When I first began training in martial arts I was a freshman in college, looking for basic self-defense as well as exercise that involved more than a treadmill and weights. Through Muay Thai kickboxing and MMA and grappling I discovered a whole world of challenges and rewards and fun. As I passed through college into the workplace I continued training to keep in shape and to further develop strength, agility, flexibility, and balance…training kept my mind both active and calm (if that makes sense!). Self defense wasn’t always at the forefront of my mind but I definitely trained in order to have options and some sort of chance to defend myself or my loved ones if necessary.
When I had my children, my goals shifted. I still trained for fitness, but suddenly I had two little precious humans who were almost entirely dependent on me to keep them safe during our days together. I used to have nightmares of being at the park and having my toddler grabbed and taken while I was busy with the baby. How would I chase someone with a baby in my arms? Would I hand her to the nice looking mom next to me so I could run after my toddler? What if that “mom” was in on it and the baby was the true target all along? I don’t consider myself a crazed conspiracy theorist but motherhood brings out paranoia like nothing else I’ve ever encountered. And unfortunately children are kidnapped every day, so maybe it wasn’t so paranoid…in any case, at that time in my life I trained in Krav Maga with the specific and overriding goal of destroying anyone trying to take my kids/car with my kids in it/etc.
The paranoia has lessened somewhat now that my girls are more capable of struggling, following directions, etc. However, now that they’re a little older and beginning to enter the world of social mind games and competition, I train with the hopes of being a strong example for them. I want them to grow up in a family that prioritizes physicality and strength however it manifests, whether through martial arts or soccer or gymnastics. I believe that it’s incredibly important for girls to have the physicality and mental toughness that sports and competition ingrain in us, and so I hope to teach them by example that it’s important to work hard and to make time to be healthy.
And finally, I train because I want to be an example to my kids for being true to yourself and making time for what’s important to you. I know that being a martial artist is a part of who I am, and taking time to train and teach makes me a better mom as well as a better person. I have to be careful to make sure family time is plentiful, but if I gave up martial arts to focus solely on my children I’d drive them completely insane!
I’m sure my reasons for training will continue to change as life changes, just as your inspirations and motivations to train will evolve as your life evolves. Everybody’s path is different; the best advice that I can give is to be clear about what is important to you and to do your best to keep a balance.
Elite Training Center
1628 South Pacific Coast Highway,
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
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