Specially customised self-defence training for children, teens and adults with ASD
Our fully-qualified instructors have experience teaching people diagnosed with ADHD, Autism Spectrum/Aspergers Disorder, as well as commonly associated specific learning and/or neurological disorders (scroll to the bottom to read some truly inspiring testimonials!).
The versatility of Arakan Martial Art® makes it easily adaptable to people with various abilities and needs. In addition to the obvious benefits of increasing fitness and resilience, Arakan Martial Art® can assist with emotional regulation, anger management, stress relief and social skills development.
Arakan Martial Art® instructors specialise in private training, where each lesson is customised to the student’s circumstances, skill and fitness level, as well as their confidence and desired goals. An individual’s ability, experience and energy levels during any given lesson, are taken into consideration to maximise the benefits.
Neuroplasticity (also known as brain plasticity or brain malleability) is the brain’s ability to reorganise itself, and new research shows this phenomenon continues throughout our adult life.
This is especially exciting when one part of the brain has been affected by injury or disease, and the other part of the brain develops new neural pathways to take over the function. Put simply, our brains are extremely resilient and adaptable, with the ability to reorganise and develop new neural pathways to better function in new situations or when there’s changes to our environment.
At Arakan Martial Art® we incorporate many of the principles required to reorganise our brains, into our training.
Dr. Michael Merzenich, a leading pioneer in brain plasticity research and co-founder of Posit Science, says “there are steps people can take to tap into plasticity and reinvigorate that machinery” and that “these circumstances include focused attention, determination, hard work and maintaining overall brain health”.
Here are some principles required that may help reorganise your brain:
- Being switched on. By being alert, focussed and ready for action, the brain turns on neurochemicals necessary to reorganise the brain.
- Intense focus. The more intensely focused you are on a task, the greater the change or reorganisation to your brain.
- Practice. The more you practice something, the stronger these connections become and the greater the experience of change.
- Continuous flow. This enables your brain to know what comes next. By strengthening your connections, your brain is able to work seamlessly and not in fragmented pieces.
- Visualisation. It’s just as important to rehearse from memory as it is to make physical changes.
- Memory guides. When practicing a new skill, your brain reorganises and remembers the good attempts and discards the not-so-good attempts. It is therefore important not to focus on the one attempt that was not so good (as this reinforces poor attempts) and focus on the good attempts instead.
- Reducing the ‘noise’. Every time you practice a new skill, your brain reduces the ‘noise’ in your mind. As you strengthen new pathways, you naturally weaken old ones.
- Neuroplasticity goes both ways. It is important to remember these changes go both ways. It’s just as easy to reorganise your brain to reinforce positive changes as it is to reinforce negative ones.
Initial changes in our brains are temporary at first. Our brains determine whether what we are learning is to become a permanent change or not, which is why continual learning is so important. It reinforces the new behaviour, and helps reorganise our brains to program in the changes.
Arakan Martial Art® uses a systematic approach to learning, which follows the above neuroplasticity principles to positively reorganise our brains. One must first be ‘switched on’ and ready to learn. We then give our undivided attention to the moment and have intense focus on what we are about to learn. Each lesson is structured to be experiential and hands-on, so that a new skill set and technique can be practiced. We then practice, practice and practice the new skill until we have successfully created a new neural pathway.
Arakan Martial Art® is unique in its ability to flow from one continuous movement to another, allowing students to become incredibly adaptable yet unpredictable when protecting themselves on the street. We use visualisation when practicing our skill sets and reinforce good behaviour. Each time we practice a new skill set or technique, we are reorganising a positive pattern and discarding what no longer serves us.
We are here to guide, coach, mentor and teach you Arakan Martial Art®. It is more than just learning kicking and striking - it goes well beyond the physical. Our members gain greater focus, empowerment, discipline, and self-awareness, as well as learn efficient self-protection techniques. All attributes which translate into other areas of our member’s lives.
Keep scrolling to read some amazing stories from students diagnosed with autism, ADHD and anxiety, who have benefited hugely from their Arakan Martial Art® training.