Academy of Okinawan Karate
Teaching Karate and other Martial Arts for Children and Adults in the Peoria Area
since 1979. Serving Peoria, East Peoria, Dunlap, Morton, Eureka
Chillicothe, Peoria Heights, Washington and the surrounding areas.
Youth (6-9) Programs
"I was skeptical."
"I didn't believe it when I heard that martial arts would teach my child self-discipline, confidence and self-esteem. But now - he's on the Honor Roll, Confident, and Respectful, and he even cleans his room!"
You've seen the ads. You've heard other parents talk. You may have even read articles about the benefits of martial arts training for children. But still, you're wondering, "Come on, how can karate and judo teach wholesome values - and life skills?" Well, I'd like to take this opportunity to tell you.
I'm Joseph Walker, owner of one of the most successful martial arts schools in Illinois, Academy of Okinawan Karate, located in Peoria, Morton and Eureka.
Since 1979, we've been helping children like yours to gain the character building tools found only in martial arts training. No other activity or sport can match up. Tools like perseverance, a positive mental attitude, self-discipline and goal setting aren't always communicated effectively in school, and are often missing on our soccer and little league fields, hockey rinks, and basketball courts. This is unfortunate, because teaching children these basic life skills, at a young age, can have a HUGE impact on the degree of success and happiness that they achieve in later life.
What's the biggest obstacle to your child's success?
Your child's first, and biggest, challenge comes not from the neighborhood bully. It comes, instead, from personal issues. For example:
Overweight children who are ostracized because of their appearance. (we've seen many such kids who've lost a few pounds through self-discipline and exercise and gained tremendous amounts of self-esteem.)
Physically smaller children who get picked on because of their size. (We frequently see them gain in strength and self-confidence as their physical abilities increase.)
Shy children who are always afraid of trying anything new (often because they are convinced they'll fail. Time and time again we've taught them how to overcome their fears and develop the "winners attitude" through repeated, successful martial arts experiences.)
Overactive, inattentive children who learned to channel their energy and focus their attention.
So how do you get your child to deal successfully with these issues that can scar children for years and hold back their chances for a full and happy life?
At the Academy of Okinawan Karate, we've provided solutions for these issues since 1979. Here's how:
Martial Arts training is less about your child learning to fight others,
and more about overcoming his/her innermost fears and weaknesses.
No other activity for kids does this better than Martial Arts.
Once you learned to ride a bike, you never forgot. Likewise, the skills and habits of success, once learned, become a part of your child forever. We have witnessed this time and time again with children who have experienced our programs, and we've had countless parents tell us of the changes they've seen in their children after only a short time at the Academy of Okinawan Karate.
But don't take our word for it - here's what other people have to say about our Youth programs:
"I would like to thank you and your wonderful staff at the Academy of Okinawan Karate for being responsible for all the personal improvements I see in my son James...we see a more positive attitude and higher self esteem." - Elizabeth King
"I would like to thank you for the wonderful job you are doing teaching Nathan. He enjoys his time there and is motivated to do better in school." - Kailey Lemons
"When we started, my daughters had positive self-esteem, but now they have more. They already accepted personal challenges but they know they can push themselves further to achieve even more now." - Diann Jabusch
Now, how and why does the Academy of Okinawan Karate approach to martial
arts training manage to achieve results like these?
Our program gives your child the chance to explore and appreciate measurable increases in strength, flexibility, endurance, and balance.
But this is only the start. These physical skills act as the foundation for something much more important: the development of life skills - not independent of the physical skills, but interwoven with them.
Here are some examples:
Our belt ranking system will improve your child's self-esteem.
You know that many martial arts styles often use different colored belts to show progress and rank. At the Academy of Okinawan Karate, our belt system is specifically designed to help your child set and achieve goals attainable goals. This type of structured achievement system is perhaps the greatest program for teaching goal setting that has ever been devised for children. Based on the principle of steady consistent improvement, self-confidence and improved self-esteem are developed through a series of winning experiences.
This is how it works.
- Set a goal
- Have a plan
- Work hard towards its achievement
- Persevere until you reach the goal
- Celebrate the achievement
- Set higher goals
The key, of course, is to make sure that students win. How? By having a curriculum which is broken down into do-able chunks. When children set a goal, work for it, and then achieve it, they start to believe in themselves. Repeating that experience over and over leads to the development of TRUE self-esteem and self-appreciation.
However, it's not enough that our students have physical skills alone. In order for our students to be promoted to their next belt, they must have their parents and school teachers sign a form that states that they have been doing their best in school and at home. This really helps drive home the messages of responsibility and self-discipline that we teach. It also gives you, the parent, a powerful tool to reinforce desirable behavior.
Our "7 Home Rules" encourage proper behavior and acceptance of responsibility at home and at school,
another unique Academy of Okinawan Karate feature.
Here's the criteria we ask you to use when you are signing the promotion form:
- Children shall greet their parents when they enter the house (Hi Mom! Hi Dad!) and tell their parents "Good-bye" when they leave.
- Children will always be respectful of their Parents, Teachers, and Elders.
- Children will be kind to their brothers and sisters.
- Children will help keep the household - especially their own room - neat and clean and will make their own beds every morning.
- Children will keep their hair, body, and teeth clean daily.
- Children will not interrupt adult conversations.
- Children will do all their assigned schoolwork every day.
See any areas there for improvement with your children? For many parents, this is their favorite part of the program.
Our class structure will help your child to develop self-discipline
When parents come in to see about our classes, we ask them what benefits they hope to see their children receive from their martial arts training. By far the most common response is "discipline".
But we find that after talking to them, what they really want for their children is "SELF-discipline".
There's a very significant difference. Discipline is when you tell your child to clean his room or he won't be allowed to go out and play with his friends. Self-discipline is when your child cleans his or her room on their OWN without being nagged.
At the Academy of Okinawan Karte, we strive to instill the attribute of SELF-discipline in children. We do this in a number of ways:
First, we're not the army. We believe emphatically in the principle of POSITIVE - not negative - reinforcement. That's not to say that our classes lack order - far from it. It's just that our students quickly catch on that there are definite parameters to the type of behavior expected from them.
Second, we emphasize "trying to catch the students doing something right" and highlighting them to the rest of the class. (Example - "I really like the way Johnny is sitting up straight - he looks like a Black Belt!" . Suddenly, all the other students are sitting up straight, too, not because we ordered them to, but because they WANT to - that's SELF-discipline.)
If self-discipline becomes a habit for children at an early age, it can have a tremendous impact on the outcome of their lives and how successful they become. This also pays off in refusing to give in to negative peer pressure. Your child will have a deeper respect for rules, at home and at school.
Our activities channel children's energy and aggression.
Sometimes parents hesitate to enroll their children in martial arts classes because they fear that it will make them more aggressive. In fact, the opposite is true. We find that our program has a "leveling" effect on aggressiveness, it gives them an acceptable outlet for their energy. And they'll have alot of opportunity to do it, as we offer a greater number of classes than other schools in the area.
At the same time, we drive home the message repeatedly that their skills are NOT for showing off. At the Academy of Okinawan Karate, it is stressed to all students that Karate skills require them never to be abusive or offensive and are only for use defensively. The kids that you see on the playground or in the neighborhood going "HI-YAA" and kicking are usually NOT the students who have had formal training, at least not from a quality school. After a short period of time our students become markedly less aggressive while maintaining confidence and high personal self-esteem.
On the other end of the scale, the kids who are more shy and withdrawn get the opportunity to "come out of their shell" in an environment that is positive and reassuring. They learn to become more ASSERTIVE, not more AGGRESSIVE (big difference!).
Our program teaches lifetime self-defense skills
So far, we've talked extensively about the positive life skills that our programs provide. We pride ourselves on giving our students the confidence and true self-respect to recognize, avoid and walk away from a potentially threatening situation.
But let's face it - it CAN be a rough world out there. The numerous tragic incidents of school violence we've seen in the news have focused new attention on childhood bullying and harassment. One study found that 90% of 4th through 8th graders report being victims. Being bullied can make children feel lonely, unhappy, frightened, unsafe and leave emotional scars that can last well into adulthood, as well as immediate physical danger.
At the Academy of Okinawan Karate, the attributes of self-esteem and confidence that we've discussed above will make them less of a target for bullies. We'll also teach them specific ways to avoid trouble, and to overcome the bully without fighting. But, instead of teaching "sport karate" or flashy but empty "Hollywood Movie" techniques, we'll also give them practical and effective
self-defense skills that will last them for a lifetime. How to use verbal skills and body language to a bully or a stranger and be convincing. How to get out of headlocks, chokes, grabs, rear holds, holddowns on the ground, and much more.
(It may surprise you to know that not all martial arts schools really teach effective self defense - in fact, many do not, focusing instead on "tournament" fighting strategies or flashy exercises which often don't translate into practical self protection.)
Over the years, we've received feedback from numerous students and former students who've had to use what they had learned to avoid potentially devastating results. One was a nine year old boy who used verbal and distancing techniques to prevent an abduction. Another was a teenage girl who used a throw we had taught her to successfully prevent being raped.
Think of our self-defense training like you think of insurance - you hope you never have to use it, but when you do need it, it's great to have!
In addition to the powerful, empowering attributes listed above, you can also look forward to seeing your child develop:
Your child finds the courage to move outside of the comfort zone. He wills himself to take on more difficult karate moves and skills. He becomes no longer afraid of being afraid.
Your child learns not to give up. She sticks things out. Even if she fails, she perseveres. She won't let her self doubts get in the way of finding ultimate solutions.
Improved focus which delivers the skill to "zero in" on critical tasks at hand. Doing what needs to be done WHEN it needs to be done. Learning to make eye contact with his teacher (and not just in Karate). Paying greater attention to what the teacher says.
Still, you're wondering if this will work for your child. We've made it easy for you to find out - for your child.
SPECIAL FREE OFFER IF YOU ACT NOW
Let us assume any risk you may have by making this very special Internet offer. We would like to off your child a Free introductory Lesson (Internet visitors only - others pay $5.00). This half-hour lesson, with one of our highly trained instructors, is absolutely free.
Plus, if you register your child for classes, we will give you a Free Official Karate Uniform (a $32.00 value). This uniform is specially designed for beginning students. Wearing that uniform makes the child feel like they are part of something special.
To get this offer and start your child on the path to better self esteem, higher self confidence and improved self discipline and focus, call (309) 692-2499 now.
Remember, this is for our internet visitors only, so please print out the above offer and bring it in with you when you come for your Free Introductory Lesson.
Thank you for your time and we hope to see you at the Academy of Okinawan Karate soon!
Shihan Joseph Walker and the AOK Staff.
PS Remember, the greatest gifts you can give your child are self confidence, greater self esteem, and a positive mental attitude. Give them the best chance they have at attaining these all important qualities. Call 692-2499 today to take advantage of our special Free Internet Offer.
PPS While you're at it, why not consider joining our adult program? There is no better way to stay in shape, have fun, learn to defend yourself, lose weight, and relieve stress.