By: Mary Bransford | Category: Health & Fitness | Issue: June 2007
Apollo’s Karate teaches children valuable life skills. Pictured is Master Instructor Dale “Apollo” Cook with a student.
Want to see your children make positive changes in just three months? If so, you might consider signing them up for Apollo’s Karate’s summer programs. Your children will discover discipline, build self-confidence, learn how to handle bullies and have a lot of fun in the process.
“Kids love our summer school,” says Dale “Apollo” Cook, owner and chief instructor at Apollo’s. “But parents love it even more.” Classes are held throughout the week, both during the daytime and in the evening.
Giving your best effort means you must work hard at every task. More importantly, it means you must work your hardest to achieve your goals. People who always give their best effort are far more successful in life than those who do not try hard at all.
Apollo’s Karate helps children and adults define and achieve goals through martial arts training. “Each person defines success differently,” Cook says. “Many have similar goals, while others’ goals are uniquely their own. However, everyone shares the drive to achieve them.”
“Black Belts understand that they must always do their best,” Cook continues. “Becoming a Black Belt is a great accomplishment. Years of training is required to reach excellence. Black Belts experience setbacks, yet they persevere through them. You cannot become a Black Belt without knowing how to put forth great effort. They understand that the reward for hard work is well worth the effort required.”
The steps to becoming a Black Belt help instill life skills that stay with a child for a lifetime. These lessons are invaluable.
A good martial arts school teaches many lessons beyond how and why it takes hard work to achieve success. Apollo’s Karate offers not only excellent fitness activities but the self-esteem and confidence children need to learn at an early age. “The martial arts instill discipline,” says Cook. “Learning discipline gives each participant an advantage and helps them do better in school. Martial arts equip children to better deal with peer pressure, too.”
Apollo’s Karate teaches the martial arts moves that are sometimes necessary for self-defense and dealing with bully situations. Cook feels that the benefits of building confidence are even more important than the physical aspect of the training.
The school teaches positive ways in which to channel energy. According to Cook, doctors who treat kids for hyperactivity often encourage the parents to enroll their children in martial arts programs. Cook and his instructors teach participants how to be confident but not aggressive.
The belt system helps children gain a sense of accomplishment. It offers a challenge and a reward for each level. Each step is a goal, and participants move through each achievement to reach success at their own pace. Students each receive a stripe for every class attended, as well. Respectful conduct and good effort are required. Good behavior is always positively reinforced in class. A parent’s signature and a schoolteacher’s affirmation are required to validate good behavior before a student is allowed to test for the next level.
Martial arts help children through each stage of life. “A child with a positive self-esteem has no reason to get mixed up with the wrong crowd,” Cook says. “Teens are at a very comparative stage, and their peer ratings are very important. A positive sense of self-worth wards off a lot of temptation.”
Younger children benefit from the classes by learning respect early in life. This concept carries through the eight- to 12-year-old age groups, where self-defense and more martial arts moves are learned.
Apollo’s Karate offers numerous programs for adults and children. It has the largest adult enrollment in the state and also offers cardio kickboxing classes. For more information about programs or activities, call any one of the four schools.