Special Needs

Recognizing that our students have different physical and mental abilities, we routinely adapt our programs for people who are differently abled, and include them in our mainstream programming with support as required. Although programs are adapted, the belt requirements are the same. We at Stronger You believe that adults and children who are differently abled are unique individuals with unlimited potential – the same as everyone else.

Martial arts are about doing your best and we work within and around any limitations you may have to get you on the road to fitness, personal safety and achievement. Studies have shown that martial arts are excellent options as extra-curricular activities as they focus on individual achievement. Each student at Stronger You is challenged within their own capabilities. In martial arts, students have fun developing self-discipline and physical fitness and, at the same time, students learn lessons in a safe and structured environment that can be applied throughout their life.

Stronger You has developed programs for children and young adults that integrate traditional Karate with the children’s self-defense program.

If our student is unable to integrate directly into our mainstream martial arts programs, we have a number of specialized classes that provide one-on-one attention and progress.

The Special Small Samurai program is a one-on-one class which allows for gross motor skills development and the beginnings of physical literacy (running, jumping, throwing, catching). At the same time, the concepts of respect, and caring about themselves and their peers are introduced in a safe and loving manner.  The class is loosely structured and is a wonderful change from therapy and a welcome break for parents. Our instructors are experienced and the program is regularly recommended by local doctors and CHEO outpatient psychiatry.

The Junior Kakudan Kickers program is geared towards special needs students between the ages of six to twelve, and is the natural progression of the Special Small Samurai program with the same one-on-one training from our experienced instructors. The Junior Kickers are not only shown physical skills through Karate, but are also taught social skills and behaviours through modelling and positive reinforcement.

As our students progress through the special-needs classes, the next step is the Kakudan Kickers class. This dynamic one-on-one program for developmentally delayed teens and young adults is a peer taught Karate class. Fitness, personal safety and personal achievement make the class a positive experience for both the students and instructors.

We truly believe that martial arts are for everyone!

There are a number of articles and presentations on Dr. Michael Cheng’s website that may be helpful to parents of special needs children (autism, ADHD, etc.). Dr Cheng is a child and family psychiatrist at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO).