How Martial Arts Influence Children? (Age 5-7)
In a previous post, we introduced Seido Karate to Sabi and her progression from a white belt to a blue belt. Today, let’s explore the impact Seido Karate had on her over two years, focusing on the lessons she learned rather than her belt advancements.
Cultivating Self Control
In Seido Karate, “Osu” stands for “I will be patient.” It is used to convey greetings like “Good morning” and “Goodbye,” or responses such as “Yes” and “Thank you.” It is more than just a word; it is a constant reminder to practice patience in every situation. This patient mindset often leads to the ability to approach challenges with calm and restraint.
Accepting of Slow Progress
In the dojo, Jun Shihan stressed the importance of push-ups. Over a two-year period, Sabi steadily built her arm strength. Every few months, she accomplished new feats, such as going from half cartwheels to handstands. In parallel, she expanded her horizons in the types of trees she dared to climb.
When Sabi had trouble remembering the Kata steps, she used her doodling skills to create visual aids, which helped her practice and master the steps efficiently.
Gliding Through A Bad Day
Whenever Sabi had a rough day, she often set up her Shomen and laid out some mats. She would then recreate her entire Seido Karate training session. This 30-40 minute routine helped her to clear her mind and expend her physical energy.
Learning To Observe
Seido karate teaches the importance of observation. By watching others, students learn about their strengths, form, technique, and spirit.
Knowing When To Avoid
Children sometimes act recklessly, oblivious to the safety of others. For instance, they may tug on someone’s ID card cord, swing sticks wildly, or mimic their role models in mock fights.
Sabi understood that real combat requires extensive training and maturity. She recalled how Aang accidentally injured Katara in Avatar: The Last Airbender due to his lack of control over firebending. Similarly, everyday objects like sticks and pencils can be dangerous in the wrong hands.
When Sabi saw someone acting recklessly or an untrained individual wanting to spar, she prudently kept her distance to avoid potential injuries.
Knowing When To Fight
Occasionally, children can display unkind or bullying behavior stemming from a lack of empathy. Seido Karate equipped Sabi with the confidence to assert herself when the situation called for it. Over time, bullies recognized her willingness to strike and backed off.
Seido Karate teaches students to find strength through clarity and calmness, rather than aggression and anger. This principle echoes Mr. Miyagi’s teachings in the Karate Kid series.
Participating in Community
Seido Karate welcomes students of all ages, skill levels, and belt ranks to train together. This gave Sabi the opportunity to interact with and learn from older students.
Karate as Family Time
When Sabi joined Seido Karate, she noticed families practicing together, which fostered a sense of belonging. This inspired Dhara to join Karate as well.
Expanding Social Circle
Sabi nurtured connections across five groups: Family, colony friends, school pals, Seido Karate classmates, and Snug Monsters customers. This diversity made her social life more resilient. If things became difficult in one group, she could focus on another.
Sabi chose to celebrate her birthday at the Dojo with her Seido Karate teachers and fellow students. Moreover, when Kyoshi achieved the Jun Shihan rank, all students got together to throw him a little get-together party.
For several months in 2023, Sabi led the warm-up and closing ceremonies. Taking charge helped her develop a strong, clear, and confident voice that echoed throughout the dojo.
A few months ago, when two new 4-5 year olds joined the Dojo, Jun Shihan allowed Sabi to mentor them, placing her in a responsible role. Previously, Sabi had mostly focussed on herself. But these opportunities made her empathize others’ needs and take action.
Building Strategic Intent
Strategic. Before Karate, Sabi had not deeply committed to any activity. Karate has now been a part of her journey for nearly three years. Sabi’s mentor, Kyoshi’s progression to Jun Shihan reinforced that learning is an ongoing journey, regardless of age.
Intent. Sabi realized that the movie “The Last Samurai” portrays two contrasting warriors. One fought for money and was constantly drunk and haunted by his past deeds. The other defended his family, community, and craft, highlighting the importance of a clear purpose in life.
Pinalz Cake: What do you want on your birthday cake? Mickey Mouse, Barbie, …
Sabi: How do other children choose?
Pinalz Cake: What do you most relate to?
Sabi: I am a builder, warrior, seller. I will choose warrior this year.
Role models and visioning
Children often dream of becoming astronauts or teachers when they grow up. Sabi dreams of becoming a Senpai.
Outlet for Entrepreneurial Pursuits
When Sabi started her business, Snug Monsters, she had no clear purpose for the earnings. While many children her age would spend all their money on food or toys, Sabi chose to save half of it and use it to fund her Seido Karate fees.
🔵 Advanced Blue Belt
Sabi couldn’t contain her excitement and came straight running out to show it to us 😂
🟡 Yellow Belt
🟡 Advanced Yellow Belt
🟢 Green Belt
🟢 Advanced Green Belt and Kumite/Sparring
When Sabi achieved her Green Belt status, she became eligible to join the Kumite (sparring) class. Seido Karate isn’t only about traditional kata. They place significant emphasis on sparring and thus using technique in realistic combat scenarios.
To attend the class, Sabi acquired Shin Pads with Instep, Kumite Gloves, Martial Arts Head Gear, Chest Guard, and a Gum Guard from USI.
In the Kumite class, she sparred with both children and adults. The objective was not merely to hit, but to develop footwork, rhythm, and controlled technique. This way, she learned to spot chances to land a move and then execute it.
Sabi was set for her Advanced Green Belt evaluation. Sadly, she fell ill with the flu just before her scheduled date. After informing her trainers, Jun Shihan and Senpai, about potentially missing the test, she decided just an hour prior to take it. Her persistence paid off, and she earned her advanced green belt.