It's 1978 and Hyun-soo (Kwon Sang-woo of My Tutor Friend), a quiet boy who idolizes Bruce Lee has just transferred to a new high school. At the very moment of his arrival, Hyun-soo learns what the school's military discipline is all about when he's beaten with a bat for violating the dress code. In class, he meets Hamburger (Park Hyo-jun), a slovenly fat kid who makes extra money selling pornography to his fellow students. Hamburger warns him about Stabber (Kim Won-kwon), a bully, so named because of his tendency to stab fellow students in the head with his pen. When the athletic Hyun-soo shows his skill on the basketball court, he's taken under the wing of BMOC Woo-sik (Lee Jung-jin). Woo-sik is charming and persuasive, but he's always ready to solve things with his fists if necessary, while Hyun-soo admits that he's never punched anyone. The two young men are fast friends until they run into the lovely Eun-ju (Han Ga-in) on the bus home one day. Hyun-soo is immediately smitten, and when she's accosted by some rude soldiers, he defends her. The soldiers chase the kids off the bus and Woo-sik fights to protect them. Hyun-soo pines for Eun-ju, but Woo-sik is bolder and gets the girl. The friendship disintegrates, and Woo-sik's conflict with Jong-hoon (Lee Jong-hyuk), the officious student patrol captain, eventually comes to a violent head forcing Hyun-soo to take action. The Spirit of Jeet Kune Do: Once Upon a Time in High School was written and directed by Yoo Ha (Marriage Is a Crazy Thing) and was shown at the 2004 New York Korean Film Festival
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