About one year ago, Addison was struggling with self confidence that affected her ability to participate in class and greatly hampered her desire to engage socially with other children in both extracurricular and school settings.  Her beautiful smile and spirit were drowned in frowns and negative energy, and it felt like we were getting nowhere.  Over last Christmas break, Addison expressed the desire to return to SMAA (after her Little Dragons 4-month journey) to angrily “punch the dummy”.

Within a few months, it was time for Addison’s advanced yellow belt test.  Some self-defense techniques were proving difficult and she initially shut down emotionally and wanted to quit.  She and I talked about handling difficulties, then we brought Mr. Scornavacco into the conversation to talk more about facing adversity and how persevering through this experience will make her stronger.  We worked extra hard at home at Addison’s direction, she nailed all her techniques in the very next class and she was all smiles during graduation.

Fast-forward to today’s testing prep class, there is a different Addison on the mat – smiling and laughing with her classmates and instructors.  She has emerged in school as a confident classroom participant and has established good friendships with classmates and neighborhood kids.  As far as wanting to “punch the dummy”, at this point I think Addison would prefer to hug the dummy.

Justin Coulter (dad)

Hally Coulter (mom)