“What is Important” from the eyes of a child
There are many different reasons someone would join Cartersville Martial Art, some for fun others for reasons only seen by parents. It is important as a parent to realize that even though you brought your child to our school for a specific reason that we have to see the big picture and work on all aspects of that child’s life.
Attendance is the most important part of the development process in ANY martial art student. In order for the lessons and curriculum to be retained it takes practice and repetition, if the children are not getting that then chances are you as a parent will see little development in your child. A couple of times a year we get calls asking how parents can motivate their children into coming to classes. When we look into these matters a little closer we often see the same thing, little or no attendance over a long period of time. What does this mean? That the child has not been challenged enough or has lost hope after falling behind on their curriculum. Children see much more than we think they do, they notice things like their peers surpassing them in belts, they realize missed opportunity and many other complex situations. This is why we urge all parents to help their children to make it to at least two classes per week, the children’s development may depend on it!
What is the purpose of testing? It has more to do with accomplishments and feeling good about yourself then the actual belt. Just like the top military officer wears medals on their uniforms the new belt is a sign of perseverance, accomplishment and seniority. You will also notice at our academy the new belts also come with a pat on the back and a “good job”, something children do not get often enough in today’s world. Now lets get into why testing is important. As a child student the dream is of the day they are presented with their Black Belt this develops long term goal setting. As a child makes it through one belt level it puts them one step closer to the big goal and therefore becomes a short term goal. When children fall behind and miss their exams for whatever reason the big goal (Black Belt) starts to fade because the timeline is broken. The children now have a different mindset, they see the time and hard work they have put in as a waste of time, they did as they were told but with no advancement. Children who see what their doing as a waste of time like adults will no longer be interested in wasting any more time on such activities. We need to do all we can to keep children focused on goals, it is a proven fact that people with goals accomplish more in life. People without goals may luck into opportunity occasionally but goal setters make their opportunities. If your child is unable to make it to their exam, lets work to find a way to make it happen with a make up test, extra classes or whatever it takes to keep the children focused and on track for success!
The special programs at here are ahead of their time in the martial art world. In some arts you become a student you get belts and you go home, with no opportunities to become more. In UMA we do it a little differently by giving people realistic goals and leadership possibilities. What we are looking for in special program members is not the highest kick or the best pattern but instead we are focused on dedicated and friendly people with a good attitude. If a student has those things we can work on the rest. If any student in dreams of becoming an instructor not only is it very possible but we will encourage and help them every step of the way! Keep in mind special programs are not mandatory, but opportunities of this nature are limited.
We start off our special programs with the Black Belt Club. This group is the doorway into the world of leadership. To become a member you must be hand picked by a Chief Instructor or recommended by a head instructor. Children love this program because they get to actually see their Black Belt (with their name on it) on the wall, not to mention the sharp uniform and special classes and events. The minimum rank for this program is yellow belt at most schools. All other programs hinge on the Black Belt Club, it is the doorway if you will into greater things.
The next program is called the STORM Team (Special Team of Role Models). This again is an invite only program with a minimum rank requirement of gold belt. As the name hints this group of individuals are learning top notch leadership skills by helping and assisting instructors in actual classes and becoming role models to their peers and newer students. The children in this program are between the ages of 11 and 13 and they wear a blue top with black pants. When these members reach 14 they will be ready to become instructors if that is their goal. What better job to have then martial arts instructor, we feel this is much better than most other entry level teenage jobs with a much better environment! This program also helps combat the number one fear in America, Public speaking!
At Cartersville Martial Art, everything is engineered for specific reasons from our movements to our class times. We make leaders, not only in the dojang but in life. Our special programs are designed to motivate and give a more positive outlook. Our exams satisfy short term goals that are within reach and link together to form a long term goal, Black Belt. Our classes teach self defense, confidence, self control, discipline, and life skills. All together our program can create a winner in life, but all aspects of the program must work together to get maximum positive results. So make sure the children train two to three times a week, make it to their exams, and who knows your child could be chosen for a special program to further their success!
By: Master Michael Wilson
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