Accepting Responsibility - Teaching Children to Avoid Blame Shifting | Bay Area Martial Arts
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Kristen Matarazzo

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!

John Geltmeyer

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!

Rich Proulx

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.

Emily Mabry

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.

Joshua Jansen

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!

Kaari Tattar

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!

Cecilia DeSilva

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.
#BAMARocks!

Shonnon Schey reviewed Bay Area Martial Arts
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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 reviewed Bay Area Martial Arts
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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 reviewed Bay Area Martial Arts
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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 reviewed Bay Area Martial Arts
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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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Accepting Responsibility – Teaching Children to Avoid Blame Shifting

It is becoming more and more apparent that no one is to blame for everything that happens. So, if this is the case, how do we get ourselves in such turmoil if no one is responsible?

Although this seems ridiculous, the use of “blame-shifting” has become the go-to way of justifying mistakes. When we have arguments or conflict with others, one of the major contributing factors that play into the inability for solutions to be reached easily is a lack of ownership of behavior.

Children must be taught how to accept responsibility for their actions and feelings in any situation to lead a more productive life. Children are naturally going to test boundaries. Seeing how far they can push the limits of rules is nothing new. And when they make mistakes, their first reaction is to blame.

They could blame someone else or even an external circumstance. By doing this, they feel they are preserving their pride and avoiding disapproval and consequences. Since children want to please their parents, those with parents that are more impatient and critical are more likely to shift blame.

The problem with this lack of ownership is children become more passive and lose their sense of humility. This ultimately leads to more conflict and more difficulty finding resolutions. To help children learn this critical life skill, parents need to be patient and empathetic when addressing undesirable behaviors. This will create an environment where children feel safe to be honest.

During these discussions, especially when there is a conflict between children, it is essential to help them stay focused only on their behavior during the dispute. Whether it was the action that initiated the incident or the reaction to the situation, taking ownership of their part is vital.

This keeps them focused and prevents them from shifting blame. When children have successfully owned their behavior, make sure to show them an appreciation for their honesty, and open a dialogue for what could have been done differently. Life skills are an important part of a child’s development in the SKILLZ program.

By utilizing the Life SKILLZ supplemental curriculum in class, instructors, can help set up children for success in patience, respect, kindness, responsibility, self-control, and many others.

Parents can implement the Parent SKILLZ information to help them be more patient when addressing poor choices by their children and prompt them for more appropriate decisions. By providing children with environments that instill consistency in rules and consequences, children’s character becomes more refined, and they become more resilient.

As John Wooden stated, “You aren’t a failure until you start to blame.” Taking responsibility for our behaviors is hard, especially for children. However, to help children master their responses to the world around them, they must learn to take ownership of their part. This fosters control over their own lives and helps develop essential life skills.

When children are given the tools to learn from setbacks and mistakes, they form a growth mindset and become more resilient and empathetic human beings.

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