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Don Hires reviewed Symmetry Martial Arts
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Quality martial arts training geared toward children in Jupiter, FL. Master Sonia Mendez and her team have excellent programs suited to the skill levels for a broad range of youth. I can see the growth and confidence in my own kids, and they are always excited to get to class and work on their SKILLZ with Master Sonia and Cody. Definitely a quality investment in our kids! Thank you Symmetry Martial Arts!!

Fred Marino reviewed Symmetry Martial Arts
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Sonia and her team are rock stars! Her passion and expertise are spectacular.

Kate Wozny Alvarez reviewed Symmetry Martial Arts
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My 3 yr old LOVES it! Asks every day if he has karate! Master Sonia is great with kids & I feel like he's really learning (thought he might be too young)! I also did a self defense class with a group of moms & we were all thrilled with the class & plan on taking another

Tina Ty reviewed Symmetry Martial Arts
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Master Sonia and her team are truly an amazing group of people who posess unlimited amounts of kindness and patience. I have seen my child gain confidence in many aspects of her life, relating to both home and school. If I could give ten stars to Symmetry I would:)

Lacy Larson reviewed Symmetry Martial Arts
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Inspiring, exciting and wonderful! Had the great pleasure of experiencing a self defense class with the Symmetry Team tonight! It made me feel strong and not afraid because I have a voice and power! It made me want to give my daughter every opportunity to learn how to protect herself and how to listen to her intuition. Great inspiration and teachers!

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You will not meet a more dedicated staff! We drive 30 minutes each way, twice a week, and pass countless martial arts studios on the way...they are just that good!

Manny Cabrera reviewed Symmetry Martial Arts
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The team at Symmetry is awesome! I love how they're dedicated to providing age appropriate instruction that furthers kids physically, intellectually, emotionally, and socially. I've trained in the martial arts for nearly thirty years and these guys care so much about providing good quality martial artists and helping them be the best version of themselves. Check them out.

Lisa Eakes reviewed Symmetry Martial Arts
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Before signing my only child, an active, creative 3 year old up for taekwando, I checked out 3 martial arts schools in the area and Based my decision on the feeling I got as soon as I initially entered symmetry & was greeted by master Sonia personally. Her attention to my interest & availability for correspondence is outsanding. Mr. Cody's enthusiasm, playfulness, focus & dedication keep Ella engaged at every class. I'm proud to share that Ella just received her fourth belt at symmetry! I've watched Ella grow tremendous amounts in Her strength, agility, discipline and voice. Most importantly, Ella is having fun and gaining confidence and has created a small group of friends she looks forward to seeing each week.

Stefani Walkling reviewed Symmetry Martial Arts
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They Symmetry Team is truly dedicated to their mission statement of providing the coolest experience for every kid, every class!

The instructors are constantly investing in their own knowledge and training to be able to teach each child in the way that's going to best foster their growth and development. They are passionate about what they do and who they're doing it with and for.

Joining Symmetry is much more than joining a martial arts school, its joining a family!

Angela Veselov reviewed Symmetry Martial Arts
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Symmetry Martial Arts holds a special place in our family's heart, as the owner (& instructors) nurture our children's talents, skill sets, and self esteem both on and off the mat. We couldn't be happier with our decision to send our daughter to Symmetry & for the opportunity for her to be exposed to such exemplary role models, who truly have a positive impact on all aspects of her life! We couldn't recommend this studio more!!

Tina Wood reviewed Symmetry Martial Arts
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I highly recommend Symmetry to anyone looking for a great martial arts school. The instructors are fantastic and the kids learn skills and discipline while having a great time. Master Sonia and her team set a great example as they themselves never stop learning. The students were actually invited last year to watch several of the instructors earn new degrees on their belts, including Master Sonia as she earned her 5th degree black belt. That they were willing to show their vulnerability as well as their strength and resilience was a powerful learning experience to these kids. Symmetry as a whole- the instructors, students, and parents are family to us!

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8 Ninja Teaching Tips For Parents

8 Ninja Teaching Tips For Parents

With schools and other activities closing due to the coronavirus outbreak, many parents are finding themselves filling the roles of teacher, coach, guidance counselor, and hall monitor as the kids try to continue their studies in the home learning environment.

The first few days were likely an exciting new adventure, but as we continue to try to balance working from home, maintaining the needs of the household, and serving as the frontline for our kids’ education, it is likely that we will experience new stresses.  Kids who sit still for their teachers or listen to their martial arts coaches may not want to exhibit the same studious behaviors for their parents. And if there are siblings involved, you may even find yourself serving as a referee as battle ensues.

 

Fear not, we are here to help!

 

It is important to remember that you most likely do not have the training that educators have and that kids will naturally exhibit their worst behaviors around you because they feel safest expressing their frustrations, fears, and desires to those who love them the most.

 

Your homeschooling adventure does not have to be a perfect recreation of the classroom or dojo, it only has to encourage kids to love learning.  Once you relieve yourself of this burden, things will be much easier.

 

That said, it is important that you have the tools needed to help kids get the most out of the time spent with you as their new teacher.  The instructors at Symmetry go through extensive training to be able to keep students engaged and enthusiastic, while also moderating behaviors. Read on to see how you can use some of our favorite teaching tips in your own home.

 

HERE ARE 8 TEACHING SKILLZ OUR PEDIATRIC NINJA SPECIALISTS USE IN EVERY CLASS TO HELP KEEP KIDS ENGAGED IN THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE:

 

  1. Healthy Competition

Competition no doubt helps students of all levels step up their game, and if you prompt competition for your lessons in a fun way that splits the class into teams then it’s not only healthy – it’s FUN too!  If you have multiple children, this can be as simple as seeing who can draw the most number of triangles in 30 seconds.

 

If you have a single child, or your kids have a broad age gap, you may have to step in as the competition.  Kids love seeing adults in agony.  Just think of the shows your kids watch, and when they laugh the most; usually it’s an adult getting hurt or making a mistake.

 

Challenge them that if they can write their sentences in 5 minutes or less, you will do 5 push-ups, but if they take more than 5 minutes THEY will have to do the push-ups.  This is not about punishment, it is about FUN (and the extra boost of endorphins will help break the stress).

 

  1. Choices

When your kids get to choose the activity at hand, they become more motivated to put forth greater effort.  Kids tend to feel as if they have little control over their lives, and this can lead to some major tantrums.  As parents, we sometimes don’t trust our kids with control because they will make less than favorable decisions.  Stripes and polka dots!?! No Way!

 

By providing choices, we let the kids feel a sense of control over their lives.  This is important for their development as someday they WILL have to be the one making the decisions.  It is even more important for their mental well-being as they are trapped at home, isolated from their friends because of social distancing practices.

 

When setting up the lessons for the day, have the flexibility to provide your child with a choice.  If you tell them spelling is next, you may get pushback.  But if you ask whether they’d like to do spelling first or math first, they will feel empowered; and since both of the choices you provided were acceptable options, your own stress levels will go down, as well.

 

  1. Re-directing

We can all agree that many kids will not have the very best discipline all the time. To increase the level of discipline and effort in class, it is important that we are constantly catching and rewarding students that are trying hard and leading by example. The simple act of setting your kids up for success is the key to maximizing good behavior in class.

 

A great way to do this is to focus on what is going right rather than what is going wrong.  For example, imagine you have two siblings, and one is on task but the other is not.  Most of us would try to correct this.  Instead, praise what you like about the focused child.  “I love how focused you are, Mickey!  That shows me that you are a person with good discipline.”  A natural reaction will be for your other child to seek similar praise by modeling the behavior you said you liked.

 

You can also use a similar technique for a single child.  The goal is to “catch them being good.”  When you see the behavior you want, even if it is for a split second, praise it.  This works even better if they don’t think you are watching.  It is a slow process, but you will actually start rewiring their brains to exhibit those positive behaviors.

 

  1. Trickery

Trickery is a humorous way to help build focus, engagement, and connection. The concept is to try and trick your students into ‘going’ or ‘starting’ by using words that sound like the word ‘go!’

 

We use this in class mainly for physical movement activities.  For example, when starting a martial arts drill that has two or more teams competing against one another, we may count down, “Ready…Set…. GOOSE!” The kids get a laugh, it breaks the tension, and encourages them to be ready to perform, but not to over anticipate.

 

You might use a similar bit of trickery when encouraging your kids to see who can collect the most amount of different kinds of leaves in 2 minutes.

 

Side Note – thinking outside the box about conveying lessons is also a subtle form of trickery akin to sneaking onions into the meatloaf.  Collecting different leaves can teach about shapes, math, biodiversity, or even cooking if they are edible leaves.  Not every lesson needs to be about notes and textbooks.

 

  1. Up the Rep

Most students become tired towards the last few reps of an activity, particularly in high rep drills, or activities which include a lot of physical or mental exertion. With that said, this tip includes a strategy for prompting mental toughness throughout each rep, so that the student becomes better at every rep.

 

If your child has to write a set of spelling words 5 times each, it is likely that penmanship will decline and errors will increase as the child goes through the motions.  One way to use the Up The Rep concept would be to encourage the child to have the first set of words be the sloppiest and worst spelled, the next set a bit neater, and so on until the last set of words is the neatest and best.

 

This provides them an achievable goal beyond simply completing the assignment, and helps them learn to practice mindfully rather than just going through the motions.

 

  1. Neurobics

Basically, the concept is to get the left and right hemispheres of the brain working together by challenging the brain to ‘think’ more during lessons. This improves cognitive performance, which is how well a student can think and remember what they learned in class.

 

In the martial arts environment, we will perform exercises while counting by colors, or count our repetitions with names of foods.  The reason this works is twofold.  First, the addition of physical movement to the activity increases blood flow to the brain, which carries additional oxygen and nutrients to improve cognition.  Second, by forcing the brain to think in unique ways, neurological activity spikes, which allows the brain to take in more of those nutrients.

 

By reciting vocabulary words while doing jumping jacks, for example, the increased neurological activity helps make the memory more concrete. As a bonus, the endorphins that are released during physical activity help reinforce that learning is a positive activity.

 

  1. Intrinsic Motivation

This concept works by giving the kids options for performance, and then they chose the hardest option because they want to.  We use this in our martial arts classes with great success.  This tool works best if you can tie it to a character trait that the child wants to exhibit naturally.

 

For example, if a child has to write an essay, you could give them three options about how long that essay will be.  This is similar to the Choices tool mentioned above, and it is empowering for the kids to have some control.  By then tying each level of choice to a level of awesomeness, the kids will more likely choose to perform at the highest level.

 

“For your homework, you have to write an essay about how much you love martial arts.  Now, if you want to have good writing skills, you’ll write three paragraphs.  But if you want to have rockstar writing skills, you’ll write four paragraphs.  And if you want to have super ninja black belt writing skills, you’ll write five paragraphs.”

 

Make sure that all three levels are acceptable for the assignment, and within the stage of development for your child.  Don’t prompt the kindergartner to write 5 paragraphs, because no matter how super ninja they want to be, it is unrealistic.

 

  1. Extrinsic Motivation

This concept is when a person puts forth greater effort based on external rewards such as prizes, praise, making others happy, etc.  It is easy to overuse this concept, so be mindful of how you apply it.

 

This one is the simplest.  “If you do your homework, you can have ice cream.”

 

We’ve all bribed kids at least once in our teaching or parenting lives.  To make this tool even more effective while maintaining a healthy boundary of control, tie it together with one of the other 7 ideas.  Instead of, “If X then Y,” try something like, “If you can get your art homework done in 15 minutes, you can have ice cream and I’ll do 5 push-ups.”  Or, “If you finish your science packet by 10:30am, you will get to choose the movie tonight.”

 

By tying multiple ninja teaching techniques together, you can create a learning environment that is full of fun, but which also encourages kids to love learning.  Remember, when all else fails, step away from the kitchen table and find a way to have fun.  To a child, play is the path to knowledge, experience, and wisdom.  If you can make the lessons fun and interactive, there will be less stress for everyone involved.

 

Let us know which Ninja Teaching Tool worked best for you!