The Hope Karate Program for Special Needs is a part of the overall karate program with Alaska Jundokan Karate Inc. a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. This community program specializes in providing high quality, low-cost traditional karate training to people with developmental disabilities, physical disabilities, and mental health diagnosis. The program also provides inclusion opportunities, through martial arts training, to all members of the community regardless of ability. It also provides individualized curriculum to each participant by emphasizing the unique strengths and talents of each individual.
The Hope Karate Program for Special Needs was started as a request to begin classes at the Hope Community Resources Discovery Center. This center began a quest to offer services in the community, and karate was one of the programs emphasized for this transition due to the access to a community facility.
Three years later, we were approached to hold classes at the Alaska Jundokan karate school, which is the current location for classes. This move has provided the opportunity for the Hope Karate members to experience karate in a community setting. They are provided the opportunity to participate in a true karate “dojo” environment, which has led to immense improvement in each member’s focus, discipline, physical development, and skill development. The Hope Karate participants are considered full members of the school that are provided the same opportunities to fully participate in the areas of their choosing. Some of these members have chosen to join the mainstream classes, in addition to the Hope Karate classes. Some have opted to remain in the Hope Karate classes with the possibility to join mainstream classes.
The mission of the Hope Karate Program is to teach traditional karate to individuals who experience intellectual and developmental disabilities. It is the goal of the program is to promote and emphasize both the mental and physical benefits of traditional karate training to individuals of all ability levels. The Disability Karate Program also focuses on teaching life skills and helping members become active and productive individuals and providing opportunities for full participation in their community.
We focus our teaching based on the concept of habilitation. So, what is habilitation?
Basically, we are talking about services that help a person learn, keep, or improve skills and functional abilities. Habilitation refers to services for those who may not have ever developed the skill, such as a child who is not talking as expected for his or her age, developing intellectually, or physically. Adults can also benefit from habilitative services, particularly those with intellectual disabilities or disorders such as cerebral palsy who may benefit from services at different points in their life to address functional abilities.
Access to high-level instruction
Full community participation
Competition and demonstration opportunities alongside those with or without disabilities
Curriculum adapted to each individual student
Alaska Jundokan and the Karate Program for Special Needs has developed important community partnerships with other karate and non-karate community members in and out of the State to develop opportunities for competition and participation for members with all abilities.
Hope Community Resources Anchorage, AK
Special Olympics Alaska Anchorage, AK
Possibilities Unlimited Glenora, CA
IKA Alaska Fairbanks, AK
Ozawa Cup International Tournament Las Vegas, NV