Things Come Full Circle

     A few weeks ago, my second foray into the martial arts came full circle.  My daughter started studying Taekwondo again after more than five years away from the sport.  It is actually Caity, who brought me back to martial arts in the summer of 2000.

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Caity in her TKD uniform in 2000

     After my natural father passed away in July 1999, I went on a year-long fitness program.  At the conclusion of it in June 2000, I was in my best shape up to that time.  Part of my training was doing the Taebo workouts popularized by Billy Blanks for my cardio.

     Caity, who was 6 years old, would come downstairs and do the workouts with me.  After a few weeks, I asked her if she was interested in learning the martial arts Billy Blanks had studied.  She told me she did, so we went back to my Taekwondo instructor’s class in July 2000.

     Caity enjoyed much of the class but her favorite part of class was sparring.  Caity would start out real easy until someone hit her and then it was on like Donkey Kong.  She would become the Energizer Bunny and drive her opponent out of the ring with her flurry of roundhouse kicks.

     Her aggressiveness could haunt her every once in a while though.  Caity lost her first point sparring match because she punched her opponent in the face three times before she realized it was against the rules.  One more punch and she would have been disqualified.  In the end, the three minus points were too much to overcome.

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Caity and Me

     Later she joined Judo with her younger brothers and me.  As usual, she liked to spar better than practicing throws.

     When she entered her teen years, Caity went society on us and dropped out of class.  I didn’t think she would come back but she started talking about coming back a year ago.  I think Rhonda Rousey inspired her to get back into the martial arts.

     I’m happy to have her back in class.  One of the kicks for me is seeing her and her brother work together in class.  When they were little, we used to call them “the Bickersons” because they constantly argued.  Seeing their relationship grow makes a dad proud.

     Two of my sisters and I were the first martial artists in the family.  I was fortunate to be the first one to earn a black belt.  We were the first generation of martial artists.

     Caity, my sons and 14 nieces and nephews have all trained in the martial arts.  They represent the second generation of martial artists.  We have two black belts and are hoping for more.  Maybe Caity or one of my nieces will be the third.

     I am the first generation.  I’ve seen the second generation and believe I will be around for the third.  My hope is one day I may be able to look out on the gym floor and see three generations of the family training together.  It would be a legacy we could all be proud of and it started with Caity and me doing Taebo.  Thanks, kiddo.

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