Why learning self defense is important to aspies
Asps tend to be harassed frequently and sometimes suffer from a lack of self-confidence. Learning to defend yourself is a great way to teach an aspie self-confidence and protect yourself from bullies.
Neurotypics have other ways of defending themselves. They know when someone wants to hurt them and they may be able to play mind tricks to avoid harassment or attacks.
Why learning martial arts can be difficult for aspies
There is the problem of sensory problems, such as loud noises and bright fluorescent lights. Some aspies suffer from social phobia and some have trouble understanding instructions. Also, many aspies have poor motor skills.
My personal experience as an aspie learning martial arts.
I wanted to learn self defense since I was little, but my mother was against it because she thought that girls should not learn martial arts. He told me that I couldn’t learn anything and that he would hurt me. I was afraid of not understanding the instructions and was painfully aware of my poor motor skills. My sensory issues are mild enough for an asp, but I was afraid to walk into a crowded room.
When I was older, I thought the bullying was over. I thought it was something that only happened at school. So I gave up my dream of learning martial arts.
And then I grew up and found a job at a fast food restaurant. I was constantly harassed and I had to quit smoking. I found another job only to get harassed there too.
I finally realized that I had no other choice and went to a place that taught mixed kickboxing, Thai boxing and a bit of karate, a kind of mixed self defense training.
My first lesson was a total disaster. I was the only girl in the class, and the instructor obviously believed that girls shouldn’t learn martial arts. He was showing fighting tactics with a baseball bat too fast for me to understand, he got mad at me for not being able to follow him and he just ignored me for about an hour. I did not understand any of the movements he demonstrated and he did not offer an explanation or slow demonstration.
When class ended and I went to the bathroom to change my clothes, the boys came in and the instructor told me that he had told them that they could use the girls’ room because he forgot I was there.
I changed instructors and got to a mixed class with men and women. The new instructor was kinder, but he told us to team up to practice a technique, and I was left alone. At first I was embarrassed, but then the instructor paired up with me.
It took me longer than neurotypicals to learn self-defense moves, but when I finally did, I was the best student, much better than anyone. It increased my self-confidence and helped me overcome my fits of anger.
Unfortunately, I had to quit after a year due to stomachaches and lack of money.
I believe that people on the spectrum can greatly benefit from martial arts or any kind of self defense classes. Sending him a little aspie to martial arts classes is something I highly recommend.
How to teach martial arts to an aspie
Teaching martial arts in an individual setting is probably better for autistic people than learning in a group, if you can afford it.
I would suggest telling the instructor that the child has Asperger syndrome or autism beforehand.
Self-defense classes at home are probably best for asps, in a family setting.
Teaching in dimly lit classrooms and trying not to make too much noise is probably a good idea.
Teaching someone on the self-defense spectrum can be a bit challenging, which is why I suggest hiring a patient instructor who is willing to put in the effort.
Aspies can learn self defense moves slowly, but in the end they will probably end up being the best students of all time. Our strength, the fact that we are often hyperactive, our ability to repeat the same movement over and over again for practice, and our tendency to be perfectionists make us excellent candidates for martial arts, based on my own personal experience.