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Martial arts for disabilities expands to Eastern Shore

A MARTIAL arts class dedicated to supporting Tasmanian children, teenagers and adults with disability or additional needs has expanded its services to the Eastern Shore after its original dojo received an overwhelming response.

Seishin Martial Arts was established by Carla and Lewis Willing at the Sandy Bay UniGym, with four classes being run in no limits judo.

“No limits judo is basically adapted judo or martial arts for people with disabilities,” Mrs Willing said.

“We adapt regular judo for people who are at different levels – sometimes we’re just doing ground work and other times we can move to standing up.”

Mrs Willing said they had an amazing response to their classes and made the decision to open up an Eastern Shore branch at the Howrah Community Centre.

“It’s great to see people jump on board and get in contact with us,” she said.

“We’re running four classes for children aged five to seven, eight to 12, teenagers, and adults – we’ve already started filling up some of those classes.”

Mrs Willing said their classes provided a number of benefits to participants, with classes limited to four people so everyone received individualised support.

“Feedback we’ve been getting from professionals is that the difference they’re seeing, particularly in children, in confidence levels, movement, balance and motor skills has been amazing,” she said.

“We’ve also seen things like better balance, better motor function, better focus, and better regulation.

“The majority of our young people have ADHD or Autism and the result that they’re getting by having time spent with them in martial arts is beneficial above words.

“We understand everyone is at a different level, different disability and different needs, so the more we can support that, the better.”

Six-year-old Ollie van den Berg said he had learnt a lot of things from the classes.

“I’ve learnt tumbles – that’s my favourite – throws, hold downs and breakfalls,” he said.

“I’ve also made lots of friends.”

For more information or to sign up, visit the Seishin Martial Arts Facebook page, or contact seishintas@gmail.com, or phone 0408 267 867.