Wednesday, November 11, 2015

ABCs of Adoption: K is for Karate

This may seem like a stretch but bare with me for a moment.  Karate and martial arts can provide a number of benefits to any child in terms of learning self defense and being an energy release.    What you may not know is that many karate programs also teach skills to instill qualities to help children succeed throughout life.   There have also been some articles which indicate that martial arts can help PTSD in veterans, if it can help PTSD in adults, why not kids?

We stumbled upon karate and martial arts completely by chance but I feel it is providing additional benefits to junior.   The program we have him in teaches the principles of Black Belt Excellence teaching concepts such as courtesy, respect, discipline, self control, citizenship and others.   We have been able to incorporate this into strategies at home and at school.   Last month they learned about discipline and phrasing "I-statements" to achieve goals.  An I-statement is stating what you want, what you will do to achieve it and what you won't do that could stand in your way.

It is a simple mantra that can be repeated "I want ____, I will ________, I won't________."  We have written this on junior's desk at school and he has tried to teach this to other students.   Each day or week he thinks about something he wants and comes up with a statement.   For example he wanted to go to a Lego class and knew if his behavior at school wasn't good then he couldn't go.  He came up with the I-statement of "I want to go to Lego class, I will listen, I won't run away."

If we had tried to teach him these skills, they would have gone in one ear and out the other.  With it being tied to karate and coming from elsewhere it is helping.   Next week he tests for a new belt, he is very proud of the progress he has made in karate and is enjoying teaching others in class.

He knows that if he uses karate on others then the classes will stop, this actually helped us curb some aggressive behavior he was exhibiting at school.   Karate seems to be helping him to develop self-confidence and skills to be able to handle his anxiety and stress.   This is a great compliment to the counseling he receives, and will hopefully allow him to channel his frustration and anger in positive ways.

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