Being a Part of a Black Belt School – This is an Education not an Activity

Blocking, Kicking, And Punching Is Just The Beginning.

Martial arts is all about learning blocks, counters, punches, holds, and kicks, right? The answer is yes, but it’s also only the beginning. The goal of becoming a Black Belt is the goal of becoming a better human being. A martial arts education gives you the tools and a pathway to accomplish that and so very much more.

Crabapple Martial Arts Academy has these words stenciled boldly above the mat:

We are a Black Belt Academy

What does this mean? What is expected of students who belong to this exclusive school? Why do we call the karate schools “schools” at all?

Martial arts training centers go by many names. The words “dojo” (Japanese) and “dojang” (Korean) literally mean “place of the way” or “way place” and this is representative of the breadth of education delivered in these halls.  This is a place where the way of leadership, excellence, determination, self-discipline, focus, and martial arts is taught. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training centers are often called “academies,” which again denotes a place of very specialized preparation.

Just like traditional education, parents want the best martial arts school for their kids. So you ask the same kinds of questions: What curriculum do they follow? Does the school teach leadership skills and philosophy along with academics? How educated are the teachers themselves? And maybe most importantly: What percentage of the school’s students graduate, and what have their graduates done? 

What Does The Top 1% Do That Others Do Not?

The top 1% of martial arts schools build a team and program around these concepts. Crabapple Martial Arts Academy employs a martial arts curriculum that traces its lineage to Grandmaster Dr. Steven Roensch, one of the most respected martial artists and teachers the modern world has ever known, the late Hanshi Ridgely Abele, and even to Grandmaster Robert Trias who is credited with pioneering Japanese martial arts in the United States. Through various programs (leadership book reviews, mat chats, requirements for volunteer and community service, worksheets, and newsletters that explore concepts like gratitude, courage, and humility), we teach students about history, how to help others, and the power of martial arts to create a more promising future.

That kind of well-rounded education is what we believe Black Belts should have, and it’s why we call Crabapple Martial Arts Academy a Black Belt Academy. So to get back to the starting question: What do we expect of all our new white belt students? That you’ll make it to Black Belt. As a Crabapple Martial Arts Academy student (or a parent of one), you can expect it, too.

 

In Budo,

C. Matthew White, Renshi
5th Degree Black Belt – Shintoyoshin Kai Jiu Jitsu
5th Degree Black Belt – Shuri Ryu Karatedo
Master Instructor

 

 

 

Crabapplemartialarts.com and Crabapple Martial Arts Academy has been selected the nation’s #1 martial arts schools for SIX YEARS IN A ROW by the American Budokai International!

Founded in 2013 by Mr. C. Matthew White a 5th degree Black Belt in Karate and 5th degree Black Belt in Jiu Jitsu, and Master Instructor, Crabapple Martial Arts and Karate lessons for pre-school children ages 4-6 and elementary age kids ages 7 and up are designed to develop the critical building blocks kids need – specialized for their age group – for school excellence and later success in life.

Crabapple Martial Arts Adult Karate training is a complete adult fitness and conditioning program for adults who want to lose weight, get (and stay in shape) or learn self-defense in a supportive environment.

Instructors can answer questions or be contacted 24 hours or the day, 7 days a week at office@crabapplemartialarts.com or call directly at 770-645-0930. You can also visit our website at CrabappleMartialArts.com.

About C. Matthew White, Renshi:  Matt is a fifth degree black belt in a traditional Japanese and Okinawan Martial Arts – Shuri Ryu Karatedo and also a fifth degree black belt in Japanese Jiu Jitsu – Shintoyoshin Kai Jiu Jitsu, and is a master instructor with a title of Renshi, which means Scholar in Japanese.  He has a bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sports Physiology. He has been training and teaching martial arts for over 27 years and has owned Crabapple Martial Arts Academy since 2013. Renshi White is a motivational speaker and educator and teaches seminars in bullying, business, and martial arts training, around the world.

Crabapple Martial Arts Academy Headquarters is in Alpharetta, Georgia at 12315 Crabapple Road., Suite 124, Alpharetta GA 30004. You can locate the Chief Instructor, Sensei Randy Neese there directly at (770) 645-0930.

The Importance of Developing a Child’s Focus

One of the most common problems that many children have is in focusing on particular tasks for long periods of time. Developing memory, focus, and attention spans when a child is between the ages of three and five is very important. As a parent or a pre-school teacher, one has to constantly monitor and observe a child, to deduce whether he or she is adequately developing these skills. Doing so will ensure that in the future, when a child is required to deal with large tasks and projects, he or she will be able to “apply” the mind for longer periods of time and yield greater results. Structured, enjoyable activities such as pre-school karate help children learn to focus on the task at hand.

Effects of Technology

Some experts have concluded that the reason why many children today have trouble focusing on tasks for long periods is due to a ‘glancing culture’ that has proliferated as technology
has advanced. The ways in which they interact with digital media have by and large reduced their ability to focus on ordinary or repetitive tasks, and to persevere through less stimulating activities like studying. Video games and social media like Facebook and Twitter can be entertaining and educational, but aside from specific applications, they generally do not assist with cognitive development in a child. In the past, children were encouraged to play games that build cognition among other skills, but that trend has diminished across the United States.

The ability to focus on a particular task, project, or lesson has a direct bearing on the amount of information a growing child can retain and later apply. The capacity to filter out irrelevant distraction and tune oneself to a particular project helps develop self-control in a child as well.

(Good and Consistent) Practice Makes Perfect

Developing a child’s focus is like developing any kind of muscle in the body. More than anything, it takes a whole lot of practice! Parents and pre-school teachers are advised to schedule tasks and activities that help develop a child’s mental faculties. In certain cases, this may be as simple as scheduling time slots where children are required to play particular cognition-building games such as puzzles, riddles, brainteasers, and so on. Some experts believe that even a few moments of silent meditation can do wonders for developing a child’s ability to focus.

While it is extremely important to ensure that children are integrating skills that allow them to focus, one should also keep in mind that they may get exhausted from time to time as well. As a parent or a pre-school teacher, one should regularly schedule breaks where children can relax and rejuvenate both body and mind between tasks.

How to Develop Independence in Your Child

Among the challenges and joys of parenthood are raising, providing for, and taking care of a young child. Parents develop intensely strong bonds doing things for our children especially during the infant and toddler years, though it is important to know where to draw the line. Doing everything for a child could eventually result in his or her inability to develop particular life skills that will be needed later on in life. As a parent, it is important to strike a keen balance between taking care of your child and fostering a sense of independence and self-reliance.

Even from the youngest age, a child will naturally try to gain some form of independence. Independence traits in a child may be exhibited in small ways, such as insisting on choosing their own clothes, pouring their own beverages, or even going to the bathroom unaccompanied. As a parent, it is crucial that you encourage the choices that your child makes (when appropriate) rather than continually questioning or discouraging them.

Different kinds of independence

Developing self-reliant children can occur in a variety of ways. In many households, children are required to perform tasks on their own just as a matter of circumstance or style of living. In these cases, independence becomes quite a natural trait, leading to children becoming intrinsically motivated. Professionally-supervised activities that focus on self-improvement, such as karate training, are proven to give children a sense of independence and individual accomplishment.

In other cases, developing a child’s sense of independence may require parents to provide some kind of incentive or reward, like a trip to the park or arcade, an extra hour of TV time, or similar. Parents need to be careful in choosing the rewards, though: over-rewarding can be as detrimental to his or her developmental processes as neglecting to offer praise and feedback at all.

Balancing love and practicality

Ultimately, developing a sense of independence in your child means striking a keen balance between supporting them 100% and giving them the freedom to win or lose on their own occasionally. These two sides of the parenting coin are not mutually exclusive. Understanding the cognitive development level of your child at each age is also important, especially when it comes to choosing which tasks you would like your child to perform independently and which tasks he or she will still require some assistance with. As a child grows and becomes familiar with performing certain tasks on his or her own, you can then encourage them to get involved with more complex tasks to further build their independence quotient.

Developing an Attitude of Positivity in Your Child

In life, everyone faces ups and downs all the time. Very rarely do things go exactly according to the plans that we have laid out for ourselves, and more often than not, we have to adapt to different situations as best we can. However, many people – adults included – find it extremely difficult to maintain a positive outlook in the face of an obstacle, change, or setback. One of the key traits of the most successful people in the world is the ability to remain optimistic and hopeful, committing to persevere in the face of adversity.

For a better future

Teaching children how to have a positive attitude for approaching life situations at the earliest ages will do wonders for their growth in the future. Fortunately there are some simple ways that parents can help their children realize the true worth of having a positive attitude – and sticking by it – especially when the chips are down.

Some experts have suggested that one of the best ways that children learn about positive attitudes is simply observing and discussing behaviors of positive people around them. As a parent, you may want to periodically encourage your child to to think about how certain ‘optimistic’ or ‘positive’ people in their lives are similar. In doing so, a child may come to realize a number of similarities and choose to develop those positive traits in themselves.

Keeping track

Another important technique that parents use is encouraging their children to keep track of their attitudes from day to day. Does a child behave differently on different days? Which attitude makes them happier? Moreover, when facing a difficulty, is there something a child can do to turn his or her attitude around? Can they influence the attitudes of their teammates or opponents? Over time, children will be able to better answer these questions to the point where the lessons become internalized. Taking up classes like music or karate will help boost the spirit, language, and environment of positivity in your child.

Finally, having a positive attitude also means taking responsibility for the particular situation that one is in. A parent should encourage his or her child to think about the ways in which an obstacle can be conquered, rather than just telling him or her what to do. Children must learn to view difficulties as challenges rather than anchors in their lives, and tackle them head on. It is the most gratifying thing to have conquered hardships on one’s own.