Youth and Family Connect hold a free weekly Muay Thai based self-defense class on Tuesdays from 5pm to 6pm at the City of Sydney PCYC in Woolloomooloo. Although the classes are open to all young people, male and female, aged 12-18 years, it is targeted at the higher than average proportion of at-risk youth within the local community.
The recent study, “Reducing Aggression with Martial Arts: A meta-analysis of child and youth studies“, published 2017 in the peer-reviewed journal Aggression and Violent Behavior conducted by Bar-Ilan (Tel Aviv) University Department of Psychology concluded; Martial arts help teach self-discipline and socialization skills.
Children with attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder showed great success with these programs as self-control and concentration are exactly the skills underdeveloped in ADHD kids. The study shows it often carries over into school, helping to improve behavior and even grades and a reduction in the incidence of children being bullied and also the child’s tendency to bully others.
The study concludes martial arts is highly beneficial for at-risk kids and can be used as a potential rehabilitative intervention that also improves cognitive and psychological factors and impacts executive function that can reduce criminality and aggression.
We are currently seeking further funding to expand this initiative by adding a nutritional component offering participants the option to arrive straight from school and help prepare and share in a meal before their self-defense class. A nutritionist will be onsite instructing, cooking, and educating in the Youth Room area of the PCYC.
To view the kids in action, click here for a short documentary commissioned by the City of Sydney featuring performance highlights, showcased feeder programs, and interviews from global superstar Russell Crowe, community members, and representatives from participating service providers.