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It is with great pleasure that I submit this letter of recommendation for Jason Davis, founder of the Adaptive Martial Arts Association. Mr. Davis been my patient for years, and I can truly say he is an inspiration. He has never let his physical disability limit his potential, and his approach to maintaining and improving his health has been a powerful example to both impaired and able bodied individuals alike.

His dedication to starting and growing a disabled martial arts organization serves as a shining example of managing health issues with positive attitudes and exercise, as opposed to medications and procedures. We could all benefit from more people with his positive energy, insight and motivation.

Michael J. Kenosh, MD, Vermont Orthopedic Clinic

For years, I wanted to join a martial arts class, but none seemed to fit my disability. Because I have a visual and hearing impairment and needed someone who would really work with me above and beyond the class setting.

I contacted Jason Davis, founder of the Adaptive Martial Arts Association referred me to a martial arts school in my area. I talked with the instructor and it seemed like a perfect match. In my first year of training, I earned the rank of orange belt and continue to train there to this day. It is a wonderful place to practice the martial arts and if it was for the Adaptive Martial Arts Association I would not have had the opportunity to study martial arts.

I would recommend anyone who has a disability and is interested in exploring martial arts training contact the AMAA for help finding a martial arts school that fits their needs. You won"t regret it.

Josh Tabor, Chittenden, VT (Rising Sun Martial Arts, an AMAA Member School)

Our son, Odell Johnston, Jr., is in his thirties and is a student in an adaptive martial arts program.. He joined the class and to say he is enjoying the class is an understatement.

Before he was born he had an in-utero stroke. He was born with cerebral palsy that caused muscle weakness on his right side. It especially affects his right arm and hand and the motion of his right leg. His learning and speech and memory have been challenged too. In high school he was diagnosed with epilepsy, to this day seizures are uncontrolled with all of the best medical help available. At the age of 20 he lost 80% of his sight due to the itching caused by eczema resulting in the scratching of the cornea of his eyes.

Martial arts have changed Odell’s life. His Sensei instructs with a soft spoken but assertive style. She empowers all of the students both mentally and physically. She treats them as individuals and then she brings them together as a team.

Sensei encourages mind over matter. In Odell’s case the matter is very itchy eczema. We have never seen Odell work through any exercise, concentrating more on the moves than the discomfort. His attitude about his physical limitations have changed in the dojo. This “juice” is overflowing into his everyday life. He started the adaptive martial arts program with the television stereotypical idea that karate was all about fighting. Knowing that is okay to retreat but having the ability to defend oneself is the basis of his instruction.
Odell has blossomed since starting Karate. He is more confident. He initiates interactions with the people around him. Odell’s self esteem has soared to new levels! We have seen improvement in his agility. We are amazed at how much he is using his right arm, hand, and leg both in movement and extension.

Odell looks forward to class every week. He doesn’t resist Sensei’s firm but kind, no nonsense approach. She has helped Odell believe in himself. HE CAN DO IT! He wants to learn his moves correctly. He is realizing competition is with himself! You can see the self discipline and determination necessary for success on each face, students and instructors alike.

We, as parents, have always believed Odell’s abilities have been eclipsed by lack of confidence. Perhaps we encouraged too much. The adaptive martial arts program and Odell have come together at the right time.

Odell Sr. & Carol Johnston, Pittsford, VT (Rising Sun Martial Arts, an AMAA Member School)

Having been invited into the Lee’s Summit MO R7 school district to teach Martial Arts to their Life Skills Program, for children with physical and mental disabilities, I contacted the Adaptive Martial Arts Association for some advice on how to meet the challenges associated with special needs students.

After several conversations and emails with the AMAA consulting staff, I went into the classroom feeling very confident in how to teach the students. We had a fun and productive martial arts class and the teachers invited me back for more. I now teach in both the Elementary and High Schools on a monthly basis.

My decision to join the AMAA was an easy one, the instructors and staff are always full of tips and useful information and I now have an ongoing Adaptive Martial Arts class at my dojo. On the occasions when I have questions they are very forthcoming with advice.

Here are just 2 examples:

When a sight impaired student came to join my program I called to ask the best way to teach him. At her suggestion I placed a yoga mat on the floor for him and gave very detailed instruction, making sure that I used his name specifically when assisting him.

I have several students who are on the Autism spectrum in varying degrees and needed help to find a way to teach a young man who would “wander” across the karate floor very unfocused and lost. It was suggested that I make a square of masking tape for him to stand in and the result has been incredible! He likes the security of his “Karate Square” and will stay focused and learning for the entire class.

I highly recommend the Adaptive Martial Arts Association for the reason above and because I intend to be a member for a very long time.

Linda Hanson, Lee’s Summit, MO (Tamashii Black Belt Academy, an AMAA Member School)


The Adaptive Martial Arts Association (AMAA) does NOT endorse any equipment, device, style, academy or instructor. Adaptive Martial Arts Association has NOT performed criminal background checks on all the school owners, instructors and their employees listed on our directory and can NOT guarantee that they do NOT have a criminal past and is NOT responsible for their actions. After an initial evaluation it is completely up to the discretion of the instructor(s) at the school whether a disabled person is able to proceed with martial arts training there. Although our services are offered free of charge, individual schools may charge a class fee. All disabled participants do so at their OWN RISK and Adaptive Martial Arts Association is NOT responsible for any harm or injury resulting from martial arts training.