Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Balance

Font Size

The Kajukenbo Kid


WebMD Feature

May 28, 2001 -- With a "hi-yai," Ian Vickroy swatted a red punching pad and grinned. It wasn't the intensity with which the 11-year-old struck the pad that made him proud. It was that he was able to do it all.

Ian and about 25 others are enrolled in a martial arts class specifically designed for children with cerebral palsy. Some sit in wheelchairs while they practice their punches. Others stand propped on canes. Spotters stand behind them to catch any falls.

Recommended Related to Mind, Body, Spirit

How to Breathe Better

When heart specialist John M. Kennedy, M.D., of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, stands at the scrub sink before an operation, he breathes deeply with seven-count exhales, visualizing how he wants the procedure to go. "Athletes use these techniques to perform under pressure, but we can all call on them in our regular lives," Dr. Kennedy says. It starts with knowing what kind of breathing works best for the challenge you're facing. Here's what the latest research shows. REV UP If...

Read the How to Breathe Better article > >

"This gives us a chance to learn," says senior student Will Jenkins, who wears a purple belt. "I love it. It's teaching us how to be stronger not only mentally, but physically."

Therapy in Disguise

After seeing the benefits from her personal training, Jan Brunstrom, MD, who has cerebral palsy, designed the Fighters With Courage and Power kajukenbo program to help children build their self-confidence while improving their balance and coordination.

Kajukenbo was created in 1947 in Hawaii as a combination of karate, judo, jujitsu, kenpo, and Chinese boxing (kung fu). To advance to the next belt, students must be able to follow explicit instructions, perform techniques, and detail the history and origins of the sport.

It's therapy in disguise. Participating in a martial arts class not only provides students with needed exercise, but strengthens their independence, increases their stamina, and gives them something to strive for -- the next belt.

"It's not just the martial arts," says Brunstrom, an associate professor of neurology and cell biology at Washington University in St. Louis. "[Students are] motivated to do more exercise because they know it will make them do better in the martial arts class. It just all feeds into one another. They're getting therapy, and they don't even know it. The camaraderie and self-confidence is just huge."

'Any One of These Kids Can Fight'

Black-belt instructors from Gateway Defensive Systems teach the students tactics and technique. They demonstrate the proper way to punch, block, and use an escrima stick, a traditional martial arts weapon.

The teachers are encouraging -- but tough -- and are accustomed to training adults, police officers, and military personnel in defense techniques. They don't go easy on their younger students, either. If students forget to say, 'yes, Sifu,' when asked a question, they are ordered to do push-ups. Those late for class undergo the same regime. Brunstrom always joins them.

1 | 2 | 3

Today on WebMD

woman in yoga class
6 health benefits of yoga.
beautiful girl lying down of grass
10 relaxation techniques to try.
mature woman with glass of water
Do you really need to drink 8 glasses of water a day?
coffee beans in shape of mug
Get the facts.
Take your medication
Hand appearing to hold the sun
Hungover man
Welcome mat and wellington boots
Woman worn out on couch
Happy and sad faces
Fingertip with string tied in a bow
laughing family