Host: On this week’s Masterful Parenting, we hear firsthand from a parent on how her kids built up confidence and life skills from taking a martial arts class. Master Mom Amanda Olson and Donna Bolton are here with more. Ladies, thanks so much for being here, we appreciate it.
Donna: Thank you.
Amanda: Thank you.
Host: Of course. Amanda, I’m going to start with you. You’ve been coming on every week talking about just the benefits of martial arts classes, but let’s go back to the beginning of why maybe parents, why people want to sign their kids up for a martial art’s class just in general.
Amanda: It’s a pretty broad question.
Host: Right! [Laughs]
Amanda: We have students that sign up for lots of reasons. Parents bring their children in to help them with discipline issues, focus issues. Also, sometimes we got a really shy child and we’re trying to give him some confidence and bring him out or maybe they’re having an issue with being picked on or something and just how do you handle that.
Also, it’s great exercise and it’s fun and it’s just a fun way to learn all those great things.
Host: Right. And you work with kids of all ages, right?
Amanda: Yes. We start at age four and it’s four and up.
Host: Wow, that’s great. And you really work with them and you can see their progress as a teacher and I’m sure that’s really rewarding for you to be able to see them grow, not just in martial arts, but also just grow as a person.
Amanda: Yes. We just—ETSU—just had a graduation and one of my students and employees, he just graduated ETSU this weekend and I was so proud, but he’s been with me since he was nine years old. It’s been just a great journey to watch him grow through middle school, high school, college, and I’m just so proud of him. It’s a unique position to have and I just want families to know that we’re there for the long haul. It’s not just a short term, but we’re there with you all the way.
Host: Right. You don’t take it for granted.
Amanda: Absolutely not, no.
Host: Yeah, that’s wonderful. Donna, I want to bring you in. You’re a parent of a child that goes to Olson’s Martial Arts.
Host: Tell me a little bit about your reasons of why you wanted to sign your son up?
Donna: Well, my son, Joseph, has dreams of being a ninja and we thought this was the first step. We didn’t realize how much he would grow in different ways. The things that they focus on, such as integrity, it places the parents on the spot because we have to kind of watch and guide that as home as well and then when they go to class, they can demonstrate it and then they receive their awards.
Then the last year and a half, we’ve noticed that with Joseph. He looks forward to it. We look forward to watching him and catching him do things that he doesn’t know we’re watching that also reinforces what they learn in class. It’s been wonderful.
Host: Right. You mentioned the integrity part. How long has he been with Olson’s Martial Arts and what other things have you been seeing him maybe at home and maybe in the classroom, maybe with his friends interacting?
Donna: Sure. He’s been about 18 months, going on maybe 19 months. The things we’ve noticed, subtle things. Subtle things. The way he approaches a task. The way he will approach a person. The looking in the eye type thing. The bullying things that they are talking about, he comes home and talks about, “Well, I saw this happen in school today and here’s what I did.”
And those things are what makes it all worth it. It gives him a sense of pride that he can actually interact and interfere in moments when he needs to and those are the things that I want to see in an adult, too, and so it’s steps to get there.
Host: Right. And I’m sure for him, too, being able to be part of class and part of something that’s almost bigger than him, makes him look forward to something. Makes him feel accomplished every time he reaches a new belt or something like that.
Donna: Absolutely. Absolutely.
Host: Do you find that in a lot of kids, Amanda? When they have something to work towards and so when they get that belt, they just feel that much more accomplished?
Amanda: Oh, absolutely. You know, every 10 weeks we have belt promotions and it’s a huge day. It’s a big ceremony and the kids get their awards and their belts, and adults, too. But I get just as much pleasure out of seeing them earn their belts and awards as they do. It’s just one of those great days and I’m very proud of all the students.
Host: I’m sure. What do you hope your son, Joseph, when his time at Olson’s Martial Arts is finished? When he goes through it, when he becomes a young adult, what do you hope he takes away from it, looking back?
Donna: Well, number one, I hope that she is talking about his college graduation, just like she did before.
Donna: But everything that he’s learning there, I hope he takes it all with him. Learning to be brave. Learning to have the respect. Learning to read a room when he walks into it. Learning to negotiate that room. All of the things that he’s learning now will help him in the future with those.
Host: I’m sure you must be very proud of him, too.
Donna: Very, very proud of him.
Host: Good, that’s wonderful.
Amanda: Me, too.
Host: And your experience with Amanda and the staff there, teaching your son, you’ve had such a wonderful time there as well, right?
Donna: They’re family. They’re family. And if you miss a couple weeks or if you miss a couple times, you’re going to get a text message from somebody, “Hey, what’s going on?” If there’s something going on at home, you can lean over and let them know so they know that, and they can approach the child that way. I mean, it’s one big group.
Host: It’s one big family, right?
Donna: Yes, absolutely.
Host: I love that. We’ll just leave it there. Ladies, thank you so much again for coming in. We really do appreciate it.
Donna: Thank you.
Host: And we are going to continue our Masterful Parent segment. All you have to do is you can send an email if you have any questions or you want to learn more about Olson’s Martial Arts Academy, that’s right here in Johnson City and we want to remind you, there is a free Mother’s Day class. Any mothers can come with their kids and you can take a class with Amanda right here. Just give them a call or go online and you can check it out.
From the Olson Family
We would first like to say, “Welcome!” It is our goal to provide the best martial arts training in a safe and encouraging environment. As a family we have devoted our lives to not only training the physical aspects of martial arts to thousands of people but the mental and emotional aspects, as well. Our goal is to help each student achieve Black Belt and Beyond. The reason for this is that we know from over 40 years of experience teaching martial arts that when a student experiences the awarding of a Black Belt, they soar with confidence.
What it Takes to become a Martial Arts Black Belt
It takes commitment, perseverance, goal setting and a strong work ethic to earn that belt. Even at a young age people know that a black belt in martial arts means something important. It shows you don’t quit; you don’t give up. That you have what it takes! Once you’ve done that, you know you can do anything you set your mind to: like getting into a great college, starting a career, making the team, anything you want. We love to hear the success stories of our students after they have gone off to college and started lives and families of their own. However, we are not surprised by their success. We already know they have what it takes to live their dream.
Another goal we have as a family is to support families and help reinforce the qualities of character you desire for your child to have. Our proven character development and leadership program includes lessons from making eye contact to handling conflict. Also, speaking up and showing confidence ,as well as, standing strong for what you believe is right. Our desire is to train black belts who are not only highly skilled in the art of self-defense but who are kind, compassionate, confident citizens of our communities. People who have a strong work ethic and will show “Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-Control and Respect”, everywhere they go.
Because of this, we want to partner with you, the parents and families, in helping give your child a strong foundation in values, to be able to stand up for themselves and others, to make good choices, and to live a healthy lifestyle. Please don’t hesitate to speak with us if there is ever a point where we can help with question or concerns from motivation to troubles with bullying. We are committed to helping each of our students live a happier, safer and more confident life. Sincerely, Glenn, Amanda, Keith and Katie https://olsonsma.com