Roots & Wings = Defense & Offense



My daughter was just 8 days away from making her grand entrance into this world on May 30, 2005, the day Natalie Holloway disappeared while on a high school graduation trip to Aruba. The search for Natalie took precedence over many other news stories and I can vividly remember the seemingly non- stop broadcast of the search for Natalie. Weeks later I sat holding my newborn daughter in my arms, eyes fixed on the TV, heart racing at the thought of my own daughter some day asking to vacation with her high school friends on some beach some where, out of my reach. I remember thinking “I will never let my kids travel alone.” My daughter was only a few weeks old and here I was placing limitations on her life due to fear. Like every other parent, the moment I held my daughter for the first time and looked into her eyes I wanted the world to be hers. I wanted her life to be big and wonderful, exciting and blessed. Which meant I was going to have to learn to deal with the fear of losing her so that could teach her to live fully.

Lucky for my children, I am blessed with two great parents, who offer advice and teach me about parenting through their own experiences, including how they dealt with each of their four children’s senior spring break and high school graduation trips without losing their minds. One of the earliest parenting lessons came from my father… “Roots and wings” my dad would say…” and don’t be fooled, the wings are the harder of the two to give.” He didn’t tell me what the roots were, nor voice his opinion on how to give them wings, but he did raise me the way he was advising me to raise them. The roots, according to my dad, are what give them wings.

For me the roots are the mind, the body and the spirit: A strong, healthy body, an educated mind and a spirit that allows them to hope, dream, set goals, and take flight.

Armed with my parent’s advice and my desire to raise my children with unlimited potential I decided my only approach to parenting would be to keep building roots. So what does any of this have to do with the title of this blog post? The way I see it, every individual needs to both an offensive strategy (dreams, goals and the energy to pursue them) and a defense (the ability to hold your own when your up against something or someone bigger than you). Offense = Wings   Defense = Roots

One of the hardest parts of parenting, speaking for myself, has been teaching my children to defend themselves. Which often means that I have to take a step back, not hover, not prevent and not fix. I hate not fixing, I hate letting them make mistakes so that they will learn to try another way, I hate letting them fall and not rushing to pick them back up every time, I hate watching them fail and I hate when they are emotionally bruised by life. I trust, however, that it is all part of the process in their developing wings. And it also means, with every age and stage finding new ways to grow their roots, without fear of them using those roots to spread their wings.

So back to Natalie Holloway… As my daughter is now set to enter middle school and just a few years away from high school, the writing it seems, is on the wall. She has seen her older cousins capture their spring break trips on Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook, and has even stated “wonder where I will go with my friends when I graduate. This is the same child who said to me on her ninth birthday “mom do you realize that half of the time that I will live in your house is now over? “ (Oh dear God, someone please take the knife out of my heart now.) She is independent, and drop dead gorgeous, a frightening combination for any parent. Time once again to put my fears aside and get back to building roots. Fear is the ultimate roadblock to building anything and everything…

In my opinion the confidence to defend oneself is one of the most important roots to grow. My children will know how to defend themselves in all areas of life and they will also learn that sometimes the best offense is a good defense.

As we at Revolution set out to begin our first self defense course I have to admit, I am selfishly excited about this new offering. My children will take self-defense; they will not leave home with out it. No trips, no college, no moving out of my house without being able to defend yourself … Simple as that.

Someday they will pack their bags to head out for that tropical vacation with their friends and I am sure that I will walk the halls on that first night just as my father did. I will most likely pray morning, noon and night for their health and happiness. I am hopeful that I will be able to take comfort in knowing that I did my part and gave them the strongest roots possible, which gave them one hell of an offense and an even better defense.

MBK May 2016


The newest offering here at Revolution Fitness is a self-defense course, taught by our very own Keith Brooks. Keith is highly qualified in the field of self-defense. Some of you may know Keith from training or seeing him around the gym, but you may not know that he hold multiple black belts in different forms of martial arts.


Keith learned his craft from his father, who owned his own martial arts gym. Keith’s father held several black belts himself, even becoming a sensei. His father developed his own style of martial arts called “pod”. Pod combined all of his different expertise into one butt-kicking combination.


Keith began taking martial arts classes at his father’s gym when he was young, developing a deep love for the art of self-defense. As he grew older he decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and began training and teaching others how to defend themselves if danger ever were to arise.


One of the major benefits of Keith’s class here at Revolution is its adaptability. He believes that martial arts and self-defense can be taught to anyone. “As long as they know their right from left, I can teach them,” He says.


Keith prides himself on his ability to teach self-defense to all types of people. Different students have different needs, he believes, and his course is designed to focus on the specific needs of his students.


For women, he teaches how to disarm an assailant using various grappling techniques. One of the most important aspects of his class is teaching women how to be confident and feel safe in any situation. When teaching men, Keith uses the same grappling techniques, but also teaches them how to fight back using basic punching skills.


It doesn’t matter who you are, it is always important to feel safe and comfortable in any situation you may find yourself in. Keith himself is a large, strong guy, but even he has had to use some of the very skills that one will learn in his class. Feeling safe and confident is an invaluable skill that every person deserves to learn. With Keith and his class, in only a few short sessions a student will begin to learn these skills and become a more confident person overall.


Early Summer 10 session Self Defense Course

Mondays & Wednesdays 10.30-11.30 am

Tuesdays & Thursdays 6.45-7.45 pm

Ages 13 and up

$119 per person (member price) $149 per person (non- member)

Course will be offered for 6 weeks, each participant can attend up to 10 classes.

Click here to register!


Jack Yungblut

Revolution Fitness, Editor

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