"That was very good," said Bent-Tail. "Again."
I swallowed a complaint and stepped back to my partner, taking the formal position. When I felt ready, I stepped and turned, pulling her around and slamming her onto the grass in front of me.
"Right leg a little bent that time, but otherwise fine," said Bent-Tail. "I think that's enough for today."
Louise and I gave sighs of relief. Bent-Tail was a good teacher, but a hard one. We had been working for nearly three hours, a third of that throwing each other around. Outside. On the back lawn.
"A good stand of grass makes a fine throwing mat," he had told us. Since I had never used a throwing mat I took his word for it.
This had all started about five weeks earlier, at the monthly F & SF club meeting. A large percentage of the members were Changelings (no surprise there) so we naturally started talking about them and their problems. Less than a month after the Change there were already many reports of Changelings being attacked. Some of it was due to prejudice; some to a particular Changeling being seen as an easy victim; and some simply co-incidence. Like the woman in Atlanta who had Changed into a beautiful, stacked redhead, otherwise a normal human. She had been raped while entering her own home after work.
Teesha, who was now an anthropomorphic tigress, had spoken up a bit hesitantly, revealing that she was having trouble with a co-worker who kept (as she put it) taking liberties. A few others in the group - not all of them Changelings - echoed her concerns. I admitted feeling uneasy many times in public since transforming from tall male to tiny female. There were a few vague suggestions about forming some sort of self-defense group, but they didn't really go anywhere. Then Bent-Tail spoke up.
"You do know I'm an internationally certified self-defense instructor," he rumbled.
Actually, I hadn't. I did know he was a high-ranked martial artist, though. (A giant werewolf martial artist. Egad. He could probably take out a tank in 38 seconds flat.)
"I've taught members of this group, including Adam," he continued. "One of them even went on and got her yellow belt."
The immediate response to this was pretty mild, but the idea stuck in my mind. I casually made my way around to Adam, and asked him about Bent-Tail's self-defense course.
"Oh, yes," Adam replied, nodding. "He's pretty good. He knows his stuff and is a good teacher. Back before the Change I saw him do things I would have trouble doing now."
Okay, that impressed me. Adam was a Changeling, who had become a character he had created: Adam, the Ultimate Man, the end result of human evolution. He was tall, bronzed-skinned and well-proportioned like a certain pulp doctor, and had psi powers that made mine look puny. (Likewise with IQs. By the way, as with Bent-Tail I am deliberately fudging some of the facts about Adam to preserve his privacy. He could look like his old self, and was keeping up his old life.)
I went back to Bent-Tail. Unfortunately, an impish urge overtook me, part of my heritage from E'eysha. I prostrated myself before him and said, in a gushy voice, "Master, teach me."
Now, keep in mind that Bent-Tail was in his human form. Which meant that he was only about twice my height. There was some laughter at my actions, and I immediately felt embarrassed, because I was serious about wanting to learn how to defend myself. Before I could do anything, though, he leaned over and put his hand on my shoulder.
"Rise, Grasshopper," he intoned, in a solemn voice.
There was more laughter at that, and I stood, face flushed.
"Listen, I'm serious about learning to fight," I told him, quietly. "I don't like feeling... vulnerable."
"When and where?"
"How about my place?" said Adam, who had followed me. "I'd like to get back into training, too."
"Fine with me," said Bent-Tail. "Next Sunday at 2:00?"
We agreed on that. When some of the others realized we were serious, they wanted to join, too. That first class we had nearly a dozen. A few dropped out after realizing that there was actually work involved, but more joined, so the class size remained about the same. Interestingly, while we started with slightly more men than women, we stabilized with about a two-thirds female membership. Which was only right, since the original idea was to teach women to defend themselves against unwanted advances.
Today I was with my usual partner, Louise. She was a normal who was a bit undersized and overweight. She greatly regretted missing the Change, but fortunately didn't blame us Changelings for that. She was a long-time member of the club, and had trained with Bent-Tail before; now she acted as one of his senior students. She was taller than me, but - as Bent-Tail pointed out - that made her easier for me to throw.
I was amazed at how much I had learned in just a few weeks. Though I was only a raw beginner, I already knew how to block and dodge the most common attacks, and how to hit and kick hard and in the right places.
One of the most important lessons was how to stop someone without hurting them. This was especially important to Teesha. With her claws, strength and speed she could easily kill a man. However, she didn't want to hurt this jerk who was bothering her at work, and he knew it. So Bent-Tail had focused on showing her how to use joint locks, nerve pinches and similar techniques. He had also gone over the psychology of intimidation.
Thus encouraged, the next time the guy put his hand on Teesha's bottom she spun around, picked him up, tucked him under her arm and marched into the supervisor's office. There she declared that she was filing a formal sexual harassment complaint against the man. Which pretty much ended his attempts to take advantage of her good nature. Teesha did have to endure a bit of hazing about her "catty" nature for a few days, but that ended quickly when she carried through with her complaint. Apparently, those most likely to pick on others decided that she wasn't fun to play with any more. She told us all about this before class.
Teesha was feeling a bit cocky today, and I didn't blame her. Fortunately, she didn't let it go to her head. Unfortunately, some of our other students were having a harder time staying humble. Amanda, a muscular Amazon nearly 200 centimeters tall, had a major chip on her shoulder. It wasn't that she was a bully, but that she was too full of herself. She simply didn't think anyone else was up to her standards, physically or mentally. Bent-Tail had originally paired her with Teesha, but the tigress was too easy going and let Amanda get away with things. Not only did this put Teesha at risk it meant that most of Amanda's mistakes weren't being caught. So for today Bent-Tail switched her to Adam, while Teesha worked with Adam's usual partner, Markham. (Much to Markham's delight, since Teesha refused to wear a bra under her gi top.)
Adam put up with Amanda for the whole session, and I thought this might just work. However, after we bowed off to formally end the class Adam came up to Bent-tail and quietly requested to be put back with Markham.
"What's the problem?" Bent-Tail asked.
"She keeps kicking me in the groin," muttered Adam, tightly. "She doesn't mean to, she just won't be careful."
Bent-Tail heaved a great sigh and ran his hand through his hair.
"Okay, next week I'll work with her. You, Markham and Teesha can round-robin."
We had by unspoken consent set aside the master bedroom of Adam's farmhouse, with its separate bathroom, for the females to use to change. I still felt awkward - and often aroused - at undressing with women, and sometimes worried that they might feel uneasy about me being there. If they did, they didn't show it. Teesha, in fact, liked to tease me, stripping bare in front of me and making a show of brushing her fur out and stretching. I tried to ignore her, but sometimes couldn't help looking.
I was folding my child's size gi when Teesha - completely bare except for the bit of elastic holding her hair in a pony-tail - came up quietly behind me. I didn't even know she was there until I turned and found myself face-to-belly with her. I looked up through her cleavage, trying to concentrate on her face.
"So, what do you think we should do about Amanda?"
The subject of our conversation was currently in the shower, which was why Teesha had picked this moment to approach me.
"Huh?" I said, backing away reflexively. "Uh, I don't think it's our place to do anything."
Teesha moved closer and leaned over, speaking more softly. I stared at her breasts, almost brushing the fur on them with my nose, hardly hearing what she was saying.
"C'mon; Bent-Tail won't do anything until she hurts someone. Besides him, I mean."
"You're doing this deliberately, aren't you?" I asked, faintly, glad I had an extra panty shield with me. "Distracting me so I'll agree to whatever you say."
"Uh-huh," she replied, giving a toothy grin. With a fluid motion she sat on the edge of the bed beside my gym bag, one foot on the floor and the other on the spread. "You help me put her in her place, and I'll do whatever you want."
"You told me you're straight," I squeaked, now staring at her furry crotch.
"Oh, I don't mean sex," she replied, her tail shifting around to (barely) cover her privates. "I mean modeling. You asked a couple of weeks ago and I said no. Well, now I'm saying yes... if you help."
My, but that was a powerful incentive. Unfortunately, all I could think of right now was how aroused I was. I stepped back, shaking my head. I should have known that Teesha, with her keen sense of smell, would realize how horny I always was after these sessions. I had just spent over an hour alternately feeling Louise's breasts pressed against me, and mine pressed against her. With E'eysha's sensual little body the physical stimulation from this was enough to try a saint.
"I'll... have to think about this," I said, turning to grab my bra, suddenly feeling embarrassed by the reaction of my bare nipples to the situation.
"You do that," said Teesha, nodding. "Just be sure you have something ready by next class."
It came to me two days later. I thought about it for a while, grinning more and more broadly as I did so. Then I phoned Bent-Tail. He listened, then muttered to himself for a moment. To my relief, he agreed to try my idea. We met at Adam's place that Saturday to practice. Come Sunday, we were ready.
"Okay, folks, doin' fine," Bent-Tail announced, after we had been working for a while. "Now I want to try something different. So far most of you have practiced against someone about your own size. However, in a real self-defense situation there's a good chance your opponent will be larger than you. So I want to show you that - as long as you have the right mindset and good technique - size doesn't matter."
I watched Amanda out of the corner of my eye and could tell she wasn't impressed. That was about to change. Bent-Tail grinned, and shifted into his midform. I half expected him to burst out of his gi, even though I knew he had recently learned how to make his clothes shift to some other realm when he changed. He smiled around at us, now nearly twice as tall as Amanda.
"Who's first?" he rumbled.
Adam volunteered, and after some fumbling managed to get Bent-Tail down, though not very gracefully. A couple of the others tried, but most declined after seeing them fail. Then Bent-Tail went to Amanda.
"Well?" he gruffed.
I'll give her credit, she eventually put him on the ground. Trouble was, she kept doing it wrong, having decided that she knew better than her teacher. So even though she finally managed to trip Bent-Tail, we all knew that he only went down because he wasn't fighting her. Including her.
Bent-Tail rose, dusted himself off and looked around at us disgusted. He started to say something... then looked at me. And smiled. And beckoned with one claw-tipped finger.
"Me?" I squeaked.
He nodded, and I rather timidly approached. This required very little acting on my part. When we both stood naturally - me flat-footed and him digitigrade, with his knees slightly bent - his crotch was above my head.
"You know the techniques. You know the principles. You can do it. Get me on the ground, however you can. Don't worry about hurting me. Just do it."
He leaned forward, looming over me.
"C'mon, little girl; let's see what you've got."
I stared at him for a moment. Then I jumped straight up, half turning in mid air, reaching above and behind me to grab his ears. As my weight settled on them, Bent-Tail yelped and bent forward, going with the pull and lowering me to the grass. I bent forward, pulling his head to the ground by the ears, while shoving my shoulder against his chest.
Now came the tricky part. There was no way I could lift him; even with his head and feet both on the ground I could still stand upright under the arch of his body. However, I had him moving, and if I could keep him moving...
He couldn't help me; it had to be real, or it wouldn't convince. The practicing we had done paid off; as I desperately shoved, Bent-Tail kept going. He went into a forward roll, his shoulders coming down and his feet lifting into the air. He continued through on momentum, thumping to the ground in front of me hard enough to rattle the windows in Adam's house. There was a long moment of stunned silence. I stared at the fallen werewolf, hardly able to believe it had worked. Then I started jumping up and down, yelling.
"I did it! I did it!"
I had just enough presence of mind to note that Amanda looked like she had been kicked in the crotch.
Later, after most of the students had left, Bent-Tail, Adam, Teesha, Louise and I sat in the living room, celebrating.
"Not a bad lesson," Bent-Tail announced. "We showed that size, indeed, is less important than will and skill. And we gave a certain giantess a humility lesson."
"Damn, I'm glad that's over," I muttered. "I nearly wet myself. Twice. First from nervousness, then from relief."
"Hey, I did wet myself, laughing," said Teesha. She leaned over and gave me a kiss on the cheek that left me blushing. "Okay, you get your reward. Just say when and where."
"Is this something we should be hearing?" asked Bent-Tail, scandalized.
"She's gonna model for me," I quickly explained.
"Model," said Louise, leering at us. "Right."
Teesha and I spent nearly a quarter of an hour assuring them that this was indeed the case. I don't think any of them believed us.
This work is Copyright 1998 by Rodford Edmiston Smith, who can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please contact the author for permission before reposting or reprinting. Thank you.