Westbrooks Father-Daughter bond strengthened through karate

Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 12:03 AM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - A decade ago, Abby was the first Westbrooks family member on the mats.

“I did ballet at the time, but that just kind of wasn’t my thing,” Abby Westbrooks, Karate Fighter, said. “So I was like, how about I switch from ballet to karate and just see how that goes.”

Soon after, her father Mike joined her.

“She was in there probably two weeks and I was nothing but a couch potato,” Mike Westbrooks, Karate Fighter, said. “And I thought if I’m gonna be here four nights a week, I might as well start this with her.”

While they were learning the sport, the two were able to help teach each other.

“It was really cool,” Mike said. “Anything I get to do with her is fun. You know, she’s my little buddy.”

“It’s nice having someone at home that if you’re working out at home, they can help you out because I mean, your instructor doesn’t live with you,” Abby said. “So you only get help from your instructor when you are at the dojo or you’re having a private lesson. If there was something I was confused about at home and I needed to figure out, then I could just go ask my dad.”

Now, the dynamic duo has grown into a karate powerhouse. The two have combined for nearly 10 Karate World Titles.

“We get to go and wear our country’s colors and I get to do that with her,” Mike said. “Nobody else that I know of can say that. I would rather see her succeed any day than see me succeed. She’s very, very talented. She excels in anything she tries.”

The medals are special, but that pales in comparison to the moments a father and daughter get to share.

“How many other guys can say they do this at the level we do it with their daughter,” Mike said. “She keeps me motivated and it’s very special to me.”

“It just makes it 10 times better doing it with my dad,” Abby said. “I love that I get to do it with him.”

Up next, the two will head to Wales to compete once again the the Karate World Championships.