Posts Tagged ‘special needs martial arts’

Fitness For Focus: Karate for Special Needs Fall 2012 – Free Trial Classes and Registration Open Now!

September 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Click the links at the bottom of this email to download registration and free trial forms for the Uptown and Downtown locations.


Dear Professional / Educator,
Please feel free to pass on to others you feel might benefit from our program.We’re very happy to announce our Fall 2012 free trial classes! Any child is welcome to try and see how our Karate method has shown to help children with special learning needs improve, all while they have a great time.
Fall Session:  (14 Weeks) – Downtown Manhattan at 440 Lafayette Street (near Astor Place)
Sundays:  September 23 – January 20 (1:00 – 4:00pm, exact time depends on age)———–

Fall Session:  (14 Weeks) – Upper West Side Manhattan at 131 West 72nd Street, betw. Columbus and Amsterdam)
Mondays:  September 24 – January 21 (4:30 – 6:00pm, exact time depends on age)

Free Trial Class Registration Form
Please print, fill in and bring one with you on the day of the class.

Sibling / Friend Discount
Each sibling or new friend registered takes 10% off registration .

Please contact us with any questions or if you are planning to attend!

Sensei Glenn
President, Fitness for Focus, Inc.

Top Ten: Favorite Extracurricular and Social Activities For Special Needs Kids in NYC

January 25, 2012 1 comment

Disclaimer: This “Tuesday Top Ten” was bumped (rudely shoved) to Wednesday for the first time ever thanks to Beth Israel Medical Center, where we spent 5 hours in transit/waiting and 10 minutes with an actual doctor yesterday.

Moving on…

I’m almost hesitant in posting this week’s Top Ten because I don’t want people crowding up all of my favorite activities, but my altruistic nature has won so you are about to benefit from my experience, trials and errors, hours spent googling “special needs activities NYC” and not least of all my frugality (a fancy word we like to use for cheapness). In fact, many of the activities listed below are among my favorites because they are quality programs at low or no cost, though the ones that do cost a few more dollars are certainly worth it if they’re on the list!

There are obviously a bunch of other amazing activities and experiences in the city that didn’t make my Top Ten, but IMO it’s a pretty good problem to have such a large pool of choices! To clarify, the programs on this list are all extracurricular activities that include social interaction and meet regularly (so one-time events, general public venues and private lessons were not considered).


1. Daniel’s Music Foundation: Take it from a music teacher, this one is far and away the best introduction to music you can make for your special needs child (or adult). Not surprisingly, there is a waiting list and altruistic though I may be, I’m not giving up my spot! This amazing program runs from September through May, offering music classes for all ages and abilities. If you haven’t already, read one of my many admiring posts about the Trush family (founders) and their fantastic foundation. Cost, free.

2. West Side Baseball (Registration ends on Tuesday, January 31st!) The Challengers division is open to children with any disability, ages 5-18. This program runs April through June and meets in Riverside Park – we’ve enjoyed 3 seasons and are looking forward to our fourth! Cost, $150 (scholarships available).

3. Safe Haven Hoops: for children 5-18. This program runs December through March. **Though the season is underway, special needs players can register anytime during the season for the Champions division. Cost $120, scholarships available. Thanks to this wonderful program, James has shown remarkable improvement in shooting baskets and not crying when others shoot baskets.

4. WSSL: Special needs soccer for ages 5-18. The VIP division meets September through November at the North Meadows in Central Park. Cost, $150, scholarships available.

5. Fitness For Focus: Special needs martial arts classes for kids ages 4 and up. Sessions available year round at 2 locations. There are free trial classes being offered January 29th and 30th! Email for more details or to register for a free trial. Cost, varies (early bird registration discounts offered).

6. Adaptive Swim Lessons provided by NYC Parks – though we have only participated during the summer, there are opportunities year round throughout the city. In fact, free adaptive swim lessons and aquatic exercise therapy (for up to 12 people at a time) are being offered this Winter/Spring for anyone interested, including special needs school or adult groups, at locations in all five boroughs. For more information please call 718-760-6969 or email

7. Achilles Kids –  offers a school program and an extracurricular year round program that meets every other Saturday. Saturday sessions include training activities that integrate free-play, games, and nutritious snacks to make the experience fun and provide racing opportunities. Even better, the entire family can participate.

8. Adaptive Track and Field program provided by NYC Parks –  for kids ages 5-16 with (and without) physical and developmental disabilities, offered in multiple locations citywide. What’s really neat is the big integrated track meet at the end of the summer at Icahn Stadium (with many adaptive events), which was a really great experience for James to participate in (except for the starting gun). Even more appealing, the schedule is very flexible – we did once a week but could have done more. All of the equipment and t-shirts are provided. And, it’s free! Go to for last year’s information – I’ll post 2012 info when I get it!

9. Special Needs Aquatic, Cultural and Athletic Programs at Riverbank State Park. To me, this one is such a hidden gem, not just for the special needs population but for anyone with young children who doesn’t want to pay Manhattan prices for Manhattan classes. As noted in their program guide, “the physically challenged can participate in most of the free programs, activities, and classes. They may receive daily discounts or free admission.” However, there is a plethora of activities and classes for “special populations,” no matter what the disability (or age). Costs are low or free. Click the link to browse the Riverbank State Park Fall/Winter Program Guide 2011-2012.

10. KEEN – a national, nonprofit volunteer-led organization that provides one-to-one recreational opportunities for children and young adults with mental and physical disabilities at no cost to their families and caregivers. Neither income nor the severity of a child’s disability is a barrier to joining a KEEN program. This program meets on select Saturdays around the city and is open to athletes 4 to 21 years of age. For more info call 212.768.6785 or email


Okay, now don’t all go register for everything at once!

Did I miss your favorite? Did I get someone’s contact info wrong? Please leave it in the comments section.

First Foorce Meeting October 21, 9am: Extracurricular and Social Activities with Special Guest Speakers

September 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Hooray – the first Cafe 163 meeting is next month and I am finally organized enough to tell you about what to expect! On October 21st at 9am, I can’t wait to welcome two special guests who will speak about some incredible opportunities for special needs students and their families this year.

Ken McGrory is returning this year to talk about the Save Haven basketball league – come hear him discuss what’s new this year! The  Champions division is now in its 12th year and is open to all children with special needs. The boys and girls, aged 6 to 22, have different issues including ADD, ADHD, Autism, emotional issues, and various physical challenges. The division is split into four groups, flexibly based upon age, ability, social considerations, maturity and size factors. The division is primarily operated by parent volunteers and buddies. Buddies are volunteers (including high school kids and adults) who come out and work directly with the children in building their skills and their self esteem. The division has grown from its original season of approximately 20 players to over 80 players at this time. It has been a fantastic experience for James, not to mention a way to burn some energy and calories during the colder months.

In addition, I am thrilled to announce that Karen Lewis will be speaking at Cafe 163 for the first time. Karen Lewis is the director of Achilles Kids, a free running, walking and rolling program for children with all types of disabilities that is a part of Achilles International. As director, Lewis is responsible for coordinating year-round Achilles Kids weekend events, managing a large portion of Achilles Kids’ PR for both general promotion and specific events and administering more than 150 school chapters of Achilles Kids in New York, where the organization is based. This is especially family-friendly as many weekend events include typical siblings and parents, too! A great way for everyone to get out and about together on Saturdays, not to mention a way to exercise as a family!

In addition to our two amazing speakers, information will be available for:

Sunday Circle, a 2-hour drop off program filled with fun and exciting activities. Parents have the opportunity to drop off their child and enjoy time out while their child has a blast in a trustworthy environment. Sunday Circles allow you to leave your child in the loving hands of qualified professionals and one-on-one teen friends. FREE

West Side Little League, Challenger division, Spring 2012 (special needs baseball).

Cub Scouts/ Boy Scouts, inclusive environments for special needs boys.

Plus more on peer/buddy programs, art classes, cooking instruction, respite opportunities, exercise programs, bowling, swimming lessons, martial arts, and private/group music lessons for the special needs community.

The meeting on October 21st will begin at 9am and will last approximately 1 hour. As of right now, the plan is to meet in the auditorium of PS 163 on W. 97th and Amsterdam. As always, feel free to email me or leave a comment if you have questions.

There will be special handouts, Foorce slogan contest info (see post), and a 2011 event calendar passed out at the meeting. I’m really hoping for and looking forward to an even bigger turnout than last year, and can’t wait to see everyone again!

Free Trial Classes – Karate for Special Needs – Sunday, Monday, Sept. 18-19

September 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Forwarding an email from Fitness For Focus:

Dear Professional / Parent,

Please feel free to forward this notice to anyone who might benefit from our program.
We have found that our method has shown to improve learning, concentration, self esteem and awareness issues with special needs children – all while they have a great time.!

Free Trial Classes
Free trial classes will be held on September 18 and 19th at the regular class times below:

Upper West Side – 131 West 72nd St., Studio 2R (between Columbus and Amsterdam)

Sundays – Sept. 18th – Jan. 22nd
10:00 – 10:45am     4-5 year olds
10:45 – 11:30am     5-9 year olds
11:30 – 12 noon     3-4 year olds

Mondays- Sept. 19th – Jan. 23nd

3:00 – 3:30pm     4-6 year olds
3:30 – 4:30pm     6-10 year olds

Downtown – Greenwich Village – 440 Lafayette Street, Studio 4D (just south of Astor Place)

Sundays – Sept. 18th – Jan. 22nd
1:00 – 1:45pm     Teens
1:45 – 2:30pm     4-8 year olds
2:30 – 3:30pm     Advanced

Sibling Discount
We offer a 10% discount to each registration for siblings.

Contact Us
Please feel free to contact us with questions before the trial classes.
646 213 0973

Sensei Glenn

Special Needs Karate Fall Registration Now Open with Early Bird Special Through Sept. 2, 2011

Passing this along from Sensei Glenn at Fitness For Focus:

Dear Parent,

We hope your summer has gone well so far!  
We’re very happy to announce our Fall schedule and we look forward to more good progress by our wonderful students!

Fall Session Begins – Sunday, September 18thMonday, September 19th
We plan a 14-15 week Fall Session ending on January 22 and 23, 2012.

Free Classes / Trial Classes on September 11th
We’re encourage your to bring a friend of your child’s who might like to try a class.
If the friend signs up, we offer a registration discount for your child and the friend(s).

Early Registration Form
Please click here for a registration form, and if interested in this discount – please make sure to mail your registration and check by Friday, September 2nd!

If you are planning on bringing a friend of your child on September 11th with the thought that they might sign up, we’ll refund the discount to you once the 2nd and or 3rd child have registered.

Sensei Glenn

Fitness For Focus, Martial Arts for Special Needs Discount!

I’m excited to be able to share with you an offer exclusive to this mailing list. Any parent who prints, mails in their registration and pays by April 1 a 20% discount from the published prices. The registration forms can be found on the website listed below, under the More tab.

If you aren’t sure if the class would be right for your child, you can take a free trial class too!

Free trial classes will be on:

Thursday – April 7, 3:00 – 5:00 pm – 440 Lafayette Street, Downtown

Saturday – April 9, 2:00 – 4:00 pm – 440 Lafayette Street, Downtown

Sunday – April 10, 10:00 – 12 noon – 131 West 72nd Street, Upper West Side

Sunday – April 10,  1:00 – 4:30 pm – 440 Lafayette Street, Downtown

Monday – April 11, 3:30 – 5:00 pm – 131 West 72nd Street, Upper West Side

See the website below to sign up for trial classes!

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