Canada has its 1st disability-inclusive karate charity

October 3, 2018 by dccinc

Today Inclusion is something that needs to be adapted by the society as everyone has an equal right to receive all the facilities. A Saskatchewan karate teacher has taken an initiative and has introduced a charity for disabled Canadians focusing on inclusion.

Brendan Breen is the first Canadian representative for the IKF. He started his martial arts classes three years ago and noticed that his class was attracting students of all abilities. He uses a system created by the Belgium-based Inclusive Karate Federation and realized that his students were happy attending his classes and there were students who were on the autism spectrum, cerebral palsy or Down syndrome who found the style of teaching interesting.

Coordination and Concentration is all that you need

Martial Arts Abilities Canada introduced by Breen

Martial Arts Abilities Canada introduced by Breen is unique among 85,000 registered charities in Canada.

“We specifically want caregivers and physiotherapists and other professionals to join alongside those athletes,” Breen said. “They act as ‘buddies.’ They train among the athletes which promotes inclusion.”

The class helps with social acceptance, self-confidence and mainly inclusion as it combines karate and special needs. The class runs at Deer Park Villas in Ituna which is a care facility for people with intellectual disabilities. The disabled students have a sense of involvement in the society as the classes are attended both by disabled and abled individuals.

Furthermore, Breen says

“If they can pay, then great, it helps keep it sustainable,” “And if they can’t, then it’s 100 per cent free. Free grading, free belt tests, everything.”

Breen and his wife volunteer to run the class and all the facilities provided are by donation and students pay only the amount they can afford. They are not concerned about the cost as they don’t want it to be a barrier in learning.

Owen Reid aged 35 is in a wheelchair and has cerebral palsy and says he never thought he would be able to do karate. According to him it’s all about a can do attitude and trying things out rather than thinking it’s impossible.

“It’s a good learning experience for everyone involved. It’s important for people with disabilities to be included in a class like that. I think it’s also important for people to be included in society.” Said Owen Reid.

There are various ways the class is made engaging. There are modifications made in the classes where students wear coloured armbands to follow the instructions given by Breen like punching with their red arm rather than their right. Breen too wears the coloured armbands so they can mirror him. The colors make them easier to copy the instructions. Another modification made is the down movement mats with feet positions in different colours.The coloured placards helps determine the position they must be facing.

To know more about the facilities the classes are providing read here 

Charity for disabled Canadians focusing on inclusion

It’s a right of every individual to be treated equally in the society but it cannot be implemented if the society does not adapt individuals who are disabled and crave to have a sense of belonging in the society. It is not just an individual but support from every individual which is required to make it a reality. Joining hands to work towards Inclusion is a way to go ahead. It’s not just accepting them in the society; it’s also about treating them equally and helping each other in various circumstances. After all the society belongs to all.

Disability Credit Canada welcomes disabled Canadians with open arms and helps them qualify for Disability Tax Credit and CPP Disability Benefits. Read the guidebook for more information or call us today for free assessment at 1-844-800-6020.

Use Our Simple Calculator to Estimate Your Disability Tax Credits & Benefits

Request a Free Assessment