Pulse Taekwondo partnered with Sick Kids Hospital to design a martial arts program to teach kills and provide exercise to the children in their Epilepsy clinic. The once a week class was 1 hour long and with the assistance of Master Tony Trieu and Instructor Lynn Bui, we were able to conduct a fun class that kept the students engaged and active. We were told before taking on this partnership that many of the students in the epilepsy clinic could be somewhat challenging to work with since they are high functioning, attention deficit, and sometimes compounded by other disabilities. Some kids have tunnel vision, no function with some of their arms or legs or have no strength to carry any weight. As a master and mentor to many children, I took it as a challenge that anybody, regardless of their disability, can still enjoy the benefits of martial arts.
After several weeks of classes, the students showed strong development and expressed much enjoyment in our program. The hospital and clinic staff were very surprised by the level of attention we were able to hold with all the students. We promised that all the students in the class would graduate to their white belt if they all tried their best until the end of the program. On the final day all the children were given the opportunity to break a board to symbolize their ability to do anything in life regardless of their setbacks.
The program was so successful on completion that we now continue to work with Sick Kids to bring the benefit of martial arts to their other clinics. The Clinical Neuropsycologist of the Epilepsy Surgery Program, Dr. Elizabeth Kerr, PhD, CPsych, revealed that the results were so incredible that our work was mentioned in their medical journals!
We are extremely happy that we are able to make a difference to these children and to all those we will work with in the future!