The Bost Family
Profile of a Martial Arts Family by Chris Bost

Ten plus years ago, my son Corey asked if we could take karate lessons. At the time, I was considering moving to take a new job. After several months of discussion, we finally decided to move. It was July, 1993, and we moved from St. Louis, Missouri, and made the trek north to Milwaukee. After being here for several months, my son once again asked about joining karate. One of my co-workers at the time had just started taking karate lessons, and recommended Roufus Karate. We went, watched a few lessons, talked to the owner, Patrick Roufus, and signed up for the introductory course. Ten years later, we're still there.

Initially, my son and I were the only ones involved. It wasn't too hard to start, but as time went on, it got more and more challenging. My wife, Charlene, was pregnant at the time. After the new baby, Katie, was born, she joined karate with us as well. Katie would come and sit in her pumpkin seat, and nap during class. As she got older, she wanted to do this as well. In fact, we told her she had to wait till she was close to 5 years old to start. Every class, she would ask if she could start yet, from about the age of 3 on. Finally, a few weeks before her 4th birthday, at the age of 3, we let her start lessons.

Corey and I have earned 4th degree black belts. My wife stopped after earning a 2nd degree black belt to pursue other interests. My daughter will earn her 2nd degree black belt in February 2004, at the age of 10.

For the kids, it has helped them improve their athleticism, and taught them how to focus and improve their concentration. Both are doing well in school, in part, due to their years of karate. They have remained physically fit, and have managed to so far avoid one of the biggest health issues in the country, childhood obesity. Karate has improved their co-ordination, and hopefully has laid the foundation to maintain a healthy lifestyle that will persist as they become adults themselves.

As for me, I never thought I would still be going after 10 years. I have become more physically fit, and also go to a local gym to work out with weights and cardiovascular exercises to complement my karate. I was somewhat overweight when I started, and lost about 30 pounds in the first year, and have been able to maintain that weight loss over the time, with my weight being about my ideal body weight based on my height and age. It has also helped me remain healthy, with ideal cholesterol and no heart or blood pressure problems.

Karate has had numerous benefits for me and my family. The classes have not only improved us physically, but mentally as well. We have all become more physically fit, helped us become more mentally focused, and has improved our work habits and concentration. This has been one of the best investments we have ever made, as it has kept us physically fit and mentally alert.

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