Innovative Martial Arts
15-1599 Dugald Rd
Winnipeg, MB
204-505-2787
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Kids

Success & ADHD

I was watching Shark Tank last night and one of the pitches was for a fidget toy (not a spinner) designed to help with ADHD and other learning disabilities.

As it turned out the majority of the sharks had grown up with a learning disability that led them to doing poorly in school, and all obviously went on to become massively self-made success stories.

We get a lot of kids at the gym that struggle in school and are looking for a outlet, and some of them are amazingly fast learners capable of being great leaders... unless you asked their school teachers from what I've heard.

When you have a child, or are a person, who learns differently it's very important to remember that success in school does not always translate to success in life. Yes, it's important, but with the children who struggle in school it is absolutely vital to help them find something they can succeed and do well at.

"There's a great freedom to being dyslexic … if you can avoid labeling yourself as a loser in a school system that measures people by A's and B's." -- Barbara Corcoran

I also don't think the Sharks are unique in their stats, a very large chunk of self-made multi-millionaires where people that did poorly in school do to one learning disability or another.

The message kids that struggle need to hear is that they can succeed, despite their struggles, if they find the right thing. Instead they too often here things like this:

"When I was in 11th grade I was diagnosed with ADD," Burns says on the episode. "The woman who diagnosed me said that my ADD was so severe that I would never be able to survive at a four-year university, and I shouldn't try to pursue a job that required any type of education."

But good grades in school are only one path to success, and education can come in many forms. When you have a child with a different learning style it is important to help them find there "A-Game" instead of focusing only on the areas of struggle.

"If I were to make a list of my top, say, seven or eight entrepreneurs I've invested in on 'Shark Tank,' I would say all but one have a learning disability," she says.

Confidence is a big element of success, and when you have someone that struggles by traditional measurements in school it is very important to help them find the things that they can succeed at. Having one or two things that you can not only succeed at, but excel at can build that confidence that will help in all areas of life, and confidence can possibly turn D's into C's in way's that yet another extra hour of struggling through reading text books can't.

Source https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/09/why-barbara-corcoran-invested-50000-in-fidgetland-on-shark-tank.html

Our Philosophy

It’s not about the person at the top, its about the people at the bottom.

One thing I’ve noticed with a lot of people in my profession is a dislike of teaching beginners. I suppose I get it, it can be a little repetitive teaching the same basic concepts everyday. It doesn’t really challenge your technical knowledge or force you to improve your own technical knowledge in the same way as teaching adult students.

I’ve also noticed a correlation between those people, and the schools that have the top person of the school or the organization plastered everywhere, right down to the school name. The website is all about them, everyone bows to them and addresses them as “sir”, or “master”, and treats them as something special.

The unfortunate thing is that while martial arts schools claim to teach humility, the culture of many schools seems to do the opposite.

Beginners are in many ways the most rewarding to teach. Someone going from 0 to 6 months training makes a huge and noticeable improvement. Someone going from 10 years to 10.5 is a much less noticeable change.

As instructors / coaches our job is to serve our students, not the other way around.

One of the most dangerous things in any activity is when the instructor begins to think the students serve him / her rather then the other way around. Whether is in the martial arts, team sports, academic or anywhere else, as soon as that switch gets backwards it is a open door for disaster.

Our school culture is very intentional, there are elements of “traditional” martial arts that we will never allow in our school. No one here will ever be called master. Instructors will never be on a pedestal, but always expected to speak to everyone, from the 3 year old beginner to the 20 year veteran with respect and to serve their needs, not the other way around.

We believe that one of the most important lessons you can teach a child is that leaders serve others.

Goal Setting

Top 6 New Years Resolutions You Should Make

1 - Be mindful of your environment. This is a simple thing, but one that can have a very powerful effect. But what we take in determines a large part of what we will put out. If you spend most of your time with people that are unhealthy, chances are you will be too. If you spend all day listening to negative news stories, chances are you will have a negative outlook on the world.

One of the most powerful ways you can change your life is by changing the information you take in. This includes people, news sources, podcasts, the sort of movies & shows you watch… everything.

Our mindset determines a huge part of our successes and failures in life, and a healthy mindset requires positive inputs.

2 - Love the journey, not the side-effects. Lots of people want to look a certain way, or make a certain amount of money, or have certain things… but that can never make you happy, those are side effects of the lifestyle that gets you there. If you want to look like you are in shape, you have to live a healthy lifestyle. If you want to make lots of money you have to work hard and smart and continue to educate yourself constantly.

People that start a diet & exercise plan with a goal of looking a certain way are destined to fail. The aesthetics are a side effect of a lifestyle, if you don’t love the lifestyle it won’t last. You might get that motivational boast as long as you are seeing results, but eventually those results plateau.

The fitness industry has become a steady stream of before and after pics, progress pics, and fad looks that are unhealthy and unrealistic. There is nothing wrong with getting a lifestyle you enjoy and a level of fitness you are happy as it gives you the energy and ability to have the quality of life you want and then living it that way without worrying about your next Instagram progress pic. At the end of the day being able to run around and play in the yard with your grand kids in 30-40 years is more important then having super defined abs.

3 - Learn a skill, or pick up a neglected one. As we get older it is easy to stop learning what we don’t need to. Part of what keeps us feeling young is learning though, and it is never too late to learn something new or take existing knowledge and expand on it.

So pick up that instrument that has been untouched in years, spend some time learning new cooking techniques on youtube or in a class, go get that black belt you stopped at green belt on the way too, whatever suits your interests, do something that makes you learn.

4 - Do something that makes you uncomfortable. Comfort is the enemy of progress in just about anything. As we get comfortable in where we are we stop going outside of that. Find something that makes you uncomfortable and do it until it’s no longer uncomfortable to do.

Whether it is as simple as door-to-door canvassing for a cause, speaking to a room, haggling a price, posting a video or picture of yourself, starting a new class or talking to someone that you’ve always wanted to talk too. Do something that makes you uncomfortable, you’ll probably surprise yourself by getting good at it.

5 - Make memories, not purchases. Listening to people talk is part of the holidays, one thing that I think stands out in how most people talk is that when they tell a story about something in their past or from their childhood the “things” of the story don’t matter all that much. It’s what happened and what everyone did and who was there that do.

I know all of my memories of Christmases are about the people and the places, never the things I got as gifts. Take the time off to make some memories that will last a life time. Doing the same things you do all year but for longer periods over the holidays will be quickly forgotten. Playing the latest shooting game that will be obsolete in 6 months will be forgotten quickly. A fingerling… that looked so much cooler in the video will be forgotten in no time. Building a giant back yard snow fort painted with spray bottles & food colouring for a afternoon… that will be remembered for a lifetime.

6 - Do something amazing, for someone you have no reason to do so for, without any internal expectation of something in return. Better yet, do this a lot of times. The more good you put out the more will find its way back too you. But anytime you do good with the mindset of getting it back right away it will fail in the long term, even if it works in the short.

There is a famous quote that says you can get anything you want in life, if you help enough people get what they want.

Kids

Happy Halloween

Halloween is one of our favourite holidays at Innovative Martial Arts. We decorate, we throw a big zombie night party and the kids all love talking about zombies, witches and werewolves.

Halloween is not just about the candies though, it's actually a holiday that fits very nicely with one of our core values, teaching kids confidence.

Letting kids be a part of creating scary things, being the scary thing themselves and getting out in the neighbourhood interacting with people is a great event for building confidence. Taking the scary imagery and creating it takes it from being scary to being fun. Going up to a door and yelling "Trick-or-Treat" is met with a reward for being confident enough to walk past the ghost and the coffin and yell at a strangers house.

The scary looking clown with a blood stained outfit is far less scary when they watched their friend put the costume on.

I've seen a lot of nervous and anxious kids that where able to put on a scary costume and then have a blast running around "scaring" everyone else.

If you have a child that is scared, don't try to shelter them from the holiday, teach them their is nothing to be afraid of. If they don't want to yell "trick-or-treat" at the door or ring the bell that's ok, tell them when they are ready to do so they can start getting candy. Small steps are ok, but by the end of the night they might be yelling as loud as they can :)

If the time is right even flip things on them, make them hold your hand and tell you it's only decorations to go up to a particularly scary house because you are too scared :D

Kids

Kids and Business

Business is one of those things that is a really relevant and useful skill, but is so often neglected in childhood education.

Kids can greatly benefit from learning basic business skills, and operating micro-businesses.

Learning the value of money, and how it is made are valuable life lessons that will help a lot in the future.

A simple thing like a freezie or Lemonade stand might be the first things to come to mind when it comes to kids and businesses, but there are other options.  That said, let's look at what skills are necessary for that sort of business.

Inventory, they need to purchase it and prepare it.  Understanding that they can take some amount of money, add value and create more money is a important thing that teaches self-worth.

It also requires a understanding of value.  In order to produce income they have to make sure their costs are lower then their price.

Inventory also costs money, which they may or may not have.  If not then it is a loan that might get them there.  Now a loan should have interest attached to it, as in the real world that's how it works.  The other thing a loan does is teach long term thinking.  If they borrow $10 for supplies, generate $25, pay back $11 (10 + 10% interest) they have 14 left.  If they reinvest they will make more next time... if they spend it they are stuck paying interest again next time.

Or get creative, buy in at $10 for a equity stake where you get a piece of the profits, however they can buy that stake back later if they want.  Again, delaying spending the money "now" in order to generate more in the future

In addition to basic money skills comes customer service & sales.  Again, hugely valuable skills when they are old enough to enter the workplace and to be able to understand how the service industry works.  Kids are blasted with ads constantly, what happens when they start thinking about those ads, how they work and trying to create their own sign?  I'd encourage them to not just look at their own ads, but to start paying attention to the ads they see and what those ads are attempting to influence.

Does it need to be a food / beverage stand?  Of course not, kids have all sorts of options available to them depending on their age.  Other standard kids jobs like babysitting, yard care, shovelling, dog walking, window washing, car washing, etc. are all options.

But kids are also creative, maybe they can come up with something new?  If they are obsessed with spinners maybe they can make them and sell them?  Maybe they can sell old toys or flip garage sale finds on kijiji? Maybe they can create something entirely unique to them and do something with that?

The next thing to look at is persistency, consistency and adapting.  A one day stand might do a little money.  But if they commit to every Saturday from 11-1 or any other consistent schedule they might start finding repeat customers and referrals.  If they shovel a driveway once that's good, but if they commit to every snowfall they can get regular customers.  Things build momentum in any business or really any job.  And if things really aren't working... why? and what ideas do they have to fix it?

Academic education is only part of the picture when it comes to building the skills that a kid will need to crush it as an adult.  If they have a interest in money and business it is never to young to start learning.

btw - if you feel odd taking interest, royalties or renting out your rake and lawnmower to your own child keep in mind the reason, the goal is to teach about money and those sorts of things are important in how money actually works.  Feel free to put it away and give it too them later, or buy them something with it.