8 Ways Karate Helps Kids Improve Communication Skills


2007 Windingland family karate picture

Participation in karate offers many benefits for children (and adults).  The physical benefits are obvious (endurance, strength, flexibility, coordination and balance), but there are several mental benefits as well, including improved communication skills.

Karate is even seen as a way to help kids with autism improve communication skills (CBS.com Video).

As both a student for the past 8 years and as an instructor at Rogers Professional Karate Studio, I have noticed the following communication benefits from karate:

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Tracks in the Snow: How to Connect with People Who Avoid You

I trudged out in the new snow to get the morning paper, bleary-eyed from staying up too late.  On the way back to the house, I noticed the tracks.  Deer tracks. Hundreds of tiny hoof prints.  I paused, marveling at how close to the house they were.  I had never seen deer so close to my home.  But, the tracks were evidence; evidence that they do indeed come near, just not when I’m around.

What?  Don’t they like me?  Don’t they know I won’t hurt them?  Don’t they know I think they are beautiful?

OK.  I won’t take it personally.  Maybe their instincts make them wary.  Maybe they’ve encountered hunters.  Maybe they are indoctrinated at deer school with showings of “Bambi.”

Are there people in your life like those deer?  People you desperately want to see, to connect with, but all you get is “tracks in the snow?”  The teenager who leaves a trail of dirty dishes, but sits behind a closed door; the employee who picks up a paycheck, but rarely picks up the phone when you call; or the prospect who fills out the inquiry form on your website, but never returns emails?

How do you connect with them?

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Don’t Be an Accidental Liar!

Have you heard that baby carrots are made from deformed full size carrots that have been soaked in chlorine?  That white film you see after they have been stored in the fridge a few days is the chlorine coming to the surface.

Or, maybe you have heard some other disturbing story forwarded by a friend.  Do you ever check the story out?  Most of them are “urban legends.”  The baby carrot story is an example of how easy it is to take truth and mix it with fiction.  Forward that email and you are an “accidental liar.”

Misuse of statistics is another way to be an accidental liar.

“There are three kinds of lies:  lies, damned lies and statistics”

–popularized by Mark Twain

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The Dance of Conversation: What Dance Classes Taught Me About Conversation

I’m glad I don’t talk like I dance.  If I did I’d probably be considered autistic—I misstep, turn the wrong way, and sometimes hijack the lead. Well, maybe I’m being too hard on myself.  I’ve only had a few dance lessons.

However, in those few lessons, the parallels between dance and everyday conversation, have been striking.  We can learn a lot about what makes for good conversation by what makes for good partner dancing.  Here a dozen brief lessons I have learned: Read more of this post

Lose your but!

Recently my 17 year-old daughter cleaned my house.   I know I should have had a hallelujah breakdown because  “seventeen year-old-daughter” and ”house cleaning” don’t often occur in the same sentence.  Instead, I managed to find fault.  When she was done, I said, “the house looks good.” She smiled; glad to have pleased me with her effort.  But then I added, “but you missed the edges of the floor in the bathroom,” and her smile faded into discouragement. 

Ouch.  I should have lost my “but.”  Read more of this post

You Choose: An Apostrophe Or a Job?

Could an apostrophe stand between you and your next job?

You bet!

Just like your initial appearance and small talk can make or break a first impression, so can the smallest of typos or spelling errors.

“I stop reading when I find spelling mistakes.” Spelling mistakes were a top complaint of every hiring manager in one survey of more than 600 hiring managers.

In another survey, more than a fifth of executives said a single typo on a resume or cover letter could cost a potential employee a job, while 28 percent said two mistakes would kill their chances.

If emails and Facebook status updates are any indication, one of the biggest challenges in spelling is the misuse of homophones (words that sound alike, but have different meanings or spellings, such as “your” and “you’re”).

Last night, I asked my Facebook friends to help me take a stand against the insidious problem of homophone abuse. I posted a grammar challenge (OK, for you purists, I probably should have written “spelling challenge”) on my Facebook status.

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The Smallest Conversation: 4 Tips to a Better E-mail Subject Line

To open or not to open?

That is the question your email recipients ask as they look at the subject line of your email, one of many in their overflowing in-boxes.  Why should they open your email?

Increase the readership and response to your emails by following four easy tips:

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