A Family That Trains Together Benefits Together

by admin

Smithtown mma1

BY: TSMMA Smithtown

Now we train as a family, encouraging each other and celebrating each of our successes.

Our family journey began four years ago, when our then 7-year old son, John, asked to join Tiger Schulmann’s because he had seen a TV commercial and it looked really cool.  I was hesitant to try it, as  John has Asperger’s Syndrome and ADHD, and typical activities have always been a challenge for him.  We had previously tried another martial arts school, a soccer  league, and a basketball program, and each one left us feeling frustrated and disappointed.  I didn’t want to set John up for failure in another mainstream activity.

We had previously tried another martial arts school, a soccer  league, and a basketball program, and each one left us feeling frustrated and disappointed.

I happened to be in Smithtown one day and saw the Tiger Schulmann’s school.  I went in and explained my concerns about John, and how he really struggled to stay focused and participate appropriately in activities.  They invited me to bring John in that Saturday to observe a class, to see how he tolerated the noise level,  and to get an understanding of what the program was all about.

John was so excited to attend and when he was introduced to Sensei Leonelli, I saw a connection between the two of them, an understanding that I cannot describe, that made me know that this was the right place for John.

John was so excited to attend and when he was introduced to Sensei Leonelli, I saw a connection between the two of them, an understanding that I cannot describe, that made me know that this was the right place for John.  The beginning didn’t go smoothly; there were many times where Sensei would send John to sit in the corner or remove him from the mat for not following directions.  But Sensei never gave up in his belief that John could succeed.  In the beginning it was easy to spot John on the mat… he was always the kid who would wiggle around, unfocused and acting inappropriately.  Now, John is a high green belt who stands in the front line and is often picked to demonstrate maneuvers to the class.  He has competed in the Challenge of Champions tournament three times, once earning a third place trophy in his grappling division.  His success has carried over to our home and school lives as well.  John used to be in a small special education class.  He is now in an integrated full sized class and continues to make improvements, both academically and socially.

But Sensei never gave up in his belief that John could succeed. His success has carried over to our home and school lives as well.  John used to be in a small special education class.  He is now in an integrated full sized class and continues to make improvements, both academically and socially.

Last year, my husband and I decided that we could also benefit from the discipline and challenges of Tiger Schulmann’s.  On our fifteenth wedding anniversary, we stepped on the mat and into a journey of better health and wellness.  Combined, we have lost almost 80 pounds.  My doctor has lowered my blood pressure medications four times in the last year, and my husband’s cholesterol is within a normal range for the first time in a decade.  We decided to make it a full family experience by enrolling our daughter in classes as well.  Now we train as a family, encouraging each other and celebrating each of our successes.

Combined, we have lost almost 80 pounds.  My doctor has lowered my blood pressure medications four times in the last year, and my husband’s cholesterol is within a normal range for the first time in a decade.

We are grateful to Sensei Leonelli and the staff at TSMMA Smithtown for teaching our whole family the value of self discipline and never giving up.

Written by:  Cathy F.