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Articles and essays

Bullying Decreases Test Scores

According to a recent article:

The survey defined bullying as "the use of one's strength or popularity to injure, threaten or embarrass another person on purpose. Bullying can be physical, verbal or social. It is not bullying when two students of about the same strength argue or fight."

Schools are under immense pressure to improve standardized test scores because of the No Child Left Behind Act, Cornell said. "This study supports the case for schoolwide bullying prevention programs as a step to improve school climate and facilitate academic achievement," he said.

Bullying Lowers Test Scores

Is your child a target of the local bullies?

Children who study martial arts are at a lower risk for bullying because they gain increased focus and self esteem and feel they can defend themselves if need be. In addition, children who train at Coquille Martial Arts learn a variety of strategies to prevent themselves and their friends from being bullied, including proper verbal response, removing themselves from the bullying, and gaining assistance from their peers and from the school community.

Parents gain from listening to us as we teach these strategies as well.

In addition, children who study martial arts on a long term basis gain increased focus and increased grades. They also suffer fewer significant injuries while playing team sports. Starting the martial arts is a win-won situation. A healthy activity that helps a child academically and prevents serious injury.

Why not see what martial arts can do for your family?

Choosing a Martial Art School

Do you want to learn basic self defense? If so, continue reading. Do you like spending time being thrown to the ground and having your joints locked? If so, then you might want to seek a judo or jujitsu school. If not, consider one of the many punching and kicking arts. Most of them will make concessions based on age and ability and it is not unheard of for someone in their 50's or 60's to earn a back belt. Do you want a less strenuous class? Then, perhaps Tai Chi is for you. There are hundreds of different martial arts out there, all having the same goals, and each only a little different from the other. The biggest differences are generally in the individual teaching the art.

Determine how far you are willing to drive and how much you can afford to pay. There are schools charging as much as 50.00 per hour and as little as 50.00 per month1. Any less and you should ask yourself just what is the price for training at that school? Lack of experience, issues with reputation, or perhaps the instructors are desperate for students. Literally the worst price you might pay for a "discount" is that you or your child leave the martial arts because you had a bad experience

Call first and ask basic questions. How much do they charge? What ages do they train? If you or your child have special needs, have they had experience teaching someone with similar issues? Is that person still training there, or is the instructor willing to have you speak to that person or his/her parent. Do their own students have any significant accomplishments? What dan rank(black belts are ranked 1st through 9th with 10th being an honorarium) are the instructors and who certified them? How did they test for that rank? Who was/is their instructor and do they maintain contact with that person? Do they have references in the local martial arts community that you can contact. What other schools say about someone, or rather what they don’t say, speaks volumes. If a reputable school recommends that persons competitor, then take a closer look. Who do they train with now and how often do they themselves go to seminars and receive instruction? Instructors who avail themselves of frequent instruction tend to make their classes more interesting and varied, and also follow tried and true methods of instruction and technique. Ask about other styles. If they downgrade another style, or make claims of the superiority 2 of their style then it is time to seek another school if possible.

Having now narrowed down your choices, you should do is go visit and watch a class. Go early, not so much to talk with the instructors, but to watch their interaction with the students, and to talk with the families of students. You may call ahead and ask, or simply show up. Tell the instructor you want to watch a class first and then speak to them after the class. Either way, chances are, they will accommodate you. If they do not want you to watch, or if they interrupt their teaching too often to speak with you, consider these it is a possible warning sign. However, lets assume you are sitting quietly and comfortably watching the students enter and get ready for class. Take notes on the following: Is the dojo (gym or community building) clean? Is there enough space, and high enough ceilings to safely teach the art you have chosen to take(even ground fighting arts need high enough ceilings not to throw an opponent into the light fixtures). Is there a comfortable place for family to watch the class, if they so desire? Are students and instructor respectful to each other? Is there some down-time for more casual interaction and instruction, but without being too casual? Does the instructor discipline students matter of factly, or does he or she denigrate the student, calling them stupid, or asking them to "not be an %@$#."

Finally ask if you can try a class free. If not(and no matter how inexpensive their program is), then it is time to thank them for their time and walk away. And you don’t have to take our word for it. There are many articles posted on line about choosing a martial arts school in addition to the two referenced above.

Do You Have What it Takes

In a recent article, statistics were given breaking down the number of students, who once starting the martial arts, actually stick with it until they reach black belt.