Keep up the great work,”
I loved today’s class when she ran up to Lynne and gave her hug
Sasha loves it when we watch her and is always proud when she remembers the stances. She has really gained a confidence within Herself and as a parent I can see what a huge impact this had on her. She has been taught self defense, respect, discipline, courage and above all to never give up.”
The positives from karate include fitness, co-ordination, respect, self-control and a sense of achievement. The look when one of my boys won “Student of the Week” was priceless. The other one is taking his tournament trophy to school this week to discuss the importance of “giving it a try”. Their class teachers are aware they have karate training and have mentioned to me how appropriate they feel this activity is for our bouncy and energetic little guys.”
We were also keen to improve his gross motor skills – his hearing impairment means his balance was out of kilter – and we wanted him to start as early as possible in a team or group activity that not only provided a physical outlet for a normally active 2½ year old, but something that also helped him deal with the frustration he experienced as a result of his communication issues, and introduce him to situations where he would have to find a way around the difficulties he experienced. It was important to us that he get a head start on whatever challenges may come his way in life.
We were hopeful that through whichever activity we chose, that it would support the development of his self-confidence and self-esteem so that he would be able to handle himself in the playground once he started school, should his impairment become apparent to others and give them cause for bullying. We also wanted to know that he would be able to pursue these challenges in safe, supportive, and happy environment.
After searching unsuccessfully for a physical group activity that started its classes at the tricky post-toddler / pre-preschooler age, we were thrilled when we finally found Trifu Dojo.
The ongoing support and encouragement from Daniel and Lynne and the team of instructors has been great. As parents themselves, they have a great understanding of what makes the kids tick, how to keep them motivated and engaged, and they genuinely care about the progress of children, inside the Dojo and out. Their firm but fair, playful and encouraging style always wins the kids over. Sometimes you can walk in to the Dojo and you could hear a pin drop because the kids are either mesmerized or deep in concentration. Other times you’re shielding your ears from the volume of over-excited chattering kids, or crying with laughter at their antics. No class is ever the same, and for an activity usually associated with one-on-one combat, there is surprising little in the children’s classes.
A real draw card for us was the class-time flexibility which meant that it was not necessary to sign-up to attend the same classes each week – just whichever worked for us – as was the fact that Karate isn’t seasonal – classes run close to 50 weeks a year and all through school holidays – so the continuity has been a big bonus because you can see the skills develop much quicker than with other activities where seasonal down-time often translates to a loss of skills learned previously.
Five surgeries later and nearly three years on since joining the Dojo as a ‘Little Dragon’, there is no doubting the benefits our son has gained from his involvement in the Dojo are beyond what we’d hoped for.
Since starting school this year, we realize what an amazing preparation for school being part of the Dojo has been – not just because of the physical outcomes of karate, but the little things too – from having the patience to sit quietly and take direction from an instructor, to working as part of a bigger team, that have really proven their value this year. He also has the levels of self-confidence and self-esteem we’d hoped for, coupled with the confidence to try new things without fear of failure.
As an only child, we think he has well-developed social skills, no doubt encouraged by his experiences in the Dojo because the classes are of mixed ages and ability levels, which engender an amazing camaraderie amongst the children, irrespective of age. Regular in-class challenges and merit badge awards for academic performance and class participation provide continuing encouragement and incentive to do better, and twice-yearly tournaments allow him to embrace competition, and if he works hard, experience the joy of winning.
He has also learned how to handle defeat good-naturedly – in a playful and supportive atmosphere, where the children clearly delight in their achievements and those of each other, and comfort each other in their losses. Twice yearly grading’s where new belts are awarded give him something to strive for, and the way that the Dojo links behavior at home and performance at school creates a continuum of benefits all around.
He has made friends outside his usual circle and feels a special part of a team, and even though he’s not actually very good at karate, he keeps on trying because that’s the environment that’s cultivated at the Dojo. He feels empowered because karate has given him a social outlet where everyone is accepted no matter what their abilities, along with the gains of physical strength, stamina and agility. What he learns at home and at school, the Dojo reinforces in self-respect, self-discipline and respect for others. The physical, social and emotional benefits are immeasurable.
The icing on the cake is that while he’s learning important life skills and getting some fantastic physical training, he just thinks he goes there to for fun and games!”