At Way of Life Shotokan Karate-Do we are proud to have our instructors and students write articles for our blog. The second installment is from Senpai Miguel Novoa and we thank him for his submission "Balancing Fun & Discipline In Kids Karate Classes"- By Senpai Miguel Novoa
Ever since I got my shodan (black belt) at Way of Life Shotokan Karate over 15 years ago, I dedicated the rest of my training to learning how to pass on the Way of Life tradition as it was introduced to me when I was a kid. As my instructor began to open the dojo floor to me so that I may take that step in becoming an instructor in the kids classes I realized something, kids all require different ways of teaching.
Some children are very young and their levels of focus are low. Some kids have many questions and require a lot of attention during class which can be disruptive at times. Others are very motivated and eager to learn. Some are mainly there at first because their parents wanted them join. When I first encountered this I felt overwhelmed and found my self asking Sensei for his advice. He simply told me to train them the way he trained me. As simple as it sounded, it was hard to do. Teaching techniques and forms was easy, my challenge was to adopt a teaching style that motivated the children to learn and connected with them.
So I came to a conclusion that there is one thing that all kids have in common. They all love to have fun. By ensuring that kids always have fun doing something, they always end up learning something in class at the same time. This may sound simple but there is something that can be contradictory to all this "fun" the kids are having in karate class, the aspect of discipline. Sometimes when you mention the word “discipline” to kids they translate it to “no fun”. To teach karate while having fun and instill discipline is a challenging task, especially with different personalities on the dojo floor as I described above.
With a good balance of fun, discipline and good traditional karate training, I am amazed at their accomplishments. The smiles on the kids faces and look of satisfaction on their parents faces, is my greatest reward.
Senpai Miguel Novoa
Since 1988, Way Of Life Shotokan Karate has been committed to teaching traditional karate and values for a modern world. Under the leadership of Norman Smith Sensei, Way Of Life Shotokan Karate instructs hundreds of students at our various locations from beginner to advanced levels of all ages that come from across the New York City metro area. Our unique way of combining martial arts training, etiquette and philosophy with the modern concepts of fitness, self-defense and competition is unparalleled. We ensure your training is vigorous, while maintaining a safe and fun learning environment that encourages students to reach their fullest potential.
Way Of Life Shotokan Karate Do martial arts school is now offically open at 501 East Boston Post Road, Mamaroneck NY, 10543 serving the local Westchester County communities of New Rochelle, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Harrison, Rye, Port Chester, Mount Vernon, Scarsdale, White Plains and Yonkers as well as the Bronx and NYC metro area.