Four Ninja PIES For Successful Kids | 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
5
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
5
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
5
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
5
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
5
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
5
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
5
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
5
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
5
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
5
via Facebook

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

Victoria Ingoglia reviewed 4GK Martial Arts & Skillz of Patchogue
5
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
5
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
5
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
5
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
5
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
5
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
5
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
5
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
5
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
5
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
5
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
5
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
5
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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Four Ninja PIES: How a simple kick can give kids an unfair developmental advantage.

In our SKILLZ child development classes, we use martial arts as a tool to help kids connect with the powerful lessons that give them an unfair developmental advantage.

Each activity is specifically designed to target one or more of these areas of development.  We use the acronym PIES to describe these aspects of a child’s growth:

  1. Physical – This includes all aspects of a child’s interaction with the physical world, muscular development, and kinesthetic awareness.  While most of our students have perfectly healthy young bodies, it is not uncommon for kids to feel challenged physically as they change and grow.
  2. Intellectual – This area of development draws a lot from the latest research in neuroscience. This includes things like working on improving a child’s speed of processing, increasing their cognitive load, and improving their awareness of how their decisions affect the outcomes.
  3. Emotional – Kids face big emotions.  Our classes support their emotional intelligence by helping them label those emotions and provide tools for kids to self-regulate and overcome the “downstairs” emotional brain so they can stay cool, calm, and successful.
  4. Social – we recognize that, at each stage of development, kids experience social situations differently.  Our goal is to help them become active members of their social group while maintaining a well-defined self-identity and strong personal boundaries.

(Bonus: a fifth developmental focus is language skills, which we actively include in our intellectual training)

Take a look at this picture of 3-year-old Bradley working on his kicks with Mr. Robert in our Early SKILLZ class:

Bradley thinks he is learning how to be a NINJA!

But…

Can You Spy All Four PIES?

In this drill, named Happy Feet, students have to wait for the prompt, then step onto the pad as quickly as possible without falling over.  Once they have their balance, each student throws two kicks as the instructor counts.  Finally, they jump off the pad and land with good balance.

Can you name one thing Bradley is working on physically, intellectually, emotionally, or socially?

Physically

Bradley is working on several skills related to his physical development.  For example, he is actively developing his sense of proprioception, which is the body’s awareness of the position of its parts in relation to one another, and his ability to balance (vestibular system).  This includes strengthening his stabilizer muscles, developing eye-foot coordination, and learning how to apply and control force in his movements.

Intellectually

Bradley is learning how to follow multiple-step commands, which is related to the principle of cognitive load.  At 3 years old, a typical child can follow a two-step command but will struggle with more complex instructions.

Believe it or not, he is also exploring advanced physics as he calculates the amount of force needed to hop a specific distance with a specific trajectory; this is his spatial awareness skill.  As mentioned above, as a bonus, he is also improving his language skills as he practices the prepositions “in front” and “behind.”

Emotionally

Bradley is working on his ability to regulate his emotions by moderating his excitement about hopping and kicking.  Children at this age will often become excited to try new things but struggle with listening to instructions as their emotions take over.

The same idea is being applied to his fear of falling over; as he works through the challenge and builds competence, his self-efficacy (belief in his abilities) increases, which allows him to process at a more rational level instead of being ruled by the strong fear emotion.

Socially

Bradley is learning about taking turns, which is above the expected stage of development for a child his age.  Preschoolers are often more interested in a parallel play model, which means they play alongside their peers, often participating in the same activity, but just as often with minimal interaction.  He is learning about working with a partner to achieve a goal (usually expected of a 5 to 6-year-old child) and practicing how to be encouraging toward his peers.

The Martial Arts Vehicle

No, not the Ninjamobile! 

If we brought the kids into yet another classroom, with yet another set of adults talking about yet another set of facts to learn, they would quickly disengage.  By using a tool such as martial arts, we help the kids engage in their own learning.  We do this by supporting the secretion of the body’s feel-good chemicals: the neurotransmitters that reinforce a positive learning experience.

According to Brain Gym founder Paul E. Dennison, “Movement is the door to learning.” 

When children engage physically through movement, they have a chance to understand very high concepts viscerally.  The same way you can make swish a basketball without running the calculations on a blackboard, a child can inherently understand high-level concepts when they have a chance to move through an activity.  This movement also encourages the secretion of endorphins, which provide a pleasant sense of accomplishment.

By providing a nurturing environment with instructors who are specifically trained in the expectations of each stage of development and the associated theories of motivation, children learn to bond with and feel safe in the presence of their mentors.  When a child likes you, the desire to learn from you increases.  These close bonds foster the secretion of oxytocin, which is the trust chemical.  If a child feels safe, a child can shift attention to learning.

Each part of each class has a clearly defined set of challenging yet achievable goals.  Through the use of edutainment (the interweaving of education and entertainment), kids face these challenges as they would face a new level of a video game: with excitement!  When kids laugh and have fun, their bodies secrete serotonin, which contributes to a general sense of well-being that they associate with the learning environment.

With achievement comes recognition.  Through the careful inclusion of both intrinsic and extrinsic motivators, kids learn to anticipate each lesson’s challenges. This anticipation and the success that follows lead dopamine production, which is the body’s reward chemical.  When kids feel a sense of reward, they look for ways to continue the activities that made them successful.

When we talk about these four neurotransmitters — Dopamine, Oxytocin, Serotonin, and Endorphins — and the ways in which we leverage them in the learning environment, we call it the DOSE method.  When combined with the PIES concept, even a simple activity such as hooping on a pad and throwing kicks becomes a powerful tool that gives kids an unfair developmental advantage.

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:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4GK MARTIAL ARTS & SKILLZ OF PATCHOGUE

380 East Main St

Patchogue, NY 11772

631-776-8060

www.NotKarate.com

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.

Special thanks to Freshly Cut Film for the great pic!

Click here to check out Michael’s interview on Fox News about how SKILLZ is revolutionizing the way we empower kids for success.