Of course, we'd love to offer our programs to everyone. So many stand to benefit. However, as with everything, there are very limited resources and to do the most good we concentrate on a few specific groups.
Angry You Men
An odd choice of descriptor maybe, but it describes specifically and generally at the same time.
There are large numbers of young males in their teens through their twenties that if given proper guidance and a vehicle to channel their aggressions through, will turn from destructive to constructive. We find that we can make changes with these individuals very quickly and the changes are generally permanent.
For these individuals, Shou' Shu' often becomes a way of life. The training keeps negative emotions at bay, spurs positive emotions, and gives an outlet.
This group is easily attracted to the training as well.
The one thing these young males have in common is the lack of strong male influences in their life. Generally, their father was physically absent or mentally absent. They were never taught the basic day to day skills of being a man and were certainly not taught the positive masculine attributes. Instead of learning that men are respectful, strong, and express humility they are misguided into believing that what they see in entertainment media is manly.
This group would usually fit into the other categories of at-risk such as drug and alcohol addiction, violent social groups, PTSD, and Specific Learning Disabilities.
Because we mix these students in with men from successful backgrounds they get mentorship from the instructors as well as seeing examples of positive behavior among their "peers".
We focus on this group in our local groups currently in Amador County and Calaveras County California. However, as we spread our training through our online training we expect to be able to generate more interest and train up more qualified instructors.
Specific Learning Disabilities
There are a great number of highly intelligent people with specific learning disabilities such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia. Additionally many suffer from attention issues such as ADD or ADHD and social/neurological disorders such as Asperger's syndrome.
While there are fantastic stories of people with these conditions becoming wildly successful that is not the norm.
Prison populations are full of these individuals. Some states even plan the number of prisons needed based upon reading score statistics for elementary grade students.
We have changed the lives of many in this situation. There are four main reasons why we are so successful with this group.
1) Proprioception training - The art of Shou' Shu' is extremely demanding from a proprioceptive sense. Proprioceptive and all spatial training has been linked to neurogenesis and neuroplasticity in the hippocampus. We believe our training to be one of the best ways of catalyzing the brain to change and grow. Participants become more aware of their own mental processes and learn to utilize sensory-cognitive skills in new and combined ways. New ways of using their brain.
2) Mind-body - Mind body exercise has long been used to calm the nervous system but it also has been shown to actually enlarge the hippocampus (logic and spatial skills) while simultaneously reducing the size of the amygdala. The amydala is responsible for triggering fight or flight responses. So reducing the amydala results in more calm, less reactive, less violent person.
3) Self-Confidence - Self-confidence is the key to trying and learning new things. Without it a person stagnates or worse. We are specialists in building and teaching self-confidence.
4) Self-Discipline and Grit - Discipline is a key attribute of success. Of getting through the hard times. We strongly develop self-discipline in our students. Grit naturally develops from the combination of selff-discipline and passion. Both key components of our training.
The Sheng Chi Foundation concentrates its efforts on helping the following situations:
- At-Risk Youth – Youths that are living in conditions which puts them at risk of entering criminal behavior. In general youths that need guidance and a positive influence. This is our primary focus. Funds permitting we also develop programs for the following:
- Inactive and obese youth – Youths lacking in exercise programs. At risk of childhood obesity.
- Returning veterans – Veterans returning from war.
- Recovering addicts – Those who have shown a strong desire to improve their quality of life.
- Senior Citizens - Senior citizens in need of programs to develop balance and strength.
- Fibromyalgia and chronic pain - Individuals suffering from fibromyalgia have experienced dramatic results.
- Adults with weight management issues