Martial arts training helping to combat intellectual, physical and sen – Ausnew Home Care

Martial arts training helping to combat intellectual, physical and sensory disabilities

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Judo practitioner Shane Masters has an acquired brain injury from a workplace accident over a decade ago.

"I woke up in hospital two weeks later and didn't know nothing, but I could remember judo," he said.

Mr Masters is part of a new judo studio in Hobart — Seishin Martial Arts — which is aimed at people with intellectual, physical and sensory disabilities.

He said training in martial arts helped develop social skills and a sense of belonging.

"Since my accident, my judo career is gone," he said. "You meet people, meet good people."

Judo coach Carla Johnson smiles at the camera.
Carla Johnson says the sport is "fantastic for the head and the body".(

ABC News: Carla Howarth


Instructors Lewis Willing and Carla Johnson, who both work in disability services, decided to open up the studio to help those with disabilities to develop social and motor skills.

Shane Masters looks at camera.
Shane Masters says "I got my judo family here" at the Hobart dojo, or studio.(

ABC News: Carla Howarth


Ms Johnson said they were tailoring classes to suit everybody.

"Martial arts like judo are really beneficial for people's mental health and physical health," she said.

"It helps with regulation and being calm, discipline, respect, learning to 'be' — but also motor skills and social skills as well."

Ms Johnson started judo three years ago, and said she has called it her "mat therapy" ever since.

"I was suffering from a bit of anxiety and depression, and I really needed something to help pick me up," she said.

"Being part of the martial arts community in Tasmania, they're so welcoming and I really had a sense of belonging.

People stand in a line at a judo training session.
The training will be designed to "help those with disabilities to develop social and motor skills".(

ABC News: Carla Howarth


Mr Willing said the practise had also helped his mental and physical wellbeing.

Lewis Willing smiles at the camera.
Instructor Lewis Willing, who also works in the disability sector, says the martial arts community are "a good bunch of people".(

ABC News: Carla Howarth


"The judo mats are my safe place," he said.

"I come and train four to five days a week when I'm feeling not great and it really brings me up.

The classes, which will start in March, will be kept small so the training and instruction can cater to everyone's needs.

Source: ABC

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