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Special Needs and Martial Arts: Improving Mind and Body

Martial arts classes in Albany, New York, are being used to help kids with special needs not only physically, but also mentally.

Although, it seems like simple kicking and punching, this karate class teaches these kids moves that are anything but simple.  At this special class, all of the kids have all been diagnosed with various spectrum disorders, and karate is helping them improve .

“These days, individuals are turning towards martial arts for the benefits of the mind and the body. So for the mind, it’s working on focus and attention, and the body, it’s working on motor skills, fine and gross, as well as core muscles,” says David Rosenberg, the owner of Kicking the Spectrum, a martial arts program for kid with special needs.

At Kick the Spectrum, kids who are often challenged with multi-step tasks and focus, find a mind-body connection that unlocks a whole new world.  The trend of Martial Arts for special needs kids is become extremely popular because it helps stimulate focus and physical activity, and generates a social connection and sense of belonging.

“Another benefit of martial arts is the ability to work on executive functioning. A lot of individuals with special needs have trouble with multi-step functioning beyond one-or-two-step processes. By using a kata (series of movement in a set pattern,) we can progress an individual from one step up to 20 steps.

It is clear that this program helps kids with their motor skills and is a fun way to be productive, but there is much more to it. This program offers an emotional element; here kids gain a huge sense of self-confidence because they are used to being in environments where they are struggling, but here, they are achieving.

One of the parents came out and said, ” I see a big difference in his concentration, in his focusing and behavior. At the end of each lesson, as these kids take a bow, their performance on all levels is an achievement worth applauding.”

If you are looking for a program that is similar to “Kick the Spectrum;The Theresa Academy of Preforming Arts (TAPA) is for the children to experience the joy of dance, drama, art, and music. There are many other benefits to the children who participate including improvement in coordination, overall fitness, focus, listening, balance, self-esteem, self-expression, rhythm, and musicality.

By Daniel Mayper – Guest Blogger 

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