Situational Awareness - Increasing Children's Observational Skills | On the Mat Martial Arts
ACCESS OUR VIRTUAL SCHEDULE
& EXCLUSIVE WEB SPECIAL

Secure your spot and get started today with our EXCLUSIVE offer!

By opting into the web form above you are providing consent for On The Mat Martial Arts to send you periodic text messages. Standard rates may apply. You can reply HELP at anytime or learn more. You may opt-out anytime by replying STOP.
ACCESS OUR VIRTUAL SCHEDULE
& EXCLUSIVE WEB SPECIAL

Secure your spot and get started today with our EXCLUSIVE offer!

By opting into the web form above you are providing consent for On The Mat Martial Arts to send you periodic text messages. Standard rates may apply. You can reply HELP at anytime or learn more. You may opt-out anytime by replying STOP.
Michelle Dolak reviewed On The Mat Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

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.

Adrian De Silva reviewed On The Mat Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

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!

Jessica Hodosky reviewed On The Mat Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Just started but I can tell the school is amazing and the staff are very nice and attentive! My daughter seems to love it too!

Suzanne Saccani reviewed On The Mat Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

The best customer service ever, Melody Shuman and her staff go out of their way to over deliver

Cydney Swindle Tuten reviewed On The Mat Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

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!

Mark J. Speranza reviewed On The Mat Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

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++++++

Brooke Breland reviewed On The Mat Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

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!!

On The Mat Martial Arts St Petersburg Kids Martial Arts & Fitness for All Ages!
Call us today to get started 727-548-5425
Request Information

Blog

Our latest news & thoughts

Situational Awareness – Increasing Children’s Observational Skills

Today’s world is busy; people are rushing here and there to get to work, school, the store, or the next activity. Even our “leisure” time is filled with busyness. And during all of it, we are distracted by our devices. This not only leads to us missing important moments in our lives, but it also creates a higher likelihood that we would become the victim of a crime or, at very best, be unable to help someone near us that was. Therefore, it is essential to teach children to be perceptive and educate them on situational awareness skills to improve their safety.

 

Nowadays, not only are children distracted as they play and talk with their friends when they are out, but they are also looking down at their phones or other devices. When they are alone, they are often using headphones as well. These behaviors set them up for dangerous situations because they are entirely unaware of what is going on in the environment around them. Research indicates that offenders look for these behaviors when choosing their victims. These things, along with a lack of confidence and directionless movement, add to the probability of becoming a target, so parents must be vigilant in teaching their children essential awareness tactics.

 

Younger children, especially, are instinctively observant and inquisitive; this is how they learn. Using these natural qualities to help them become more aware of their surroundings can be advantageous. Encouraging children to use all their senses and be on the lookout for things outside the norm in a specific environment will increase their instincts. Using games such as “I Spy” and “Guess Who?” children’s descriptive vocabulary will be enhanced, and their brains will be trained to observe details. These things, in addition to remembering details such as what entrance they came in and where the car was parked, will keep their brain active throughout the visit.

 

And while remembering details is a vital piece of situational awareness, children also need to be confident as they navigate through any location. In the SKILLZ program, children are trained in a way that maximizes their physical, intellectual, emotional, and social development. By participating in this age-specific training, children become more confident in their abilities and have more control. Their minds are sharp as instructors utilize neurobics to increase the brain’s connections, which keeps them from “zoning out.”

 

 

 

As children grow and develop autonomy, parents must arm them with important tools for personal safety. And while we do not want to cause paranoia, we must teach them to be on the lookout for odd behaviors and to constantly reevaluate their surroundings. By building their instincts, children can minimize their chances of being a victim, can warn others of possible danger, and help give details information of any situation that arises. Children then become confident when navigating through any environment and can manage themselves in any situation.

 

Author: Jennifer Salama of Skillz Worldwide

Jennifer is a 4th-degree black belt and has been training in martial arts since 2001. She has a Masters Degree in Child Psychology and has embraced the SKILLZ curriculum because of its focus on child development and using martial arts as a vehicle to develop the child as a whole.