- A 12-year-old Wausau boy is ranked number one in the nation in his age group after winning the national Tae Kwon Do championships this month.
"I hope I win, I hope I win."
That's what was going through 12-year-old David Livingston's head when he took on his much bigger opponent in the 46th annual National Tae Kwon Do championships.
"Looking at my opponent was almost terrifying," says David Livingston.
In his eighth year studying the martial art, David surpassed everyone's expectations by winning the championship. He was under the watchful eye of his father and coach, who is a multiple black belt martial artist himself.
"I went with David to the Madison Tae Kwon Do championships. He took first; I took second. His trophy's bigger!" says Jose Livingston.
"This is our first tournament and it was just in Madison, but our next turnament is in Omaha," says David Livingston.
Jose Livingston says giving your kids an outlet like Tae Kwon Do is invaluable in today's busy world.
"Finding the time to slow the world down and to focus on one movement is a gift to our children. And we don't have much time to give it," says Jose Livingston.
David plans to work on getting his black belt in the next few years. He's also a straight A student, plays soccer, and multiple musical instruments. His dad says part of success in Tae Kwon Do is physical, but it's also mental.
"Having a child stick with something- be dedicated, honor their parents, be disciplined- takes years, and it's an ongoing challenge. So to share that with my student who is my son is amazing," says Jose Livingston.
David will keep working on that black belt, and Jose is opening the Wisconsin Tae Kwon Do School this year in Wausau.
Written By: Lyndsey Stemm