What To Expect From Your Ninja | Gentle East Martial Arts
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Erin Elam reviewed Gentle East Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I can’t explain just how amazing this place is! My daughter was born at just 23 weeks, 1lb. She just turned 3, and is doing well but had a long bumpy road. With said, she has some visual impairments, mild cerebral palsy, and severe anxiety issues. We are four classes in now, and although my daughter cries each time we get to the school, the instructors (every single one) ALWAYS treat her like their own and take their time with her. She comes out of class so happy and oh so proud of herself! They do not treat her differently because of her impairments, they are all patient and kind, and above all understanding. We are BEYOND pleased with GEMA, and the staff to include the wonderful families we have met. Thank you GEMA for creating a better world for my daughter!

Marc Grenier reviewed Gentle East Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

An awesome martial arts school that truly cares.

Hillary Hogan reviewed Gentle East Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I have had a blast. I look forward to continuing to learn each form.

Sharon Takai reviewed Gentle East Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

We love the instructors and family atmosphere! Thank you!

Kathryn Carson reviewed Gentle East Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I've tried a bunch of martial arts over the years, but it wasn't until I got to Gentle East that I realized that the art itself doesn't matter so much--it's the attitude of its practitioners. These people aren't learning and teaching how to kill, but how to live. How to live despite trauma and illness, and to keep practicing their art even if it's just in their hearts. The tenets are courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and indomitable spirit, and they mean every word. They teach the kids that other dojangs won't. Autistic, physically challenged, special needs, you name it. They're fully engaged with the messy business of life. A whole lot of families are glad that Master Barbara Robinson followed her vision. Ours is one.

Melody D. Choate reviewed Gentle East Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Love, love, love this place! The staff is incredibly kind and supportive, and the family atmosphere is palpable the moment you walk in the door! I am so impressed with the work being done with autism spectrum kids, as well as other kids with physical challenges. No one is made to feel like they don't belong here! I even joined the mommy class and my toddlers are allowed to run around us while we work out. I've lost a few pounds, and gained some amazing (non-judgemental) mom-friends! An oasis of kindness and support in the middle of what is often a 'keep up with the Jones's " area of town.

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What To Expect From Your Ninja

As a soccer dad, one of the most important things I learned was to manage my expectations of how my daughter was doing on the field and to avoid comparing her progress to that of her teammates.  To be honest it was extremely challenging as we all want our kids to do well. The purpose of this post is to help you help your child get the most out of their martial experience and to help you manage your expectations. Look, when it comes to our kids we are biased and more importantly, our children want to please us, and if they sense that we think that they aren’t learning fast enough we have indirectly put more pressure on them.

Martial arts classes are known for helping children develop physical skills and improve their discipline. That is one of the primary reasons, parents enroll their children in some type of martial arts in order to achieve goals such as these. And while attaining these goals is possible, parents often have unrealistic expectations of the time it actually takes for children to get there.
Of course, age, their stage of development (Physical, Intellectual, Emotional and Social abilities), as well as a myriad of other things go into exactly how quickly a specific child will accomplish a certain goal. But there is one thing is the same across the board. When children start martial arts, it is important for parents to remember that their child is starting a new sport, with new people, in a new environment, and learning new information. This would be a bit overwhelming for anyone. Certainly, older children may handle this pressure a little better, but parents should expect a certain amount of adjustment from any age.
The Gentle East program’s age-specific curriculum is designed to work on the skills that are essential and appropriate for their development. Within this framework, each age group is also broken down to address physical, intellectual, emotional, and social development that is appropriate for that age. By creating the program in this way, children are able to achieve more in a quicker amount of time because the goals are challenging but also achievable.
Parents, however, must keep in mind that children are all different and develop and attain goals at different times. In a specific age group, there are also children that have been in the class for a longer period of time and have worked on the skills for that age group longer. However, even for two children of the same age and starting at the same time, one may achieve a specific skill quicker than another.
Let’s take this from a different view as well. Even if parents aren’t comparing their child to another, they often feel that their child should achieve a certain goal after only a short time of training. While parents will see some development and improvement in skills after a few weeks, expecting them to suddenly have a specific skill mastered, after a short time, is unrealistic.
As they say, “slow and steady wins the race.” As children develop, we need to remember that they will get there when their bodies and minds are ready. Expecting certain things of a child that they are not physically, intellectual, emotionally, or socially ready for can do more harm than good. The key is to make sure attendance in classes is consistent training and that you help them practice the skills and celebrate small and steady wins along the way.