Posted by: jamesfeltman | January 19, 2012

Kickboxing with Trinidad

Over the course of the past 19 years, Trinidad Morin has helped 42 gang members leave their past and become responsible members of society.  Trinidad, or Coach Tee as he is also known, has done this one punch at a time, one kick at a time, one take-down at a time.

Trinidad runs the West Side Boxing Club.  For the past 2 decades he has taught martial arts to “kids” from ages 5 to 39.  He instills in them a sense of discipline, self-control, and a positive attitude.  For most of this time, he ran the program from his basement.  But a year ago Trinidad connected with Pastor Jonathan at New Community Church.  Trinidad was offered the use of the Church fellowship hall on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Anywhere from 15 to 30 kids can be found training with Trinidad and 3 other coaches.

Trinidad and his team teach Boxing, Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Aikido, Judo, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Wrestling.  The students go through a grueling 30-minute cardio workout, and then rotate through the different stations, learning with all the coaches.

Trinidad provides all this training for the neighborhood at no charge.  “God has blessed me so much, I just have to give back,” Trinidad said.  He tries to be a mentor and role model for the youth.  “I’ve seen hurt and poverty.  I’ve got to help others.  All people need to get out of their shell and help others.”

Many youth have no role models.  Trinidad was blessed because his father constantly provided mentors to help mold and shape him.  At 8 years old he took his first karate class.  At 13 he was boxing.  At 15 he was teaching other kids.

After spending a few minutes with Trinidad, one notices his positive attitude and the constant litany of praise for the blessings he has received.  This is amazing considering some of the obstacles Trinidad has faced.  He is raising his 13-year old son, Fabian, by himself.  Fabian has had 2 open-heart surgeries and will require a third one shortly.  Trinidad lost his job recently and is still owed $1700 in back wages.  He does odd jobs and some handyman work while he tries to find a new job.

How does Trinidad handle all these obstacles?  “God has always been good to me,” he says.

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