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Martial Arts and Kids with Autism… The Perfect Activity!

Martial Arts At KarateBuilt Martial  Arts is Perfect for Kids With Autism or Any Special Need!

Autism is defined as:

a developmental disorder of variable severity that is characterized by difficulty in social interaction and communication and by restricted or repetitive patterns of thought and behavior.

At KarateBuilt Martial Arts the instructors are trained to work with kids with special needs and have years of experience. Our certified instructors see more kids in a week than most elementary school teachers see in a career (albeit for shorter times) so they get to work with a wide variety of kids.

In addition, we get a higher percentage of the typical population seeking out karate as a way to work with kids with autism (and kids with ADHD, OCD, ODD, and many other childhood issues). Therefore our instructors get a lot of experience working with a huge range of ability levels.

The most important piece is the specific training.

My initial work on my Ph.D. research was based on the benefits of martial arts for kids with autism. I was motivated in this area because my son was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3. Yet because I believed in martial arts so much (after all I owned the school) I started him in our Leadership program. Now remember you have to stand up and express yourself in the Leadership program – that’s what we’re teaching – and even when he was 4 he couldn’t speak properly. When he started his first words were probably a karate Kihap (that’s a yell if you didn’t know)!

Let me cut to the end of the story… because of this (and also all the great teachers and therapists he had – but don’t get me wrong a LOT was due to what we did in the karate school) he is not only a top student, but one of the leaders of his football and track teams. He’s an instructor in the martial arts school and is working now on applying for the United States Naval Academy (acceptance rate of only 8%).

This is because the instructors (not me – I always had him work with other instructors because I wanted him to learn from other people) are trained to push the students to the maximum they can handle at any given time. At every moment. For some students that may be just a little bit. For others it’s a lot….

The instructors here at our school do get me as a resource and we do specific training and work on kids with special needs. Our staff knows about the needs and skills of kids with autism (ADHD/etc.) and if they occasionally get stuck, they get with me and I help them work through it. Some students need private training for a while till they can work with the group – so we do that… some need other special requirements and our staff can handle it!

So that’s the short version of how we work with kids with autism and other special needs… contact us if you need more information at any time!






Sr. Master Greg Moody, Ph.D. and KarateBuilt Martial Arts have been selected the nation’s #1 martial arts schools for EIGHT YEARS IN A ROW!

Founded in 1995 by Dr. Greg Moody a 7th degree Black Belt and Sr. Master Instructor, KarateBuilt Martial Arts and Karate lessons for pre-school children ages 3-6 and elementary age kids ages 7 and up are designed to develop the critical building blocks kids need – specialized for their age group – for school excellence and later success in life.

KarateBuilt Martial Arts Adult Karate training is a complete adult fitness and conditioning program for adults who want to lose weight, get (and stay in shape) or learn self-defense in a supportive environment.

Instructors can answer questions or be contacted 24 hours or the day, 7 days a week at or call directly at 866-311-1032 for one of our nationwide locations. You can also visit our website at

About Dr. Greg Moody:  Greg is a seventh degree black belt and senior master instructor.  He has a Ph.D. in Special Education from Arizona State University (along with a Master’s Degree in Counseling and a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering – he actually is a rocket scientist). He has been teaching martial arts for over 25 years and has owned eight martial arts schools in Arizona and California. Sr. Master Moody is a motivational speaker and educator and teaches seminars in bullying, business, and martial arts training, around the world.

The KarateBuilt Martial Arts Headquarters is in Cave Creek, Arizona at 29850 N. Tatum Blvd., Suite 105, Cave Creek AZ 85331. You can locate the Chief Instructor, Master Laura Sanborn there directly at ‭(480) 575-8171‬.