Three Tips to Choosing a Martial Arts School
Choosing a martial arts school has always been a guessing game for most parents. Unless they have prior experience, to them, any style is coined “karate” so deciding on the best place is purely a guess. Parents generally look for a school that teaches punching and kicking, emphasizes discipline, and builds confidence. And while many schools are successful in delivering those results, many do so in ways that don’t truly tap into the deeper levels of science and psychology in order to make these benefits long-lasting. Therefore, finding martial arts schools that require certifications, so staff are trained in the most up to date child development strategies, is key in delivering optimum results.
To assist parents on selecting a martial arts school, the SKILLZ program has led the way in setting the highest standards for its instructors by offering different levels of certification. By implementing varying courses in the areas of science and psychology, instructors demonstrate a high level of understanding in the best practices for a child’s development and parents feel more secure knowing their children are in certified hands. The effectiveness of a system of instructor training, such as this, gives them a specialize skill set so they can create an environment that fosters authentic developmental growth that will last a lifetime.
To truly get the most out of the conventional martial arts benefits everyone is familiar with, parents should look for schools that have instructor training in the following areas.
1) Science: One of the first things anyone working with children should know is what to expect from them and what not to expect. This boils down to knowing where each child is in their stage of development. By understanding this, instructors can target exactly what skills children, at a specific age, need to build on. For this reason, the SKILLZ program created age-specific classes. In addition, understanding how certain chemicals in the brain can be boosted to maximize learning and retention, within each class, is extremely valuable.
2) Psychology: As we all know, not all children are the same in every way and some have challenges that are often the reason parents search for a martial arts school in the first place. From behavior problems to developmental disorders to physical challenges, having instructors that are knowledgeable in a wide array of difficulties is imperative. The SKILLZ program not only trains instructors on these concerns but has also created a program specifically designed for children on
the spectrum. By having useful tools in place, instructors can easily identify the best approach to work with each child that will ultimately produce the best results for that individual child.
3) Teaching: While understanding the subject matter being taught is important, knowing how to teach to boost understanding and memory is a specialized skill. Along with utilizing the elements of science and psychology above, the SKILLZ program also boosts learning by implementing neurobics to “warm up” the brain so it’s primed for learning. In addition, instructors are equipped with teaching strategies that are used to help each child achieve more. These elements increase the student’s motivation and bolster a love for learning.
It’s no doubt that parents want the best for their children. And while martial arts is rooted in traditions that have well-known benefits, today’s modern world is bursting with information that can enhance the outcomes. When martial arts schools demonstrate a commitment to the developmental growth of the children they serve, parents can trust that the process is not only about kicking and punching. They see how it is providing ways that reach their children on a deeper level which will ultimately lead to success in all areas of their life.
Author: Jennifer Salama of Skillz Worldwide. Jennifer is a 4th-degree black belt and has been training in martial arts since 2001. She has a Masters Degree in Child Psychology and has embraced the SKILLZ curriculum because of its focus on child development and using martial arts as a vehicle to develop the child as a whole.