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Clinical martial arts ?

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Our sons' OT recommended a clinical TKD program for DS2 because he seems to be craving more structured activities with other kids. I explained to her how when he takes a class, if it is very structured and well controlled, he loves it, and if it is poorly controlled and chaotic, he is miserable and regresses, so I have to be careful about what I put him in. She thought the TKD might be great for him because of the structure and emphasis on mental control, and this particular academy specializes in teaching kids with behavioral special needs, and it would help with continuing the core strength and coordination work she is doing with him in OT.


My concerns are cost - how much is TKD generally ? I am assuming the clinical program would be even more expensive. Time - is TKD something that can be adjusted through the year ? Spring is very busy for us with both kids in baseball, 2 games per week plus practices, and I would want to slow down any other activities. DS2 - he has very strong reactions to other kids pushing or grabbing him. He gets terribly angry and it takes him a long time to recover. Would this help him work through this, or make it worse ?

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My ds has a black belt in Kenpo Karate, so these comments will be about that martial art.


My experience with ds's class was it was HIGHLY structured, in every sense of the word. There was structure about how many times a week he attended (2X was required, and then up to 4X/ week as he prepared for his black belt, which was about 4 years of practice). We could take breaks, but that was when the contract ended (look carefully at that and discuss how that works with the studio). The classes became longer as ds grew older and more advanced. There was structure about how the class was run (always doing the same warm-ups in the same order, practicing forms, grappling, final endurance training and wrap-up with the head instructor). As far as grabbing, all the moves were demonstrated beforehand, and in ds's case, it was not until the upper level classes was there any grappling/ student-student defense moves.


It was expensive...and charged monthly to our credit card (although other arrangements could be made).


I would suggest that you go and check it out without your ds to see what you think. I found it highly informative when we were considering karate, which I was initially adverse, to see the class and the instructor in operation. It was after this observation, along with talking with other parents, that I became impressed with this studio and training for my son.


For him, it turned out to be an excellent experience.

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How structured it is totally depends on the studio and the instructor. We have several types of martial arts here and different families like different studios, even families with special needs kids like different studios. Most allow a few free visits, or have a 'friends week' where you can visit for free. Initially I would call and speak to the peoplein charge and see what they have to offer. If they seem well versed in special needs, they may be ok.


As far as time involved, that also depends on the studio. At least a couple here charge by the month and you decide how many classes per week you attend at your level.

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