14510 Grover St, Omaha, Nebraska 68144

Making something happen as a family

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Making something happen as a family

Making something happen as a family.

Almost every martial arts school offers classes for children, and most of them offer classes for adults. Why does Omaha TMA have a focus on family martial arts?

Years ago I attended my first world wide martial arts competition and conference. With almost 20,000 people in attendance you can imagine, it was a very impressive experience. I spent most of my time there focused on myself. Finding my way around, making sure I made it to the workshops I was attending and getting ready for my testing. But early one morning, as I was walking down a large hallway filled with people in uniforms carrying gear and weapons, something caught my eye. It was a martial arts family; a father, mother, and a young boy and girl. They were all dressed in brilliant white uniforms, and all four of them were wearing black belts. As I passed them in the hall I could hear them talking about their upcoming competitions.

“Make sure you get there early,” the mother was saying. “My ring doesn’t start until noon so I’ll be there to watch you.” And then they were gone, lost in the sea of people on their way to take part in the year’s biggest competition.

The image of that family stayed in my head. Just qualifying for that tournament was an accomplishment. A level of training and commitment that’s difficult to explain to someone who has never had a chance at a world title. My first thought was ‘wow they all made it.’ Four people qualifying from the same family was something to be proud of. But it was my next thought that really stuck with me.

‘They all made it together.’

As I walked to my next training session down a seemingly unending hallway, I began to think about all the activities I had seen people take part in over the years. Parents taking their kids to swimming lessons, basketball and football practices, cheerleading camps and gymnastic meets; soccer and dance moms cheering or coaching from the sidelines while their kids ran up and down a field or stood in a spotlight. Or maybe just as common, the parents who drop their kids off somewhere so they can finally get something done. 

This family had spent countless hours training; first to achieve the rank of black belt, and then to compete at that rank. How many hours had they spent together driving or even flying all over the country to compete in regional and national tournaments? What was it like to be a parent cheering on your child, and then having them cheer for you?

‘Where else does that happen?’ I thought. How many activities are there that children can do, that adults can take part in and still get something out of it on the same level? More than that, what must it be like to have an entire family where everyone has their own goal of becoming a black belt, or winning a tournament, or becoming a champion; and to have everyone working together to achieve their personal goals?

I turned a corner, my mind going back to the times I had seen parents help their children with a kick, and even the times where children helped their parents. As I did, I saw a mother and daughter practicing together in a corner. It made me realize that as an instructor I had something really special to offer; something that a family couldn’t find just anywhere. I was glad to be a part of it.

                                                            -Master Aaron Sailors

Family Training in Martial Arts, Fitness, & Real World Self-Defense

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