A Mother’s Take on Martial Arts
Earlier this evening, my 7 year old son goes up to me with two arnis sticks on hand and says he wants to show me his redonda. Redonda is a basic arnis exercise/sequence that students learn. I continue on by correcting his form and I watched in awe at how quickly he absorbed it. It was a proud moment for me because at a very young age , he has shown us that he is very advanced in martial arts and has obviously inherited his father’s skills. I even believe that he will overtake his dad in his teens.
At that moment, I just realized that I want my boys to excel in martial arts because it teaches them discipline, teamwork, resistance and foresight. I wish for them to be world champions and black belts at a young age. Of course, I am never one to force my kids to get into it. Only if they would want to. My 2nd son though has shown a great interest in martial arts at a young age of 3 which is why I support him completely and try to impart the little that I know about the various martial arts I got into back in the day. Of course it helps that his father is also pretty good at it. lol.
Having said that though, what I would never want for them is to take the path of violence wherein they are tested in the streets. I have seen and gone down that path many times over and it was an ugly path. The number of people you beat up in the street just because you feel you need to test your skills or because people want to test you does not define you as a man or a good martial artist. How you deal with compromising situations without having to hurt anyone is what defines you. So for that I wish that my children would have the skills but at the same time the presence of mind not to abuse it.
I encourage parents to get their kids, when they are ready (6-7 years old is the suggested age for any child to get into a sport), into martial arts, whether it be karate, jiu jitsu, muay thai, boxing, wrestling, judo , or even Arnis. It helps build their confidence and self esteem. But remember, choose their instructor well. See what kind of people train in the school, observe your child’s behavior as he advances into training and most of all, constantly remind them to appreciate the art and really understand the discipline and beauty behind it.
Your in martial arts,