Meet Taekwondo moms from around the world who have made the later-in-life decision to take up martial arts and hear about the profound impact it has had on their lives…
When she swapped the gym for her local dojang just to keep her two boys company as they started their Taekwondo training, mom Sylvia says she would never have believed the ‘world of inspiration and friendship’ she would find there…
1. What prompted you to become a Taekwondo Mom?
Taking up Taekwondo in my 30s after having two kids was the most rewarding thing I did for myself. I started by attending family classes to encourage my boys, but very quickly it became something I’d like to pursue regardless of my children’s involvement in the future.
I go to class five times a week consistently and also practice at home. My children typically find me training in our garage after cooking/cleaning/writing emails and they would tell each other to practice so that they can earn their belts.
It’s important for me that they understand the value of work ethics and I think I don’t have to tell them to work hard because they have been seeing me doing just that every day.
It is definitely a great family activity where we can grow stronger and closer together, but it is also an individual pursuit as self-improvement and empowerment.
2. What do you hope to achieve through your Taekwondo training?
Self-awareness, better control of emotions, sturdy character and just sheer joy of being active (kicking, punching, yelling etc) which is completely energizing.
I was active before starting Taekwondo but the training at the dojang, as opposed to the gym, took fitness to a totally new level. Especially after a night of sparring, the physical exhaustion and mental satisfaction make me feel more alive and optimistic than anything else.
Even though I’m soaked in sweat and can barely walk, my mind is clear and my heart is full of joy.
I have a full time job outside the house and when I get home it’s the second shift, as any parent would know. It’s so easy to put our own needs below everyone else’s and everything else.
I make a point of carving out an hour a day at least for my tkd time to recharge and just focus on myself. I believe that makes me a much happier parent and help my children see me as an individual (in addition to a mother) who pursues interests and does not stop learning.
I know they are definitely proud when they tell their friends that mom is a red belt and has a good spin hook kick. 🙂
I hope to raise my boys to be mindful, humble and resilient men who not only respect women but really see women as strong and capable equals. Taekwondo facilitates that because they are surrounded by female masters, instructors and peers who teach and inspire. They learn humility, respect and boundaries.
3. How do you feel your Taekwondo training benefits you?
Taekwondo makes me become more self-aware, more in tune with my body. That includes listening to the aches of body parts and accepting limitations. I may never achieve a perfect middle split but that doesn’t stop me trying to be a better version of myself every day.
I value the introspective aspect of Taekwondo training. It is not something we should compare ourselves to others. Everyone has different level of fitness, strength and flexibility, and it is definitely not a race with a finish line. It’s a life-long journey as you make it, so there is no point in competing with someone else.
We are really there to improve ourselves, getting up from each failed attempt and being able to do things we couldn’t’ even imagine doing before.
4. What would you say to someone thinking about trying Taekwondo?
Give it a try and see for yourself! It may look intimidating at the beginning, but we all started as a white belt. You might find most people in training passionately love their art and would go out of their way to support you and encourage you.
Our bodies are all capable regardless of sizes and shapes. They surprise us in what they can do when we give them a chance.
5. Do you feel being Taekwondo Mom has had an impact on other areas of your life such as family, career etc and if so, what are they?
Training makes me a calmer, happier and more confident person in general. I didn’t start training and expect much other than keeping my children company, but I have discovered a world of inspiration and friendship.
- If you would like to share your experience of Taekwondo to inspire others and be featured in my World Superhero Mum Club series, shoot me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org I’d love to hear from you! 😉