The Triangle – Triad to Success

We all want our children to reach their full potential. Sometimes, however, children are held back from doing so due to their parents actions or lack thereof. When a child is on a certain task, the parents play an invaluable role as to whether the child will succeed or not. It may be school work, baseball practice, soccer games, wrestling matches, music lessons, martial arts, etc. Children need their parents full support. Their confidence and self-esteem rely on it. The more confident a child  is the more successful he/she will be when attempting tasks. When somebody believes in you, you tend to work harder and accomplish more.  In my martial arts school, Miller’s Kenpo Karate Dojo, we use what is called the triangle, or triad to success for children.  The triangle has three points. Each point represents different people. If one point is not there we no longer have a triangle.  The top point represents the child/student, the bottom right point represents the teachers/instructors/coaches, and the bottom left represents the parents. Below is a great explination about what I am talking about:

The Triangle


  1. Parents
  2. Instructors
  3. Students

The parents, instructors, and students working together is important to have the most successful team. Each part should work together to enable the student have the best chance to live up to his/her full potential. The parents transport, finance, and encourage the student. The instructor inspires, educates, mentors, and sets an example for the student. The student is coachable, respectful, attentive, and always gives 100 percent effort.

A successful team is composed of three separate entities: parents, instructors, and students.  A student has the best chance to realize success when all the parts work together with a common goal, that is to allow the child to live up to his/her potential. Without all three fulfilling their role, there is less chance to keep a student interested, involved, and willing to learn.


Pyramid Blocks:




Encourage hard work, not being the best

Commit to schedules/accountability



Educate yourselves




Flexibility/ everyone learns differently

Your student is not your clone/individuality

Personal interest






Be coachable






I have included a picture of the Triad to Success for Children that was given to me by Mr. Bob White (a 9th degree black belt in American Kenpo).

Since I am a martial arts instructor I gear this towards martial arts training, but it works for anything in your child’s life.  If you want your child to be the best martial artist he or she is capable of, we all need to be on the same page in making sure the child gets the most out of his or her martial arts program.  First off, make sure your child’s martial arts instructor is a good one.  Does the instructor truly care about the success of your child, or is he/she just feeding you a line of crap so you will keep paying? Does the instructor have charisma? Is the instructor likeable? Does the instructor even know what he/she is doing?  Does the instructor understand child development? Does the instructor understand how to handle children with ADHD, Autism, ODD, etc? A martial arts instructor wears many hats and if the instructor is not educated, or doesn’t want to take the time to actually care about his/her students, the instructor is not a good instructor.  Is the instructor enthusiastic and motivating? Or, does he/she stand around with arms crossed barking orders? Does the instructor get right in there and train with the students at times? Does the instructor lead by example?  You need to make sure your child is being trained by a great instructor. Once you’ve established that, you need to make sure you are fullfilling your role. If you have any questions about how to do that ask the instructor. You need to communicate with your child’s instructor on a regular basis.


About Michael Miller:

Michael Miller is an international self-defense, personal protection, and anti-bullying expert who holds a 5th degree black belt in American Kenpo – a modern reality based street system of combat. He is the co-founder of the “Stomp the Bullying” program, where he takes an active approach to teaching children and parents all about bullying, how not to be a bully, how not to become a target, how to handle bullying situations, and more. The program is becoming world recognized with celebrity endorsements from actors Martin Kove (Sensei John Kreese in the Karate Kid Series) and Sean Kanan (Karate’s bad boy Mike Barnes in the Karate Kid III). Miller runs a full-time martial arts school in Bradford, Pa (Miller’s Kenpo Karate Dojo) and teaches American Kenpo, boxing, kickboxing, Joe Lewis Fighting Systems, Gracie Barra Jiu-Jitsu, and Modern Arnis. He worked for McKean County Children and Youth Services for three years certified by the state of Pennsylvania as a Direct Child Service Worker dealing with child development, child abuse and neglect. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pittsburgh in writing with a minor in sociology. He can be reached by e-mail at or by phone at 814-368-3725.