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ATA Chanhassen Family Martial Arts

You don't have to be great to start...

Posted: September 06, 2018

For many families, this time of year brings hope for change. A new school year or brand-new school, bright and shiny new clothes and new activities, which means new goals to create and habits we wish to accomplish. Though they promised you they would stick with it this time, the sad reality is, a few short days, weeks or at best a couple months later, buyer’s remorse sets in and you’re left with that brand new trumpet collecting dust in the corner, those expensive gotta-have-name-brand soccer cleats are now hanging in the mudroom without any grass stains, and all that unused football equipment left a big dent in your wallet. And now those new “goals” are replaced by excuses like, “I don’t wanna go”, “my band teacher is too mean”, “the coach doesn’t like me”, “I don’t like getting tackled”, and so forth. A lot of times the main underlying issue with kids sports and activities, is it’s hard for them to realize all the work that’s going to be involved. Nobody was a world class musician from birth, being a fan of the world cup doesn’t instantly make you a great soccer player (nor give you the right to wear a man bun), and the best wide receivers aren’t the ones with the best hands or vertical leap in their rookie seasons, but the ones who learn to focus on where the ball is going. You’ll need to play the long game.

The power of Discipline

Posted: August 14, 2018

Okay, I admit it. In my younger years as an instructor, I was the happy go lucky type. Not a lot bothered me. If a student didn’t “answer up” loudly or even at all, I’d let it go. If a kid didn’t have his toes fully touching while standing at attention or was even a little wiggly, I didn’t mind. Today, I’m still “fairly” happy go lucky, but I nip the former in the bud a little bit more. Keep reading, you'll find out why.

I think what changed for me was likely equal parts becoming a parent and understanding what some of the adult members and parents of younger students were feeling. What’s more, I was starting to notice the ones that were getting away with a low level of respect and discipline in the past, were now the more senior students that were leading and influencing the culture of our school. We needed some changes.

I still don’t think I’m a disciplinarian like some of the forefathers of Taekwondo were, but I sure don’t have a problem digging in to a kid a little bit more these days (especially if I know the parent is appreciative and supportive). I remember having a profound moment a few years back when we had a younger black belt student who at the time was about 13. He had a good amount of natural talent and wasn’t fully putting in the effort he usually did. That particular day he was trying really hard to be funny, making jokes with others and making excuses about why he wasn’t taking things as seriously.

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