About three years ago, my daughter attended a birthday party for one of her dance teammates. At the time, she was about 7. Her best friend and her thought it was a great idea to start taking Tae Kwon Do and acrobatics – and being the overachieving mom I am, decided it was a great idea. After all, my younger son was already taking Karate, and if I could move him to this school (which was closer to our house by 15 minutes), then maybe I could save some of my sanity. And every martial art is basically the same, right?! (Nope, wrong!)
I can’t say I haven’t heard any complaints about going to classes, but for the most part, it’s been an educational journey for our entire family. My youngest has tagged along 2-5 days a week and watched his older brother and sister kick, punch, yell and block. He started about a year and a half ago, and loves it.
My daughter has had some apprehension about martial arts as a whole, and I believe it’s due to her mindset of being a dancer. This has opened her eyes to the reality that she can be more than one “thing”. She has had several incredibly strong female role models instructing her, and proving that girls can be fierce martial artists too.
The kids study both traditional Tae Kwon Do and Xtreme Martial Arts. Xtreme Martial Arts, or XMA, is a martial art dedicated to traditional moves paired with performance and acrobatics/stunts. It was created by former Power Ranger Mike Chat.
XMA has taught my daughter a great deal about being a leader, has improved her dance performances and while it has not removed her self doubt completely, every day I believe she exhibits more and more self-confidence.
XMA taps into my boys’ creativity and has allowed them to excel in acrobatics, while Tae Kwon Do challenges their focus and patience.
All the while, they learn important life skills – discipline, honesty, self-esteem, belief, communication, etc. What started out as a whim has become a road of discipline, hard work, patience, perseverance and unity. It has challenged my kids physically and mentally.
On December 18, 2016, my oldest two earned their black belts in Tae Kwon Do and their black belts in XMA. As we have learned, this is just the beginning…