First part: Before the interview.
Before the Interview I knew absolutely nothing about Muay Thai, but I knew just enough to understand the difference between kickboxing in general compared to ice hockey for example. If it wouldn’t be for the national hysteria about John Wayne Parr I would never be aware of his presence on Earth, either. Then I started to hear his name on TV, saw John on the 7:30 Project and finally read this article: “Fighting for reputation” issued by the Bulletin on 26th of June.
Sure, I got curious, but not so much about John Wayne Parr but a lot about his daughter Jasmine “Princess” and when I read John’s words: “I challenge him (Karl Stefanovic), Anna Bligh, any media personality to come to my gym and see what we do” – I took it as an open invitation for myself.
I am not an official media personality in Australia but I am an Australian writer, publisher and blogger. My impeccable reputation as an unbiased interviewer of artists, writers and business people is rock-solid. I am a former Vice President of RBC in Vladivostok (Russia) which makes me qualified to conduct professional interviews and by all means I am clearly, representative of the Australian public as a citizen. So, I asked for the interview and John Wayne Parr agreed to meet me on Wednesday 29th of June in his Burleigh club, Boonchu Gym.
Compared with the many that jumped in with accusations and jumped out with defense, I had time to research, think and reflect. I am a mother of a girl who is already 22 years old and therefore as a parent I have experience and knowledge for presenting my parenting opinion. As I said before, I was interested more in Jasmine, what does she think and feel about her choice of being a kick boxer, just like her father and mother. To me it was the most important aspect but I would state one of my answers right away to Mr. Alt who said:” I don’t know if at that age they (Jasmine and Georgina) understand their choices.”
They do, Mr. Alt. They do understand what they want and sometimes, even much earlier than one thinks. I can give you, and to others, many examples of how much they understand. They understand because they feel it inside and simply say: “I want to be a ballet dancer, gymnast, hockey player or a doctor”.
My friend’s daughter at around three said that she wanted to be there, by pointing on the TV screen, and as a result of her parents letting her pursue her dream she is now a well recognised actress and very happy individual.
Let me help you to open your mind a little bit more Mr. Alt and I invite you around the world. In Okinawa, Japan, lives a five-years-old girl, who is a Brown Belt Karate Champion (conducted in North Carolina). She won by fighting against 8 year old boys and girls. Her name is Chanese Hall and she has held a Brown belt since she was 4 years old in two styles of Karate (Japanese Shotokan Karate and Okinawa Kenpo Karate). Her father said: “…she pushed us. Since she wanted to do it, we went along with what she wanted to do”. (Link to the article about Chanese Hall)
Varsha Vinod from India is a 5-year-old ‘Karate Kid’ and holds a black belt. Varsha asked to try when she was 2 years old. Her inspiration was and is her father, Vishwas Vinod – India’s karate champion from 1999 to 2002.
17-year-old driver, Johanna Long became the first female driver to win the Blizzard Series Super Late Model points championship. She was racing since she was five years old. Johanna said: “It’s a dream come true.”
I can really go on and on with examples Mr. Alt and your statement: “It seems to me like someone is cashing in on their kid who wants to live in their parents’ shadow” is quite an ignorant statement. Our future generation doesn’t want to live in our shadow. You missed the point! They look at us as an example, they get inspired by us and they over succeed because they are reaching for their dreams.
My personal appeal to every parent is – let them! Encourage them, inspire them, support their dreams and let them become achievers; just like Chanese Hall’s father, Varsha Vinods’ father, Joanna Long parents, Andre Agassi’s father and Jasmine’s parents – John Wayne Parr and Angela Parr.
My warmest regards,