For development of new skills, improvement of old skills and general growth and progress. But why?


As you know, training twice a week is the minimum requirement for all students. With advancement in rank, that minimum goes up as the volume of techniques increases (both at the rank held as well as the need to maintain all skills previously learned) and the expectation of skill becomes higher.

From a scientific standpoint consistent practice, instruction and correction improves the neural connections that allow us to master a skill or action. Without consistent training habits, students risk the “groundhog day effect” which means re-training the brain versus building upon previous training. This creates a challenge for both the student, who struggles to learn a skill and the instructor, who find themselves re-teaching skills, rather than developing and building on the skills already learned.

Missing the occasional class is unavoidable and our class plans are created to manage that. Curriculum is taught in cycles with new skills spanning several classes. When a student is absent for multiple classes they risk missing the instruction of a skill until the next time it appears in the teaching cycle. Make up classes can help!


Students who regularly attend classes develop bonds of friendship and peer association quickly. If a student is training sporadically, often those bonds become strained and the student begins to feel “left out” or “left behind”. This “fear of having missed out” begins to affect the desire to attend class and an unfortunate negative cycle develops. Consistent attendance in the twice-weekly core classes contributes in a big way to a student’s enjoyment and success in the program.

When you factor in the many benefits of our programs combined with our curriculum delivery strategies, it makes sense that training at least twice per week will have a significant impact on a student’s overall growth and development.

Why would you not want the most out of your training?

As parents, we know that self-esteem is key to a child’s success and happiness in life. A child who values herself and knows that she is lovable, capable and unique, will be more successful in navigating tough issues such as bullying, drugs and sex. So what can parents do to foster self-esteem?

Here’s what parents can do:

  • Showing children they are loved and accepted.
  • Giving them a sense of belonging to family and community.
  • Listening! Letting them know that what they think, feel and do is important.
  • Giving them a sense of personal safety.
  • Involving them in activities where they feel competent and accepted.

Because of its focus on personal safety and on building strong bodies and minds, karate is an excellent way to boost a child’s self-esteem. Self-discipline, pride and integrity are important components of the martial arts philosophy. Studios work hard to create an environment of courtesy and respect so that children can learn and grow from mistakes and feel competent and accepted.

Driftwood Martial Arts offers two programs that can boost children’s self esteem, WeeKick™, for pre-school and kindergarten kids and KidSafe Youth Karate for grades one to nine.

Instructors are specially trained to create positive environments where kids can learn effective techniques for peaceful conflict resolution, bully busting, personal safety and dealing with failure. Learning to respect themselves and others is a major focus of the classes.

By providing your child with a loving, supportive home environment and enriching them with confidence building activities like the martial arts, your child will have a definite advantage when it comes to navigating their way through challenging issues.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) is a neurological condition resulting in impulsivity, distractibility, hyperactivity or excess energy. Dr. Abida Ripley has written about how martial arts help children diagnosed with AD/HD. She believes martial arts can be an alternative to the drugs often used to treat symptoms.

At Driftwood Martial Arts, instructors and parents have witnessed how a regular martial arts practice has helped their students with AD/HD improve school performance, reduce disciplinary issues and improve self-esteem and confidence. Here’s how:

Strong Bodies

Simply put, exercise tires a kid out. It allows children to burn off excessive energy in a positive way, oxygenates their bodies and circulates their blood so they’ll feel great. When children practice martial arts on a regular basis, they soon realize how diet, sleep patterns and daily schedules affect their practice. Each of these components has been recognized as playing a role in the symptoms of AD/HD.

Strong Minds

Martial arts require concentration, focus and self-discipline. While learning to block, kick or punch, children learn how losing concentration can negatively affect their practice. For example, they may lose their balance or an opponent may catch them when their guard is down. This realization quickly works its way into the day-to-day life of the child.

Most martial arts use some form of meditation and relaxation and require a strong connection between body, mind and spirit for success. The philosophy of many martial arts includes respect, perseverance, looking out for those who are younger or weaker, and integrity. By slowing down, focusing, and learning important principles, the symptoms of AD/HD can be better managed.

Strong Teachers

Dr. Ripley writes that good martial arts instructors take the very characteristics of AD/HD symptoms and channel them into the art’s physical and mental training. Instead of seeing a child’s boundless energy as negative, an effective instructor will accept it and find ways to make it work for the child. Often this simple shift in perspective is enough to improve a child’s self-esteem and concentration.

Do you have a child with AD/HD who practices martial arts? If so, we’d love to hear about his or her experience. Visit our contact page and tell us about it. Have a child with AD/HD and want to know about our classes? Call our stop by the studio and we’ll answer your questions and get your child on their way to success!

Pick the kids up from school, drop them off at the pool. Eat dinner quickly, rush to hockey practice. Come home, pay registration fee for art class. Sound familiar?

Kids today are involved in more structured activities than ever before. Over-scheduled kids are often tired, less likely to eat healthy meals and have little time to develop their imaginations through free play. And rushing from one activity to another can put a strain on family life. That’s why it’s important for parents and kids to prioritize when choosing programs.

The first thing to consider when selecting an activity is what your child enjoys. No one is going to benefit from an activity if he has to be dragged to it. The second is to consider what your child will gain from participating in the activity. Here’s where karate stand out. Beyond getting muscles moving and hearts pumping, karate also:

  • Reduces anxiety.
  • Develops focus and concentration.
  • Teaches peaceful conflict resolution.
  • Instructs a child how to benefit from failure and mistakes.
  • Shows the benefits of self-discipline.
  • Empowers a child to protect herself.
  • Builds self-awareness skills.
  • Improves confidence and self-esteem.
  • Teaches self-respect.
  • Shows a child how to avoid, remedy, mediate and manage bullying situations.
  • Teaches the importance of setting goals.
  • Develops fine and gross motor skills, spatial skills and socialization skills.
  • Teaches stranger awareness (not stranger fear).
  • Builds self-control.

Can your child’s after school activity do that? To learn more about how martial arts give children a winning advantage, check out our WeeKick™ and KidSafe Youth Karate programs. You’ll see how martial arts build not only strong bodies, but strong minds too. Now that’s a worthwhile activity.

The economy. Your aging parents. Information overload. Feeling stressed?

We all talk about stress, but we’re often not clear on what it is. Stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If it wasn’t for stress we’d never get anything done. And sometimes stress comes from good things, like the birth of a baby or planning a party. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, stress becomes a problem when we don’t know how to handle a situation in our lives. We start to worry about it and before we know it we’re stressed out.

Stress can contribute to all kinds of health problems including insomnia, obesity, some types of cancer, higher blood pressure and serious mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety. So it’s important to determine what gives you stress in your life and to come up with a problem-solving strategy.

Maybe your strategy involves getting advice about managing your money, finding a new job or taking time out to breathe deeply and sit in silence. Whatever strategy you choose, it’s wise to incorporate some form of physical activity. Getting active can raise feel-good endorphins, take your mind off problems, improve sleep and boost confidence.

Physical activity can also acts as a form of meditation. When you focus on what your body is doing in the present moment, worries get pushed aside. That is why martial arts like karate are so effective at combating stress. A major component of karate is focus and concentration. While focusing on your blocks, kicks and punches you can’t focus on your stress. If you do, you’ll see how it negatively effects your movements.

For example, you won’t have much balance or your opponent will catch you unaware. By practicing karate regularly, the mind becomes trained to focus on the present moment, instead of on the past or future. As you practice this focus in the dojo, you naturally start practicing it in your life. You’ll feel more relaxed and think more clearly. Your problem solving strategies will improve and you will respond to stress in a more alert, clear way.

Don’t think karate is your thing? You’d be surprised at the diverse programs available for all fitness levels. Contact us today and let us find the program that is right for you.

The Ontario Ministry of Education defines bullying as repeated, persistent, and aggressive behaviour that is intended to cause fear, distress or harm to another person’s body, feelings, self-esteem or reputation. It can be physical, verbal, social (such as excluding others from a group) or electronic. Bill 212 now allows Ontario schools to suspend students caught bullying, including online.

Self-esteem plays a key role in bullying. A child with strong self-esteem is more likely to stand up to a bully, ask for help from parents or teachers, and may be better able to deal with the devastating impact of being bullied. But most bullies themselves also suffer from low self-esteem and self-respect. Here’s where karate can help both the bully and the bullied.

Because of its focus on personal safety, and on building strong bodies and minds, karate is an excellent way to boost a child’s self-esteem. Driftwood Martial Arts studio focuses on teaching kids three main principles: compassion, gratitude and respect, for both themselves and others. When a child understands and practices these concepts his self-esteem grows and he develops skills to resolve conflict in a peaceful, confident manner.

Driftwood’s KidSafe Youth Karate program (for kids in grades 1 to 9) and WeeKick™ program (for ages 3 and a half to senior kindergarten) teach kids practical ways of avoiding, remedying, mediating and managing bullying situations. Through these programs, both the bully and the bullied develop self-esteem and learn how to break the cycle of bullying.

These powerful programs are appropriate for children of all fitness levels and are led by instructors specially trained to create positive environments where kids can learn effective techniques for peaceful conflict resolution, bully busting and personal safety. Did we mention that they’re a whole lot of fun too?