Blog Archives - Black Belt Plus Martial Arts Centre

Category Archives for Blog

How to Do A Push Kick – Self Defence Classes To Help You Defend Yourself Against Bullies

Self Defence Classes Gold Coast

At Black Belt Plus Martial Arts Centre, we take bullying very seriously. Chief Instructor Jonathan Hourigan has over 25 years of experience in martial arts has dedicated his career to building innovative programs centred around anti-bullying, practical self-defence and personal development.  Our self defence classes in the Gold Coast will provide you with a series of skills, confidence and courage to stand up for yourself and help others.

In this blog,  we show you a snippet of our bullying workshop where Chief Instructor Jonathan will demonstrate how to do an effective ‘push kick’ technique as a strong defensive option you are confronted by bullying.


JONATHON: So mums and dads, boys and girls, in our martial arts school, Black Belt Plus, the curriculum we use here is the one that I’ve evolved over 25 years of teaching.

So my background is formally Taekwondo, but I really saw the need to develop the curriculum to suit what children need, not just a blanket curriculum that was taught to Korean soldiers.

The techniques that children need are completely different to battle or even what adults need in an assault situation.

So the next technique we use, that shows strength and again doesn’t hurt is … Ben’s fallen asleep, top nap Ben. Okay, now this one’s called a Push Kick. It looks like a Front Kick, but what you do, is you’re going to do it to the front of the body. Okay, you’re going to lift your leg up, touch, and push away like that and then you say, “Back off”. Okay? So again they think, “Awgh, truly that was strong, awgh I don’t want to mess with you, you must be a Karate expert”. Then they go hassling somebody else, so put your leg up, “Back off”. Okay, lets try that, and go. Nice.

martial arts in gold coast

Here are 3 Ways to Beat the Bully On The Gold Coast

bully prevention gold coast


TEACHER: The three things I want you to leave with, I’m going to give you the notes so you can take home to … you can role play this with your mom and dad, and get better at it, but the three ways to beat the bully, we’ve worked on three things, didn’t we? So one was our spirit. Can everybody say spirit sir?

CLASS: Spirit sir.

TEACHER: And spirit was about, to believe in yourself, and to say to yourself, “No one has the right to take my spirit away.” Can you say that again?

CLASS:  No one has the right to take my spirit away.

TEACHER: So these are really powerful words, aren’t they? Okay. The next thing was mind. So everyone say mind sir.

CLASS: Mind sir.

TEACHER: So to educate yourself, and know how to outsmart the bully, because knowledge is power, okay? And then the last one was body. So everyone say body sir.

CLASS: Body sir.

TEACHER: And that was about becoming strong with our body, becoming an excellent martial artist, so that you have the confidence that in your own self-defence capabilities so that you can walk around the school without fear. So that all gets back to the one thing, let’s all say this, your dreams … or say, my dreams.

CLASS: My dreams.

TEACHER: And goals.

CLASS: And goals.

TEACHER: Are too important.

CLASS: Are too important.

TEACHER: For anyone to stop me.

CLASS: For anyone to stop me.

TEACHER: Okay, great. Let’s have a big clap everybody. We’ve got some really cool wristbands, so Dave’s going to walk around and give you a wristband. CJ is going to hand out a copy of the notes. Now with the notes, you only mostly need one per family, so if there are three of you, just one person put their hand up.


7 Weapons for Improving Kids Grades

improving kids grades

7 Weapons for Improving Kids Grades

Kids are so engrossed with gadgets and online games that it has become even more of a challenge to get them to focus on school work!

As soon as they step out of school, they're onto mobile phones and start tapping away. martial arts gold coast

We have all heard of the negative effects of technology on young minds. They have trouble paying attention and learning new things, they tend to be lazy and all that.

It isn’t surprising to get average scores on their tests or report cards. The thing is, they can’t really be blamed. If we had those during our time, we would probably be just as obsessed.

What we can do, however, is help them achieve better grades by establishing a few guidelines that can help them do better in school.

1. Work as a Team.

Take the time to talk with your child’s teacher/s in identifying problem areas. They may have several observations during class that can help you plan out how best to help your child.

Is your child falling asleep in class? Does your child seem to have trouble seeing what is written in the blackboard or getting along with some classmates?

These may seem like little or unrelated issues but they actually play a big part in learning as well.

Schedule an appointment to discuss these things and take advantage by asking for advice as well as additional materials that may help your child do better. 

2. Know what works best for them.

We all have different personalities, therefore we all have different learning styles as well. Observe how your child studies, suggest alternatives and note what actually works well for him or her.

Some children like using flashcards to help them learn a lesson, others understand concepts better when shown an infographic.

Some need total peace and quiet while there are actually some who need a bit of background noise. Figure out their learning style and use it to their advantage.

3. Set a schedule and stick to it.

Make a schedule for them to follow after school. Maybe your child will study better after a shower or snack. Maybe he or she will need a quick nap first? kids martial arts gold coast

Whatever it is, make sure that enough time is set for studying each subject and that all homework or projects get completed.

Sometimes, low grades are caused by missing homework or late projects because children do not really realise the weight these have on their final grades and that can certainly be frustrating.

Gadgets or television will have to wait until the weekend, and only after all school work and chores are finished.

4. Get them organised.

This one may actually be the only one you need to solve the problem. Give your child simple organisational tips that will help them focus on their priorities and help them stick to their study schedule.

Have them write down all their homework and deadlines in one notebook or a planner so that they can keep track easily.

Have their books and other study materials on one bookshelf beside their desk for easy access. kids karate gold coast

Colour code their subjects and the corresponding books and notebooks for easy reference. Have a whiteboard or cork board by their desk so they can place reminders or important notes there.

These will surely help them in working their way to better grades.

5. Encourage them.

If your child is not doing well in school, it won’t help if you compare them with those who are, or make them feel bad about it.

Instead, boost their self-esteem by constantly reminding them that they are smart enough and that they can definitely do better and remind them that you are always there to help.

Let them know that they already have it in them to do better, they just need to know their priorities, focus and apply more effort.

6. Set Achievable Goals.

You should not expect a quick turnaround. Talk to your child about setting goals that will show continued progress during a reasonable amount of time.

It can mean simple achievements such as not forgetting homework, completing all projects on time, or getting at least 10 points higher on their next test.

Once they are able to achieve that, they will have more confidence to aim higher next time. Kids karate training gold coast

7. Give them due credit.

There is no doubt that it will require a lot of work to improve your child’s performance in school, and most of it will come from them.

So aside from letting them know how well they have been doing and how you have noticed that they are working extra hard, consider giving them a reward. martial arts for kids gold coast

It doesn't have to be anything expensive or big, and might be as simple as letting them skip a certain chore will do the trick.

It will make them feel that all their hard work is appreciated and recognised, and it will certainly motivate them to keep up the good work.

Did you realise that kids also improve their school grades by training in the Little Ninjas program here at Black Belt Plus in Burleigh Heads? Check out our latest web special to check it out.

How Martial Arts Will Prepare Your Child For School Success This Year

School success with BlackBelt Plus martial arts program for kids.

How Martial Arts Will Prepare Your Child For School Success This Year

Our team at Black Belt Plus know that children come home from school with grades that you need to worry about, and it can be difficult to address.

Bad grades can be due to various reasons and dealing with it is an important and tricky matter. Some children may have a hard time focusing in class, others are just lazy, while some just really have trouble learning. The struggle is real!

One thing is for sure, parents need to work with their children in order to improve this. We cannot just tell the children to study harder without giving them the adequate help they need.

The first step could be to schedule a meeting with their teacher/s and discuss the problem and the different ways you can help your child do better in school.
One proven way that can help improve their performance in school is by getting them into a great martial arts program such as the Little Ninjas or children's martial arts programs at Black Belt Plus in Burleigh. 

Many people don't know that the skills and training children get from martial arts can apply to school work as well. Most of them actually show improved study habits and overall performance within a few months. And here's why: 

Positive Role Models

As they go through their martial arts training, children will always be surrounded by role models who constantly show and teach them many different positive values aside from the standard martial arts skills training.

These are necessary as they go hand in hand to be able to successfully learn proper martial arts. The teachers empower children to be their best and give them the necessary support and encouragement every time.

The boost in their self-esteem and encouragement they get regularly from their martial arts teacher will subconsciously carry on into their school work.

Physical Fitness

It's pretty hard to do anything well if you're not in tip top shape. You don’t feel confident and hardly have the energy needed to accomplish tasks. 

Once children start training in martial arts, they're constantly reminded to eat healthy, keep fit and exercise regularly even outside the dojo.

Once they are able to feel healthier and better about themselves, they will also start performing better in school and their grades will no doubt improve.

A High Energy, Exciting Environment

Our tech savvy children are accustomed to playing with gadgets and anything on-line, which often means they lack regular personal interaction with others.

Being part of a high energy and exciting environment found in their martial arts classes develops social skills and is a great place to make healthy new friendships. 

Regular Incentives for Effort and Achievement

In the same breath, the rewards system given in martial arts where students earn a new coloured belt every 3 months is similar to that in school.

When they get a certain grade, the children receive certificates or medals at the end of each grading period. They also receive feedback and recognition on a regular basis from their instructors.

As parents we should also recognise our children’s efforts and achievements, not just in school or in the dojo, but also at home when they do their chores or when they simply show good behaviour.

Consider giving them rewards at home as well to motivate them to do better, and it doesn't have to be anything material or expensive.

Also, hearing words of affirmation, such as "You did a great job!", "You make me smile", "Thanks for being such a hard worker", or "Wow! You’re fast!" from their parents or teachers can help boost their self-esteem and encourage them to do even better next time.

A Proven System of Skill Development

The discipline required from martial arts students will carry on outside the dojo. It will be instilled in them so deeply that the children will be able to apply this in everything they do.

They will understand the importance of setting and following a schedule for their homework and other activities.

They will learn to focus and exert their best in everything they do. They will be taught to complete each task properly and never half heartedly.

They will see that hard work is necessary to achieve great things and that excuses will not get them anywhere.

Realistic goal setting also comes into play here, they will have to do their best if they want to get certain results.

By now, you can already tell that martial arts can help children in so many ways.

It prepares children to face the different challenges that they will inevitably go through in life. 

They will exhibit the virtues and social skills they develop through regular training long after they graduate and they will thank you for it! 

If our team at Black Belt Plus in Burleigh can be one of your partners in raising your children to be strong, smart, healthy and well-rounded individuals - call us today 55220755.

4 Foolproof Ways to Improve Your Child’s Social Skills!

improve your child's social skills

4 Foolproof Ways to Improve Your Child’s Social Skills

​Parents often worry about how their children will do when around other people or in life, in general.

Developing social skills is just as important as developing cognitive or physical skills and much like the other two, it also needs a lot of time and practice.

Children need to learn the basic social skills and interact well with others. Start with the easy ones like greeting people with “Hello,” introducing themselves and asking for the other person’s name, answering in full sentences, using eye contact and letting a person finish what they say before speaking. 

Apart from that, encourage your children to be sociable and prepare them well to be able to adjust to different social situations. This can be developed through practice and by setting good examples. Kids karate training gold coast

Managing Social Interaction

While children benefit from the interactions during playdates and pre/school, it is not enough.

If they are limited to groups within their own age range, their emotions and reactions will be limited to whining, crying, playing and the like.

They should also be regularly exposed to interaction with teenagers and adults as these will show them a wider range of concepts and values. They will be able to observe concepts like patience, courtesy, empathy, respect, compassion, and self-control. 

With proper guidance from their parents, they will be able to build well-rounded social skills that will help them through life.


By now, you have probably noticed that children are like sponges, they tend to absorb every single thing they see and hear. Be involved in your children’s lives, be present as much as you can.

It is the responsibility of every parent to guide their children so that they know which ones they should emulate and which ones they should not copy with a clear explanation as to why. 

Keep in mind that you should always look at things from their point of view and draw your explanation from there so that they are able to understand it clearly. Try not to reprimand them for their wrong actions, rather use it as a teaching point so that they do not make the same mistake twice.

When you do so, you also teach them about being compassionate. They learn that if you express yourselves through words rather than just actions, you are better understood.

Risks of Low Social Interaction

martial arts gold coast
Strike a healthy balance between peer and adult interaction. This ensures  that children are exposed to a wide variety of social situations and develop different social perspectives. When they see the difference between the way kids and adults react to certain situations and when things are carefully explained to them, they will know how to handle the same situation next time. 

Sports activities offer a great deal of benefits for children. Aside from the physical skills, they learn various social skills as well.

All these skills go hand in hand with each other to make well-rounded, well-equipped, emotionally healthy children. These kids are the ones who will not have trouble protecting themselves or their friends against peer pressure and similar situations.

They will do well in life for they will be able to get up if and when they stumble.

Development through Martial Arts

A great way to make sure that children are well equipped and developed in social skills is through martial arts.

Of course it teaches self-defence and sportsmanship but it does not encourage fighting for the wrong reasons. It exposes children to regular interaction with people their own age and they are trained by older mentors and get to see older kids training as well.

It is also one of those sports that teach children focus, self-control, discipline, respect and courtesy among other necessary life skills. Martial arts also builds their self-esteem and self-confidence.

Children who are into martial arts or other sports tend to have higher goals and work harder compared to those who are not, this can be attributed to the level ranking used to classify students. They push themselves to do better because they know they can. kids martial arts gold coast
Martial arts is a really good sport or extra curricular activity for children as it develops the children physically, mentally, emotionally and socially. Plus, the benefits go way beyond the mat or the gym, it translates into the children’s school work as well.

Consider it when looking for an after school or weekend activity for your children. You will see the positive changes in them in no time. 

We have this life-changing program that will improve your child’s social skills! It’s fun. It’s enriching. Click below to learn more!

How to Nurture Your Child’s Self-Esteem

nurture your child's self-esteem

How to Nurture Your Child’s Self-Esteem

Self-esteem is defined as confidence in one’s own abilities. You can tell the importance of this, especially in young children, as it sets the tone of their personality.​​​​

It will somehow determine how successful a child will be when he or she grows up. If children do not believe in themselves, they will constantly be doubting their every move, and that will obviously hinder their journey towards success. On the other hand, if they have the right amount of self-esteem, they will be able to achieve their goals easily and work their way to a successful life without much trouble. Be careful though, as too much self-esteem in anybody is never good.

Here are some tips on how to ensure the proper development of self-esteem in your children: martial arts gold coast self-esteem

Teach positive self-statements. Teach children how to focus on the positive instead of dwelling on the negative. When you hear or feel that they are struggling because they think that they are not good enough for some reason, empathise then quickly help them reassess the situation by pointing out something positive. Let them know that there is always something good in even the worst moments.

Be generous with praise. Acknowledge all their efforts, be it big or small. The important thing is that they are trying. Let them know you appreciate their many talents and are grateful whenever they exhibit good manners, do their chores on their own or extend a helping hand. Whenever there is a chance to praise children, go for it. Praises like “That was very nice of you to let the little girl go before you on the slide” or “Your kicks are getting so much better, all that practice is surely paying off” may sound simple, but they will go a long way.

Avoid criticism that takes the form of ridicule or shame. This is challenging to overcome because it is easier to find fault than to praise, as we all know too well. Remember the old saying, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but names will never hurt me”? You will agree that there are no truer words than that, so be very careful. Make sure that any criticism from you must be constructive and always follow it up with something positive. kids martial arts gold coast

Show your child that you can laugh at yourself. Life is hard, and while we have to teach children how to be tough, we must also make it a point to teach them that sometimes it’s okay to fall down or stumble. It’s okay to laugh at their mistakes and then shrug it off after they have learned from it, there is no need to be serious all the time. “Oh, how silly of me! How could I have forgotten that?” kids karate gold coast

Show your child that you can laugh at yourself. Life is hard, and while we have to teach children how to be tough, we must also make it a point to teach them that sometimes it’s okay to fall down or stumble. It’s okay to laugh at their mistakes and then shrug it off after they have learned from it, there is no need to be serious all the time. “Oh, how silly of me! How could I have forgotten that?” martial arts for kids gold coast

Teach children about decision making and to recognise when they have made good decisions. They will almost always ask for your help, and if you do so all the time, they will become dependent on you. Learn how to help them by teaching them how to handle problems by assessing the situation and thinking of different ways that can solve their problems. What will each of the solutions do? Which is the best one? Once they do so, they will be able to solve problems on their own and feel very good about themselves. “Great job! I knew you would be able to figure it out on your own! I am so proud of you!”

Do not compare your child with others. One of the biggest mistakes parents do, unconsciously, is comparing their children to their friends’ or with each other. It is a guaranteed no fail way to kill one’s self-esteem, especially in children. This makes them believe that they are no good and that they will never be able to meet your expectations. This may also result into the child shying away from any situation that might put him or her against others. Even worse, the child might start distancing himself or herself from you as well. Kids karate training gold coast

Help your child strive for improvement instead of perfection. Help them to set reasonable expectations for their performances. Know what they are capable of and set appropriate expectations. Remind them that what is important is that they try their best and they do better than the last test or the last competition, a perfect score or winning will just be a nice bonus.

Provide unconditional support and love. If your children did not do well in an exam or competition, do not make them feel that they disappointed you. Appreciate their efforts and encourage them to study or practice more so that they can do better next time. Let them know that no matter what, they are loved. Phrases like “That was a great effort, thank you for trying your best!” or “I know that you studied hard for this test, how can I help you do better next time?” can provide encouragement and lift their spirits.

Do everything you can to ensure your children believe in themselves! Their future success and happiness in life depends on this quality almost more than anything.

If we can help you to nurture your child’s self esteem, check out our kids martial arts programs here: self-esteem

How to Develop Self-Discipline in Your Children LIKE A PRO!

How to Develop Self-Discipline in Your Children LIKE A PRO!

Many of us struggle to teach our children self-discipline because, well, we’re parents! We can tend to dote on, and give in to, our children’s whims readily not knowing how much this will actually affect their upbringing.

In this article, we’ve rounded up the best tips from both parents and professionals on how to successfully develop self-discipline in young children…

1. Start early.

Start early. It’s always easiest to teach young minds because they are very impressionable. They catch on easily, their minds are like blank canvasses. Start with simple things like coming as soon as they are called and regularly reinforcing the use of “Please,” “Thank you,” “Excuse Me.” Simple chores like packing away their toys after playtime, fixing their beds in the morning and keeping their rooms neat at all times.
kids martial arts gold coast

2. Have routines.

Repetition and routine structures every child’s daily life. It may seem boring for adults, but children depend on it. It gives them a feeling of security knowing what is supposed to happen next. Set a daily schedule for them from the time they wake up until the time they need to go down for the night again. The time may be flexible, but the pattern should definitely be there. Constantly remind them of things like wash your hands before and after eating; and eat veggies before sweets; and always explain why, so they understand why it is a good thing to do rather than just because Mum said so. Try to make it as fun as possible, and in time these will become second nature to karate gold coast

3. Take corrections positively.

Most children don’t respond to corrections well. They react in either a passive (bad attitude) or aggressive (anger) manner. This is the perfect time to teach them about self-discipline. Things will not always go their way, or sometimes they will make mistakes, and they should learn how to deal with it. Teach children how to control their feelings and impulses. Let them know that those things really happen once in awhile and instead of getting upset, they should learn from it.

martial arts for kids gold coast

4. Encourage disciplined activities.

Find other ways to instill discipline that your children will find fun and, if possible, allow them to be with friends. Activities like martial arts, swimming or other sports, music or acting lessons all help develop self-discipline in children and boosts their confidence as well. It gives them a sense of accomplishment when they move on to the next level.

If they are old enough, small jobs like mowing the neighbour’s lawn or pet sitting are also great activities that will encourage discipline.Kids karate training gold coast

5. Provide a process.

Teachers have observed that children do better when they are given ‘how to’ steps in a process. Like how to subtract by borrowing, how to draw a house, how to make a sandwich, etc. It makes complicated tasks more manageable for young minds. They know that by following each step carefully, there is a small chance of failing.

martial arts gold coast
This can be applied at home with chores like fixing their bed, cleaning their room, or setting the table.  martial arts gold coast

6. Have rules.

Set clear ground rules at home and make it a point to stick to the discussed consequences when they are broken. This teaches children what to expect and will help them make the right decisions. They have to play nicely and be fair with each other at all times, share everything, use kind words and ignore mean ones, clean up after yourself. Be strict about screen or gadget time, when they can have it and for how long. Privileges may increase or decrease depending on their grades.

7. Recognise that learning self-discipline is difficult.

Tell the children that you know how difficult it can be to learn self-discipline. Then tell them that you also know how strong and smart they are that is why they will be able to accomplish this just by trying hard enough.

8. Have rewards and consequences.

It is not easy, so be prepared to give words of encouragement when needed, rewards or words of praise when earned (no matter how
small) and consequences when called for.

When you see that they have been trying but need just a little push, give it. Encourage them with words that will make them feel good about themselves without being embarrassed. “Good job asking for my help, I didn’t realise how difficult that was.”

Let them know when they are doing a good job completing their chores, especially when they do it without being reminded. Phrases like “Thanks for cleaning your room this morning before I even asked you to” or “I am so proud you ate all your vegetables during dinner” even “You did an awesome job setting the table tonight” can go a long way and encourage them to do it more often.

You may choose to give small rewards as well. These do not have to be something material but can be a privilege like longer screen time or later bedtime during weekends. It can be a great motivation tool as well for younger children. A pre-schooler who is having difficulty at drop off can be rewarded with a cute sticker if he or she can go off to class without any drama.

There will be times when consequences will have to be given, make sure that it is an obvious logical consequence. For example, if the child has trouble waking up early for school then bedtime has to be moved to an earlier time. If the child has not been playing fairly, then he or she will have to sit out the next match.

Adults need to make it clear that the consequences are a result of their actions. Actions that they chose to do. This way, they will learn to think well before they act next time. They will learn how to make better decisions for themselves by evaluating possible consequences.

9. Be a role model.

For children, example really sets the tone. They learn from what they see us do, so make sure to show them that you know how to prioritise house chores over television or social media. When you are at home, spend quality time with your spouse and children without being interrupted by work. When you are out driving, let them know how you handle being angered by a bad driver.

Help your children early on by instilling self-discipline in them as this will serve them well as they grow up. Self-discipline will help them achieve great things in school, work, and whatever they want to pursue.

8 Quick Ways to Get Your Child Focused & Listening to You

8 Quick Ways to Get Your Child Focused & Listening to You

Proper focus and listening are two skills that we all need to master early in our lives. They go hand in hand as we need to completely focus to be able to listen to what is actually being said.

These skills are really what set the foundation to succeed in the many different challenges we will have to go through in our lifetime. It is especially important that we make sure our kids learn these as the rapid advancement of technology is bringing more and more distractions to the younger generation.

Kids are spending so much time engrossed in technology!  With games easily accessible on phones and tablets, it all starts from a very young age with technology used as a "babysitter". Older kids are great at multi-tasking - messaging, checking their social media on their phone while watching TV or listening to music. They might also be eating or doing their homework at the same time. Try to grab their attention and you will end up being ignored, and we know that is FRUSTRATING.

By teaching our kids how to effectively focus and listen I am sure that they will be able to put their energy where it actually needs to be, and they will excel in anything they wish to pursue.

As with everything they learn, I know that this needs to start at home.

Here are some tips I have learned to help my kids:

1. Sit them down and talk to them about what they must prioritise.

kids martial arts gold coast

Let them know what they must complete first and what will happen if it is not accomplished as scheduled. Have them write down their goals for the future and explain why they need to start working on their dreams early on. Most children don’t like being told what to do, so by explaining it in detail they will understand why they need to do it and that there will be consequences they might regret should they choose to do otherwise.

2. Listening to parents is something that a lot of children struggle with.

kids karate gold coast

If they do struggle with this, imagine how much harder it will be for them to listen to other people. It is a bit more tricky than it sounds. To be able to really hear what another person is saying, one must have proper posture, be it standing up or sitting down. Remember what your parents or drill sergeants used to say? Back straight, chest out, chin up! Apparently, this affects the way we retain information so remind your children to be aware of their posture. If need be, don’t say what you need to say unless they are in the right position.

3. Stress that maintaining eye contact is also necessary to focus on what is being said.

martial arts for kids gold coast

Impose this strictly, besides, it’s rude when you don’t look at the person talking.

4. Have them repeat what was said

Kids karate training gold coast

...if necessary, to confirm that they understood what was just conveyed. Ask them questions, or ask if they have questions, to check if they were really paying attention.

5. Aside from these internal distractions, kids also have external distractions to deal with.

martial arts gold coast

Let them know the difference between the two, give examples, so they will know how to deal with each one properly on their own.

6. Set strict rules on limiting gadget or screen times.

There will be a strong objection, obviously, but it is imperative that parents stand their ground. Allow very little room for negotiation, so they know that you mean business. Remind them that they need to finish homework and chores first and that they can have more time during weekends. Be an example, and avoid using your gadgets unless necessary as soon as you get home.

7. Set a schedule and guidelines for each of their activities, be it school work, house chores, meal or sleeping times.

For most children, having a set routine help keep them focused. They will get used to it in no time and will no longer need to be reminded that homework comes before play. Ensure that their study area is free from distractions, is conducive to studying and that they have all the resources they need. In no time, they will show great improvement in school.

8. Decide with your spouse whether or not you will reward good behaviour or grades.

Some people see it as a bribe while some argue it works well as a motivator. It does not have to be a material thing. It can be something they want to do or a place they want to visit. Always let them know when they are doing a good job or showing signs of improvement. Children should hear positive reinforcement and verbal praise more often than words of disappointment, negativity or punishment.

I have realised that the best way for me to teach the importance of focus and listening to my children is to let other people they interact with on a regular basis to work with me. Consistency is key. Over the years, I have asked the babysitter, their grandparents or even our neighbours to help me out.

I have also decided to supplement my personal efforts by enrolling them in a martial arts class. Aside from being able to work off their excess energy physically, and keeping them away from their gadgets for a couple of hours a week, I see the discipline needed in this sport. I believe that the same discipline will help them learn how to focus and listen properly, among many other things.

I have read a lot of positive reviews from other parents on how martial arts training has made a huge difference in their children’s focus and listening skills. Their attention to detail has improved and their school grades have noticeably improved.

Stop Losing Sleep and Start Helping Your Child Achieve More At School

start helping your child achieve more at school

Stop Losing Sleep and Start Helping Your Child Achieve More At School

If you’re a caring parent living around the Burleigh area and your child is experiencing issues at school, then you need to discover how we can help you!

  • Are you worrying about your child’s future?
  • Are you stressed about your child’s focus at school?
  • Should your child be achieving better grades?
  • Is your child missing opportunities because they are too shy?
  • Does you child hate school sports?

Well, I’m not sure if you already know this, but martial arts can certainly help your child’s performance in school. In fact we receive regular reports from other Gold Coast parents that their child’s school teacher has asked what’s “changed” because their child’s attitude, grades and behaviour have improved significantly. The change has occurred when they started their martial arts classes with us here at Black Belt Plus!

Training in a great child-focused martial arts school has tons of benefits that will really help your child excel, academically and socially.

8 behaviours affecting your child’s success in school…

1. My Child Has Low Self-Esteem

kids martial arts gold coast

Are you worried that your child is missing out at school, socially and academically, because they can’t stand up for themselves or comfortably contribute to class discussion? Or maybe they are just overlooked when it’s time to pick a team, or be invited to a party?

It’s heartbreaking to watch children trapped with low self esteem.

Training in a great children's martial arts program develops your child’s confidence by getting them to use their voice in class, leading the class with the nightly creed, training with different partners, learning empowering techniques, receiving recognition for achievements, feeling safe in the class group, and making new healthy friendships with like-minded children.

Improving your child’s self esteem is the one of the most rewarding aspects of our job as professional martial artists!

Your child feeling safe, respected and valued in their martial arts classes also improves their confidence to “give things a go” outside also. Imagine your child having new confidence to participate in their classroom more, stand up at school assembly, run for house/school captain etc. Priceless!

2. My Child is Bullied

kids karate gold coast

Are you worried that your child is a target for bullies? Has your child been threatened, teased or attacked at school? For parents this can be a huge worry.

If we can arm with your child with the knowledge to identify the 3 levels of bullying behaviour plus some easy, effective and safe ways to protect themselves physically, I’m sure you’ll be feeling more relaxed and confident that they can cope if it happens!

It’s a very emotional topic to discuss with bullied victims and their parents, however once your child has the confidence and skills to stop a bully in their tracks, they rarely become a victim again.

We’re here to help your child build their courage to protect themselves against bullies, so they can enjoy happy and safe school years, with the knowledge to handle themselves if required.

3. My Child Can’t Concentrate

martial arts for kids gold coast

Lets face it… kids are distracted by so much now! They are the masters of multi-tasking and this makes it hard for them to focus on just one thing at a time, and seeing it through to completion.

If we can calm your child down, engage them to do one thing at a time, teach them that concentration is vital for completion - I’m sure it relieves some of your stress!

If your child doesn’t listen to you at home, you have to wonder how much they are missing at school. From day one, we have a great drill called “The 4 Rules of Focus” which will have your child concentrating on what you are saying, watching you, listening to you and facing you when you talk to them.

So with the help of kids martial arts classes in Burleigh, your child will be able to concentrate more in the school classroom and you’ll no longer be frustrated and upset to receive reports which say “underachieving” or “can apply him/herself better” or “doesn’t follow instructions” or “likes to be the class clown”…

4. My Child Won’t Take Responsibility

Kids karate training gold coast

Imagine your child’s face when they’re handed their folded, bright white uniform and white belt. This is their first step to being a responsible martial artist! Each class your child is responsible for being dressed in their uniform, ready to start class on time, and able to tie their belt correctly.

Naturally your child will be learning skills to protect themselves and friends, so we teach them to also take responsibility for their actions - and not misuse their punching and kicking skills!

Every student is responsible for their own progress, which is at their own pace. This reinforces the value of home practice between lessons and we have a structured home practice program which helps to develop this skill. Even our youngest students take responsibility for their rewards and home practice.

You will see results of your child’s improved responsibility flow into their schoolwork. You just might not need to continue nagging for homework to be completed on time!

5. My Child is Disrespectful

martial arts gold coast

Do you wonder whether your child actually respects you? It’s painful to hear them speak badly to you or others, and without any remorse isn’t it?

If your child doesn’t respect you, there’s a good change they don’t respect themselves either. This is where our program steps in to help you.

Great martial arts instructors don’t command respect, they actually earn it. In every class we treat your child with compassion and interest, within the structured setting of our fun classes. Thetangible milestones of the belt ranking system celebrates their achievements and successes, which is a fantastic tool to develop your child’s self respect!

Your child will quickly discover respect is displayed and earned throughout their martial arts classes and the dojo. Learning to bow to their instructor and other students is a humble greeting at the start and finish of class. The different ranks amongst students teaches respect to those more senior. Class mat chats from our character development program deliver age-appropriate education and projects on the value of respect, for the students themselves and others.

If your child can participate in an fun activity which builds their self respect, you’ll feel so much better knowing they’ll also be learning to show you and others respect also! Your school teacher will be grateful to have more respect in the classroom also!

6. My Child Lacks Self-Discipline

Believe it or not - kids do like boundaries!

Are you a busy parent who’s frustrated when your children don’t do what they are asked to do, the FIRST TIME? Of course you’re not alone!

To progress with their martial arts training, your child is going to need to develop self discipline:-

  • Techniques need to be learned
  • Minimum attendance is needed
  • Do-it-first-time-attitude at home needs to be good
  • School reports need to be good
  • Behaviour in the dojo must be great
  • Character development projects need to be completed​

We remind our students that the only difference between a White Belt student and a Black Belt student is… the Black Belt didn’t quit! This is the most obvious martial arts lesson in self discipline!

Our youngest children learn more age-appropriate skills like self discipline on road safety, stranger danger and fire safety.

By developing your children’s self discipline you’ll feel more confident when you’re not around to supervise them. And, of course self discipline has a huge impact on the success of your child at school.

7. My Child Has Trouble Setting Goals

Does your child set unrealistic goals and feel defeated when they can’t achieve them?

This is where the martial arts belt ranking system helps out! We celebrate new belt rankings every 12 weeks. It is a step-by-step process which requires patience and perseverance on the part of your child. This enables them to grow personally.

At school your child will also learn to set achievable goals for their projects and assessments.

8. My Child is Overweight / Unfit

Is your child a little overweight and unfit? Spending time glued to a TV or computer screen will soon take its toll on your child’s health. The increase in childhood diabetes is a stark reality and the thought of parents outliving their children due to poor health is hard to imagine.

You must get your child off the couch and into an activity that they love so much they want to continue long enough to see results.

Have you noticed in addition to health risks, overweight/unfit kids will often show signs of lower self esteem, lack of self discipline, lack of self respect, problems with friends/bullies… The problem is compounded and their behaviour can easily spiral down and deteriorate as they get older.

Did you know a great age-specific martial arts program will develop your child’s aerobic fitness, strength, flexibility and co-ordination? It works their body from top to toe… with a curriculum to suit their growing body.

If we can help you to improve your child’s fitness and health, plus develop their positive outlook to achieve whatever they put their mind to, do you think they will be unstoppable?

Stop Losing Sleep and Start Taking Action to Improve Your Child’s School Life

One of our best kept secrets is we have many kindergarten, and school teachers’ own children training in our programs! They see how martial arts training positively impacts their children’s lives both at home and at pre/school. Consider us a part of the team of 3 helping to develop your child - from home, school and in the dojo.

Your child will achieve more at school by:

1. Developing more responsibility

2. Increasing their self esteem

3. Knowing how to handle the bully

4. Improving their focus and concentration

5. Developing self respect & respect for others

6. Increasing their self discipline

7. Practising goal setting

8. Improving their fitness and health

We have various life-changing programs that will improve your child’s school performance here at Black Belt Plus in Burleigh! It’s fun. It’s enriching. Click below to learn more!

9 Tips for a Successful Back To School This Year

9 Tips for School Success with Back-To-School Routine

By creating some simple yet effective habits you can help your child to succeed in school this year.


We've listed the top 9 tips to ensure your child’s school success not just for the first few weeks but for years to come. Good habits start in young children and our martial arts programs in Burleigh will help to set this up.

Write Out a Daily Routine

kids karate gold coast

Write out a routine for school days listing the time your child will get up, have breakfast, leave for school, and what time they’ll get home, have dinner, do homework, and go to bed. You can post this on your fridge or use a small noticeboard. Like most things school success comes from habit and regular routine.

Discuss this in advance with your child allowing them some level of input depending on their age and maturity.

Turn the Morning Routine into a Habit

kids martial arts gold coast

Make sure your child starts every morning with a healthy breakfast. Like a car, their body needs the proper fuel to perform at peak levels.

Set some guidelines on what to do and when.

1. Eat a healthy balanced breakfast

2. Get dressed

3. Clean teeth & face, brush hair

4. Pack their school bag

5. Help out with any family chores

6. Fill any free time with quality activities. Avoid TV in the mornings!

Attitude is Everything

martial arts for kids gold coast

Remind your children to go to school each day ready to focus, work hard and have fun learning. Our children's martial arts programs in Burleigh help to develop a positive, "can do" attitude in children and this attitude can simply change children's outlook on life!

Great Homework Habits

Kids karate training gold coast

Have a set time and a quiet place for your child to do homework. Encourage them to do a thorough job and remind them to always hand it in.

Communicate with their Teacher

martial arts gold coast

Teachers are smart, but they can’t read minds. Great relationships come from great communication. Ask questions and share concerns about your child’s school success.

Share at Home

Ask your children what they learned in school today. Ask them to tell you their favourite part of their day. Give them your full attention and be easily in awe of their achievements. Compliment them when they do a great job telling you about their day.

Encourage Positive Relationships

Be highly supportive of their friendships with kids who have good character and good habits. And gently discourage relationships with kids who might have a negative influence. The key word is “gently.” This is an exercise in subtlety. Very small signals from you can have very strong influence. But if you exert too much force, kids may rebel or elect not to share the names of the kids they play with.

Establish a Bedtime Routine

The goal is for them to get back into the habit of going to bed at a specific time every night, early enough to allow them to get enough sleep. Establish a routine of ending the day with low energy activities like reading. Be certain that you make the bedtime routine a habit, so it becomes virtually automatic.


6 Kids’ Tips for School Success

1. Eat a healthy breakfast every day (and a healthy lunch too)

2. Eyes on who? Eyes and ears on your teacher!

3. Do your homework as soon as you can and do it the very best you can

4. Tell your parents when you do well at school, and tell them when you need help too

5. Tell your parents when you have trouble with your friends

6. Read every day

7. Go to bed at your bedtime and go to sleep right away


The focus, self-discipline, and perseverance that children learn from doing a great martial arts program which is tailored to their stage of development also helps them do their best in school!  To learn more about kids martial arts in Burleigh click below.