Dedicated dad and his kids go the extra miles for martial arts lessons

By David Beddows | 27/01/2020

Dedicated dad and his kids go the extra miles for martial arts lessons
Carl Taft and his children who walk to Kazoku Martial Arts from their Canklow home. From left to right are: Jason, Luke and Owen Taft.

DEDICATED dad Carl Taft walks his children to and from Martial Arts classes TEN miles a week in all weathers.

Carl makes the journey with his six kids from the family home in Canklow to Kazoku Martial Arts on Doncaster Road across five nights.

Assistant instructor Kath Harris said: “Carl hasn't got a car and it takes too long on public transport so he made the decision to travel on foot.

“He has been bringing his children for three years and their dedication is phenomenal. Some people who attend in cars don't come that many times.

“Sometimes we don't finish until 9pm and because we have nowhere for parents to wait, Carl goes for a walk either to Asda or the local shops to pass the time. It's not easy.”

The commitment is also getting rewards.

Three of Carl's boys, Jason, Owen and Luke, have qualified for this year's World Championships in Greece paid for by sponsorship from GMB Rotherham and fund-raising which all the Taft's wholeheartedly participate in.

Carl's other children, Chloe, Mel and Shayne, continue to enjoy the full benefits of keeping fit and active.

“The kids had some difficulties before they joined the club but they have all come on leaps and bounds in their school work, their personal life and friendships," added Kath. "What they get out of it is amazing. 

“It's not only the dedication of Carl and his kids that has to be admired. It takes fitness as well to walk all that way and train at the standard they are currently competing at.

“Carl can't drive but another student, who is a driving instructor, is going to help him with some cut-price lessons. Whether he will be able to afford a car at some point, we don't know.”

Speaking of his family's dedication to martial arts at the club's recent presentation night, Carl said: “I heard once that children are like acorns. With the right nurture, love and devotion they grow into mighty oaks. Thank-you for showing my children, by your example, how to be the mighty oaks that they can be “

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