This years meeting served as a celebration of passion and technique. We are grateful for our global MATs and their commitment to the Heroes Circle community.
2021 Martial Arts Therapist Virtual Symposium
Written by Rayn Schnell, KKC Intern
On June 3, 2021, we hosted our annual Martial Arts Therapy Symposium, with the purpose of bringing together organizational leaders and instructors to share lessons, advice and inspirational stories. This unique virtual event connected over 40 global Martial Arts Therapists (MATs) in an effort to build camaraderie and help each other become better teachers and mentors. The symposium was a great success and we are already looking forward to next year’s gathering!
The symposium was led by Richard Plowden (Chief Martial Arts Therapist), Peter Davenport (Senior Martial Arts Therapist), and Liam Brennan (Program Coordinator in London, Canada). Sensei Richard, Sensei Peter, and Sensei Liam kicked off the event by sharing technique-based refreshers and introducing new ideas to the MATs in attendance — including logistical information and opinions about the ideal Zoom environment and on-screen instructional etiquette. They also delved into philosophical topics, including an explanation of our motto, “Power. Peace. Purpose,” and stories in which students exemplified those values. In addition, attending instructors had the opportunity to learn about their colleagues’ unique teaching techniques, like bringing pool noodles to (in-person) classes for children, so that the children can practice their moves with a physical — yet extremely safe — target.
Near the end of the event, we had the opportunity to hear case studies from our global MATs and their personal experiences with their students. Among others, Sensei Lyne Poirier from Ottawa shared an inspiring story about a young boy who had to work through losing his eyesight at eight years old. Through martial arts power breathing and body scans, as well as support from his Kids Kicking Cancer family, the boy ended treatment stronger than ever. He has even begun to excitedly teach his parents, sister and cat what he has learned in class.
Thank you to our chapter participants across the United States, Canada, Israel, South Africa, Italy, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Your passion and expertise are what makes our organization both unique and life changing for so many little heroes.
Meet Our Martial Arts Therapists
Our Martial Arts Therapists (MATs) are highly trained martial artists who have successfully matriculated through the Kids Kicking Cancer (KKC) Martial Arts Therapy course curriculum and then completed a rigorous apprenticeship. Our MAT CHAT Q&A series spotlights our MATs and their commitment to empowering our Heroes Circle community.