British Columbia

Fight like a mother: The life-changing magic of kicking and punching

Mom's Fight Club in Clearwater, B.C., was started by two martial arts instructors for a group of hockey moms looking for something to do during their kids' practice.

The pleasure of landing a good punch among attractions of Mom's Fight Club

Myrna Harrod-Taniguti teaches Aikido in Clearwater, B.C. (Andre Taniguti)

Unlike the movie, there's no code of silence surrounding a women's fight club in the B.C. North Thompson region. 

In fact, the whole thing sounds rather wholesome, unlike the 1999 Edward Norton vehicle in which a secret society of angst-ridden men beat each other to a pulp. 

Mom's Fight Club in Clearwater is a drop-in martial arts program that was born out of the boredom of parents who drive their children to hockey practice. 

"Some of the other hockey moms and I were looking for something to do during the practice time," Myrna Harrod-Taniguti told Daybreak Kamloops host Shelley Joyce.

Mom's Fight Club co-founder Myrna Harrod-Taniguti performs an Aikido technique with Amber Benoit. (Andre Taniguti)

"Some of them have to drive 40 minutes to take their kids to hockey practice."

Harrod-Taniguti was teaching Aikido through the District of Clearwater's Healthy Living program. A friend taught kickboxing with the same program.

"We thought, well, why don't we just get together, and we can do some training?" she said. 

They began an informal martial arts program on a drop-in basis. Class content varied according to who showed up and their interests.

Grandmothers, teenagers join

Despite the name, over time Mom's Fight Club expanded to women who were not necessarily hockey moms or moms at all. It included grandmothers and teenagers. 

"Learning how to throw a good punch feels really awesome," Harrod-Taniguti said.

"When you do it correctly you're putting everything within you behind that punch," she said. "When you hear that the sound of your fist hitting the pad… at least in that moment you feel like you've done your best."

Amy Dulaba performs a kickboxing block. (Myrna Harrod-Tanaguti)

Harrod-Taniguti said the practice can have a life-changing effect by providing women with a sense of their inner strength. 

"A lot of times, especially when when people are trying a martial art for the first time, they go from a stage where you can see them thinking, 'I can't do this' or 'I'm not very good at this, why am I doing this?'" she said.

"But you know, they practice a couple of times and then you start to see a bit of a transformation from 'I can't' to 'Wow, maybe I can'."

"Once you've taken that step it can lead you all kinds of places," she said.

Women performing Aikido techniques. The Mom's Fight Club in Clearwater, B.C., began as an activity for women attending their children's hockey practice.

With files from Daybreak Kamloops.

 

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