My name is Fred Nicklaus. I am the owner of Nicklaus’ Martial Arts America in La Crosse. On Saturday, November 15th we tested 10 of our students for their Black Belts. It was a very special day for these young people. They’ve worked hard to get to that day.
As a business owner I often tell people about the many benefits of our martial arts program. People expect that I say good things about our program because it’s my business, but because I own the business they might also be a bit skeptical about the many good things that I say.
Before these youngsters graduate to their Black Belt we ask them and their parents to write what the Black Belt experience has meant to them.
Take a peek at what some of our families have said about their training.
What you’ve just read is what lead us to create the perfect Holiday gift package for your child. When you give your child a martial arts gift package you are giving them an edge in every area of their life.
Here’s what they will get.
This really is a gift that changes lives.
I’ve included excerpts from some of their personal testimonials for you to read. When you read these personal success stories I hope that you will better understand what our program is about and why I say that this could very well be the perfect Christmas present for your son/daughter.
Proud Karate Parents of Julia S
“Obviously, in the physical sense of the word stronger, the activity both from aerobic and a muscle-building standpoint with the training for karate and Black Belt has helped our daughter to become physically stronger. But the strength she gets from the commitment, dedication, and perseverance to develop into a Black Belt goes much beyond physical strength. The ability to think when physically or emotionally stressed is a learned skill and the training for martial arts and Black Belt help hone this skill, which has many applications in life.
The development of respect; The appreciation for the value of hard work; and the importance of tenacity or never quit attitude are key benefits that she has learned well ahead of the typical experiences that lend to these attributes in life without martial arts.
I believe that many children have the potential to develop the attributes mentioned above and many will do so through the guidance of their parents, the observation of their friends, and their organized activities such as at school. Starting martial arts as a child allows for that person to develop these skills well ahead of the life stage where they normally would. This catapults the child into making decisions in their adolescence and young adulthood that will hopefully land them on a road to success as an adult and possibly a parent themselves someday. This acceleration and optimization of these skills at a time in their life where they can experience the benefits of hard work, persistence, and respect can only go to solidify those attributes into adulthood. Ultimately this will hopefully lead to success and a happier life for your child. What more can a parent ask for?“
Parents of Julia, Ryan, and Aaron P
“Reaching Black Belt candidate level has made our daughter, Julia and sons, Ryan and Aaron stronger and better people in mind, spirit and body. We have seen an improvement in their physical strength and endurance over these three years in karate, and especially over the last month during candidate classes. Many days over the years they practiced for another sport or competed in a game and also came to a karate class or two—physically, they are very fit. Mentally, they have found the strength to push on when tired and not let fatigue stop them. And as important as the physical aspects of karate are, the most important, lifelong changes we believe they have gained from their karate experience the feelings of accomplishment, self- worth, and self-confidence.
What we will most remember include the first time we saw Ryan raise his hand to contribute to a discussion during karate class. Prior to that, we heard from his teachers that he was very quiet and didn’t feel comfortable sharing in school. Since, we’ve only heard great reports–that he contributes in class, asks good questions, and is very responsible and respectful. We will remember when Aaron decided that he really wanted this and started putting in the extra work. We will remember when each of them started “getting it” and looking strong and confident during class. We will remember the chore sheets and how those chores became habits as they learned the importance of contributing to our family.
There were many times over the years that it was difficult to come to karate—not physically difficult, but difficult because the children weren’t feeling motivated and there were so many things to be done at home. Because we made the commitment to continue to Black Belt, they have had to make difficult choices—missing out on other opportunities and activities. Teaching them the importance of following through with a choice, not giving up when it is difficult, and pushing through to a goal are all such important life lessons.
We talk with the kids often about the student creed and how it applies to so many aspects of their lives—school, responsibilities, sports, family life. Three years ago when the children started as white belts, we didn’t realize how much they would learn within the karate studio that would be meaningful throughout their lives. It isn’t so much the punches and kicks, the forms, or the basics that will take them farther, it is all of the rest that really matters“
Proud Karate Parents of Keegan M.
“Our story began about 3 ½ years ago. My son Keegan was 10 years old. He was invited to a birthday party at Nicklaus’ Martial Arts America by a classmate of his. Keegan attended the party and was offered the free month membership. He immediately asked me if he could join. I have to admit I was a little hesitant at first because Keegan had joined several other groups and tried other team sports, but he would quit after just a short time. He had not found something that he enjoyed doing to see it through to the end of the season. We signed Keegan up for the month and it didn’t even take a full month to know that he had found his forte.
Keegan has been working hard every week at his classes, growing physically, mentally, and emotionally along the way. As the oldest child in our family, he has 4 younger siblings who look up to him. Keegan has taken the role of “big brother” seriously. He helps out by watching and playing with his brothers and sisters. He is a positive role model for them. I believe that his Martial Arts has helped him develop a sense of responsibility.
Julia P’s Story – WHY I WANT TO BE A BLACK BELT
“Being in martial arts has made me a stronger and better person in many ways. One way is my respectfulness towards others. If I had not been in karate long enough to achieve my black belt I do not think I would have as much respect for my parents, peers, and brothers. Another way becoming a black belt has made me a stronger person is my ability to do public speaking. Before martial arts I was always very shy and went along with whatever someone wanted me to do. Now I am able to do class presentations and school reports without stuttering; I also use a clear voice. I can do this because of pushing myself out of my comfort zone during karate class and sometimes teaching younger belts or my classmates combos, a skill we worked on a lot in classes. I also make my own decisions and don’t give in to peer pressure. One way karate made me physically stronger is that I now know that I can push myself to maybe do five more pushups, for example. This has helped me in track and field to sometimes run an extra four hundred meters before practice is over.
Positive changes I have made to become a black belt are my schoolwork and my understanding of the importance of classes. During my candidate training I had to go to three or four classes a week. Since I usually have quite a bit of homework, I have learned to finish it quickly and neatly before karate. This has made changes in how long it takes to do my homework. Now I very rarely have to do an assignment at the last minute. I also don’t procrastinate anymore. Without trying, karate has made me a better student as well as a better person.”
Reilly S’s Story – Why I want to be a Black Belt:
“Training for Black Belt has made me a better person in many ways. One way is public speaking.
I attend La Crosse Design Institute, LDI, which uses project based learning. Each project has to have an oral presentation portion and I feel that I have become more fluent. It has become second nature to introduce myself and start talking.
The drills that have helped me are ones such as the four rules to introducing yourself; eye contact, firm hand shake, speak clearly and smile.
The other drill is the leadership drill where we have to teach a group of students how to do something. Breaking things down step by step has helped me choose my words more carefully, as well as teach me patience.
The positive changes I’ve had to make are being a better time manager. In order to come to more classes, and do more sparring I have to make sure my homework is completed early. I had to become a better time manager because I have school projects with due dates that were close to karate due dates”
This really is a gift that changes lives.