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Martial Arts: Lessons Learned

Posted on 4/6/2017
My family benefitted from martial arts and continues to benefit today, even 20 years later.  We all still use the lessons learned and hope that they bring harmony into our lives and help up to be the best we can each day.

Let’s start with my introduction to the Martial Arts discipline.  It all started with  a boy in college (he is now my husband).  I knew very little about the sport, ok, nothing at all but I wanted to be supportive, so I watched and thought I could never, ever do that.  Fast forward a few years, married with 2 children and my husband is longing to participate in Martial Arts again.  I made it my mission to find him a studio.  Lucky for us a new Tae Kwon Do studio had just opened. I went in, got a copy of the schedule, and the journey began.

At first my husband went to classes and I took the kids to watch.  Within a few months, our son wanted to participate with his dad and Master Lim said, “OK, I will make a family class.”  For the next 6 months my son went to classes with his dad, it was fun to watch the bond it created.  Then our daughter wanted to join and take classes with the boys. She was 3 and again Master Lim said, “OK, let’s start a kids class”.  For the next 2 years I faithfully took the kids and many others to Tae Kwon Do.  I watched the kids grow in this sport and for the 2 years I sat and watched, Master Lim encouraged me to join class.  I was out of shape and did not have any of the athletic abilities required for Martial Arts.  Around year 3, Master Lim suggested we start a women’s only class in the afternoon, the kids were in school all day so I thought, OK I will give it a go.  The adage is “the journey begins with the first step”.  I have to admit it was hard and I struggled but I soon found myself in the evening classes, sparing, doing poomse and even competing.  I was hooked.  I started testing and soon found myself at my first black belt test, then my second and third and so on.  I received my 2nd degree black belt and could not have been more proud of myself.  As I reflect back I am reminded of all the wonderful thing Martial Arts taught me and my family.

Lesson 1-TRY- This seems so simple but I fear so many are afraid to try, however you just never know what you are capable of unless you try.

Lesson 2- PERSERVANCE- Everyone fails and those that get up and try again and again, live to their fullest potential- perseverance is the key.

Lesson 3- SET GOALS- You can’t get where you want to go if you do not know where you want to be.  Master Lim helped our whole family learn to set and achieve goals- we are forever grateful for this lessons.

Lesson 4- FAMILY- Family is more than flesh and blood it is the community you surround yourself with.  We made incredible friendships throughout our Tae Kwon Do journey, relationships that have stood the test of time.

Lesson 5-TIME MANAGEMENT- This was a big one for me- I had to figure out how to manage school, owning a business, family and make time for classes.  My kids learned how to juggle classes and school, friendships, and responsibilities.  Both of our children are 3rd degree black belts and taught classes in high school as well as doing other activities.  Master Lim stressed the use of planners with my children and scheduling their lives. This is a blessing they still use today.

Lesson 6- MAKING TIME FOR ME- this is still a hard one for me but in classes, especially the all-women’s afternoon class, she stressed that you need to communicate with yourself every day and reflect on what you want out of the day, week, year