By Margaret Snider, Wise Warrior, 2nd Degree Black Belt
“I wish my kids had had Taekwondo when they were young.” The words just popped out while I was talking with Master Pourarian. Hearing the words from my own mouth made me think, what exactly are the reasons I wish that?
For one thing, it would have kept them occupied, which they definitely needed at times in their childhood and youth. Occupied in a way that develops their physical abilities, strengthens their minds, and reinforces important principles that I tried to teach them at home.
In addition, of course, it would have built their confidence and self-defense skills. That, in itself, would be enough of a reason. The awareness of their training would have given them that Taekwondo bearing that says to possible attackers, “You might want to think twice about that!” Our kids would have not only have known they had the ability to defend themselves, but also would have known when use of those skills is appropriate and that they would have permission in those cases.
Our two sons had various times when they could have used the knowledge, and it is just as applicable to girls. In their preteen years, our neighborhood had a group of boys of a similar age who hung out together – our boys were not part of the group. It wasn’t a “gang” as such but they could be dangerous. I didn’t realize that until the boys had grown to adulthood and I heard them reminiscing about their youth. All I knew was that I had seen them one time playing football with those boys. That had seemed enough evidence to me at the time that they were all friends.
“That was an exception,” one son replied. Evidently our boys, without saying anything to us, had to time their outdoor activities according to the presence or absence of these kids. Not that our two young boys would have wanted to challenge the group, even if they had training, but if they had learned, for example, ways of dealing with bullying, or defusing possible dangerous situations, maybe they would have made friends instead of enemies. They might have even brought some of the other boys to their school, if they had had one, especially if it was like Pourarian’s Taekwondo.
Anyone, it seems, would want that training for their children. With Taekwondo, instincts – honed by training, personal effort, and achievement – can emerge if a situation occurs. Our children would have had experience in stretching beyond their abilities, overcoming fatigue and adversity, carrying on even when it was hard. They would have developed the ability to work with others under controlled situations. They could have applied that knowledge to their larger community of acquaintances.
In all of this, the importance of the school you choose cannot be overstated. In the unity and dedication you see at Pourarian’s Taekwondo there is real attention to all of the students and to the purpose of the practice. Working with instructors who are in tune with their students’ level, weaknesses, and strengths, students can achieve the most in their own individual circumstances.
If you have young children it would be seriously worth your while to consider enrolling them at Pourarian’s Taekwondo for their own best interests and for your own peace of mind. Then you may never have to think, “I wish I had.”