Bully-Proof Your Kid

How To Bully-Proof Your Kid

Starting a new school year is an exciting time for many kids. It’s an opportunity to make new friends, learn new things, and tackle new challenges. But for many kids that are prone to bullying, starting a new school year can be a stressful experience. According to recent studies, one in three children will experience some form of bullying in their lifetime.

As parents, we want to do everything we can to protect our kids, but realistically, we can’t always be by their side. So, what steps can you take to bully-proof your kid?

Experts have long agreed that enrolling a child in martial arts can dramatically decrease how frequently a child is bullied. In fact, a recent study suggests that training in the martial arts can decrease the likelihood of bullying by up to 64%.

 

Encourage An Open Line Of Communication

As parents, it can be challenging to help our kids work through an encounter with a bully, especially if we don’t know about it. Kids will often feel embarrassed to admit they are being bullied, which is why establishing an open line of communication is so important. When kids feel it’s ok to talk to you about their experience with a bully, they are more likely to talk to other authority figures as well such as a school counselor. Sometimes, simply reporting the incident can resolve a problem with a bully before it becomes a long-term issue.

Martial arts teaches kids to confidently advocate for themselves. In fact, the best martial arts programs stress the importance of using a strong voice to stop a run-in with a bully before it can escalate. Avoiding a physical altercation is always the best bet.

 

Help Them Develop More Confidence

What makes some kids an easy target? Put simply, bullies tend to target individuals who they believe won’t fight back. They look for body language such as crossed arms, rounded shoulders, and lack of eye contact to identify insecure individuals who can be easily controlled or victimized. Experts agree that kids with high self-esteem and confidence are less likely to get bullied.

Building confidence through the martial arts is a great way to keep bullies at bay. Every martial arts class your kid attends is an opportunity to prove to themselves that they are strong and capable of greatness. Sparring drills encourage focusing and performing under pressure which is another great way to develop unshakable confidence. As they earn new belt ranks and learn more challenging techniques, their view of themselves and what they are capable of will shift and you will begin to see an outward demonstration of your kid becoming bully-proof.

 

Surround Them With Good Friends

It’s well known that bullies tend to seek out kids who lack community or are isolated. This is because it’s much easier to take advantage of and control a single kid rather than a group of kids. Also, fewer witnesses mean less of a likelihood that the bully will be identified and reprimanded.

When it comes to standing up to bullies, there’s always strength in numbers. If your kid is struggling to make new friends at school, enrolling them in a martial arts program is a great way to introduce them to new friends with similar mindsets. When it comes to making new friends, quality is more important than quantity. Even having just one significant friend at school can greatly reduce the likelihood that your kid will be bullied.

 

Have Them Learn Age-Appropriate Self-Protection Skills

Even though we always advocate for walking away from a bully, we also understand that there may come a time when that’s just not possible. In this case, it’s important for kids to understand how to appropriately defend themselves from a physical attack.

We often get asked: “what is the best self-defense move?” As you can imagine, it’s challenging to narrow it down to just one. When it comes to kids who are being bullied, verbal assertiveness should always be the first course of action. If this approach proves to be unsuccessful at deescalating the situation, non-violent self-defense techniques are the next best thing. This is because, typically, punching and kicking the bully back will do more harm than good. Instead, kids can learn leverage-based control holds to neutralize the threat without leaving a mark.

Role-playing common scenarios (such as being pushed or grabbed) during martial arts class will give your kid the confidence they need to know they are equipped to defend themselves should the need arise.

 

Ready to help your kid become bully-proof? Try a FREE training session at Invictus!  Which class below are you most curious about?

Preschool ages 3-5 (CLICK HERE)

Kids ages 6-12 (CLICK HERE)

Adults ages 13+ (CLICK HERE)

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Forging Friendships Through Martial Arts

Forging Friendships Through Martial Arts

Of all of the countless benefits of enrolling your child in a martial arts program, one of the most important may be forging lasting friendships through martial arts. Experts agree that good friends can enrich your life and improve your health. In fact, adults with strong social support have a reduced risk of health problems like depression, high blood pressure, and unhealthy BMI.

For school-aged children, having friends is important for developing important life skills such as socialization and conflict resolution. Making friends is also important for a child’s self-esteem. All kids thrive when they feel a sense of belonging and acceptance.

But, let’s face it, making friends can be a challenge for kids. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be!

Surrounding them with like-minded individuals in a positive and supportive environment can make it so much simpler. Developing friendships through martial arts is fun and rewarding! Let’s take a look at what makes martial arts friends so great:

They’re Committed To Self-Improvement

When it comes to making friends, quality is more important than quantity. Martial arts is all about making progress towards the goal of achieving new belt ranks and learning new skills. Setting goals and working towards them with like-minded individuals is a great way to build lasting friendships. Martial artists are often self-motivated and love encouraging their peers to develop good habits such as eating healthy or prioritizing their fitness.

Earning a black belt requires several years of commitment. This presents a unique opportunity to interact with the same group of people for an extended period of time. Nothing feels better than knowing that the people you train with are supporting you and cheering for you on the way to earning your black belt. It’s truly an unforgettable experience.

They’re Respectful

Respect is the foundation for any lasting friendship. In martial arts, respect is taught in several different ways. Students learn to bow to their training partners as a sign of respect. They also address each other as “yes, sir” or “yes ma’am” to further establish respectful relationships. Kids quickly learn that they not only deserve respect but that they must respect others as well.

In martial arts training, all individuals are treated with respect equally. Girls and boys train together. Different ages train together. The more diverse the class, the more rewarding the training experience.  Kids develop an appreciation for their peers and learn how to demonstrate respect to them in an environment that frequently reinforces its importance.

They’re Trustworthy

Most people will agree that trust is an important aspect of any friendship. Building trust allows kids to feel accepted as they are and encourages them to share their successes and struggles with others.

Clearly, it takes a lot of trust to work with a training partner who is punching and kicking at you. Martial artists must develop exquisite control to prevent injuring themselves or the people they train with. Whether it’s training with pads or practicing sparring drills, through consistent practice, martial artists learn to rely and depend on their training partners.

They Share Your Passion

Common interests bring people together and create opportunities for building strong friendships. Kids often have a hard time introducing themselves to new people or even starting a conversation. Participating in a shared physical activity takes the pressure off of conversation, especially in the early stages of friendship.

It doesn’t take long to develop a passion for martial arts. Nothing feels better than being surrounded by people who just get it. They understand your excitement when you achieve a new belt rank, empathize with you when you struggle to perform well in a tournament, and even geek out with you at the latest martial arts themed movie or TV show. Martial arts friends will see you and understand you on a level most others won’t. And that’s pretty amazing.

 

Does your child struggle to make new friends? Fortunately, it’s never too late to build new friendships through the martial arts. Try a FREE training session at Invictus!  Which class below are you most curious about?

Preschool ages 3-5 (CLICK HERE)

Kids ages 6-12 (CLICK HERE)

Adults ages 13+ (CLICK HERE)

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Kid's Karate

Kid’s Karate: What You Need To Know

Kid’s karate classes first gained popularity in the 80’s after the the movie The Karate Kid was released in theaters. Every kid wanted to be Daniel and every parent wanted their kids to be able to defend themselves against Kobra Kai bullies. As karate dojos began seeing more enrollment of youth members, other traditional martial arts began to follow suit. Now, almost 40 year later, there is no shortage of martial arts styles and school, from traditional to modern, that kids can train in.

Needless to say, shopping for a kid’s karate program can be overwhelming to parents who have no experience with martial arts.

So how do you make an educated decision?

Knowing what you want your child to learn from the martial arts is a great place to start.

Here’s a list of the most common reasons we hear from parents when it comes to why they sign their kids up for karate:

I Want My Kid To Be Able To Protect Themselves:

You may be wondering, which martial arts style is best for self-defense? While traditional styles like karate, taekwondo, and kung fu have a wealth of history and knowledge, they can miss the mark when it comes to practical application in a modern world. Modern styles like K-1 kickboxing, Muay Thai, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu offer a more practical approach to self-defense focusing on applied physics and body mechanics rather than choreographed movement. Look for a program that doesn’t just teach self-defense techniques, but also explains how the techniques works.

I Want My Kid To Be More Confident:

The key to developing confidence through the martial arts is less about the style and more about the school and instructors. Look for a place that offers a FREE trial class to get an idea of what the culture is like before you commit to long-term training. A training environment with enthusiastic and supportive instructors and other kids that genuinely look happy to be there are great indication of a healthy training environment. Also, find a place that offers smaller class sizes as larger classes can be intimidating to kids struggling with feeling confident.

I Want My Kid To Be Better Disciplined:

Most martial arts schools will implement several exercises to encourage discipline such as saying “yes, sir” or “yes, ma’am” and bowing to instructors and training partners. But not all schools have programs in place that teach accountability and self-discipline. Look for a program that has clearly communicated requirements for belt rank advancement that includes more than just class attendance. Clearly communicating benchmarks is a great way to teach kids the importance of setting goals and putting in the work to achieve them.

I Want My Kid To Get Fit:

Contrary to what you may think, not all martial arts programs are created equal when it comes to fitness. Traditional styles can put a lot of emphasis on developing low stances and high kicks, but can lack intentionality when it comes to developing cardiovascular stamina and full-body strength development. Modern styles tend to focus more on developing upper body as well as lower body strength. While sparring is a great way to develop stronger cardio, programs that incorporate regular bag and pad drills tend to develop more well-rounded students. Look for a program that is intentional about including physical conditioning drills into every training session, not just sessions leading up to belt tests.

Ready to get your kids training? Register her for a free training session today to discover how we help develop strong and confident kids.

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Family Martial Arts

Building Stronger Families Through Martial Arts

Experts agree that family-based fitness has a greater likelihood of becoming lifelong fitness. In fact, our experience shows that training as a family in the martial arts has countless physical, cognitive, and social benefits and is an excellent way to build stronger families.

Here are three ways martial arts builds strong families:

Establish Lifelong Fitness Habits

According to SHAPE America it is recommended that children get 60 minutes of daily physical activity. Learning to be physically active is a habit that must be developed. Children learn best through observation, and establishing strong fitness habits during early childhood can yield positive results for years to come. Experience shows that regularly training in the martial arts not only increases physical strength and promotes good heart health, but it can also improve sleep, and boost your immune system.

Increase Family Bonding

Many times, the family is a child’s first example of what a team can look like. Training in the martial arts as a family is a great team-building activity where parents and children can work together towards the common goal of becoming black belts. Along with making progress in their training together, families also experience a sense of growth and accomplishment that will build stronger bonds and promote closer relationship with one another.

Build A Happier Family

Experts agree that families who train in the martial arts develop improved confidence and self-esteem. Moreover, martial arts training can also lower levels of stress, anxiety, and depression by raising serotonin levels. Finally, by training together, families also learn important problem-solving skills, including conflict resolution. Developing these skills creates an all around stronger and happier family. And who doesn’t want that?

Ready to get your family training? CONTACT US today to discover more ways we help develop strong families.

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local schools

Local Schools Partnership Announcement: Leander ISD

You are probably already aware of the fact that Invictus Martial Arts is a HUGE supporter of our local schools and PTA’s! From generous donations to fun booths to FREE seminars, there are so many local schools we LOVE to support. In fact, Invictus actively sponsors the Rutledge Elementary PTA and hosted a Martial Arts Club at Harmony Public Schools for the 2019-2020 school year… just to name a few.

Fortunately, we took our commitment to supporting our local schools one step further today. Invictus Martial Arts is proud to be an approved agency of Leander ISD to provide Off-Campus PE! This means Invictus members can elect to train in the martial arts that they love while earning PE credit from their school. Total win-win!

Curious to discover more? Check out the details at the LISD website under “Off-Campus PE” here…

 
Do you have a school or club we can support? Please CONTACT US and let us know how we can serve you! 

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Kids Martial Arts

What Is The Best Age To Start Martial Arts?

In 2010, my world as I knew it changed. As we shared our first of many silent gazes, I embraced his small body and with it, my newest identity: Mom. His Mom. The magnitude of that moment was palpable. It was suddenly up to me to provide for him, to care for him, and to protect him. In the coming weeks, that would mean nursing him every two hours, changing countless diapers, gently washing the wisps of his hair, and above all, showing him what love felt like daily. As he matured into a toddler, it would mean, making sure he was eating his fruits and vegetable, teaching him colors and shapes and manners, wiping away tears and kissing away “boo-boos”- the gifts of curiosity and ambition, and above all else, showing him what love looked like daily. 

Before I knew it, I was writing his initials on school supplies, packing his lunchbox, and fighting back my own tears as I watched him confidently walk into his kindergarten class for the first time. And as I watched the door close behind him, questions flooded in: Would he make good friends quickly? What if other kids picked on him? Would he be afraid? Who would protect him when I couldn’t? But as quickly as these questions threatened to consume me, all at once, I felt a calm wash over me. Why? Because I had given my son a pre-school gift: the gift of martial arts training.

You see, I knew a day would come when I wouldn’t be able to protect him, so I wanted to give him the next best thing: the knowledge and ability to protect himself.

My son started training in martial arts when he was only three years old. It began as a fun outlet for his exuberant energy but the value he received from starting his training at such an early age was so much more. As a result of his martial arts training, he learned how to focus on a task and follow directions. He discovered the importance of setting goals and working hard to achieve them.  He learned to respect his instructors, his peers, and himself. Additionally, he developed self-confidence and learned about the responsibility that comes with being recognized as a leader. He gained an understanding of how to protect himself and others through various examples of self-defense. And he experienced the value of community and friendship.

So, when is the best age to start martial arts? As soon as you want your child to experience these benefits for themself.

Unfortunately, most martial arts schools will not train children under 6 years old. And even if you happen to find a school that will train a 3-5 year old, most likely, they are expected to train in a class with older children and even adults, and they are taught techniques and skills that may not be as beneficial to them at their young age.

As co-owner of Invictus Martial Arts, it became my passion to develop and facilitate a martial arts program specifically tailored to the unique learning style, pace, and energy of 3-5 year olds. Our Tiny Titans program uses age-appropriate martial arts lessons that target physical, mental, emotional, and social development. Best of all, our unique curriculum employs specific martial arts drills that prepare pre-school aged children to successfully meet the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) kindergarten standards. 

Frederick Douglass said, “It’s easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

Our goal with the Tiny Titans program is to do just that: build strong children that embrace challenges, enjoy effort, are intrigued by mistakes, and chose to always keep learning.

Curious about how we train our Tiny Titans?

>>>Try a complimentary class today!<<<

 


Invictus Martial Arts premier training facility is located at the SW corner of N. Lake Creek Pkwy. and Lakeline Mall Dr. across from the Lakeline Super Target in Northwest Austin.

 

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