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GETTING STARTED IN TRADITIONAL MARTIAL ARTS

“Turn off the video game and come to the table now!”   It’s 6:05 PM at the Macready residence, and the evening “ritual” has begun.    Six-year-old Richard has been at his video console for an hour and half now.  At first, Mom was happy because the game kept him quiet so she could prepare dinner.  Now that she is ready to serve, Richard can’t seem to make the transition from video game to dinner.

“Get away!  Leave it alone!”  Richard shouts at his four-year-old sister, Maggie, who has decided SHE wants to play.  And now the conflict escalates.

“Frazzled” does not begin to describe the combination of frustration, anger, and exhaustion that Mom feels at this point.

Fortunately, the next afternoon while relaxing at the park with her children, Mom is talking to another parent whose child has been in traditional martial arts.

“You won’t believe the change that can occur.   My Adam is so much more focused.  He listens better.  And the best part is that he makes transitions more easily and is more tolerant of his younger brother.   He knows that every week I turn in a report card to his karate instructor, and if it’s not good, he will hear about it.”

That brief conversation is exactly why you want your child in a traditional martial arts program.

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Martial Arts Builds Confidence in Children

Karate-KidsAll parents want their kids to be strong and confident.  We all get excited when our kids become class president, captain of the team, or student council member.   We all want them to raise their hands, ask questions and give answers in class.  We want them to participate.  We want them to be leaders, not followers.

Some of us come into the world naturally wired to act like this, but the vast majority does not.   We need a little coaching. Sometimes, we even need to be pushed, and rather hard.   Sometimes even fun things seem scary.  So, often parents have to be there gently coaxing them along.  It is important not to give in to the fears.  Leaders are always out front.  I know you want your child to be a leader, right.  Being out front means doing new things all the time.  So be there for them and don’t let them run away from the challenges that will help them grow.

So how can we help our children become strong and confident?

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Quest: a program of excellence for teens

Welcome to QUEST, an program of excellence for teens!  Beginning May 29, the adult leadership class will move to WEDNESDAYS  at 8 pm and it will become a class devoted entirely to training TEENS to be ATA leaders—-and LEADERS OF THEIR OWN LIVES!!!  It even has a new name—QUEST—because we know you want to be the best.    The program is open to all red-collar leadership students, age 13+.

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Everyone can experience improvement!

And in 1st place, Mary Wilcox!”  the judge shouts to all the crowd assembled.

We’ve all heard these words many times before, at all sorts of competitions, but certainly at ATA tournaments.   And we all strive and hope to receive that award, or perhaps a state, a district, or even a world championship someday.  Heck, most of us would be happy just to be listed in the WORLD top ten someday!

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Goal-Setting: Blasting Through Your Barriers!

2012 is moving along fast!   We’ve come to that time of the year when we have to re-visit our goals.   I could review the “how-to’s” on goal-setting, but that’s way too easy.    Instead, let”s look at the “science and art” of martial arts to find ways to help us blast through barriers that block us from achieving our goals.

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What is Integrity?

Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

Steve Jobs

 This month’s word is “integrity”.

December is a great month to share what it really means.  I would suggest for you to share it during holiday dinners and gatherings to pass on lessons that you’ve learned along the way of your journey in life and see how you measure up.  Let’s first define this big word.

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Nick Lucchese

Two straight years of focused effort has produced an 11-year-old black belt and two first places and one third place in our recent ATA Regional Tournament.  That’s a summary of Nick Lucchese’s life as a student of Taekwondo.   Like many other nine-year-olds, Nick did not have an interest in other “traditional” sports, like football or baseball.

According to dad, “Nick actually wanted to do fencing because he really likes weapons, but he went to see the movie GI JOE and saw some “karate fighting” in the movie.  He really liked that, and his cousin was taking classes at Babin’s Karate for Kids at that time.  He came to a “safety class” with his cousin, Austin, and he enrolled soon thereafter.”

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Five Powerful Ways to Conquer Fear

Recently, a middle-aged man (and father of two) confessed to me, “Here is something that really surprised me about being in your program.  Until I started, I didn’t realize how much fear I actually had lurking in the back of my mind.  You know, little things.  Stuff like: “What would I do if I were in a bar or restaurant and somebody started pushing me around?  What if somebody threw a punch?” Or: what if I were in a situation and had to defend my family?  Would I know what to do? Really?”

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Ireland Fleck Sept 2011

For the last four years, Ireland Fleck has been involved in only one activity—our KARATE FOR KIDS program.

“We had been hearing from her doctors and teachers that her coordination was behind,” Carla Fleck, Ireland’s mother said. “Ireland had expressed an interest in karate and it seemed like it would help with coordination.  So we thought we’d try it.”

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Rylee Bacus August 2011

 

Articulate, Expressive, Ambitious, Confident

Those are the words that best describe RYLEE BACHUS, our student of the month.  Indeed, her enthusiasm to talk about her KARATE FOR KIDS experience—as well as the skill of her oral delivery– is testimony to how much she has learned here about being a leader.

Two and a half years ago, the K4K staff led a “safety festival” at nearby Porter Elementary.   One of the activities was breaking boards.  Well, Rylee did that just once and had to have more.  She took the free month offered and hasn’t stopped since.

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