Q – Will my child’s disability prevent them from being successful in karate class?
A – Many martial arts instructors have little or no experience working with the special needs population. Without proper instruction students with disabilities can become discouraged as they fail to progress as quickly as their peers. However, McCarroll has over seven years experience teaching full time to students with a wide range of physical and cognitive disabilities and adapts the curriculum of his classes to fit the individual needs of each student.
Q – How does Karate training improve focus and concentration?
A – Karate students learn relaxation techniques through meditation, stretching, and breathing exercises. The physical demands of karate training tires the body, which helps energetic students to sit calmly and focus. Exercise, relaxation techniques, and the practice of kata (see below for an explanation of kata) create a much calmer and focused student.
Q – Should students with aggressive behaviors study martial arts?
A – Absolutely! Numerous studies have shown that traditional martial arts training helps reduce aggression and assaultive behaviors [Twemlow, et al. 2008; Twemlow, etal. 1998; Nosanchuk, et al. 1989 Nosanchuk, 1981; Trulson 1986]. An effective martial arts instructor can help reduce aggression by disciplining aggressive behavior as well as by providing a model of self-restraint and lowered aggression.
Q – Can students with physical limitations practice karate?
A – Karate training serves as an excellent addition to physical therapy by helping promote a stronger and more flexible body. McCarroll has worked with physical and occupational therapists to best serve the needs of his students. A major benefit of Karate training is that the practice of karate is fun and students are intrinsically motivated to exercise and stretch. Many parents have reported to McCarroll that their child does not like physical therapy but loves karate class.
Q – What is a typical class like?
A – Traditional karate classes always start with meditation, then stretching followed by drills that improve strength, coordination, cardiovascular fitness. Students then move on to the practice of kata followed by fun drills and games before finishing with meditation.
Q -What is kata?
A – A kata is a prearranged sequence of movements which represent various defensive postures that the students must memorize and perform in the correct sequence with proper form. Kata forces the students to look inward and use their mind while they exercise their body, promoting a better mind-body awareness. The practice of kata improves focus and concentration while simultaneously building a stronger body.
Q – What about students with attention deficit disorders?
A – Numerous studies have proven that martial arts training is an effective alternative therapy to the treatment of ADHD. A 12 week study by Dr. Matthew Morand at Hofstra University in New York found martial arts training to be more effective in the treatment of ADHD than any other form of group exercise. The structure of martial arts training addresses impulsivity, distractibility, and hyperactivity, the basic traits of ADHD symptoms. Karate training also gives students with excessive energy an outlet for their energy.