kickboxing middle age mom

Kickboxing: My Best Post of 2012

Kickboxing: My Best Blog Post of 2012

It’s ironic that I blog excessively on children’s books, education and parenting; particularly the intersection of all three but my best blog post is, of all things, on kickboxing.

I like to find books for kids to mark all occasions, answer questions and just generally entertain and deeply satisfy. And I do have educational and children’s book posts that make my Top 10 for 2012 in terms of traffic. But this post, Kickboxing for a Middle Age Mom with a Gentleman Fighter, holds a special place in my heart. It also is one of my top 10 most popular posts of 2012 by page views.I’ve posted on kickboxing before. I’ve been doing it off and on for fifteen years with now 6 different instructors in 2 states. My previous instructor was a guy not unlike The Situation of Jersey Shore fame. My two girls (then 12 and 10) and I trained with him.  They rolled off the bench and onto the ground in mirth when I kicked him in the groin during a sparring match. (He wasn’t wearing his cup either. Oops!) Still, this post wasn’t as popular as Kickboxing for a Middle Age Mom with a Gentleman Fighter.

Kickboxing was what I turned to five years ago when I first learned of a horrific incident a few Christmas’ ago in a town not far from me. The details aren’t important. A mom and her toddler son abducted at knifepoint. Bad things happened but ultimately they were saved. I had a toddler at the time. My son was difficult to strap into his car seat. He fought the restraints in a wiggly game that frustrated me. And now I felt unsafe in a parking lot, even in broad daylight.

My solution was to find a kickboxing instructor again to get into post-baby shape and train like my life depended on it. In case it ever was. So I found Steve Giroux of Giroux Brothers Martial Arts and we trained and sparred. He taught me unbreakable choke holds over someone’s windpipe causing them to black out.  And what to do if someone grabs your wrist: the answer is a version of Boom, Boom, Pow.

Giroux Brothers Martial Arts, Steve Giroux

The ability to last for two minutes of sustained fighting was his goal for me including taking and shaking off blows. He didn’t want me thrown by taking a punch to the head. (I wear a helmet and so many pads that I feel like a Star Wars Storm Trooper). I’d be a contender if such a kickboxing fighting category existed (mostly because I think I’d be the only one): female, over 45-years-old, under 90 pounds.

espositos karate self defense

After Steve Giroux, I trained with Mr. Situation-Like Sensei. And then my Muay Thai Gentleman Champion that I posted on.

In a world that can feel uncertain and unsafe, I find comfort in learning to kickbox. In a sport that can bruise and break bones, I learned that ultimately it reveals how vulnerable we all are. Even in pads. Even with years of training.

And yet, it lets me feel in control in an out-of-control world. And my triceps have never looked better. I prefer those kind of Right to Bare Arms.


p.s. My second favorite post based purely on emotional satisfaction is Predicting 2013 Newbery and Caldecott WinnersI love the thrill of trying to guess and enjoy reading as many books on this list as I can get my hands on. We use it all year to find new reading material. My hats off to gurus 100 Scope Notes and A Fuse #8 Production, both über children’s book librarians who blog for School Library Journal where this list mostly is drawn from.

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. This post makes me want to learn kick boxing!
    maryanne recently posted…Setting Goals for 2013 – Month by Month!My Profile

  2. LOL, wow I am scared of you now :). Who would have known that’s so great though that you are are so well trained and obviously enjoy it. I think it’s funny that this was your most popular post but as you said your blog is not about kickboxing. I never know what makes something popular but thankfully I just write and then hope for the best as far as stats go, lol.
    mari recently posted…Best Family ProjectsMy Profile

  3. Ann

    So cool! Yes I like those arms! Sounds very empowering!!!
    Ann recently posted…Happy New YearMy Profile

  4. mollarabiul189

    Kickboxing provides kickboxing news, Mixed Martial Arts News and is the
    best source for Kickboxing

  5. Love that you brought this in to your blog! My kids and I have been learning kickboxing, jiu jitsu and aikido from my husband. More moms and kids should try it.

    Certainly, it gives you more power in a world filled with uncertainty and danger – there are seriously evil characters out there.

    But as you explain so well, it doesn’t make you more aggressive – but less so. Training to fight teaches you humility. The men in MMA are some of the most careful, gentle men. Instead of hiding their fear with bravado and picking unnecessary fights, they now have confidence and restraint. My husband tells me story after story of how many fights never started in the rough neighborhoods he lived and worked once he developed his fighting skills.

    I see my son now learning self-discipline and humility as well in training. And my daughter – well – I’m not so worried about her when she starts dating!

    For me, it has been a source of confidence and inner strength. And yes, it makes for nice arms as well!
    Sarah recently posted…Holidays & Family: Spending Time TogetherMy Profile

    • Hi Sarah,
      Thank you for your thoughtful comment and for your email. Martial Arts has been good for my peace of mind, feeling empowered, self-confidence and for a good old-fashioned sweaty workout. The best defense is a good offense — it works for the playground as well as in real life. I’d love to have you guest post!

      p.s. Did you read this article about a woman in Worchester (nearish me) who was attacked by a would be robber in her house? She thinks it is because she has a wheel chair ramp outside her house for her son. She didn’t realize she was a fighter but ended up kneeing the intruder in the groin and gouging out his eye before tossing him out the door and over the ramp.

      It’s hard to imagine what my first instinct would be but I would have to think that something worse was in store for her if she stood by helpless.
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…48 Random Acts of Kindness to Celebrate My BirthdayMy Profile

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