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  • Kids Martial Arts in St. Petersburg - On The Mat Martial Arts - Top 3 Benefits to Graduating in SKILLZ

    Top 3 Benefits to Graduating in SKILLZ

    Hey OTM Families! As I am sure you know, our age specific martial arts program, SKILLZ, is one of the most popular and widely used children’s curriculums on the market. We are able to break down and focus on each child’s individual stage of development to help them progress faster and further! As our students progress here at On The Mat they will move through our programs gaining access to newer and more exciting challenges. Part of the process is Aging out and Graduating out. Students Age out simply turning the appropriate age for the next program, passing that programs’ Pre-Evaluation. Graduating out of a program takes a little longer but also adds a host ....

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    Hey Parents, Andrew here and I wanted to share some great tips on the Parent SKILLZ strategy: NURTURING. “Look at mistakes as opportunities to educate.” When it comes to parenting, it is important to remember the numerous benefits to being a NURTURING parent. This includes enhanced brain development, better social skills, and increased self-esteem. So, what does it mean to be a NURTURING parent? It means displaying love and warmth, especially when your child misbehaves. This doesn’t mean you should ignore the behavior. Instead, address the behavior in a manner which helps your child learn and grow, and do so in a caring way. Studies have shown this to enhance ....

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  • Kids Martial Arts in St. Petersburg - On The Mat Martial Arts - Summer Camps of 2018

    Summer Camps of 2018

    In town for the Summer and looking for something FUN for your ninja? Come Join our Summer Camps! Camp hours are from 10:30am to 3:30pm *Early Drop-Off at 9am available for $10 **Late Pick-Up at 5pm also available for $10 Nerf Camp May 28 – June 1 FUN Camp June 11 – June 15 Kicks & Tricks June 18 – June 22 FUN Camp June 25 – June 29 FUN Camp July 16 – July 20 Anti-Bully Camp ....

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  • Kids Martial Arts in St. Petersburg - On The Mat Martial Arts - Age Specific Benefits

    Age Specific Benefits

    Hey OTM Families! Have you ever wondered why our classes are more effective than your typical martial arts schools’ program? The thing that makes our classes more dynamic than most is that we understand childhood development and have been able to use a curriculum that takes advantage of this understanding! Here are just a few benefits of Age Specific martial arts and what they mean for your ninja! 1. Specifically Targeted Instruction This means that we are able to teach with techniques that are specifically meant to develop physical, intellectual, emotional, and social skill sets. The fact that we are able to individually target each of these areas means ....

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  • Kids Martial Arts in St. Petersburg - On The Mat Martial Arts - Stick To It

    Stick To It

    Hey Families! “Stick-to-it-iveness” The ability to stay consistent with something by motivating yourself even when you feel unmotivated! While this might not be a real word, or a real definition; you get the idea! With instant gratification, social media, and a growing number of distractions it is no wonder that kids have a hard time following through or reaching large goals that they set months ago. Even worse is the push back that parents get when they remind or force their kids to follow through! Bruce Lee said it best: “Be (like) water my friend” This has many interpretations but for our purposes, we will relate it to goal setting. He continues by saying ....

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  • Kids Martial Arts in St. Petersburg - On The Mat Martial Arts - Holiday Fun

    Holiday Fun

    Happy Holidays Core SKILLZ Parents! The holidays are quickly approaching and our staff here at On The Mat hopes it is the best ever! It is super easy to get lost in the moment and forget to practice our martial arts over the holiday break. But if we can remember to do so, we are better prepared to have the upper hand when we return to class. Our instructors believe there is nothing cooler than a ninja that can come back from a break without missing a beat! Here are a few quick tips from our instructors that can help make training during the holiday’s fun!
    1. Practice your SPEED by having a relative hold a piece of used wrapping paper as you ....

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  • Kids Martial Arts in St. Petersburg - On The Mat Martial Arts - Make the Most of the Holidays

    Make the Most of the Holidays

    Hey Families! 2017 is almost over and the holiday season is in full swing! Below are some quick tips to keep your little ninja on track for testing and motivated this holiday season! Go to Class
    It’s that simple! Going to class helps release all that energy built up from all those holiday breaks from school. It also helps to keep them moving and active in this digital age where the biggest trend is to sit and watch TV or play video games. Going to class is also a great social outlet and allows your ninja to maintain and create friendships on a regular basis! Establish Practice Time
    Like any other activity you wish your child to excel ....

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  • 10-Minute Ninja

    10-Minute Ninja
    - Be a ninja even with YOUR schedule Hey Early & Basic SKILLZ Families, Having a busy day? Can’t make it to class? Feeling bad your child wasn’t able to get their “ninja” on? We have and easy Pediatric Ninja workout that will fit into your busy life, guaranteed! Just follow this quick 10-minute routine and your child will feel happier and healthier! Start with a quick 2-minute warm-up! Our goal here is to get moving and trigger the release of endorphin which help relieve stress! Let’s begin with their Active warm-ups from class so we can stick with something familiar and fun! HINT: do it together for a great bonding experience! ....

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  • Supplementing Sports with Martial Arts

    Hey On The Mat Imagine your child on the field running quicker than ever before, out maneuvering all opponents, and having the confidence to overcome every obstacle! Today I’d like to talk about the benefits of supplementing youth sports with martial arts training! Before we can, we must overcome the first challenge standing between your child and the achievements listed above. Martial Arts instructors from around the nation often notice a trend revolving around youth sports. Children and Parents often jump the gun and switch from one sport to another, sometimes putting a hold or quitting martial arts training all together. It is easy to see why: “Transportation is ....

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  • Hidden Benefits

    Hey On The Mat Parents, Have you ever had that friend that asked “Why is your son/daughter in martial arts?” I am sure you have. I am also sure that you were able to provide a great answer to that question. I was recently asked that question as well! Before I replied, I knew I really wanted to get to the heart of what we do at On The Mat, beyond the typical responses. So instead, I remembered a few hidden benefits that I hear most often from our parents! Here are 4 of the hidden benefits to having a child in Martial Arts: “Structured” Physical Activity Notice we didn’t just say “physical activity”! It is easy for moms/dads to take their ....

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  • Test Prep

    Hey On The Mat Families! Is testing coming up soon? Testing is an amazing opportunity to help children learn that accomplishing goals is FUN! Our ninjas work hard all cycle long and earning a new belt at the end is an exciting achievement. Sometimes though, we may get a great score but not the “perfect” score we were aiming for. It is important that parents and instructors keep our ninjas goal oriented in this moment, so I wanted to share some ways to “hack the system”. Here are some ways that we can take our game to the next level, are you ready!? Come to Make Up Classes But I already come to all my classes!? Great! You can still come to Make Up ....

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  • Kids Martial Arts in St. Petersburg - On The Mat Martial Arts - Tips for Halloween Fun

    Tips for Halloween Fun

    Hey On The Mat Parents, Here are OTM’s tips for Halloween Fun! For the younger children: Use what you got! On a budget or want to be creative? Use a black school T-shirt as a ninja mask! It is easy and simple to do! Just put the shirt on as you normally would, but instead of putting your head through just frame your face with the collar. Next, tie the short sleeves behind your head and adjust the collar portion to cover your mouth and nose. From there, tuck the remainder of the shirt into your karate jacket! Stay Close Remember to stay close to Mom and Dad while out trick or treating! We should always be in familiar areas to stay safe but don’t forget that there will be a lot ....

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  • Kids Martial Arts in St. Petersburg - On The Mat Martial Arts - Halloween Safety Tips

    Halloween Safety Tips

    Easy and Vital Tips to Stay Safe on Halloween

    Ghosts, Goblins and Witches, oh my! The Halloween season brings a lot of fun memories for people. They can find their favorite characters or alter egos and dress up as other personas for a night. Taking children around the neighborhoods for candy at night has become the American staple for Halloween traditions. There are also social gatherings such as Halloween themed parties or dances that many people like to attend. But, as with any party or social event, there is always a slight risk of danger that women, in particular, should be aware of. As fun as Halloween can be, going out late at night can place women in vulnerable situations. These ....

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  • How to Tie Your Belt (Also in Parent's Point of View)

    Jump to 00:10
    to see how a Black Belt Ninja tie his/her black belt. Jump to 02:50
    to see how an under black belt or a Color Belt Ninja tie his/her belt. Jump to 0 4:20
    to see how an instructor or a parent would tie a younger ninja's belt. -------- We hope this helps! Mr. Clayton and Dave the Desk Guy ....

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  • Kids Martial Arts in St. Petersburg - On The Mat Martial Arts - Bully Prevention Tips

    Bully Prevention Tips

    Guest Post from Master Melody Shuman: One of the biggest concerns from parents during the back-to-school season is bullying. Some 160,000 kids skip school every day because they fear of being attacked or ridiculed by bullies. The good news is that these disturbing statistics can be limited with the proper education. As an educator that has worked with hundreds of children on anti-bullying strategies, I have found that the most important skill a child should have when dealing with bullies is confidence. No matter what you teach a child, it will not be effective without the confidence to put the lessons into action. Children that fall victim to bullies usually are targets because they lack ....

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  • Kids Martial Arts in St. Petersburg - On The Mat Martial Arts - Benefits of Private Lessons

    Benefits of Private Lessons

    Hey OTM Families, Our goal here at OTM is to help every ninja become a better version of themselves! We use the latest technology and curriculum backed by years of research and development via our SKILLZ children’s curriculum to assist us in accomplishing our goal. We are also driven to go above and beyond to open up our schedule to be able to offer our students private lessons! Private lessons are a 1-on-1 approach to learning and since everyone learns at a different pace and in their own way sometimes these lessons can be an incredible force multiplier for your ninja’s confidence. Here are my top benefits for scheduling lessons: A Targeted Approach to PROGRESS ....

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  • Communication, Effective Summertime Habits, and Being a Good Role Model

    Hey OTM Families! By now summer is in full swing and we hope that everyone is taking advantage of our summer camps here at On The Mat! If you are looking for something fun to keep your ninja occupied this summer feel free to find us at the front desk or give us a call and ask about all the cool things going on this summer! Today I wanted to offer a few tips on how to keep boredom at bay this summer! These are simple tips that you can implement NOW, and will help set your ninja up for success. Communicate the plan
    Every evening, take a few spare minutes and review the “plan” for the next day. A little bit of structure will go a long way and will also help ....

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  • Early Knowledge

    Hey Early SKILLZ Parents! Whether you are new to SKILLZ or have been part of our family for a while I am sure you have laughed and enjoyed our Early SKILLZ classes just as much as we have! It goes without saying that for a LONG time in our industry this 3-4yr old age group was one of the “more difficult” groups to work with. A lot of the frustration came from the lack of insight most instructors had when it came to their unique stage of development. A traditional background and classic styles of instruction that most black belts “grew up” on also lends to the ineffectiveness of these younger classes. Thus, many schools simply wouldn’t teach this age ....

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  • Home Focus Games

    Hey Basic SKILLZ Parents, Today I wanted to spend a few moments and talk about “Focus”. Not only is this one of our Basic SKILLZ ninjas skills that they practice in class but it is also a skill that they are still learning to cultivate. Focus is an important skill to master in order to do well in school and excel in life. Some simple benefits of improving one’s focus include:
    Increased attention to detail
    Improved listening and retention
    Increased ability to be still and focus In class we typically will work on practicing focus in 3 different ways: Focus with our eyes, ears, and body. Here are 3 simple games/challenges you can work with your Basic SKILLZ ninjas ....

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  • Why SKILLZ?

    Hey SKILLZ Parents! Did you know our classes here at On The Mat include the internationally acclaimed SKILLZ curriculums? SKILLZ provides our staff with the knowledge gained from many hours of childhood research and development in the martial arts. With this knowledge we are able to gauge our expectations for our students more precisely than ever before! This means we are constantly able to help them improve physically, intellectually, emotionally, and socially by targeting their particular stages of development during the skill-building sections of our classes. As a quick example of what I mean, let’s take a look at how our instructors handle the physical ....

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  • Ways to practice at home with household items.

    Greetings OTM Parents! Today I would like to talk about how to use things from around the house to benefit your ninja's "At Home" training! Every ninja has gotten carried away sweeping the floor while pretending the broom was a Bo! I even heard of some of my ninja friends up north shoveling snow and thinking of it as "endurance" training! Now I am not telling you to strap a cloth to your ninja's tummy and have him practice army crawls across the tile floor and call it "training". Let's face it, that's just how a ninja does his normal chores! Sometimes we think that we are unable or ill-equipped to practice at home because we lack the same pads or mats that we use while in ....

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  • Importance of Practicing at Home

    Hey Core SKILLZ Families! I wanted to take some time and explain why practicing at home is so valuable! Here are some of the benefits of carving some time out and practicing at home! The average 7-9yr old tends to struggle with sequences of moves that require the use of fine motor skills. Our school utilizes self-defense techniques that are meant to challenge this stage of their development so that the student is able to learn, grow, and apply the appropriate movements. Repetition at home is a great way to build that muscle memory that is required to physically perform the techniques in a manner that will make them function in a real self-defense situation! This age group ....

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  • Kids Martial Arts in St. Petersburg - On The Mat Martial Arts - Protect Your Heart with Martial Arts

    Protect Your Heart with Martial Arts

    Protect Your Heart with Martial Arts
    Valentine’s Day has just passed, but February is still all about the heart. Every year, the American Heart Association celebrates Heart Month to raise awareness about heart disease and heart health. What you may not know is that martial arts are great for the heart. In fact, the cardiac benefits of martial arts give a whole new meaning to the idea of cardiovascular fitness. With that in mind, here are some ways that taking martial arts classes can protect and strengthen your heart. Martial Arts Raise the Heart Rate
    The first way that martial arts can help the heart is by raising your heart rate when you work out. The heart is a ....

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  • Tools of the Trade

    Hey, OTM Families! As you know, On The Mat is committed to bringing you the BEST in Age Specific Martial Arts! Dwindling are the days of the dungeon dojo and authoritative discipline that many who grew up in the martial arts have come to expect. As times change it is important to recognize that what once worked in the “good ‘ol days” isn’t what works here in 2017. As with any growing industry their leaders must adapt and learn from new science and new technology for one main reason (in my opinion): To learn, innovate and apply so that we may pass on the proven benefits to our customers, students, YOU!
    One way that On The Mat is able to do so is ....

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  • Teaching in the 4 Dimensions of P.I.E.S.

    Everyone likes PIES! This is pretty much a true statement in my opinion! Our staff here at On The Mat are such huge fans that we take our PIES to the next level! What do we mean when we say “PIES”? P – Physically I – Intellectually E - Emotionally S – Socially The SKILLZ program’s continuing education materials allow our instructors to effectively teach our students in these four dimensions! P – Physically Instructors look for benchmark SKILLZ in the Basic SKILLZ class like the ability to properly perform exercises with good technique beyond 10 reps! This would be considered being above their stage of ....

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  • Punishment VS Discipline

    Greetings Parents! Today I wanted to talk about a tool for correcting improper behavior when our ninjas make bad decisions. Often times parents, coaches, teachers and adults define punishment and discipline as the one in the same. The first way to engineer a change in our child’s behavior will start with having the proper definition and understanding of punishment and discipline. Punishment can be viewed as a short-term Band-Aid for a long-term problem. Punishment will quickly shut down bad behavior, but runs the risk of creating a negative and/or retroactive experience that may end in creating even more problems down the road. Discipline, on the other hand is a method that keeps ....

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  • Kids Martial Arts in St. Petersburg - On The Mat Martial Arts - How to Avoid Being a Victim of Bullying

    How to Avoid Being a Victim of Bullying

    How to Avoid Being a Victim of Bullying
    Bullying has become an epidemic in recent years. Yes, there have always been bullies, and yes, those bullies have always caused serious and lasting damage to their victims; however, bullying in the 21st century has changed – and not for the better. According to Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center, one in four students has reported that they were bullied during the school year and 14.8% of high school students in the United States have reported that they were bullied online. The consequences of bullying can be devastating. Victims are more likely to experience a decrease in their academic performance, anxiety, ....

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  • Building SKILLZ together on TEAMWORK

    Hey Basic SKILLZ Parents! Our staff at On The Mat hope to share one of the many ways our Basic SKILLZ program help prepare kids to work together in a team and as a team... By reinforcing their ability to show good TEAMWORK ! In class we work of different types of TEAMWORK including: sportsmanship, group and partner work. We do this by utilizing a database of drills meant to challenge their emotional and social stages of development. During our mat chats our instructors explain that you can demonstrate good TEAMWORK by showing your best sportsmanship. We discuss what it means to be a great winner, as well as role-pla y thanking our challengers to build great ....

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  • Prompting Good Behavior

    Dear OTM Families, Does your Early or Basic SKILLZ ninja have a hard time making good decisions? That’s OK! Often times the Early and Basic SKILLZ ninjas may find it difficult to follow the rules. The good news is that they are not doing this on purpose. After years of working with this age group and observing the emotional and social stages of development we recognize that every decision they make (Good or Bad) ultimately has a positive intention. One of the best things a parent and/or coach can do is set our kids up for success. The way we accomplish this on the mat is by prompting good behavior. By prompting their good behavior we begin to develop a ....

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  • Social and Emotional Benefits of Special Events

    Greetings OTM Families! If you have ever heard us talk about our AWESOME Sleepovers throughout the year and wondered, “Why should my child participate?” or “What is the benefit to be gained?” …Then this is for YOU! Our Sleepover events are a TON of fun! This is because we cracked the “code” when it comes to providing a SAFE & FUN environment where everyone can feel comfortable! We provide pizza for dinner and donuts in the morning so that your job as parents is that much easier! Can anyone say “Date Night!”? Not only is this a way for the parents to get a bit more social, but it is a grand opportunity for the students to grow ....

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  • We care about your child! The top two MUST have qualities in our Instructors.

    Hey Parents! First off, I would like to thank you for being a part of the OTM Family! Without you we would not have the sense of community that allows our ninjas to thrive. We understand that there were many options for you to choose from when it comes to martial arts schools in our area and we are blessed to have you. Today I would like to talk about the top two things your child’s martial arts instructor MUST have. I feel that these are the two most important aspects that allow children’s martial arts instructors to be at the top of their game. They will also allow instructors to coach children in a much more effective and efficient manner. The first MUST have is: ....

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  • Kids Martial Arts in St. Petersburg - On The Mat Martial Arts - Ultimate New Years Resolution

    Ultimate New Years Resolution

    The Ultimate New Years Resolution
    The New Year is here, and with thousands of goals and resolutions in sight as well, 2017 is the year you should try something new! Martial arts is an established system that can better the entirety of your being. Whether you need mental benefits like furthering your discipline muscle, physical benefits like getting in shape, or maybe you’re just looking to make some new friends; martial arts is for you. 3 Martial Arts Benefits
    The most common New Year’s resolution you will hear is to get in better shape. The physical benefits from martial arts are obvious. Martial arts will get you in ....

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  • Testings in a Nutshell

    Greetings OTM Families! I would like to take a moment and talk about Testings! What is testing? Testing is a celebration of a student’s hard work. The event itself is a culmination of their effort and the reward for learning to overcome challenges. The “Test” is actually nothing more than performing the skill stripe requirements that they demonstrate at the end of every class! Our staff here at On The Mat Martial Arts is trained in age-specific Martial Arts and understands students develop at differing rates. Sometimes parents are convinced their child is not yet Physically or Intellectually “ready” to test and therefore choose to hold their ....

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  • Be Santa's Little Ninja!

    Happy Holidays Core SKILLZ Parents! The holidays are quickly approaching and our staff here at On The Mat hopes it is the best ever! It is super easy to get lost in the moment and forget to practice our martial arts over the holiday break. But if we can remember to do so, we are better prepared to have the upper hand when we return to class. Our instructors believe there is nothing cooler than a ninja that can come back from a break without missing a beat! Here are a few quick tips from our instructors that can help make training during the holiday’s fun! 1. Practice your SPEED by having a relative hold a piece of used wrapping paper as you break it! This challenge will help ....

    Read more
  • Kids Martial Arts in St. Petersburg - On The Mat Martial Arts - The Shopper's Self Defense Guide

    The Shopper's Self Defense Guide

    The Shopper’s Self Defense Guide Holiday shopping can be a thrill. In a good way and even in a bad way. Adding a little self defense mentality can go a long way. Self Awareness You have society on your side. Potential criminals (for the most part) won’t just obnoxiously run up to you in front of a crowd and take your things. These criminals are looking for an opportune situation. As long as you are aware of your surroundings, you can prevent yourself from ever falling into one of these situations. Your own body is a part of your surroundings. It would be a foolish decision to count cash in public. This is something you should be aware of, and instead ....

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  • How we can help our Ninjas at home!

    Hey Basic SKILLZ Parents! Today I wanted to talk about how we can use some of the SKILLZ lessons our ninjas learn in class at home. Being a ninja is something that you never really take off. Thus, it is important to practice our karate moves at home! It is also just as important that we practice our other skills like Teamwork and Discipline at home as well. Here are a few ways we can help our Basic SKILLZ Ninjas apply the teamwork lessons they learn in Karate class while at home! Set our goals (and expectations) small at first It is important to understand that when our ninjas are first learning or implementing something, they will fall short ....

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  • Take a STRETCH Break!

    Greetings Families! We spend a lot of time developing great technique and fitness during our martial arts training. The more we train the stronger we get but it is important to remember that flexibility plays an important role in our health and well-being! Physically, increased flexibility will improve our range of motion in our joints and musculature allowing us more freedom and subsequently enhanced ease of movement. Intellectually, kids these days have tons of homework and spend countless hours studying to improve their academic performance. Sometimes they get tired or have difficulty focusing after extended periods of time. TAKE A BREAK! Take a quick “focus” break ....

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  • Top 5 Reasons to keep your children in Martial Arts

    Greetings On The Mat Families Let’s talk about some of the top benefits for practicing Martial Arts! As you know, we are not a “traditional” Martial Arts school in that we train our students in Age Specific Martial Arts. This allows us to use systems that integrate science and psychology into our curriculums via the SKILLZ Program! This offers a wide range of benefits, but here is my top 5 for practicing Martial Arts here at On The Mat. 1. We use the SKILLZ Programs SKILLZ is a program that is used internationally and is different from the majority of Martial Art curriculums because we use our Martial Arts as a means to an end. This means we use our techniques to ....

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  • The Science & Psychology Behind SKILLZ

    The Science & Psychology Behind SKILLZ
    By Melody Shuman
    When I started martial arts in 1987 as an 11-year old, things were very different. Kids and adults trained side-by-side and everyone tested on the same material for their belt, regardless of age. Needless to say, kids usually didn’t make it very far before dropping out because the training became too challenging. (Except for me, because my parents saw the many benefits of martial training as far as discipline goes, but that’s another story.) I ultimately became a school owner when I was 19, and started to make changes to the way I taught martial arts compared to the way my instructors ....

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  • Kids And Adults Martial Arts Classes in St. Petersburg!

    Check out our new website for On The Mat Martial Arts!
    We proudly serve the St. Petersburg area! Come see the programs and deals we have to offer. Kids Martial Arts, SkillzFit and SO MUCH MORE! Fill out the "Request Information" form on the side of the page and stop in for a visit today! Don't forget to click here to visit us on our social media pages!! Facebook Google+ Instagram ....

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  • Our School

    At SKILLZ St. Pete, Our Mission is to create an exciting experience for every student, every class!

    Our classes are taught using innovative, age-specific Martial Arts programs for our youth students called SKILLZ! These programs allow us to target each student’s stages of development even more than before! Through scientific research and psychological developments, the SKILLZ programs will provide MAXIMUM results in the classroom.
    Why do we say that the SKILLZ programs can generate maximum results?
    An international study was done to understand the growth and development stages of children between the ages of 3 to 14. Children were evaluated on the physical, intellectual, social, and ....

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