Blind Judoka

Discussion in 'Disabled Martial Artists' started by lwicks, Jan 21, 2004.

  1. lwicks

    lwicks New Member

    Hi all,

    this message is aimed mainly at Roy.

    Just wanted to relay a tale from "back home" about a man I had the great privledge to meet. (I would mention him by name but my memory is rubbish this time of night)

    He was BLIND, not "visually impaired", BLIND. He hated the emphasis on being P.C. so I will refer to him as being blind for that was how he described himself.

    He was also National Judo Champion back in the 50's or 60's I believe it was.

    Was he national "visually impaired" champion... no! He beat all the rest of the "able bodied" folk to win the plain old national chapionships.

    The moral of the story is that although the special olympics and the movement behind it are all well and good. Sometimes there is no need for the extra level, these athletes are often able to compete on a genuine equal footing with the rest and win!

    I have trainied/fought with sighted and visually impaired players, with amputees and those with other problems. SOme were good some were bad Judoka, some beat me up, some did bloody well considering the disadvantage. (ie one leg and doing tachi-waza)

    The point is lets not forget that Judo is very encompassing, unlike many other sports we do not have to bend over backwards to make special events for the disabled, they can often compete with almost no variation to the rules and format. They can also compete with little difficulty (within reason) with any other person.

    Sorry for the rant, I do appreciate the great work that Roy and others are doing to include more disabled in our art. I just don't want us to lose sight of the fact that unlike say high jump, Judo is already pretty "disability friendly" and that sometimes making the effort to cater too much to disabilities is precisely what we should NOT be doing! Sometimes we need to let the athletes struggle against the difficulties.

    With respect and as always just trying to promote more thought.

  2. Andrew Green

    Andrew Green Member

    There are also quite a few blind wrestlers, We've done some blind folded submission grappling, sight is not a big requirement for grapplinh arts.... as long as you don't get seperated...
  3. annkramer

    annkramer New Member

    This post was why I joined. I wanted to share a story with people who can understand what dedication and training it takes to call yourself a Martial Aritist. I have a student that came to me when he was 9 years old asking if he could join my class. At first I said well sure not noticing anything different about him. He said "Ma'am are you sure, because I am blind." I only waited a moment and said to him "SO" the smile on that childs face was the best reward I could get in all my years of teaching. His Name is Quinn and he is now 14 and a First Degree Black Belt in TKD. I have never had a student with such dedication and desire to do well like Quinn. Training had to be changed a little. I taught him his forms by him standing on my feet and doing the basic forms with him. He is a small child even at 14 but he now has the skill to protect himself and the confiedence to succeed at anything. He is also the first child under the age of 18 to have a guide dog. Thanks for listening.

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