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THE PYON MOO DO KIDS EXPERIENCE
PYON MOO DO KIDS – FOR THE LONG-TERM GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF CHILDREN
Pyon Moo Do Kids is the martial arts program at Traditional Martial Arts Academy that is specially designed children ages 6-12. Based on Pyon Moo Do, or The Warrior Path of Transformation, our comprehensive adult program, our children’s curriculum is rooted in powerful, effective martial arts and designed for the needs of children and the concerns of parents.
At Traditional Martial Arts Academy, we recognize that all children can benefit from martial arts instruction. A structured, positive environment—where courtesy and respect are emphasized—can contribute to children having improved behavior and focus. The practice of martial arts is fun and physically demanding—a great outlet for the restless energy that is natural in children. It is not unusual for parents and school teachers to report significant, positive changes in children within days and weeks of beginning martial arts classes.
HOW WE ARE DIFFERENT
This focus us has led us to take a different approach to teaching children that is unique to our program. We concentrate on reinforcing effort rather than achievement. For instance, a common practice in martial arts schools is to test students for a new belt frequently to keep them interested and to help them feel good about themselves. In our Pyon Moo Do program, belt testing is a much rarer event. We’ve designed such a rich, full curriculum that rapid advancement would lead to poor quality. There is simply too much to learn for that approach. We emphasize the experience of the progression, rather than the end result (a belt). This way, students learn the value of process rather than achievement.
Why do we think this is important? When a child is purely goal-oriented, they project their sense of identity and self-worth onto an external object, their goal. If they stumble in their efforts, difficult feelings of fear, frustration and questions of self-esteem can arise. But when a child is focused on the process, with a goal simply offering a direction, then stumbling is no big deal. The child is excited to get up and keep going because they have a love for the process.
This is an important life skill that we encourage students to take outside of the martial arts class. We do this through requirements at every belt level to demonstrate specific effort at home, school and in the community. Established by you, the parent, in collaboration with your child, his or her school teachers, and our teaching staff, these “effort-requirements” are designed to meet the needs of your child and to express your family’s values. Many schools have code of conduct requirements for advancement through their curriculum. Things like being polite, keeping one’s bedroom clean and getting good grades are required to earn new belts. These are great behaviors of course. But what if a child is already getting straight A’s and good at keeping their room tidy? What if a child is having difficulty in other areas of their life, or simply having difficulties that are more pressing than being courteous? This is why we partner with you to determine what is the area of effort most appropriate for your child.
Additionally, every child must participate in a community service project before testing for their next belt level. This prerequisite teaches children the value of doing things for others. Plus, they find out how much fun it can be to help the community. Kids have done all types of projects including neighborhood cleanups, worked in kitchens and clothing donation centers for the poor, and tutored other children.
And it works! Kids love our classes and get excited by the prospect of advancement and learning new material. So when they are told they must show specific effort in home, school and the community, they are much more motivated and eager to apply themselves!
NOT JUST A MARTIAL ARTS SCHOOL, BUT A COMMUNITY
Our students love coming to class. The classes are fun, the material is exciting and they get to meet such great friends. A big part of why our students love Traditional Martial Arts Academy so much is the community. Students are supportive of each other in class and, though discipline and structure are an important part of our method, so is laughter. Kids tend to leave class in a good mood, regardless of how they felt when they arrived.
Our community is not just for the students. Our parents are always encouraged to stay and watch class. Many friendships have been formed while sitting on those benches!
WE TEACH MORE THAN KICKING AND PUNCHING…MUCH MORE
Pyon Moo Do Kids is a program that offers children deep martial arts instruction, life-changing experiences, and the opportunity to understand themselves and the world around them more deeply. Classes are taught by an exceptionally well trained staff. In many schools, being an accomplished martial artist is qualification enough to be an instructor. Though our staff members are all excellent martial artists (each with a minimum of four years training experience), we don’t think this is enough for your child. Our teachers also receive ongoing education in educational psychology and child developmental psychology. Their martial arts training is augmented with exercise and kinesiology theory.
Whether it is our curriculum, our unique approach to the complete growth of your child, or our highly trained staff, Pyon Moo Do Kids is a unique program that rises above other schools as a martial arts program for children.
Our tuition may be higher than some of the other Austin-area martial arts programs for children, but you definitely get what you pay for. If you are looking for another extra-curricular activity to keep your child busy, we are probably not the school for you. There are several martial arts programs in South Austin that have fun programs that kids enjoy. But if you are looking for a profound, life-shaping experience for your child that will follow him or her home, into school and through the rest of life, Pyon Moo Do Kids is for you!
TheBlackBeltParent.com is an ongoing project of Head Instructor James Espy to share the latest research and insight he’s gained from more than two decades of teaching children. You will find articles that explain essential principles and strategies for effective parenting, as well as techniques you can start applying right away!
Here are some of the latest articles on the site:
In Asian philosophy, there is the concept of “the path” (道). If one follows the path one can achieve enlightenment. What enlightenment means varies depending on the philosophy (Taoism versus Buddhism, for instance). Boiled down, the path is simply applying some form of deep engagement to an activity. Many arts—such as flower arrangement, archery, painting …
Public discourse sure has changed in recent years. Once, leaders offered stirring eloquence and soaring oratory to persuade hearts and minds. Now, we have tweets and grade school insults. To really grasp the significance of this shift, consider FDR’s first inaugural address. Elected three years into the Great Depression, he was tasked with leading a …
As parents, we can get disappointed with our kids. They may perform below their potential or behave in a way that undermines our expectations of them. Kids are imperfect beings who are still learning the basic rules of life, so they will fall short.
Failure to meet our expectations in some way is almost inevitable for children. How we respond to, and then express, our disappointment to them can have profound and lasting consequences.
Which is more important—to speak with confidence to your child or to speak accurately? Sometimes it is so much easier to tell your child what they want to hear or even just tell them whatever it takes to get some peace and quiet. And speaking as if you know what your talking about can often seem to increase your child’s confidence in what you are saying.
But does it? Do these inaccuracies have an impact on your relationship with your child? In this article, I explore the tension between speaking with authority and with accuracy, as well as the consequences to you parenting effectively.
In this article, I will explore the latest research in the use of rewards as a motivator for children. This has long been an area of interest for me as a teacher, because I want to motivate my students towards being as passionate about martial arts as I am. I am also interested as a parent because I want to motivate my daughter towards more positive behavior and rewarding experiences.
This article looks at how we can manage our children’s screen habits. Restricting your child’s screen use and monitoring the type of media they are consuming is an increasingly essential part of parenting. Though a few tips and tricks can be helpful, you really need a comprehensive strategy to be successful in this area.
Random acts of kindness benefit other individuals and/or society as a whole, and clearly represent something that parents would want to help their children cultivate. Cultivating this behavior in your child is important not just because it will make him/her a nice person. Research shows it is important to their social and emotional well-being.
So what is the best way to encourage your child to commit random acts of kindness?
The way you speak to your child has a big impact on how they view themselves and the world around them. When you praise a child, it can give them motivation to repeat what they are doing and shape their sense of who they are. In this article, I look at how your choice of words can have a big impact on the effectiveness of your praise—even whether you are using nouns versus adjectives or verbs!
Truth appears to be in decline. Even the meaning of the word “fact” seems to be open to debate. In a society where those in positions of authority and prestige are increasingly comfortable with not only deception, but blatant—even comical—lies, we find ourselves drowning in a sea of untruth. It can be very disorienting. And it is a difficult environment in which to raise an honest child. How do you teach your child to tell the truth in a world full of examples of people successfully using lies to get ahead?
In this article, I explore ways to help your child be honest, even when it would be easier to lie.
This is a tough time to be compassionate. In addition to teaching our children the skill of compassion, we have to help them avoid things that make cultivating empathetic kindness difficult. Cruelty is the obvious opposite of compassion. But there is another emotional reaction to others’ suffering that looks like compassion at first, but will actually undermine one’s capacity for responding with empathy. In this article, we explore this “near enemy” of compassion.
In recent years, our culture has begun to change how it treats girls and women in order to offer a more even playing field. We still have a long way to go and there is interesting research that offers insight into how to best move forward on these issues. In this article, I look at the impact fathers doing chores can have on their daughters’ self-image and even what careers they aspire to.