Like Mother, Like Son

To first it’s strange seeing 5-foot, 89-pound Lynn Fabia peacefully, effortlessly and beautifully throw her 6-foot son David over her head for a break fall that concludes with a loud slap on the practice mat. David, 19, then gets up, showing no suggestion of pain, and returns to his original position behind his mother. He rushes her as if to reach for an invisible gun in a holster, only to face the same fate while the Aikido students sitting around the mat try to catch the quick blur of the event.

Lynn, a 3rd degree blackbelt, and David, a graduate of Sunset High School and a 2nd degree blackbelt, have been studying the nonviolent martial art for 10 years and now teach it together. Both say that their busy work schedule of six days a week is a definite benefit in their relationship and has brought them closer.

’Today the [typical American] family is too scattered and the parents never know where their kids are. I think we’ve lost the concept of family togetherness,” says Ms. Fabia. who is also the marketing director of die Southwestern Aikido Institute in Oak Cliff, where mother and son teach most of their classes.

Lynn says sensei [Japanese for “teacher”] Bill Sosa, 5th degree blackbelt and the institute’s founder, is trying to emphasize a family atmosphere for the classes. “We’re seeing a lot more of families practicing together here and at other locations. It’s really positive,” she says.

The Fabias never let the occasional dis cord or argument between them on the way to class affect their teaching. “What ever goes on with us before class has got to change when we get there. You can’t bring that to work,” says David, who will be featured with Sosa in the sensei’s police department instructional manual on Aikido next year. “When we get on the mat, it’s business.”

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