Summit Academy in Youngstown uses martial arts as a form of ther - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Summit Academy in Youngstown uses martial arts as a form of therapy

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

The martial arts moves students at Summit Academy in Youngstown are learning are not taught in gym class.  The techniques are a part of their very own class.

"I like tumbling and kicking and doing a lot of Kata," said Summit Academy student Jamison Tubbs.

"I think it was real nice that a school can have this stuff because I really like martial arts," said Summit Academy student Christopher Rivera.

As part of the curriculum at Summit Academy in Youngstown, students are required to take martial arts classes twice a week.  The school, which serves students with ADHD, autism spectrum disorders and other similar disorders uses the activity as a form of therapy.

"First of all, it is an opportunity for these kids to get healthy and physical.  I think they are getting opportunities they are not going to get normally, you know, in their day to day lives, teach self discipline, self esteem.  It really works on a lot of different social skills, too, that these kids really need," said Summit Academy principal Michael Majzun.

In 2010, the physical therapy department at the University of Wisconsin conducted research on the effectiveness of martial arts as a form of therapy.    They discovered that within the course of learning martial arts, children with certain disorder come out of their shells, grow more assertive and more cooperative. Martial arts also been shown to improve self-control.

"It teaches you good self control. It teaches you a lot of things like how to move out of the way.  It teaches you self control not just like physical also mental," said Summit Academy student Sarah Kaplin.

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