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Medina man writes about earning black belt, at 56

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 September 2013 at 12:00 am

“It’s never too late to try something.” – Carl Tuohey

Photo by Tom Rivers – Carl “Cal” Tuohey of Medina signed copies of his book, “Black Belt, Gray Hair,” on Saturday at Bindings Bookstore in Albion.

MEDINA – Carl “Cal” Tuohey was 52 when he was looking for a fun and physical activity to do with his son Jackson, 6.

Five years ago a friend suggested they try Tae Kwon-do. Tuohey was willing, and he started at the beginner level with his son and a class that mostly consisted of children.

Tuohey, a systems analysis for a Niagara Falls company, enjoyed the twice-a-week sessions. He even started writing a column in the monthly newsletter for Kwandrans Tae Kwon-do, where he was a student.

Tuohey urged people to be physically active, and to not let age keep them on the sidelines. Over four years he climbed the ranks, earning 12 belt titles, which was culminated when he earned a black belt a year ago at age 56.

“It’s never too late to try something,” Tuohey said Saturday during a book-signing at Bindings Bookstore in Albion.

Tuohey has written a book about his journey to a black belt. In “Gray Hair, Black Belt,” he talks about signing up for Tae Kwon-do at 52, when he weighed nearly 250 pounds.

He praised the supportive atmosphere at Kwandrans, where he said students and instructors are like a second family.

He became a regular contributor to the newsletter, writing about 45 articles. He shared tips about stretching and exercises, while also trying to motivate people to stick with the program and work towards the next belt.

He compiled those articles, plus other thoughts, in his 155-page book that is available at Bindings in Albion and the Book Shoppe in Medina.

These days he still tries to stay active, although he said a bum knee forced him to scale back from Tae Kwon-do. His son went on to earn a yellow belt. These days the father and son spend more time together with Scouting events.

Tuohey remains a big advocate for Tae Kwon-do and physical fitness, especially after age 50.

“I never thought I’d be a black belt,” he said. “But I kept with it.”