Jesus assembled the disciples to teach them, saying, "I send you as sheep into a den of wolves. But you should have the quickness of the serpent." He assumed a fighting stance and brought his right hand up, first two fingers braced and extended as if to strike the eyes. Then he demonstrated the cobra attack and had the disciples practice the technique. He strode among them, observing their attempts and helping each of them. "When your skills are brought to judgment, don't think about stylized forms and practice routines," Jesus said. "Focus on the situation, for it will be given you at that moment how to respond." He gestured for Judas Iscariot to come forward to spar. With perfect mastery, Jesus blocked his attacks, landing every one of his own light practice blows. Finally, by way of testing him, Jesus gave him a opening, from up close. Judas reached in, grappled him in an embrace, and threw him to the ground. "Very good," Jesus said, rising. "Remember, don't think I come to bring peace. I come not to send peace, but the sword." He struck forward into the air with a knife-hand blow.
A crowd of unruly journalists, lawyers, and businessmen was pummeling a woman. Jesus leapt between the woman and her attackers, applying a quick series of hand immobilizations to defend her. The mob fell back, and the chairman of the chamber of commerce stepped forward to address him. "This woman is an adulteress. The law says we're supposed to pound her to death with rocks." Jesus stooped to the ground and began tracing a figure in the sand, sketching the arm and leg positions for a basic defensive stance. "Hey," said the chairman, "what's the hold up?" Jesus stood up. "Look," he said, "if there's one of you who has never sinned, let him begin the stoning." "I've never sinned," said a well-muscled scribe, picking up a rock and adding in a low voice, "and I'm a better fighter than you, too." "You're lying on both counts," Jesus said as the challenger stepped forward. Jesus knocked the rock from his hand with a crescent kick. The scribe unleashed a flurry of punches, each of which Jesus pushed aside easily. Jesus smacked the side of the scribe's head with a light jab. "You stole a denarius from your father's dresser when you were ten." Blushing from the blow and the recollection, the scribe threw further force into his attack, feinting high with his right hand and striking at Jesus with a left shin kick. Ignoring the feint, Jesus blocked the kick by turning his leg slightly, then brought his foot up to connect with the scribe's other cheek. "That little theft was just the beginning," Jesus said. "Now you shoplift fruit from the farmers' stands every day on the way to the temple." The scribe hesitated for a moment, then briefly dropped his eyes, embarrassed. He tried a combination, but each of his rapid blows was countered. "And last weekend," Jesus said, "you got drunk and urinated in the well as a prank." The crowd broke into light laughter, which quickly became hesitant. A few people began groaning. Jesus delivered a spinning roundhouse kick to the scribe's head, leaving him stunned, then brought him gently down with a foot sweep. "You're right," the scribe moaned from the ground, "I'm sorry. I'm a sinner. And your school of fighting is superior." Jesus lifted him up. The crowd dispersed; the scribe limped away. Only the woman remained. Jesus waved her on. "Go ahead. Just keep out of trouble."
Jesus stared at the scene in the temple for a long time. There were animals milling about and a rabble of lowlife salesmen, bankers, and loan sharks. He calmly walked over to one of their low tables, where a man was selling doves. Stepping down hard on one end of the table, he made the other side pop up into the air. A long cage of doves burst open. The doves took flight. The coins on the table flew off. Jesus spun in a roundhouse motion; his heel spiked into the center of the table just as it stood straight up. The rustling of his loose clothing echoed the sound of the doves' wings as they flew out in every direction from the impact. The blow from his kick shattered the table. Then Jesus gripped one of the shorter tables with his hands, lifted it up, and spun it in the air. It twirled a few times, spilling scales, coins, weights. At a moment when the top faced away from him, he thrust out with his right forearm, breaking through it with his elbow. He walked through the rest of the temple, destroying the moneychanger's tables with deft, graceful attacks.
As the guards stepped forward to seize Jesus, Simon Peter drew his sword from across his back, trying to maintain the solid horse stance that Jesus had taught him. He brought the blade down, severing one of the Roman's ears, then, quickly brought it up and down again, this time aimed straight at the exposed neck of the recoiling Roman. But Jesus had interposed himself, and he brought his arms up in the beautiful symmetric flourish known in the East as Child Worshipping Goddess. His palms clapped closed on the moving blade, pressing against it from both sides and arresting its downward motion a few inches from Jesus' face, all without injury. Peter, shamefaced, drew back, releasing his sword into Jesus' grip. "This is what's supposed to happen," Jesus said. He set the blade down and reached to touch the guard's bleeding head, healing him. The disciples fled, and, after collecting themselves, the amazed Romans led Jesus away.