A Visitor from Thousand Waves Martial Arts Center

karate at the playhouse

The benefits of karate for people with Down syndrome are endless; it focuses on development of balance, coordination, discipline, focus, attention, physical fitness, and confidence. Senpai Sam Boyer introduced the study of Seido karate to individuals with Down syndrome the past several Thursdays in place of their normal teen programs. Seido is a Japanese word meaning “sincere way.”  The founder of Seido karate, Kaicho “grandmaster” Tadashi Nakamura, developed this style because he believed that karate was a lifelong practice from which anyone could benefit.  He states that anybody who observes the values of Love, Respect and Obedience inherent to Seido karate can use it to develop their body, mind and spirit.

Muscle “Tone” is Different than Strength

Have you ever noticed that you have to make the conscious effort to sit up straight? People with Down syndrome have to make similar efforts with a lot of their muscle groups. Low muscle tone is caused by a weak signal from the brain to the body and vice versa. Muscle tone is different from muscle strength. Tone involves the ability of the brain and body to send messages to each other. The best way to fix tone is by fixing the brain-body connection. This is why it’s important for individuals with Down syndrome to continue to experience different ways to strengthen that connection. When our teens started practicing Siedo karate they had to learn unfamiliar movements testing those brain-body signals.  

Thank you Sam!

Senpai Sam Boyer been an instructor of Seido karate at Thousand Waves Martial Arts and Self Defense Center for the past two years. Sam has a wide array of knowledge and support that he uses to adapt his teachings for those with disabilities. He has 20 years of practice combined with the knowledge obtained in the Occupational Therapy program at UIC. Sam also runs a lot of ideas past his support system at Thousand Waves. Thank you for sharing your time and talents with us at GiGi’s Playhouse, and for those of you who would like to know more about programs offered at Thousand Waves, please email Senpai Amy Jones at: ajones@thousandwaves.org.

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