Four In Five Disabled People Would Like To Be More Active.
Martial Arts Can Make That A Reality.
Inclusive Martial Arts
Everything should have access to the same opportunities to participate in sport. Sadly, that's not the case. One in three disabled people said that there is a lot of prejudice against disabled people in Britain and only two in five disabled people feel they are given the opportunity to be as active as they would like to be.
We know the life-affirming qualities that martial arts has to offer and we've seen so many good clubs and organisations making a huge difference to the lives of so many through martial arts. We've also seen a few cases of inspiring coaches working with adults and children with severe physical and mental impairments, and the results are staggering.
Our Inclusive Martial Arts programme aims to encourage a discussion around inclusive martial arts in the UK. We want to train martial arts instructors in equality awareness and disability inclusive coaching so they can feel empowered to make their groups more available to those with physical or mental disabilities. We also want to build up a grant-pool of funds to assist clubs who do good work in this area to make adaptations to their facilities, and to reach more disabled adults and children.
Impairments and activity level
Inactivity increases with the number of impairments an individual has. 51 per cent of people with three or more impairments are inactive compared to 31 per cent of people with one impairment.
Motivators for activity
Seven in ten (70 per cent) disabled people are motivated to be active to improve or maintain their physical health. More than half (54 per cent) are motivated to lose or maintain weight and almost half (45 per cent) to get fit.
Disabled people's experiences
In 2018, one in three (32 per cent) disabled people said that there is a lot of prejudice against disabled people in Britain.
As with most things in life, education is key. We're working to build up and provide accessible, funded qualifications and training opportunities to martial arts coaches in the UK.
We believe this can unlock the potential of many genuinely brilliant instructors to make their classes and clubs more accessible to those with physical and mental impairments.
The Difference Martial Arts Can Make
"In one study of 30 children with autism,children involved in either martial arts and/or Kinesiotherapy experienced significant improvements in language, social communication and cognition, as well as less hyperactivity, temper tantrums, longer attention spans, better sleeping patterns and more independence."
To anyone who's studied martial arts and especially those who have taught children, this won't come as a surprise. Unfortunately, the true potential of martial arts to play a major role in the lives of children and adults with a disability is not yet being fully realised. We will work tirelessly to campaign around this point and to open up martial arts for everyone.