Today, I would like to talk briefly about the positiveeffects that martial arts can have on individuals, especially children. My son is five and has been training atAim High for about one and a half years. Now, if someone were to go over and watch the Little Warriors, as theyare known, in class, he or she might find many technical flaws in theirtechniques, but they are training none the less. The extent of the profound effect that martial arts traininghas on these young children became manifest to me as I recently watched my sonparticipate in an afterschool soccer skills program offered at his elementaryschool. This program teachessoccer skills to 5 and 6 year olds one day a week after school. I was trulyshocked by what I saw transpire during the class. About one-fourth of the students were engaged or somewhatengaged in the activities. Aboutone-half of the students were completely oblivious to the activities that weregoing on around them, and about one-fourth of the students were activelyseeking to disrupt the proceedings by any means necessary. I saw students kicking soccerballs and orange cones all over the place. I saw students knocking over and jumping up and downon goals. I saw students run awayand talk to their parents during class. All of this was going on while the teachers were trying to talk to thekids. I saw parents laughingat their children’s unruly behavior. I even saw one of the instructors, unbelievably, high-five a studentafter the student had just kicked away a cone that had been placed down to markthe field of play. I was really appalled by what I watched at thatpractice. When I thought about it,I realized that I guess I was conditioned to expect the behavior that I usuallysee from the Little Warriors at Aim High. Students in the Little Warriors listen to instructors, encourage oneanother, and really show a great deal of focus for their age. You might see a new white belt studentrun around a little bit at his/her first or second day of training, but he orshe soon sees that the others don’t act in this manner, and that this type ofbehavior is not acceptable at Aim High. As the soccer students, or at least the ones that were not runningaround elsewhere, took turns kicking the ball towards the goal, I noticed thatmy son, who had his eyes focused on the teachers the entire class, was the only one that was clapping and offering support as each studenttook his or her to kick. Now I, asmost parents do, think I have a great kid, but I also think that this behaviorof listening and encouraging peers is how most if not all of the LittleWarriors would have behaved in this situation. It is part, maybe the most important part at this age, oftheir training at Aim High.