Updated: Jun 8, 2022
by Barbara Haney
Team Ascension Martial Arts Owner
You have heard that karate communities teach discipline, focus, confidence, etc. But, have you also heard that, run well, it can be the best kind of nurturing environment for young minds? It can be the best kind of warm and welcoming place children look forward to growing up in each afternoon after school, during the summer, and even on weekends.
Karate schools grow amazing people, and it all goes back to culture. The school culture can be felt from the moment you walk in the door. First, someone should immediately greet you. This person should be smiling and be approachable. From that first contact, it sets the tone for your experience as a student. The school itself should smell nice, look clean and uncluttered, and be well lit. There should be comfortable seating at least inside and preferably outside as well for parents to congregate. Leveling up, a small snack bar and pro shop inside so that equipment is easily found for sale as needed for class. These are the bones of a karate community, the structure, to build a karate community you enjoy.
Next comes the training itself. Have you ever heard that the fish rots from the head down? The same is true in an office, school, or even a family. How the leaders act and interact with their student body will set the tone for how the children treat one another as well. Respect is king, but what is it? Simply put, respectful leaders listen, consider, respond, repeat. Respectful leaders don't use harsh words. They don't feel like they are in a tug of war for winning an argument or maintaining control. Respectful and confident leaders have good discussions, consider the facts, and respond. They model the behavior at all times so that students who are treated that way go about treating each other that way as well. They then go about treating their parents with the same formula for respect based on confidence: listen, consider, respond, repeat.
Building a fit body is important for good mental health. But, let's be honest for a moment. Many people find it really difficult to exercise for exercise sake. Karate programs are excellent ways to stay fit without feeling like one is exercising at all. And, sport karate schools are outstanding places to find multiple disciplines under one roof.
Find a school with these qualities, and you'll be a very happy parent. Martial arts training supports every other athletic pursuit, but as those pursuits end as age sets in, martial arts stays as a lifetime family sport. Won't you join us?