Black Dragon continues special needs program

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

In Prairieville, there is Black Dragon Martial Arts, LLC. Black Dragon is locally owned and operated by Master Ken Ducote the Louisiana State Director for the Tactical Hapkido/ Universal Taekwondo Alliance under GM Barry Rodemaker.

At Black Dragon, Kristine Ducote Sabom, a 2nd Degree Black Belt in both Taekwondo and Hapkido, has something special that is offered to the community: the Black Dragon Special Forces.

This is a program designed for children and families with special needs. Kristine joined with parents and other professionals to develop a martial arts class for those with Downs and those who fall under the Autism Spectrum.

The class is comprised of a special needs child and at least one, if not both parents. Together, the child engages in interpersonal relations and communication skills, fine and gross motor control and a sense of belonging and self-worth.

This type of program takes a really special instructor. This task is not cut out for just anyone with a black belt but goes deeper into the human psyche and human condition. Kristine slowly builds up the students and families to a place that they feel they are welcomed and belong.

Much research can be found on this subject, and Black Dragon knows other programs exist nation-wide. However, in this part of Louisiana, this is the only local martial arts school with such a program.

Kristine has trained some junior leaders to assist her with this most-needed project. It takes a full understanding of what special needs are and how the leaders in the community can support these needs through the martial arts. It is not for just any black belt. Kristine says that a full understanding of the student is necessary, but empathy and patience are key to building a relationship of trust.

Because this is so unique to this area, Kristine Ducote Sabom has been recommended as Instructor of the Month. For more information, contact Kristine at 225-715-7856 or see the website www.blackdragonmartialartsllc.com.