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From Self Defense To self Confidence: How Organised Activities Can Benefit Kids For Life

Story: Kelly Walker | Photo: Bruce Redman
Published On : Jul 23, 2022
From Self Defense To Self Confidence: How Organised Activities Can Benefit Kids For Life
Being part of a local sports club, youth group, dance class or any other type of organised activity group can have far reaching benefits for children and teens that will often stay with them for the rest of their lives. Beyond learning new skills, being part of a shared interest group helps to build confidence, a sense of belonging and positive social skills.

Former police officer and local karate instructor, Sensei John Cahill from JKA Brighton, has seen first-hand the difference that having an involvement in an organised activity can have on youth when it comes to making good decisions in life.

As a police officer for 28 years, John spent the majority of his service interacting with all sectors of society. “I guess I saw a lot of the good and the bad,” he said. “My experiences made me realise that young people who were involved in positive organised activities - no matter what they entailed, were less likely to come to the notice of police or authorities. That is not to say that this was the only solution, but it was noticeable.”

Practicing karate since the 1970s, and running his own club for more than 20 years now, John hopes that the sport’s self confidence building aspect is what will have the most profound effect on his students.

“I’ve seen many children who initially felt very shy and overwhelmed go on to participate in tournaments and take on leadership roles within their class,” he said. “This type of gained confidence can be of tremendous assistance as they face challenges or stressful situations in all aspects of their lives.”

Although karate is most commonly known as a form of self defense, the benefits of self confidence, physical fitness, agility and flexibility are all apparent.

“The main hope I have for students, and predominantly junior students, is that they build a confidence that evolves into character building as they progress,” he said. “I hope that they first learn to respect themselves and then carry that on to others through kindness, understanding and acceptance.”

JKA Brighton prides itself on being a family orientated, welcoming environment, inclusive of all ages, genders and abilities so that all of its students can gain new skills and confidence at any age or stage in life.

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