Martial Artist Teams with Teachers to Encourage Math Studies

Master Alex Evers works with second graders at Richmond Elementary School.

Story provided by TSET Healthy Living Program

As a second grader, math can be a challenge, though it may have just gotten a bit easier.  Stillwater Martial Arts owner and Master Instructor Alex Evers is teaming up with Richmond Elementary school’s second grade teachers and students.

Starting in 2016, Richmond’s second grade math program was rebranded as “Ninja Math Facts.”  The program essentially works by setting specific and measurable goals for the students to reach and exceed. Using a martial arts belt system, like the one employed at Stillwater Martial Arts, students are challenged by their teachers and Master Alex to earn their yellow belt, orange belt, and even black belt, in “Ninja Math Facts.”

“The belt system is incredibly valuable in goal setting for children. If a goal is set that is too far in the distance, with no small goals between, it is much more likely a child will have difficulty hitting that long term goal,” says Master Alex. “The beauty of Ninja Math Facts is that it sets smaller short term goals for students to achieve, and then quickly encourages them to strive for their next goal. We use this system in our children’s martial arts classes to help them with focus, confidence, and self-discipline and it works great!”

To keep students focused on their short-term goals like their next belts and their long-term goals, Stillwater Martial Arts also donated a framed gift certificate for a free month of martial arts classes. This opportunity also includes a complimentary official martial arts uniform and instruction on how to break a real board. The certificate is hanging in the second grade hallway to continue encouraging the students who might not be as excited about math, to keep their eyes on their long-term goal. The student who completes the most “Ninja Math Fact” problems will win the gift certificate.

Master Alex will check in with the second grade classes halfway through the school year to check on progress and to continue to motivate and encourage the students. “It is really helpful to have some reinforcements in the classroom. Although Master Alex is saying the same positive encouraging things as we are, it is important to have the students hear it from a different figure to really reinforce the point” said Mrs. Warner , a second grade teacher at Richmond, whose class is part of the project.

At the end of the school year, Master Alex will return for the final Richmond Rocket Launch assembly where he will help award “Ninja Math Fact” certificates to all of the students who earned their black belts. “Last year the students who received the awards not only did very well on the number of math problems completed, but also had a sense of pride by being named a Ninja Math Facts Black Belt in front of the entire school!” said Richmond Principal, Kendra Rider.  

If you would like more information on Stillwater Martial Arts, please call Alex Evers, at (405) 372-5425 or visit us at

About Stillwater Martial Arts

Stillwater Martial Arts is Stillwater’s premier martial arts studio.  Located downtown it was established in 2004.  The mission of Stillwater Martial Arts is to help build leaders in the community by helping its students grow in physical fitness, focus, and self-confidence.