Cedar Ridge Academy has a long standing reputation for offering high caliber karate instruction to our students from both Sensei Robert Nielson and Sensei Wesley Nielson. Our students participate in traditional Shotokan Karate Training three days each week. In an atmosphere cultivating respect, we help students develop self-control and respect for themselves and others.
Traditional Karate training involves mental as well as physical discipline. In working with teens who struggle with determination, we recognize the inherent therapeutic value of Shotokan Karate training. Once fatigue sets in, students must tap into their own persistence and commitment to continue.
Cedar Ridge Academy’s Philosophy of Karate
The philosophy of our traditional Karate training at Cedar Ridge is reflected in the dojo Kun, a universal meditation recited at the end of each call by the students and sensei:
- Seek Perfection of Character
- Be Faithful
- Endeavor to Excel
- Respect Others
- Refrain from Violent Behavior
Research proves that structured exercise directly contributes to brain development during all stages of life. Traditional Karate reduces aggressiveness in its pupils and enhances mental and physical function. Karate has a direct and proven effect on students’ focus, productivity, ADD/ADHD, and nonverbal learning issues. Karate also improves balance and “centeredness,” which provides conditioning for other sports.
Dr. John J. Ratey has conducted extensive research proving how exercise contributes to brain development, and in particular, how ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) symptoms are relieved by highly structured exercise – such as the Shotokan Karate taught at Cedar Ridge Academy.
“Paradoxically, one of the best treatment strategies for ADHD involves establishing extremely rigid structure. Over the years, I’ve heard countless parents offer the same observation about their ADHD children: Johnny is so much better when he’s doing taekwondo. He wasn’t doing his homework, and he was angry, difficult, and problematic; now his best qualities have come out.” - Spark: The Revolutionary New Science Of Exercise And The Brain
Our Shotokan History - What Makes a Good Karate School?
A good karate school has two essential elements (and hopefully much more than that): 1) rigorous training, and 2) an atmosphere of respect. These two characteristics contribute greatly to helping students develop self-control and respect for themselves and others. Rigorous training extinguishes anger and aggression because, once fatigue sets in, the student must call upon persistence and determination in order to continue.
Ongoing exposure to the challenge of a good hard workout builds the self-control that is typical of quality martial arts training. Self-control is the antithesis of impulsivity. Stimulation from this kind of discipline enhances a person’s mental and physical resources. Cedar Ridge students can then utilize these resources for the tasks ahead.
Participating correctly in Karate has a dramatic effect on the participant’s mood. All the mannerisms of Karate, properly executed, suggest confidence and composure. The discipline of Karate contains a form of etiquette that can help students develop assertiveness and confidence. Skilled instructors pay special attention to posture, eye contact, voice tones and attitude.
This not only enhances effective communication between instructor and students but also enhances mood. Mood is dependent on the way a person carries themselves. A person cannot feel shy or weak as easily if they stand up straight, have their chest out, etc. When a student receives constructive feedback during class, they are taught to respond affirmatively and enthusiastically with a verbal acknowledgement, “Os!” This process helps the instructor monitor the student’s attitude and alerts him if the student is in a poor space.
Those who demonstrate lack of spirit are encouraged to get more involved. Senior students interspersed throughout the group help the newer students by setting the mood through example, promoting growth for the senior students, as well as the new students.