Dopamine - The Key to Increased Motivation and Focus in Children and Teens | Atlanta Taekwondo
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Allison Lee reviewed Atlanta Taekwondo
5
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My two year old son and I completed the first session of the miniskillz and he loved it! He looked forward to being a "ninja" every week and had the best time! Every week the class focused on different age appropriate skills (listening, sharing etc.). The teacher, Amanda, is so great! We are looking forward to the next session!

KJ Webb reviewed Atlanta Taekwondo
5
via Facebook

I feel like I have my own personal trainer with the instructors! They are eager to answer questions and to show proper form to keep you from injury.
The Members or WARRIORS are helpful with motivation and a little banter in the class makes it enjoyable!
I wanted something that I could enjoy and get a great workout for someone my age. I needed modifications because of chronic conditions of the neck, back, knee and shoulder issues.
When I walk out of class drenched with sweat and I can barely walk up my stairs because my legs feel like jelly, I know that I have left everything on the mat and I am relaxed!

Alina Morar reviewed Atlanta Taekwondo
5
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This Martial Arts Center is the BEST!!! They do so great work, caring, helping, teaching kids. Super professional, super knowledgeable, big hearts and sunny faces :-)! Experts in kids psychology - the most hard and responsible work, I think. My daughter was very scarred and blocked after daycare and dance studio. My mother's heart was in trouble... We found this WONDERFUL school and came here with big hope and .. rainbow entered in our life :-). Atlanta Martial Arts Center helped my baby and learned her to trust, to feel free and safe. They teach to be stronger and smarter. And we parents are very happy knowing that our baby is happy and get so much important things in this school and a lot of fun too :-)). I thank you, Atlanta Skills 4 Kids Martial Art Center, with my mother's heart for your GREAT work and wish you all the best!

Tarya Ellis Johnson reviewed Atlanta Taekwondo
5
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My entire family loves Atlanta Taekwondo & Skillz!!! The entire staff is super friendly, knowledgeable, and skilled! My 6 year old son has grown so much in the art of Taekwondo and shown so much maturity after starting classes with them. I highly recommend all Parents interested in their child learning Taekwondo to check Atlanta Taekwondo & Skillz out!

Jill Mashburn reviewed Atlanta Taekwondo
5
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I'm so glad I did the 21 Day Primal Challenge. I accomplished the most all encompassing challenge of my life. I thought it would be life changing, and it was, but not just for me, for my whole family. I and up earlier then I used to get up, and feel like I have a purpose and a reason for getting up. The food was a challenge, even though I had cut out bread about 10 months ago, and was cutting out artificial sweeteners, I never tried to cut out all refined sugar and carbs. There is sugar in everything!!! Why?

I was doing a lot of challenges, arm challenge, plank challenge, but I had to slow down on them to focus on the Primal Challenge. It was hard to find food to eat at a few different times during the last 21 days. I fixed meals for my family and chose not to eat them, so what could I eat??!! Salad was my friend, you can put anything on a salad. I say I chose not to eat what was not on the challenge, because I am not allergic to it, but I wanted to stick by my commitment. I really enjoyed the results, after the sugar cloud cleared and I felt so much more focused. The mental changes have been such a plus. I have conscientiously noted things and people in my life for which to be grateful. I enjoy my nightly tea and downtime. I'm still working on "me" and I feel like I didn't get it all worked out. I have lost 8 pounds, and inches from top to bottom, thank goodness! I will continue to maintain so many of these changes for life. I know I will continue growing in journey. My success is on so many levels that's its hard to put them all down in words, but a few things:

Saying "I won't eat that" because I chose not to is empowering.

Learning what I can eat, outside of processed food, is rewarding.

Making an impact in my husband's and son's life by demonstrating a new commitment to improvement is powerful.

I do not want to lose this feeling of purpose and strength, I am so proud of my journey and so much more certain of myself. My choices are mine, and I have to be committed to myself. Now, off to do squats and pushups.

Gloria Palmer reviewed Atlanta Taekwondo
5
via Facebook

The 21-day challenge came along right when I was attempting to hit the reset button in a few areas of my life. I liked that it wasn’t just an eating plan, it was more comprehensive and included setting positive habits, especially at the very beginning and very end of the day. These are the times of day I am typically the least disciplined. Combine this with the group support and coaching, it has really helped me complete the program. I didn’t weigh or measure myself, but I can definitely see that my abdomen has gotten flatter, my jeans fit better, I can see more muscle in my arms, and I am steadily getting stronger. The daily 25 push-ups (“girl” push-ups for me) has steadily improved from barely being able to complete 5 sets of 5 all the way to being able to do a set of 20 then a set of 5. On the food front, at the beginning I think I went through some kind of withdrawal and I was really foggy for a few days, then I felt like I was constantly jumpy & hungry (eating a lot of fruit helped this), and then things stabilized and now I feel much more satisfied and solid. Now when I’m hungry, I’m able to experience hunger without it always being accompanied by a mood swing or a craving (think HANGRY!). Another participant mentioned a “re-wiring of the brain”, and I can relate, essentially the program has put a halt to some “event in life = I need to eat/drink this to cope” cycles and I feel more in control. Overall this has been a very positive, empowering experience for me.

Ana Marcos reviewed Atlanta Taekwondo
5
via Facebook

My photos don't accurately reflect how awesome I feel inside, but these measurements sure do!!! My clothes definitely fit different.

Highlights of what this challenge helped me do:

* Eliminate processed food, especially sugar and carbs (big win for me!)

* Make time in my day to do the things that are important for me - reflect, affirm, meditate and move (workout).

Overall, I eat healthier, sleep more, and have more energy to be a homeschool mom, an afterschool educator and massage therapist!

Jill Kulcsar Mashburn reviewed Atlanta Taekwondo
5
via Facebook

It's a great work out and it's fun. Meeting new people, but keeping friends in the mix. It's a challenge and, for me, I'm learning confidence, self-defense, and building strength.

Megan Mayer reviewed Atlanta Taekwondo
5
via Facebook

Our family and our five yr old son LOVE Mr John and his staff. We wouldn't look anywhere else. Mr John is so good at communicating with the parents so they know the value of everything they're learning.

Dionna Flow Wrinkle reviewed Atlanta Taekwondo
5
via Facebook

My kids have been a part of this program for 2 years. We partner with them to help reinforce discipline. We trust them to push the kids enough to test them while also building them up. The kids enjoy the classes and respect the instructors, as well as look forward to seeing their friends in class each week. I have recently joined the skillz fit class myself. It is challenging! All in all, I world reccomend both the kid's classes as well as the classes for adults. They will push you to be better.

Tina Mann Sligar reviewed Atlanta Taekwondo
5
via Facebook

My son loves the after school program and he's learning so much. He enjoys showing off his new skills and is building confidence in himself. This program is great if you have a kid who needs to burn off extra energy. I used to have a lot of trouble getting my son to go to sleep at bedtime, but on the days he has class, he is ready at that time!

Kedra Bullen Belyeu reviewed Atlanta Taekwondo
5
via Facebook

Our 6 year old daughter started here last summer and she loves it! At the time, I was looking for a program that would help her protect herself (if need be) as an incoming Kindergartner. My husband and I have been very pleased with her progress so far and I can truly say that the program has exceeded our expectations! Our daughter has taken ballet and plays soccer, but she would complain that her once-a-week classes/practices were too long. However, not once has she ever complained about her Taekwondo classes...and she goes three times per week! I attribute her ongoing enthusiasm to Mr. Salama and his team's special ability to keep the kids focused while teaching in a fun and engaging way. All of the instructors encourage each of their students to do their personal best and they take pride in promoting a positive atmosphere for kids (and adults) of all ages!

Marla Jackson reviewed Atlanta Taekwondo
5
via Facebook

I love this school and the instructors. Mr. Salami and Mr. Dayne are dedicated to teaching the kids not just martial arts but good behavior as well. I currently have 2 sons who are very active in class and look forward to coming. They are easy to talk to and show a genuine interest in every child being there very best!!!

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Dopamine – The Key to Increased Motivation and Focus in Children and Teens

Have you ever wondered why children and teens seem to be so addicted to their smart phones and other devices? Parents are frustrated with their children’s lack of attention and motivation but what do their devices have to do with this? The answer is found in science!

 

Often referred to as the “motivator molecule,” dopamine is a “feel good” chemical that is released in the brain which helps us focus and feel motivated. When dopamine levels are low, it can result in symptoms such as difficulty focusing, decreased motivation, trouble problem-solving, and social anxiety. Therefore, many ADHD medications target dopamine levels.

 

When children and teens have low dopamine levels, we often find that they spend more time on video games and smartphone apps, and some tend to be thrill seekers. These things give a boost of dopamine, which makes them feel good and then leads to them seeking out more of the same thing. This constant boost of dopamine keeps them coming back for more.

 

The reason is because dopamine is part of the reward pathway of the brain. When something is interesting or exciting, a surge of dopamine rushes to the brain. Much like the excitement we feel when we are preparing for a trip or waiting for dessert, the anticipation of receiving a reward tells the brain to release dopamine. This release tells our brain that this event is worth getting more of. And so, the cycle begins.

 

The great thing about dopamine is that it can help modify behavior in a positive way, when done correctly. Because of the pleasure that dopamine makes us feel, we are more motivated to learn and, therefore, we retain information better. This is because the dopamine creates new neurological pathways in the brain. When we find activities that are pleasurable, we learn more from them and keep doing them.

 

Now that we understand the neuroscience surrounding dopamine, how can we, as parents, teachers, coaches, and anyone who works with children, use this information? We must create a learning environment that is exciting and produces the “anticipation of accomplishment.”

 

The SKILLZ program does this by teaching with the brain in mind and utilizing game-based learning. Along with this, two of the Teaching SKILLZ that are used in class are specifically designed to increase the students’ dopamine levels.

 

  • Trickery: The use of “trickery” as a teaching skill in class helps the students focus, which ultimately leads to better listening skills. For example, when playing a game and the students are waiting for the instructor to say “go,” the instructor can trick the students by saying “goose” or “go cart” instead. This excites the students but also motivates them to listen better and, therefore, be more focused.

 

  • Intrinsic Motivation: The use of “intrinsic motivation” in class helps the students become more motivated, which leads to more confidence. For example, to get students more motivated from within, the instructor can say “You only have to do 5 push ups but if you want to be a Black Belt do 10 push ups, if you want to be a master do 5 push ups, but if you want to make me and your parents proud and show you are the best student, do 20 push ups.”

 

By utilizing these techniques, students get a rush of dopamine because they anticipate the events in class, stay focused, listen better, and are motivated to do their best. They feel good in class and they come back wanting more!

 

To learn more about our child development program that utilizes dynamic martial arts and cutting-edge brain training as the vehicle for maximum growth or to get your child started click the button below.

 

 

             Atlanta SKILLZ

302 Satellite Blvd. NE

Suwanee, GA 30024

770-861-5425

www.martialartssuwanee.com

 

 

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.