Everybody was…….





This intervention was a spur-of-the-moment idea when I was working with one of my client a few weeks ago. He is a young boy with a rare genetic disorder that causes spastic movement in his arms and legs. He has demonstrated the ability to functionally move his arms and legs when prompted, so our most recent goal revolved around increasing the frequency of purposeful movement.

Enter the dragon. 


Just kidding. The idea actually came from this clients family joking around and calling him a ninja due to his pretty amazing kicks. The client always loved this idea, laughing when mom or his nurse made the joke.

So I thought what better way to reach this client then with something he truly enjoys that can also support his goal of purposeful movement?

I’m sure someone else out there is using this idea too– it’s seriously so much fun! Here is the breakdown of this intervention!




Kung Fu Fighting

POPULATION: Children who are specifically working on increasing purposeful movements, range of motion, or other related physical goals.

GOAL: To increase the frequency of purposeful movement


  1. Set up song “Kung Fu Fighting” by Carl Douglas on phone/digital device with a speaker.
  2. Use ALOT of exaggerated affect and “attention-getters” such as big gasps of air when you want to gain attention throughout the intervention.
  3. Use tambourine, drum, ocean drum, or other larger instrument for client to hit with arms or legs during the song when they are singing through the verse and chorus.
  4. Exaggerate the “Hi-Yah!” and “Hah” karate yells throughout the song. I like to pair the clients actually hit with one of these sounds as long as they are not overly sensitive and/or overstimulated.
  5. Take breaks during the “Ohhhhhh” sections of the song and focus on visual tracking by moving the instrument to various parts of the client visual field. This gives a short brain/body break before you re-cue them to use their body again.

KEY ELEMENT: The key element in this intervention is therapists’ engagement, positive feedback, and use of karate “yells”. I’ve found that the clients I have used this with respond most when I demonstrate exaggerated excitement, silliness, and engagement as well. 


  1. As the client develops more accuracy with hitting larger instruments, use smaller instruments.
  2. Move instruments slowly from side to side to incorporate range of motion and tracking.
  3. Use hand over hand assistance to initially start if the client has difficulty hitting the instrument. Eventually you can fade your support slowly to foster independence.


Let me know if you ended up using this or a version of this intervention with your clients! I’d love to hear how it went!



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