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Martial art, as we understand, is all about kicks and punches either to hurt someone or protect oneself. But, there is a much wider acknowledgement to this sport. Different types of martial arts are practised in India, out of which kids prominently learn are Karate and Taekwondo.
When my son turned five years old, like all moms, I began hunting for extracurricular activities. Drawing, dance, music, all were on my mind. As I saw him less inclined towards arts and dance, I looked up martial arts classes. I knew little about the difference between karate and taekwondo, so my exploration went to the next level. Google search helped me as always; it is my saviour.
Taekwondo (Korean Martial art) like other forms of martial arts, is known for training the mind along with the body. It involves a series of punching and kicking techniques. Children are taught these techniques to help them coordinate the movements and improve concentration. I found out that taekwondo is included in the Olympics, and the participants use chest guards during the fights.
Sometimes, a mothers heart is like a confused child; mine was no different. How can I push my delicate, little child for such harsh training? What if he gets fractured? I had these questions running in my mind, and as fought with my thoughts, I landed in the class and convinced the trainer to allow me to be there till my child is comfortable. With no second thought, the trainer understood my worries.
The first day was just moderate warm-up exercises followed by some mild training. Gradually, he started loving it, and my attendance was no longer required. Luckily, the trainer also was very cooperative. My Little one is a mama’s boy but now started to be a little independent.
There are belt-wise promotions in taekwondo. Students begin at the white belt (entry-level) and gradually move to yellow, green, blue, red and black. Though it looks like only five colours, it’s still categorised into further sub-stages.
After a few months, I saw many positive changes in my child.
He started gaining pounds with an increase in his diet.
He started gaining confidence to interact with anyone; he was a shy child.
His concentration had improved; he focusses on studies better than before.
He became more confident physically as he got the feeling that he can protect himself if needed. At times, he tried a few stunts on me.
He participated in the National taekwondo open championship and got medals and certificates, which adds to his merit. The first time I saw him fight on a podium is what made me a trainer more than a mom. My hooting for him is still echoing in my ears.
He is now even motivated to play more outdoor games.
He is more resilient as that’s an important part of the training, too.
Now, he has set a benchmark to be a black belt. Lockdown also couldn’t divert him from his goal. He is taking training online. Being a blue belt, my champ has achieved a lot. Tiger Shroff is his inspiration as he just can’t take his eyes off from his biceps and is in awe of his daredevil stunts. Taekwondo gave my child a different personality. I must say, it should be a mandatory syllabus across schools.
By Sagarika Sahoo
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