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I studied with Adrian for many years. He is by far the most focused and knowledgeable instructor I've ever known. The lessons I learned from him go far beyond just Martial Arts but also basic life skills. I was also fortunate enough to teach at the dojo and see firsthand the benefits of Martial Arts training for young children. As an elementary school teacher, I can't emphasize enough how the skills he teaches in his classes, focus, discipline, responsibility, positively affect students in their academic lives. One of the best decisions I've ever made was to train with him!
I am a grandfather, father, and teacher with 40 years experience, elementary to high school. I thoroughly enjoy watching my grandchild participate in BAMA.
We want our children to be successful, to grow in a healthy environment; we want our children to be challenged, and to have fun. The Bay Area Martial Arts staff provides all these aspects. They love to teach, they know their material, and deliver with passion and compassion.
Thank you, BAMA staff.
Erica Tran Wang
This place is awesome. My 4.5-year-old attends the early skillz level at BAMA and he loves it. He’s been learning fundamentals like kicking, punching, and blocking all while practicing patience and perseverance with his peers. The instructors do a great job at making it fun while teaching discipline. If it were up to my kid, we’d come here every day. I love seeing the big smile on his face at every lesson, how proud he is when he earns his stripes each week, and his excitement about advancing to the next belt color. We’ll be coming here a long time!
My son has been going here for a couple of years. Great instructors. They have a really good sense of how to tailor the program to where the kids are at, age-wise. They manage a really good mix of hard-core martial arts (or the need precursors) and fun.
I have trained at Bay Area Martial Arts for almost 10 years; from the age of 9 until I was 18 years old. I loved coming to class and the teachers were great. I did not just learn self-defense, but also gained self-confidence. At Bay Area Martial Arts you learn skills that help you develop and grow as a person.
Our 5-year-old son (and us parents) absolutely love Bay Area Martial Arts. The staff is incredibly positive with the kids and have created an environment where kids learn respect, martial arts, and have fun at the same time. Scheduling is easy and we love that we can come multiple times per week and love the various camp offerings. We didn't think it could get better but just completed a b-day party where all 25 kids had an incredible time learning martial arts, swords and lightsaber fighting techniques. Our son is still talking about how he broke a board....Well done team BAMA!
This is a top notch martial arts school! We have known the owners for years as they are part of the SKILLZ organization. They offer quality training and strive to make students become the best version of themselves by improving in all areas of development - physical, intellectual, emotional, and social. The instructors are amazing!
This is an extremely great place to bring your kids to train martial arts but this place is a whole lot more than that both of my boys train here and the skills that they have learned go way beyond the dojo. The amount of respect my kids have learned is mind-boggling for a 5- and 7-year-old, I know it's hard for them to understand the word let alone, start showing respect to their elders, they listen better the first time around. We were really struggling with our kids' behavior before they started here, I spoke with one of the Sensei's and they really helped us transform our family dynamic for the better.. both my boys have been here for over 2 years.
If you have any kids SEND THEM HERE. This place rocks. It can really help.
Shonnon Schey recommends Bay Area Martial Arts
via Facebook ·
I signed my kindergartener daughter in the six-week promotion to see if she would enjoy martial arts. I knew after her first class that this was going to be truly enriching for her, and she loves going to her classes.
I love that the classes are age specific- and you can see how the teaching styles are geared towards each age group. As explained by Sensei Adrian in our assessment- four-year-olds and seven-year-olds are capable of different things at different times. Having them in age-appropriate classes will help them succeed because they are with their peers.
The instructors are firm but fair, and are amazing with a large group of kids. They don't coddle anyone, they have the same expectations of everyone.
I'm proud of how my daughter has taken to BAMA in such a short time. She has gotten stronger and already shows more self discipline (as much as can be expected from a five-year-old)!
My husband and I are so happy that we found Bay Area Martial Arts!
Christina Chandler recommends Bay Area Martial Arts
via Facebook ·
My son just started and I already can see the difference in him. Thank you. This place is GREAT! You all should see if your child or children like it.
Leah Martin recommends Bay Area Martial Arts
via Facebook ·
My 13 year old son started at the dojo when he was 5 and my 9 year old daughter started when she was 3. Bringing them here has turned out to be one of the best decisions that my husband and I made for our children. The amount of focus and discipline that they have learned through martial arts has encompassed all parts of their lives. Both are excellent students and know how to stick up for themselves. My daughter will not think twice about being an ally for someone else. I am blown away by their self confidence. They have learned that you can succeed at anything you put your mind to with hard work and perseverance.
While learning the skills of working hard and self esteem, students get a great work out and have fun with Sifu Adrian and Sensei Ceci. They create a nurturing environment where children learn skills at their appropriate developmental stage. They have become family and I am forever grateful for all that they have done for my children.
Kelly Correll Brown recommends Bay Area Martial Arts
via Facebook ·
My 7 year old son started at Bay Area Martial Arts in January of this year. After nearly 6 months I have seen such a change in him both physically and emotionally. My son was always scared of trying new things - like riding a scooter or doing a handstand - because his balance has never been that great. Martial arts has really helped him build confidence and the physical strength to try new things. Respect for yourself, your family, and people in the wider world is something that he is learning and doing. Sensei Adrian, Nate, and Ceci have been so wonderful not just to our son, but to our whole family. They really care about these kids - not just to make them ninjas (because lets face it... what kid doesn't want to be a ninja?!?!), but about helping them be the best version of themselves that they can be. Thanks so much you guys!!!!
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Bay Area Martial Arts Oakland Martial Arts and Fitness for All Ages!
DOPAMINE: The Key to Increased Motivation and Focus in Children and Teens
May 9, 2019
Have you ever wondered why children and teens seem to be so addicted to their smartphones and other devices? Parents are frustrated with their children’s lack of attention and motivation but what do their devices have to do with this?
Often referred to as the “motivator molecule,” dopamine is a “feel good” chemical that is released in the brain which helps us focus and feel motivated. When dopamine levels are low, it can result in symptoms such as difficulty focusing, decreased motivation, trouble problem-solving, and social anxiety. Therefore, many ADHD medications target dopamine levels.
When children and teens have low dopamine levels, we often find that they spend more time on video games and smartphone apps, and some tend to be thrill seekers. These things give a boost of dopamine, which makes them feel good and then leads to them seeking out more of the same thing. This constant boost of dopamine keeps them coming back for more.
The reason is because dopamine is part of the reward pathway of the brain. When something is interesting or exciting, a surge of dopamine rushes to the brain. Much like the excitement we feel when we are preparing for a trip or waiting for dessert, the anticipation of receiving a reward tells the brain to release dopamine. This release tells our brain that this event is worth getting more of. And so, the cycle begins.
The great thing about dopamine is that it can help modify behavior in a positive way, when done correctly. Because of the pleasure that dopamine makes us feel, we are more motivated to learn and, therefore, we retain information better. This is because the dopamine creates new neurological pathways in the brain. When we find activities that are pleasurable, we learn more from them and keep doing them.
Now that we understand the neuroscience surrounding dopamine, how can we, as parents, teachers, coaches, and anyone who works with children, use this information? We must create a learning environment that is exciting and produces the “anticipation of accomplishment.”
The SKILLZ program we use at Bay Area Martial Arts does this by teaching with the brain in mind and utilizing game-based learning. Along with this, two of the Teaching SKILLZ that are used in class are specifically designed to increase the students’ dopamine levels.
1) Trickery: The use of “trickery” as a teaching skill in class helps the students focus, which ultimately leads to better listening skills. For example, when playing a game and the students are waiting for the instructor to say “go,” the instructor can trick the students by saying “goose” or “go-cart” instead. This excites the students but also motivates them to listen better and, therefore, be more focused.
2) Intrinsic Motivation: The use of “intrinsic motivation” in class helps the students become more motivated, which leads to more confidence. For example, to get students more motivated from within, the instructor can say “You only have to do 5 pushups but if you want to be a Black Belt do 10 pushups, if you want to be a master do 5 pushups, but if you want to make me and your parents proud and show you are the best student, do 20 pushups.”
By utilizing these techniques, students get a rush of dopamine because they anticipate the events in class, stay focused, listen better, and are motivated to do their best. They feel good in class and they come back wanting more!
For more information on our age specific martial arts classes, click here, or visit us at the school: