Local family joins martial arts class

Maureen Baymler, her daughter Reegan and significant other all joined a martial arts class together and found many benefits aside from obvious self-defense knowledge and being active.

By Barbie Porter

Editor, Frazee-Vergas Forum

When James Braun answered the call from his country to serve,  the Baymler  family put their backspins and karate chops on hold.

New York Mills resident Maureen Baymler, her daughter Reegan and her significant other, Braun, all joined a martial arts class of Taekwondo together. 

Maureen said while she and her daughter, who is in seventh grade, have always been close, the family-orientated activity allowed the two loves in her live to bond.

“We are an active family that loves hiking, biking, camping and we needed something to stay active in the winter,” Maureen said, adding her boyfriend was in TKD when he was younger and suggested the activity.

When they gave it a try, the trio found it was  more beneficial than they initially imagined. In addition to keeping active, the sport provided them with an opportunity to help one another and cheer each other on.

“We started December of last year,” she said, noting as they progress their level of knowledge is signified by the color of the belt they wear. The trio just earned their fourth belt­, the green belt. 

In addition to self-defense, Maureen said being in the martial arts class fine-tuned her self-discipline and understanding of how the sport is individualized, but allows for a team mentality. She sees the team effort when they spend free moments in a park or backyard practicing their skills. When one struggles, the others offer support and advice as they know a test is on the horizon.  

When a belt test is available to a student, they must perform patterns, forms and break boards. While Maureen managed to break all her boards during her tests on the first attempt, not all do. 

Reegan Baymler performs a kick during a martial arts class before earning her green belt.

Reegen recalled when it came to the green belt test she had a mental block and irrational fear that the when her foot struck the board she would break her foot. Instead of preying upon her weakness, she found a team behind her full of cheers that were so loud and empowering that the lack of belief she had in herself faded.

Her foot didn’t break, but eventually the board did.

“It has been a self confidence booster, I have realized that I am capable of doing more and I have become more confident.”

Reegan Baymler

She added having those two traits combined opened up a new world of sorts, as she is more willing to trust her abilities and sweep away self doubt.

While the family waits for Braun to return from his active duty services to resume their martial arts training, the bi-weekly classes are on hold.

“We miss it a lot, but what he is doing is important humanitarian work,” Maureen said. “Since we started the class together, we decided to resume when he returns. Sometimes for family there is a holding pattern.”