Keira joined us at FitRoots Martial Arts school when her uncle (and our Business Coach) – Phil Ashford from Enterprise exchange bought a Kickboxing Starter Pack for her.
Phil has always been a big supporter of how we teach Martial Arts at FitRoots. He has always stressed the importance of having good mental health, and the affect it can have on someone starting, or even building their own business.
Find out more about what Phil and his team at Enterprise Exchange do here.
He understands how Martial Arts can help students both physically and mentally, because he trained with FitRoots before relocating out of Slough.
So, when we told Phil that we were building our Kids Programme, and had launched a Kids Starter Pack, he snapped up the chance to get his niece involved.
Juliet (Keira’s granny) brought Keira to class every week, and knew that “from the very beginning we realised that it was quite a unique Martial Arts programme, in terms of the fact that it was linked in with a lot of other basic values that we feel that are important.”
Keira and her family really understood the purpose of developing our minds and bodies in sync when they joined. This really contributed to Keira’s Martial Arts progress.
Critical Thinking Skills In Martial Arts
It’s always interesting speaking to parents or grandparents of our students, especially to find out what they like most about the programme.
Juliet’s answer was very unique. She told us that her favourite part about the FitRoots programme, was that the children were learning to think critically.
“It’s not something that’s always encouraged with children at this age. And I think it’s good for her to have a balanced view of things, and to realise that things aren’t always black and white, and that you have to make allowances for things that you don’t see as black and white.” – Juliet
Benefits Of Training At FitRoots – Juliet’s Thoughts
Here are some of the benefits Juliet has noticed in the first year of Keira’s training:
- Giving a sense of maturity through commitment to the programme
- Having fun from beginning to end whilst learning
- Developing the confidence to speak up about her thoughts and opinions in front of others
- Improving physical strength and coordination
- Learning about self-discipline and emotional intelligence
And we definitely agree with Juliet!
Can Everything Be Taught At School?
There are many life skills that are very important for children to learn, but are not part of their curriculum.
Juliet explains, “It’s good too, for children to have to take a step back and to think about, perhaps, if they’re feeling aggressive, what might be the reasons for that and what might be the solution, so that the outcomes of problems are more positive.”
These days children have so many distractions, choices and opportunities.
It can be easy to forget to teach them about optimism and resilience. These are often lessons children learn as they grow older, faced with ‘life changing’ examinations, and peer pressure.
Stress is put on children from as young as six years old to pass and perform well in school examinations. This causes anxiety from a young age, and gives children a false sense of security if they perform well in exams.
Universities and colleges start preparing children for the workplace with interview preparation, and various other communication skills. Schools cannot fully prepare our children for adulthood, especially since many core life skills are only taught as they progress through the education system.
Juliet believes that “critical thinking is expected more with older children. but if we give children the opportunity to learn when they are younger it is a really good thing.”
She goes on to say, “Particularly when they do encounter problems, such as bullying or not wanting to commit to anything…”
How Does Martial Arts Help With Bullying? – Keira’s Experience
Amongst the many benefits of Martial Arts, a key one that parents very regularly come to us about is, how to teach their child self-defence. Much of the time, this includes learning how to handle bullies.
When Keira joined FitRoots, she was being bullied at school.
Just like many bullied schoolgirls, Keira was experiencing verbal bullying.
When joining FitRoots, Keira was taught some basic skills such as focus, confidence, and assertiveness. She shared that the advice she received helped her sort it out by herself.
This is what she has to say to anyone experiencing bullying:
“So, advice for the little kids, or whatever age you are, even if you’re an adult and you have bullying at work, or anything like that. I suggest, even though they’re not your friend or they’re being rude to you, it still means you have to be friendly to them and say, “Good morning” or, “Good afternoon” or, be nice to them. Because they might have something going on with their life. Or anything like that. That’s why you need to stand up for yourself.”
How to Help Children Handle Bullies – Juliet’s Thoughts
- Equip children with the ability to cope with bullying
- Encourage them to tell their parents when they are experiencing bullying
- Choosing the right time to report a problem
- Teach children critical thinking at a young age
- Give them the physical self-defence skills
- Teach them how to be healthy in their body and mind
Check out our How to Beat Bullies blog to find out more here.
Juliet’s FitRoots Review
“I particularly liked the way that you check in with each individual child at the end of the class. I think that’s really important. I know with some classes that they go to, they do the session, and it finishes, then they go home. But I particularly like the way that you will check in with each child, and to give them a little bit of feedback. So I think that personal touch is really important as well, and perhaps it’s something that helps the child to feel confident and to come back to the next session, because they’ve got something they can think of, or to work on between the sessions. But also learn the values behind what’s being promoted in the programme, to learn self-discipline, and being able to look after themselves and others.
Yasmin and Aidan are really experts in being able to deal with children. I’ve observed, some very fidgety children in class (at the very beginning), that have really learnt to focus. And I think Yasmin and Aidan are very good at being able to gently, but firmly, bring a child in to focus, to concentrate on what’s being said, and to listen, which I think is a really important skill as well.”
Thank you to Juliet for bringing such value to the FitRoots Community!
Having positive, forward thinking grandparents to help guide our next generation, gives them the confidence to push themselves out of their comfort zones, and to reach their full potential.
Are You Ready to Get Your Child Involved?
If you are a parent, or know a child who would benefit from learning Martial Arts, get in touch!
We offer a Free Taster Class for any children or adults who would like to give Martial Arts a go…