Sensory Taekwon-Do isn’t your average martial arts school. In fact, Sensory Taekwon-Do is the only martial arts school in America that does what it does. Thanks to founder Kerry Escamilla’s unique medical background and expertise, Sensory Taekwon-Do is able to help students who have learning and behavioral issues gain better health, discipline, and emotional stability.
How It All Started
Doctor Kerry Escamilla had spent 30 years of his life as a professional chiropractor, and used to practice taekwon-do under the instruction of Grand Master Tiger Kim. In 2006, Escamilla had begun to notice the number of children with ADHD, autism, and other similar developmental disorders increasing. After having spent time with them, he knew he wanted to help them somehow. So, he went to work.
Dr. Escamilla soon put his knowledge of chiropractic theory and functional neurology to good use. He knew that the mind and body were literally connected, and that exercising one may help the other. By combining taekwon-do moves with his knowledge of functional neurology, he was able to develop a new exercise-based therapy designed to improve wellness in disabled children. It all works by soothing symptoms caused by the child’s brain physiology.
“It’s the only kind of therapy of its kind, as far as I know,” says Escamilla, “I like to think of it as recreation meets medicine. It’s taekwon-do meets neurology.”
The results that students have experienced from their classes at Sensory Taekwon-Do are undeniable. According to caregivers, students who spend time in class are often more focused, more communicative, and also happier. Students also seem to agree with these often-noted observations.
Though it may seem surreal, Kerry Escamilla’s ability to understand brain physiology has actually been inadvertently proven by modern medicine at least once. A grand daughter of a fellow martial artist had joined Sensory Taekwon-Do for a short period of time. While she was at the dojo, Kerry Escamilla was able to pick up on a brain issue that had been spotted on an MRI a year earlier. The child’s parents never told him, because they were told not to worry about the issue. One can only imagine their surprise when Dr. Escamilla mentioned it to them!
What Are Classes Like?
There is a huge range of different age groups attending these groundbreaking taekwon-do classes. Some children are as young as 2 ½ , while others are in their twenties. Although classes are available for just about anyone dealing with autism and similar disorders, most of the students are in middle school and elementary school.
Every day at Sensory is a little bit different for both students and teachers alike. Though group classes are available for high-functioning students of similar ages, many of the classes are specialized one-on-one experiences. Each class is designed to alleviate each child’s unique symptoms, making it a noninvasive, medication-free, all-natural way of tackling developmental problems.
Dedication And Growth
Having spent years with his taekwon-do students, Kerry Escamilla has gained unique insight into the struggles that come with developmental disorders. He’s also gained a high level of respect for those on the spectrum.
Kerry and the rest of the group at Sensory Taekwon-do have helped hundreds of children and young adults gain control of their lives and emotions. Despite all the recognition he’s gained from his good deeds over the years, Escamilla still remains quite humble about his work, and exceptionally thankful for all the help he has received from fellow instructors.
“I must mention that I am nothing without my martial artists,” says Kerry, “They all love to work with the children. They all are special people. This program just attracts that type of people. I’ve seen these children benefit the instructors’ lives. They tell me how much their lives have improved from working with these special children as well.”
The program itself seems to breed happiness and success – and that might be why they’ve managed to expand. The school currently has classes in both Bergenfield and Waldwick, and chances are that they will continue to grow as word gets out about their beneficial and altruistic programs.