How Safe Is Your Child From the Kidnapper in Lurking in Aisle 5?

This is a guest post by Dr. Robyn Silverman, creator of our Powerful Words character development program. This article was originally published on Dr. Robyn’s blog.

My Facebook page is hopping today after I posted about the little girl, Brittney Baxter, age 7, who fought her way out of getting kidnapped from Walmart yesterday, when a man grabbed her, covered her mouth and tried to subdue her. The girl is safe and the alleged kidnapper in custody, but these stories always leave a trail of fear, frustration, concern, and questions from parents and educators.

Several parents and concerned citizens have gotten in touch because they are unsure about how they can protect the children in their lives from a similar situation. I wanted to reach out to you to provide some tips. Please feel free to pass it on and repost the link as this is an issue on many people’s minds today.

In terms of “stranger danger,” what are we supposed to tell our young kids?

(1) People are mostly kind…but some aren’t:
For the most part, people are good, kind and helpful. But not everyone. “Most people are very kind. When we go to the store, there are many kind people who are there to help you, right? Most people want everyone to be safe and happy. But some people are not kind. Some people do not make safe and kind choices. We don’t always know who the kind and unkind people are because there are no superhero or villain masks in real life.”

(2) Stay by the person who brought you:
Your school age children should be told to stay by you or the person who brought them. “When we go out, please stay where I can see you and you can see me. Please don’t wander into the next aisle alone because I won’t be able to see you. Wandering off is an unsafe choice. Staying by me is a safe choice.” Read the full article →

February’s Powerful Word Is Loyalty

It’s the beginning of a new month, and that means it’s time for a new Powerful Word!

Throughout February 2012, we’ll be working on the concept of “loyalty.”

All our discussions and activities will aim to help our students understand how to be faithful, steadfast and true to someone or something. We will also help them understand that loyalty doesn’t demand silence when we feel that somebody or something is in the wrong. Read the full article →

Karate vs Taekwondo for Kids: Which Is Better?

If you’re a parent trying to decide between taekwondo or karate classes for kids, it may be hard to figure out which is better for kids – karate or taekwondo.

In this video, Sensei Serge from Urban Martial Arts in Brooklyn NY explains what the differences are, so that you can make an informed decision:

Just $179 for 6 Weeks of Classes!

KarateKidsKickingGet 6 weeks of karate classes, plus a free karate uniform and T-shirt ($60 value) for just $179! Enter your email address below to see schedule and details.

Valentine’s Day Parents Night Out – Sat, Feb 11 from 6-9 pm

We think that hard-working parents like you deserve a night out on the town, kid-free!

So why not drop your child with us on Saturday, February 11th from 6 pm to 9 pm for a night of pizza, fun, and games?

It’s just $25 per child. Each additional sibling can come for just $20.

The event is open to all kids aged 4 to 13 — you don’t have to be enrolled at Urban Martial Arts to participate.

Students: We can charge the fee to the debit or credit card we have on file for you – just call us at 718-287-5500. Or if you’d prefer to pay by cash or check, you can do that at the front desk.

Non-Students: Just come in to Urban Martial Arts to fill out a permission slip and pay the fee by cash, credit card, or check.

Remember – space in the event is limited, so call us today at 718-287-5500 to find out if we have any spots open for your child!

Urban Martial Arts Rocked the House at the 2012 Long Island Winter Open!

Congratulations to everyone who competed at the Long Island Winter Open 2012 in New Hyde Park, NY this weekend!

For a few of our students, this was only their first or second tournament and as you’ll see in the video above, they showed a lot of heart!

Great job, everybody! We look forward to seeing how you’ll do in the next tournament!

Farzana Alam (9 & Under Advanced Girls Sparring)
Christopher Djama (12-13 Advanced Boys Sparring)
Christopher Djama (12-13 Advanced Open Forms)
Aaron Rice (9 & Under Advanced Boys Sparring)

Kiara Brown (9 & Under Advanced Girls Sparring)
Tatiana Felix (10-11 Beginner Girls Sparring)
Aaron Rice (9 & Under Advanced Boys Open Forms)
Kimberly Rice (10-11 Advanced Girls Sparring)
Jonathan Pierre-Louis (10-11 Intermediate Boys Sparring)

Zyhra Casero (8-9 Beginners Girls Sparring)
Aaron Rice (9 & Under Advanced Boys Forms)

Christopher Djama (12-13 Advanced Open Weapons)
Stephan Rosales (10-11 Intermediate Boys Sparring)

Abbosbek Adxamov (12-13 Intermediate Boys Sparring)
Eric Babaisakov (8-9 Beginners Boys Sparring)
Josiah Brillant (7 & Under Beginner Boys Sparring)
Jayden Green (7 & Under Beginner Boys Sparring)
Shane Rosales (10-11 Intermediate Boys Sparring and Forms)
Tommy Schioppa (7 & Under Beginner Boys Sparring)
Kazi Sahir (7 & Under Beginner Boys Sparring)
Kazi Tejwar (8-9 Intermediate Boys Sparring)
Nicholas Vadi (10-11 Intermediate Boys Sparring and Forms)

How Do I Get Ready for a Karate Tournament?

If you need to prepare for a martial arts tournament, there are a few things to keep in mind.

In this video, Sensei Serge goes over the best way to get ready for a karate tournament.

Just $179 for 6 Weeks of Classes!

KarateKidsKickingGet 6 weeks of karate classes, plus a free karate uniform and T-shirt ($60 value) for just $179! Enter your email address below to see schedule and details.

Weight Loss for Kids: How to Keep Your Kid Happy and Healthy

Weight Loss for KidsThroughout January 2012, we’ll be working on the concept of “health.”

All our discussions and activities will aim to help our students understand that being healthy is more than just feeling good. It’s total well-being and freedom from disease.

Powerful Words is the name of our character development curriculum here at Urban Martial Arts. It’s designed by one of the nation’s leading childhood development experts, Dr. Robyn Silverman. Every month, we’ll focus on a different Powerful Word, or concept around character development.

In this post, Dr. Robyn answers a question from a parent who’s concerned about her children’s health.

Dear Dr. Robyn,

I wanted to talk to you about a bit of a touchy topic. Our children are getting a little older and they are starting to put on more weight. I know from reading your book that this can be a “hot button” for many kids. How can I make sure they are staying healthy?

— Sara B, Phoenix, AZ

Dear Sara,

Yes, you are right. “Weight” can be a hot button for many children as they get older. For one thing, while it’s normal and natural for children to put on weight as they go through puberty, their bodies change greatly and some can become uncomfortable. In addition, as children become adolescents, they may become more aware of media messages that glorify “body perfection” and can become more prone to comparing themselves to others.

In my book, Good Girls Don’t Get Fat: How Weight Obsession is Messing Up Our Girls & How We Can Help Them Thrive Despite It, I talk about the importance of health over weight. There are actions that everyone can take, regardless of weight, that help to keep us healthy.

1. Eat foods that nourish the body
Everyone needs to eat a balanced diet that provides such things as lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low fat dairy items. We can explain to our children that they should eat a variety of natural foods that represent every color in the rainbow. When we eat nutritious foods, we feel energized. Read the full article →

How to Lose the Last 10 Pounds Once and For All!

Lose The Last 10 PoundsThis is a fitness tip that might get you better results than anything else you’ve tried.

It’s called a “game face.”

A “game face” is that look you sometimes see in someone’s eyes when they mean business.

If that person says they’re gonna go climb Everest – you know they really are.

Or if that person says they’re gonna lose every pound they have to lose – you can see in their eyes that they’re really going to.

Do you have a game face?

How serious are you about your health and your body?

Do you want to get in shape because the media says it’s good for you?

Or do you have a deeper, more burning reason?

Find your reason.

Before committing to a life of health and fitness, find “why” you really want to. Read the full article →

Study: Children In Character Education Programs Get Better Grades

Study: Children In Character Education Programs Get Better Grades

Most parents would agree that teaching kids about character education is a good thing, since it helps children get along well with others and feel positive about themselves.

But a new study suggests that the benefits of character education programs go far beyond these “soft skills.”

In a recent study, researchers took 20 public elementary schools in Hawaii and randomly assigned students from some of those schools to participate in a character education program called “Positive Action.”

So what happened? BabyCenter has the report:

At the beginning of the study, the control schools happened to be better off. They had higher test scores overall, and, unlike the schools assigned to the test condition, their scores were higher than the Hawaiian state average.

But by the end of the study, the situation had flipped: The schools that had adopted the Positive Action curriculum were now performing better than the controls.

And when researchers interviewed teachers, parents, and students about school quality, the Positive Action schools got higher ratings from all groups. People involved with these schools had nicer things to say.

(Emphasis mine.)

Studies like these are exactly why we place so much emphasis on character education here at Urban Martial Arts.

In addition to our rigorous martial arts curriculum, we have an entire character education program designed by Dr. Robyn Silverman, one of the country’s leading child development specialists.

Every month, we focus on a different Powerful Word, or concept around character education.

All our class discussions revolve around this concept, our karate students have to turn in worksheets on the topic, and we provide parents with lots of tools so that they can reinforce these lessons at home.

Just $179 for 6 Weeks of Classes!

KarateKidsKickingGet 6 weeks of karate classes, plus a free karate uniform and T-shirt ($60 value) for just $179! Enter your email address below to see schedule and details.

Photo Credit: taryn_liz on Flickr