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 child back. We encourage parents to communicate with our instructors if their child has a challenge with any skill or technique. Our goal is to set each student up for success by recognizing a student’s capabilities Physically, Intellectually, Emotionally, and Socially. The great thing about a SKILLZ test is that by the end of the cycle each student should be able to perform well at and pass his or her “Test”.
If they do have a particular struggle we encourage the students to come to extra classes, seek advice from the instructors and/or schedule private lessons with their favorite instructor. We will rarely hold a student back that meets the stripe and attendance policies because we understand that it may be more retroactive for the child to not test while their peers move on without them. Often, the testing (or new belt) can be used as a means of encouragement to motivate the student to put forth more effort, improve their grades or adjust their behavior abroad.
Another common issue that may prompt a parent to hold their child back is because they are having Emotional or Social issues in class. What is important to understand is that in order for our students to grow Emotionally or Socially, they still need to progressively advance in skill-based milestones so that the challenges can also foster maturity. Our program has both daily (skill stripes) and monthly (Belt tests every 10-weeks) checkpoints. In the end, having them test and reach new challenges will prove to be far more effective than remaining stagnant at the same rank.
Our challenge as instructors is to make sure that we can set every student up for success. With communication, we can assist by offering solutions to help your child become the best they can be!