Inclusive Martial Arts

The National Inclusive Martial Arts Academy (NIMAA) is based at Indiana State University, in Terre Haute, Indiana, in the US. Its vision is to provide services to the martial arts community and enable instructors to include everyone in martial arts programs.

The NIMAA conducts research on the adaptation of martial arts techniques, the value of martial arts participation, and inclusive instruction methods. It is also developing an online directory of inclusive martial arts programs.

The faculty members of the NIMAA believe participation in martial arts can provide paths to physical, mental, and spiritual growth. The journey along these paths is very personal, but students of martial arts can be supported by teachers, friends, and fellow students. There is evidence to support that martial arts can improve self-esteem, self-discipline, balance, coordination, and emotional and cognitive development in participants. Truly inclusive martial arts programs provide opportunities for all interested participants; instructors should be knowledgeable about how to optimize learning and progress for students of all abilities.

For more information about the NIMAA, you can contact Don Rogers, PhD, in the Department of Kinesiology, Recreation and Sport at Indiana State University, at don.rogers@indstate.edu, or visit its website here. You can also encourage any martial arts academies with which you are familiar locally to adopt inclusive enrollment and teaching practices.