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Kids Learn To Focus

  

At the Asian Arts Center, children focus by studying the intricate katas of Goju-ryu karate. 

Repetition of training routine helps them concentrate better each time, focusing on details. 

I wish I could tell you that this mental exercise is carried over in their school life, but I would be lying. 

As a elementary school teacher myself by day, working with children with different abilities and disabilities, I see no evidence of any correlation between martial arts training and concentration in the classroom. 

A child in a class of 20 (or more) is constantly distracted by his/her peers the moment s/he walks into the classroom. 

And no amount of karate training can help. A child who can focus in school is a child who can already focus. 

Focusing at the dojo is a personal accomplishment. To be able to execute intricate maneuvers is a proud accomplishment.

 
 

Kids Gain Self-Respect

 

At the Asian Arts Center, children are treated with respect. 

I treat all my young students the way I treat my adult students. 

I don’t talk down to them, I don’t baby talk, I don’t scold, and I don’t embarrass them. 

I treat them like gentlemen and ladies. 

I point out correct behavior (proper technique, proper standing, proper sitting, quietness) and praise it, making it worthy of emulation. 

All children really want to do is please you, but they don’t know how. 

If you show them how they can do it, they will do it. Children also love to learn new things at the adult level. 

At the Asian Arts Center, they discover a new culture and a new language: Japanese. 

They feel they are part of a sophisticated group as they become privy to Japanese expressions, names of techniques, names of teachers of old, history and lineage of Goju-ryu, names of katas.

 

Kids Feel Pride

 

While some children may have a vague notion that karate issued from Japan, few know it actually originated in Okinawa. 

Fewer still have the pride of knowing that they belong to a prestigious international federation, part of an authentic karate tradition, in the actual lineage of a renowned master. 

The students at the Asian Arts Center can proudly say they are the 5th generation in the Goju-ryu line of master Seko Higa and know that the patch they wear was designed by him in the 19th century and is worn by members of the federation across the world. 

They know the curriculum they study is the same studied by Okinawan children on the other side of the globe, and they know their black belt examination will be conducted by Okinawan masters from their federation, with their degree and diploma conferred and validated by the president of the federation himself.

 
 

Non-Competitiveness

 

Children at the Asian Arts Center learn at the same rate. 

They train for themselves, for their own benefit. 

They do not go to tournaments where some win and many lose. 

Karate is not a sport where the more athletic get to do more and earn praise while those less athletic warm benches. 

Progress is personal, yet each student supports his/her classmates through interactive drills and group kata study.

 
 

Self-Protection

 

At the Asian Arts Center, I don’t address self-defense per se for the children because they are too young to deal with this subject effectively without either becoming obsessed with it or becoming the aggressors in school. 

However, by learning proper basics and practicing sparring correctly, they are armed with the tools they need to put their foot down and protect themselves if attacked.