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After graduating from the Leningrad VOKU, I was sent to serve in Armenia, Leninakan. One of the first students of Kasyanov, who was fluent in Russified karate SENE, served there. He organized a section for officers. The officers' evening leisure could consist of drinking vodka or training. I chose training.

Two months later, there were only two students left, me and an officer from the construction battalion. The rest dropped out due to various reasons. Someone did not have motivation, someone preferred vodka, for someone it simply did not suit.

After the collapse of the USSR and the departure of fighters to their national apartments, the officers had more free time. I dedicated it to training. Trained for six hours a day. The result was not slow to show itself. My technique began to appear, well-placed blows appeared. I could fight one or more opponents (poorly prepared).

At the same time, I began to train my first group in the officers' club. These were the children of officers and local residents. So my acquaintance with martial arts began not with national martial arts, but with Japanese karate in its assault and Kasyanov versions. Little was known about national styles at that time. I only knew about Kadochnikov, and then from a TV show and an article in Komsomolskaya Pravda, whom I met while studying at the school.

While training and coaching, I served for about a year, the regiment leadership did not interfere with my training, but did not support them either, since they believed that they distracted the young officer from his main occupation - performing his official duties.

After one incident, everything changed radically, the commander and chief of staff of the regiment immediately took my side, supported the studies and agitated others. And the following happened: "UAZ", which was taking the commander of the regiment to work, inadvertently cut off the "Mercedes" of the bandits, slightly touched the wing and bumper of the latter. This took place right in front of the regiment's checkpoint. Of course, the soldier driving the UAZ broke the rules, but it was not worth the squabbles that the tough guys from the Mercedes had done. They jumped out and began to beat the soldier. The regiment commander stood up for the soldier - and he got it. The checkpoint officer jumped out to help the commander, but was hit in the nose and fell. At this time, Volodya and I (that was the name of my coach) were passing through the checkpoint to train in the city. Seeing what was happening, they intervened. Volodya slapped one of the attackers in the ear, I made another sweep, the third did not climb. The situation would have turned into a civilized dialogue, but a crowd of local residents has already come running to the checkpoint (oh, those Transcaucasian peoples). The accident itself was forgotten, the dismantling went with me and Volodya, who undeservedly insulted and "meanly" beat local authorities. We were offered to go with them to a one-on-one showdown in the mountains. The commander ordered me not to go with them, but it was too late, Volodya and I sat in the back seat of a foreign car, which was rare in those years, and the car rushed into the mountains that began immediately across the Arpachai River.

I was worried, there were a lot of scary stories about showdowns in the mountains, in which people disappeared without a trace, but my coach was calm. His calmness began to be transmitted to me. I glanced furtively at the guy behind the wheel. His hands could be seen shaking. "Yes, he is afraid!" - I thought and became even more self-confident. The car stopped in the mountains near some village, but all the showdowns boiled down to the usual "cheap bazaar". Tough-looking guys were strong only in language, they flatly refused to fight with us. Even if one of us is one, and there are two of them. Then we ate barbecue in one of the city barbecue (at their expense, naturally) and parted almost as friends.

Upon my return to the regiment, the regiment commander summoned me to his office, scolded me for not following the order, but asked how our "showdown" ended. Hearing my story, I was pleased and offered to train the regiment's reconnaissance company. I was the commander of a regular platoon in a motorized rifle battalion, so the offer seemed tempting. I agreed.

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