A year and a half ago, I was researching martial arts for families in my area, and stumbled across the website and Facebook page for the Colorado Taekwondo Institute. I knew that I wanted to get myself and my then 3.5 year old daughter enrolled in martial arts in order to give us skills needed to defend ourselves, should the need ever arise. Beyond that, I didn’t really have any idea of what I was looking for. The CTI seemed organized based on the website, seemed involved with their students based on the Facebook page, and had many glowing reviews. When I gave them a call to try out some classes for both of us, I had no idea how important this organization would become to my family.
Watching my three year old participate in her first Taekwondo tournament is an experience I’ll never forget. She had been a student for two months prior to her first tournament. I was probably more nervous than she was, watching her run up to the judges to introduce herself before performing her very first poomse (series of patterned movements). I didn’t know how she would react to having five black belts she’d never met watching her, and having her perform all on her own, but she did a wonderful job! As a parent, I couldn’t be more proud of her. Or so I thought. Then it was my turn to do my first poomse at the same tournament. It had been years since I’d been that nervous. My daughter had made it look so easy! I was even more proud of her then.
Participating in the same sport as your child is incredibly rewarding. We share a bond that is hard to fully appreciate until you are a part of it. Watching my child participate in Taekwondo is an amazing experience, but being a student myself, I have a deeper understanding of what she is experiencing. I can help her at home with her Taekwondo studies at a much higher level than I could as a spectator. We count in Korean together over dinner. We compare trophies and medals after tournaments, and talk about what we learned in class that day. We celebrate our belt promotions together, do our homework together, practice poomse together, and study for our promotion tests together.
Taekwondo has come to mean a great deal to me, and I could not be happier to share that experience with my daughter. I am looking forward to the day that my son is also old enough to participate. I can’t help but look ahead, and think of the day when all three of us are black belts. I’m looking forward to reminiscing about our first tournaments together, and remembering all of the times that I tied their belts and wished them luck before they competed. Family karate lessons has been a truly wonderful experience for us. As my classmate, Ms. Melodie Page said, “The families that kick together stick together.”
If you're looking for martial arts for families, I highly recommend you picking up the phone and calling the Colorado Taekwondo Institute.