Video of boy trying to break board during martial arts training goes viral

9-year-old boy learns life lesson at Cave of Adullam Training Academy

DETROIT – A video going viral on social media shows on the surface a boy who appears to be hurting during a martial arts test, but when you dig deeper, he's learning a life lesson.

When 9-year-old Bruce Collins III showed up for class one day, he knew martial arts would be part of the test, but he probably never imagined the impact that lesson was going to have.

More than 1 million people have watched the video of the 9-year-old boy trying to break a board during his martial arts training, but it turns out what the young men are learning in the class has a message that goes beyond the mat, and it's truly resonating with people.

Bruce is a student at the Cave of Adullam Training Academy. Instructor Jason Wilson teaches the students a form a martial arts with more emphasis on mental control.

The skills involve meditation and staying focused, and breaking barriers.

The viral video shows a discouraged Bruce in pain learning the ropes. But Wilson pushed him harder even through his tears.

The video went viral with more than 1 million views and comments.

"I didn't know it was that hard," Bruce said.

Bruce eventually broke the board, but what Wilson told Local 4 about crying as a man touched so many around the world.

"It takes more confidence as a man to cry," Wilson said.

Now Bruce knows perseverance can help break down the barriers thrown at you in life.

The class involves fathers. They do something called "son ups," where the son gets on the father's back.

Bruce's father, Bruce Collins Jr., isn't taking the class, but he, too, is taking something from the lesson. It's also a huge teaching moment.

"I want to show him that family is everything and whatever he needs I have his back," he said.

One kid pushing through the pain has sparked a conversation about pain, manhood and emotions -- men too often avoid talking about.

"Having the mental fortitude to withstand any pain or pressure that you may go through in life," Bruce Collins Jr. said.

"My desire with the Cave is not only for our boys but when the fathers are there, they're free and they get to learn and say, 'If I'm crying, I can cry,'" Wilson said.

So many people were touched by the video they also wanted to donate. Wilson set up a GoFundMe account and in two days raised $16,000. He plans to use that money to move out the small basement facility in Midtown to a larger place so he can help more young men.

About the Authors:

Troy Blevins is a Digital Content Editor who has been with Graham Media Group since 2012.