Why I discourage quitting | AKKA Independence

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Mallory Snyder reviewed AKKA Independence
via Facebook

I recommend AKKA Karate kenpo kids class in Independence! The instructors are knowledgeable. The classes are well planned and executed. Students are engaged and learning. It's a holistic program that teaches not only self defense, discipline, and self confidence, but other values such as cooperation and teamwork.

Heather Mingo reviewed AKKA Independence
via Facebook

My son Malachi has been going to AKKA since the summer of 2015 and he absolutely loves it. I have seen such a change in him since he started. When I first brought him he struggled with paying attention and seemed hyper. He was a sore loser and would cry and throw tantrums when he would lose or not get his way. Now he is very attentive and respectful and has a place to let out a lot of his hyper energy. He has grown so confident and is proud when he wins, but can accept loss with out becoming angry or crying. What it has done for him physically is amazing too. I can see the muscles developing in his legs and abs. I can see his punches and kicks getting better and better. It also makes me feel safe knowing he is learning how to protect and defend himself in the dangerous world we live in. Mr. Burt is absolutely amazing with the kids. He Co-authored a book BullyProof and also teaches the kids how to react in bully situations which is so important because kids and teens will be facing these challenges at school and in real life. My daughter Makayla is four and just started going last week with her brother. She is just overjoyed. Everyday she keeps asking when class is next! If you are looking for the best martial arts school in Independence and the KC area this school is it hands down!!!! AKKA has been such a blessing to my family.
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Keri Perry reviewed AKKA Independence
via Facebook

I love this place so much... Mr. Burt is a phenomenal teacher who is great with kids and adults alike. I’m a small woman who wanted to learn some self defense techniques... but as time goes on, I discover so much more about karate and it’s depths. This has turned my interest into a passion I deeply love. I’ve had the opportunity to attend many of the classes here... kick boxing, tai chi, karate... All of them are excellent and teachers always meet students exactly where they are, both mentally and physically. AKKA Independence is the perfect place for people of any age or gender who want to challenge themselves and grow.

Heather Kellam reviewed AKKA Independence
via Facebook

We started Karate January 2018. My then 3 year old had a hard time staying still and had never been in any type of class before. Mr. Burt and his staff were very patient and understanding and worked closely to Damon to help him gain confidence. He even allows Helicopter mom's like me on the mat to help out when my kid seems to be straying. Damon turned 4 in April, and since January, I can see the changes in his behavior and attention.

Mr. Burt has a knack for making the class fun and interesting for the kids, respectful, and gives the kids opportunities to correct their mistakes. Kenpo Kids isn't just about the kids, however- As a parent, Mr. Burt and his teachings are making me a better parent. Being in Karate has been a positive change for both Damon and I, and I'm so thankful to have found this place.

Heather Egnor reviewed AKKA Independence
via Facebook

Tom Burt is one of the only fitness kickboxing teachers that ever motivated me to move at 300 plus lbs. That's why we brought our son Jacob here to be motivated like I was. He absolutley loves it such great teachers. They teach respect disicpline focus and self defense. Jacob is high energy ADHD and this is first sport and school that has motivated him off the couch. Thank you Mr. Burt

Lindsey Alford reviewed AKKA Independence
via Facebook

The instructors are amazing! My son is 4 and they keep his attention while still making class fun. Taking karate has already helped his self confidence, his stamina, and his strength. He is proud of his achievements in karate and loves to show off his moves. I highly recommend AKKA karate in Independence!

Amanda Warner reviewed AKKA Independence
via Facebook

My 10 year old son has been learning karate here for almost two months. It has been great! He absolutely loves attending and refuses to miss his "karate days". I've seen the pride and smile on his face when he earns a new stripe on his belt and it is absolutely amazing to see!

However, and more importantly, I've been able to watch him fail at his stripe test. This was the moment that I dreaded. My son has ADHD and very little impulse control. My son does not take failure well. Failure for him usually comes with him yelling and angry, negative words towards himself and others around him. I watched him fail... and I waited with baited breath... I watched my son sit quietly back on the mat, put his head in his hands and MENTALLY work through it?!?!?! (A completely new direction for him) I then watched as his classmates gave him fist bumps and told him he did great and he would definitely pass with more practice, encouraging him! I watched as Mr. Burt came over to talk to him after class and encourage him. And then I watched as my son walked out, after class, smiling, saying he was "gonna practice and get better" so he could pass when he tried next time.

In two months I have watched my son make friends, have fun, learn patience and learn to mentally work through his frustration without lashing out at himself, or others. I have watched him take pride in his success and finally grasp the idea that failure isn't such a bad thing, but something he can use to strengthen himself.

Great Class! Great Teachers! Great Environment!

Samantha Weavers reviewed AKKA Independence
via Facebook

In one year my daughter has grown so much. She started karate as something to do and stay active and now it is part of her. She has worked hard over this last year and has showed her dedication to learning more and more every week. It has shaped how she has grown over the last year not just in her practice on and off the mat but how she treats those around her especially at school. She has been the model student at school and is friends with everyone. On the mat I notice her looking around making sure everyone is understanding what they are supposed to do. At school she is on the Lighthouse team and is a leader to others and helps those she sees struggling. I am so happy that a little over a year ago I sent a message asking about karate classes for her I truly think it has been one of the best experiences for her.

Amelia Richards reviewed AKKA Independence
via Facebook

Martial arts has an amazing part of my life. I began training when I was 10 years old and thought I was only starting a new "hobby" when I joined. As I grew older and began to appreciate my teachings, I learned many life skills and values such as teamwork, discipline, respect, and the importance of dedication to your studies both in and out of the dojo. AKKA has been so much more than just a workout class for me. Mr. Burt has been an important role model in my life, a father figure even, who has challenged me to become a better me, to never give up and to strive for excellence. I have met many amazing people and achieved things I never thought possible for myself. I would not be who I am today without my Kenpo family and appreciate all of their support during my journey to becoming a black belt.

Amanda Scarlett reviewed AKKA Independence
via Facebook

We checked out this karate school as a trial to see if it would help my son focus better in school. It worked so well we have decided to sign up as a student mr. Burt and the other teachers make us feel at home. I am so thankful for all they have done for my son

Melinda Hawley reviewed AKKA Independence
via Facebook

My 16 year old son, 11 year old son, and myself are loving taking karate as a family at AKKA!! Tom is a great teacher who is very good with all levels of students... he is very knowledgeable and makes it easy to understand what he expects... My boys were in karate classes when they were younger, but when their instructor left, my boys didn't enjoy karate anymore... Tom makes karate enjoyable and more about the art instead of the fight!! I highly recommend this karate school to anyone at any age!! #thefamilywhokicktogethersticktogether

Luis Ruben Miranda Vizcaino reviewed AKKA Independence
via Facebook

The best place to learn and/or excel in all aspects of life (Mind, Body, and Heart). They work with you, care about you, connect with you, help you improve, the list goes on. Great environment, all inclusive, Mr Burt is an amazing instructor, and the benefits you gain never seem to end. I'm always excited to walk in the door and feel like the best version of me as I walk out.

Briana Pace reviewed AKKA Independence
via Facebook

My son is 8 and has been at AKKA several months now. I have seen so many changes in him. I needed a keep busy sport for him to do, and he always wanted to do Karate. He is a natural at it. Mr. Burt is the best instructor and my son Trey looks up to him. He is great with the kids. My son had started to get an attitude that has completely gone away thanks to Mr. Burt and AKKA. I am forever grateful.

Jenisha Brock reviewed AKKA Independence
via Facebook

The owner Mr Burt is awesome with the kids and had very important teaching methods that all the children understand. Mr Pierce and Mr Sherley are also instructors there and also very good with all the students. My granddaughter has been going since April. She's 6 and dedicated. Mr Burt is her mentor!! I love AKKA Karate so much, it inspired me to join class. I love it

Matt Keeton reviewed AKKA Independence
via Facebook

I'm loving attending here. Until friends of mine convinced me to start attending because this dojo had trainers that were very aware of many different aspects necessary for martial arts, it had always been a "Bucket List" item for me. Now it's turning into a reality with a detailed plan in place that Mr. Burt goes over with you from the beginning. Can't say enough good things about it!

David Gulley reviewed AKKA Independence
via Facebook

This class is great. I love that it places physical fitness as a must. Too often you find Dojos that just put you through the motions and do not teach you to be physically ready as well. I also like that we are able to learn at put own pase. There is no over bearing push to test for your next belt if YOU don't feel you are ready. And the instructors are all very open and ready to teach and work a little extra with you to help you succeed. And Mr. Burt, although he is very busy he will always make time for any of his students if they need him. Over all, I would recommend this school for anyone. They are the future of Karate training.

Nick Hubbard reviewed AKKA Independence
via Facebook

Awesome class very motivating and friendly atmosphere I love that they work on your physical strength along with teaching u the art of self defense. I just earned my gold belt and not only have I learned what was needed I've also learned alot about myself and what I can do.there is no judgment here if need help they will do what they can to see u be successful.

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Why I discourage quitting













(I am gonna let you all know up front that you may not like this post and part of me hopes is does irritate some of you and light a fire under you to get your [email protected]#$% (or your kids) in gear and get to work! So before you read on be warned)

It happens to all of us at one time or another at various points in our training.

From a few weeks to several months or years in training coming from a place of frustration, boredom or apathy…at one time or another we all feel like we want to quit.

I have seen it time and again and heard all of the excuses in the book…and yes, the are just that…EXCUSES!

“But Mr. Burt, you don’t know my situation!”

You’re right, I don’t know.
What I do know about is what it takes to succeed in our Kenpo Karate System to get to Black Belt…Commitment, Dedication, Perseverance. You don’t get these by quitting.

“We improve our inner self by improving our outer self”

We came to martial arts for a reason and whether you realize it or not that reason is to improve Self Confidence. We do things like football, soccer, gymnastics, etc because they are games and we like to compete against other people and win. But the martial arts are a very unique activity where the focus is on competition with our selves. There are not trophies or championships to win…there is just you and the motion. We improve our inner self by improving our outer self.

This is a process that takes time…years…and, really, it is a  never ending work in progress. 

So, what do we do?
(Remember that I warned you at the beginning)

I am going to break this up into two parts…one for parents and one for adult students.
The parents section will address what to do when kids want to quit and the adults portion
will talk about why students want to quit.


Grown and Flown has a great blog post called Why I never let my kids quit…ANYTHING

Now, for my two cents…

Let’s break down the process here for a minute.

Your child took a trial class to see if they like it.
They said, “Yes”
Your child did a six week trial program to make sure they liked it.
They said, “Yes”
We made the commitment together to train for a year.

My expectation is that we (me the instructor and you the parents AND child) will BOTH do what we said we would do!

A few months in…”I don’t want to do it anymore.”

“Oh, no worries…Mr. Burt is a nice guy…he will understand.”


I will NEVER understand why we say we want our kids to learn self discipline yet we let them quit when things get difficult.

I will NEVER understand why parents tell me they want their child to be committed and learn to finish what they start; yet try to back out when they actually have to be a a parent and make their kid do something the kid doesn’t want to do anymore.

I will NEVER understand why parents tell me they don’t want to make their kids do anything they don’t want to do when that is the parents job in the first place! 

“But, Mr. Burt…but, but but…”

Let me stop you right there. One of my teachers used to say, “Everyone has a big but.”

“I would bring them to class, but…”
“I would help them practice at home but…”
“They like it when they are in class but…”

Do something for me, please, get rid of your big but! All it is is an EXCUSE!

(Are you irritated yer? Remember, I warned you)

Honestly, as a parent I CAN understand all of the “but’s”. I get it. I have gone through it with my own son. But I have also stood my ground on holding him to the commitments he makes and he is the better for it!

I have quit things in my own life. I have never been happy about that because I always looked back with regret wondering how my life might be different if I had stuck with it and achieved some level of competency.

“Get rid of your big “but”! 
It is just and excuse!”

As a parent the struggle is real and this is an hotly contested issue on both sides of the debate. I like how Grown and Flown puts it…

“But we had bad days, really frustrating end-of-my-rope days. There were tantrums and miserable practices and screaming scenes
where I reminded them that this was something they had said they wanted to do.
The upside? They had long, enduring relationships with instructors, coaches and teammates who changed and enriched their lives… 
It is the stuff that childhood memories are made of.”

If you want to know “why” I think parents should not let kids quit you should read this blog post.

Now, I am not going to sit here and pontificate without offering some suggestions.
So, what can we, as parents, do when we commit our kids to doing something and then they want to quit.

  1. Accept the reality. Do not be surprised at all when this inevitably happens.
  2. Acknowlege their feelings. It is OK that they feel this way. There is nothing wrong with having a feeling. It is what we do about that feeling that is important
  3. Adapt your strategy. Make some changes in how you support them in their training.

Accept the reality. If you remember back when we enrolled I said that this was GOING to happen. It is actually an inevitable and even necessary part of the training process. There will come many times where life will ask and even expect things of us to see if we really want what we say we want. You know we really do want all of the things we say we want for out kids with martial arts training. Who doesn’t want their child to have more self confidence, be more self disciplined and have higher self esteem. The truth, however, is that we want karate to GIVE them to our kids. Well, I am here to tell you that karate doesn’t give us anything. We earn it! Our kids already have everything they need to succeed in life. Karate is a tool that can help them grow stronger physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. When they want to quit and we help them push through that challenge and stick with it we are helping then strengthen their self discipline. As their self discipline strengthens through practice then their self confidence improves. As their self confidence improves then their self esteem increases.
BUT…not if we let them quit.

Acknowledge their feelings. We have feelings all of the time. Some good, some bad…none are wrong. They are just feelings. What is important is the action we take on those feelings. The common ones that come to mind with respect to karate are frustration, dislike and boredom. Frustration invariably comes from a lack of practice. Dislike is usually a lie that stems from the third one…boredom. The moves were cool when we first learned them but the reality is that practice can be boring. But passion for the martial arts comes from many hours of practice. The value of this training is in the long term devotion to the development of these skills. There is no other way around it. We just have to do it…period.

Adapt your strategy. Change how you support your kid in training. Instead of dropping them off, stay and watch their class. Or, ask them what they learned in that days lesson and have them show it to you at home. Take an interest in what they are doing. When they see it is important to you it will become important to them. Tell them you love them and encourage them to to their best before their lesson then after class show an interest in what they accomplished. There is a six word phrase that works wonders for their self esteem. “I love to watch you practice.” Say this often and be specific about what it is you liked.

Jesse Enkamp the “Karate Nerd” has a good blog about this called How to be a good karate parent


Most all of what I stated in the parents piece can be applied for you adult students as well and I leave it to you to perform the proper intellectual gymnastics and make that leap. As well, I leave it to the parents to read this next part an apply to your kids.

Here I want to look at why you want to quit.

“I am frustrated with my progress.” Usually this implies a lack of progress and there are innumerable excuses to where we can lay blame. But, remember… they are just that…excuses. And honestly…I don’t want to hear them because, odds are, I already have. Maybe not from you, but I have been doing this a long time and human beings have yet to give me an original one. So, you are frustrated with your lack of progress. Well, let me ask you…

  1. Are you CONSISTENTLY coming to class?
  2. Are you CONSISTENTLY practicing at home?

If the answer to either of these questions is “Yes” then we need to look at what you are doing in class and at home and we can make some adjustments to help you out.

If the answer to either of these is “No”, well, then…now we know what we need to do don’t we?

“I have lost interest” No you haven’t. Here’s how I know. Anyone with a real interest in something doesn’t just lose it. Otherwise we wouldn’t have had an interest in the first place. Ultimately we are just bored.

“It’s boring” Of course it is! With all of the things grasping for our attention these days who wants to take the time to practice karate when we could be watching it on TV. Ultimately this one is a lie as well because anyone who consistently comes to class twice a week AND practices consistently at home AND gives their best effort in their training CANNOT BE BORED. It is impossible! 

I dare you to prove me wrong!

You know what it ultimately comes down to? For both kids and adults?


“Ouch Mr. Burt…kinda harsh isn’t it?”
Maybe…don’t worry…I know how to be lazy too.
That is how I know you are.

Want to know how I know?

You came through the door so you are interested in karate.
You took a trial class and said you liked it.
You took a six week trial to make sure you liked it.
You enrolled in our regular program.


You made progress for awhile. But then something happened and you stopped coming to class consistently and you weren’t practicing at home regularly so your progress slowed down….yada yada yada.

I get it that stuff happens. It’s called life and it ain’t going away until we are dead.
So, deal with it.

We did not come to the martial arts to be lazy and achieve mediocre results.
We came here to improve and become our best self.

This cannot happen without commitment, dedication and perseverance.

It will not happen if we continue to be lazy!

The definition of success is being willing to pay the price for what you want.

So, are you willing to pay the price?

Well, are you?


Take care and see you in class…