Discussion in 'Disabled Martial Artists' started by Light123, May 9, 2008.

  1. Light123

    Light123 Give Up On Giving Up

    Come August 9, 2008...

    i have been gone and am back again. During the period of time I was away, I sought, with ever increasing hunger, a place in which to learn martial arts. First, I registered for JKD at my college, but it lasted only half a semester. A small snack. And then I registered for Hapkido i and II; both also half semesters at my college and yet another small snack, but enough to earn my first rank as a yellow belt.

    After that, I learned of the existence of Minton's Black Belt Academy. They only offered Korean TKD. I went there for a private evaluation. I broke my first board which was so easy, yet so danged fun.

    I seriously considered enrolling there. But considering the disadvantage, I didn't.

    So then, I found out about six or seven months ago that a guy at my church is a sensei. A trustworthy one.

    God knew my heart!

    I enrolled in his classes. I've made great progress, recently earned my high yellow belt, and been offered to participate in my first martial arts tournament, the Douglas Grose Memorial, to be held on August 9, 2008.

    i'll be doing forms, weapons, breaking...

    The thing is getting into the turns in the katas. I've been learning by sitting in a chair (not a wheelchair), as I can't stand without my walker or a wall. With my walker, my arms are full; with a wall you can't fully pull your elbows back or effectively use the bo. A cane, for me, is very unstable.

    So what I'm looking for is a way to properly do the turns. Right now, I'm looking for swivel seats. :D or something to lean back against.

    Perhaps, there's an idea around here?
  2. BentMonk

    BentMonk Valued Member


    If I'm understanding you correctly, you're learning your forms seated, and you want to perform them standing. Given your description of your circumstances I do not see how this will work, unless you have a walker with wheels and brakes. Are you able to walk/turn with the walker and stand independently behind it long enough to perform the movements in the form? If so that may be an option. If not, I recommend performing seated. You will be more comfortable and likely perform better. I am curious. You're learning your forms seated. Are you being taught how to apply them while you're standing? I don't know enough about your personal goals in training. Are you doing MA for the exercise, self defense, or both. If you're learning for self defense and I were your instructor, we would begin with you learning what to do after you get knocked down. That would involve training take downs and submissions. I feel that it's practical to train for the worst case scenario and add other techniques to prevent the worst from happening. Since the walker is required for you to be mobile, I would teach you Chin Na techniques that you could apply with one hand. I would design a conditioning routine that would increase your upper body strength. I would then design a conditioning routine that would strengthen your legs. This would hopefully reduce your dependence on the walker. I'm sure this is more info than you asked for. I hope I've helped a little. Let me know if I can be of further assistance. Keep us updated on how the tournament goes. Best of luck and happy training.
  3. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

    hey there!. shame no one answered till now, but we'll try now that bentmonk raised the thread. just to have a bit of data, what exactly is your disability? that way we might know of a specific way to counter it so that you can train as best as you can.:)
  4. Light123

    Light123 Give Up On Giving Up

    To BentMonk:
    Um...What i was saying is i'm learning from a stationary seat that doesn't move. I've got myself stuck doing the turns in the katas. I'm looking for a way to do them more...smoothly. Seated, yes. I only have armless swivel seats in mind right now. But...not sure.

    To FoD:
    KMy disability is neurodegenerative. But I'm able to do a lot. I'll tell you later . I gottarun
  5. BentMonk

    BentMonk Valued Member

    Did I help?

    If you're going to do the form seated and you want to work in the turns then you're correct, the easiest way for it to work is by using a chair or stool that swivels. If you don't have one that will accommodate your needs, I'd check Staples, Office Depot, or some other office supply store. There are many different types of chairs and stools. You'll probably find more options looking online rather than going to a local store. I'm guessing you don't want to discuss the other things I mentioned. I hope I helped and did not offend. Best of luck to you.
  6. Light123

    Light123 Give Up On Giving Up

    No offense was taken. i was kind of in a rush. ;)

    So...um...what were the "other things" again? :scratch: iguess I'll look.

    But yeah, you did help. I just wasn't sure, because it isn't just the forms , but also sparring. I'm told I can't spar with a person because I'm not standing. (that's not my sensei's rule, I don't know whose.) So I'vejust been beating up a bunch of padding. It doesn't seem fair, even to my sensei. So...
  7. Light123

    Light123 Give Up On Giving Up

    it would be difficult to do it while i'm on my "beat up" walker. The arms hld me up at like...chest level. (just the arms, but not THAT high. :p) I'm definitely more comfortable performing seated. It is just like doing it standing in some ways. But I know that in real situations, I won't have a chair ready allll the time. i can easily be knocked into a ditch. (;D). I've been shown to breakfall, forward and backward, but not from walker.

    Ohhh, I forgot to mention i am practicing Isshinryu.
  8. BentMonk

    BentMonk Valued Member

    Realistic Application

    Do you feel that you are able to realistically apply the techniques you are learning? Are you doing any conditioning work to improve your over all strength level? I realize you're a novice in your current style, but are you practicing what you've learned in real world situations with a resisting opponent? If you're not yet, will you be at some point in your training? I ask because IMO a martial arts class is meant to teach any student that trains how to defend themselves. There are places where it's just about a good workout, they're called gyms. I'm not trying to bash what you're doing. I'm just curious. I've seen quite a few people with disabilities seek martial art instruction only to be shown frivolous movements with no real purpose. I'm not saying this is what's going on with you, just stating what I've seen. I don't think these instructors were intentionally misleading. I just think that they did not really know how to adapt their techniques, but didn't want to seem cold by turning students away. While this attitude seems kind, I find it dangerous because it could leave someone with a false sense of confidence that could get them hurt or worse. What goals have you set for yourself in your training? What is your primary motivation for training? Again, just curious and looking for good discussion on adapting techniques. Peace :)
  9. Light123

    Light123 Give Up On Giving Up

    I train because it is pleasure. Maybe not just pleasure, but hope. hope for different things.

    It is my instructors first time working with a disabled person. He offered me the lessons.

    My previous class was practicing striking with balloons t see if I was doingthem right. I'm not the only one that used balloons, but the able bodied people have to do it too.
  10. BentMonk

    BentMonk Valued Member

    Different Paths

    I agree. Training is a true pleasure. Many of my students have no interest in sparring or pressure testing what I teach them. They still participate in the same strength and conditioning routines as their classmates who do. I also make sure that they know how to apply the techniques they learn. I drill the applications more with those who enjoy sparring and are interested in competition. I do my best to give my students what they ask for and more. If they want to learn to defend themselves I'll teach them how. Along the way they'll become stronger physically, mentally, and spiritually. If someone wants to use qigong and BWE to improve their health and fitness I'll train them. Along the way they'll learn how to defend themselves. :)
    Last edited: May 23, 2008
  11. Light123

    Light123 Give Up On Giving Up

    Have you ever with a seated person that has good use of the legs? If so how do they spar?

    I have interest in all areas of martial arts. And seaking ofreality, I forgot to mention my sensei does ask me the meaning of techniques. That is, how they can be used. Does that match your definition of "realistically applying techniques"?
  12. zacht

    zacht New Member

    the last post you said you had good use of the legs ,so im just guessing the dissability is in your back. If it is your back thats the problem maybe you could get something you strap to yourself to support you back like something hard and straight yet wont be completely uncomfortable to wear.
  13. Light123

    Light123 Give Up On Giving Up

    It is more of a balance disability. Though, it is a neurological disorder. I keep getting the idea of strapping nmyself to something upright so I am standing against it. Like a puppet on a stick. ;)
  14. BentMonk

    BentMonk Valued Member

    Seated MA

    I have worked with one young man that was in a wheelchair, but had some use of one leg. His kicks were never strong enough to do more than pop a knee or bark a shin well enough to divert an attacker's attention from an incoming punch or joint lock. I have not worked with him in some time. The techniques I mentioned were the direction we were taking his training. He has since moved out of state. I do not know if he continued his training or not. This happens a lot in my field. I have had many short term students. It's a bummer, but at least everybody seems to have fun and gain something useful while they're here. :)

    From your explanation of your disability, I recommend that you consider using a wheelchair. If balance is a problem but your legs are strong and mobile, you could develop a wide variety of techniques, especially since you've said that your hands and arms work well. If you are learning your techniques seated, it seems only logical that you apply them while seated. I am not meaning to imply that you should abandon walking in favor of a wheelchair. It is possible that your training will enable you to overcome your balance issues. In the mean time, sit down and kick some butt. :)

    It's good that your teacher has you thinking about applications for your techniques. What I mean by "realistically applying techniques" is: Do you drill the techniques against someone who is actively and enthusiastically trying to prevent you from executing the techniques? It is also important to incorporate strength training, flexibility training, and cardiovascular training so that you will be physically able to apply your techniques in real life if the need ever arises. I know that there are a million ways besides self defense that MA helps people improve their lives, but IMO a MA that does not enable it's students to defend themselves and their loved ones is not a MA it's just a workout. Self defense doesn't have to be the primary focus of MA, but it should be a natural byproduct.
    Last edited: May 28, 2008
  15. Light123

    Light123 Give Up On Giving Up

    There's something to consider! But I hate wheelchairs. :p

    In real life, if I could pull off a few side, round, and mule kicks before my opponent knocks me over, or knocks me over straightaway. In this kind of s.ituation -- no chair, no walker -- I'm forced to defend myself on my knees (sitting on my feet) or on my butt. In this position, my attacker can do a number of things:

    Kick my head
    Kick my face
    Jump on me
    Pee on me
  16. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

    might i suggest clinch tactics? kata bunkai can be analyzed and the concepts of each move applied to other situations with varying degrees of effectiveness. so if you work out how X move can be used at close range, you can kick to the knee, grab and pound away. and if you end up on your knees, control the kicking leg and punch to the groin(or grab and twist).
  17. BentMonk

    BentMonk Valued Member

    Ground & Pound

    TT4-I think this is a good idea also. One of IsshinRyu's strengths is in quarter throws and locks. Talk with your instructor. I think these could be adapted well to help you accomplish your sparring and self defense goals. You could end up being a hell of a ground fighter. There are plenty of tournament opportunities for this style of fighting. I understand your attitude concerning a wheelchair, but I think that is your best option for a Kata competition. I like the way you think FOD.
  18. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

    well, if his problem lies on his balance and keeping his feet, what's the best way of not falling down? well, grab of course :p
  19. BentMonk

    BentMonk Valued Member

    Grab & Go

    I have questionable balance as well. Grabbing my opponent is my entry technique of choice. The grab often leads to effective sacrifice throws or full body take downs. This does not work well if my opponent has a strong base and or good sprawl skills. Another unpleasant fact of my fighting life is that in order to reach zero distance to accomplish said grabs and take downs, I must eat a few punches or kicks. TT4 I think you may find yourself in similar circumstances. I plan on posting some video of my training and sparring in the very near future. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, we'll see.
  20. Light123

    Light123 Give Up On Giving Up

    My non-MAist cousin can't even hold me down for five seconds when we get rough on the ground. She might be non-MAist but she uses her tickly fingers against me, which is challenge enough. But even with that I'm still slippery. So aren't I already a heck of a ground fighter? :D

    The thing is, grabs, sweeps and takedowns are not are not allowed at the tournament. Well, I dont use my walker to spar.

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