If you were one of Ray Thompson's five children - such as Evan Thompson - you were on a martial-arts schedule preset by the academy owner and enthusiast.
At 3 years old, you began Japanese kempo karate, including a certain number of classes per week. At 10 years old, you started kickboxing and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. By 15, full-contact kickboxing competition was allowed.
You could choose to stop participating in martial arts, of course. When you were 16.
"It was interesting because right around when I turned 16, the light bulb went off," Evan Thompson told MMAjunkie.com(www.mmajunkie.com). "I understood why he kept us on that schedule, why he was so adamant that we stayed in martial arts. It was the best for us. It kept us from getting in trouble with other things.
"Now I'm old enough to understand the benefits and everything he was doing for us."
And now that Thompson has completed his father's final rule, he will become a professional MMA fighter. After completing 10 amateur fights, the minimum for earning professional status in his family, Thompson made his professional debut by fighting Bobby Moore at 185 pounds at Legacy FC 16 in Allen, Texas.
The 28-year-old has already made MMA a major part of his life, opening one of the RCJ Machado Jiu Jitsu gyms in the Dallas area with the help of his brother-in-law, Carlos Machado. He has been around martial-arts instruction since his earliest days, and he now spends his life teaching and running his gym with a business partner.
Thompson will add professional fighting to his resume that he once thought would include acting, not combat sports. Instead, he stayed on the path that his father began.
He is hoping to make the same splash as his brother, Stephen, a fighter nicknamed "Wonderboy" who is now a three-fight UFC veteran.
"I'm definitely excited about the level of competition," he said. "I know I need to get better, and I need to push my training to the next level. It's one stepping stone closer to the UFC."
Evan Thompson is now on a professional 5 fight winning streak with the Legacy organization and plans to fight mid to late summer of 2014