“Osu!” grunts Hovhannisyan. He slams his ﬁst into his palm, lets out a loud breath and is led out of the gym by two officials with all the solemnity of wardens leading a death-row inmate to the chair. Hovhannisyan enters the tiny Honbu (headquarters) dojo and the wooden door slides shut behind him. The eerie thud of a Taiko drum renders the room silent. As he gazes around the dojo his eyes widen; only now does he truly comprehend the gravity of what lies ahead. On the ﬂoor sit one hundred black and brown belts, legs crossed, perfectly postured. They’re bare knuckled and hungry, like a pack of jackals ready to rip Hovhannisyan apart at the limbs.