Tearful little boy, cheered on by karate classmates, rallies to break board – and the internet’s hearts


If at first you don’t succeed, try again, goes the adage – but it’s probably never been so adorably shown in the history of the internet as with a video of a young martial arts student in Florida.

The video of a boy named Phoenix and his attempts to kick a wooden board in half has gone viral on social media, with hearts melting and tears flowing.

Erik Gianini, manager at Bobby Dixon’s American Martial Arts Academy in Orlando, tries to coach young Phoenix but the boy just can’t break the plank despite repeated kicks.

In between each failed attempt, the other kids give words of encouragement. But soon Phoenix begins to cry, and rubs tears from his eyes, so the classmates start chanting his name and pounding the mats in encouragement.

Phoenix doesn’t give up and keeps coming back for more. Geed up by his friends, he finally breaks through the board with his heel and the whole class mobs him in celebration.

The boy’s mother posted the video to Facebook earlier this month and it has already spread across social media.

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“Phoenix did not have to break the board to advance [in his class] but he wanted to,” Claudia Swonger wrote on a YouTube post of the video.

“While it may have been a struggle, with encouragement, instruction, and lots of love, he overcame and advanced.”

“My boy learned one of the most important lessons in his life today! NEVER ... EVER GIVE UP!!!” she added on Facebook, where the original post has amassed over 275,000 shares.

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The video has also attracted more than 30,000 comments.

“Never give up, never surrender. I was about ready to cry with him,” Kyle Robinson said. “This is beautiful,” Aya S. Ragab said.

“Can you imagine what that did for his self esteem! Love the support he received!!” wrote Andrea D. Jackson.

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