I am writing the testimonial for Dojo Sante because it has been such a rewarding and positive experience for my five year old grandson and our family. As a grandmother raising the little boy, I want to be sure that the choices I make for his development enhance his individuality, provide learning experiences and fun. I didn’t want a playdate in a karate uniform. I was searching for a Martial Arts environment where these needs would be met. Dojo Sante and specifically Sensei Matt Babine have exceeded all my expectations in every regard.
My grandson, at 5 1/2, is of course a delightful little boy. He is affectionate and bright child and he makes friends easily-he is artistic, funny and well…a boy. Like most of us however, it can take some time to feel comfortable in new, unfamiliar situations. Such was the case with Karate. He was in the Little Ninjas classes and doing very well but suddenly, one day, with no specific event or warning he made an unwavering decision that he didn’t want to participate in classes. He consistently said he wanted to take karate and I didn’t want him to stop because he obviously enjoyed it tremendously. I wasn’t really sure how to proceed.
Today, thanks to the personal attention and understanding of the individual child, the person himself, Sensei matt found a solution distinctly for Ryan, one that works better then I could ever imagine. Ryan currently participates in one on one instruction with Sensei Matt and Ryan’s response to him is a beautiful thing. Understanding how to tight his schedule already is, the fact that he makes the time to share his passion and enthusiasm for the martial arts, shows that his passion truly is for the students at all levels and the martial arts. For this one little boy it means he can continue something he truly enjoys. I’ve watched Ryan try new things with an “I can” attitude. Ryan’s enjoyment literally bursts out of him and he looks forward to the sessions.
He’s learned an important life’s lesson already; that it’s ok to express his own individual concerns and he will be listened to respectfully. Sensei Matt has taught him that together we will figure out how to solve the problem. He is, at the early age, learning about trust in himself and other. He is, at the early age, learning to participate in making his own path. Honestly, I find it amazing. Students at the Dojo are not only learning Martial Arts skills, they are taught the respect and self-discipline, cooperation and listening skills all of which can be fun too. Attaboys and Attagirls are given for every effort. His staff and advanced student helpers are professional and encouraging constantly. You literally can watch the self-esteem of each child grow a little bit higher in every class. Best of all…it’s fun.
I must say, this is the most positive environment I have ever experienced and it feels good to walk through the doors of the Dojo-every time! I believe this positive environment is created very purposely, but effortless by Sensei Matt himself. He exudes his sense of passion, enjoyment and enthusiasm that flows through the Dojo to every person.
Sensei Matt and his Dojo Sante exceed all my expectations of this learning experience for my wonderful little boy. I can whole-heartedly, without hesitation and with pleasure recommend Dojo Sante to anyone who is considering martial arts for their children – or themselves. We’ll be there!