His teacher begins to tie the white stripe he earned to Alex's belt and tells him, "I'm so so proud of you, buddy. All the hard work you do."
Learning martial arts requires a lot of hard work and determination and it's not every day that one earns a stripe in the sport. Recently, a man with cerebral palsy got his first stripe and he could not hold back his excitement. In a video posted on Reddit, Alex Mercado's teacher can be seen telling everybody in the class, "Me and Mr. Alex, we do lessons every Friday." He then tells Mercado, "Buddy, I'm super duper proud of you." To which he responds, "I didn't cry!" His teacher tells him, "I know you didn't cry. You don't cry in karate." Mercado starts laughing. After which, his teacher begins to tie a white stripe he earned to his belt. Meanwhile, he tells him, "I'm so so proud of you, buddy. All the hard work you do. You deserve it." Mercado becomes ecstatic and starts shouting. The 52-second video ends with the teacher hugging Mercado.
According to WTOC, Mercado was part of the Special Kids program at Pooler Karate in 2020. He was trained by Matthew Sangiorge for 1.5 years in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Sangiorge said, “Definitely a whole lot of running around, a lot of groundwork to keep him moving.”
Mercado was doing pretty well. Sangiorge said, “It was definitely your time buddy. Everything we’ve been going over he soaks it in like a sponge.” He continued, “It really just shows what martial arts is all about. You know, that everybody can come in no matter what, and everyone will support you and carry you on your journey,” said Sangiorge.
The video was first uploaded on Sangiorge's TikTok and it went viral. “I was like, ‘wow!’ The power of social media that everybody can kind of see what we’re doing here,” he said. Moreover, he believes that the video sent an important message. He said, “Alex really shows you that you have no excuse. If Alex can come in here with a smile on his face every day, and bust his butt harder than any other student, you really don’t have an excuse. It makes your problems not that bad.” He said that his student has changed his life. Sangiorge said, "I’m saying how can you have a bad day when he comes in? I’m telling you I’m very appreciative. Friends forever."
Many on Reddit were emotional about this special moment. u/Duck_of_Doom71 commented, "Nothing but respect here." u/SgtLoneCrow wrote, "He's there every Friday, he's got the discipline. He deserves it." u/Asleep-Strawberry716 commented, "as someone with cerebral palsy this made my night." u/Appeal-Chemical wrote, "This one made me cry a little."
Another teen with cerebral palsy also is a true example of how perseverance and hard work can take you to places. He recently got into Harvard University. Matthew and his twin sister, Magdalena, in a viral video are seen checking the status of his application on a laptop. The moment they see that he has been accepted, Matthew can't stop laughing and Magdalena can't believe her eyes and keeps saying, "No Way! No Way!" in excitement.
Matthew said, “I was completely in shock," adding, “I think it was just one of the best moments in my life,” as reported by TODAY. Magdalena believes that it's all her brother's hard work that has paid off. She said, "I get so excited every time I get to talk about it because Matthew worked so hard for this."