So how does this karate stuff work?
How do we help parents raise exceptional kids?
This is a common question we get and a very important one for all of our parents to understand.
Everything we do has a purpose and objective.
If you understand the process we use and the stages of your child’s development, you can get the most out of our karate school.
First, let me start with a concept called the “Slight Edge” (book by Jeff Olsen).
One of the things it says is the small things your child learns early in life compound over time. One seemingly small and/or insignificant thing done today can pay off huge in the future.
A second, fundamental concept is one experts in child development agree on:
your child will form much of who they are before the age of 8.
These early years are crucial!
Like we say: “It’s better to raise an awesome kid now than try to fix them later.”
Now while it is optimal to start children before they are eight, we can still mold them into awesome children at later ages, it just takes more work. (an unmotivated, disrespectful, rebellious, and failing teen is parent’s worst nightmare.)
One example is READING.
Reading to, or with, your child for just 10 minutes every day from the day they are born may seem small. If you miss a day nothing bad will happen. But over the years that small habit will probably develop a child that likes and probably loves reading. They will not only do well in school but also be motivated to learn and seek knowledge.
Later that child is highly likely to start carrying a book with them all the time and then start reading on their own every day. They will also most likely end up going to, and completing, college.
The resulting work ethic and self-discipline can’t help but make them highly successful for the rest of their life!
And it all began with that small act of reading every day.
The Beginners Program
Some concerns that many parents share include:
| focus | confidence | shyness |
| fear of trying new or difficult things | | bullying |
Forming Good Habits
“Everything I need to know I learned in kindergarten.”
There is validity to this statement! However, it only touches the tip of an otherwise enormous iceberg.
While I agree with the concept of this statement, not everyone can actually follow its teachings. Not because they don’t want to, but because they don’t know how. You need focus, discipline, and confidence to apply this to regular life.
It’s the formation of good habits at an early stage of a person’s development that will make these tasks a part of their everyday life.
That’s where we come in.
If a child has the discipline to tidy their room and make their bed every day, it brings order to their lives. It also forms a habit of self-respect and removal of chaos. They will be more likely to apply this base skill to everything they do on a daily basis.
Another example is proper manners. Proper manners are crucial. Karate begins and ends with respect.
We will teach the student how to harness these traits and turn them into a part of their “good habit” skillset.
Without focus there can be no success. How do we teach this? Simple. We put them in an orderly, structured, disciplined, and safe environment. There is an expectation to follow these concepts, which will inevitably develop into good habits. Repetition, repetition, repetition. When they begin to recognize these concepts at the dojo, the same behavior will spill over into their everyday life.
As your child progresses they learn perhaps the most difficult of all tasks: The ability to stay focused on subject matter that has little or no interest to them.
Sometimes it’s good for a child to be bored or disinterested. Then we can teach them how to focus and stay on task through the mundane.
We develop this by giving the student every opportunity to succeed. We carefully lay out the expectations for new students and walk them through the process.
Mistakes are fine as long as we strive to learn from them. Patience from the parent and child is crucial during this phase. Students can be vulnerable in the early stages, so we have to build them up before we can toughen them up. Fighting skills are not at the top of the list during these steps. What is at the top is not being afraid to make mistakes, putting forth their best effort, and never giving up!!!
The building of confidence is perhaps the first opportunity for the parent(s) to take an active role in the students’ success at the dojo and at home. Mental and physical bullying by older siblings can destroy all the hard work the student, parents, and instructors have done. Yelling and disrespect in the home will also certainly erode any progress, and is unhealthy to say the least.
We only have students for a short period of time throughout each week. We enrich, and reinforce the positive behaviors students learn at home. If there is a positive nurturing lifestyle at home, we can more easily partner with you in achieving your goals.
shyness & Fear of trying new things
We make learning fun! In order to get a new student to engage, it is important that they see other students actively and willingly participating. We incorporate games, role playing, and rewards into the karate curriculum to stimulate the student’s desire to accelerate their active participation. Before you know it, they’re running out on the floor interacting, and engaging. This is one of the rewards that is especially gratifying for instructors to see. This behavior will spill over into everything they do outside the dojo, and is directly linked to their confidence.
The bully; the common enemy in our midst. Its objective is to undo everything we have built in the student. Unfortunately, it has the power to do this with one interaction. We have a strategy for that, and the means to render it powerless. The most powerful weapon anyone possesses is their mind. We teach students to use this for conflict resolution, and for defeating bullies. It should always be the first line of defense. There may be a time where reason and circumstance calls for physical based defense. Our anti bullying module features a comprehensive set of physical techniques, that are extremely effective in dealing with bullies.
The intermediate Program
OK. So now the student has an understanding of the basics of our karate program and the beginners classes. This usually happens at about the year to year and a half mark of training with us. They are ready to take on bigger challenges. That’s great!!! They will need to apply all the lessons learned in the beginners program to accelerate their development as Karate students.
Successful people aren’t born successful; they are forged in the crucible of hard work, perseverance, and the ability to overcome adversity.
So at this point our curriculum shifts towards attitude, effort, character development, and technique.
We intentionally push the student to achieve a higher level, and they are held to a higher standard. The refinement of technique is heavily emphasized, as is refinement of character. One difference you will immediately notice is the classes are more disciplined, and require a lot more effort. You may also notice that the time between belt tests becomes longer. This is where the parents have gone from beginner parents to parents that actually realize, and have seen the benefits of what we do here, and what it takes for the student to be successful!
The student will be subject to a higher level of physical fitness, discipline, and attention to detail. Their previously learned ability to focus and never give up pays huge dividends here. We teach them to push through the tough parts of the curriculum, and how to meet their challenges head on. I like hearing parents and students say, “Wow, they are finding this really difficult.” That means we are pushing them past their comfort zone, and beginning to teach them grit and determination! Exactly what it takes to become successful in this world!
We all want something better for our children. Sometimes we can confuse a better life with making things too easy. You won’t find that at our dojo. While the goals are definitely attainable, they require an appropriate level of effort to achieve them. Everyone works hard, and nothing is free. The student will begin to get out of the program exactly what they are putting into it!!!
It our goal to see every one of our students succeed in our dojo and in life.
The Advanced Program
So now you can see the black belt on the horizon! Excellent! This stage typically begins after about a year and a half to two years of intermediate level training. The student knows what it takes to achieve at a higher level, and the parents are becoming “black belt parents” as well.
Now we have to focus on the things that will separate the student from the ordinary to the extraordinary. The expectations are high, and so are the standards. The parents and students have developed a higher level of attitude, their work ethic is second to none, and they have the character traits of a highly motivated and successful person.
We now redefine pushing their comfort zone, because we know they will not break under the heaviest of pressures.
These are the students that are high performers. They have grit, determination, and resilience. Success or failure isn’t defined by how many times we fall, it’s defined by our ability to get up every time after we fall.
This stage is also where, under intense pressure and heat, we turn coal into diamonds! The culmination of all the student’s efforts and the efforts of the parents pay off the biggest dividend of all.
I bet you’re thinking “getting their black belt.” Indeed, you are correct. However, the biggest payoff of all is a student who is ready to meet the world with confidence, self-respect, manners, positive attitude, unbreakable spirit, and the ability to conquer life’s challenges no matter what they are!!!