By Melisa Schelvan

I was thinking through my reasons for why I want to write about being a martial arts parent. There are various other things that my children do—all of which are very worthwhile. One of these days I’ll write about the many benefits of music and 4H. However, for now, we are enmeshed in the world of Taekwondo. We seem to eat and breathe martial arts.  I must go back to when my daughter was younger…

She was slow. I don’t mean unintelligent; I mean literally slow. She was always the last one to do anything and everything. My husband and I still laugh about his time walking her home from elementary school. He tells of the many times when he would finally give up and just carry her (a third grader!) because she was pondering life (very slowly) as she considered putting one step in front of the other. He needed to get back to work at some point! This is the same girl that came home crying because she wasn’t strong enough to play on the monkey bars with her friends. She was soft (and sweet and adorable, but soft). It’s tough to describe the difference that the martial arts, specifically Taekwondo, have made in her life. It’s made a difference in my life, as a parent, as well.

Anyway, when she declared her desire to start Taekwondo, to say I was hesitant would be an understatement. Martial arts? Taekwondo? Doesn’t that involve a lot of kicking? And punching? And yelling? (OK, I wasn’t too worried about the yelling part, she had that skill, ha!) Her younger brother was semi-interested, and we decided it would be a good way to keep them active, so we signed up. (Their older sister wasn’t interested at the time, but that too is a story for another post.) Needless to say, that’s when the avalanche of information began, from which we have not yet recovered! I’ll be writing about that in more detail. For now, as their coach would say, “let’s go!”