Mothers and martial artists have a lot in common. To be a successful martial artist you must have strength, dedication, heart and perseverance; all traits that can be used to describe the awesome mothers in our lives. That is why mothers are the ultimate warriors! We got together with martial artist and mother, Christine Bannon Rodrigues to discuss what it means to be a Warrior Mom. Read below for advice on training and motherhood.
Christine Bannon Rodrigues is a 9x World Champion and has been studying Martial Arts for 37 years. She was 13 years old when she started taking Karate as an after school activity. Despite being one of the few females studying, she fell in love from the very beginning. She is also the mother of two talented martial artists, Dante and Niko!
Macho: How has being a martial artist helped you grow as a person and as a mother?
CBR: Martial arts have taught me a great deal of confidence, self-discipline and how to have a positive attitude. When I achieved my Black Belt I knew I could achieve anything I set my mind to.
Macho: What does being a Warrior Mom mean to you?
CBR: I think being a Warrior Mom is being a mom that her kids can look up to. She can do things that many women can’t. My kids can look up to me for the knowledge I have in the Martial Arts. I can teach them cool things and do things physically that they might not be able to do. They can watch old videos of me competing and winning world titles or watch movies or TV shows that I was in. I would say that it’s not your typical occupation and life-style! It’s nice that we can work out, spar and train together.
Macho: Do your kids share the same passion for martial arts as you?
CBR: Both of my sons were training by 2 ½ years old! Dante, who is 19 and a Black Belt, excels in Forms and Weapons. He loves Extreme Martial Arts with all the tricking and high difficulty level of movements. Dante won a WAKO Gold medal at the Jr. World Championship a few years ago. He would love to pursue competition, acting and stunts, but has been busy with college. Niko, who is 15 and a Brown Belt, loves to fight. Niko has taken a little break from his training since entering High School.
Macho: Is your parenting style similar to your coaching style?
CBR: That’s a tough question! I’m strict in the dojo and as a parent I am strict with certain things, like schoolwork and grades. I have always given my boys every opportunity to try any sport they want. Sometimes they didn’t like the sport, but I never allowed them to quit. They made a commitment to their team, so they needed to finish out the season. Once the season was over, they never had to sign up for that sport again, but they had to finish what they started. Other things I’m not so strict about (but if asked, I’m sure they’d disagree lol).
Macho: How has martial arts brought you and your children closer?
CBR: It has given us the chance to travel a lot together to tournaments and other events. When my kids were infants, teaching Karate was a perfect job. I was home all day with them and went to work night. Many times they came with me. We could train together or they would take my classes.
Macho: What advice do you have for other Warrior Moms out there?
CBR: I think it’s good for your children to see you as a strong woman. If you preach about physical fitness, having a positive attitude, achieving anything you set your mind to, and so on… if you your child sees you walking your talk, it’s more effective. The saying “do as I do, not as I say” is very true. Kids learn through example.