a show of courage.

Alex Grady has reentered the ring.

He intends to finish this fight.

And Kwon immediately attacks the left shoulder.

Alex bravely pairing with his left hand, trying to keep Kwon at bay.

Kwon attacks, Grady counters and scores.

Oh, and Grady catches him with a jumping front kick that knocks Kwon!

Yes sir!

Yeah!

The buzzers sound.

That is the end of the match.

Alex Grady, injured shoulder and all, has defeated Sae Jin Kwon and managed to keep the American hopes alive.

Ladies and gentlemen, we direct your attention to center ring for the final match of the afternoon.

Representing Korea at 175 pounds, the winner of the gold medals at the 1984 through the 1988 world games, Dae Han Park.

For the United States team at 167 pounds, winner of a gold medal at the 1988 invitational championship, from Fresno, California, Tommy Lee.

Tommy.

Yes sir?

Don't hold back.

You can do it.

Yes sir.

And there's Dae Han, the all time gold medal winner and heart and soul of the Korean team.

If you had any doubt about why he's the most feared fighter in the sport today, just take a look.

We're just about ready.

America's hopes rest on Tommy Lee.

Dae Han opens up quickly with a right to Tommy Lee's head.

That is three unanswered points by Dae Han.

This does not look like the same Tommy Lee that we saw in the North American championships.

Tommy Lee now on the attack, the veteran Dae Han countering.

This spectacular aerial display is the trademark of classical Tae Kwon Do.

Score, Tommy Lee with an inside crescent kick.

All right!

Lee again with a beautiful spinning heel kick.

Tommy, yeah!

Folks, this Tommy Lee is some kind of fighter.

But the Americans may be too far behind against a master like Dae Han.


Yeah!

Drop it like a toilet seat, Tommy!

Illegal hit, illegal hit!

Dae Han with a kick to the groin.

An illegal move even in full contact karate.

And there it is.

The referee is giving Dae Han a warning.

Illegal hit.

Coach, how many points to win?

Six or knockout.

Or a knockout.

If he doesn't knock me out first.

You can do it.


Korean crowd is coming alive.

Young support trying to bring Dae Han back into this match and crush any hope of an American upset.

Illegal hit, again!

It's another illegal blow by Dae Han, but the referee didn't see it.

What a move!

A crushing blow by Tommy Lee to Dae Han.

Is it possible?

Can 26 year old Tommy Lee bring the American team back from a seven point deficit?

Score, Tommy Lee.

With a minute and a half left on the clock, Tommy Lee has clearly taken control of this fight.

With the American team trailing, the question now is there time for Lee to score enough points for an American team victory?

This could be it.

This could be it!

If he doesn't get up, it's a technical knockout.

The American team will win this tournament!


No.

No, Tommy, no.

Tommy, no, no!

Coach, coach, he's gonna kill him!

No!

Why doesn't Lee finish him?

A knockout would end it.

What is going on?

Dae Han is completely helpless and the American will not finish him off.


You won that match.

Don't ever forget that.


Just a minute, ladies and gentlemen, there is something going on here.

Dae Han is making some sort of gesture to the American team.

To save a life in defeat is to earn victory and honor within.

Your brother too was a great fighter.

I deeply regret your loss and I offer myself as your brother.


Alexander Grady, Portland, Oregan.

I know everything about you.

Sae Jin Kwon, Seoul, Korea, I know all I ever want to know about you.


We started off heading for the top and set our sights on the sun There's no more tears, now we're standing here and the morning light has begun.

They said that you'll expire You're wasting your time to try But inside a heart of fire is a force you can't deny

Something so strong driving me on, never tire

Something so strong, born of the sun Like a fire burns inside me so strong

We live in hope, waiting for the day When all our dreams can begin The time it takes for the rain to fall Is the time it takes to give in They said that you'll expire You're wasting your time to try Inside a heart of fire is a force you can't deny

Something so strong driving me on, never tire

Something so strong, born of the sun Like a fire, sea of fire, burns inside me so strong