Why Martial Arts Was Right For Us

In a house of three rambunctious boys, I always worry that the inevitable is coming: soon, we will likely be all-consumed by sports and the crazy schedules that go with them. 

But I’m not a sports mom. I don’t think I have it in me. I can’t imagine myself sitting on the sidelines of any kind of field at an ungodly hour of the morning or late into the night. I can’t envision myself shuttling my kids from practice to game to practice again. I can’t picture so much about the Sport Mom Life.

To be clear, I’d do it, unquestionably, if my kids wanted that. I’d do it all. And as we watched our friends’ kids enter into sports as young as two years old, we made offers to our oldest son: do you want to try soccer? Do you want to try T-ball? To my great relief, he declined it all. (He’s a homebody like his mother.)

Eventually, he turned six, our middle son turned four, and my husband and I felt like it really was time to expand their horizons and to get them involved in some sort of extracurricular activity. My husband did taekwondo throughout his childhood and often play-spars with the kids at home, and we could see a growing interest in them. So we finally bit the bullet and signed them up for taekwondo!

As a non-sports mom, I feel like we have found our extracurricular home! Our experience so far feels like we’re “sports-adjacent” without the intense commitment of actual playground sports. My absolute favorite result of these past few months has been seeing their self-confidence increase. The look on my son’s face the first time he broke a wooden board in class is a new core memory for me (and likely for him!). 

We are fortunate to have our kids studying under a taekwondo master who is passionate and encouraging while still commanding respect and focus in her class. At home, we’re seeing an increase in discipline, manners, athleticism, and again, confidence. I’m aware I’m still in the “honeymoon phase,” as it’s only been six months and we haven’t yet entered the world of competitions or sparring, but it has been a wonderful beginning. My kids are engaged and eager to learn more; nervous for belt tests and overjoyed when they succeed.

While I’d still rather be keeping my family at home and being the homebody couch potato I was born to be, martial arts has truly been a wonderful experience for us. I’d love for other moms to know this is an option when looking for activities for your children. Is it possible that one day my kids won’t like it anymore, or will want to try more traditional playground team sports? Of course. But for now, martial arts is serving a beautiful role in our lives, and I’m excited for them to continue this journey.

Kids practicing martial arts

Erica Tran
Erica lives in Kenner with her husband Michael and her three sons, Benjamin, Joshua, and Elijah. After graduating from UL Lafayette with a degree in advertising and landing her dream job, she left her chosen field and now works part time as an administrative assistant for a Catholic retreat movement. She spends the rest of her time at home with her boys, finding lost toys and actively ignoring various messes. In 2019, she self-published her first book, The Sister. There's not a lot of free time between working, reading and writing, and chasing her kids, but in those moments she's usually sprawled on the sofa in casual denial about just how messy her house is.


  1. I love martial arts! My son and I started when he was little. Life has gotten in the way here and there, but I will be earning my first degree black belt in August and I am training to be an instructor! Hopefully, he will come back soon because he is close to black belt as well. We are currently at Forever Driven Martial Arts.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here