After five years of Taekwondo training at KOMA, my eight year old daughter is officially a junior black belt.
This is the first time I have been able to experience the life of a parent at KOMA. I can now say I have a whole new respect for our parents!
There were many days that my wife and I did not want to take our daughter to class. Ava would have agreed to skipping class 80% percent of the time!
But we helped Ava become a black belt by focusing on the routine of attending the same three classes every week. If we missed a class, we made it up on a different day.
Did she have perfect attendance? No way! Only God is perfect! But we always got back on track the following week if the previous week was inconsistent.
Summers and holidays were particularly difficult since the weekly routine of attending school was no longer present. If we went on vacation for a week, we always added more classes the following week to make up.
Why do we put so much effort into KOMA? The answer is simple. We believe what is taught at KOMA expands further than just learning how to do “ninja stuff”.
Yes, this is my wife and I’s business and livelihood. But if we didn’t feel it was beneficial for our children’s development and future, we would spend our time elsewhere.
We want our daughter to develop the black belt mindset at an early age. This includes always having respect for others, especially elders, teachers, and people in higher ranking positions. Having a humble attitude and not thinking she knows everything because this is the first step to growth and self improvement. Becoming a teachable student.
Always giving her best no matter the task. And most importantly, not giving up when things get tough.
Life can be hard but a true black belt is prepared and ready to take on the obstacles and challenges. We want our daughter to be as mentally and psychologically prepared as possible before leaving the nest. I call this, “emotional self defense”.
People can be harsh, inconsiderate, and offensive. A true black belt possesses the ability to not allow others or external factors to alter their emotional state. The black belt is in full control of their emotions and doesn’t care what others think.
Now that our daughter is a black belt, the journey is far from over. She has merely learned the fundamentals up until this point. She is on track to becoming a fourth degree black belt before leaving for college. This is now the long term goal my wife and I and we will make it a priority by focusing on keeping the weekly routine consistent. Sports, homework, and other activities will come and go but her martial arts training will always be there as long as she is under our roof.
Who knows, she may own her own KOMA in the future. I would definitely invest in a KOMA franchise that was managed and owned by a life long martial artist!
If you have a child who is currently on the path to becoming a black belt and beyond, don’t give up! There will be days neither of you will want to get in the car and go to class. Take it one week at a time and just focus on keeping the schedule consistent. Don’t get down on your child or yourself when failure happens. Just stay supportive and keep on.
You or your child won’t regret it, I promise.
Vincent Galate shares his childhood experience of growing up at KOMA.
Josette shares her perspective on the 11 years she spent at KOMA before moving off to college.