LIFE

Blindfolded Boy Spars During Taekwondo Lesson But Doesn’t Know His Partner Is His ‘Deployed’ Dad

by Amy Paige
Amy is the Director of Trending Content at LittleThings. After graduating from Florida State University with a creative writing degree, she moved straight to New York City to pursue a career in the arts. She loves discovering and sharing viral videos, watching movies with her Muppet-like poodle mix named Cali, and doing the robot whenever possible.

Life has been a bit stressful for 9-year-old Luca Cesternino. The little boy from Tennessee has been taking taekwondo lessons, which can be a great way to expend energy, burn through stress, and build self-confidence.

You see, Luca’s beloved father, Staff Sergeant Rob Cesternino, had been deployed overseas since May 2018. He was serving in the Tennessee National Guard in Jordan and Syria for 10 months.

Luca is the youngest of six siblings, and the distance has been very difficult for the whole family. Rob made sure to call and/or video chat with Luca every two weeks while he was deployed.

In this clip, Luca is filmed during one of his taekwondo lessons. His instructor had him wear a blindfold to heighten his instincts and reaction time… but there was another more sentimental reason for the blindfold.

The blindfold definitely presented Luca with a challenge as he sparred with three different partners. While sparring for the third time, Luca heard his male partner shouting words of encouragement while calling him by his nickname — a name not many people refer to him by. In fact, there’s really only one person who uses that nickname.

That’s when Luca realized his dad had somehow secretly slipped into his lesson and stepped in to play the role of his partner.

Recognizing Rob’s voice, Luca swiftly ripped off his blindfold, yanked of his gloves, and jumped into his dad’s embrace.

As it turned out, Rob was given an early homecoming and wanted to surprise his youngest child. You don’t want to miss Luca’s reaction to the big reveal.

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