Patch: Dog Will Teach Kids With Disabilities At NJ Martial Arts School | Zentai Martial Arts
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Tammi L. Reiman reviewed Zentai Martial Arts
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My kids really enjoy going to Karate! Im very impressed with how friendly they are and how they handle the children!

Onesia Fuentes reviewed Zentai Martial Arts
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Allen and Naomi, you guys have truly started something special here. I can see it already! The energy and attention you give each child is remarkable.

Yvarane Batista reviewed Zentai Martial Arts
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The best marital arts ever. I love it my son is in the after school program. And I am so happy for him.

Nancy Cunha reviewed Zentai Martial Arts
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I love the workouts I got at Zentai and the support you get from Master Allen and his wife!! I highly recommend it to everyone! :)

Sophia Monae reviewed Zentai Martial Arts
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It was a nice workout and very informative and made me feel more confident, as well!

Samuel Guillermo reviewed Zentai Martial Arts
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Hands down the best of the best. Couldn't recommend this place anymore. Great people, great atmosphere. Lessons learned here stay with you for a lifetime

Charles Roman reviewed Zentai Martial Arts
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What amazing place! They are genuinely passionate about helping people. Kids love them, great environment for parents. And the Martial Arts is real. If you are looking for self defense for yourself or kids, this is the place.

Zurishaddai Ruiz reviewed Zentai Martial Arts
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At first I was intimated by the cardio kickboxing class but then I realized why everyone still pushed through and kept going- it's the energy! We get pumped up, laugh and encourage one another, and it's fun. I don't like gyms because I wouldn't feel encouraged to think of my own workout and I'd end up being very lazy with it. [Unless it's yoga, I do all my yoga. :)] So this is finally a power workout where I feel encouraged to pull out my best work and still have a fun time. I'm feeling stronger each week! Thanks, Master Allen!

Sandy Deane reviewed Zentai Martial Arts
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We tried a few other martial arts groups for our boys, but Zentai was the clear winner from the start. The kids specifically asked for a program with structure that would clearly teach them martial arts skills while leveling up their belts. I'm amazed during every class when I see them respond to commands with so much focus and passion. Zentai has helped them build up their confidence and taught them so much already. And they have a blast! We highly recommend Zentai!

Gloria Abeigon Engel reviewed Zentai Martial Arts
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They say it takes a village to raise a child. Zentai has been our village since my grandson William lost his mother in May of 2017. Now it's home away from home. He started out 2 days a week at Zentai for martial arts classes. When school ended we enrolled him in Zentai summer camp. Now he's enrolled in the after school program. Thank you Zentai for being our village.

Marissa Devine reviewed Zentai Martial Arts
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We absolutely love this place! My son started coming for the after school program at the beginning of last year. He absolutely loves it and looks forward to going everyday. He has ADHD and we had a hard time finding a program that fits his needs until we stumbled upon Zentai. Best after school program out there for kids of all types and ages! We highly recommend it!

Touria Doukkali reviewed Zentai Martial Arts
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I just wanted to give a shout out to Zentai Martial Arts and After School Program! I had my daughter’s birthday there on Sunday and they made it amazing! The attention to detail, the one on one with the kids just fabulous! Everyone was so happy and we all enjoyed our time there. Naomy and Allen are amazing patient people, the smile never left their faces and they were so kind and patient with the kids! I can’t say thank you enough for making this the best birthday yet!

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Patch: Dog Will Teach Kids With Disabilities At NJ Martial Arts School

 

 

Dog Will Teach Kids With Disabilities At NJ Martial Arts School

“Ladd will change the way we serve students with special needs. He’s even working on breaking boards.”

Ladd the dog is the newest staff member of Zentai Martial Arts & Afterschool in New Jersey.
Ladd the dog is the newest staff member of Zentai Martial Arts & Afterschool in New Jersey. (Photo: Canine Companions for Independence)

BELLEVILLE, NJ — A four-legged martial arts assistant is ready to warm some hearts and impart some wisdom in New Jersey.

Recently, the Belleville-based, wife-and-husband team of Naomy and Allen DePeña welcomed Ladd the dog as the newest staff member of Zentai Martial Arts & Afterschool, which has locations in North Arlington and Clifton.

Naomy, a veteran educator who serves on the Belleville Township Council, told Patch that Ladd comes from Canine Companions For Independence, a nonprofit that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs.

Normally, the estimated cost of a dog like Ladd including follow-up support is about $50,000. However, the nonprofit provides each canine at no cost, DePeña said.

“Incorporating Ladd into our programs will change the way we serve students with special needs and the public in general,” DePeña said.

Zentai is currently developing a martial arts curriculum that uses a dog as a support for students, she added.

According to DePeña, Ladd already knows more than 40 commands that assist students with physical and developmental disabilities, including picking up items, tugging and crawling. Some students will get a chance to work on their balance and coordination through fitness drills. Others will gain self-confidence and leadership skills by learning to give Ladd commands.

“He’s even working on breaking boards,” DePeña quipped.

“We’re always thinking outside the box, looking for ways to continue to improve our services, and bring innovative ways to service clients with a broad range of abilities” said Allen DePeña, the CEO and chief instructor.

“After a two-year waiting period, numerous applications and an intense, two-week training, we are so happy to finally be matched with such an amazing dog,” he added.