The Key to Deeper Human Connection | Bay Area Martial Arts

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Shonnon Schey reviewed 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 reviewed 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 reviewed 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 reviewed 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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The Key to Deeper Human Connection

In today’s world, there is an overgrowing focus on “me” and less on “us.” This “all-about-me” emphasis has led to a lack of empathy, which, in turn, results in more and more conflict. The primary reason for this…people do not listen. Their focus is on their own agenda, and they are not open to really listening to others’ thoughts and feelings. And while we have personal rights, we also have a moral responsibility to be kind humans.

Early on, teaching children the importance of empathic listening is an invaluable life skill that can change human interactions positively. Communication is an essential skill to have, and while children are taught to talk and write, listening is only addressed to get children to follow directions. When we talk to others, our biggest need is to feel understood. The problem is that most people only listen with the intent to reply. They have essentially already made up their mind about what we mean and are, therefore, only waiting to make their point.

This leads to misunderstandings and conflicts. To be an effective listener, we must be willing to listen beyond the words. As Sean Covey stated in “The 7 Habits of Happy Kids,” “…less than 10 percent of communication is contained in the words we use.” To help our children with this, we must begin by cultivating their emotional knowledge. Typically, parents start doing this with their younger children by naming strong emotions that the children express. This increases their emotional vocabulary. Parents can then expand on this when situations arise.

For example, when a child is watching a TV show, parents can start a conversation by asking their children what they thought the characters were feeling and how they were communicating. As children get older, the conversations can take on a deeper level of empathy. When we teach children to listen through the words someone is saying and pick up on the tone of voice and body language, they begin to build more emotional awareness.

As with anything, a large part of children developing this skill is through observing role models. When interacting with children, it is important that adults understand how a child feels about a situation by asking questions and watching body language. By treating children this way, they will learn, firsthand, a deeper and more meaningful way of interacting with others.

They will then show the same respect and empathy for the people they interact with. To help with this, parents can utilize the Parent SKILLZ curriculum as well as the Life SKILLZ information that is used in class, as a way of starting. It is important to keep in mind, however, that children will make mistakes and be unkind sometimes. This is when we need to give them a second chance to try again without making them feel embarrassed. Use these times as further learning opportunities.

We all want to be understood. By teaching empathic listening to children early on and exercising it often, we can strengthen our communication skills and build trust with each other. Respecting each other enough to truly listen to someone else’s perspective instead of from our frame of reference will go a long way in creating more meaningful interactions. As Mike Greene said, “The ability to hear is a gift. The willingness to listen is a choice.”

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