How Near-Peer Mentoring Creates Tomorrow's Leaders | Canton Karate
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Melissa Eszes Schlosser reviewed Canton Karate
5
via Facebook

Our daughter LOVES everything about coming to classes! She started last May, and hasn't looked back. Her confidence has grown so much, starting within weeks of starting! She loves how every week she is learning new skills, she loves the staff and she loves the challenges that they give them every week to work on. She looks forward to classes every week, and jumped at the opportunity to sign up for extra classes that would help her learn more. She went from being a complete gymnastics girl to everything karate. Her Christmas list was filled with rebreakable boards, pads, punching bags, t-shirts, room decorations and anything else she could think of to practice karate or that was karate! It's only been about 10 months, but you can't meet this girl and not know that she loves karate, and we have Canton Karate to thank for this! Overall, the staff at Canton Karate has changed our daughter in so many ways, but especially in her confidence! We're so glad we found them!

Steve Surmann reviewed Canton Karate
5
via Facebook

The kids enjoy it, they learn to be more disciplined and behaved at the same time! Master Martin is exceptionally patient (I know because I get frustrated just watching it) and is a wonderful instructor. I am very happy with the way he mentors his pupils especially while he has his assistant instructors available to give one on one instruction to those that struggle. Having my children in his classes and seeing what they actually learn, accomplish and develop into is well worth the cost.

Jen Pepper reviewed Canton Karate
5
via Facebook

Love this school :) they are very thoughtful and encouraging, yet are able to mix the right amount of fun into every class as well

Joshua Mankowski reviewed Canton Karate
5
via Facebook

The Perfect Martial Arts School. Master Martin does a great job of combining all of the elements of martial arts into the curriculum, There is a mixture of history, discipline and practical application. The classes are also taught specifically for each age group to maximize the benefit of the kids and adults. What is being taught will resonate with a 3 or 4 year old (my son) or an adult(myself).

Susan Cook McCoon reviewed Canton Karate
5
via Facebook

My son goes here and loves it. Master Martin is great with the kids. They work on focus, concentration, self discipline, confidence and many more things kids need. My son is always excited to go and it's great to see the smile on his face. I see the improvement at home and in school since he has been going.

Diana M Riley-Woodward reviewed Canton Karate
5
via Facebook

Canton Karate has been amazing for our family! My two have been enrolled for 6 months now. They have always struggled with attention, focus, and self control and it was beginning to impact school. They LOVE Karate! They want to practice at home, and love going to class. and their performance in school has made a complete turnaround! For the first time my daughter's teacher this year says she is focused, attentive, and hard working!
Master Martin is patient but firm and disciplined. He treats each student differently in class. and that's a good thing! I don't know how but he seems to know what every student needs to personally challenge them. I find myself repeating Master Martin's words around the house and at work. They did love the Saturday forms/sparring class and we will miss that. But we are all excited to see what comes next!

Michelle Turmell reviewed Canton Karate
5
via Facebook

My son started Karate lessons at Canton Karate several months ago and we can't be happier with that decision! My son has gained so much confidence. On his first day, he was so nervous to step onto that mat. Master Martin and the rest of the staff were so patient and encouraging with him. He loves going now and has so much fun at each class. Master Martin and all the staff at Canton Karate are so encouraging, helpful and very accessible. I can't say enough good things! I highly recommend Canton Karate!

Michelle Brenner reviewed Canton Karate
5
via Facebook

Amazing place with AMAZING staff!! The way they work with kids is wonderful! You truly feel like family from the time you walk in the door. They offer so many different class options. My kids have learned so much already from their short time here. I'm amazed at the new skills and discipline they are learning. The confidence I'm seeing fostered in my children is great. Master Martin has an amazing way of dealing with the kids. It is usually in a way that corrects the problem without disrupting everyone else. Can't wait till my 4 year old is ready to start as well. Thank you Canton Karate!!

Pat O'Hara Dunbar reviewed Canton Karate
5
via Facebook

Canton Karate is a great place for kids to teach them how to respect others, self esteem, and how to treat bullies. I would recommend Canton Karate to all my friends. The staff is very pleasant and helpful. I'm glad that we are part of the Canton Karate family. My grandson has learned so much in just a short period of time of being here. He really looks forward on coming here and getting out of his shell. Thank you Canton Karate.

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How Near-Peer Mentoring Creates Tomorrow’s Leaders

 

How Near-Peer Mentoring Creates Tomorrow’s Leaders

Mentoring has been around for many years and has shown to have many positive outcomes for all participants. In SKILL Martial Arts, the mentoring program that is implemented is called the STORM Team, or Leadership Team . This is a “near-peer” type mentoring program that is very structured and incorporates a full curriculum and training system. The members are hand-chosen by their instructors and the process and outcomes of this near-peer mentoring approach benefit both men-tees and mentors.

Although mentoring is not a new topic, near-peer mentoring provides a new variation to this timeless approach. This method of mentoring involves people that are closer in age, although the mentor is still old enough to act as a role-model. The biggest advantage to this, however, is that the mentor has a stronger element of relatability  than in a typical mentoring  relationship. Mentors that are closer in age to the men-tees often have more success in reaching them than adults usually do.

The STORM team is an exclusive team for Martial Arts students with aspirations of becoming leaders within the community so they are the perfect fit to be in the mentor position. STORM Team members are chosen on the highest standards of behavior, performance, attitude, willingness to serve others, and commitment to their art. The program covers things from leadership lessons to hands on training.

In the STORM Team mentoring program, the benefits that the men-tee gains from participating in it are invaluable. They feel more connected to their peers and have longer lasting relationships. In addition, connections with the adults they interact with are improved and they have better attitudes towards school and learning. All of these things ultimately increase their self-esteem so they are more confident to try new things and feel more equipped to handle the ups and downs of life.

 

But not only does this type of program benefit the men-tees, the mentors also gain important skills. They learn a sense of responsibility while serving in this role and they also learn communication skills, relationship management, and leadership skills. Through this process, mentors also become more patient and learn to utilize active listening skills. They are often the most valuable in bridging the gap between instructors and other students. And one of the most rewarding benefits to this program is that the mentor feels a sense of self-satisfaction from their service to others. They experience the feeling of pride when their men-tees are successful.

 

When children and teens take part in near-peer programs such as the STORM Team, all participants can reap the benefits. Men-tees generally become the next set of mentors and the cycle of spreading these valuable life skills continues. This often makes the next set of mentor/mentee relationships easier because this has been modeled over and over again and the successes in the program build on each other.

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.