I’m sure we can all recall people or events in our lives that may have changed our perceptions or trajectories, but some stand out more than others. I wanted to share with you one such time in my life that cemented my resolve to be the best martial arts teacher I could be for the families and kids that I serve.
Officer Keith T. Hashimoto of the Reno Police Department is remembered today, March 29th 2018, in this post from the Department:
Though I didn’t know Keith very well, I did know his daughters Danielle and Krystina, who were among our young students at Ernie Reyes’ West Coast Taekwondo in Reno. Those kiddos were literal rays of sunshine with their happy smiles and energy. It was truly heartbreaking to know that their father would not be present to watch them grow up to be the amazing ladies they are today, 22 years later.
Shortly after his tragic accident, their mother, Carole, brought them back to martial arts classes and as they walked in the door, they changed my life forever. One of the girls was wrapped around each one of my legs and the youngest, 5 at the time, looked up at me and said “you’re big and cuddly like my daddy.” My heart broke for them and there was a look in their mother’s eyes that I’ll never forget.
To this day, this is one of those powerful memories that continues to impact my reasons for doing what I do. I put my heart and soul into all those interactions I have with the kids and families I am fortunate enough to teach as I may never know just how much one or more of them may need me.
Thank you, Keith, for your service and for sharing your amazing family with me.