Autism won’t be taking my son hostage, why MMA may be the step forward

Muay Thai classes

Muay Thai is a word I still can’t pronounce properly. However sending my son to Muay Thai classes is one of the best things I have ever done. My son was identified as being on the autisic spectrum, he is an introvert, he likes his own space and minimum noise in order to do his work. But of late I have seen his nature of being an introverted thinker has resulted in him being taken advantage of at school. More time seems to be spent on his PlayStation and he has become disengaged. So my challenge was to think: How could I equip him so he is more assertive? How can I make him feel empowered so that he uses his voice? How do I make sure he stays happy with who he is while he knows he has unlimited potential? So I put his passion for watching wrestling with his competitive nature and came up with Muay Thai classes.

Have Muay Thai classes really delivered?

To follow are some of the outcomes he has already received from attending Muay Thai classes once a week:

  1. Increased Happiness – It makes him happy. He has participated  in police cadets, drama, karate in the past. However, I have not seen him smile this way since he found his favourite red mallet toy as a wee baby. Adding Muay Thai to his list of hobbies has made him a happy chappy.
  2. Increased Fitness – “When they kept on making me do burpees for 6 minutes non-stop the first time I was tired, now I can do it without being tired” Shaiheim (March 2016). When I watch 6ft+  men do burpees next to my son and he is giving them a run for his money then you know these Muay Thai classes are no joke. My son’s fitness levels have improved.
  3. Improved Discipline – I am a firm believer in equipping individuals so they are independent.  So making sure there are as many opportunities as possible so he can build the discipline to fall and get up, try and try again is where he can become independent.
  4. muay thai classes autism friendlyStress Relief – Living in south-east London brings many challenges. One of those challenges is finding quality education which heavily relies on social interactions of your peers.  I believe the education system for a child with diverse learning needs (namely autism) plus living in south east London can be an oxymoron (but that’s a whole other post). Practising martial arts allows Shaiheim to focus on himself and nothing else. Doing something regularly that detaches him from the daily grind  of school helps him become a happier and more carefree, disciplined individual.
  5. Tangible Progress – Skipping at the gym for me is therapeutic. It reminds me of aspects of my childhood. David at Temple Commander asked me if my son could skip I said no. David still gave him a skipping road and after trying and trying again…he finally got into the rhythm and skipped like he was Rocky Balboa. My son skipped. Each skip more inspiring than the last. My son can do anything he put’s his mind too. He just needs the opportunity to try.

It has been great watching my son learn a new art form. I am inspired by his progress, productivity. When I asked him if he would like to go regular, his reply was yes I have nothing better to do. Winning the battle against the PlayStation one day a week at a time 🙂 My son even said he would like to teach Muay Thai one day

Want to experience Muay Thai classes yourself? Sign up to Muay Thai at Temple Commando. The taster session is free.

About the author

Ruth henry-ovid

As a dyspraxic, dyslexic and unofficial autistic woman I find ways to better improve my life and others who make a choice to improve their lives as well. Certified inbound marketer, coach and public speaker. Founder of @tryxavietime and @celebratedhub an avid fan of all things that help people and businesses grow!

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