We work on our students focus from the first class because we believe improved focus accelerates the learning curve!
Check out this little graph that our martial-arts-scientists put together in the lab…it’s a good way of showing how we look at “learning” with our students. It shows that as students build focus the rate of learning accelerates.
With a graph like this, what you really want is that line in the middle to go as steep as possible. I think It’s our job as the Instructors to do this for your child… and we nail it with a long term, well structured plan.
In the first stage (circled in yellow) the students are normally white belt to yellow belt, they are learning the basics of self-control and we are building the foundations of ‘good focus’. Vocal ques (freeze, why do we sit, why do we bow etc) are used regularly.
The student needs constant encouragement, motivation and reminding of when and how to focus on each task. While classes are kept super fun, to maintain concentration and safety an autocratic teaching style is necessary here.
In the second stage (circled in green) the students are normally green belt to blue belt. They have been with us for 2-3 years and have a solid understanding of focus. Motivation is still necessary but more responsibility and tasks are given to the student. A more democratic teaching style is applied.
In the third stage (circled red) the students are normally red belt and above. They not only understand the importance of focus, they have seen themselves achieve great things due to their increased focus, while we have reinforced each success on the way. Most students who reach this point are aged 10-13.
These students are incredibly self motivated and driven. They are training for their black belt (it’s a big deal), this often occurs prior to the big ‘exam period’ of their lives, SATs/GCSE’s approaching where self-motivation and drive is fundamental to future success.
A deeper understanding of Martial Arts as a whole is achieved by these young adults. They are given more responsibility in class and are given a chance to be more creative.
Planting the seeds of focus…
‘Planting the seeds of focus’ as we like to call it, is critical to the future of a young persons learning ability. That’s another reason we are so heavy on the self control aspect. Starting on a program like ours from such a young age is a guaranteed way to get that “line” we’ve talked about as steep as possible before the critical “decision-making” and “exam-taking” period begins!
Simply put, we believe that if you improve the focus of a young person, their rate of learning increases and there is a compound effect resulting in higher retention of knowledge.
Of course, we need your help to follow through with this plan, it needs commitment from parent, instructor and student alike but the rewards are evident – fortunately it’s a fun journey!