This summer Ikkaido Aylesbury held its first ever week long fully inclusive martial arts workshop for disabled and non-disabled children aged 4-6.
Sarah Wilds coach at Ikkaido Aylesbury came up the idea to bring together children from all different backgrounds and abilities to learn, work together, play together and make new friendships in a week long workshop based in Aylesbury.
Each day had its own theme from Super Heroes to Pirates and Mermaids. The themes were carried throughout the day in the games and activities the children took part in, with the overall focus on FUN and friendship and inclusivity.
The children took part in martials arts games, learnt basic martial arts moves based on the ABC FUNdamentals of ABC (Ability, Balance and Co-ordination) and learnt how to count to 5 in Japanese. They also spent time discussing how to deal with certain emergency situations. They spent time learning through play, doing themed crafts and trying their hand at other sports including football and a multi skills session run by LEAP.
Over the course of the week the workshop saw children building new friendships and form an inclusive community. Their self confidence bloomed and positive changes were seen in the children as they began to blossom in the fully inclusive environment. The smiles seen coming from the children’s faces and the excitement displayed showed what an amazing FUNtastic time they were having.
The week ended with the children participating in a small grading, demonstrating the basic martials arts skills they had learnt throughout the week. After the grading parents, grandparents, carers and friends were invited to a graduation party to celebrate the children’s achievements. Each child was presented with a certificate to say they had completed the workshop and a medal for all their hard work. This was a great time for the families of the children to get together, enjoy socialising and to see the impact the workshop had had on their children first hand.
Thanks to sponsorship from Tesco, Enterprise-Rent-A-Car, Acar2go and the Provincial Grand lodge of Buckinghamshire, the workshop was able to be run at a low cost of £5 making it accessible to families on low incomes or living in poverty, enabling parents and carers a chance to get some respite.
Due to the fantastic success of the summer workshop Ikkaido Aylesbury will now be running an Ikkaido Kids session for children aged 4-6 on Thursday evenings at 4.15pm at Stoke Mandeville Stadium. The fully inclusive sessions will be based on engaging young children with fun and age appropriate physical activity and helping them to learn through play and martial arts based games.