The Karate-Able Program was developed after recognizing a need to create awareness for individuals with special needs who may be interested in pursuing traditional martial arts.  The program aims to include individuals with motor, cognitive and behavioral challenges in the practice of traditional karate.


“An inclusive Dojo and welcoming training environment where there are no barriers to the practice, filled with enjoyment and mastery of traditional Shotokan Karate-Do".


To include children with different challenges and abilities in the practice of karate.

To help children with special needs overcome physical and social challenges.

To train young, high-level students to work with children with special needs.

To involve and collaborate with all karate dojos in Calgary in the Program.

To create more awareness of special needs in Para-Karate category.

Karate’s emphasis on structure, consistency and repetition allows complex movements and concepts to be broken down into manageable tasks, so that progress is tangible and self-confidence is improved.  The focus on accumulated skills results in a variety of physical benefits for all participants, regardless of level or ability:

  • Improved reflexes, coordination and balance
  • Increased endurance
  • Increased strength
  • Increased flexibility
  • Improved cardiovascular fitness

In addition to the physical benefits, there is evidence to suggest that traditional martial arts, “which emphasize self-control, self-defense, patience… concentration, respect, and humility…improve executive functions [i.e., memory, attention, reasoning, problem solving, spatial awareness, etc.].”[i], These programs can also be shown to decrease impulsivity and hyperactivity, while increasing self-esteem.[ii]  Finally, social awareness and interaction can be improved in integrated environments.


Program instruction is tailored to participants’ individual challenges and abilities, including:

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Autism Spectrum/Asperger’s Syndrome
Cerebral Palsy (CP)/motor delays
Down Syndrome
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder
Visual Impairment
Other:  i.e., Developmental Coordination Disorders (DCD)


The Program will support young, mature black belts in acquiring the specialized skills and training required to teach kids with special needs.


The Program is designed to include parents/family, doctors, therapists and others in the development of individualized strategies for participation.


Karate-Able, as part of Osuna Karate, follows the general rules for membership in the World Karate Federation (WKF), the World Shotokan Karate Federation-Canada (WSKF Canada), Karate Alberta Association (KAA) and Karate Canada, including the policies regarding participation in tournaments and competitions for Athletes With a Disability (AWAD) and/or Para-Karate. 

 K.D. Lakes, W.T. Hoyt, Appl. Dev. Psychol. 25, 283 [2004]

[ii] Mindfulness Based Martial Arts Program Report, The Provincial Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Health at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, 2006

We work with students of all levels and abilities, and at the same time, we welcome people with special needs to participate in our program. Our classes are fully inclusive and most of our advanced students are always willing to help anyone improve their karate abilities. 

Karate is one of the new sports included for TOKYO 2020 Olympics.  In support of this and taking one step further, Sensei Osuna is part of the Karate Canada "Para-Karate" committee and helps with the efforts of developing karate as a paralympic sport.

Contact us:


Call/text: 403-807-1425