“You can’t do this, you can’t do that:” High Springs man seeks martial arts to transform his health

He only started taking self defense classes a little over a month ago and he said he never thought he'd be able to do it.
Published: Jul. 9, 2022 at 11:40 PM EDT
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ALACHUA, Fla. (WCJB) - At the age of 13, Richard Steele was in a motorcycle accident that resulted in a life-long injury to his lower body.

“I’m disabled...I don’t have a left hip,” said Richard Steele, student at Choi Kwang Do Martial Art School.

Now at the age of 60, he’s decided to take on one of his biggest physical challenges yet and that’s martial arts.

“I’ve got three, two and a half inch titanium screws in my hip. It won’t move ever again.”

For most of his life, doctors and physical thereapists always told him no.

“It’s always you can’t do this, you can’t do that, you can’t do this,” he said. But he decided on his own, that he can.

He only started taking self defense classes a little over a month ago and he said he never thought he’d be able to do it.

“Three weeks ago I was sitting on the couch at home I put my foot up on my leg and I looked at the bottom of my foot, on my right foot, for the first time in 47 years.”

Now his master instructor said he’s on his way to getting his black belt.

“I won’t be able to do the left kicks and the things on the left side, so I asked him if I’d be able to get a black belt. He said of course you will, if I didn’t think you could do it, I wouldn’t have signed you up,” Richard said.

Richard isn’t the only one benefitting from martial arts. His wife, at the age of 62, only started four months ago and has already seen a drastic change in her arthritis.

“I have gone from being sore and hurt to, not hurting, increasing my flexibility, my arthritis diminished, I can move better, think better, feel better. It’s just it’s affected every area of my life,” said Teresa Steele.

The Steele’s said martial arts is for everyone, even if you don’t think you can.

“You can, you can do it, you can do it,” said Richard.

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