Children with special needs should not feel like outcasts to society. They have gifts and talents just like anyone else. Now there is a program in Ascension Parish that encourages these children to excel. It is called Black Dragon Special Forces.
One day while in the dojo/dojang (martial arts school), my wife and i were in the middle of some private black belt training for ourselves. Yes, instructor's need to train too! Do not be fooled, they are human! However, while we were working out, a family came into the school with a Downs Syndrom child who wanted to study the martial arts. They had been to other schools, but no one seemed to meet their needs or seemed interested. They asked us if we would take on the task. A big undertaking for us since we have limited certified instructors with this skill. However, it has always been, and still is the mission of Black Dragon Martial Arts, LLC, to give anyone a chance to experience the martial arts from a positive view, despite any limitations. Bruce Lee once said, "No limitations." Most people studying the Arts today are too young to even know Bruce Lee. It really does not matter. We honor and respect Bruce Lee and others who paved the way like "Superfoot" Wallace, Chuck Norris, Joe Lewis, and others, but we are training ourselves and kids who live in the everyday world of a community with crime, bullies and such. We are not in the ring or cage. We are your everyday citizen, seeking safety and skills to defend ourselves if necessary, as well as providing sport for the children in a positive environment.
After our visit with the family who visited us, Kristine and I went home to brainstorm a plan. Kristine has experience with special needs folks since she worked with them in Colorado, as well as in the youth detention center. I, as most of you know, have a license as a Psychotherapist in both Colorado and Louisiana, and have been in practice for many years. Together we agreed that Black Dragon Martial Arts, LLC, would meet the community need of Ascension Parish and bring families together under the umbrella of martial arts, but with an emphasis on socialization, communication skills, coping skills and self esteem.
Kristine has criteria that is designed for safety and security of everyone involved. A screening process is in place and we will be accepting only those who are high functioning and non-violent at this time. This is for the safety aspect for other students and keeps us away from any hands on encounter. Parents are encouraged to take part in the training and take the class with the student. Classes will be limited in size and a wating list might be in the making. We think this might be a vital link to a connection that fosters re-enforcement of positive behavior and coping skills, provides self esteem, belonging and a grip on internal self control when things seem to go wrong. ie. Impulse control issues.
We are not, in this capacity, a psychotherapist or social worker. We are a "Martial Arts School" providinging a service to the community that is not met.
If interested in taking the class or having you child enrol, or even if you have question, please call us at 225-715-7856. Our web site is: www.blackdagonmartialartsllc.com