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HOOK UP MUAY THAI
March 19, 2014 @ 11:15 AM by: Bob Hall

No program we offer is met with the enthusiasm of our Muay Thai Program. Started last fall, when Jim Marinow of Hook Up Muay Thai reached out to us to rekindle our relationship, the program—through increased structure and accountability—has had a profound impact on participants.

In our effort to bring a more holistic approach to combating your homelessness Horizons for Youth is redoubling its efforts to improve clients’ physical fitness. Muay Thai employs a fast-paced, social, and engaging environment to improve the fitness of the youth we serve while teaching them the value of caring for their health. Participants not only break a sweat, they learn skills that empower them, that reduce feelings of victimization, and engender confidence.

The impact of learning from a caring and informed teacher cannot be understated in appraising the value of our partnership with Hook Up Muay Thai. Many of the youth we serve have developed a resistance to learning, to being open to instruction, perhaps as a result of their having to fend for themselves so early in life, perhaps from being betrayed by traditionally trustworthy and caring adults. The staff at Hook Up Muay Thai however, in their genuine and caring approach, quickly earn the trust of participants, undoing that aforementioned resistance, and proving to our youth that people can and want to help them improve their lives.

Open to staff as well as the youth we serve, Muay Thai engenders therapeutic relationships between youth and the staff entrusted with helping them escape homelessness. Holding a heavy bag for someone, completing a circuit with them, even offering a cup of water during a break in the action, expresses the type of caring message that can be muffled in the hectic environment of the shelter. More than the calories that burn long after the class is over, more than the aches that testify to the benefits of exercise, it is this lasting improvement in the relationship between staff and youth that speaks to the value of our relationship with Hook Up Muay Thai. For that, we would like to express our sincerest gratitude.

– Jimmy T.

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