When I am asked a question regarding the reason I chose a certain decision or direction for my children, the answer is typically not difficult to answer. I simply state what was on my mind at that time and how it would benefit my child. However, the question regarding why I chose Martial Arts for myself is not as easy an answer as I had anticipated. People have asked me why I decided to join, and my answer was never clear. My initial response has been along the lines of, "I am not really sure. I guess it was to join my children in this challenge." I was not really sure how to express the exact reason I chose to study the
me. Staring at a blank page without thoughts overflowing was unexpected. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized why. As parents, our children come first.
The choice to put my children into Martial Arts was easy. I realized the benefits it would provide them. As years went on, I have seen individual growth in different ways. Each child has strengths that are being enhanced and weaknesses that are being challenged. The benefits I predicted that Tae Kwon Do would offer them have become a reality, plus more. They continue to grow each time they attend class. Every class I was able to watch, I was intrigued with what they were learning. I was disappointed when I was unable to stay as I needed to be somewhere else. Little did I know that this was a growing urge of wanting to participate in something that I simply thought was an enjoyment in observing.
After some time, it dawned on me that the benefits my children were gaining out of Tae Kwon Do were things that I realized I could use in my life, as well. The meditation helps them remain still and focused for a period of time, reflecting only on the present and mentally preparing for what was ahead of them in that hour. The physical movements of stretching and forms help their balance, coordination, mental processing, and concentration. The self defense skills benefit them to become more agile and aware of the unexpected challenges (physical or mental), they will face as they grow. Their spirit, perseverance and confidence only increase as they work toward their next belt. The appreciation of the Korean culture and history is naturally something that I feel my children need. The vocabulary and lessons learned in class help them to recognize and appreciate the Korean culture which, of course, is already part of their identity. It is difficult to pinpoint each and every reason why Tae Kwon Do is such a beneficial practice as the list is endless. It improves the whole body and mind. I enjoyed watching my children receive these benefits through Tae Kwon Do, and I finally realized something that surprised me: It was my turn.
As most parents would agree, our children are our priority. They come first in every important decision we make. It does not come natural for us to think about ourselves or especially to take time to ponder what benefits us in our decisions. It is not natural for us to dissect the reason of why we choose to make a commitment, if we even make them at all. Joining Tae Kwon Do looked like a quick, "on the whim" decision. Friends were surprised when I joined as was my husband. In actuality, the desire was always there but the justification to do it was not. I realize now, and especially after attending a number of classes, that joining Tae Kwon Do is a life changing decision. It is absolutely something I enjoy sharing with my children. But, most importantly, it was a personal decision to commit to something that would ultimately benefit, challenge, change, and improve...ME. It is my turn.