New Zealand ITF Taekwon-Do Instructor Develops Special Needs Curriculum

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Mr. Ben Evans is a 3rd Dan currently living in New Zealand since moving there at the age of 14.  He has been training in Taekwon-Do since the age of seven and has had the privilege of representing New Zealand at the World Championships.

He credits the late General Choi, Hong Hi with giving him a positive path in life, the desire to succeed, moral values and positivity through Taekwon-do.  All of which has further encouraged him to begin teaching and to pass his knowledge on to everyone regardless of ability, sex, race, religion and age in his region, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand.

With that as his foundation, he has taken on teaching Taekwon-Do to students with special needs and has immersed himself in the development of a curriculum specifically designed to have those students get the most out of their training.

Mr. Evans started teaching special needs students at Havelock North High School’s special needs unit.  He intended to implement General Choi Hong Hi’s idea that Taekwon-Do should be in all school systems.

His experience growing up and seeing the number of people who looked down on special needs students who were trying to fit in to the mainstream and trying to achieve their own independence has always been his inspiration to make a difference with the special needs community, not only here in New Zealand, but all around the world.

He says he often looks back thinking, “What would I have been like if I wasn’t part of Taekwon-Do?”ITF Special Needs Taekwon-Do Book and Curriculum

He sees what he is doing for special needs students as what he was destined to do. He has the vision that anything is possible with his tireless efforts for Taekwon-Do and that this program has the opportunity to spread like wild fire, just as Taekwon-Do did thanks to Gen. Choi.

Now he has immersed himself in teaching Taekwon-Do to students with special needs and has noticed the impact it has had on their overall health and well-being both mentally and physically.

Taekwon-Do is giving them the opportunity to prove the public wrong about what students with special needs are capable of.

Mr. Evans’ vision is to have special needs curriculum integrated into Taekwon-Do training.  Where all over the world children would grow to bond with special needs students and have a better idea of how to interact with them at all different ages and mentalities.

Also to have the special needs students gain the confidence to interact more with everyone and understand the mainstream a bit better.

Ultimately he would like to see all Taekwon-Do Instructors around the world establish Special Needs Taekwon-Do if they haven’t already.

He is actively working on increasing support and developing strategies to spread Special Needs Taekwon-Do and his long term goal is to have Taekwon-Do in the Special Olympics.

Mr. Evans has also created The Special Needs Taekwon-Do Book.

It has been developed to help Instructors learn how to become successful at building a special needs program and teaching special needs students in their country.

If you are interested in Mr. Evans’ book and his work with the special needs community and would like more information, check out his website:

Or you can contact him directly at

All the sales of the book will go towards supporting the Special Needs Taekwon-Do for opportunities such as their demonstration team traveling to the USA in 2015 where Mr. Evans is working to have the Special Olympics support a demonstration of Special Needs Taekwon-Do.

“All the support from around the world will be greatly appreciated to help and support me in my biggest ambitions for the growth and strength of Special Needs Taekwon-Do internationally.  It is my dream that Taekwon-Do gives opportunity to all regardless of ability which General Choi Hong Hi had also hoped would happen.”
-Benjamin Evans – Special Needs Taekwon-Do Director



About the Author:

taekwon-do phoenix, taekwon-do arizona, taekwondo phoenix, Phoenix taekwondo, itf taekwondo, taekwondo itf, tkd phoenix, taekwondo az, taekwondo Arizona, martial arts phoenix, martial arts Arizona, martial arts az, Phoenix Martial Arts, Arizona Martial Arts, Phoenix Karate, arizona taekwondo, karstadt, karstadt taekwondo, ITFJohn Karstadt

Senior Instructor – Karstadt Taekwon-Do

Mr. Karstadt has been training since 1984, earned his Black Belt at the age of 8 and is currently an internationally renown intstructor teaching the culture, discipline and leadership skills of Taekwon-Do to Phoenix families since 1998 at Karstadt Taekwon-Do.  He has been a member of eight U.S. Taekwon-Do Teams and has traveled to 14 different countries competing in Taekwon-Do.  He has won numerous medals at the World Championships and in international competition, most notably winning the 2004 World Championships in South Korea with two gold medals and the Men’s Team All Around Trophy.  Mr. Karstadt currently resides in uptown Phoenix, Arizona with his wife and three children.  Mr. Karstadt can be contacted by e-mail at


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