Since 1999, Summit Academy Therapeutic Martial Arts Program has been an intricate and vital part of the core curriculum for Special Needs Students diagnosed with ADHD, Asperger Syndrome and other related conditions. The Therapeutic Program is designed to not only teach the students about Martial Arts but to help in the structure of self control, coordination, an increase in respect and well being, and to increase academic learning strategies.
The Martial Arts instructors not only teach students how to punch and kick but have the ability to teach many variations of self-control, self-respect, and social skills by utilizing various team building games and experiential activities along with their extensive knowledge of the Martial Arts.
The Therapeutic Martial Arts Curriculum is also designed to help the students set goals and strive to advance in the knowledge of the Martial Arts. the program is supported throughout the school and is a universal program throughout all Summit Academy Schools.
Research is constantly being conducted to see how the brain adapts to physical exercise and how physical exercise connects to academics whenever the brain is stimulated. There are many pathways in the brain and by having students go through a Martial Arts program in which they not only punch and kick but also utilize other cross body movements and patterns, will help in opening these pathways so that when students leave the DOJO and enter the academic classroom, academic knowledge will enter these open pathways.
The mission of the martial arts program is to provide for the physical, mental, emotional, and social growth of our primary, intermediate, and middle school children through multicultural training in the martial arts. Using an interdisciplinary approach and an interactive hands-on style, fundamentals of the martial arts appropriate for the age and developmental levels of primary, intermediate, and middle school students will be utilized to meet defined objectives.
Some of these objectives include:
- Achieving self-control
- Self-defense skills
In order to become proficient in the martial arts, students must also learn cooperation, humility, courtesy, patience, and perseverance. Studies have shown that students’ progress in martial arts leads to improved scholastic performance, concentration, coordination, mental alertness, and physical fitness. The martial arts program emphasizes a strong sense of family, a healthy lifestyle, respect for self and others, personal responsibility, honor and integrity, a positive mental attitude, and a belief in each individual’s potential.
Martial arts proves effective in helping children with ADHD and Asperger’s Syndrome because it focuses on the human body as a whole, not just pieces and parts. In order to function properly each part depends on every other part to do its job. If any one part does not work to its full potential, the other parts cannot function to their maximum capacity. The therapeutic martial arts program helps ADHD and Asperger’s Syndrome students to better coordinate the actions of both the mind and the body, enabling them to improve both social behavior and academic performance.
Therapeutic Martial Arts
The therapeutic Martial Arts program was designed to be a program for special needs students diagnosed with ADHD and Asperger Syndrome and is one of the schools foundations of success. Summit academy adapted to a Japanese style called Kwanmukan, which is a mixture of Korean Tae Kwon Do, Japanese Jiu-Jitsu and Japanese Shotokan Karate.
The program’s main purpose is to be utilized as one of the major components for structure and culture throughout the school and has been proven to increase student participation in the PE classes. Therapeutic Martial Arts adapts martial arts movements for cross lateral conditioning which enhances brain activity by crossing the midline of the body while connecting cross laterally with physical activity. The body sends a signal to the synapsis of the rain and causes the transmitters to realize and connect cross laterally in the brain, in turn, causes the brain stimulus to relax to help enhance concentration.
Besides the Brain advantage, the Therapeutic Martial Arts program helps with building self-esteem and self-confidence in our students which enables them to succeed in the classrooms and achieve academic success. It builds self-respect, respect for others, and helps with self-control in behavioral situations.
Brain Gym is a series of Cross Lateral Exercises to help with the same effect as the moves in the Martial Arts program. By performing the Brain Gym activities the frontal lobes of the brain are sending signals from the cross crawl exercise causing the transmitters in the brain to relax, causing the synapsis in the brain to relax and increase concentration and focus. In turn, it causes the student to relax and concentrate to help in the academic area.
Board Breaking Ceremony
Throughout the course of the year at Summit Academy the students are required to advance in rank by attending a Board Breaking Ceremony, in which the instructors will set a date for this ceremony and have parents, guardians and spectators witness their achievements. This ceremony should include the following:
- Students are to be in full uniform (GI and or appropriate attire)
- Demonstration of warm up exercises after formal Bowing in
- Example of Basic techniques
- Example of Kata starting from Kwanbu patterns
- Example of control or special achievements
- Promotion to next rank if qualified
- Teachers to talk about students achievements in the academic classroom while being promoted to next rank is mandatory (this will allow the parents/ guardians to understand why the Martial Arts program is one of the Summit Pillars)
- After belt promotion set up for Board Breaking
- Formal bowing out of class and return to classroom
- This ceremony is not a test for the students and should not be utilized as one. This ceremony is only for advancement to the next level of the art. All students should have reached their goals before the ceremony.