5 Ways To Help Kids Feel Confident | 4GK Martial Arts & Skillz of Patchogue

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Danna Davis

My 6 year old son has been attending Ninja class at 4GK since August 2018. He loves it and I do too! He loves the skills and games and I love the discipline he is learning. I’ve spoken with a child-behavior doc about what he gets to do in class and the doc was *thrilled*. It’s clear that he believes in the philosophies Sifu and Miss Heidi teach about the importance of play and physical activity for children for all aspects of their development.

Jen Robinson

I took a kickboxing class and it was amazing. I was so pumped and ready to take on the day. Everyone was super nice and the routine was so much fun I would definitely recommend and be back for more!!!

Laura Miller - Owner, Little People's Center reviewed 4GK Martial Arts & Skillz of Patchogue
via Facebook

Had the pleasure of visiting Heidi at 4GK Martial Arts and observing both her EARLY SKILLZ for children ages 3-4 and MOMMY AND ME class for children 18 months and up. The children are guided through the basics of martial arts with hands on gross motor activities set at their own individual pace. It was a pleasure to see.

Di Trudden reviewed 4GK Martial Arts & Skillz of Patchogue
via Facebook

My daughter completed her first group class tonight and I could not be a prouder or happier mama right now! Heidi Burmann and Raquel made Lily feel welcome and were so patient with her as she was learning the kicks and routines. I am so happy that we discovered a healthy and fun new hobby for Lily! If you are looking for an affordable place where your little one can learn and grow then 4GK is for you!

Everyone knows I have been on my own little health journey creating Our Mommy Movement and finding new ways to exercise. I signed up for kick boxing classes through 4GK and am really excited to try them out! Seeing how patient and kind the staff was with Lily I don’t have to worry about being surrounded by people who will judge me while I try to keep up with the moves.

Tina Dos Reis reviewed 4GK Martial Arts & Skillz of Patchogue
via Facebook

Great school and awesome team! Everyone is extremely friendly. My nephew Sebastian just loves his Extreme Skill class and after watching the team work together, I decided to try the kickboxing class. Frank put the entire class through a great workout! I can't wait to lose weight and build muscle. It's just the change I was looking for! Thank you 4GK!

Jennie D'Ambroise reviewed 4GK Martial Arts & Skillz of Patchogue
via Facebook

Great school! Adult kung fu classes are approachable for all levels. You will learn a lot and you will work hard. Sifu and your fellow students will help you to improve and you will make great friends. Kickboxing classes will also kick your butt. Women, train here, you are welcome at all classes and the atmosphere is friendly and supportive.

Tommy Aliberti reviewed 4GK Martial Arts & Skillz of Patchogue
via Facebook

This has always been a home away from home! Very much a family, and I have been part of this system for 18 years! Great values, hard work, and many lessons to be learned every time, which I have taken with me in the ring, and in everyday life! 5 Star recommendation!

Donnie Keegan reviewed 4GK Martial Arts & Skillz of Patchogue
via Facebook

My daughter has been studying here for, two months shy of, three years. She still loves it! I my self have decided to join. Love the staff. they are constantly innovating and improving,both the structure of the school and its teachings. I can only hope to improve myself to the degree in which my daughter has been improved herself! Absolutely top notch school!

Rachel Ramsey Weir reviewed 4GK Martial Arts & Skillz of Patchogue
via Facebook

We have had a great experience in the last year that our son has been attending 4GK. He has become more disciplined in his actions, his body has been strengthened and he knows the rewards of hard work. The dedication of the staff is evident in each class. It is clearly a labor of love!

Cheryl Anne reviewed 4GK Martial Arts & Skillz of Patchogue
via Facebook

Fantastic staff !!!!!!!!!! Fantastic fun classes, they know you're name, they know how to make you work while you happily sweat toward a better you !

Katie Bacigalupo reviewed 4GK Martial Arts & Skillz of Patchogue
via Facebook

LOVE the kick boxing class! It is such a great work out and fun at the same time! I always feel great afterwards and can't wait to get back to the next class!

Michelle McCann reviewed 4GK Martial Arts & Skillz of Patchogue
via Facebook

Great atmosphere, awesome staff and incredible workout! Love it!!

Victoria Ingoglia reviewed 4GK Martial Arts & Skillz of Patchogue
via Facebook

I absolutely love the atmosphere. It's clean, friendly n very challenging. I've given some awful dirty looks while stressed n I get high fives later. High intensity fire burning workouts keeps me motivated!!

Rebecca Manzella reviewed 4GK Martial Arts & Skillz of Patchogue
via Facebook

4GK is excellent! I signed up my son for Basic Skillz just a few weeks after his 4th birthday. He loves coming to class to see his fellow ninjas and I really enjoy watching him learn new skills. In a short time, I had already noticed a behavior improvement while in a group setting and the two half hour classes a week are perfect for his attention span. Thank you Miss Heidi and the rest of the staff for your patience and influence on Neil.

Dawn-Marie Francois reviewed 4GK Martial Arts & Skillz of Patchogue
via Facebook

The school is great!!! Classes are manageable and they push you to do your best. Staff is friendly and patient.

Frank Gil reviewed 4GK Martial Arts & Skillz of Patchogue
via Facebook

I wanted to make a change in my life. I was stagnant, not active and unhappy honestly. One day my brother and friend convinced me to take a class at 4gk. That was years ago and thousands of punches and kicks ago and I love it every bit now as I did that first class. The instructors are amazing, knowledgeable, and were always willing to work with me at my level. I've spent a lot of time here and find no matter how my day has been I can't help but smile when I walk through the 4gk doors. It's a great environment for people who want to challange themselves and grow and there is no place else I'd rather be

Roseann Wander Walsh reviewed 4GK Martial Arts & Skillz of Patchogue
via Facebook

I absolutely love it there. Everyone is very welcoming and make you feel very comfortable. I've done kickboxing at several other place and all the people there were very clicky I am very comfortable here and would recommend it to everyone.

Kimberly Lago reviewed 4GK Martial Arts & Skillz of Patchogue
via Facebook

My oldest daughter has been coming here for a year. We fell in love immediately after seeing how wonderful the staff is with working with children of all ages. My second daughter was dying to be in a class also. As soon as she turned 3 we gave it a try and she has blossomed. Seemingly shy I was curious to see how her first class type activity would be. She loved it. Just waiting for daughter number three to be old enough because she is only two, but already feels like she belongs. We absolutely love it.

Shannon Marr reviewed 4GK Martial Arts & Skillz of Patchogue
via Facebook

I love this place. Everyone is super friendly and makes you feel like a part of the family. I get constant encouragement to keep going. And when I had sprained my ankle and couldn't come for awhile, they worked with me financially and kept sending me encouraging messages to take it easy and get better. I get the best work outs and never any judgements.

Leianne Marques reviewed 4GK Martial Arts & Skillz of Patchogue
via Facebook

4GK is an awesome school. The entire staff treats you like family. I take the kickboxing and skillz fit classes. The encouragement and motivation you get from the instructors makes you feel like you can achieve your goals, do anything you want, even if your first instinct is to say no when they all you to do something. I accomplish something in every class and have learned to think yes I can instead of there is no way I can.... the instructors break things down so you can easily understand each move. Everyone is made to feel important and special in each class, no one is left out. I can't imagine going anywhere else.

Linda Cummings reviewed 4GK Martial Arts & Skillz of Patchogue
via Facebook

We just started the mini skillz program a couple of months ago. I admit, after being in the free play, no rules music program for the entire spring, my 2 yr old granddaughter was starting to rebel against listening. The first day of class I was almost in tears after five minutes when I realized how bad her behavior had gotten without structure. I'm so glad I stuck it out though. The second class was a joy, with her listening intently and using her brain. Miss Heidi has the patience of a saint. She is also on top of age appropriate skills and stresses them at each class. We've learned taking turns, following direction, jumping, kicking and punching, and many, many other useful things. She loves going to her class twice a week and I truly love taking her. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend these wonderful people and this fantastic school to anyone.

Danielle Hulse Maloney reviewed 4GK Martial Arts & Skillz of Patchogue
via Facebook

My two sons have been coming here since December 2016. They absolutely love it & have THRIVED since coming! The older one suffers from anxiety & general fear, he has since built up tremendous confidence & has learned to verbalize any issues he may be having. The younger one is a ball of energy that needed direction & a release, he has achieved focus & better listening skills. The staff is AMAZING! They are welcoming, accommodating & listen to any issues you have whether it be with them, the class or your children. I could go to any of them & speak with them about ANYTHING & feel very comfortable doing so. Si Fu teaches the class in a low-key, fun manner that has the children engaged AND having fun at the same time, it's not the typical militant style. We received a military discount since my husband is a former marine AND ... They run a monthly themed Parents Night Out that gives parents a break without their kids from 7:30-10:00! I am thrilled that we found them & highly suggest to anybody looking for a martial arts school to check them out!

Yaoska Fleming reviewed 4GK Martial Arts & Skillz of Patchogue
via Facebook

Great team! My daughter loves the school. She has learned so much since she started a year ago. I am so happy I found this place. I am so grateful for Ms. Heidi, Sifu Mike and all the team. Their love and dedication is shown in every class. Good job!!

Neil Manzella reviewed 4GK Martial Arts & Skillz of Patchogue
via Facebook

I highly recommend 4GK to anyone considering Martial Arts for their children or themselves. The staff has been doing an amazing job with my 4 year old son. He has a safe and fun outlet for some of his endless energy supply and the staff do a great job keeping all of the students involved, active, and engaged in the classes activities. My son loves it and looks forward to it every week!

Christina Annessa reviewed 4GK Martial Arts & Skillz of Patchogue
via Facebook

We just started a month ago and my kids are in love & can't get enough of it. Everyday they ask do they have class. Its great for all ages and I really like that they split them up. My daughter is 5 and is learning age appropriate skills while in the next class my 8 year is learning different things. The staff is super friendly and always accommodates our needs. I absolutely love the fun nights they do as well, the kids get to hang out & have fun while I get to relax a bit a home. Overall very satisfied with this program.

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5 Ways To Help Kids Feel Confident

There are a lot of activities that are available to children these days that will help them build confidence. In fact, confidence is one of the more common requests that we have from parents who bring their children to SKILLZ of Patchogue.

Parents want us to help bring the kids out of their shells help them with strangers help them try new things and just overall be more confident.

The unique thing about SKILLZ is that confidence isn’t just a byproduct of things that we do, something that just kind of happens. Confidence development designed mindfully into our programs.

There are five main ways that we work to influence a child’s sense of self-efficacy

Self-efficacy is a really big fancy phrase for the child’s ability to believe in themselves to believe that they can accomplish a task or that they can acquire the tools necessary to accomplish those tasks so.

In all of our classes, including Fun Week, we are working on five main areas of focus that help kids feel like they can conquer challenges, and the cool thing is that we as coaches teachers and parents can influence our kids very proactively in each of these areas to help them be more confident.

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The first one we’re working on is:

Performance Experience

What that means is that we help them think about things that they have they done before, activities have they done in class or in school, such as a similar game, drill, or activity as the task in front of them.

When it’s time to go in and play a new game or try a new activity and they have a little hesitancy we can remind them of times when they faced a similar challenge that they overcame somehow. This has both an intellectual and emotional component, both of which help them use what they’ve learned and how they felt to bolster their confidence.

The second factor for building confidence is:

Vicarious Experience

“Vicarious” is a big word that means essentially “through somebody else,” as in, “to live vicariously through our children.” Vicarious Experience is really powerful, especially for the younger kids, because they have so many mirror neurons in their brain that respond and react to what a child observes from their peers and mentors.

That means is a child can look at a situation where maybe an instructor is going through something that we’ve asked the child to do, and can then say to themselves, “Well, if the instructor can face this challenge then I can face this challenge, too!”

This is one of the reasons why Fun Week is so powerful: because the students get a chance to interact with their instructors, see them fail as they lose at games, and then learn how to move past the failure, to see it just as a learning opportunity. They learn to model the behaviors they observe

The third factor for building confidence is:

Social Persuasion

Social Persuasion includes everything from the comforting embrace of a parent who’s providing a safe space, to the encouragement of an instructor’s pep talk, to a child’s peers egging them on.

We want to provide an environment in which the child knows that, not only should they believe in themselves, but we believe in them.

Kids put a lot of faith and trust in their peers and in their role models, so if we can rally behind them and provide that positive social persuasion, they are more likely to take a risk that may result in success.

On a side note, this is why when a new child, particularly the younger kids, come into our facility, very often they’ll hide behind mommy or daddy’s leg, and sometimes, to help encourage them, mommy or daddy will push them out onto the training floor and say, “Stop being shy. Stop hiding behind me. Go out there and be brave!”

While that’s well-intentioned, it is also often counterproductive because the child is more likely to go out and be brave if we give them that time behind us where they can observe and take it all in, absorb what is happening, and make that decision to step out.

Pushing them prematurely creates a more stressful situation, which kids sometimes tie to fears of abandonment, thereby decreasing the levels of self-efficacy.

The fourth factor affecting confidence is:

Physical and Emotional State

Psychologist Abraham Maslow states that a child’s most base needs must be met before they can get out there and try to learn or do any of the higher processes involved in healthy risk-taking or success.

The environment we create during Fun Week is fun, charged with positive emotion, and lots of oxytocin and endorphins (positive feel-good neurotransmitters) being stimulated. These great experiential learning processes are going on, and the child is more likely to be able to take in and absorb all this information.

On the other hand, if a child is tired, maybe just woke up from a nap before they came to class, if they are hungry and cranky or they’re just not feeling well that day, then they will feel less confident about their abilities.

As adults, we recognize that we can wake up on the wrong side of the bed and just have a bad day during which we don’t feel up to performing. Kids have those days, too, and we need to let them; it’s part of being human.

Learning how to adapt to and overcome those physical and emotional challenges is important. So, too, is recognizing that, if people can have good days and bad days, that means that you can have days during which you are more confident and days when you are less confident.

We don’t want to define self-efficacy just by a single incidence of, “my child wouldn’t try,” or, “my child had a challenge.” We want to look overall at that child’s development and observe trends across a wide variety of activities before we start worrying or labeling.

Finally, the fifth way that we work to influence a child’s sense of self-efficacy is”

Imaginal Experience

That word “imaginal” sounds like “imaginary,” and that’s a large part of what it means. It has to do with taking all of these other factors — how they feel, what they’ve been told, what they’ve done in the past, what they’ve seen their peers do — and now they put it all together by imagining what will happen if they try something new.

We want a child’s imagination to be very positive because we know from research in the fields of psychology and neuroscience that, when we believe strongly in an idea, it is more likely to come true.

This is a result of the Reticular Activating System in your brain. The RAS, among other functions, looks for ways to make your thoughts come true. This is why things like positive affirmations work so well.

A child’s imaginal experience is very powerful to them; in some cases, it is so powerful that it almost feels real. When it feels real, it can affect the child’s perception of the real world.

Putting It All Together

With all of these factors in mind, we can encourage kids to have more confidence by guiding the visualizations that they’re having by, for example, helping them remember a time that they overcame a challenge, or watching how their best friend did it, and by reminding them that we are always here for them, and that, even if it doesn’t work, we’re still going to be their friend or love them completely.

By helping kids by using certain emotional cues to through remembering a time when they felt empowered, we empower them to bring all of these things into a very realistic mental visualization that includes their desired outcome: success.

When we have all five of these factors in place, humming along and purring, that child is going to have a very powerful sense that they are efficacious, that they have self-efficacy, and that they should believe in themselves.

When they believe it they can be it, and that’s really what we want to provide through our classes, and through our parenting and coaching experiences.


To learn more about the powerful Skillz child development program that uses elements of martial arts training as the vehicle for growth, or to get your child started at our Patchogue location, click the button below:









380 East Main St

Patchogue, NY 11772



Author: Michael A Evans

Michael is a 6th-degree black sash under his teacher, Moises Arocho, and has been training in martial arts since 1985. Michael has a degree in Massage Therapy from NY College of Health Professions. He is the co-owner of 4GK Martial Arts in Patchogue, NY, and Skillz of Patchogue, a childhood development facility using martial arts and other movement modalities as the vehicle for kids’ growth and success.  Michael is also the Lead Consultant for Skillz Worldwide