Posted by Corey Green on January 2, 2011
Title: Green Delivers Punch To Autism Fight
December 25th 2010 / Sports Section
Written by Ron Bush -
Staff Writer for the Times Free Press
Extra celebration is in order for local karate instructor Corey Green. Aside from being Christmas Eve, Friday was the sixth anniversary of his marriage to professional singer and songwriter Michelle Young, whose new collection "Smooth Flight Jazz Featuring Michelle Young" is due for an early-January release.
Green himself has begun to be recognized outside the world of martial arts for his success in teaching autistic children. The owner of Green's Karate on Hixson Pike has done extensive work on two books that he expects to finish in 2011 - a memoir-type called "Karate-Wise"" and a textbook about his techniques called "Addresing Special Needs Through Traditional Karate". In 2006 one of his students, Brandon Earnshaw, was the first with autism to qualify for the non-handicapped division of the USA National Karate Do Federation National tournament. CNN reported on that. This yera another Green studnet, Katie Dietsche, was the first girl with autism to qualify.
Green was part of a panel on "recreational opportunities for children with special needs" at a November 6 conference in Chattanooga, and in addition to his other classes he spent the fall as part of a Lee University research project on the effects of physical activities on the development of children with autism diagnoses. The five he worked with in the Lee University Developmental Inclusion Classroom were lower functioning than the other autistic students he had taught.
I'm honored and humbled to work with Lee on this project," said Green, who over time has seen Karate help improve "hand, eye, and feet coordination, fine and gross motor skills, balance, reflexes, flexibility, and confidence.
His LUDIC classes included four boys and a girl ages 7 - 11, meeting for 30 minutes 16 times in 13 weeks. Another 12 full-time autism students in the program did other physical activities. Dr. Tammy Johnson, LUDIC director, said last week that she doesn't expect full analyses of videotapes of the classes and other data until late January, but she made some general observations. The students we had in (Green's) karate class had more challenges that those he's worked with in the past." she said, "but we just let him come in and do his thing, and there were no problems. He's handled them beautifully. The five kids seem to have responded well to him.
"What we decided to look for," Johnson said, "was how karate and other physical activities helped the physical fitness of the students, how they affected self -stimulating behaviors such as rocking and clapping hands, their on task behavior - does that change on days they have physical activity compared when days when they don't? - an compliance with steps they must be able to follow in the particular activity. "Once we've analyzed everything, there is a possibility we'll do it again next semester."
Green, 33, has been in Chattanooga eight years. He began teaching Karate in Alaska, where he grew up, and was that state's profiled bachelor in a Cosmopolitan magazine feature in 2000 about a national group of 52 - counting one in the District of Columbia and twins in Texas. Recently the magazine asked Green and the rest for updates about what has happened to them in the last decade.
Just the last few months have been a whirlwind for Green, who will be included along with Heartland Ranch's Sarah Hyatt in a mural themed "Autism Shines" being painted next Thursday afternoon at 1715 East Main Street. He has been teaching 150 students from as young as 3 years old to 10 in their 50's, and nearly 40 have degrees of autism. He's had classes six days a week, not only at his studio and at Lee but also at four after-school programs and six day care sites.
Children with autism are not Green's only special needs students. Close to 15 have down Syndrome, cerebral palsy or some other disability. As he finishes pulling his techniques into written form, he envisions marketing the "Green Method" as a way to help other martial arts instructors, beginning within a 200-mile radius of Chattanooga, and foresees licensing them through Green's Karate.
I think that this project with Lee University is a big step," he said. "That has been approved through the IRB [Institutional Review Board] for the testing on human subjects, and the IRB has very strict regulations."
Contact Ron Bush at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6291. Call Green's Karate at 423-432-5280 for more information.