Jump to content
Jeremy Stewart

Teaching Muay Thai to the Mentally Challenged

Recommended Posts

I have been approached to teach a group of around 10 mentally challenged young adults. I have never taught anyone who is  mentally challenged. I would really appreciate any thoughts or considerations on how to conduct the classes. I have been speaking to the person involved in setting this up and the general consensus is they need a strict but vibrant session. The only way I know of to achieve this is to conduct them like a karate class. I have a few reservations with this. These being (1) I don't  want to be called Sensei even though I hold that title and rank associated with it, I just don't get the idea. Never have, never will. (2) I hate unnecessary bowing and scraping, I consider myself to be very egalitarian. (3) I hate formality. Don't get me wrong, I'm proud of my karate rank, I've just never seen the point in being called a Japanese title when I'm not Japanese and my karate is not a traditional form. I much prefer being called Jeremy or Jezza. I guess it's an Aussie thing. I don't even let my Muay Thai students call me Kru. I'm not Thai, never trained in Thailand, my muay thai is Australian in intention and purpose and  I have never pretended otherwise. Just a bit confused as how to approach the strictness thingy.

Any help to solve my conundrum, would be most appreciated.

  • Like 4
  • Heart 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It will depend largely on the group but I would advise to just be yourself and follow your own style of teaching. 

Keep it very basic and fun. You will have to adopt as you go. Some guys will struggle to retain information, just accept it. 

Teaching in karate style as in lines might help but or at least as a starting point. 

Keep it enjoyable and keep your sense of humour. 

Can’t think of much else as groups can vary so much and each will have additional issues to deal with, balance, coordination etc

  • Like 2
  • Heart 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re titles,  in USA its very common they call the leader "SenseiKruSir"  for prof.  ie professor.

If you have in your country some usual everyday title for a teacher, you can use this instead, if you so want.

So for example, here in Sweden male teachers in children school are called for magister.  Nowadays it have no connotations any longer its really an academic title...  Its just what you call all male teachers.  Its of course worse for female teachers - they are called for miss....  So it is nowadays a title of sorts this too...Even if once upon a time  miss and magister were a mark the male teachers hold a higher status and also a higher salary - because they were male...    Im digressing, but you see the picture:   Its formal titles but none of them bears much formal weigh.

If the teacher by any reason dont want to be called by the first name, they use this title.   But its common the swedish teachers use their first name.

 

YOU can of course use your first name if you are comfortable with it.     Its usually the best, but the risk is some few students may misuse the privilege... Just be prepared for it... 

 

Good luck!

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure what you mean with mentally challenged (I think a more preferred term is intellectual disability, when I worked with issues related to disabilities, we called it 'people living with disabilities' in policy documents and legal texts) but I have a brother with a developmental disability which makes non-verbal communication and social interaction for him difficult. He also has problems with coordination and balance etc. Sports together with other people living with disabilities has been a great blessing for him through which he found friends and even his fiancee. He always calls his teachers by their first name. For him it's hard to get several instructions at once, a more first A then B then C-approach is better. But he can practice one thing for hours and hours and hours without getting bored.

My advice. Just be open and friendly and curious and patient. 

  • Like 4
  • Heart 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, LengLeng said:

Not sure what you mean with mentally challenged (I think a more preferred term is intellectual disability, when I worked with issues related to disabilities, we called it 'people living with disabilities' in policy documents and legal texts) but I have a brother with a developmental disability which makes non-verbal communication and social interaction for him difficult. He also has problems with coordination and balance etc. Sports together with other people living with disabilities has been a great blessing for him through which he found friends and even his fiancee. He always calls his teachers by their first name. For him it's hard to get several instructions at once, a more first A then B then C-approach is better. But he can practice one thing for hours and hours and hours without getting bored.

My advice. Just be open and friendly and curious and patient. 

Thank you for the advice. I'm very keen to start their lessons. I believe everyone can benefit from training. My biggest concern is how to keep their interest. I'm really stepping into unknown territory for me. I will just take it as comes and make the necessary adjustments to each individual. Their, (I don't what you'd call him), teacher will be participating as well so this should make things go smoother. 

  • Like 1
  • Respect 1
  • Heart 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, StefanZ said:

Re titles,  in USA its very common they call the leader "SenseiKruSir"  for prof.  ie professor.

If you have in your country some usual everyday title for a teacher, you can use this instead, if you so want.

So for example, here in Sweden male teachers in children school are called for magister.  Nowadays it have no connotations any longer its really an academic title...  Its just what you call all male teachers.  Its of course worse for female teachers - they are called for miss....  So it is nowadays a title of sorts this too...Even if once upon a time  miss and magister were a mark the male teachers hold a higher status and also a higher salary - because they were male...    Im digressing, but you see the picture:   Its formal titles but none of them bears much formal weigh.

If the teacher by any reason dont want to be called by the first name, they use this title.   But its common the swedish teachers use their first name.

 

YOU can of course use your first name if you are comfortable with it.     Its usually the best, but the risk is some few students may misuse the privilege... Just be prepared for it... 

 

Good luck!

 

In Australia, we're generally not big on formality. Myself in particular really only formal titles for those I respect. I'm gonna go the first name route. It's up to me to engender respect. I don't have any problems engendering respect in others. I think I may have been placing more emphasis on my concerns simply because of the demographic the group falls under. I'm just going to play it cool.

  • Like 1
  • Respect 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, Sean said:

It will depend largely on the group but I would advise to just be yourself and follow your own style of teaching. 

Keep it very basic and fun. You will have to adopt as you go. Some guys will struggle to retain information, just accept it. 

Teaching in karate style as in lines might help but or at least as a starting point. 

Keep it enjoyable and keep your sense of humour. 

Can’t think of much else as groups can vary so much and each will have additional issues to deal with, balance, coordination etc

Thanks,😂. I'm going to play it out just as you suggested. 

  • Like 1
  • Heart 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Jeremy Stewart said:

Thank you for the advice. I'm very keen to start their lessons. I believe everyone can benefit from training. My biggest concern is how to keep their interest. I'm really stepping into unknown territory for me. I will just take it as comes and make the necessary adjustments to each individual. Their, (I don't what you'd call him), teacher will be participating as well so this should make things go smoother. 

In my humble opinion, that you take the time to ask for advice and that you reflect on this task like you've done here, really shows how dedicated you are as a teacher. It makes me really happy. I'm pretty sure it goes well and I'm very curious to hear how it pans out. I have no experience whatsoever in teaching and I would look forward to hearing your perspective on this experience. 

  • Like 3
  • Respect 1
  • Heart 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jeremy, do you teach a kids class? I imagine it would be a lot like teaching pre-teens and even younger. By strict (and Id get them to operationally define that) they might mean structured. So maybe 10 mins (play it by ear) warm up of basic exercises. Then maybe some balance work to help prep them, then 15 mins of stance and basic punching with focus on shifting weight. It might not hurt to find games that they can do that fit the sport. Coach Patrick feom Valor Muay Thai has a great kids program that works for everyone, he might have some suggestions. I know hes posted in the forum before. Kevin might be able to tag him.  

  • Like 5
  • Gamma 1
  • Cool 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 hours ago, LengLeng said:

In my humble opinion, that you take the time to ask for advice and that you reflect on this task like you've done here, really shows how dedicated you are as a teacher. It makes me really happy. I'm pretty sure it goes well and I'm very curious to hear how it pans out. I have no experience whatsoever in teaching and I would look forward to hearing your perspective on this experience. 

I will be sure to keep everyone up to date. I'm excited to give it a go. Thank you for the compliment. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, Coach James Poidog said:

Jeremy, do you teach a kids class? I imagine it would be a lot like teaching pre-teens and even younger. By strict (and Id get them to operationally define that) they might mean structured. So maybe 10 mins (play it by ear) warm up of basic exercises. Then maybe some balance work to help prep them, then 15 mins of stance and basic punching with focus on shifting weight. It might not hurt to find games that they can do that fit the sport. Coach Patrick feom Valor Muay Thai has a great kids program that works for everyone, he might have some suggestions. I know hes posted in the forum before. Kevin might be able to tag him.  

No James, I don't teach a kids class. I've often been asked, but have always declined. I don't have any reason, other than I'd  rather not deal with their parents, LOL. I've been giving a lot of thought and sort of come to the conclusion to interact with them as you suggested. I'm  also going to ask the physical trainer that takes them for a class every fortnight how he keeps them engaged.

  • Like 1
  • Heart 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, Coach James Poidog said:

Jeremy, do you teach a kids class? I imagine it would be a lot like teaching pre-teens and even younger. By strict (and Id get them to operationally define that) they might mean structured. So maybe 10 mins (play it by ear) warm up of basic exercises. Then maybe some balance work to help prep them, then 15 mins of stance and basic punching with focus on shifting weight. It might not hurt to find games that they can do that fit the sport. Coach Patrick feom Valor Muay Thai has a great kids program that works for everyone, he might have some suggestions. I know hes posted in the forum before. Kevin might be able to tag him.  

Hi "Coach" Jeremy,  (great way to be referred to if you don't like "titles". ---it helps clarify what you do and what they are there for...

When you say "Mentally Challenged" kids, have they been specifically diagnosed with a condition?

Do they have Down syndrome or do they have ASD--Autistic Spectrum Disorder?  or both?

Edited by Patrick VALOR
mispelling
  • Like 3
  • Nak Muay 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 hours ago, Patrick VALOR said:

Hi "Coach" Jeremy,  (great way to be referred to if you don't like "titles". ---it helps clarify what you do and what they are there for...

When you say "Mentally Challenged" kids, have they been specifically diagnosed with a condition?

Do they have Down syndrome or do they have ASD--Autistic Spectrum Disorder?  or both?

They're all autistic.  I'm just gonna go with the first name option. Just like any normal class.😎

  • Like 3
  • Heart 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

All went well today. The youngsters (18-20 yr old) all had fun. Their were a couple of stand outs. One in particular,  a young woman. I can't describe how naturally gifted she is. I hope this turns into something more of a permanent nature as I'd like to see how they all grow over an extended period of time. I have them for 3 months at the moment.

  • Like 3
  • The Greatest 1
  • Heart 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've trained a few children with learning difficulties - needless to say it's a challenge. We had one little boy who was very passionate about muay thai, but also very passionate about planes flying above the gym making noise. 😄 It helped that there were plenty of kids in the class who were good with him and would cheer him on 😄

  • Like 1
  • Heart 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, AndyMaBobs said:

I've trained a few children with learning difficulties - needless to say it's a challenge. We had one little boy who was very passionate about muay thai, but also very passionate about planes flying above the gym making noise. 😄 It helped that there were plenty of kids in the class who were good with him and would cheer him on 😄

The young lady I mentioned, her hands were unbelievable,  she picked up the teep and round kick like she was born to it. Her movement in general was outstanding.  Pity is probably the wrong word but it's the best I have, so, pity she is mentally challenged,  she would have made an outstanding  fighter, not just because of the potential she shows physically,  she even carries about herself a certain aura 

Edited by Jeremy Stewart
Left out a word
  • Like 3
  • The Greatest 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Most Recent Topics

  • Latest Comments

    • February 1st will present the first all-female card at Lumpinee Stadium, it's GoSport (the promotion that introduced women to the ring there) and doesn't indicate whether all these fights are 5 rounds or if some are 3 rounds. It appears to all be Thai women and the Main Event is Sanaejan (the first female fight for the Lumpinee banner was Sanaejan vs Buakaw, but wasn't IN the stadium due to Covid restrictions, so this will be her first time actually in the Lumpinee ring) vs Somrasmee, who was "Rising Star of the Year" in Thailand's Northern region last year or the year before.
    • All I know is according to some studies, the ketogenic diet can help women lose weight while also improving blood sugar management. Additionally, when administered as a supplemental therapy in women with specific types of malignancies, it may be advantageous. So a good keto diet should consist of roughly 75% fat, 10%-30% protein, and no more than 5% or 20-50 grammes of carbohydrates per day. High-fat, low-carb foods such as eggs, meats, dairy, and low-carb vegetables, as well as sugar-free drinks, should be prioritized. Keep overly processed foods and harmful fats to a minimum.
    • Thakoon Pongsupha, the head of Sasiprapa Gym in Bangkok, is launching yet another TV channel for "Entertainment Muay Thai." In the announcement it reads that fighters who "entertain" in their fights, both foreign and Thai, will have continued working relationships with the promotion. The details have yet to be announced but Thakoon is partnering with his son, Arm (both pictured in the article). I don't know Arm's previous experience with anything to do with either Muay Thai or TV, but assume he grew up at the camp, which is outside Thakoon's home. And as for Thakoon, he has decades experience of running a successful fighter's gym and has worked with foreign fighters almost all that time. He has previously worked with promotions, notably other "entertainment" category promotions like MX Muay Thai, which has disappeared but was one of the earlier attempts at Muay Thai 3 rounds, wearing MMA gloves and focusing on "action." 
  • The Latest From Open Topics Forum

    • February 1st will present the first all-female card at Lumpinee Stadium, it's GoSport (the promotion that introduced women to the ring there) and doesn't indicate whether all these fights are 5 rounds or if some are 3 rounds. It appears to all be Thai women and the Main Event is Sanaejan (the first female fight for the Lumpinee banner was Sanaejan vs Buakaw, but wasn't IN the stadium due to Covid restrictions, so this will be her first time actually in the Lumpinee ring) vs Somrasmee, who was "Rising Star of the Year" in Thailand's Northern region last year or the year before.
    • Thakoon Pongsupha, the head of Sasiprapa Gym in Bangkok, is launching yet another TV channel for "Entertainment Muay Thai." In the announcement it reads that fighters who "entertain" in their fights, both foreign and Thai, will have continued working relationships with the promotion. The details have yet to be announced but Thakoon is partnering with his son, Arm (both pictured in the article). I don't know Arm's previous experience with anything to do with either Muay Thai or TV, but assume he grew up at the camp, which is outside Thakoon's home. And as for Thakoon, he has decades experience of running a successful fighter's gym and has worked with foreign fighters almost all that time. He has previously worked with promotions, notably other "entertainment" category promotions like MX Muay Thai, which has disappeared but was one of the earlier attempts at Muay Thai 3 rounds, wearing MMA gloves and focusing on "action." 
    • Sure!! Please send me the Link To Your Website. I'll take a deep look on the pieces!! I've also using Title's and ES Boxing Gloves. The quality of those products are just fine. But now I'll make sure to try out your Product and give a positive feedback.
    • I don't really think I'd want anything scented in my gloves to be honest. But the packaging looks nice. I wish you the best of luck with your launch.
    • Hi,  My name is Jasper and I live in Brooklyn, New York. I am currently in the middle of making a boxing glove deodorizer and I'd love everyone's opinion on this forum. Just have a couple of questions and pictures. - Among Fresh Linen, Mint, and Lemon which would you prefer the most? I have some final product pictures if you don't mind taking a look. You can check out the final product picture on my business instagram or this imgur link.  https://www.instagram.com/iozakcombat/ https://imgur.com/a/EdMUyV7 Let me know what you guys think!  I will be launching in February so If anyone is interested I am offering discounts just follow my instagram and DM me.  Thank you!    
  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      1.1k
    • Total Posts
      10.3k
×
×
  • Create New...