The Importance of Bilateral Coordination on Physical and Cognitive Skills | Pedro's Judo Center
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Our son Nikola has officially been at this Dojo for one full year now and is thriving in this environment. Sensei Riley is there to teach Judo and much more with goal setting, a constant reminder of respect, kindness, and overall doing the right thing each day. He is in tune with each child speaking and instructing them with discipline and respect. I just love this place and look forward to each class and my son's development overall.

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Jacob has just finished his third year of training at Pedro's. We could not be happier with his progress. We started down this path hoping for better school and home behavior, a little more focus and lot more patience and discipline. In three years the change has been remarkable! Our rambunctious, full of energy little boy has grown up- learned how to respect teachers, staff, parents and so much more- while still keeping his silly, charming personality. Sensei Riley is kind, understanding, beyond patient and a true cheerleader! We are so grateful to all the staff for being on this ride with us!

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Both my son and daughter have been doing Judo at Pedro’s for just over a year and I would highly recommend their program. Not only do they focus on physical fitness but also building confidence in the kids. My son thrives on the physical challenges of Judo and is always excited and proud of himself when he masters a new technique. He often comes off the mat after class and asks me if he can stay for the next class!! My daughter is 6 years old and has hearing loss and I enrolled her at Pedro’s with the hope of boosting her self confidence. I couldn’t be happier with the progress she’s made (both on and off the mat!) over the last year at Pedro’s. The Sensei’s are firm but kind and really bring out the best in the kids. I was so proud to see my daughter raise her hand fearlessly and ask the police officer a question during a recent visit from WPD at the Dojo!! Thank you everyone at Pedro’s!!!

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Pedro's is an amazing place for kids to grow and learn. It is not just about athleticism and strength in the dojo, but they build character, confidence and discipline. These men and women are exceptional role models and have helped shape our son to an amazing young man. The expectations/behaviors go far beyond the walls of Pedro's and we couldn't be happier with our experience!

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We have been members at Pedro's Judo Center for 9 years and I cannot emphasize more how beneficial the training for my daughters has been. My eldest was the first to start and within several months I was amazed at the level of change in her confidence. The effect was both personal and athletic. I decided to enroll my younger daughter and the effect was even quicker. From the ceiling of the Judo Center hang 4 signs. The signs are emblazoned with the words CONFIDENCE, FOCUS, RESPECT and DISCIPLINE. The instructors at Pedro's do a great job of stressing these values to their students. If you admire these values as much as I do, you should bring your children to Pedro's Judo. My elder daughter emphasized to me the old saying that, "The family that plays together...stays together." so I enrolled myself. The decision to enroll my family at Pedro's Judo is one of the best i've ever made!

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The Importance of Bilateral Coordination on Physical and Cognitive Skills

article from our friends over at SKILLZ.COM

The development of a child can be one of the most fascinating things to watch unfold. From infants mirroring movements to toddlers and children mastering high level developmental skills, the growth they experience in a short time is astounding. And while all skills are important for children to master, bilateral coordination is an important prerequisite for development of a variety of motor and cognitive skills.

Bilateral coordination is the ability to synchronize both sides of the body in a controlled manner. An important aspect of this is “crossing the midline.” This is a spontaneous movement and involves being able to cross an imaginary line that runs down the center of the body. It is key in doing simple things such as crossing your ankles and scratching your elbow.

Bilateral coordination is mostly developed through the corpus callosum, which is largely responsible for communicating messages from one hemisphere of the brain to the other. In the early months and years of life, babies and toddlers typically use both hands equally to pick up objects, depending on which is closer. Then around the age of 3 or 4, children have typically established a dominant hand and the skill of “crossing the midline” has been solidified.

A key component to the development of bilateral coordination is body awareness. This involves proprioception and refers to the ability to know where your body is in the environment without using your vision. The vestibular system also comes into play with the development of this since it is a factor of sensory integration. If these areas are underdeveloped, children may present with various difficulties.

When bilateral coordination is underdeveloped, children may appear ambidextrous. This is often because they have a processing issue in the brain. The two hemispheres of the brain are not communicating effectively resulting in clumsiness and struggles with daily living tasks involving both fine and gross motor skills. The ability to cross the midline is also necessary for visual tracking so reading and writing from one side of a paper to the other can be difficult as well as achieving other higher-level skills.

Our program was created, an extensive amount of research was put into the science of the brain and child development. Within each developmental level are drills specifically designed to meet the needs of that age group. To the untrained eye or

unknowing parent, watching class may appear to just be another activity. However, the science of how and why drills are taught to specific groups is how martial arts takes training and child development to a whole new level. Activities involving jumping, obstacle courses, animal walks, and other drills that challenge using both sides of the body in opposing ways helps supercharge the development of bilateral coordination. And what’s even better, this training can potentially lead to improvements in many higher-level cross-body tasks such as reading and writing.

Engaging children in activities that constantly spark conversation between the left and right hemispheres improves brain communication. Training methods involving bilateral coordination has a huge impact on this, therefore improving motor coordination as well as cognitive skills. The more parents learn and understand the science behind this, the more active they can be in nurturing their child to their full potential.