I think what brought me into Kung Fu initially was looking for a martial arts program in Bellevue Nebraska and near Omaha for my son. He was always into the Ninja Turtle thing and everything was a sword or, you know, he had these amazing stances that he would just drop down and do and it looked so martial artish, and Chinese martial arts, it was amazing, so having had some experience in children’s activities in the past, I decided that I would take my family, his mom and myself and Vaughn to some local martial arts programs and see which one would be a fit for us. And the moment I watched my first class, I knew that this was the place he needed to be, it was everything that I expected in an age group program and positive, good hard work, taught a lot of the basics, respect, perseverance and it’s just where I wanted to be, I knew it instantly.
I chose to jump in because, over the years, I’d always had an interest in martial arts, I did a little bit in college, back in the early ’70s and I enjoyed the progressive physical aspect of it. I was very similar to the sport that I participated in and but I never could find a program because they were always going on when I was working myself since I had an age group program. After watching my son, I helped out in classes for a while, just as a parent and then I thought, this would be something I’d like to do as well.
Yeah. Well, I started when I was 55, my son was going and he’d been here for, oh, three or four months and I hadn’t worked out for a long time. I was out – I was out of shape. For a five foot seven guy, and I weighed 185 almost pounds, it was a little rounder than I’d ever been in my life so initially, it was more about getting back in shape but I thought it would be a cool thing to do as well.
Over time, it was amazing. The first year, I really didn’t do anything except Kung Fu. I wasn’t trying to lose weight but I did. The first year I lost 10 pounds without trying. Well, I tried – I tried really hard in class. It’s very strenuous workouts but manageable for someone that hadn’t worked out for 10 years – nothing! And gradually over time, my strength improved, flexibility – I was a gymnast in college but I couldn’t do the splits anymore but within a couple years, I was starting to get back down close to where I was when I was younger.
Over time, by the time I was 60, after being in class for a little over five years, I took my black belt test. It was probably one of the best moments of my life as far as physical abilities and strength and flexibility. I have lost – at that time, I was down to 155 pounds and I had a lot of muscle. So it was a – just a dramatic improvement in five years and it was all fun.
Taking Kung Fu Martial Arts classes near Omaha Nebraska with my son has given us something that we can work together on.
We – it’s just one of those things that a father and son can do together. We can play catch and we do, but you know, it’s nice to be able to just get out and do the activity. It’s just another form of bonding that we can do. We play catch with the football, we play catch with the baseball. I go to his sporting events but we can do Kung Fu together any time, at home in the backyard, although he’s a little more shy about performing for the neighbors than I am but we have a lot of good times together through the Kung Fu and it’s been good for him, it’s taught him a lot of things that you don’t get at an early age but we’ve got some amazing stories that Vaughn has done, my son, it’s just because he knows how to behave and probably – and do the right thing.
Martial arts and Kung Fu, in particular, is for anybody living in Bellevue and near Omaha, Nebraska!
I would recommend Kung Fu for anybody at any age living near Omaha.
I mentioned earlier in one of the other questions about trying to get in shape when I was 55. As I’ve gone farther down the road, I’m 65 now and I am trying to reshape my body. It’s a little stiffer now, it didn’t – once I hit 60, things kind of got a little bit more difficult but I’ve forced myself to work through the things that we do in classes, our stances, our drills and it’s reshaping my body. My flexibility is improving, things are getting better and you can – you might not be doing spinning, multiple kicks head high but there’s no reason you can’t do them a little bit lower. It’s just a variation that allows you to do it at any age.