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The Power of Visualization – How your children are imagining success in the dojo.

Imagine a world where you are perfect. In this world, anything you know how to do you can do without mistakes. You don’t have to imagine this world. This world is imagining.

 

Creative Visualization is like a super power. It is the ability to imagine yourself doing something well, then doing that thing just as you’ve imagined. It is used by top performers in athletics and business and it’s practiced by your child during their karate class. Like many things that are learned in the martial arts, it’s not always obvious to them. They practice the skills, but don’t quite know that they are and certainly don’t realize the awesome potential it has to impact their lives.

 

This is where you as a parent have the opportunity to step in and help them make a connection. You can be the other side of the coin, helping them stretch this skill they’re learning in the dojo into their lives. If you are an adult student of the martial arts keep reading, this all applies to you too. You can translate this skill to your life outside the dojo.

 

The Study

 

Before we discuss how visualization is learned in the dojo, let’s look at the science.  In the book Karate of Okinawa: Building Warrior Spirit with Gan*Soku*Tanden*Riki  By Robert Scaglione and William Cummins,they refer to a Russian study done just before the 1980 Olympics. The Olympic athletes were divided into four groups:

 

  • Group 1 received 100% physical training;
  • Group 2 received 75% physical training with 25% mental training;
  • Group 3 received 50% mental training with 50% physical training;
  • Group 4 received 75% mental training with 25% physical training.

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5 Principles of Discipline from the Dojo You Can Use in Your Home

There are many reasons for studying the martial arts. However, as a parent with a child in the martial arts, one reason that tops the list is discipline. So, now that you have a Karate Kid who is snapping to attention for their sensei but ignoring Mom and Dad when it’s time to get ready for school, what can you do to get some of that dojo discipline into your home?

 

The bad news is that Karate instructor is way cooler than you. (After all, who else gets to go to work in bare feet and pajamas and play with swords in a padded room?) They only have your child an hour a day and, let’s face it, they’re not you. So, yeah, your kid listens to them.  The good new s is you can take some of the principles used in the dojo into your home to help get them moving like a good karate student should.

 

 

1: Stop and Prepare to Listen

 

At home both you and your child are going at ninety miles per hour when you start barking out orders, “come on, get your shoes on, pick that up before we go, I’m helping your brother you need to…” How many times have you been stirring something on the stove, listening for the laundry and yelling to your child all at the same time?  To some degree this is just life but there are times when you can take a breath, and ask your child to stop and listen before giving them instructions.

 

Look at how many times their karate instructor does this in the short time they have them. In our dojo we have three listening positions: a standing at attention (front position), a down on one knee for quick instruction and a sitting position for longer instruction. The point is, asking for attention comes first and is systematized. We also teach that you listen with your ears, eyes (eye contact) and body (staying still).

 

Try this. Come up with your own listening position (or use one from your child’s dojo.) and the next time you have an important instruction, ask them first to assume that listing position.  Don’t make it too serious have fun with it. See if they move a little quicker for you.

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