Passing the Torch

     This week my oldest son Kenneth turns 20 years old.  Besides finishing school, Kenneth’s biggest focus is the martial arts.  He is particularly passionate about teaching self-defense.

     Over the years, I have trained 14 nieces and nephews plus all three of my children in the martial arts.  Last week, the first member of the third generation started with us.  To date though, Kenneth is the only other black belt.  We hope to change that in the future.

trey-and-me

Kenneth and me in the late 1990s

     Originally, martial arts training was something Kenneth did to hang out with me.  It was more my thing that my kids also did.  We started in Taekwondo.  At 10 years old, he started helping teach the TKD Kid’s class.  When I started training in Judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and Goju Shorei Weapons System, he followed me into these arts.

     As Kenneth turned 14 years old, things began to change.  He began to make the training his own.  He took a more active hand in charting his own training.  He specialized in areas like bo and foam sword fighting that I really don’t practice.

trey-breaking

Trey Breaking at about 8 years old

    We began teaching a self-defense class in 2011, which lasted about five years, that contributed to his growth in the martial arts.  Towards the end of the class, Kenneth led most of the classes and often guided the direction of the program.

    After we shut down the class and returned to my instructor’s Taekwondo Class, Kenneth found a new level.  He has grown and started to develop a more calm spirit.  We both found a renewed commitment to Taekwondo.

    We still train grappling though primarily focus on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practice through Gracie University.  It was rolling during grappling practice that I realized something else, Kenneth has surpassed me physically.  I can’t beat him anymore.  I just try my best not to get submitted myself.

    I have to pass the torch.  Kenneth is no longer the lion cub.  He is a lion.  Happy Birthday, Son!

trey-me-rolling

Kenneth and Me Rolling

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