Back to school can be tough. If your like me you love having your child home over the summer but dread having to do all things necessary to get them ready for the new school year. Children often have the same anxiety and it is important to recognize the emotions and challenges they face as they transition back to school. Most children are pretty excited about the first day experience and in about two weeks it can get much harder to motivate your child to go to school. I often notice that when the routine and grind of school starts to set in that is important the dialogue between myself and my daughter ramps up. I give her the space and time to express herself as we drive to and from school each day. The opportunity for my daughter to speak freely and not worry about any judgement is important for both of us. It allows me to see things from her perspective and really understand what affects her and what inspires her. I always want to put my two cents in but that is where I try to guide or ask open ended questions to see how she would handle things. Not surprising she is right on track with making sound choices. The issue's and challenges she is stuck trying to figure out I let her take the lead and bounce ideas off each other to solve the problems. I have to trust my daughter to make choices for herself when I can't be there. Giving her the space to fail and the wisdom to recover is worth more to her future than a car ride lecture anytime. Until next time Master T
It's summer and it's time for students to practice all the skills they have learned over the past year. If you think of martial arts as portable gym that works on making your mind laser sharp, your body strong and creating a positive mental attitude then you totally understand the benefits of martial arts. I remember clearly one time when I was a lower belt in Taekwondo our instructor telling us that only 2 students out of 100 would ever become a Black Belt! Talk about motivating and un-motivating a student at the same time then this was it! I believed that this was the way to let students know that they had to work hard for years. I was wrong. I read and article in the Wall Street Journal that this particular Ivy League School had implanted a program to help every student graduate from their college. They put in extra classes, more tutors, longer library hours and on and on. I thought this was brilliant! In fact I was inspired to change how I taught as well. First I retrained all my instructors to teach with the understanding that some students learn from tactile lessons, other learning from seeing or hearing while many students learn from combinations of all 3. Next we offered free 15 minute lesson after class for any student that needed a little extra help. Finally we put our written curriculum and a video version online for students to train anytime and anywhere they wanted to. The only thing that was required was effort. If you wanted to reach your goals there was clear path with plenty of help our students. It's safe to say that 2 out of 100 students is now much much higher. Until next time Master T
Congratulations to all that have conquered the school year! Parents and children can all breathe a sigh of relief that summer is here. With school being out a new set of challenges often present themselves. Those challenges range from safety to safety to more safety to activities for your children. If you head on over to our Facebook page and click on our Friends and Family group we can get you up to speed on summer safety. Everything from stranger danger to water bottles and sunscreen. If you need a summer activity with benefits we can help you there too. So summer summer summer it's like a merry go round but it doesn't have to be. Stay safe Master T
I have been teaching children and adults for over 25 years straight. I have been a martial artist for 40 years. One thing I can tell within the first few visits is whether or not we are going to be a good fit as student and teacher. Most of the time it works out just great. The parents get that martial arts is much more than a show up activity and that there is real work to be done. Those parents want something for their child that they know will have a life time of value and will serve them well long into adult hood. These are my favorite parents because they get it. The other type of parent is what I call "the sampler". These parents put there child into every activity possible at least once. They see if they like it and if not they are on to the next new thing. Now I get it if your child really hates the activity and isn't having fun. I don't understand though, if they quit because they aren't willing to challenge themselves. That's where it all falls apart. At some point in life your choices or lack their of become your future. If your not willing to push yourself beyond what you think your capable of you will settle for less than you deserve. All great things take effort and the ability to believe that all things are possible if you find a way. You have to have a level of personal believe and tenacity that you never knew existed inside of you. You also have to know you will fail and fail big time. If there is anything I could ever tell you that I have learned over the years it's this, Live with gratitude, embrace fear, don't ever be afraid to fail, never ever quit and that there is always away to your dreams if your willing to find it. If you follow that advice I think we may have a chance. Mater T
To tell you the truth probably not, but when someone asks me a question about something they saw on TV or a small factoid about martial arts I often listen to what they are saying versus what they are telling me. Weird I know, but hang in there for a moment. People don't come up to you and start talking about random things unless they are trying to connect with you. For a moment, for a day or even forever a person looks to connect through sharing or giving. The thing they saw on TV isn't truly what our conversation is about. It's about an emotional connection to something that made them want to connect with me. Whew, thats a long winded way of saying something but it's true. When children act out or adults it's for attention good or bad. As humans we tend to naturally avoid painful actions. Sometimes people feel they connect by getting your attention for less then good choices. All of it still is a way of connecting. Sometimes it's unhealthy and sometimes it's life changing. You have to look at the emotion connected to the end result and determine why they are doing what they are doing. So when you ask if me if I know this or that I may say "no" just so we can connect and I can hear how you are so excited to tell me that Bruce Lee lived in Seattle for a bit. Master T
I have been a martial arts teacher professionally for almost 25 years. I have seen a myriad of things but I guarantee I haven't seen it all. At least not yet. I plan on retiring when it's time to go to the great beyond and not a moment sooner. With that said it's important for me as a teacher to keep learning. I always tell the new parent of a student that "the child will tell me how to teach them". They often think that means the child is in charge and it's true.....kind of. Children learn through play. When their brain is in an excited state or agitated state they remember more vividly than at casual rest. Since they have a dominate left or right side I have to take that into consideration as well. Younger students also have a limited vocabulary in order to express themselves and on the others side of the equation what words they can understand and what they mean. Some children are visual learners and can watch and do. Others are auditory learners and can be told to do something and can do it. Some children are tactical learners and you must move their arms and legs from time to time. Some children do all, some or a combination of the above. My first goal is to get them excited about the class my second goal is to pay attention to what they are telling me even when they aren't speaking. So next time you watch class and wonder why some kids have great kicks or strong forms just know they all learned the same technique but with different interpretations. Students progress at their own pace and will get to the same point of mastery as I learn their educational language and they learn the meaning of martial arts. Until then perfect practice makes perfect and if want to reach your goals you have to do the work. It definitely helps!
Take care, Master T
People are often very busy, stressed, overwhelmed and concerned about the future for themselves and their family. What sort of impact would a life threatening injury or death have on your family that you could have prevented? What if you could have learned some basic self defense skills in a few hours that were really easy? What if these new tools and tactics didn't require years of practice and you could use them the second you left class and for years to come? What if you already knew those moves you just didn't know how to apply your everyday gross motor skills in the context of self defense would that sound interesting? If your clients lost a week of time with you and your invaluable resources to their business would the competition pounce, would your client have no choice but to starting looking somewhere else? In the end you reach and influence many people as a business professional and those relationships you built don't come easy. If you travel or live in the Spokane area ask yourself if being a little bit better prepared is important to more than just yourself? If so give us a call and lets talk! Stay safe Master T
So before you poo poo this idea of choosing your emotions let me say this, it's true. We have all heard a joke before and some of our friends laugh and some give the obligatory chuckle and others go into fits of over the top hysterics. In the end it was a joke right. Same goes for watching a movie. A sad part comes on during the movie and some of us roll our eyes at the predictability and other weep with a sense of attachment as if it was happening to them. Still a choice right, to feel a certain way based on an event or circumstance. Think about it terms of the weather. We can't choose how the weather will be today unless you have some power I have yet to cultivate. Regardless it will make some people extremely happy and others mad that we are getting snow, rain or even sunshine again. How that person reacts or doesn't react is a choice. Perspective may not work for us 24 hours a day but it doesn't mean the 5 minutes of bad weather (insert metaphor) should ruin a whole day. Now I am going to happily go change my flat tire.....again!
Last week I did video blog about is your child coachable? I received a lot of feedback from students and parents. Usually students rarely watch those videos so it was refreshing to hear them say that they "saw me" on Facebook. The idea of the video was giving your child the mindset to succeed by learning to be mentored. Many times children take instruction or corrections as criticism. This form of "help" becomes like a callus. A callus is something that builds up from friction and repeated use. It's meant to protect the area that could be damaged by repeated use. This allows for removal from the pain from a child's perspective. At home it leads to acting out or even the opposite action of isolation. The key is to get the child to understand that you are on their side. You want to be the passenger in life while they are on their journey, someone that is just along for the ride. Every now and then we break out the map to ask where we are going. Maybe we ask a question, get excited about the possibilities, ask their opinion or for ideas. After they trust you and they believe that you are part of the journey (not hijacking or steering it) and then and only then does mentoring at this age have a chance. Try to soon its an attack on them and it hurts. If you try mentor to late then they are set in their ways and already know better. in case you are unsure how we do it our school we use the trust method. We plant an idea. We tell them they can reach a little goal first. We adjust and set a new goal. After a while we have momentum and they ask for advice and help because their goal is important and they know that I am only their as a passenger. It works you really well and you may want to give it a try. It's a long slow process but thats part of awesomeness of being a parent and teacher.
Brent Tibbetts (Me)