Growing up, I was the kid who was always pretending to be a ninja. I snuck around the house, I was always a ninja for Halloween, and I read about martial arts such Judo and Karate from my school library. However, actually getting into family martial arts never seemed to materialize for me as a child. So when the opportunity presented itself, as an adult, I seized it in order to fulfill a childhood dream. The full back story of how I got into Taekwondo can be saved for another day, but I started at the same time as my oldest son (who was 3 years old at the time). When I started Taekwondo, there was a “me” motivation. Most of my experience, as a martial artist, revolved around my own time in class and my own practice.
But as my son and I progressed along, there was a definite transformation with regard to where my martial arts fulfillment came from. Suddenly, Taekwondo wasn’t a “me” thing but instead a “we” thing. As we continued on with classes, what I did bled over into what my son did. We could practice together and talk about family martial arts. And just as importantly, my wife was involved. She helped our son train and memorize forms, she was active during classes, and Taekwondo became a dinner-time topic. In whole, our entire family became involved in Taekwondo.
Taekwondo is amazing when the whole family is involved. I can say for certain that the experiences I’ve had over the years would not be as great or as satisfying if my family were not closely involved. This goes beyond my wife and children cheering for me at a tournament, or my son thinking his dad is cool for having a black belt. Taekwondo has become integrated into our daily lives in many positive ways. It’s discussed at dinner, the life lessons stay alive in our daily routines, and practicing with my son is as satisfying as ever.
Make no mistake, this isn’t your usual Saturday at the soccer field kind of activity. This isn’t Mom and Dad sitting on the side line (possibly freezing) while all the kids swarm around the ball and kick it all at once. Taekwondo can become something much greater. As a family, it can guide you and bring you closer, give you life lessons, examples, reasons to laugh and cheer for each other, and truly feel involved. Myself, my wife, my children, we’re all involved in one thing that allows us all to relate. If you’re looking for more, get the whole family involved. Some parents search high and low for something to connect with their children. There are plenty of people I can recommend who already have the whole family involved, and all will agree that there is nothing better.