Learning With Your Eyes: My Son Charlie


I’m going to gush about Charlie, here. 

Charlie is my little boy, and my best buddy. He is an example of “amazingness in action.”

I’ll take a little credit for that, but his mother really deserves most of it. I believe that the old adage of “it takes a village to raise a child… “ works, but only if you have a great village. We have a great village. 

Charlie is the perfect sidekick. And, Charlie has the perfect side kick. 

He’s only three years old.

I can’t begin to tell you how perfect his form is. And, it’s not because I teach him. I’ve showed him the beginnings of how to throw a kick, but Charlie learns mostly by observing amazing martial artists at our school

I have videoed him throwing flying side kicks and when I show other martial art instructors, they’re like “Oh my God, it’s perfect.” 

They have asked: “How did you get him to do that?”

“I didn’t get him to do it,” I respond. “He just does it.”

This happens a lot. And he has produced some of the most amazing moments of my life, as a father and as a martial arts instructor, all because he simply watches. 

Visualization is a powerful teaching tool. If students don’t have a picture of a perfect side kick in their head, they simply can’t do a perfect side kick. 

This is often the problem when people are teaching. They don’t demonstrate enough, or get people to demonstrate enough. As I’m getting older, I can’t demonstrate as much as I used to, so I have students who can do that for me. 

Form starts in the mind, which is one thing I find that is so great about Tae Kwon-Do: it’s mind and body.

Anyway, Charlie walks around the dojang and watches instructors like Mr. James, Mr. Tyler, Mr. Max, Mr. Jonathan, and Miss Wynonna.  All of these people are really good at what they do, and he is surrounded by that. 

And nobody really teaches him. They guide him a little here and there, I suppose. They’ll let him kick the shield with them, they’ll spar with him, or let him beat them up. 

He is experiencing martial arts through his eyes more than his ears at this point. Listening helps with teaching, but as I always tell people: I have had blind students, and teaching a blind student is more of a challenge because they can’t see. I have to almost lay my hands on them and do the motion with them so that they can feel it. 

But, if you can actually see a motion, you can copy it. And Charlie is becoming an expert at that. 

That’s why Charlie has a perfect side kick, and Charlie is my perfect sidekick. He makes me want to be a better person and a better instructor. When I’m teaching class, I see him out there watching and it gives me the impetus to put out more. 

Sometimes at the end of class, he’ll come over and grab my hand when we’re walking off the floor together, and he just makes me confident that Tae Kwon-Do is going to have a good future. 

I have a feeling that Charlie is really going to want to do this. If not, that’s fine. But if he does decide to pursue martial arts, he’s certainly on the right track.


Master Gorino’s Tae Kwon-Do offers a trial program for individuals and families in Buffalo, NY and the surrounding areas that allows you to get a feel for the different classes, meet our instructors, and experience our dojang. It’s a great way to see if Tae Kwon-Do is right for you. To learn more or to sign up, register online or call (716) 836-KICK (5425) and a member of our team will follow up with you on next steps. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals. Pil-Sung!


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