As a parent and kids martial arts instructor, I meet parents all the time who tell me that their kids jump from one activity to another and quickly lose interest and move on. It’s really awesome that parents are able to provide kids with a variety of learning experiences, but at Kensho we find that for kids to really get deeper benefit from any activity, they need to learn the process of mastery. That’s what martial arts is all about.
Students in our our Kids Martial Arts Program often stay with their training for years to achieve their black belt and many of our students continue training as adults and practicing martial arts for life. You might wonder what keeps our students engaged & progressing while kids commonly lose interest in new activities as quickly as they start them.
Here are a few of our secrets:
When Kids first come to Kensho, we begin by having one of our instructors meet them and work with them one on one to show them a few basics and introduce them to martial arts practice. It’s important that they know from day one that their instructor knows them, cares about them and is there to help them to bring out their best! This rapport helps make kids comfortable to actually try to give it their best effort.
Their first day, kids learn that our culture is all about helping each other to be our best. This is a culture that makes students want to participate. We make sure that we know each and every student and our instructors often discuss how to bring out the best in each individual.
Be a Good Finder
Everyone wants to be good at something. When we get recognition for doing something well, it makes us want to do it more. At Kensho we are constantly looking for opportunities to catch students doing something right and recognizing them for it. If we remember to first praise something that they are doing right, now a correction is received positively, as help to be “even better” rather than a declaration that “you’re doing it wrong” (which will make anyone want to quit!).
Unfortunately as parents, because we are with our kids all the time and it’s sometimes easy to find ourselves in a position of constantly correcting them. This can make them shut down and not want to try. This is probably the biggest reason that most of us find it difficult to teach our own kids (believe me, I’m no exception here)!
We all need to be able to visualize our potential before we can ever hope to reach it. Kids need to see themselves as being good at something before it can actually happen. Role models are important for this and at Kensho we have some really awesome kids and teens as assistant instructors and some young adult instructors who have come out of our kids program to show them the way.
We help kids to visualize themselves as successful from day one. As I always say, the first person to know that you will be a black belt is you. Kids need to be encouraged to dream big.
Attitude is not something to be left to chance. A great attitude makes everything start to feel right and fall into place. A bad attitude pretty much insures that nothing good is going to happen. At Kensho, from our first day we begin to notice our attitude and how it affects everything that we do and we remember that only we can control our attitude. As we go through our day, it’s easy for us to forget that we have control of our own attitude and that it’s a powerful force in our lives. As a kids martial arts instructor, this is a life changing skill that we reinforce in every class!