“Focus, discipline, agility, and respect!” These are the words of Nicole Agon from Perfect Balance Martial Arts. Without a doubt, Martial Arts has been a huge success in our household and each one of these qualities has been cultivated in our boys. When I had my first son and he was coming into the toddler stage, his pediatrician looked at me in the eye and said “you are going to be quite busy running after this little boy.” He advised me to enroll him in a Martial Arts program as he has seen the huge benefits it has provided to other families. The well-rounded boys and girls that have come out of such programs left a great impression in our pediatrician and I chose to follow his recommendation.
Currently, my 6 year old and 4 year old boys are enrolled in Martial Arts. So far they are being exposed to several important qualities that are needed to be successful in the real world.
Focus: How much focus can a 4 year old have? Well, my 4 year old has been taking classes for about 7 months. In the beginning, he couldn’t last 10 minutes in his class without wandering away and staring at himself in the mirror making funny faces. 7 months later and he completes his class with 95% more focus than he used to be able to maintain. My 6 year old has made huge strides in his focus and it has shined through in school as well as at home.
Discipline: We all want children who listen on the first try and make no mistakes, right? Sure, but that’s not going to happen! Kids are kids and they will not be perfect, they will challenge us and they will learn through our example. Martial Arts has been a huge asset to us. We discipline our kids at home but Martial Arts has reinforced it as well. Discipline in class is expected and taught in a compassionate yet firm way by having children follow linear commands. Children are also expected to take this to other environments such as home and school. Kids have the opportunity to earn “Stripes” for their belts in order to accumulate them and move on to their next belt. This is a huge incentive as they want to accumulate their 6 stripes, test for their next belt, and earn it!
Agility: Many parents long to have their kids join a sports team, whether it be soccer, baseball, basketball, etc. Martial Arts is providing a foundation for my kids. It’s not only about performing their “karate moves”. It’s a way to obtain both mental and physical agility. They have to memorize their “moves” and then execute them. Some schools like Perfect Balance are implementing some changes and exposing kids to Kickboxing techniques. It’s fun for the kids but also keeps the integrity of the Martial Arts discipline.
Respect: Hearing my kids say “Thank you!” when they receive their food at a restaurant or say “Excuse me!” when trying to speak to someone is rewarding, knowing that they are being taught to be respectful and courteous. This of course is taught at home and has always been taught at home, but Martial Arts provides another venue to perfect this important aspect of life. The kids learn the different basic phrases of respect and are expected to use them in their daily life. “Yes sir/ma’am, No sir/ma’am, Please, Thank you, You’re Welcome, and Excuse Me.”
Martial Arts is a way of living, it encompasses so many different aspects of life into one and provides my children with the foundation to be “Black Belts” for life.
For more information about Perfect Balance Martial Arts:
Weekly Exclusive to aMother Adventure by:
Laura Soto, D.O.
Family Medicine Physician
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