Introducing the Spectrum Skillz Martial Arts Program
Introducing the Spectrum SKILLZ Program, designed specifically for differently-abled kids ages 7 and up!
Gentle East Martial Arts is proud to announce that we will soon be adding Spectrum Skillz to our class offerings! This program was designed to target children ages 7 and up who are on the autism spectrum. The program introduces specialized skill-based training for children who have limited physical, intellectual, social, and emotional abilities. With that said, more emphasis is placed on building fundamental skills training with a strategic balance of Martial Arts.
By understanding the needs of these children, we have selected 8 skills that make up the Spectrum SKILLZ Program:
- Awareness – This skill helps kids develop awareness of their environment, their place in that environment, how to better control their bodies, and how to better manage time.
- Detailing – Spectrum kids can have amazing detailing in specific areas, and this skill helps them use that quality to develop great martial arts technique, and as part of a team.
- Observing – This skill helps kids on the Spectrum learn how to pay attention to the things and people around them in a meaningful way while also developing their active memory.
- Listening – This skill is broken into four sections that help kids develop great listening skills: active listening, empathetic listening, critical listening, and informational listening.
- Communication – This skill is designed to help kids effectively convey what they are feeling. We do this by developing eye contact, using body language, practicing communication with a partner, and when appropriate, using voice control and modulation to express how they are feeling.
- Retention – The retention skill helps the kids develop long term memory, working memory, and short term retention of information that they might otherwise consider “less important”.
- Durability – Sometimes kids on the autism spectrum also experience physical challenges. This skill helps kids develop their physical strength and the mental discipline to follow through on difficult tasks.
- Determination – This skill helps with the emotional and intellectual challenges kids face when they are put under pressure by helping them develop a positive mindset while also guiding them to success as they push through the objective challenges of a martial arts class.
We cover one of the above skills per class (in order). During each class we run a warm-up; deliver a mat chat about the skill; run two or three skill-building drills; and then we have them demonstrate the skill to earn their skill-stripe. They must earn all 8 skill-stripes in order to graduate to the next belt level.
Once they earn their next belt they will continue to run through all 8 skills earning their skill-stripes with more challenging curriculum as they advance to each rank. They graduate into one of the age-specific SKILLZ martial arts programs after they have successfully completed all 9 belt ranks of the program.
Here is an example of what a white belt will demonstrate for each of the 8 skills above to earn their next belt:
- Awareness – Duck under a noodle swung by the instructor 5 times.
2. Detailing – Demonstrate 10 punches applying proper hand position when striking a target.
3. Observing – Name 3 basic blocks as demonstrated by the instructor.
4. Listening – Demonstrate 10 punches on a 70pbm metronome beat.
5. Communication – Explain how to do 1 of the basic strikes applying proper chambers.
6. Retention – Demonstrate 3 basic blocks and strikes when called out by the instructor while applying the proper hand position.
7. Durability – Demonstrating the static warm-ups by holding each position for 10 seconds.
8. Determination – Demonstrate a palm strike breaking a board.
As you can see we take Martial Arts training to a whole new level! We use elements of traditional Martial Arts curricula to build skills that are appropriate for children on the spectrum. This means that your child will learn and grow at a pace that is fun while being challenging enough to help foster development.
The best part is that the Spectrum SKILLZ program will equip your child with skills that they will utilize in every area of their life!
Ready to get started?