How Martial Arts Can Help Coax Your Shy Child Out Of His/Her Shell | Affinity Academy of Martial Arts
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Nathan H

I've been training at Affinity Academy for just over 1 year. Every class is without a doubt one of the most rewarding experiences I am fortunate enough to participate in, every chance I get. The safe, positive environment reflects the values and passion of the family ownership, staff, and the members. A passionate, respectful culture of support and constant improvement is ingrained in the Academy. I cannot speak highly enough of Affinity to effectively convey the experience...you need to come for a visit and see for your it for yourself! You'll be back.

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My experience at Affinity Academy has been amazing. You will receive instruction that is detailed, methodical, patient and immediately applicable. The people you will meet here are some of the highest quality human beings you could hope to meet. The atmosphere is fun, supportive, and very much like family. If you are looking for world class training in the gentle art of Jiu Jitsu then Affinity Academy is the place for you!

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Everything is AWESOME! I have seen a big confidence boost in both of my girls since they have started classes here and I would recommend this gym for anyone thinking of trying something new for their kids or themselves. This gym provides a safe, friendly and clean environment to practice BJJ where everyone is treated with respect.

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A great environment that quickly becomes your family. They have so many different programs that there truly is something for everyone of all ages and skill set. I have learned so much at this school in such a short time and it is the direct effect of good people, in a good place, all doing something we feel very strongly for. Would recommend Affinity Academy to anyone thinking of starting the sport.

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I currently have 2 kids in the jujitsu program at Affinity and couldn't ask for a better introduction for them both to martial arts. The coaches are excellent at engaging with young children and the other members have been very welcoming. Has very quickly become the favourite activity for both my kids and I believe the technical skills and the character lessons taught to them there will benefit them greatly as they grow. I would highly recommend this gym and these coaches to anyone looking for a BJJ program for their sons or daughters.

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What can I say about Affinity, that hasn't already been said?!
It's amazing! I love it. The instructors are awesome, very knowledgable, approachable and just all round good people. A friend convinced me to come try, although to be honest I have always wanted to learn bjj so it really didn't take much convincing at all, and as soon as I stepped on the mats and tried my first class, I was hooked.
The people at Affinity treat you like family, the sr. belts are always more than willing to slow down and show you proper form and technique.
I could go on for ever, but will just say this,I definitely have zero regrets about joining and I plan to train for years to come!

Thank you Affinity Academy for making me feel welcome, and guiding me down this new path in life!

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I started BJJ at the Affinity Academy in February. It was a challenge for me to get started because I was afraid and quite anxious. It was something completely new to me and I thought maybe I wouldn't be strong or "tough" enough to join. From my very first class until now, everyone has been so welcoming and very supportive with one another. The Academy is a very positive and family friendly environment. Our Sensei's Andell and Clifton are professional and very knowledgeable of this art. Classes are well structured and quite challenging, which keeps me coming back for more. BJJ is beginning to change my life in many ways. I take pride in being a part of this team. I will be forever grateful and will continue to be humble learning this gentle art.

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My daughter started about 3 months ago and I think she's doing really well. That's because of the amazing instruction and, most importantly for her age, other children who are very welcoming and friendly.

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I love this place. Super clean facility, friendly and knowledgeable people who are more than willing to help you feel safe and comfortable learning the art.

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How Martial Arts Can Help Coax Your Shy Child Out Of His/Her Shell

Affinity Kids Martial Arts Calgary

Making friends and participating in school can be very difficult for children who shrink from the spotlight. Children who are socially awkward usually have a very hard time engaging with peers or defending themselves physically, mentally, or emotionally.

Painfully shy children often suffer from anxiety and behavioral inhibitions in social situations. As a parent, you may notice that your child is always frozen in fear with his/her eyes on the floor and shoulders down. Watching your son or daughter clam up in social situations can be very frustrating. Fortunately, martial arts can coax your child out of his/her shell and help him/her become more confident.

Here are some of the ways martial arts can help your shy child blossom and find his/her inner strength:

1) Boosts your child’s confidence

Enrolling your child in a sport can help boost confidence and social interactions. If your child suffers from crippling shyness, team sports such as soccer should not be the first sport he/she signs up for. According to behavioral psychologists, the best way to encourage your child to get over his/her fears is to enroll him/her in a sport that boosts one-on-one interaction, such as martial arts. Martial arts allows your child to shine individually without competing for field time. The more your kid shines, the more confident he/she becomes.

Martial arts are very structured, and there are routines and techniques your child must master. Some socially anxious children are afraid of failure, so they never try at all. However, as your child learns new routines and drills, his/her confidence goes up. This confidence will spread to other areas of your kid’s life, and he/she will have an easier time confronting challenges in school and at home.

2) Boosts self-esteem

One of the most important lessons a child learns training martial arts is a positive sense of self. By setting goals in the class and accomplishing each one of them, children gain a sense of achievement that boosts their self-esteem. It helps them to realize that they can work hard and improve in other areas of their life as well.

3) Bully-proofs your child

One of the most frustrating things about a shy child is that they have a hard time speaking up for themselves. This makes them a prime target for bullies. Furthermore, as they grow older, they may have a harder time saying no. Shy and socially anxious children are more likely to give in to peer pressure and make poor decisions. Martial arts gives your child the skills to defend himself physically if he ever needs to do so. Your child also gets the confidence to speak up and defend himself mentally and emotionally.

4) Social skills and friendship

If you want to improve your child’s social skills, enroll him/her in a martial arts class that’s specifically designed for kids. Here, he/she can gradually interact with other children. Martial arts gyms foster a non-threatening family environment that your child can easily become a part of. The structured atmosphere encourages a shy child to open up and make friends. Martial arts also teaches your child the basics of compassion, empathy, and conflict resolution, which can make him/her more confident when interacting with others and making friends.

5) Mental toughness

Sometimes, children who are physically small are more timid and shy because they feel they cannot stand up for themselves. Martial arts teaches kids that size is not the most important factor in any confrontation. A person who is small but disciplined and hardworking can defeat a bigger person in a confrontation. The child learns that they can overcome any challenges if they are strategic and hardworking, and if they regularly practice their techniques. This skill gives a shy child the mental toughness to conquer other hurdles in their life.

6) Improves problem-solving skills

Shy kids usually have a hard time working under pressure. In fact, whenever they are put on the spot, many of them shut down. They may even lose their sense of personal motivation. However, when kids are enrolled in a martial arts class, they are taught how to react quickly to situations and how to think on their feet.

When sparring with an opponent, there is very little time to deliberate or make slow responses. With time, your child will learn to work under pressure and they will no longer freeze when faced with time constraints.

7) Fosters Leadership skills

As your child moves from one level to the next one, they will be tasked with teaching new kids the basics of martial arts. The purpose of these lessons is to teach a child to be patient and a good listener. Your child will also learn leadership skills that will encourage him/her to open up and become more responsible. This skill will translate to other areas of his/her life, as he/she learns to overcome shyness and take initiative in situations that require him/her to show leadership.

8) Respect

Respect is one of the major lessons a child learns in martial arts. Your child will be taught to respect his teachers because they have more skill and experience. He will also be taught to respect his peers. Above all, your child will learn to respect himself/herself. Martial arts encourages children to appreciate the worth of others and to see the true value of other people. Therefore, your child’s teachers and fellow students will appreciate him/her and see his/her true value.

All children experience shyness at some point in their life. However, for some children, shyness can be debilitating. It can rob them of the opportunity to have a proper childhood and leave them feeling like outcasts – which can lead to even more serious mental health issues.

If your child has a hard time participating in social activities, martial arts can help him/her get out of his/her comfort zone. With lots of practice and plenty of encouragement from you and his/her instructors, your shy child will become more open to making new friends and trying new things.

Bring your child for a complimentary introductory trial class to learn more about martial arts.

-By Kitt Canaria