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Katie Adrians reviewed Touchstone Karate Academy
5
via Facebook

This is an amazing program with incredible instructors that truly care. My 11 year old son’s confidence is soaring and it is so great to see the pride he has in himself through each step of his journey to become a Blackbelt.

Dan Pierstorff reviewed Touchstone Karate Academy
5
via Facebook

My son joined Touchstone Martial Arts in December of 2016 at the age of 6. Thanks to the dedicated and passionate staff at the school, my son has exceeded all my expectations. He became more focused, learned how to be a leader, gained public speaking skills, and is more confident in himself along with his abilities. Ms. Koster, along with the other instructors, are irreplaceable in my book. I really look forward to watching him develop under the guidance and instruction of this amazing staff. I will definitely be recommending this school to others. I may even consider joining myself one day.... Thank you all for what you do and keep up the great work!

Megan Brauer reviewed Touchstone Karate Academy
5
via Facebook

We love Karate America in Oregon, everything about it is amazing!!! Sarah Burkel and her team do an outstanding job keeping the kids focused, fit and learning every day! The after school program is amazing, from taking karate classes to having quiet homework time to free play... the program is top-notch. The discipline my kids have learned while in the program comes home each day and they have grown so much because of this program! Thank you Sarah and team! You rock!

Karate America Sun Prairie is now Touchstone Martial arts, but still the same great program!

Matt McCormick reviewed Touchstone Karate Academy
5
via Facebook

Great school and great instructors...I have lots of good memories there:)

Melissa Beck Smith reviewed Touchstone Karate Academy
5
via Facebook

Mr. Koster and his Karate America studio have earned an outstanding review. I recently resumed MMA and Jujitsu at a club near my new home in another state. I was able to fall right into my classes and perform well thanks to Mr. Koster's excellent teaching. I received a lot of praise for my technically sound strikes and kicks; I was able to immediately understand and execute the instruction of my new teachers. I owe this - and my discipline to always work hard on the mat - to Mr. Koster.

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Developing a Growth Mindset in a Competitive World

In today’s world competition is everywhere and it often starts at a very young age. It begins as a fun, skill-developing event but can quickly become time-consuming and competitive. While some parents want their children pushed to help them learn the hard lessons of life, others want to protect their children from the disappointment that can come with competition. Both sides have pros and cons, but a balanced approach is what will truly help a child develop a competitive nature in a healthy way.

 

Competition can be fun and exhilarating, especially if you are on the winning side. This drive to compete and win is very strong in our society in every age group and industry. When children are involved in competitive events, it can teach them goal setting techniques as well as how to deal with the frustrations that can come along with losing. Competition also helps children learn to take turns and support their teammates.

 

On the flip side, some parents are often concerned that competition will lead to more stress and anxiety in their children because the push to win is so strong. When loss comes along, it can develop lower self-esteem in children and can make them feel that they don’t have what it takes. Therefore, parents often feel that competition is more destructive to their child then beneficial.

 

While both views of competition are valid, it is important that we find a balance for children where they can develop a healthy competitive spirit while maintaining a strong self-image. While this can sound like a difficult balance, it is actually very easy to attain. The key is to work with children on developing a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset. Carol Dweck, first introduced this concept in her book “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.” Dweck stated that when people feel they have traits that cannot be changed, they have a fixed mindset and have a need to prove themselves continuously through competition. People with a growth mindset believe that they can improve on their current abilities and add new skills through time and effort.

 

So how do we teach children this? One of the best ways is by creating an environment that develops both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation is a reward driven behavior. A child can earn a reward or trophy by exhibiting certain actions. Intrinsic motivation comes from a wanting achieve a goal and feeling satisfied with yourself for attaining it. Both of these are important in developing a healthy competitive mindset.

 

Touchstone Karate Academy’s program is a great way for children to learn a balance of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. They can earn new belt levels by exhibiting certain techniques with accuracy but since it is more of an individualized sport, they learn to set goals for themselves and feel proud for improving their skill set. The instructors in the TKA program utilize both types of motivation as teaching skills for each class. That way students are motivated to earn external rewards such as stripes and belts but they also learn to feel internally proud for getting better than they were before.

 

As children develop it is important that we maximize their potential by helping them set different types of goals and learn important lessons along the way. While competing against others is a great way for children to evaluate their skills against another person, the ultimate goal should be to improve their personal skill level. Success isn’t always about winning. Helping children become better than they were before will help them become internally driven and create a growth mindset.