martial arts, mental health


We offer a Diversion Program with individual, and group, therapy options. Our counselors are certified substance abuse professionals. Our clients are often referred by Teen Court, Mission Possible, Department of Human Services and the City Probation Department.

Our Curriculum

The Martial Arts & Mental Health program is designed to combat anti-social behaviors and all compulsive behaviors such as:

  • alcohol
  • drugs
  • over/under eating
  • smoking
  • sex/porn
  • gambling
  • hoarding.

    The meetings consist of a one-hour Martial Arts class and a half-hour support group followed by a half hour of Mindfulness training.

Ways We Can Help

Stress Management

Ever notice that a good laugh has a way of lightening your burdens? Or maybe you’ve experienced a scenario like one of these:
  • Your day feels completely stressful and overwhelming, but then you coach yourself to step away from the frenzy, collect your thoughts, make a list of what’s going on– prioritizing what’s important.  Has your list ever helped you discover that perhaps your day is more manageable than it seemed?
  • Maybe you usually go walking with a friend before you start your workday.  This week seems entirely too busy and stressful to fit in such “frivolities.”  You decide that instead of skipping it, you’ll go ahead and walk.  Afterwards, you notice it was good for you physically, socially, and emotionally. Upon sitting down for the work day, you actually feel able to attack the list of tasks.

Tai Chi

Originating in ancient China, Tai Chi is one of the most effective exercises for the health of mind and body and defense.
It’s an art with a great depth of knowledge and skill.  It’s also easy to learn which delivers its health benefits quickly.
An article in US News & World Report in March 2009 stated:
“…because of the concern about the myriad pressures on students, more schools are training children and teenagers to cope with stress through yoga, tai chi, and other increasingly popular anxiety-fighting methods.”


Karate is a Japanese unarmed fighting art that was brought from China to Japan about 700 years ago. Self-Defense is not limited to just punching and kicking. It is also feeling confident in your ability to defend yourself without having to prove it.

Qigong (chi-gong)

Qigong is a practice of aligning breath, movement, and awareness for exercise, healing, and meditation. With roots in Chinese medicine, martial arts, and philosophy qigong is traditionally viewed as a practice to cultivate and balance qi (chi), or the “intrinsic life energy.”

Drug Education & Prevention

Research has shown that adolescents can reap numerous mental health benefits from physical activity, especially as it relates to lowering levels of depression.  Exercise can encourage better self-perception, which is very important for teens that have body image issues.  Other benefits include:
  • a healthy weight
  • prevention of osteoporosis
  • prevention of some forms of cancer
  • heart disease
  • improved academic performance
  • development of lifelong healthy physical activity habits
Adolescents can be encouraged to exercise by finding activities they enjoy, especially outside of school. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, physical education curriculum can vary widely across the country and are not required beyond eighth grade in some states.
Martial Arts give students a sense of self-esteem that translates into the ability to make healthier choices.