The Importance of Bilateral Coordination on Physical and Cognitive Skills | Canton Karate
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Melissa Eszes Schlosser reviewed Canton Karate
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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The Importance of Bilateral Coordination on Physical and Cognitive Skills

The Importance of Bilateral Coordination

on Physical and Cognitive Skills

The development of a child can be one of the most fascinating things to watch unfold. From infants mirroring movements to toddlers and children mastering high level developmental skills, the growth they experience in a short time is astounding. And while all skills are important for children to master, bilateral coordination is an important prerequisite for development of a variety of motor and

cognitive skills.

Bilateral coordination is the ability to synchronize both sides of the body in a controlled manner. An important aspect of this is “crossing the midline.” This is a spontaneous movement and involves being able to cross an imaginary line that runs down the center of the body. It is key in doing simple things such as crossing your ankles and scratching your elbow.

Bilateral coordination is mostly developed through the corpus callosum, which is largely responsible for communicating messages from one hemisphere of the brain to the other. In the early months and years of life, babies and toddlers typically use both hands equally to pick up objects, depending on which is closer. Then around the age of 3 or 4, children have typically established a dominant hand and the skill of “crossing the midline” has been solidified.

A key component to the development of bilateral coordination is body awareness. This involves proprioception and refers to the ability to know where your body is in the environment without using your vision. The vestibular system also comes into play with the development of this since it is a factor of sensory integration. If these areas are underdeveloped, children may present with va

rious difficulties.

When bilateral coordination is underdeveloped, children may appear ambidextrous. This is often because they have a processing issue in the brain. The two hemispheres of the brain are not communicating effectively resulting in clumsiness and struggles with daily living tasks involving both fine and gross motor skills. The ability to cross the midline is also necessary for visual tracking so reading and writing from one side of a paper to the other can be difficult as well as achieving other higher-level skills.

When the SKILLZ program was created, an extensive amount of research was put into the science of th

e brain and child development. Within each developmental level are drills specifically designed to meet the needs of that age group. To the untrained eye or

unknowing parent, watching class may appear to just be another activity. However, the science of how and why drills are taught to specific groups is how SKILLZ takes training and child development to a whole new level. Activities involving jumping, obstacle courses, animal walks, and other drills that challenge using both sides of the body in opposing ways helps supercharge the development of bilateral coordination. And what’s even better, this training can potentially lead to improvements in many higher-level cross-body tasks such as reading and writing.

Engaging children in activities that constantly spark conversation between the left and right hemispheres improves brain communication. Training methods involving bilateral coordination has a huge impact on this, therefore improving motor coordination as well as cognitive skills. The more parents learn and understand the science behind this, the more active they can be in nurturing their child to their full potential.

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.