Are we our brothers’ keeper? Yes, and our sisters too – so rise and shine!  Like Superman, Gary Thibodeaux, has a strong moral compass and uses his power for the benefit of humanity.  The moment he saw a young lady in a face-off with a man who was less than gentle, Gary rose like the sun to bring a ray of hope and to preserve peace.

It was a Saturday morning stroll in The Big Easy to take in the sights and to make a quick stop in CVS on Canal Street, when tourists, Gary and his wife, Elyse, get a clear view of a shoplifter trying to steal a beverage and a female CVS employee attempting to stop him.  Shoppers (tourists and locals) were shuffling left and right to avoid the heated scene.  When the employee insistently reaches to reclaim the beverage while demanding he “give it back”, a scuffle ensues and the 5’7″, 150-pound shoplifter throws a punch to the young lady’s face.  Shoppers gasp!  In a flash, Gary distinguishes his mission and ultimately responds like a superhero – transforming into Tiger-Rock Martial Artist mode.  The 2nd Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo uses a brilliant grappling technique he calls the Thibodeaux-Takedown, to restrain the incessant shoplifter; keeping him underwraps for several minutes until law enforcement arrives. Once on the scene, two police officers encounter a heated battle as they struggle to gain control of the elusive shoplifter.   A bystander engages to help the officers handcuff and get him into the police car.  Finally, it’s over…. the shoppers exhale.

Gary’s R15E to keep our brother contained and honest, and to prevent further damage, emits light; it imparts peace; it protects (keeps) our sister – a true reflection of the Tiger-Rock Martial Arts mission, to do what is right and ethical and to serve and leave all communities better than we find them.  Gracefully smiling with pride, Elyse, a 5th Degree Black Belt, was wowed!   To her, Gary was much bigger than Superman; he was a superSTAR who personified and shined his light on the Tiger-Rock R15E movement to transform lives, as well as the TigerRock tenets they emphasize to their students – honor, integrity, courage, strength, and community.

When the dust settles, a burst of hugs, pats, and handshakes erupts from the community of shoppers who are comforting the victim and Gary expressing compassion, gratitude, and respect.  Some of them purchased first-aid items and helped him clean the bloody scratches he absorbed – a gesture that warms Elyse’s heart.  Even if only a few minutes and although to a different degree than his, Gary’s choice inspired tourists and locals to be brother and sister keepers – the brightest moment of the day!

Beaming purposefully, Gary now takes his bride and let the good times roll – dining with friends, window shopping, and touring by carriage – albeit, the TigerRock Martial Artist, the superSTAR remains ready to R15E…… for humanity and the community.  Clearly, he’s a keeper.

To learn more about life skills, self-defense and personal development, call Tiger-Rock Martial Arts of Bridge City at 409-920-1462 or your local Tiger-Rock Martial Arts Academy.

Story written by: Rozlyn Geason