Arlene pic 1If you told me when James and I were first married 15 years ago that we would be doing martial arts together, I would have laughed in your face.

Being Asian doesn’t mean I know karate.  James would always joke, “Don’t mess with my wife.  She’s a black belt.”


If you told me that I’d be doing Tae Kwon Do, Jiu-Jitsu, and Boxing with my whole family, I would have laughed again.

And yet, here we are.  Our whole family working out at Blue Dragon Martial Arts in Chula Vista.

It all started with a desire for our kids to learn basic self-defense and also get regular exercise.    James visited many studios before he found one that was not only excellent and affordable, but also promoted good character.

We love the instructors at Blue Dragon.  We attend classes as a family which means sometimes I’m wrestling with Miss Huggie herself (my 4-year-old Lucy).  Many times I’m wrestling or boxing or kicking James.  Sometimes this is good for the marriage.  Sometimes it is bad.  Ouch…why do you have to punch so hard? 

What we really love about martial arts classes is the fact that we do it together.  It’s not an activity where one child is participating while the rest of us are waiting.  It doesn’t involve carpooling to three different locations before dinnertime.  It’s not an activity that subtracts from our family time.

IMG_7132It is our family time.

We realize there aren’t many activities out there that are like this.  Soccer, baseball, basketball, gymnastics…not exactly family sports.  There is music as you can play instruments together as a family.

But what I want to throw out is…what activity could you do as a family? 

Is there something you could all learn together?

Sure it may mean that it’s not a favorite for every family member, but the experience of learning something as a team will make up for it.

Most of the parents at Blue Dragon Martial Arts sit and wait for their kids.  I totally get that.  That is normal behavior.  When James and I first joined the class, believe me, I felt foolish.  It was humbling to have 5-year-olds have stronger kicks than mine.

But now, it doesn’t bother me at all.  I’m having the time of my life while making amazing family memories.

My kids will always remember being my wrestling partner, learning kicks together, and goofing off with James who is the biggest kid in the class.

What memories do you want to make with your children?  Whether it’s sailing, basketball, martial arts, music, or puzzles, put an activity on the calendar that the whole family will participate in…together!

Be proactive.  Don’t always have activities divide your family as you run around town.  Plan fun activities that you can do together on a regular basis.





Arlene Pellicane

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