Kickboxing is a great activity for the entire family

by Tiger Schulmann's Princeton

These families have added Princeton kickboxing to their daily routines and are happier because of it.

When most people talk about doing a family activity, it’s usually referring to a trip to the park or a dinner. Some families will do bicycle rides together, or take an art class. There are many families out there doing a little more, to not only share with each other but to better themselves at the same time. Kickboxing is one of the greatest things a family can share, and we have quite a few groups who wouldn’t change their family activity for anything. Although our children and adult programs vary in the structure, all ages learn very authentic and similar kickboxing techniques. When it comes to kids, we want to build their self-discipline and their self-confidence so they achieve more at the things they do. Having strong focus not only improves schooling but will make things at home more disciplined, which will always make parents happier. When it comes to adults, the characteristic of discipline can still be molded but it’s not the main goal for them. Most adults come to us to get into better shape, create a healthier life style, and to relieve stress. All of these things make an individual a better and happier person, which in the end makes them able to give more to their family. When we asked some of our families what they enjoy about training together, the responses inspired us to share their stories with others.

The McCord’s are one of our families who adore training together.  It started out as only their children Gerard (6) and Rory (9) training. The kids needed an activity that they enjoyed and that added a little discipline in their lives. A year went by before parents Brian and Amy realized that Tiger Schulmann’s wasn’t only a Martial Arts school, but it’s a positive community for their family. At first the parents felt “too old” to try kickboxing, and there was no time in their day. But after 1 class, they were both hooked and we see at least one member of the family every night of the week.

McCord family after night of kickboxing
“We teach them integrity by showing them to do as we do. Even though we’re adults, we understand how hard that last round is and that it’s easy to want to give up. But then we hear Sensei’s words of encouragement and we fight through. We all do, and we finish strong together. It’s a rare sport that we can all do and really enjoy.”
– Brian says about his favorite part of training with his family

Being Ger and Rory are higher ranks and have some more experience, they really enjoy showing off their knowledge. They teach their parents the proper way to throw their techniques if they require extra help, and Brian and Amy don’t mind it at all. When the kids have a bad day, they are learning that training can be a release to make a bad day better. Amy particularly admires the positive influence training has on the kids, especially her daughter Rory.

“I really like that Tiger Schulmann’s has so many positive role models for the kids. I love that Rory sees women of all shapes, sizes, ages and ethnicities training hard and feeling about themselves. When I grew up women we supposed to be blonde and skinny. At Tiger Schulmann’s the kids learn about equality and that it’s okay for girls to compete with the boys, and that they can beat them.”

Another family, who have been a part of our Princeton family for almost 4 years now, is the McGann Family. This family of 5 spend majority of their week here at the school, and no one would have it any differently. Katie and Josh McGann knew it was time to find something for their kids to get involved in, and something they would actually enjoy. It was quickly obvious that training is what they needed in their lives. Danielle (9) and Kaleb (7) began training in 2011, with their Dad Josh starting over a year later. “I like to see their growth in their training, and I’m able to be part of it,” says Josh. Although Katie does not train with us, she spends a lot of her days in the lobby watching the kids train and occupying her youngest, Nathan (3). He patiently waits to be old enough to train with Sensei but he always will practice his techniques in the air while watching. “Before Tiger Schulmann’s, they did nothing together and everyone had their own thing. It’s nice to have something to share,” says Katie about what she loves about training for her family.  They even got Grandma Deb into training, and she loves having something fun to keep her in shape. Josh, Danielle and Kaleb all train in our Saturday Advanced class, which allows unique time for parents and kids to be on the mat together.

McGann family finds activity for all with kickboxing
The McGann’s family photo with their Sensei.

Another duo gets to share that same experience in the Saturday Advances class, and that’s Drew and Eric Pianka. Dad Eric really enjoys the days he gets to be on the mat with his son, and train with him. They’ve even done up their home garage with a heavy bag and some mat, so they can share some extra time training together. When it comes down to what they enjoy most about training, Eric simply stated “We look forward to it.” It’s unique to share an activity that gets everyone into great shape, but feeling better about themselves as well. And of course, Drew loves getting the chance to spar with his dad!

Pianka family takes kickboxing class together
Eric and Drew getting ready for a Saturday Advanced class together!

We also have the Mah family, who hold training very high in their weekly routines. Steve and Cindy Mah, like all parents, want the very best when it comes to their children. When it came to finding their youngest, Kevin, the Mah’s didn’t settle for the first or second school. Some schools were restricted the amount of training a student could do, others just didn’t have the same philosophy that Steve wished for his son. Then they tried Tiger Schulmann’s and as Steve said himself “it instantly clicked”. He immediately felt comfortable with the other families in the school, and really trusted Sensei Billings with teaching his son kickboxing. Steve knew that with martial arts his kids would eventually be at a level that will involve contact with other students. Both parents admire that Sensei controls a full mat, and protects every student by teaching and enforcing safe training practices. Shortly after a school training day at the beach, their daughters Sarah and Emily began training with Kevin. All of the kids immediately loved the idea of training and they always pushed themselves to be the best. It was important to Steve and Cindy to get their girls involved in something that would teach them self defense.

“I grew up in a city, so I know to observe my surroundings. The kids are growing up in the suburbs, and don’t always understand when something isn’t right. I wanted them all to learn to be street smart, especially for the girls. I want them to have protection, and learning self defense does that for them”

Kickboxing offers self defense for Mah family
The Mah’s after a night of the kids training; Steve will return later to do classes of his own.

Steve began training shortly after his daughters, and hasn’t looked back ever since. He admits, “I used to push them hard after classes, saying what they could do better.” Now that Steve knows for himself how hard a class can be, he understands why the kids may have gotten a little tired towards the end of class. Either Cindy or Steve will watch every class that Sarah and Kevin have, and they both enjoy being a part of it. Steve likes to learn from Sensei as he watches his kid’s classes because it always him to guide them more, and help them get even better. Cindy really enjoys the conversations that are held at the end of class because she also learns from what Sensei says and helps apply that knowledge at home. The Mah’s are very impressed with how Sensei Billings runs the Princeton school, and they admire his discipline and passion for his students.

Being able to experience what a kickboxing class can do for you personally can be life changing. Sharing that experience with the ones you care about most is a feeling that words can’t describe. Watching each other progress and to learning from one another is what family is all about. Understanding exactly how hard someone has to push to get to the next level really brings families even closer. Be sure to get your family involved in something that’s fun and can bring a long-lasting bond. Get everyone to come try a class, and see why our families have made Tiger Schulmann’s Princeton apart of their family.