ImugiTaekwondo recognised a community need for Martial Arts for adults and children with special needs.
Imugi was approached by Endeavour Group Australia from Nelson Bay and began running weekly classes for their disabled adult clients.
A few months later, after discussions with many local parents, the decision was made to open up to children and adults with special needs beyond Endeavour.
Kyo Sa Nim Kelly O’Brien began taking one-on-one martial arts students with a variety of special needs and disabilities.
They have become known as the Star Imugi’s and students from Endeavour Group have become known as the Endeavour Imugi’s.
Kelly told News Of The Area, “We had a few children come into our mainstream class with special learning needs, so after chatting with their parents and with a local Parents of Special Needs community group, Star Imugi’s were born.”
“This way we can offer them the same training, but delivered in a way that best suits their needs.”
“I see no reason why they should miss out just because they need a different style of teaching,” she said.
The Star Imugi positions are limited and with a high demand they filled within the first week.
Their ages range from five to 19 with disabilities including Down Syndrome, Autism, Irlen Syndrome and significant learning delays.
They are given the same tuition as the mainstream Imugi Taekwondo students and are included in the combined events, but taught individually so they can achieve to their maximum learning ability.
Kelly reported that the students and teachers working together with the star Imugi’s have formed a beautiful bond, and that they love watching them achieve things that they never thought were possible.
“We have also developed a close relationship with each of their families and carers, which has enabled the Star & Endeavour Imugi’s to feel comfortable and safe in their Dojang,” Kelly said.
Imugi Taekwondo strongly believes that each martial artist’s journey is unique and that no matter what your challenge, martial arts offers a strong basis for a balanced life.
By Rachael VAUGHAN