The Mood Booster - Increasing Endorphins to Improve Learning | On the Mat Martial Arts
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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.
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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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++++++

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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!!

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The Mood Booster – Increasing Endorphins to Improve Learning

Children today are presented with varying types of stressors in almost every aspect of their lives. The infamous “bar” has been set so high that in order to achieve it, children are asked to forgo “fun” and work towards superiority in everything they do. And while goal setting is an essential skill for future success, unrealistic expectations have led to increased rates of anxiety and depression in children and teens. This, unfortunately, is counter-effective to confidence-boosting and productive learning. Therefore, children and teens must be given opportunities to feel boosts of endorphins, which leads to improved mood and learning.

 

Endorphins are produced by the central nervous system and the pituitary gland. Their main function is to alleviate pain and boost pleasure. They are most often associated with exercise since the release of these “feel-good” chemicals trigger a state of exhilaration which is usually referred to as a “runner’s high.” In recent years, studies related to endorphins have begun to focus on how this chemical promotes learning. They have a positive effect on an area of the brain that regulates memory and learning called the hippocampus. The meditative effect that endorphins also have help children be more present and in the moment by shifting their focus away from day-to-day challenges.

 

Since physical activity is essential to brain development, neuroscientists have been urging parents and teachers to work on stimulating these good-feeling brain chemicals. By boosting these positive neurotransmitters, cortisol will be reduced leaving children with happier feelings, which develops clearer thinking and enhances attention skills. This makes learning easier, so knowledge is better attained ultimately leading to more confidence. Therefore, it is vital that children have physical education and recess time in school, have outlets for physical activities throughout each week, and playtime outside. Establishing times that children can play and laugh will go a long way in improving mental health and school performance.

 

As a child development center, the SKILLZ program has been on the cutting-edge of establishing classes that utilize this knowledge. The innovative methods implemented in each class incorporate the most important aspects of child development and learning. Not only does the martial arts training boost endorphins but combining it with game-based learning creates a fun environment that strengthens learning. The Certified Pediatric Ninja Specialists that run each class also implement specific Teaching SKILLZ that not only assist with the gaining of new skills but also cognitively stimulate students throughout the class. The engagement also gives students a sense of belonging and fosters friendships.

 

By teaching with the brain in mind and utilizing all information in the areas of child development, science, and psychology, we can create opportunities for children to have the best learning experiences. When children are in a good frame of mind, they learn easier so providing time for them to be active is essential to heightened performance in school. This not only improves their learning abilities but also builds confidence by giving students a sense of accomplishment. The mind-body connection is a powerful thing.

 

 

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.