Teaching Martial Arts With the Brain in Mind: Speed of Processing & Divided Attention

“We are always in a perpetual state of being created and creating ourselves.” Dr. Daniel J. Siegel, The Developing Mind

The 2022-2023 school year is back and in full swing… Let the adventures of learning, exploring, creating, innovating and more all begin!

As children settle into a new grade and dive into a new level of academics this school year, discoveries of many kinds and growth in knowledge of the world all around them are alive and well. It’s an exciting time for kids of all ages as their minds absorb daily new epic experiences around every corner. Equipped with their insatiable excitement to the very core of their beings, summer brings about countless opportunities for children and teens alike to expand their developing minds in so many incredible ways!

How is this possible?

What awesomeness is our dojo providing youth by supporting their intellectual development on and beyond the mats?

Cue Brain SKILLZ!

The developing mind is a fascinating field of study, one which SKILLZ takes very seriously. While the physically supportive elements of our programming are certainly important and vital to ensuring the overall success of each and every one of our students, support of the changing, growing, learning and evolving mind as children grow are all key to helping intellectual, emotional and social growth and development thrive.

Due to the intentional study of the developing mind, SKILLZ has been able to purposefully breakdown the support of childhood brain development with these eight science and psychology based skills:

1. Speed of Processing

2. Divided Attention

3. Attention Control

4. Response Inhibition

5. Long-Term Memory

6. Working Memory

7. Auditory Processing

8. Visual Processing

Let us take a closer look at the first two Brain SKILLZ:

Speed of Processing

“Speed of Processing refers to how quickly one can process incoming information.”

When this skill is a strength:

• Missions can be performed and completed decisively and with accuracy.

• The best choice and ability to execute corresponding action steps accordingly comes easily.

When this skill is weak:

• It can take longer than perhaps expected to complete a given mission.

• Errors and mistakes tend to be made as the mind tends to jump to conclusions before the logical steps of completion have been formulated.

Divided Attention

“Divided Attention enables you to remember information while doing multiple things at once.”

When this skill is a strength:

• One can see multiple missions through simultaneously.

• More missions are able to be completed faster.

When this skill is weak:

• It is hard to do multiple things simultaneously.

• Mistakes are often made when trying to do more than one thing at a time.

Through game-based learning and nurturing, we are honing in on supporting Speed of Processing as well as Divided Attention to help today’s youth be able to intellectually thrive in and beyond the academic setting through our experiences together on the mats.

Remember, children learn best through play! As we all enjoy the summer alongside our kids, there are no shortage of opportunities to continue nurturing the developing

mind through purposeful play that allows youth to increase their Speed of Processing abilities as well as ability to accomplish multiple missions at once with Divided Attention at home!

For more tips and ideas on how you can nurture Speed of Processing and Divided Attention at home and on the go this summer, simply connect with one of our instructors! We love putting our heads together with Proud Ninja Parents to help support all of our students in taking their Brain SKILLZ to the next level!

About the Author

Meg Klettke is the proud owner alongside her husband, Alex of Family Strong Sussex, a SKILLZ Lifetime Gold studio in Southeastern Wisconsin. With a background in traditional and alternative therapeutics, Meg is an active advocate for today’s youth. Her passion for supporting and nurturing the whole child resonates through all she does as a Proud Ninja Mom of two boys with special needs, Certified Pediatric Ninja Specialist and Content Creator for SKILLZ Worldwide

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