The Way of the Fists

Cho Il Hwan seizes the wooden handle of the meat cleaver with a beefy right hand, raising the 21-cm blade up and back past his ear. His left pinkie is on the table, pressed against the edge of a wooden board covered in white cloth; the rounded, stubby finger is missing the last joint. "You put your pinkie on the board and chop it real hard," he says, swinging the blade down fast to within a few millimeters of his stump. "If you miss you can cut parts of other fingers." Gently placing the knife and board into a cardboard box,...

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