Twenty years is a long time to stay in any one field of expertise.
But this is how long the Pieon family of Dundas has been training in Okinawan karate. Their long road started when they stepped into the dojo (training hall) of instructor Carl Wheeler, 8th degree black belt.
Rodney and Vivienne had started their sons, Andrew and Martin, in karate as a way to promote fitness and concentration. After watching a few classes, they joined themselves.
Family members' training over the years had led to many travels and adventures. They have been to Okinawa, Japan, many times and made friends around the world.
Rodney is a retired Hamilton Police officer with more than 30 years of service. Vivienne is a successful registered massage therapist, and Andrew, 28, works for the University of Waterloo.
They all recently passed very high milestones in their training. Rodney and Vivienne were promoted to the high rank of 5th degree and Andrew to 4th degree.
"To see them stay at it so long and together is very inspirational,” said Wheeler. “It takes dedication and a strong will to endure through all the levels of karate training. They should be very proud of themselves to go so far.”
If training weekly in karate was not enough, the Pieons recently entered the Around the Bay Road Race as a team. This was the first year the Pieons entered the marathon as a tag team and each person ran under an hour. The family members consider their discipline, endurance and focus from karate training as helping them finish.