Giving Back: Former Little Teaches Matches Martial Arts
Jon Goode, now a successful martial arts instructor at Oom Yong Doe in Cambridge, remembers vividly what it was like to not have an adult male role model in his life. Having come from a family with 3 boys and a single mom, he needed a mentor to help him realize his full potential. Now, after his experiences as a Little Brother, Jon gives back to the organization in a unique way; incorporating his knowledge of being a Little- he provides Matches with discounted classes in Martial Arts. Check out his story here.
Oom Yong Doe is a style of Martial Arts that combines Tae Kwon Do, Ju Jitsu, Aikido, Kung Fu, Bagwa Chung, Tai Chi Chung and Samurai into one.
What was your life like before you were enrolled in the BBBSMB program?
My family was in a rough situation, moving from apartment to apartment. It was 3 young boys and a single mother trying to make it work. Between her job and trying to support us it was very hard to keep a positive environment around the house.
Why do you think your guardian wanted you to have a Big Brother?
I believe my mother enrolled us into the program because we needed a place to release our tension and also we needed a male role model in our lives.
Who was your Big Brother? What was he like?
He was the best big brother! His name was Al. He lived in Lynn, MA. Every time he took us out it was always a good time. He made every weekend creative and enjoyable. Although he wasn’t family, he made us feel like he was an uncle. I could tell he actually cared about me and our wellbeing.
What is your favorite memory of your Big? Do you still keep in touch?
He was hilarious. Although a family man and a hard worker he had a contagious sense of humor. The time was short but it still made an impact on my life.
What did having a Big Brother teach you?
It taught me a random stranger can walk into your life and genuinely care about you. It opened my mind. I believe this did carry with me as I got older, not to judge a fellow human being before knowing who they truly are.
Why did you decide to give back to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay?
I see the kids in this program and I see myself. I wish when I was their age I had something like this to release all my tension and anger. Instead, me and my brothers would take it out on each other!
What activities do you do in classes with Bigs and Littles?
In the big brother lessons we teach fundamental skills and movements that will improve focus, concentration, determination and also improve self-defense skills. The goal of the big brother lesson is to have the Big and Little go through a challenge together to build better camaraderie and respect for one another.
How have you been helping Bigs and Littles get involved with martial arts training?
My goal is to teach these kids values and principals through movement. If you tell a kid to have more respect for others, it goes in one ear and out of the other.
If he is holding a position while doing 500 punches and him and all of his classmates get through it together, when he turns to bow to them, the word respect sounds much different.
How to apply life values, not just tell them.
If you are Big who is interested in attending one of Jon’s classes with your Little, contact the Match Support Team at 617-956-0283.
For more information about Oom Yung Doe classes in Cambridge, click here.
Check out Bigs and Littles doing Oom Yung Doe together on Facebook here.