Ikkaido is a registered charity that creates mass participation in Martial Arts for people who are disabled, disadvantaged or living with poverty. We take martial arts into Special Schools, Primary, Secondary and Colleges through a participation plan which takes athletes from 5 years old into adulthood. 


Teachers, carers and Teaching Assistants take part side-by-side with the young people to improve their health and physical literacy and add to their professional development. Non-disabled people take part in the same sessions and learn about disability, inclusion, volunteering and equity. Each athlete's syllabus is modified to meet their needs so that everyone can receive an achievable challenge. Ikkaido grade the athletes to coloured belts so that each person can enjoy the feelings that achievement brings.


Inclusive Martial Arts sessions enable Ikkaido to offer young disabled and non-disabled people coaching, education and employment opportunities. We train coaches coaching quals link with high quality, UKCC accredited coaching qualifications which are monitored by OFQUAL. We ensure that each coach attends Safeguarding of Children and Vulnerable Adults training and Inclusion, Equity and Disability Sport training. Each coach must have a DBS, First Aid training and Public Liability of £5m. Browse our coaching qualifications for 2021.


We spent a long time looking into over 250 pieces of research on the benefits of Martial Arts and sport for people who are disabled and disadvantaged. It was the 2012 study by Imperial College and University College London that struck a chord when they showed changes in the white matter and the brain structure of karate athletes. The evidence is clear that functional movements in Martial Arts are perfect for developing and maintaining mobility, health and well-being. Martial Arts, when taught in the right way, have a very strong effect on people’s self esteem, self-confidence, self-respect, self-control, self-worth and self-discipline and this is what fired our passion. We noticed improvements in agility, balance and coordination and began to see behavioural, emotional and then cognitive change.


We want all martial arts and instructors to adopt an inclusive martial arts philosophy, embrace unique individuals and improve the lives of those who are disabled or disadvantaged. “Budo” in Japanese or “Wudao” in Chinese have a deeper meaning than just the English translation of “Martial Arts”.  Budo and Wudao actually mean “the Way of Preventing War”. Martial arts were founded on the principles known as the “Seven Virtues of Bushido”; determination, benevolence and compassion, right behaviour and actions, sincerity, integrity and honesty, and responsibility. It is interesting to note that these principles run parallel to modern sporting values. It is these values that underpin the work of Ikkaido. This approach is also highly relevant in education which nurtures the development of character, values, and life skills.


Martial arts were designed to provide physical activity for life. The black belt system traditionally starts at 16 years old for a person's first black belt and athletes may attain the final 10th degree when they reach a minimum of 74 years of age, after a lifetime of practice. Ikkaido is designed for life, for everyone.