Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

May 12, 2013

Page family bonds over martial arts

A mother and father to six children, Jason and Denise Page began to run into your typical challenges associated with such a large family back in 2008, once the oldest children reached an age where they started to have desires to be involved in sports and other extracurricular activities.

As the commitments started to pile up, it didn’t seem like there were enough hours in the day to accomplish all the pitstops and still have time left over to fellowship as a family.

Karate to the rescue.

“We were doing football, baseball, etc., and that eats into family time when everyone is in different leagues and age groups,” Jason said. “We asked them if they would want to do martial arts, and they were all receptive. All six of our kids are into karate. We are involved in Brazilian jujitsu and Hawaiian Kempo kickboxing, and I do some of that with my kids. It’s a great family-oriented thing that maximizes family time.”

The oldest four Page siblings, 15-year-old Henly, 14-year-old Ely, 12-year-old Ethan and 11-year-old Ava, all enrolled in Sensei Terry Gruel’s marital arts program at Indiana Pit in Kokomo at the same time six years ago, and all have excelled at an incredible rate.

The four recently all earned their black belts at the same time, becoming the first set of four siblings in Gruel’s 32-year career to reach that level at the same time.

“I’m proud of each one of them because they each earned it,” Jason said. “It’s a character-building activity. The thing I like about karate is that it reinforces values that my wife and I want our kids to learn as they grow up and head out into the work force. It makes you be a good representative of your sport. I’m proud of each one of them because they’ve had to stand on their own two feet and go through the various workouts.”

The four Page children became the 29th, 30th, 31st and 32nd students to earn their black belts under Gruel. In over three decades of martial arts instruction, Gruel said he’s never seen a family with four members of the same generation attain their black belts in the same ceremony. He speculated that the feat is likely pretty rare in any martial-arts practicing part of the world, something he says is a testament to the family’s character and perseverance.

“The entire family is just a great family, Gruel said. “They are all just respectable children who do whatever you ask them to do. They’re mature and dependable. When you need help with anything, they are the first ones to jump up and help out. They’re a unique family with an impressive group of kids who work very hard. Jason and Denise are always making sure they’re doing the right things and following through on anything they begin. They’ve hardly ever missed classes throughout the years.”

The path to a black belt is more than just about applying taught martial arts skills in a competitive setting. Each child had to research and write, on their own, a history of karate.  Students are also required to write an autobiography to submit to their sensei. Along with that, students partake in three 3.5-hour workouts per week and take part in one classroom session per week.

The entire process to rise from white belt to black belt takes between five and six years. The Pages started as white belts at the same time, working their way up through the various belts before spending the last 6-12 months making the journey from brown belt to black belt.

“Terry trains old-school and does it for the enjoyment,” Jason said of Gruel, who is a world-champion martial artist when he’s not teaching the sport. “Each one of the kids were not promoted because they were related. That’s unusual that all four were able to do it on the same day. I think Terry is the best instructor around. He’s the best kept secret in the state of Indiana.”

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • Downey, Keagan mug Sixers begin state tourney play today The Kokomo Post 6 baseball squad heads to the American Legion state tournament at Plymouth today brimming with confidence. That’s good and bad.“I believe every time we step on the field our kids believe they are the team to beat,” said Kokomo skipper

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sports briefs for Tuesday, July 29 Northwestern sets 1st practice timesNorthwestern has announced its first practice times and dates for high school and middle school sports. All athletes must have a valid 2014-15 physical on file in the athletic office to participate. The times and d

    July 29, 2014

  • SPT - KT072914 Colts-pic QB Luck making progress ANDERSON — Wind chill estimates put the temperature at 59 degrees Monday morning at Anderson University.During one stretch of his fifth training camp practice of the year, however, it likely felt much colder to Andrew Luck.The Indianapolis Colts quar

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Colts part ways with Rainey after violation ANDERSON — Just two days after earning praise for his playmaking ability from head coach Chuck Pagano, running back Chris Rainey was waived by the Indianapolis Colts on Monday morning.The news was broken in a press release around 8:30 a.m. and later

    July 29, 2014

  • SPL - KT071514 - B1 briefs - mug Athlete of the Week: Tionna Brown ATHLETE OF THE WEEK• NAME: Tionna Brown• SPORT: Track and field• ACCOMPLISHMENTS: The Kokomo seventh grader won three events at the USA Track and Field Junior Olympic national meet in Humble, Texas, in her first appearance at a national meet. Brown w

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brown wins 3rd title at nationals HUMBLE, Texas — Kokomo middle schooler Tionna Brown surged to first in the 100 meter dash at the USA Track and Field Junior Olympic national meet Sunday, capping the weekend with her third championship.Competing in the girls 11-12-year-old division,

    July 28, 2014

  • SPL - KT072614 - Dana Neer column - column sig NEER: Starting and sustaining your workouts Here we go again, hoping to start your workout plan again on Monday. This time your plan is to make it stick, keep with it, follow through. Hopefully it will work.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • NASCAR Brickyard 400 Auto Racing-3 [Duplicate] It's 'Jeff Gordon Day' at IMS for record 5th time INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — With a fifth Brickyard 400 victory on the line Sunday, Jeff Gordon looked like the driver he was 20 years ago. Gordon nailed the final restart of the race — no given because restarts have been Gordon's Achilles heel — to pass Hen

    July 27, 2014 3 Photos

  • fishing clinic 02 (secondary pic) Kids fishing clinic is a blast for all The seasons come and go, but the excitement, challenge, allure and joy remain the same — off the chart. There are memorable moments, then there are occasions and special events that become tattoos for life.Still, joy is where you find it, and Saturda

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPL - KT072214 - B1 briefs - mug Sports briefs for Sunday, July 27 Brown takes 2 titles at junior nationalsHUMBLE, Texas — Kokomo middle schooler Tionna Brown won two championships Saturday at the USA Track and Field Junior Olympic national meet. She won the 200 dash and the long jump.Brown avenged an earlier loss

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
SportsKT twitter
More kokomotribune.com
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.