For the Inclusive Martial Arts Programme for participants with intellectual disability, KM replaced the weapons they usually use with foam pool noodles. This ensures that the skills are imparted in a safe manner without compromising the goals of building fitness while increasing energy levels and health.
MTC is a programme that enhances the social integration of adults with intellectual disabilities through leisure and recreational activities. Through age- and ability-appropriate activities, they are supported to develop their social skills and build friendships with other people with intellectual disabilities, caregivers, and volunteers.
Said Manager at MTC Julia Ng: “This is part of our community efforts to include persons with disabilities in more activities that would enhance their mental and physical well-being.”
Adapted to be inclusive
KM drew inspiration for a martial arts course for persons with disabilities, from the wheelchair boxing parasport.
“That prompted us to explore and develop martial-arts-based exercise programmes for those with disabilities. We decided on collaborating with MTC because their clients are physically mobile and have no issues with independent travelling to other venues,” explained Rodrigues.
Together with MTC, KM met SG Enable and agreed that Enabling Village, with its expansive grounds and facilities, is the ideal place to conduct the Inclusive Martial Arts Programme.
Sessions have been adjusted for those with Intellectual Disability. KM replaced the weapons they usually used to teach martial arts skills with foam pool noodles. Chairs were incorporated as well so that participants could have a mix of seated and standing exercises.
“Martial Arts training is not only about developing physical skills, focus and self-confidence but also about reaching challenging goals, and building up our health and energy levels.
“Our exercises aim to enhance the quality of life of participants with activities aimed at improving their mobility, coordination, and interaction with their peers.
“And our comprehensive rotating curriculum makes our very efficient and unique Martial Art system accessible to anyone,” said Rodrigues.
There were also bilateral exercises that target limb coordination as well as strength and conditioning exercises to maintain and improve muscular function and mobility.
Added Rodrigues: “The bilateral exercises were originally designed to build familiarity in moving weapons. Removing the physical weapons from the equation, we were still able to build attributes in learning how to move our limbs through various planes and angles.
“It is these drills and skills that we have brought to these participants in a fun and creative manner.”
Good for all