Martial Arts Inspiring Story - Brian Doucette - Red River Taekwondo
The Karate Kid Returns, Fulfills Promise to Self and Sensei
First a little background about me. I was always interested in martial arts, but I never thought I could actually do it. That all changed in 1984 (age 10) when I saw the movie The Karate Kid, that movie actually made me believe that maybe I could. A local school was offering free passes after the movie so I started taking Tang Soo Do shortly after.
Fast forward about a year. My parents could not afford for me to continue. So the next few years was a lot of reading and watching videos. As I got close to my 16th birthday, I was already planning on starting Shotokan at a nearby school. The day before my 16th birthday started like any normal day, until phy-ed class that morning. I blew my knee out playing kickball. I was devastated, all I could think about was martial arts.
After a year of physical therapy and a new knee brace I was able to start. I stayed in Shotokan about a year until I left for college.
Training on the move
I was in Moorhead, Minnesota, and my school was offering Tae Kwon Do for a credit. I signed up and loved it, but after about 18 months, I started to realize that myself and the instructor did not click. He started reminding me of the bad instructor in The Karate Kid, all he cared about was competition and winning. He also tried to forbid me to also study Aikido at the same time, which I had been doing. I started hating class and was ready to quit. Luckily another student recognized this and suggested I try this other school in town.
So in March of 1994 I stepped into Red River Traditional Tae Kwon Do for the first time. As I sat down to watch I started to cringe, there were students sitting against the wall with their dobok pants rolled up and their partner was rolling a wooden bo staff on their shins. The look in their faces almost made me leave, but luckily I hung around.
Skip ahead to 1996. I had attained my red belt and was training for my black belt. At the same time, I had decided to move to California for work and also to learn American Kenpo. I had been studying at Jeff Speakman's school and still practicing Tae Kwon Do, I came home in November of 1996 to finally test. The test went pretty well, but I ended up missing 2 techniques and 1 break. I was pretty bummed and the drive back to California was rough.
In 1997, I decided to move back to Minnesota to get married and hopefully finally get my black belt.
Now we skip ahead, over the next 10 years I got married. We had 3 kids. I worked different jobs. Basically life got in the way. I would make it back to class occasionally, but never enough to prepare to re-test.
Betting on black
Finally in spring of 2006 I decided it was time. I had gotten out of shape and was not happy. I went to visit my instructor and told him this was the year. He kind of smiled and said he had heard it before from many past students.
The next day I was up at 4 a.m., and every day after that, working out. Over 6 months, I dropped 50 lbs and relearned all of my technique and much more. The date was set for December 30, 2006, to finally get my black belt.
Before my test my instructor came up to me and said ''I am proud of you. You are the first one to actually come back and do it.''
That was a huge confidence booster. The test went very well, and I only missed 3 breaks, but I was still very confident. I ended up finally getting my last break on March 9th 2007. I finally got my first degree black belt at the age of 33.
The legacy continues
I have 3 children, all students at Red River Traditional Tae Kwon Do. My oldest son is a 3rd degree Junior Black Belt. My youngest son is testing for his 2nd degree junior black soon, and my daughter is testing for her 1st degree junior black this year.
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