Karen puts Oska to the mat as Ari and Adam (background) prepare to continue a bout during special needs judo at the Lismore PCYC.
Karen puts Oska to the mat as Ari and Adam (background) prepare to continue a bout during special needs judo at the Lismore PCYC.

Special way of teaching judo

SPECIAL needs students of the Lismore PCYC judo dojo went through their grading this week with a little help from their families.

Dojo sensei Alan Foley said he always felt a sense of achievement when he awarded each student with a new belt, always with the assistance of their parents.

“I work with people with special needs and with judo being my passion, I’m able to combine the two for very positive outcomes,” he said yesterday.

“It’s different to teach them; I need to change my teaching patterns for them to achieve their best. I have to be more one-on-one with some of the students.

“The change I have seen in these students since they began here is astounding; the outcome has been wonderful for each of them. I do this to see the enjoyment in their faces and, believe me, they enjoy it.”

One appreciative parent, Karen, said her son had ‘taken huge steps because Alan is sensitive to his different way of learning’.

“For me, as a parent/student, practising alongside Alan envelops my son and I,” she said.

“I’ve seen my son ‘pin’ his sensei to the floor before having his hands shifted by his teacher to show how to improve the ‘hold down’.

“This is the child who has sensory overloads and can retreat with proximity fear when interacting with new people.

“Helping him requires hard work, long hours and perseverance, and Alan’s playful approach transfers the techniques and skills of judo to my son’s heart and mind.”

Inquiries regarding special needs judo can be made to the PCYCon 66216276.



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