MILLEDGEVILLE — History was made on Thursday, May 22 at Drouillard’s Karate Studio, as the school’s first mother-daughter combination in Mary Beth and Lindsey Atkinson tested and achieved the pinnacle black belt status on the same night.
It has been a long road for the pair, but both dedicated themselves to the task of reaching their black belt, as well as helping other students reach their full potential—ultimately leading to an emotional night on May 22.
The two not only participated in their own testing, but also volunteered to assist other students in their testing throughout the session.
“Mrs. Atkinson, the mother, was constantly on the floor going through testing with all the different belts and everything, and that’s a lot of work plus testing on your own,” studio instructor and owner Dewey Drouillard said. “Black belts have to do all the form moves; they have to demonstrate all the self-defense moves. They’ve got to demonstrate everything, so for her to go ahead and volunteer, and her and her daughter jump up and spar when it’s time to spar, they were a worn out pair when they got done. Just like mom said, she can look in her heart and say, ‘I earned this belt and nobody gave me nothing.’”
Mary Beth and Lindsey set the mood for the testing session, performing their form routine in unison in front of the entire school.
“They did a little demo during testing,” Drouillard said. “They started standing back-to-back, and then when they did their form they went through their whole form step-by-step with perfect timing and when they got done at ready-stance, they were both back-to-back. That was really cool because they had practiced it once or twice, and they came up to me and asked if I would let them do it. So, they didn’t really plan on doing it, and they didn’t know I was going to let them do it, but I said ‘go for it and make it look good.’”