STRUCTURE & POSITIVITY MADE ME WHO i AM TODAY.
After being a Martial Artist for 40 years and have earned the belt rank of 8th Dan, there’s still a burning passion inside of me to keep on kicking. Growing up as a military dependent, I initially began receiving martial arts instructions in Butzbach, Germany during the early 80’s. Having earned the title of top junior American competitor and receiving my black belt at the age of 15 yrs, I continued my training in Ft. Polk and DeRidder, Louisiana after my father was reassigned to the USA. Having a positive influence in my life was indeed a building block foundation that helped shape my mindset. Also having the wonderful privilege to participate and enjoy a well-structured afterschool program also helped to enhance my social interaction with my peers and adults.
Early in my martial art career I discovered a deep passion within to work with kids. From 1994-2001 as owner/instructor of Hartley’ s Taekwondo System in Lake Charles, LA, my assistants and I produced over four dozen USTU junior state/ national Olympic taekwondo champions. Hartley’s was named best martial arts school in southwest Louisiana by the local American press in 1995.
Over the years I taught martial arts to Head Start children, kid fit programs with the local hospitals and recreation centers. Just as recent as 2019 I received the induction award from USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame as Martial Arts youth advocate of the year.
Serving as a certified peace officer for 21 years with 16 of those years working diligently with the area’s youth, I still believe that it takes a collaborative effort with involved parents and skilled adults to train up children to become productive law-abiding citizens.
the world is changing.
BUT the fundamentals are the same.
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Despite living in a fast pace high-tech world with the constant change of technology and trends, there are some fundamental principles that parents, educators, and youth advocates should never change when working with today’s youth. Every child should have the opportunity to grow up in a functional household with loving and supportive parents. Rather if you are a single parent or a blended family, it is our responsibility as parents to develop and nurture the mental, physical, and spiritual growth of our children. Spending quality time, instilling morals and values are basic principles that helps with developing a healthy and positive attitude.
Point in case here is the fact that parents who are actively involved in their kid’s lives, whether they be teenagers or young children, initially have the greatest impact on the early development stage of developing a healthy attitude. From personal experience, I’m a strong believer that a child’s environment and their heredity from the parent are great influences on the child’s emotional and social development. Provided the opportunity to grow up in a functional household and the opportunity to participate and enjoy a well-structured after school program would greatly contribute to developing a stable and positive mindset.
The message that I hope to convey through my book to parents, Martial Arts instructors, educators, counselor, and youth advocates is the fact that we have the most wonderful privilege and a great responsibility to make a positive impact in the lives of our youth. This journey requires patience from the adult and is most effective when there is a collaborative effort by a support network group of caring adults. So let’s Go! Order your copy of Developing A Positive Attitude For Youth today.
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