A 9-year-old boy’s surprise opponent in a taekwondo match turned out to someone very special.

Luca Cesternino from Nashville, Tennessee was sparring in his class blindfolded when his instructor quietly stepped out so his father and Tennessee Army National Guard staff Sergeant Rob Cesternino could take his place.

Cesternino had been on deployment with the National Guard in Jordan and Luca was under the impression that he would only be back the following week, ABC News reported. A video shared online showed Luca hesitating every time he heard Cesternino say words of encouragement, as though was not sure if he was really hearing his father’s voice.

The third time, when he was called by his nickname, Luca ripped off his blindfold and rushed to his father, leading to an emotional reunion.