Nurturing Children’s Social Development During the Pandemic | Sturgis Academy of Martial Arts
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ACCESS OUR VIRTUAL SCHEDULE
& EXCLUSIVE WEB SPECIAL

Secure your spot and get started today with virtual training!

By opting into the web form above you are providing consent for Sturgis Academy of Martial Arts to send you periodic text messages. Standard rates may apply. You can reply HELP at anytime or learn more. You may opt-out anytime by replying STOP.
Danielle McPherson

Joining the SAMA family was the best decision we have made for our son Mackinnley! He has grown so much mentally and physically since we joined summer 2019. The Hamlin’s are excellent teachers and have been helping Mack deal with his anxiety! I highly recommend joining the SAMA family!!!!

Jen Snyder

Sturgis Academy of Martial Arts is a top notch school! I have seen so many students (young and old alike) achieve not only valuable self defense skills but more importantly their gains in self confidence levels are remarkable. The owners/instructors are extremely knowledgeable and their passion for this school truly shines. I see great things in this school’s future. Highly recommend! Give it a try!

Patrick Laughlin

The Hamlins masterfully strike a balance between conveying the serious nature of the training while also keeping it light and fun for the student. My son has been training here since he was 5, now 9, and has made great strides of improvement in discipline and self confidence. The instructors are top notch and they integrate personal growth with the physical training. They teach tenets such as Self-Control, Integrity, Perseverance, Indomitable Spirit, Courtesy, Decision Making, Accountability, and on , and on. The owners are pillars of the community themselves; with Mrs. Hamlin working with the museum and Mr. Hamlin being on the board at the chamber of commerce. Whether you want to learn self defense to protect yourself and your family, get your child involved in an activity that benefits mind body and spirit, you want to get into a competitive sport or you just want a great workout; Sturgis Academy of Martial Arts is a great Decision and starting point. You make the commitment to yourself/ your child and they will commit to showing you the path to your goals.

Marion Wiggins

Our four year old twins have been going to SAMA since July of this year. At the beginning of their first class, our daughter didn't want to participate; she was overwhelmed by the new experience. Mr. Hamlin sat with her the whole time, gently encouraging her to participate as she felt comfortable, and by her second class she was fully engaged. Our son was the opposite- a little too enthusiastic! Mrs. Hamlin has helped him learn how to control his energy and use his enthusiasm to help him listen and do his best. Both Mrs. and Mr. Hamlin differentiate lessons to meet the needs of the all their students, and provide excellent encouragement and support as they learn and master skills. The other instructors are also wonderful! Both my kids love that there's a mix of male and female instructors, and we love that all the instructors are positive role models. We've left every class knowing our children are having the best experience possible. My husband and I feel like SAMA is a community treasure. We highly recommend SAMA!

Kathy Tyler

I don't even know where to begin on how wonderful this place is! My boys have really grown into empathetic, respectful young men with help from wonderful instructors. It is very much a welcoming atmosphere, if you have any questions or concerns there is always a listening ear and a solution. Thank you guys so much for everything!

Johanna Orca Handyside

I have only good things to say about SAMA. They have trained my little boys for the past 3+ years and they do so with patience and positive reinforcement. They expect their students to learn and be leaders they teach them the skills they need to do so. I would definitely recommend SAMA to anyone in the area!

David Brown

My son started as a Young Dragon and has grown so much with their help, he just started training in Tae Kwon Do Junior classes and loves every bit of it. It has really helped him focus more in his school and has helped him in so many ways. I myself am a Hapkido student here and love every class. It’s tough but honestly nothing good in life is easy. All the instructors are awesome whether your a little kid or a teenager or even an adult they make learning fun. This is their passion and it truly shows. I’m hoping all my kids will eventually join me in Hapkido when they get older or at least keep with Tae Kwon Do. I would recommend SAMA to anyone. To top it off they have fun events like Parent’s Night Out where you can drop the kids off for a couple hours and maybe have a quick date night. I can’t say enough good things about them.

Alexis Flowers

The staff at Sturgis Academy of Martial Arts are dedicated to the success of their students. They instill discipline, confidence and integrity in each individual that steps onto the mat.

Beth Preston

The Hamlin’s have taken this martial arts studio above and beyond expectations in a few short years since taking over as co-owners. Their passion for teaching and sharing their knowledge of Taekwondo and Hapkido is contagious. You will become family when you start your journey at the Sturgis Academy of Martial Arts!

Erin Furr

Wonderful place for my son to not only learn martial arts, but self control, focus, and more. Instructors are patient with the kids and can match their energy. They always have fun ideas every class as well as all of the extra things they do.

Kara Mathews

This is the best martial arts place around, filled with AMAZING instructor's. They bring in high energy, focus, motivation, confidence, knowledge and so much more! My daughter has gained so much from being here in just a year. The nicest people you will meet! YOU GUYS ROCK!!

Carol Brooks

Enthusiastic, friendly, phenomenal instructors! They not only teach Martial Arts, they teach character, and help all their students see the value in setting goals and working towards them. They also give back to the Sturgis Community, sharing their gift of teaching with local elementary schools! Awesome people, who are committed to making the world a better place, one student at a time! ❤❤❤

Judy Johnson

Sturgis Academy of Martial Arts is a fun place to meet new people and learn how to protect yourself (self defense) from bullies. The instructors are awesome, kind, fun to be around and care about their students.

Erin Shoesmith

The instructors at SAMA love kids and are such a kid focused company! I am so thankful they are in our community! They do so many great things outside of the SAMA studio as well, I’ve seen them volunteering at the local schools and at many community activities!

Katie Hamlin and the team at SAMA are so great with the kids. They are great people, so uplifting to be around so positive .... I would definitely recommend SAMA to anyone I know. My son has grown so much with confidence and balance in the last 6 months. If you're even thinking about it, please check them out.

reviewed Sturgis Academy of Martial Arts
5
via Facebook
Brittney Stilley

Such an amazing place with an always happy atmosphere! The instructors are always so willing to help. We have experienced nothing but kindness while sending our son here. He has learned so much its incredible the difference I can see in just over a year of them working with him. We definitely will continue sending him here! I think the best thing about SAMA is that the owners dont just do this for a job, it's their way of life. They truly believe in what they are teaching and it really shows!!

Crystel Baye

This place is awesome! My son loves it here and so do we. It’s a great learning environment, I wish every child had an opportunity to train here. They encourage perseverance and help kids get past the fear of failure.

Samantha Haley

Super positive environment for learning and training. All of the instructors are awesome and take time with every student inside and outside of class👍Overall awesome place to train!

Nik Lane reviewed Sturgis Academy of Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

We simply wanted our son to have an experience with something new and different when we signed him up for classes, and instead, we witnessed something amazing and astonishing emerge from within him that we never before fathomed. Watching him go from timid to intense was a legitimate inspiration to us as parents. This was a direct result from the Hamlin’s outstanding teaching, genuine encouragement, and tangible dedication to their art.

Cassandra Waltz reviewed Sturgis Academy of Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Amazing place. Very knowledgeable with what they teach.

Jeannie Hamlin

This place is totally amazing! They not only teach martial arts, but also incorporate courtesy, integrity, self control and many other life skills that are so valuable in every day life. They are very family oriented, always something fun going on to engage everyone. Extremely knowledgeable instructors who are constantly learning new techniques to bring to their students. In case you could not tell...WE LOVE Sturgis Academy of Martial Arts!!!

Joanna Miller

This is a great place to learn not only self-defense, but things like self-control, confidence, and courtesy for every day life. The instructors are awesome and actually help you learn the techniques the proper way, as well as the effectiveness of each move and break down how they work. They care about every student and each class offers a fun time, great friends, and a good challenge for body and mind.

Ruth Kroeger reviewed Sturgis Academy of Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

The instructors care about getting to know each student and helping them reach their personal goals no matter what their ability level. Very nice gym and equipment. I highly recommend SAMA to anyone interested in martial arts training!

Anita Harkness reviewed Sturgis Academy of Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

We love going to SAMA! It has been fun and challenging for my boys! The instructors are knowledgeable and personal and have created an excellent training environment. I highly recommend this gym!

Nina White reviewed Sturgis Academy of Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Such an awesome atmosphere! Bret, Katie and other instructors do such a good job training. Hands down the best gym around

Jennifer Thieme reviewed Sturgis Academy of Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

The Sturgis Academy of Marital Arts family have been wonderful with my daughter she learning so much confidence in herself and respect. I love to watch her on the mat and see her light up when she does something she didn’t believe she could do!! I would recommend this family to anyone.

Mandy Meyer reviewed Sturgis Academy of Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Bret and Katie are amazing at what they do! They make the experience enjoyable and are very knowledgeable in the training that they give.

Mathew Lloyd Tyler reviewed Sturgis Academy of Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Absolutely wonderful with kids and adults I have my wife and my kids all train here and just love it.

Amanda Fanning-Bouford reviewed Sturgis Academy of Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

This is a great place for kids to help them get focused and work on techniques. All the instructors are knowledgeable and work extremely well with kids, especially the younger ones. They have updated the facility very nicely and it’s very clean. Absolutely would recommend checking them out.

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Nurturing Children’s Social Development During the Pandemic

For the past two months, we have been asked to socially distance ourselves from others in order to stop the spread of COVID-19. We’ve put most of our “normal” daily living routines on pause and created a secluded environment for ourselves and our children. And while many things are in a holding pattern, one thing that has not taken a break is children’s development. And yes, we are living in unprecedented times but as the world begins the “re-opening” effort, we must prepare ourselves and our children for what our social lives will look like moving forward.

Children’s social development is being impacted with the guidelines surrounding social distancing. They are no longer able to attend school and interact with their teachers and friends and most parents are also limiting their children’s time spent going on errands as well. Therefore, their ability to interact with others is limited. And what’s worse is that many people have taken the term “social distancing” to mean that they cannot interact with others at all. The stress of getting sick has instilled fear in our minds and caused many to avoid eye contact and greeting others, in addition to staying 6 ft. apart.

For children, “social distancing” can be confusing, especially when parents are avoiding others on all levels. And while the intention of this phrase is good, it has sent the wrong message. What we need to teach children is to “physically distance” themselves from others. This term tells them to maintain distance while also letting them know that eye contact and greetings are okay. This way, children learn what they should do to avoid getting sick while also learning and reinforcing necessary social skills.

In order to meet children’s social development needs, parents must find ways to teach social skills by providing children with creative opportunities for this. One way to start this is by parents role-playing social scenarios. This will be especially important since in-person social interactions will look different as daily activities resume. And while most families have continued to connect with extended family via video chats, parents should also have time set aside for virtual play dates or classes where children can interact with other adults and their peers.

Through our SKILLZ martial arts program, children around the world have continued to engage with their peers and instructors while under stay at home orders. Since SKILLZ focuses on developing the whole child, each class targets social skills that are appropriate for a certain age group. And while it’s a bit different now that classes are done virtually, instructors are still able create interactions between students and allow time to check in with them. Nurturing children’s social development, during this time, is vital in preparing them for interactions with others again.

While we don’t know, yet, what the long-term effects of social isolation on our children will look like, what we do know is that children will be different. To help mitigate any regression in social development, we must take the time now to form unity between parents and the community and invest in our children’s social growth. By doing this, we are preparing them for success and helping them feel confident in knowing how to interact with others in a safe, yet compassionate way.