Punishment vs. Discipline | Kyuki-do Martial Arts Sleepy Hollow
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Nicole Butcher

I honestly can not say enough positive things about this place. Mr. Graziano is invested in each and every student. He makes sure kids leave feeling confident and supported. His program is about more than martial arts skills. It’s about life skills, self-confidence, self-control and focus. He has made a world of difference for my daughter and I would highly recommend giving this place a try.

Jason Bloomfield

We heard that KMA Sleepy hollow, and Mr Graziano had an amazing class. We took our daughter for a trial lesson, and were blown away! Not only do they teach martial Arts, but they teach life skills. Its amazing to see how different my girl is now. Her kindness, and confidence has sky rocketed! If you want more than something to keep your kids busy, then Choose KMA. Mr Graziano, and his leadership group seem to make everyone that walks through the door a little bit better by the time they leave.

Chelsea McKone

We love what we have found at KMA Sleepy Hollow. We are a busy family and my 3 year old son needed his own activity and help with focusing and discipline. From the moment I spoke with Mr. Graziano over the phone I knew he cared deeply about his students. Dillin, my son, can be easily overwhelmed or frustrated in new situations. He has been able to build confidence, self-esteem, and pride in himself. Dillin can go from having an outstanding class to a not so great class and the patience and understanding he/we receive is exactly what he needs. What he does in class, even if he has what seems to be a not great participating day, he carries over into his everyday life at home and school. We have seen vast improvements in his listening skills and perseverance when it comes to overcoming a challenge. Despite obstacles, he is slowly but surely learning that he can, and should, try to overcome them. Thank you Mr. Graziano and Jon for all your guidance and patience!

Nixia Areli Benitez reviewed Kyuki-do Martial Arts Sleepy Hollow
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Excellent Instruction, My son is getting self discipline, Self confidence , and learning how to defend himself .

Erik Benitez reviewed Kyuki-do Martial Arts Sleepy Hollow
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I love it because the trainers are awesome 😀😀😀

Teri Turschman reviewed Kyuki-do Martial Arts Sleepy Hollow
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I’m in the 8 week challenge and could not recommend this class more. Mr. Graziano’s energy and positivity is infectious. He not only believes in all of us but more importantly teaches us to believe in our selves! We’ve built an awesome support group that lifts each other up. And the workouts are challenging but also attainable and leave you feeling strong and empowered!! Love this program!!

Julian Meza

Great place both my niece and nephew come here and love it!!!!

Keri Slattery reviewed Kyuki-do Martial Arts Sleepy Hollow
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I started the fit boxing program on Monday and I really love it! Mr. Graziano has created a great teamwork atmosphere that helps me feel supported during the workouts!
We may work really hard, but we also laugh! I'm looking forward to the results! I'm already feeling stronger and lighter!!

Cheyenne Ramos reviewed Kyuki-do Martial Arts Sleepy Hollow
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I'm in the 8 week challenge and let me tell you it's awesome!! I've done several other workout including Orangetheory and this is better. Mr. Graziano pulls more out of me than just a number in another class. plus I burned more calories in class than any other workout. I also really enjoyed getting to know others from our community that have the same goals as me!!

Stephanie Lamberg-Peterson

While my son has not been in class for long, I have already seen a huge change in his behavior and attitude. He is listening more intently to directions , following instructions , and his balance and dexterity has improved. We are so glad we choose this for him!

Brian Sharp reviewed Kyuki-do Martial Arts Sleepy Hollow
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Martial Arts class has given Owen and me a chance to learn about each other. I always thought our bonding experience would be over baseball, but he’s only ever shown a passing interest in that. At KMA, he learns how to focus, be respectful and disciplined, and how to care for others, and the best part is we do it together. I don’t get a chance to see how Owen learns at school because I’m not there. KMA gives me that opportunity, which has taught me more about Owen than I could have ever hoped to know. Plus, Mr. G genuinely cares for each of his students.


 8 weeks ago
The support from this place is amazing! Not only are my boys’ integrity,respect,confidence,they have a great leader and role model with MR. G! Try this place out, you will love it

Lisa Alvernia reviewed Kyuki-do Martial Arts Sleepy Hollow
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We chose KMA Sleepy Hollow after a trial class. Our son enjoyed the class so much he chose to commit. Since joining his confidence has improved and his strength. What’s best about the experience is not just the physical involvement but they focus on character building. Such as teaching loyalty, integrity and honesty. Class challenges my son to achieve his best and has built confidence in him. Best decision was to join when we were looking for something meaningful for him to do. Mr. Graziano is amazing with his students and parents.

Robert Tatz reviewed Kyuki-do Martial Arts Sleepy Hollow
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My two daughters and I are just wrapping up our six week trial, and we are are extremely happy with with Mr. Graziano and KMA Sleepy Hollow. My daughters are learning the art and techniques of Kyuki-do and building confidence. We most certainly will be continuing on with classes.

Reggie Madrigal reviewed Kyuki-do Martial Arts Sleepy Hollow
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I train with the owner of this academy and you will love him as an instructor!

Scott Thomas reviewed Kyuki-do Martial Arts Sleepy Hollow
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I’ve trained with Mr. Graziano for several years and am a better Martial Artist as a result.. He walks the talk.. shows Courtesy, Humility Perseverance, Self Control and Indomitable Spirit in every interaction! Please give his school a try.. you will not be disappointed..

Drew McCurdy reviewed Kyuki-do Martial Arts Sleepy Hollow
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It's not everyday you can find an instructor who can teach kids, adults or kids and adults together at once. Mr Graziano is one of those instructors. Combining discipline self control and practical lessons that work all while having a blast. You won't regret joining.

Sneha Parikh reviewed Kyuki-do Martial Arts Sleepy Hollow
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Mr. Graziano is such a nice teachr with lots of patience. he challenges student to motivate them. We saw lots of changes in our son. he become very serious and responsible after joining KMA martial Arts. we are 100% satisfied with Mr. Graziano.

Ray Mcconnaughay reviewed Kyuki-do Martial Arts Sleepy Hollow
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My Grandson started with his 6 week trial and it was a quick decision to continue after it would come to the end. Mr. Graziano is just great he loves all the kids he is very under­stand­ing and car­ing it’s not just a school where the kids can learn self-defense but it also teach­es focus con­fi­dence self-respect and respect for others which is some­thing that is not stressed enough anymore and all of that being said it’s just plain FUN!!”

Kristine Anne Weldon reviewed Kyuki-do Martial Arts Sleepy Hollow
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My son absolutely loves his Kyukido classes with Mr. G. His confidence level has boosted up, along with discipline, respect and self motivation. We are so glad we ran into them at the fair and signed up! It's been a few months now and he has asked to make sure it never ends.

Eimear Robertson reviewed Kyuki-do Martial Arts Sleepy Hollow
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Fantastic atmosphere with great coaches. My son loves it!

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Punishment vs. Discipline

Punishment vs. Discipline

Good behavior is a learning process for children, and we are their roadmap. Children usually behave per their own emotions and impulses. At the same time, being a parent is also a learning process and sometimes we rely on our own emotions and impulses to teach. Usually, that means we divert directly to punishments when a child misbehaves, missing a crucial opportunity to teach them. With that said, I am going to break down how to teach good behavior through discipline vs. punishment.

Let’s compare the two words and what they really mean:

  • Punishment – means to inflict pain or suffering as a penalty.
  • Discipline – means to teach.


It’s understandable that we as parents can get very frustrated when a child misbehaves, specifically when they make the same poor behavior choices over and over. At the same time, if we have clear goals to teach good behavior skills, then we can respond better. The better we respond, the better the results.


What are our goals for our children when they misbehave?

  • Our first goal is to get them to cooperate. This is primarily short-term.
  • The second goal that we don’t always consider is more long-term, and that is to make better choices without the threat of punishment or consequences.
  • To accomplish this, we need to consider both as often as possible. To accomplish this requires that you are patient, present, and intentional.


Now, let’s look at how punishment and discipline compare when accomplishing our goal of developing good behavior skills…


Punishment vs. Discipline:

  • Punishment may shut down a behavior, but if you teach your child, then they will develop self-discipline skills such as managing emotions and impulses.
  • When you discipline, you maintain a high relationship of trust and self-confidence.
  • When you punish, you build a proverbial wall and decrease one’s trust self-confidence.


With that said, it makes sense to have a strategy for disciplining a child when they misbehave…


3-steps of discipline:

  1. CONNECT – this doesn’t mean to be permissible or passive, but to ensure that as you begin to set clear expectations, your child calms down emotionally and feels your loving/ caring approach. When a child is upset, they are less likely to hear what you are saying. You must be patient so that you remain as calm as possible during the process, which is the hardest but most stress-free way to discipline.
  2. RE-DIRECT – list out what the poor behavior choice was as well as what the proper behavior choice is, see my podcast Episode 12: ‘Making Choices’ for more information. This requires you to be present so that you can clearly calculate the desired outcome.
  3. REPAIR – discuss necessary steps on how to solve the current behavior problem, review better choices, and set ground rules should the poor behavior choices continue. This requires you to be intentional in your actions so that your long-term goals start to take shape.


Of course, this strategy won’t work all the time, so it’s also important to have a backup strategy. For starters, it’s better to say ‘consequences’ instead of ‘punishments’ so that your intentions are more goal-oriented versus pain-oriented.


When are consequences ok?

  • Only after you’ve you have worked through the 3 steps of discipline and still, your child intentionally disobeys the ground rules.


What type of consequences is ok?

  • One that matches the behavior. For example: if the child throws her iPad in an impulsive rage, then taking away her iPad for 48 hours is a considered a reasonable consequence. (A week is a long period and could potentially trigger more anger and rage. The goal is to teach her, but also empower her to self-correct her behavior in the future. The smaller time frame will teach her that throwing things is not acceptable, but at the same time, you trust that she will re-correct this behavior within the next few days.)


What type of consequence are not ok?

  • One that is retroactive. For example: taking away good things isn’t the best consequence, such as karate lessons, which positively reinforces self-discipline. Although parents may think this is a good move because it’s an activity they like a lot and the pain of losing karate will teach them a valuable lesson, it’s doing the opposite. Pain infliction based on taking away something they like may cause more misbehavior and instill long-term damage in their trust for you. Also, strongly consider the fact that they lose all the positive benefits karate reinforces such as discipline, confidence, fitness, positive social interaction, and more.
  • One that decreases morale. For example: taking away a student’s belt will shame the child, which decreases self-esteem. Public humiliation will leave a permanent footprint in the child’s brain, specifically a negative one. For every negative footprint left, self-esteem and morale decrease. The more children lack self-confidence and moral, the lesser chance you have of them believing in themselves to make proper behavior choices.


So, what do you do if you have a child that is misbehaving all the time with bits of rage, back-talking, and defying the rules?

  • You map out a productive strategy that includes a method for building proper behavior habits along with pre-determined consequences. For example: if you hit someone, then you must write a letter to the person you hit (or if you are younger, you must apologize face to face with a specific pre-framed apology).
  • If you throw a something, then you lose a personal item for 48 hours.
  • If you show poor manners, then you must re-enact the proper manner if you are younger, or write a letter about having better manners. All of this should be pre-framed.
  • If you wake up late for school because you stayed up late the night before, then you must go to bed an hour earlier for the next two days.
  • At the same time, if you want consequences to work then you also need rewards. Reward your child when she goes a week without misbehaving. (This time frame may be shorter or longer depending on the child.) Also, the best rewards are not material things, but more relationship-building rewards. For example: she can pick to go to a family movie, or a special place for a family dinner.
  • My suggestion is to make a list of rewards and consequences so that you are prepared.


Now, what if you’ve tried this strategy and it doesn’t work?

  • For starters, be sure to give it time. If you are struggling with your child, then you must be reasonable on how long it will take to develop better behavior choices. It won’t happen overnight, and at the same time, she may get better and then fall off track again.
  • However, if you’ve tried these strategies for a solid month with no success, then the next step is to bring in an expert. Chances are there are some neurological deficiencies there that are interfering with her development.


Bottom line, the three biggest takeaways from this are:

  • Discipline is the better, more positively-productive method for instilling long-term behavior skills.
  • Connect, re-direct, and repair is the 3-step method for developing self-discipline skills.
  • When necessary, consequences are more productive than punishments. Avoid consequences that are retroactive or ones that decrease morale. Be sure to add rewards as well.


I hope this article sheds some positive light on how to help your child make better behavior choices!