In every karate class, instructors instill invaluable life skills, such as focus, respect, and self-discipline. In total, we focus on eight life skills. As kids learn cool karate moves and safety skills, the instructors have the unique opportunity to thread these life skills into the classes in the disguised form of drills, games, exercises, challenges, coloring sheets, and more. Each life skill will often include a “Challenge” where kids have the opportunity to share how they incorporated that skill in their karate class, at home, and at school. Kids love the recognition they receive from their karate instructor when completing their challenge.
While the kids just think they are having fun, here are the important Life Skills they will learn…
FOCUS means listening and paying attention, and not getting distracted.
It can be easy for kids to get distracted and not focus on things they are supposed to. We teach kids that learning how to have focus will help them get better at anything they set their minds to!
RESPECT is how you treat someone or something.
It’s important to show respect to parents, and teachers, but it’s also important to show respect to our things. Putting your things in the proper place shows respect. Respect is one of the most important life skills we learn in karate.
KINDNESS means being friendly, generous and considerate to other people.
It’s easy to be kind to our friends, but we also want to be kind to other people too. If there’s a kid in school that gets picked on, you can show them kindness by saying hi or playing with them at recess. Being kind also means being generous, like sharing your things.
HONESTY means telling the truth, even when it isn’t easy.
It’s not always easy to tell the truth, especially if you think someone might be disappointed in you. But karate kids tell the truth because they always want to be trusted. Sometimes when you tell the truth, someone might be upset with you, but that doesn’t last. If you lie, it’s harder for someone to forget that you didn’t tell the truth. Being trusted is SO important!
TEAMWORK means working together fairly with one or more people.
Sometimes kids want to go first, or hog a game, or they want to take cuts in line. This is not teamwork. It’s important to let others get to do their part so the team can work together, and everyone gets their fair turn.
SELF-DISCIPLINE is when you control your behavior without being told what to do.
It’s not always easy to do the things you are supposed to do without being told. We teach kids how to use self-discipline, even when it’s something hard to do. Behavioral problems caused by a lack of self- discipline can make kids feel frustrated. Any type of structured exercise requires discipline. Attending a class – even a virtual one – involves making a time commitment and sticking to it.
CONFIDENCE is showing that you believe in yourself and your abilities.
Showing confidence is not bragging and it’s not trying to be better than other kids. It’s just being comfortable knowing you are doing your very best and you are proud of your efforts. We practice confidence a lot in karate!
GOAL SETTING is something that you want to accomplish
It’s not always easy to accomplish goals on the first try. Some goals are fun right from the start, but some goals, like learning to snow ski or playing an instrument, can be difficult. But if you don’t give up, and you keep practicing, you will love accomplishing your new goal!