Success is No Accident, It's Hard Work

With Back to School just around the corner, it has become clearer than ever that some kids are prepared, and some are not. With three weeks to go there is still plenty of time to set up a good routine and end the summer not only having fun but prepared for school. I'm sure a lot of kids and families have had lots of vacations, late nights, and the opportunity to sleep well past 7:00 AM. Although this is an important time and a chance to make memories it is also important to be prepared for continued success and growth this coming school year.

This past summer we have seen such a great turnout for attendance with our First Choice Martial Arts students. What this means, is kids are still engaged, setting goals, and are serious about their mental and physical well-being. The discipline that is required to succeed in karate is not only a benefit to students when in class, but it directly impacts them in every area of their life. It is impossible to feel confident, disciplined, and focused in one area and not watch it carry over into other areas. Karate training is a constant journey and one of the greatest benefits I've seen in my many years of teaching is the character traits that martial arts provide to oneself. Although this list is brief and there are many more to mention, there are three that stand out the most to me.

  1.   Confidence. Learning to become confident is a skill like any other skill. You need to practice and develop it. In the dojo, we ask students to try performing with confidence and to notice how it feels when they do it like that. They soon realize the positive feelings they get from confidently doing their best. When they show up to our class or their class at school, they will inevitably be treated differently because of their confident presence. Teachers will give them increased responsibility and the ability to lead in the classroom because they have built trust through their actions. This will further re-enforce the student’s confidence and allow them to succeed in anything they attempt to try. 
  1. Respect. Kids that are polite and respectful often get a little more attention. As a parent, you must admit there are friends that your kids have that you love to have over for playdates. As parents, we want the best for them and will naturally surround them with people and places that bring out the best in them. In karate class the foundation of our program is respect. Kids are trained to answer, “yes sir” and “no sir”; this teaches them to be respectful of their elders and those that are in a teaching or authoritative role. Take this to their classrooms and you will see a student that is kind and courteous and if they ever need that little bit of extra help, I’m sure teachers and parents will go the extra mile for them. 
  1. Focus. In karate class, we work on forms, patterns, and techniques that teach children how to conceptually think when performing. Kids can be impulsive, and this is not usually something that serves them well in the classroom and at home. Thinking before you act is an important skill to master and allows the student to perform at their best, so increasing your focus is an important first step. When children work through their karate forms, they are forced to break down the material and perform repetition which leads to further curriculum retention. At school it is no different, kids need and must have the discipline to do things more than once if they are going to build good study habits. Karate students are fortunate to have a head start in this department, and it will make for better grades and increased confidence as they succeed in the classroom.

Although this is a short list, and it is not complete it is a good reminder to our students that they have set themselves up for further success this upcoming school year. We are very proud of your progress, and we can’t wait to see you guys outperform this upcoming school year. Just continue to be the student we see at First Choice Martial Arts, and you just might surprise yourself with how well you can do this year!

Sensei Chris