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Developing Important Life Skills

As a parent, you know the enormous potential your child has within. But sometimes you worry they won’t make the most of their natural gifts. Maybe your child can’t focus long enough to get things done, maybe they don’t have enough self-control, or they may be shy and plagued by self-doubt. That’s where Martial arts can give your child an edge.

Self-confidence is one of the most important personal skills a child can develop. Having self-confidence helps children (and adults) deal with whatever life may throw at them.

By learning to be confident in any situation, students are setting themselves up for success. Taking a confident, positive attitude into any situation makes it much easier to tackle any negatives that may arise.


A large focus of Martial Arts training is being respectful and having self-respect. We reinforce the value of respect and encourage students to be respectful to others, as it shows that you appreciate them and value who they are.

This is a simple idea, however a little more difficult to put into practice. One of the best ways to teach a student about respect is by showing them how being respectful works. To do this, we use techniques such as “solo demonstrations” where students sit quietly and watch each other demonstrate a technique or Kata (prearranged group of techniques).


It’s important for children to develop strong self-belief. Selfbelief is something that needs to be developed over time and continually re-enforced to become part of the child’s belief system. Once the foundations of self-belief have been instilled, the growth and development of the child to their full potential is rapidly accelerated.

To assist with building self-belief, it’s important to use techniques like highlighting. This is the process of identifying something a child is doing well and asking them to demonstrate to other students. Highlighting builds the child’s self-belief by instilling a sense of pride and giving them confidence by being singled out as doing something really well.

In addition to techniques like highlighting, the belt grading structure that rewards the child’s efforts and skill development helps greatly with increasing self-belief over time.


Lessons are taught in a way that keeps children engaged and moving. This, combined with proper verbal and visual cues, means the students have to pay attention to find out what to do next. This focus is extended and increased during the activity as the progression to the next level is dependent on completing the activity in the correct manner. These focusing skills easily translate into the students’ school work as they begin to associate focusing on a task with advancement.

Health and fitness

The typical Martial Arts class will often be comprised of warmup (calisthenics), teaching and practicing of moves, working on the bags or focus mitts, as well as some active skills games. The warm up and practice comprise the bulk of the time, and for that time, your child will be constantly on the go – stretching, crunches, blocking, punching and kicking. The workout each child gets will not only assist in the natural development of his or her muscles, but also help them build stronger cardio-vascular systems.

For kids who struggle with weight (like I did) Martial Arts classes are a great environment for them to work on their health and fitness at a pace that works for them. Combine this with gentle encouragement and positive re-enforcement from the instructor, and the child will be on a path to a healthy and happy life.

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