DICKINSON, Texas -- John Doreck remembers January 20, 1981 distinctively. It's the day he walked into a martial arts studio and fell in love with the craft.
Ever since that day Doreck has been working towards earning the title of Grandmaster. He was still working to earn that title even after he was diagnosed with cancer in 2019.
"During the cancer treatment we were always up at the hospital. When we weren't there at the hospital, I was able to go home and train - walk through forms, footwork, things I knew I could do," Doreck said. "Anytime I got the opportunity to teach, I taught, because I knew that's the best way to keep the training going."
Earlier this year, Doreck was told the cancer spread to areas of his chest and neck. He chose not to undergo treatments in order to complete his Grandmaster test in July.
"His doctor told him that he wanted him to have a quality of life. You know, I had to support him whatever he wants because this is very important to him," Kim Doreck said.
His illness landed him in the hospital and Doreck was not able to attend his test, but while on the hospital bed he was presented with his 8th degree black belt and promoted to Grandmaster. Al Garza of Premier Martial Arts said he was well qualified.
"I couldn't think of a better man that deserves it more than he does," Garza said.