Without question, one of the coolest parts of running a dojang is when a student and their loved ones earn black belts in the same ceremony.
As is the case with anything, there are both positives and negatives to families training Tae Kwon-Do together. But the good vastly outweighs the bad.
Life pulls at you from different directions and for different reasons. Having a baby, work, school, sports, there are a million ways you can be knocked off-center from your Tae Kwon-Do training. If you’re out there trying to do it alone, it’s easier to fall off and not get back up. Not with families, though. When one’s commitment begins to wane, the others typically step up to support and help bring them back to center, so to speak. They can help maintain your interest, catch you up if you’re falling behind, or help you learn something that you’re having trouble with in class.
It’s no surprise that parents tend to pick things up quicker than their kids. This can be a huge asset to both the child and to us instructors. Parents often know the best way to teach their children, which allows them to encourage learning outside the dojang.
Sometimes, it can even be the other way around. A kid who is unclouded by fear and doubt may achieve things their parents cannot. It is always cool to watch the roles reversed and see a kid helping their parents. I have watched it happen many times.
I’ve found that when loved ones are involved in Tae Kwon-Do together, their level of commitment goes through the roof. Commitment to continuing their training, of course, but the tenets of Tae Kwon-Do strengthen their commitment to each other as well.
This is particularly true with couples. Training Tae Kwon-Do is just like going to the gym, remodeling a house, or any other activity you do together. Sharing experiences strengthens and deepens the bonds between two people, and the journey of Tae Kwon-Do is a perfect experience to share with someone you love.
Partners make great teammates, too. They tend to be extremely supportive and excited that the person they love is getting healthier, can defend themselves, is learning to relieve stress, etc. I couldn’t imagine a better teammate than my wife, Tica.
But admittedly, that isn’t always the case.
Sometimes, when only one partner is doing Tae Kwon-Do, the other can get jealous. I have had plenty of experiences where the non-trainer actually tries to get the trainer to quit because of the time spent away from them.
Other times, there is an element of competition when partners or family members train together. Competition isn’t necessarily always a bad thing, but can have negative effects.
In one family, training at our dojang, there is a kid who may be one of my best students ever. Two of the others are still above average, but one of them is really struggling. I have noticed some resentment.
My solution was to lean into the advantages of training with family. I encouraged the struggling student to talk to her older siblings and try to learn from them.
I’m proud to say that I have already seen some improvement.
A father and three kids from a different family also train at the dojang. Dad has a really strong personality, and he made sure that his boys all made it to black belt. They went from being what I would consider ‘B’ students to ‘A’ students. They started going to travel tournaments, even when they didn’t have to. And they are all stronger outside of the dojang because of it. The kids started doing better in school, their confidence is up, and they never waste a chance to tell me how their home life has been positively affected by Tae Kwon-Do.
One of my favorite examples, though, is of a family we have where both children are on the autism spectrum. Their mother has told me repeatedly that Tae Kwon-Do has put their family in a better place because of how it has helped her kids grow physically, mentally, and emotionally. They are becoming leaders. They have done things in school that their parents weren’t sure they would ever be able to do. I’m proud to be able to say that one of them just started college this fall!
I want to say that Tae Kwon-Do alone made that happen. But it wasn’t just because they trained.
It was because they trained together.
Master Gorino’s Tae Kwon-Do offers a trial program for individuals and families in Buffalo, NY and the surrounding areas that allows you to get a feel for the different classes, meet our instructors, and experience our dojang. It’s a great way to see if Tae Kwon-Do is right for you. To learn more or to sign up, visit the Contact Us page or call (716) 836-KICK (5425) and a member of our team will follow up with you on next steps. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals. Pil-Sung!