Who has seen their child on the basketball court or soccer field make a great play and then immediately, like iron is drawn to a magnet, look directly to the stands for their parent’s pride and approval? One of the greatest pleasures in life is watching your kids play sports, build confidence and create new friendships. What if you had the opportunity to join your kid’s high school soccer team? It might be a little scary to take the field on that first day but then, rather than sitting in the stands, you could actively participate with your son or daughter in the learning, growth and enjoyment of the sport. A chance like this doesn’t present itself very often, especially in the fast lane of a child’s youth, so consider this adventure wisely. Take the first bow and join your child in the dojang. You won’t regret the lifetime of memories you’ll carry with you from that first day forward, not to mention your own personal growth as the cherry on top.
My son and I joined the Colorado Taekwondo Institute. We weren't initially looking for family martial arts. My son was interested in classes and after some research, we picked the CTI. We couldn't have been happier. After a year of my son doing classes, I decided it was time to stop sitting and watching and jump in with him. As I said before, how many opportunities like that will we get?
One of the first things you’ll hear, presuming your child started before you donned your white belt, is “Dad, you know you’re going to have to call me 'sir' since I’ll get my black belt before you?” With those joyous words you hope you both will stick with it through all those belts, tests, happy board breaks and sparring wins. Determination and perseverance, among other benefits, are two characteristics you’ll both be crowned with as you continue down your path. When I’m in class with my son we both see one another, checking for proper stance or chamber hands and to make sure our energy output is high, with a happiness level to match. Even better are the tournaments; preparing at home with additional patterned movement practice, holding pillows for practice breaking and then performing the final act on tournament day.
My son is now two and a half years into his journey and I’m a year behind him. The strength, confidence and discipline we both learn in the workout room translates to our home, school and personal lives in general. We’re having fun, growing stronger together and when he looks to the stands for his parent’s approval, he doesn’t have to look far.