Gabe Holden who is now 17 years old is a Great nephew to his Aunt Connie, and a cousin to Robin. Gabe came to live with us in 2016 after his grandma who was raising him passed from liver cancer. Gabe was born with Asperger's, a developmental disorder characterised by significant difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication. Gabe has been in Taekwondo for a little over a year now.
Champions Martial Arts, Master Dillow, and all of the Instructors have been so good with Gabe. Gabe really looks up to them, being that he's never had any strong male role models in his life. When Gabe came to live with us he was very quiet, and didn't have a SELF. He had very low grades in school, he didn't like to be touched or have people in his space. Gabe didn't understand how to socially interact with others. Over the years since he came to live with us we have struggled to help him. It was new to us, as it was new for him. We slowly came about, and things started to change for the better.
We put Gabe into Taekwondo in order to open up his thinking, open him up to the world out there, to help him learn about himself, and others. Taekwondo has been a blessing to Gabe, and to us as a family. Since Gabe has been in Taekwondo his school grades have gone from C's and D's to mostly A's and B's. We are seeing his hard work in Taekwondo transfer to his school learning, and school work. He has found his inner voice and speaks up for himself, and also asks questions. Gabe has found his smile, and is learning wonderful social skills with Taekwondo. He has opened up and grown so much. His touching and space issues have become almost non-existent.
Joshua Kaufer - Autism Testimony
Posted: April 30, 2019
Our son Joshua Kaufer (8 years old) started taekwondo 15 months ago. At 3 years old Joshua was diagnosed with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and delayed speech. His biggest challenge has been verbal communication with peers and adults and judging social situations and interactions. He struggled in school to communicate basic needs to his teachers as well as understanding and being able to follow multiple step directions. He has always had a hard time making friends and playing with others his age. Joshua has a difficult time verbalizing his thoughts to others and will get frustrated and hit his head; most people don't understand that behavior and tend to keep their distance once they have seen it a few times.
We started Joshua in taekwondo because we were looking for something to help him be more social in a low pressure setting, as well as the physical attributes that taekwondo brings. Joshua having to face bullying as he grows up is something that we think about and want him to know how to defend himself and to know his worth. A friend of Joshua's from school invited Joshua to a buddy day class and we were hooked.
Since starting taekwondo, Joshua's overall attitude has improved. He has more coordination, he is more confident, his school work has improved, and most of all he is coming out of his shell. He still struggles with communication daily but he has come so far. Joshua was very limited in his speech until he was four years old, so to see him in class raising his hand to answer questions in front of everyone or at a tournament in center ring or bowing everyone in, it is like he is a completely different kid. Josh has done so well in all aspects of his life since starting taekwondo. He is better able to process and handle his emotions and has started to get comfortable with regulars at the studio.
Avett Turner - Autism Testimony
Posted: April 30, 2019
Avett is 6 years old and has been taking Taekwondo for 1 year. He has several health difficulties since birth, including MED13L Haploinsufficiency Syndrome, Autism, and Hypotonia. We started him in Taekwondo to help honor his abilities, which are not the same as his peers, but also give him an opportunity to be involved with kids his own age.
Taekwondo has been incredible because the instructors meet him on his level, and they measure his progress in a very individual way. They are extremely accommodating and respectful regarding his needs. The benefits of Taekwondo have been multifaceted. His range of motion, strength, and coordination have noticeably increased. When he started he could only kick with one leg in one direction. He could hardly keep his balance while kicking. Now he can do several different kicks with both legs, and they are more controlled. He also struggles with impulse control and with focus, and he can now participate more easily in class as his behavior and attention span have both improved. He is beginning to understand the more complex ideas taught in class, such as respect, discipline, and integrity.
He really enjoys classes, and feels great success in completing his classes and reaching his goals. He adores his instructors and is always trying to sneak onto the mat to give them hugs. I am looking forward to watching him grow and reach his potential in life. I am grateful for CMA for helping us get there.
Mendoza Family Testimony
Posted: September 12, 2018
"A family that kicks together sticks together!"
"We are the Mendoza family. Our children started at Champions Martial Arts in the spring of 2018. Being in martial arts has changed everything for us. All three of our children are learning to live with respect, honor, and confidence. They are also now carrying themselves like leaders. We can already see the growth in every aspect of their lives and it's so amazing to watch!
Student Testimony - Willow Walsh
Posted: June 12, 2018
When Willow first started school, she was being bullied by boys in her class. Sometimes, telling the teacher, or walking away was not enough. We found martial arts and thought it would teach Willow how to stand up for herself, in a proper, structured way. It gave Willow confidence, leadership skills, and the ability to defend herself against the bullies. As parents, it gave us great peace of mind, to know our daughter had self-confidence and could protect herself. Besides that, Willow fell in love with the sport. By the time Willow was 10, she had been ranked "red black belt" in World's style Taekwondo. She won many medals at tournaments, and loved every minute of it, especially forms and weapons.
Due to our family moving frequently, she put her Taekwondo career on hold. When Willow started high school, she was not very extroverted, or expressive vocally. She found her other passion - public speaking. Willow loves poetry, performing, and also politics so she felt right at home on the Speech & Debate team. It gave her the confidence to say things that other high school students could not. Willow brings attention to very controversial topics that she feels are very important to the youth in her community. After 3 years of competitions and hard work, our daughter is going to Nationals to represent Idaho and domestic violence victims. Speech & Debate has given her a real voice within the community, and the confidence to promote real change.
Last year, Willow decided to come back to Taekwondo and she could not have made a better decision! Seeing how much confidence, strength and fun Taekwondo brought to our kids’ life, we recently joined the adult class. Working hand in hand with Champions Martial Arts Legacy team, Willow is becoming a strong, and confident leader, who will be speaking and leading for our future. Thanks to the discipline and leadership taken from Taekwondo, and the confidence she has gained from Speech & Debate, we can testify that these lessons can only be found through a great Master, and an amazing support system.