“If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.” ~Ignacio Estrada
The first day of Martial Arts classes is finally here!
Stepping through the front door, I’m excited by the sound of laughter, smiling faces, and abundant, happy cheers.
There is joy around me; of this, there is no doubt. I give my parents a quick hug and squeeze before stepping on the mats with one loud, excited shout! The mats are so squishy and soft underneath my happy feet; it is all so exciting and new! I wonder in my mind for a brief moment about all of the fun things we will do!
The teachers are by my side, helping me on my first day. It’s clear they care about me and the other kids to be acting in such a way! From game-based drills to ninja tricks and learning other super-awesome moves, I quickly realize that I’m not out of place in this space that embraces my unique learning style!
Resilient Martial Arts is so much more than a place full of flying side kicks and Superman punches. It is a space to learn and grow, challenge myself, reach for the stars, and exceed my or anyone else’s expectations.
Our teaching philosophy is born from the idea that we, as parents, teachers, coaches, and instructors, share a common goal: to help foster and nurture the spark of learning within our children. Their beautiful minds, bodies, and spirits are constantly scanning, detecting, experimenting, and testing their and our limits. To address these needs, we have created an environment that provides them with age-appropriate activities based on their stages of physical, intellectual, emotional, and social development.
Over the coming weeks, we will share the eight Teaching Skills our team actively uses to help children learn in the ways that they learn best!
Let’s begin with the first two Teaching skills: Healthy Competition and Choices.
What is Healthy Competition?
Scientific, psychological, and child development studies have found that competition motivates students of all levels to step up their game when faced with challenges. Leveraging this in our classes requires setting up a fun, supportive, and actively engaged environment. Then we prompt competition by splitting the class into teams and giving them tasks to complete and perform in front of the class. By doing this, the activity has become a “game” and fosters a healthy environment for teamwork to thrive, for leadership skills to develop, and strengthens the connection with our students in the way they learn best; through the power of play!
What is the concept of Choices all about?
Choices is the second of the Teaching concepts our team uses when supporting our students on and beyond the mats. When we give children the power of choice, they organically become more engaged. Why? Because they are getting to make the call, exercising their own independence which leads to more motivation and more significant effort naturally on their part.
How can these concepts help my child beyond the mats?
Great question! Whether your child is enjoying classes on the mats or time with you at home, you too can use these skills at home to help your child in a variety of situations.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Time to put the folded laundry away!
Instead of just telling your child to put their clothes away, turn it into a Healthy Competition so they can complete the mission of the moment in a fun, active way!
Make two stacks of clean laundry, create a starting line and explain that when you say “Go,” you will each grab a pile and see who can put the clean laundry away in the correct place first.
To make it even more fun, say, “On your marks, get set, Ghost!”
Did they flinch, wiggle, or wobble at the sound of Ghost vs. Go?
Even better, if your child wins, do ten or twenty push-ups at the end of your game. Kids LOVE beating their parents in the spirit of Healthy Competition! Seeing you do push-ups for a change is a treat that will only further motivate them in the future to do what needs to be done in the fun, supportive environment you have created beyond the mats.
“I’m so hungry!”
Utilize the power of Choices to help your child exert their independence and ability to make good decisions on their own.
Create a go-to safe snacks list that can be kept up to date on the fridge at home; I highly recommend using a dry erase board. Write down safe, healthy snack choices that you are comfortable with your child choosing from when they are feeling hungry between meals.
This is an active way your child can practice their independence while ensuring the choices have been pre-approved by you. On busy days especially, this concept is a great tool to use.
Have younger children still learning to read? No worries! Swap out the words for pictures to create a healthy choices chart.
Enjoying Healthy Competition and Choices on and beyond the mats are just two ways we are helping to teach children in the way they learn best. If you need more ideas regarding these first two Teaching concepts, please don’t hesitate to connect with our team! We are always excited and happy to help brainstorm new, fun, and creative ideas that help support both children and parents on and beyond the mats.
Our goal at Resilient Martial Arts is to assist you and your family in any way that we can to reduce the physical, mental, emotional, and social stressors you are facing.
It takes a village to raise a child and we would be honored to be a part of your incredible life’s journey!
To apply for our program and schedule your child’s free trial, click the button below:
RESILIENT MARTIAL ARTS
6911 Chital Drive
Midlothian, VA 23112
Email: [email protected]
About the Author
Eric Rangel-Ribeiro is the proud owner alongside Joshua Fracker, Bernard Robinson, and Barbara Robinson of Resilient Martial Arts in Midlothian, Virginia. With a background in traditional Martial Arts, Psychology, and Child Development, Eric is an active advocate for today’s youth. His passion for supporting and nurturing students of all abilities and ages resonates through all he does as a parent and business owner.