A Few Words
I’m Andrew Arquines, Owner / Head Instructor here at On The Mat Martial Arts.
As a martial arts instructor with extensive experience training kids, there is nothing better than seeing them grow firsthand.
But more important than the martial arts skills they learn… is the personal skills they develop and carry for life.
Because martial arts is so much more than just kicking and punching, and getting the next colorful belt.
It’s about developing confidence, discipline, character, focus and respect.
With every class we teach, your kids are growing in mind, body and character.
That’s because martial arts provides instant positive feedback. Through learning to focus on the core moves, they develop discipline and respect. They can instantly see and feel a difference, making them destined to build confidence, self-awareness and self-respect.
And of course it’s a ton of FUN!
That’s why I love teaching martial arts to kids in this community, and why I know your kids are going to LOVE training.
So please have a look below to find out exactly how your kids can benefit from our fun martial arts classes.
Does your 3-4 year old
Does your 5-6 year old
Does your child
Does Your 10 to 14-Year Old
They are shy and may have difficulty approaching other kids – or sharing in a play situation.
They don’t pay attention to their surroundings and may end up being unintentionally destructive as a result.
They lack control and can’t stay in one place long enough to eat a meal or watch a movie.
They have trouble focusing and don’t look at you when you speak to them.
They get angry easily and small things may cause them to lose control.
They lack the discipline to follow through on tasks without being reminded.
They tattle on others without accepting responsibility for their own actions.
They have a hard time coping with losses and setbacks and may not demonstrate good sportsmanship.
They don’t remember what you or their teachers tell them and struggle with paying attention.
They always seem to take the easy way out when presented with anything difficult.
They make poor choices and tend not to think things through.
They put their friends and social obligations ahead of their family.
Parenting can feel like running a marathon
It’s exhausting, and it’s not uncommon for parents to feel frustrated as they try to get their young children to behave, sit still, and be aware of what’s going on around them. Getting them to participate in any group activity can be difficult at best, particularly when the activity doesn’t take their natural inclinations and developmental needs.
The key to helping kids at this age gain control is to teach them basic skills while entertaining them. With calm and steady guidance, they can learn to understand basic martial arts skills – and acceptable martial arts school behavior – and have fun, too!
Parenting a child is harder than you might expect
Kids that are 5-6 years old have slightly more control than younger kids, but they still have a lot to learn when it comes to controlling themselves, their bodies, and their emotions. They’re intellectually curious, but they need to learn in a disciplined setting.
Our program gives kids the tools they need to succeed later in life. They learn the importance of self-discipline and control while building on the basic martial arts skills they learned in the Early SKILLZ program.
Parenting a child is harder than you might expect
Kids between the ages of seven and nine have done a lot of maturing, but that doesn’t mean that your job as a parent is any easier than it was before – it’s just different. Your child might have attained some degree of emotional control but still have a hard time reacting appropriately when disappointed or upset. Likewise, they might not be willing to accept blame when they do something wrong, and yet be very quick to point the finger at others and tattle.
Since kids this age tend to be intellectually very curious, it’s important to engage them on their level and provide them with continual challenges to keep them interested in what they’re doing. Martial arts instruction is ideal because of its structure of ongoing learning and measurable achievements.
Parenting a child is harder than you might expect
Parenting kids in their pre-teen and early teenage years is its own special challenge. Kids at this age have huge potential, but an equally huge tendency to get mired down in laziness and posturing for their friends. It can be frustrating for parents to watch their kids waste their abilities – and parents are often anxious for a way to get their kids moving in a positive direction. When kids resist parental involvement and give their friends more consideration than their families, it can be distressing for parents.
The key to getting through to kids at this age is to hold their feet to the fire when it comes to putting in the necessary work to achieve their goals. They need firm instruction and regular goals to keep them on track.
your child will grow with every class!
Early SKILLZ gives young children the basic skills and discipline they need to succeed. While they learn simple martial arts moves such as kicking, punching, blocking, crawling, and jumping, they also grasp valuable lessons about social conduct. Over time, Early SKILLZ students learn how to control their movements, follow directions, and interact with students and teachers.
your child will grow with every class!
Basic SKILLZ teaches kids to control their bodies and behavior in a fun, social environment that encourages cooperation and respect. They learn about teamwork, discipline, memory, and balance while practicing coordination and learning key martial arts moves.
your child will grow with every class!
Our Core SKILLZ program works with kids to teach them how to accept responsibility for their actions, to manage negative emotions, and to pay attention to instructions and advice from their instructors. Our program teaches kids agility, courage, flexibility, and persistence in a way that allows them to build confidence. These skills translate from our martial arts studio to school – and to your home.
your child will grow with every class!
Our Extreme SKILLZ program is specifically designed to help kids between the ages of 10 and 14 to achieve their physical, intellectual, emotional, and social goals. We teach kids physical dexterity, versatility, and precision while also helping them to trust their instincts and build their strength.
Martial arts builds coordination and control
Students learn to be aware of themselves, others, and their surroundings, and to control their movements accordingly.
By learning basic martial arts moves, they build muscle coordination and become increasingly aware of spatial awareness.
focus and attention skills
Kids learn how to pay attention to verbal commands when they are given, and to avoid tuning out when something seems complicated.
By learning how to focus and ignore distractions, kids learn how to follow verbal instructions – and to remember them without needing reminders.
Martial arts training encourages perseverance
Kids learn how to manage anxiety and negative feelings, and not to give up when they are frustrated or upset.
Early SKILLZ includes training to help kids learn the value of persistence as they pursue achievable goals in a supportive setting.
Respect is the cornerstone of martial arts training
Early SKILLZ classes underscore the importance of self-respect and respect for others in social and classroom settings.
In our martial arts school, kids learn that all classmates are to be treated with respect, and be supportive and encouraging as their classmates pursue their goals.
Physical fitness and balance
When they are young, kids may struggle to control their bodies when they’re in motion.
The basic martial arts skills taught in the Skillz program help them build muscle and improve their coordination.
Complex memory skills
At this age, children easily forget strings of more than three commands. They may also be unable to tell their left from their right.
Our program teaches them to focus on complex instructions and to know how to follow left and right commands without hesitation.
Stay in control
Five and six-year-old kids tend to lose focus when they’re excited – and to shut down when they’re sad or scared.
In our Basic SKILLZ program, they are taught to maintain control even when they are excited – and to stay focused even when it is difficult to do so.
Young kids tend to be competitive – and they don’t handle losing very well.
In our program, they learn how to be good competitors, and that includes learning how to accept defeat gracefully and be supportive of their peers.
Build fine motor skills
Older kids have better control than young ones, but they still may struggle with precision and accuracy.
The Core SKILLZ program builds on earlier martial arts training to help kids gain control of their bodies and build strength while improving their balance.
Kids are easily distracted and may have difficult focusing on tasks and situations.
We teach kids to tune out distractions and focus on one thing at a time – something that’s increasingly challenging in today’s electronic world.
Persistance & Determination
Kids develop persistence and the determination to see their goals through to the end.
When they’re learning a new skill, kids may be afraid or give up easily instead of risking failure.
Core SKILLZ students learn to conquer their fears and persist even when they feel like giving up on a particular challenge or assignment.
Respect & Self Control
Students learn how to disagree politely and to resolve disputes respectfully.
Many kids struggle with learning how to express disagreement without being rude or angry.
Our Core SKILLZ program teaches kids to speak up without disrupting others, and to figure out ways to resolve their challenges within the confines of the program’s structure.
Dilligence with challenges
Kids learn the importance of doing things well.
At this age, kids may be prone to take the easy way out of challenges.
Our Extreme SKILLZ program teaches them to value precision and to pay attention to details instead of settling for a sloppy solution to their problems
Better decision making
We give kids the tools to make smart decisions
Preteens and teens sometimes make poor decisions because they lack the judgment to see the big picture.
Extreme SKILLZ classes teach kids to make smarter decisions by showing them the dangers of jumping to conclusions.
Students learn to evaluate their motives and pay attention to their emotions
Kids sometimes react without thinking about their motivations.
In the Extreme SKILLZ program, students learn to understand their true emotional motivation and to understand the difference between a good motivation and a bad one.
Self Belief & Confidence
We teach kids not to worry what others think of them.
Peer pressure plays a big role as kids get older, and they sometimes struggle with worrying about what others think.
We teach kids to care less about what other people think of them and more about what they think of themselves.
The best money that our family has invested in the development of our child! As an early childhood educator, I am very picky about extra curricular activities! On the Mat is the model for positive reinforcement! They treat everyone like family! We are so grateful that we are there and only wish we had found them sooner!
We signed our 5 year old up for the free trial over the summer to try out something new and keep him active during the summer. He absolutely fell in love with it and asked if he could go every day! The curriculum is perfectly geared toward each particular age group. The instructors are so engaging and committed. The skills and confidence our son has gained just in a few short months are priceless. Our summer activity has quickly become part of our regular year round schedule and I foresee him continuing for years to come. OTM rocks!!
No better place than OTM for brinhing the best out of your child. The instructors are some of the best and the owner Melody Shuman is the most knowledgeable in child neuroscience. Many martial art facilities around the world look to her and use her Skillz methods for teaching children. AAA++++++
Our family can't say enough about On The Mat! Master Melody and her awesome team of Ninjas are like a parent's secret weapon. Our son goes to practice Tae Kwon Do, he ends up learning about character, respect, self-control and other priceless virtues! The family environment and friendships fostered at this club have added a beautiful dimension to each of our lives. I have as much fun catching up with friends each week as Robert Paul has on the Dojo. We are grateful to be apart of such an amazing program.
Awesome instructors and place to train for kids in the area If you live in the Saint Pete's area this is where to bring your kids for not just the best martial arts but life training Skillz!
Secure your spot and get started today with our EXCLUSIVE offer!
Yes. Our Early SKILLZ program teaches kids to have greater self-control and not to let negative emotions affect their behavior.
Yes. In our Early SKILLZ program, kids are part of a supportive community where all students are taught to respect one another and to share information.
It can. Learning basic martial arts moves helps kids learn to be aware of their own bodies, and that leads to greater physical self-control and less destructive behavior.
Our Early SKILLZ program puts kids into a fun social setting where they are part of a community. Students are taught to support and respect one another and to build age-appropriate relationships.
Yes. Our Early SKILLZ environment encourages kids to control negative emotions and to respect themselves and others – skills that are very important in a classroom setting.
Yes. Our Early SKILLZ program provides kids with a series of achievable goals to pursue. Some will be more difficult than others, but every child learns the value of perseverance.
Yes. Children in our program must learn to follow verbal instructions, stay focused, and remember what they learn. By providing them with measurable goals, we teach kids the value of avoiding distractions.
Yes. One of the first things kids learn in Early SKILLZ is the importance of being respectful to their teacher and following instructions. The benefits of obedience are demonstrated as students reach their goals.
Yes. Our classes teach kids to focus on teachers and to respect their commands – and those lessons take root at home, too.
Yes. The ups and downs of learning help kids learn how to navigate emotional highs and lows in a healthy and respectful way.
Our Basic SKILLZ class teaches students to support one another and to accept mistakes and failures gracefully.
Yes. The fundamental martial arts skills taught in this class help build muscle mass and improve balance and coordination.
Yes. We teach kids the importance of paying attention and heeding instructions – and by building memory, we help kids do a better job of retaining information.
Yes. We focus on core social skills like mutual respect and understanding, both of which are essential in any social setting.
Yes. Our classes teach the value of persistence and show kids that shutting down when they are frustrated won’t help them achieve their goals.
Yes. In our classes, kids learn to recognize the affect their movements and actions have on other people, and to control their movements when they are excited or upset.
Yes. Kids in the Core SKILLZ program must pay attention to instructors and memorize moves if they wish to advance.
Yes. It’s normal for kids to experience setbacks when they study martial arts. Some moves may require repeated effort to master, and the process teaches kids to handle disappointment and failure.
A fixation on fairness is common in kids of this age, but our program helps them understand that sometimes life isn’t fair – and also, to realize that in our martial arts school, all other kids face the same challenges they do.
Yes. One of the Core "SKILLZ" we teach is courage, which requires kids to dodge targets. While the targets won’t hurt them, they show kids that they can face opposition and still succeed.
The Core Skillz program teaches kids that they must be accountable for their own behavior and actions. Accountability is essential our martial arts school and it’s a key life skill that kids will take home with them when the class is over.
Our Core SKILLZ program helps kids to build focus and improve their memorization skills. Each of the skills we teach requires kids to remember what the instructors have told them and – in some cases – to memorize a series of moves. When kids learn how to memorize information, they can use that skill anywhere they need to use it – including in the classroom.
Our Core SKILLZ curriculum is specifically designed with kids from ages seven to nine in mind. We want to challenge them without overwhelming them – and our instructors know how to motivate them and keep them on track. They’ll learn to accept challenges, not run from them.
Yes. Kids at this age still have some issues with fine motor skills, and we know that they’ll have trouble with some of the moves we teach at first. Our goal is to help them gain control and build strength and agility.
Yes. It’s common for kids at this age to be heavily influenced by their peers and to avoid doing anything that might be seen as uncool. We help them see the importance of behaving appropriately regardless of what other people think.
Yes. Our instructors understand the psychology of kids at this age. They might want to take the lazy way out, but we push them to maximize their potential in every area of life.
Yes. Decision-making is a key skill both in our program and in life. We show kids the value of weighing options and using their brains to make smart decisions – both in and out of our martial arts school.
Yes. Kids at this age love to challenge their parents and rebel. It’s part of growing up, but it can certainly be frustrating for parents. We emphasize the importance of respect and loyalty to family as one of our core values.
The Extreme SKILLZ program is designed to reward precision and persistence. Kids must commit to learning good form and being able to perform to a certain standard if they want to succeed – and those are skills that can carry over to the playing field, as well.
Respect and honor are core tenets in any martial arts school. The Extreme SKILLZ program teaches kids to be respectful to instructors – and by extension, to their parents and teachers. We make sure they understand that who they are outside of the studio reflects on them inside the studio.
Yes. All our testing happens in front of an audience of the students’ peers and instructors. They learn that they only thing they control is their performance and not to worry about what other people think.
Yes. In our program, it’s common for kids to be frustrated as they try to learn new skills. Over time, they realize that avoiding challenges doesn’t help them – and that facing them helps to build confidence and self-reliance.
Kids learn not to mock others when they fall or make mistakes in class.
Early SKILLZ teaches kids to avoid aggressive behavior such as hitting and biting, and to find positive outlets for their anger.
Students learn that they don’t have to give in to negative emotions.
Teaches kids how to control their behavior even in difficult situations.
Shows kids how to listen respectfully and not interrupt others while they are speaking.
Helps kids control their fears and react appropriately when they feel afraid.
Provides kids with a healthy physical activity and a way to use excess energy.
Emphasizes fun and play to engage kids’ imaginations.
Kids learn the benefits of humility and grace when they succeed in life.
Kids build core strength and balance while improving their overall physical fitness.
Basic SKILLZ classes teach kids to coordinate their body movements and to control themselves physically.
Our classes help kids learn to concentrate on instructions and follow them appropriately.
Kids in our classes learn how to play with other kids in a respectful way.
Basic SKILLZ classes help kids improve their memory as they work toward their goals.
Kids learn self-discipline physically, emotionally, and socially.
Teaches kids the value of teamwork and cooperation.
Improves balance and core strength by requiring kids to hold poses.
Teaches the value of persistence by teaching kids how to keep trying even when they don’t get the result they want.
Helps kids build physical speed and control by introducing timed tests for certain skills.
Allows kids to express their opinions in a non-disruptive and respectful way.
Encourages kids to embrace the value of personal responsibility and accountability.
Builds concentration by requiring kids to memorize sequences of moves.
Teaches kids how to interact socially with both peers and instructors.
Kids learn the importance of respecting others and allowing them to speak without interruption.
Kids learn to withstand peer pressure and do what they think is right.
Students see the value of finesse and precision as these things are required to advance in class.
Shows students how to work through alternatives and make smart, informed decisions.
Teaches kids the meaning of courage and how to apply it in their personal lives.
Kids learn the value of hard work and why taking the lazy way out is not acceptable.
Builds an attitude of respect for kids’ peers, instructors, and families.
Teaches kids to carry themselves with strength and confidence.
Encourages kids to maximize their physical and intellectual potential at all times.
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